PO Box 523, Station B,
Ottawa, ON, K1P 5P6

PO Box 523, Station B, Ottawa, ON, K1P 5P6

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Historical Language Advisory

Certain parts of the HSO pamphlet series may contain historical language and content that some may consider offensive, for example, language used to refer to racial, ethnic, and cultural groups. These items, their content and descriptions, reflect the time period in which they were created and the viewpoint of their author. The items are presented with their original text to ensure that attitudes and viewpoints are not erased from the record.

We are continuing the process of reviewing our historical documents. If you see text with inappropriate language or content that you think HSO should review, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please include as many details as possible regarding the language or content which requires our attention such as the pamphlet title or the permalink to the document. And kindly indicate "document review" in the title of your email. We welcome your comments.

 Select a pamphlet title from the list to view the contents online and/or download a copy and see any additional associated information.

Title Description Download
124. 1857 Emigrating to Canada: A Memoir, by Richard Lester
 1.42 MB
Personal memoirs of 19th century immigrant tradespeople are rare indeed. An English bricklayer, Richard Lester, brought his large family to Ottawa in 1857 and wrote this one about 1900. It is a rich account of their hair-raising journey from England and 50 years of settler life here. Lester was also a prolific poet whose many compositions reveal not only an honest, hardworking and moral man, but a romantic and wise one; find them in the “Document History” section of Bytown Pamphlet no. 124. Download ( pdf )
123. The First Danes in Ottawa
 1.82 MB
Although never very numerous, Danish immigrants to Ottawa quickly found each other and gathered socially, thus forming a distinct Danish community. They integrated quickly and effortlessly, while remaining proud of their background and heritage. The author focusses on 12 families who represent fairly the community and who in several cases provided its agenda and leadership. Download ( pdf )
122. Victorian Hydroelectricity Generation at the South Chaudière Falls (Ottawa, Ontario)
 2.96 MB
Early hydroelectricity generation at the South Chaudière Falls on the Ottawa River required a constant flow of high volume, log-free water, achieved through channels dams, channels, flumes and log diversion. This is a detailed history of four early hydroelectric generating stations. Written by Bryan Cook. Download ( pdf )
121. A Pioneer Store in Upper Canada, by Edwin Welch (1982) - transcribed and edited by Bryan D. Cook
 964.87 KB
In 1982, professional archivist Dr. Edwin Welch wrote about an early 19C general store in Richmond (Goulbourn Twp), near Ottawa. Known as “Bytown Series #4,” his work became buried in the HSO archives, along with a full transcription he had made of a partially intact invoice book kept in George Lyon's store at Richmond between 1820 and 1829. Download ( pdf )
120. Phyllis Turner Ross – Career Woman and Single Mother
 1.26 MB
This is the story of Phyllis Gregory Turner Ross, the remarkable mother of Canadian Prime Minister John Turner who, after a rocky start in England, came to Ottawa as a single mother in the 1930s and worked her way up to become the highest-ranking woman in Canada’s wartime civil service. Written by Paul Litt and Christine F. Jackson. Download ( pdf )
119. Henry Gilchrist – Quarriers’ Home Child
 1.83 MB
Learn how the purchase of two antique charcoal portraits in the Ottawa Valley led the author to identify a family of Scottish pioneers who had settled in Lanark County. Discover how the young British “home child” they informally adopted grew up to build a successful life for himself as a pioneer Prairie farmer. Written by Bryan D. Cook. Download ( pdf )
118. Ahearn and Soper — The Electrification of Ottawa
 2.15 MB
In the late 19th century, two young telegraphers, Thomas Ahearn and Warren Soper, recognized the value of hydroelectric power in electrifying the National Capital Region. They contributed much towards making Ottawa a capital worthy of the 20th century. The story of their partnership is told by Bryan D. Cook. Download ( pdf )
117. Past, Present, Future: The Preservation and Adaptation of Ottawa’s Built Heritage
 1.12 MB
Comprising the thoughts of three fierce champions of built heritage conservation in Ottawa—architect Barry Padolsky, developer Sandy Smallwood, and heritage advocate David Flemming. Based on interviews conducted by HSO and illustrated with examples of their projects over the last 50 years. Written by Ben Weiss and Nivethini Jekku Einkaran. Download ( pdf )
116. Poetry of the Chaudière
 1.05 MB
A compilation of poetry written between 1856 and 2019, inspired by the Ottawa River’s Chaudière Falls in the heart of the National Capital Region; with contemporary commentaries on the individual poems by Bryan D. Cook. Download ( pdf )
115. Lord Elgin’s Visit to Bytown And the Reminiscences of Mary Anne By Friel
 1.09 MB
Mary Friel’s 1901 account of Governor General Lord Elgin’s visit to Bytown in 1853, with historical context on Elgin’s role in introducing responsible government, written by James Powell. Download ( pdf )
114. Ottawa Mobilized - A Geographic Record of the City in Wartime
 1016.9 KB
Detailed historical descriptions of the extensive real estate constructed for and occupied by the military units established in Ottawa over the last 200 years, written by Richard Collins. Download ( pdf )
113. Prize Money: Spanish Silver & the Rideau Canal
 1.13 MB
Why were local contractors building the Rideau Canal like Ottawa’s Thomas Mackay paid handsomely by the British War Office with barrels of Spanish silver coins? And learn how the debates in the British House of Commons reveal why Colonel John By did not receive the acclaim he was due in his day. By Alastair Sweeny. Download ( pdf )
112. Genteel Woman in Need: Maud Lampman, First Woman Appointed to Work on Parliament Hill
 1.51 MB
Maud Lampman’s story reveals her life with a contemporary Canadian celebrity, as well as the challenges faced by all women having to support themselves and their families at the turn of the 19th/20th centuries. The author recounts how Maud found a position in the federal civil service and her short-lived success. By Dianne Brydon. Download ( pdf )
111. The Store – A Personal History of Larocque’s
 1.07 MB
Until 1971 Larocque’s independent—and bilingual—department store on Dalhousie Street was a mainstay serving the largely French-Canadian residents of Ottawa’s Lowertown for 62 years. The author’s personal story combines facts and memories—of the people, the business and the building that were also central to his family for 45 years. By Robert Vineberg. Download ( pdf )
110. The Ottawa Canoe Club 1883–1913
 1.31 MB
For 50+ years the Ottawa Canoe Club was an important sporting and social hub in Ottawa, attracting members of high society to activities like camping, cruising, paddling, sailing and racing. Describes the changeable fortunes of the OCC against competing local and regional canoe clubs up to its merger with another club in 1913. By Alan B. McCullough. Download ( pdf )
109. Ottawa's Historic Vineyards
 1.2 MB
An examination of the little-known and fascinating vineyards established in Ottawa during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, along with a brief review of the early days of Canadian wine-making in general. Also includes references to the most recent attempts to reintroduce viticulture to the Ottawa Valley. By James Powell and Karen Lynn Ouellette. Download ( pdf )
108. Mayor John Scott’s Portrait, Its Conservation and Continuing Mystery
 835.63 KB
A mysterious portrait of Bytown’s first mayor, John Scott (1847–48), having disappeared for decades, resurfaced, underwent conservation and was re-hung in 2017. After identifying the previously unknown portraitist, this pamphlet describes what is known and still unknown about the painting. Also describes the meticulous conservation process. Written by James Powell. Download ( pdf )
107. Ottawa River Settlements in 1833 as described by Dr. Alexander J. Christie
 2.84 MB
Travel writings from 1833 by Dr. Alexander Christie. Reflecting on current events, Dr. Christie describes the settlements, land quality for agriculture, and lumbering and mineral resources of townships adjacent to the Ottawa River between Pointe-Fortune in the lower Ottawa River Valley and the McNab and Clarendon/Bristol settlements upriver. Transcriptions by George A. and Iris M. Neville. Download ( pdf )
106. Protests and Affordable Housing Policy Delayed: Urban Renewal and the Demolition of LeBreton Flats
 907.21 KB
LeBreton Flats was an Ottawa neighbourhood expropriated and demolished by the National Capital Commission in the 1960s; about 600 families lost their homes. In her winning essay submitted from the University of Ottawa for the 2018 Colonel By Award in History, the author analyzes how LeBreton residents reacted to the loss of their community. By Katharine Van der Veen. Download ( pdf )
105. When Ottawa Welcomed the Empire through a Yorkshireman's Lens
 1.66 MB
In 2017 the HSO received some mystery photographs from an English historical society, taken around 1900 in Canada. Intensive sleuthing revealed why the photographer visited Ottawa and his itinerary across Canada. Includes discussion of trade policy in the British Empire. By James Powell and Bryan D. Cook. Download ( pdf )