Back in 2015, I shared photos of some of my favourite apartment buildings, of another era, in the post The Apartment. The above link, and a key, will get you into the building.
At the time, I didn't have a photo of the 1937 Park Square on Elgin Street, Ottawa. Self-confessed history nerd Chris Ryan gave me permission to use an image from his sensational blog the Margins of History. I notice that Chris has a number of other posts about Ottawa apartment blocks that we would all enjoy. (Well of course I can speak for you. If you're reading this...)
I started my apartment hunting at The Fox and Feather, a good neighbourhood pub at the corner of Elgin and Maclaren. I was in great need of the ice water the server brought instantly (a bit of the first responder in her) after a forced march (that parking meter thing) up Elgin, over Wellington, and back along Sparks Street, snapping the while.
Here's a Streetview link, if you want to start the tour with a tummy full of portobello mushroom sandwich and Beau's, as I did. The second floor outdoor deck gave me a chance to watch my old street from a new perspective.
The entrance to the apartments is from the Maclaren Street side, up steps vying with the Parthenon for impact, a classically accurate portico rising up the next three storeys.
Some architectural finery. Well what else to do during a solo lunch, armed only with a great camera and a fine walking tour guide?
|Kincora (1938) Maclaren Street|
Thanks to the gift of time in downtown Ottawa recently (and the discovery of an affordable spot to leave Blanche, in my old neighbourhood) I was able to wander many familiar blocks, and to visit Park Square for myself.
|Queen Mary Apartments (1912-13)|
|The Warrington's wonderful balconies (1910)|
|Annedale Court (1928 emblazoned on a parapet cartouche)|
|Kenniston Apartments (1909)|
My friend Ronnie once lived in the Kenniston Apartments, around the corner from the railway house I inhabited on Frank Street (which has become a inn, I noticed.) The forecourt which I remember as park-like, is now crammed with cafe culture. Can't think I'd enjoy living above it.
I walked Elgin from the Queensway all the way to Wellington Street downtown, enjoying my old route and familiar neighbourhood in a totally different way. A fine, if hot and exhausting, day.
Early apartment culture in Ottawa has attracted a lot of comment. Here's a link to a Robert Smythe article in a local paper, from last year. It contains some of the promotional copy for the (then) new apartments. Lots more gems like this: "Of truly imposing appearance and possessing the latest and most improved fitments for home comfort..." (Ottawa Journal, September 8, 1928, as quoted in Smythe's article.)