The area along the O-Train corridor has undergone lots of changes from its original industrial beginnings. Occasionally, an old building survives.
Notice that it has a real slate roof, there are few houses or buildings left in our neighborhood with slate roofs. In this case, it probably was to provide additional fire proofing from the sparks that flew out of the many steam engines in the area.
David Jeanes tells me this may have been the home of Ottawa Stair Works. Probably built right after the Great Fire in 1902, the building then faced Somerset Street which was not yet elevated up on the viaduct as it is now. The area behind it, now the City Centre parking lot, was first the D Kemp Edwards Lumber Yards, later the Argue Coal Company yards. In this 1912 fire insurance map the building was located, but not shown on the map, immediately right of the blue building labelled “planing mill”.
Somerset Street runs across the bottom of the pic; the blue building is approximately where the south end of the City Centre warehouses now is. The building is shown in its correct location in earlier maps, just not the 1912 version.
It was later used by fashion apparel establishments, and for hobby, toy, and picture framing businesses. It now appears to be empty.
All this is a long way around to saying that the community association has suggested to the Bayview CDP planning team that this old structure should be kept or relocated on the site when the area is redeveloped for the three planned condo towers and commercial development. It would make a pleasant contrast to the modern towers that will surround it, and could function as a coffee shop, bike dealer (it would be right on the new O-train north-south bike route being constructed this summer, as it could be just north of the new Somerset bike underpass).
What do you think? Should it be saved and incorporated into the new project?