Welcome! We are residents of the neighbourhood researching our community’s transition from forest and farmland to today’s urban environment. We welcome your involvement and assistance as we research, record and publish the neighbourhood’s history and cultural heritage, and lead the CHNA’s advocacy for its preservation and recognition.
Do you have old photos, histories of your house, other documents or memories of the Civic Hospital neighbourhood that would be of interest to others? Are you familiar with the heritage of some of the notable buildings in our community? If so, please contact us. We will happily return all documents as requested.
About Our History The neighbourhood is perhaps less defined by borders and more by community and the interests of those who reside in it. Although the neighbourhood’s current borders are set by Carling Ave. to the south, Highway 417 to the north, the O-Train Tracks to the east, and Island Park Dr. to the west, we are also taking into account the influences on our community of the adjacent Central Experimental Farm from its creation in 1886. As we begin our work, we have chosen to initially focus on the original farm areas that stretched along either side of our central roadway, Parkdale Avenue. The core of the neighbourhood can be traced back to the 1820’s when a number of Scottish immigrants who had come to work on the construction the Rideau Canal, bought 100 acre lots of “boggy bush land” on Concession 1, Ottawa Front of Nepean Township, on which to farm. The result was some of the most prosperous farms in our part of Canada throughout the nineteenth century. Many of today’s neighbourhood streets, and Reid Park, are named after members of those early settler families. The first major development in the area was the acquisition of 25 acres of the Reid farm by the City of Ottawa in 1919 for the construction of the Civic Hospital and its School of Nursing, both of which opened in 1924. Prior to that, only a few small pockets of residential housing had occurred along Parkdale Ave. led by the McDougall family in 1880. Along with the Experimental Farm, the core of the current CHNA area remained an oasis of farmland until well into the 1930s. Only then was much of it transformed into the residential neighbourhood it is today.
Mapping Our History We are using a unique tool called Historypin to map the history of our neighbourhood. Click on a pin on the map below to view a photo and find more information on that property. You may also see a List of all the pictures by clicking the List tab. Click here to open our Historypin page in a new window.
Walking Tour Our self-guided walking tour will lead you through history, visiting significant buildings that shaped our neighbourhood. The walking tour is available in PDF for you to print and do so at your own pace.
References We have put together an extensive list of references relating to the history of our neighbourhood and surrounding area. You will find links to historical websites and blogs, neighbourhood and community websites sharing their own history, books used in our research, archives/research locations, local historical museums and other walking tours around the city. View Reference List
Contact Us Please click here if you wish to reach us.