August edition of @ottawa_cm which was about community. A first with six different speakers which had @mybywardoffice @le.pressoir @zindy_lee @parkdalefood @girlsskate613 @tsaacs @apathyisboring @littlemissottawa had different perspectives of what Ottawa has to offer.
✨ Vendor Spotlight ✨
Farm fresh eggs from free roaming hens! @bekingseggs are a staple at all of our markets and a staple for most of our customers. Family run, #local and focused on sustainability - we 💚 Bekings!
Right beside the #HardyArcade is another one-time fixture of #SparksStreet , the former 24/7 restaurant Bowles. It, too, has been incorporated in the condo project, 131 Queen and 126 Sparks (see https://www.126sparks.com/). Now it’s a #gym ! 🏪
“Bowles (132 Sparks Street) was the home of the 'Quick Lunch' concept that had spread across North American cities after 1900. Primarily an all-male preserve, #BowlesLunch was a Sparks Street institution/hangout/landmark serving everyone from Mayors and Prime Ministers to salesmen, reporters and cops on the beat.
“Bowles was open 24 hours a day for pure food, quick service and at the time of this photo (May 1917), billiards upstairs. There was a second Bowles Lunch on Rideau Street near Union Station. They were redolent of hard-boiled urban camaraderie. I wish that I'd been there.
“The Ottawa Bowles on Sparks was likely designed by architects Hand, Harris and Merritt who had designed the chain's three Toronto lunchrooms. It's a notable example of architectural terra-cotta. For more information on this building, and other examples of terra-cotta decoration in Ottawa see Barbara McMullen's guidebook published by Heritage Ottawa. The restored facade now forms part of the Sparks Street frontage of a new mixed-use building at 131 Queen Street (Bregman+Hamman Architects; Robertson Martin Architects, Inc.; William Greer, Heritage Consultant).”
The #HardyArcade is a fixture on #SparksStreet — and also on Queen Street, since it was always a pedestrian link between the two streets. And it’s now been incorporated into a much larger building, 131 Queen St / 126 Sussex (you can see apartments at the top here): https://www.126sparks.com/
“The Hardy Arcade was commissioned by Senator Arthur Charles Hardy in #1936 . The architect was Arthur C. Davison. … .
“The Hardy's facade was restored as part of the 131 Queen Street development. The storefront were unified into one plane of glass and the entranceway moved out closer to the street.
“Judging by his 1939 picture, Senator Hardy was as stylish as his arcade building. He lived at Fulford Place in Brockville, the town where architect Davison had his practice.
“The Hardy Arcade's most famous tenant was photographer #YousefKarsh , who set up here shortly after the building was opened.
“More #ArtModerne than #ArtDeco , the arcade used flattened out simplified classic elements like fluting and dentils. Four thin slices of fluted column sit across the top.”
Renamed the #ValourBuilding in 2014, the former La Promenade Building at 151 Sparks at O’Connor is a classic #1970s downtown Ottawa office building. For decades it had an open-air staircase link shops on the second floor directly to the Sparks Street Mall. It’s on the corner of O’Connor, very close to Parliament Hill.
“Built in #1972 , this Sparks Street building is a perfect choice for temporary relocation space while we [Public Works] are rehabilitating the West Block.
“In preparation for its use by the House of Commons, this building underwent a rehabilitation of its own. Significant upgrades to its exterior and to its mechanical and electrical systems were completed, and three new committee rooms were added. In December 2010, the renovated building welcomed 62 members of Parliament.”
“The long Italianate Commercial row that stretched from the Bank of Nova Scotia to the corner of O'Connor Street was demolished in 1968 for the 'La Promenade' building at 151 Sparks Street - the first new office to be designed to co-ordinate with the new permanent Sparks Street Mall. It had two floors or retail space, reached by an exterior flight of stairs that landed on the middle of the mall. The stairs were removed in the 1980s, and I am still looking for a photograph of them. [Me too! And I actually took such a photo!]”
And here is 118 Sparks St., the current Bank of Nova Scotia building on #SparksStreet . It was once the Murphy-Gamble Department Store, the largest department store on Sparks. The second photo shows the Queen Street side of the building. The last photo shows the Murphy-Gamble Building in 1954, along with the #HardyArcade and other neighbours on Sparks.
“Built by Frederick and Eva Carling in #1909 , the building housed the #MurphyGamble department store for 62 years, until Simpson's bought the business and building in 1971. The building is believed to be one of the first reinforced concrete frame structures in Ottawa and, according to a report to the City's Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee, is notable for the "glass-cage" effect of its original facade. (The windows have been filled in with stone or aluminum siding, but the original stone framing and roof cornice remain available for restoration.)” - Heritage Ottawa Newsletter, Feb 1983 Vol . 11 No . 2
“Murphy-Gamble was founded in about 1897 and in 1909 located to a new building at 118 Sparks Street. For years, their slogan was "Ottawa’s Smart Store" and their merchandise was aimed at the higher-end ‘ladies-who-lunch’ crowd who gathered at the fifth floor ‘Rideau Room’ restaurant. Murphy-Gamble was purchased by the Toronto-based department store Simpsons in 1971; the store continued to operate under the Simpson’s banner until 1983.”
Thanks for stopping by, Katie! 💙🇬🇷 #Repost @yowcitystyle
“Opa!”: a Greek word yelled out in the celebration of life. If pink summer skies, delicious food, smashing plates and hanging with my crew isn’t living, then what is? Thanks for the good times @ottawagreekfest 🇬🇷
Another long-time #SparksStreet fixture was #Birks , the jewellery store. Before Birks, it was owned by a different jewellery store, but it’s now mostly government offices and a restaurant. The #BirksBuilding at 101-107 Sparks was built in #1910 -1911, when Sparks was the commercial heart of Ottawa — and extended all the way east to the Rideau Canal to meet Rideau Street, the other major retail hub of the city a century ago.
“The Birks Building, with blue spandrels at the right, was designed by Keefer and Weeks in 1910. It was briefly the tallest building in Ottawa. Built for Rosenthal and Son Jewellers, it was purchased by Birks in 1945 and converted into their Ottawa store. The Rosenthals' building had the most sumptuous storefront on Sparks Street, ornamented by deeply encrusted cast bronze decorations and an elaborate glass canopy. These Edwardian excresences were a retail embarrassment to be stripped off in Birks' post-War renovations.
“The Government of Canada rented out most of the office space in the Birks Building during the civil service boom of WWII. In the late 1970s it, like the rest of the north side of Sparks Street, was expropriated for future parliamentary expansion. Birks was one of the first high-profile stores to leave the Mall in 1980, when it slipped into a generic unit at the Rideau Centre.
“The main body of the building has a pier-and-spandrel treatment. The blue spandrels are a Birks' touch replacing the original bronze #spandrels ; in 1945 the business adopted its famous blue box.
“The uppermost storey is stepped back and separated by a cornice. It is flanked by a pair of shallow end pavilions.
"Birks modernized the storefront with materials that ranged from simple to severe. The second floor window openings were filled in with glass blocks, and the canopy has a running Greek key pattern.”
The #BateBuilding , 111-109 Sparks, may be the oldest still-standing building in #SparksStreet . It has been modified, but it is a survivor! 🏛
"The tall Bate Building is situated on the north side of Sparks Street in the core of Ottawa’s central business district. The lower façade features classical and #Palladian motifs while high arched windows with elaborate #spandrels distinguish the upper floors, capped by a strongly projecting cornice. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
“The Bate Building is associated with the development of mid-19th and early 20th century Ottawa. Henry and Charles Bate commissioned the original building that combined retail premises and a residence. The building became the basis of a business empire headed by Henry Bate a philanthropic character involved in politics, the community, and local development. Knighted in 1910, Henry Bates became the first chairman of the Ottawa Improvement Commission.
“Built in #1859 , the Bate building has undergone many changes resulting in the loss of architectural integrity. Apparently the oldest standing structure on Sparks Street, its #1904 addition may be the earliest example in Ottawa of an office building that exceeds five storeys. The third storey of the lower façade was removed to accommodate the present addition. The Bate grocery store front was also later removed, further reducing the structure’s storefront profile.”
Years before "Canada's Four Corner's" moved here (replacing an HMV store on Sparks), not one but two iconic businesses have been located at 115-117 Sparks. Built in #1868 , this building is known as the E.R. Fisher Building, after its long-time status as the flagship store of men's clothing business E.R. Fisher. Decades before Fisher, 117 Sparks was home to a photography business, at its peak the Pittaway and Jarvis Studio. Jarvis's photos of old Ottawa are a treasure trove of information about Ottawa's past. Jarvis ultimately moved to Bank Street near Somerset, while E.R. Fisher has moved to Richmond Road.
The final image here is an old ad for "Pittaway and Jarvis' Studio - No.117 Sparks Street" from a October 1887 "Directory" for Carleton, Lanark, Prescott, Russell & Ottawa Counties (see http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/obj/001075/f2/nlc008164.pdf ). The studio, and later Jarvis alone, used to advertise heavily.
"117 Sparks St. – E.R. FISHER BUILDING 1868. Brecciated serpentinite (Verde Antique) with calcite venation. The Hallmark Building, farther towards Bank St., has a similar street-level façade."
"E. R. Fisher’s story begins with an agreement settled by a handshake. Founder Emerson Ralph Fisher was offered the opportunity to open his own store in Ottawa by his employer in St. Catharines, who gave Fisher a generous $30,000 loan to start up the operation. He opened his first dry-goods store on Sparks Street in downtown Ottawa, where he always traded in good quality men’s clothing. As such, he built a loyal clientele, many of whom worked at the nearby Parliament Hill, and he paid off the loan in a few short years.
"Following a century of operations on Sparks Street, as well as having a presence inside some of Ottawa’s most popular shopping centres, E.R. Fisher moved to the burgeoning Westboro Village in 2001 at 199 Richmond Rd."
The Ottawa Art Gallery is accessible any many ways including price and opening hours. Admission to the Gallery is free every day from 9 am to 9 pm! Free Yoga classes are offered on friday’s at noon on the rooftop terrace.
Plan your visit to the gallery by simply walking in, or, go their website more info about booking gallery tours, events, classes and more. etc