Place:Ottawa, Carleton, Ontario, Canada

Watchers


NameOttawa
Alt namesBytownsource: Encyclopædia Britannica (1988) VIII, 1044; Webster's Geographical Dictionary (1988) p 905
TypeCity
Coordinates45.417°N 75.717°W
Located inCarleton, Ontario, Canada     (1827 - present)
Contained Places
Cemetery
Beechwood Cemetery
Capital Memorial Gardens
Notre Dame Cemetery
Hamlet
Burritts Rapids ( 2001 - present )
Carlsbad Springs ( 2001 - )
Carsonby ( 2001 - )
Corkery ( 2001 - )
Dwyer Hill ( 2001 - )
Galetta ( 2001 - )
Woodlawn ( 2001 - )
Inhabited place
Ashton ( 2001 - present )
Bells Corners ( 2001 - present )
Billings Bridge ( 2001 - present )
Britannia ( 2001 - present )
Carp ( 2001 - present )
Cyrville ( 2001 - )
Edwards ( 2001 - present )
Fallowfield ( 2001 - present )
Fitzroy Harbour ( 2001 - )
Gloucester ( 2001 - present )
Greely ( 2001 - )
Hazeldean ( 2001 - present )
Huntley ( 2001 - present )
Kars ( 2001 - present )
Kenmore ( 2001 - present )
Kinburn ( 2001 - present )
Malakoff ( 2001 - present )
Manotick ( 2001 - present )
Marchhurst ( 2001 - present )
Merivale ( 2001 - present )
Metcalfe ( 2001 - present )
North Gower ( 2001 - present )
Osgoode ( 2001 - present )
Ramsayville ( 2001 - present )
Richmond ( 2001 - present )
Rockcliffe Park ( 2001 - present )
South Gloucester ( 2001 - present )
South March ( 2001 - present )
Spring Hill ( 2001 - present )
Stittsville ( 2001 - present )
Vanier ( 2001 - present )
Suburb
Hawthorne ( 2001 - )
Kanata ( 2001 - present )
Orléans ( 2001 - present )
Osgoode ( 2001 - present )
Township
Cumberland (township) ( 2001 - present )
Fitzroy ( 2001 - present )
Gloucester (township) ( 2001 - present )
Goulbourn ( 2001 - present )
Huntley (township) ( 2001 - present )
March ( 2001 - )
Marlborough ( 2001 - present )
Nepean ( 2001 - )
North Gower (township) ( 2001 - present )
Osgoode (township) ( 2001 - )
Rideau ( 2001 - )
Torbolton ( 2001 - present )
West Carleton ( 2001 - present )
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

NOTE: Hintonburgh and Mechanicsville (mentioned in the Family History Library Catalog and redirected here) were neighbourhoods within Ottawa in the late 19th century.

The text in this section is a precis of an article in Wikipedia.

Ottawa is the capital of Canada. The city is located on the south bank of the Ottawa River in southeastern Ontario. Ottawa borders Gatineau (once known as the City of Hull), Quebec, located on the north bank of the river; together they form the National Capital Region.

The Rideau River and the Rideau Canal both flow from the south through the outlying townships/suburbs and then through the centre of Ottawa and into the Ottawa River. The construction of the Rideau Canal was significant in the growth of Bytown into Ottawa in the middle of the 19th century.

image:250px-Newottawamap.png Map of Ottawa and Carleton County from Wikipedia Commons

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

The word "Ottawa" is derived from Odawa, referring to the Indigenous People that used the river. The Algonquins called the Ottawa River Kichi Sibi or Kichissippi meaning "Great River" or "Grand River". Étienne Brûlé, the first European to travel up the Ottawa River, passed by Ottawa in 1610 on his way to the Great Lakes. Three years later, Samuel de Champlain wrote about the waterfalls of the area and about his encounters with the Algonquins, who had been using the Ottawa River for centuries. The early explorers and traders were later followed by many missionaries. The first maps of the area used the word Ottawa to name the river.

Philemon Wright, a New Englander, created the first settlement in the area on 7 March 1800 on the north side of the river, across from Ottawa in Hull. He, with five other families and twenty-five labourers, set about to create an agricultural community called Wrightsville. Wright pioneered the Ottawa Valley timber trade (soon to be the area's most significant economic activity) by transporting timber by river from the Ottawa Valley to Quebec City.

Bytown, Ottawa's original name, was founded as a community in 1826 when hundreds of land speculators were attracted to the south side of the river when news spread that British authorities were immediately constructing the northerly end of the Rideau Canal military project at that location. The following year, the town would soon be named after British military engineer Colonel John By who was responsible for the entire Rideau Waterway construction project. The military purpose of the canal was to provide a secure route between Montreal and Kingston on Lake Ontario, bypassing the stretch of the St. Lawrence River bordering the state of New York that had left the British forces easily exposed to American enemy fire during the War of 1812. Colonel By set up military barracks on the site of today's Parliament Hill. He also laid out the streets of the town and created two distinct neighbourhoods named "Upper Town" west of the canal and "Lower Town" east of the canal. Similar to its Upper Canada and Lower Canada namesakes, historically 'Upper Town' was predominantly English speaking and Protestant whereas 'Lower Town' was predominantly French, Irish and Catholic. Bytown's population grew to 1,000 as the Rideau Canal was being completed in 1832. Bytown encountered some impassioned and violent times in her early pioneer period that included Irish labour unrest that attributed to the Shiners' War from 1835 to 1845 and political dissension that was evident from the 1849 Stony Monday Riot. In 1855 Bytown was renamed Ottawa and incorporated as a city.


On New Year's Eve 1857, Queen Victoria as a symbolic and political gesture was presented with the responsibility of selecting a location for the permanent capital of the Province of Canada. In reality Prime Minister John A. McDonald had assigned this selection process to the Executive Branch of the Government as previous attempts to arrive at a consensus had ended in deadlock. The 'Queen's choice' turned out to be the small frontier town of Ottawa for two main reasons: Firstly, Ottawa's isolated location in a back country surrounded by dense forest far from the American border and situated on a cliff face would make it more defensible from attack. Secondly, Ottawa was located approximately midway between Toronto and Kingston in (Canada West) and Montreal and Quebec City in (Canada East). Additionally, despite Ottawa's regional isolation it had seasonal water transportation access to Montreal over the Ottawa River and to Kingston via the Rideau Waterway. By 1854 it also had a modern all season Bytown and Prescott Railway that carried passengers, lumber and supplies the 82 kilometre distance to Prescott on the Saint Lawrence River and beyond.[1] The small size of the town it was thought would make it less prone to rampaging politically motivated mobs, as had happened in the previous Canadian capitals. The government already owned the land that would eventually become Parliament Hill which they thought would be an ideal location for building the Parliament Buildings. Ottawa was the only settlement of any substantial size that was already located directly on the border of French populated former Lower Canada and English populated former Upper Canada thus additionally making the selection an important political compromise. Queen Victoria made her 'Queen's choice' very quickly just before welcoming in the New Year.


Starting in the 1850s, large sawmills began to be erected by entrepreneurs known as lumber barons, and these became some of the largest mills in the world. Rail lines erected in 1854 connected Ottawa to areas south and to the transcontinental rail network via Hull and Lachute, Quebec in 1886. The original Parliament buildings which included the Centre, East and West Blocks were constructed between 1859 and 1866 in the Gothic Revival style. At the time, this was the largest North American construction project ever attempted and Public Works Canada and its architects were not initially well prepared. The Library of Parliament and Parliament Hill landscaping would not be completed until 1876. By 1885 Ottawa was the only city in Canada whose downtown street lights were powered entirely by electricity. In 1889 the Government developed and distributed 60 'water leases' (still currently in use) to mainly local industrialists which gave them permission to generate electricity and operate hydroelectric generators at Chaudière Falls. Public transportation began in 1870 with a horsecar system, overtaken in the 1890s by a vast electric streetcar system that lasted until 1959. The Hull–Ottawa fire of 1900 destroyed two thirds of Hull, including 40 per cent of its residential buildings and most of its largest employers along the waterfront. The fire also spread across the Ottawa River and destroyed about one fifth of Ottawa from the Lebreton Flats south to Booth Street and down to Dow's Lake. On 1 June 1912 the Grand Trunk Railway opened both the Chateau Laurier hotel and its neighbouring downtown Union Station. On 3 February 1916 the Centre Block of the Parliament buildings was destroyed by a fire. The House of Commons and Senate was temporarily relocated to the then recently constructed Victoria Memorial Museum, now the Canadian Museum of Nature until the completion of the new Centre Block in 1922, the centrepiece of which is a dominant Gothic revival styled structure known as the Peace Tower. The current location of what is now known as Confederation Square was a former commercial district centrally located in a triangular area downtown surrounded by historically significant heritage buildings which includes the Parliament buildings. It was redeveloped as a ceremonial centre in 1938 as part of the City Beautiful Movement and became the site of the National War Memorial in 1939 and designated a National Historic Site in 1984. A new Central Post Office (currently the Privy Council of Canada) was constructed in 1939 beside the War Memorial because the original post office building located on the proposed Confederation Square grounds had to be demolished.


Ottawa's former industrial appearance was vastly altered by the 1950 Greber Plan. French architect-planner Jacques Greber was hired by then Prime Minister Mackenzie King to design an urban plan for managing development in the National Capital Region to make it more aesthetically pleasing and thus more befitting a location that was the political centre of Canada. Greber's plan included the creation of the National Capital Greenbelt, the Parkway, the Queensway highway system, the relocation of downtown Union Station (now the Government Conference Centre) to the suburbs, the removal of the street car system, the decentralization of selected government offices, the relocation of industries and removal of substandard housing from the downtown and the creation of the Rideau Canal and Ottawa River pathways to name just a few of its recommendations.[2] In 1958 the National Capital Commission was established as a Crown Corporation from the passing of the National Capital Act in order to implement the Greber Plan recommendations which it successfully accomplished during the 1960s and 1970s. In the previous 50 years, other commissions, plans and projects had tried and failed to implement plans to improve the capital such as the 1899 Ottawa Improvement Commission (OIC), The Todd Plan in 1903, The Holt Report in 1915 and The Federal District Commission (FDC) established in 1927. In 1958 a new City Hall opened on Green Island near Rideau falls where urban renewal had recently transformed this former industrial location into green space. Until then, City Hall had temporarily been located for 27 years (1931-1958) at the Transportation Building adjacent to Union Station and now part of the Rideau Centre. In 2001, Ottawa City Hall moved back downtown to a relatively new building (1990) on 110 Laurier Avenue West that had been the home of the now defunct Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton. This new downtown location was very close to Ottawa's first (1849-1877) and second (1877-1931) City Halls. Also included in this new city hall complex was an adjacent 19th century restored heritage building formerly known as the Ottawa Normal School.

From the 1960s until the 1980s, the National Capital Region experienced a building boom. This was followed by large growth in the high-tech industry during the 1990s and 2000s. Ottawa became one of Canada's largest high tech cities and was nicknamed Silicon Valley North. By the 1980s, Bell Northern Research (later Nortel) employed thousands, and large federally assisted research facilities such as the National Research Council contributed to an eventual technology boom. The early adopters led to offshoot companies such as Newbridge Networks, Mitel and Corel.


Ottawa's city limits had been increasing over the years, but it acquired the most territory on January 1, 2001, when it amalgamated all the municipalities of the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton into one single city. Regional Chair Bob Chiarelli was elected as the new city's first mayor in the 2000 municipal election, defeating Gloucester mayor Claudette Cain. The city's growth led to strains on the public transit system and to bridges. On October 15, 2001, a diesel-powered light rail transit (LRT) line was introduced on an experimental basis. This line, dubbed the O-Train, connected downtown Ottawa to the southern suburbs via Carleton University. The decision to extend the O-Train line, and to replace it with an electric light rail system was a major issue in the 2006 municipal elections where Chiarelli was defeated by businessman Larry O'Brien. After O'Brien's election transit plans were changed to establish a series of light rail stations from the east side of the city into downtown, and for using a tunnel through the downtown core. Jim Watson, who had been the last mayor of Ottawa prior to amalgamation, was re-elected in the 2010 election.

In October 2012, City Council approved the final Lansdowne Park plan, an agreement with the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group that will see a new stadium, increased green space, and housing and retail added to the site. In December 2012, City Council voted unanimously to move forward with the Confederation Line, a 12.5 km light rail transit line, to be fully operational by 2018.

Research Tips

The primary source for basic documents (vital statistics, land records, wills) for people who lived in the Province of Ontario is the Archives of Ontario, 134 Ian Macdonald Blvd, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M7A 2C5.

Early Records

Civil registration did not begin in the province until 1869. Before then there may be church records of baptisms and burials. For the most part these are still held by the denomination who recorded them. Copies of marriage records made pre-1869 had to be sent by individual clergymen to the registrar of the county in which the marriage took place. These marriage records are available through Ontario Archives, on micorfilm through LDS libraries, and on paid and unpaid websites, but because they were copied at the registrars' offices, they cannot be considered a primary source.

Vital Records after 1869

Birth, marriage and death registrations are not open to the public until a specific number of years after the event occurred. Births to 1915 are now available [October 2014]; dates for marriages and deaths are later. Birth and death registration was not universally carried out in the early years after its adoption. Deaths were more apt to be reported than births for several years. The more rural the area, the less likely it would be that these happenings were reported to the authorities.
Images and indexes of civil registrations for the "viewable" years can be found on paid websites, and indexes only on FamilySearch. The FamilySearch Wiki on Ontario Vital Records explains how these records are organized and their availability.
In September 2014 Ancestry.ca announced that its paid website has been subjected to a "houseclean" of its Ontario BMD database, adding data that had been omitted and making many corrections. Its provision now includes

  • Births, with 2,172,124 records covering 1869-1913.
  • Marriages, with 3,393,369 records for 1801-1928 including Ontario county, district and Roman Catholic origins as well as province-wide civil registration.
  • Deaths, with 2,190,030 records comprising Ontario civil registrations of deaths, 1869-1938 and registrations of Ontario overseas deaths for 1939-1947.


Land Records and Wills

Information on how to access land records and wills is best sought on the Archives of Ontario website. An ancestor's land holding might be found on Canadian County Atlas Digital Project if he was in occupancy circa 1878.

Association for the Preservation of Ontario Land Registry Office Documents (APOLROD). A list of Land Registry Offices for all Counties of Ontario.

Censuses

The original censuses are in the hands of Library and Archives Canada, known to Canadians as "LAC". Copies of original microfilms are online at the LAC website for all censuses up to 1911. Each census database is preceded with an explanation of the geographical area covered, the amount of material retained (some census division material has been lost), the questions on the census form, and whether there is a name index. Census divisions were redrawn as the population increased and more land was inhabited. The 1921 census is only available through Ancestry.ca, but it is free-to-view.
Other websites, some paid and some free, also provide Canadian census originals and/or indexes online. One can also view censuses on microfilm at the LAC, at the Archives of Ontario (see address above), or at large libraries throughout Canada.

E-books and Books

  • The Internet Archive, particularly texts from Canadian universities, can contain interesting material
  • Our Roots is a Canadian website similar to The Internet Archive
  • Global Genealogy is an online bookshop specializing in Ontario material who will ship anywhere in the world.

Researching in Eastern Ontario

The website of the Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society offers a number of search engines for databases of material they maintain:

The Society covers the counties of Carleton (combined with the city of Ottawa), Lanark, Renfrew, Prescott and Russell. There is a note on the website that the URL will be changing soon (Jun 2012). It may be best to “google” the Ottawa Branch of OGS.


This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Ottawa. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
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