Pic of the Week!

Teenage Pay in the ’70s and ’80s

Teenage Pay in the ’70s and ’80s

247 Likes, 28 Shares, 105 Comments and 22,984 People Reached

Tom Sedlar shared this pay stub from his time working for the the McDonald’s at 2380 Bank street, just before you get to Hunt Club. His pay for 27.88 hours? That would be $90.61 at the rate of $3.25 per hour.  

Tom’s stub got people remembering the amazing pay they received for all their hard work back in the day. For reference, $3.25 would be worth $6.49 today. The minimum wage in Ontario this is now $14.


Linda: My ex worked at the very first McDonalds on Merivale Road from 1970 to 72. I wonder what he made then? His apartment was $100 a month.

Elaine: I worked at McDonald’s Alta Vista and Bank. I was earning $2.13/hr in 1975.

Wanda: I worked this one on Bank Street in the mid-‘70s and think I made $2.35/hr!

Kathy: I worked at the new McDonald’s they built on Bronson Ave in 1980 and made $2.10/hr.

Jennifer: When I left the Aylmer McDonald’s in 1981, I believe I was at $3.47 an hour. I loved working there, good memories, good friends, and I always had my own spending money and bought all my own clothes. 

Kim: I worked the McDonald’s Richmond and Carling in 1982 and made $2.85/hour.  Loved working there. Met my first boyfriend, too!

Greg: I started at  $2.85/hr. When I moved to $3.50, I thought I was rich!

Erika: Also started at $2.85! And for some reason the guys wore black shoes and the girls had to wear white shoes.

Glen:  I worked at the one on Montreal Road in 1984-85. I remember it was $3.15/hr, but it was a pretty good job for a kid and my co-workers were a lot of fun.

Ingrid: Gee, I was making $3.15/hour at McDonald’s in 1986. Looks like I was duped!

Matt: You weren’t duped, that was the general manager rate.

Graz: And kids under 16 years old had a lower rate.

Tom: I actually started at $3.15 and got a raise to $3.25 after two months.

Michael: I worked same McDonald’s at the exact same time as Tom Sedlar, in 1986. I made $3.15/hr to start — and I can’t remember if I ever got a raise in the 13 months I lasted there!

Fiona: I was at Carling and Maitland around 1987. I remember getting a 10 cent raise!

Reena: I also made $3.25/hr in 1986. But for me it was at Swiss Chalet.

Mike: I worked at Burger King in 1978 and started at $1.85/hr. 

Rob: First real job was at the Burger King in Bells Corners  for $2.15/hr in 1980. 

Rick: I made $1980 per year in 1963!

Monique: My first job was working in a nursing home, back in 1979 when I was 16 years old. l made $2.95/hr.

Bruce: I made $3.15 an hour in 1984 working at Ponderosa in the dish pit.

Stuart: That’s more per hour than I started with ($2.15/hr) at Ponderosa cooking steaks and lobster.

Mike: I made $2.65/hr as a dishwasher at Frank Vetere’s on Montreal Road in 1984 or ’85. My first legit gig. Plus, all the fountain pop and pizza you could eat!

Elizabeth: My first job also paid $2.85/hr. I worked part time at a little bakery in the Britannia Plaza, and went to Woodroffe High School.

Jennifer: I was at DQ for $3.15/hr. Those lines of people in the summer were insane!

Rachel: My first job was at the Dunkin’ Donuts on Merivale. Starting salary was $3.15/hr. I quickly moved on to working at Lansdowne Park — and my salary jumped up to $7 an hour!

Steve: My first job in 1986 was bussing tables (at a bakery cafe that will remain nameless). They paid me $4.20, moving up to $4.35 before the end of the year. So McDonald’s was competitive in that bracket.

Sonia: I made $4.50/hr at KFC in 1987 and felt so rich having a part time job.

Andrea: I envied an acquaintance whose cashier wage at Loblaws was $14/hr back in 1994! I was getting $7 packing books and handwriting invoices for some nice people.

Graham: I made about 12/hr at Loblaws, since it was a union gig and all.  I guess I  didn’t know how good I had it. I worked there from when the age of 16 until after college.

Michael: That explains why you had the TransAm, Graham. And I just had the Firebird Esprit …

Joan: In 1957, I worked as a sales clerk at the Metropolitan Store on Sparks Street for $0.35 an hour. My return Colonial Coach bus fare from South March to Albert Street was $1.10

Dave: In 1981, I made more money than anyone I ever met. Unfortunately, I worked at the Royal Canadian Mint. Didn’t get to keep any of it!

What is Lost Ottawa?

Lost Ottawa is a Facebook community whose 50,000 members post images of Ottawa from 1800 AD to the Year 2000. When a photo catches their eye, members of the community leave dozens and sometime hundreds of comments about forgotten buildings, places, and events around the nation’s capital.


In 2017 we took our most popular stories, meaning the posts with the most likes, shares and comments, and put them together in Lost Ottawa, Book One. People liked that so much we had to come out with a Lost Ottawa, Book Two. Now there’s a third book on the way, containing 75 more pictures and stories that will be sure to get you laughing — and sometimes crying — about life in our fantastic city.

More Pics of the Week!

Steak & Burger Restaurant at Bayshore Shopping Centre

Steak & Burger Restaurant at Bayshore Shopping Centre

Steak & Burger was the main restaurant at Bayshore when the shopping centre opened in 1973. Such a huge indoor mall was a new experience and so was the Steak & Burger, considering that people didn’t eat out much at the time. Plus, the prices were amazing! There was another one at St. Laurent, and Mug & Burgers, too.

The Old Spaghetti Factory on York Street

The Old Spaghetti Factory on York Street

The Old Spaghetti Factory on York Street (1975-1986) in the Byward Market was one of most popular Ottawa’s restaurants of the Fern Bar Era. People still remember the cheap drinks, the great food at reasonable prices, the trolley car they had inside. Who could forget the “Jump up and Kiss Me!” One of Lost Ottawa’s top posts for October 2019.

Ottawa School Safety Patrols

Ottawa School Safety Patrols

Once upon a time, we kids were kept safe from the menace of Ottawa’s drivers by a unique force of trained “professionals” — members of the Ottawa School Safety Patrol. They had shoulder belts, sometimes signs, and some were even Brigadiers, but they ensured our safety at the city’s crosswalks. One of the most popular posts of the year!

Our Books

Lost Ottawa, Book One, contains the most popular stories posted to Lost Ottawa on Facebook from 2013 to 2017, as determined by the members of the Lost Ottawa community. Maybe that’s why it was the best-selling local interest book in Canada for 2018. 

Lost Ottawa, Book Two, contains 75 of the most popular stories posted to Lost Ottawa on Facebook in 2017 and 2018. These are the stories you’ll love, organized around our five seasons — Winter, Spring Summer, Fall, and Second Winter!