Here’s the third stop on our postcard tour, where we can look at the Plaza from the Rideau canal, circa 1905, and get a different view of the physical configuration of the centre of town before the Chateau Laurier and Union Station were built.
On the right we can see a glimpse of the triangle in front of the Post Office, between the Dufferin and Sappers’ Bridges. Through the arch you can see some of the businesses that used to exist along the west side of the canal.
The real action, however, is on the left, where Major’s Hill Park extended almost all the way to Rideau, and where there was a little service road that brought you down from the street.
You used that road to get down to the streetcar. Can you see it under the plaza, and the streetcar station built into the wall? From this station you would head left over the tracks that passed Major’s Hill Park, over the Alexandra Bridge to Hull, and further out to Aylmer if you so desired. Canadian Pacific passenger trains followed the same route, but would pass through an opening that had to be blasted through the solid masonry of Sappers’ Bridge. It’s hard to tell if the hole in the bridge had been made at the time this postcard was printed.
Above the streetcar station you see a tall brown building known as the Corry Block. Completed in 1903, it looks wedge-shaped … because it was, having been built on a triangular plot of land where a paint factory once stood.
The Corry building, named after a local home builder, is often regarded as Ottawa’s first modern office building. It was also one of the tallest building in the city at the time. Seven storeys!
Over the years, the Corry Block housed a variety of stores and coffee shops in the bottom, and many different lawyers, sales agents, and government departments in floors above. Alas, it was demolished in 1966 as apart of the famous Greber plan for the Plaza, which saw Colonel By Drive extended up to the corner of Rideau and Sussex.
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