Ottawa, Ontario and Hull / Gatineau Fire Departments
also looking for a photo of the old Fire / Police Station on Fairmont Avenue
February 2, 2003:
Members Who Died in the Line of Duty (Ottawa) *
Source: History of the Ottawa Fire Department, 1838-1988
March 27, 2008:
* Hi Al;
Here are some updates on the "Line of Duty Deaths" from the Ottawa Fire
Note: See the updated Ottawa Fire Fighters Community Foundation web site.
||GRAHAM, Francis|| died July 25, 1877|| age 37
||LOWRY / LOWREY, John|| died August 12, 1896|| age 52
||LACHANCE, Ovila|| died August 16, 1898|| age 30
||THOMAS, Bernard|| died September 14, 1914|| age 23
||POIRIER, Nelson|| died January 29, 1921|| age 34
||PRATT, Robert|| died May 19, 1930|| age 55
||WILLETTE, William|| died May 19, 1930|| age 38
||McDIARMID, William|| died May 25, 1931|| age 35
||MORIN, William|| died January 20, 1941|| age 28
||SEGUSS, Albert|| died December 20, 1951|| age 58
||WISTAFF, A.|| died died in 1957|| age 58
||SNIDER, Allan|| died March 6, 1968|| age 56
||HARRISON, John|| died March 16, 1969|| age 32
||DUNNING, Raymond|| died June 1, 1977|| age 56
||GRENON, Maurice|| died September 13, 1982|| age 49
March 21, 2003:
Would you be able to point me in the right direction to obtain info on my
grandfather Arthur Donald DEAR born Oct. 29, 1886 in England. He came to
Canada at the age of 12 and later married Mary Ellen Freeman / Syck? Mary
Ellen had been married before to Joe Syck (not sure of the spelling and had
I know grampa lived all their married life in Ottawa and he was appointed
Fire Chief a position he held in such honour. I believe he was also a
member of the Masonic lodge. I remember him wearing a ruby ring with an
emblem on it that looks like Masonic.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
April 22, 2003:
I would like to obtain a copy of the above book to give to my mother as a gift.
Robert Burnett is my great grandfather and Gray Burnett is my great uncle.
Can you help me?
One of my neighbours loaned me his copy of the book. He's retired from the Ottawa Fire Department.
I'll ask him if he can locate a new copy. It was a limited printing, each copy numbered, and
leather-bound. A nice book to have.
February 4, 2004:
Thanks to Dave Smith who has an interest and expertise regarding the
history of the Ottawa Fire Department for the following:
Good morning Diane;
I was just browsing through Bytown or Bust this morning and came across your
question regarding Donald Dear.
Donald did not hold the position of Fire Chief, he was the first Chief of
the Fire Prevention Bureau from 1927 until 1946. The position was a Captains
rank until 1937 when it was elevated to a Chiefs rank and he was the first
to hold the position. Donald joined Ottawa Fire in Feb 6, 1914. The Ottawa
Fire Department was a leader and innovator in Fire Prevention and was
recognized as the best fire prevention program in all of Canada shortly
after your Grandfathers retirement. I'm sure it was a great sense of
Donald Dear was also very active in the Fire Fighters Association (Union)
saving as the first secretary from 1919-1924 and also as President in 1924.
Donald Dear was a great asset to Ottawa Fire and had a wonderful career.
DAS (Dave Smith)
February 7, 2005:
Chief Superintendent William Young
December 11, 1872 William Young was appointed Chief Superintendent of the
Volunteer Fire Brigades in Ottawa's Upper and Lower Town. City Council after
vigorous debate chose Chief Young from amongst three candidates.
William Young was born in Quebec July 9, 1837. He came to Ottawa and trained
as a watchmaker and opened a business with a Mr Radford. He sold his share
to Radford after 10 years to devote his time to the fire service.
William joined the Volunteer Central Hook and Ladder Company October 20,
More information regarding Chief Young may be found in History of Ottawa
Fire Department by David Fitzsimons and Bernard Matheson.
Not sure if this is relevant. (Possibly related to Thomas Young)
I am presently doing an article of Line Of Duty Deaths on the Ottawa Fire
Department and hope to send it to you. I also have permission from the authors
of Ottawa Fire Department History to use any of their material.
July 3, 2005:
Chief Timothy BRENNAN
Long time no talk to Al...lol. I'm writing to you because I just came
across your pages on the Ottawa Fire Department and was wondering if
you could help me. My g-grandfather's brother was a fire chief for the
Hopewell Station in Ottawa in the early 1900's. His name is Timothy
Brennan born Sept 15 1863 in Dublin Ireland. He immigrated to Canada
sometime around 1887 with his parents and siblings to the Ottawa
Valley. He is listed in the 1901 census as an engineer but I'm not
sure if that's an engineer for the fire department or railroad as his
brothers all worked for the railroad at one time or another. I would
appreciate any help you can give me on finding more information on
By co-incidence, a group e-mailed me this week about community plans to save
the old fire station in Ottawa South from being torn down.
The one in which they are interested is the fire station on Sunnyside Avenue
in Ottawa South, a block or two from Hopewell Avenue Public School.
It is called the Graham Fire Station (Ottawa Fire Station Number 10).
They are also working on the history of the station and its members. One of the
chiefs there was a Mr. Graham who was stationed there not long after your
ggrandfather's brother. See www.bytown.net/graham.htm
I'm waiting to hear back from the community group about adding their new material
to the web site.
When I hear from them, I'll let you know and they may be able to help you out with
information regarding Timothy Brennan.
In the meantime, let me know if it's OK to add your e-mail and e-mail address to
the page at www.bytown.net/firedept.htm
How wonderful that I picked this time to be doing this research. I
would be greatly interested in anything that you find out and would
like to pass on to me. As for adding my email and address to your
page, yes please do add them.
July 10, 2005:
Chief Michael Burns
Number 11 Fire Station (Hintonburg)
(Picture included in original newspaper clipping)
Captain M. Burns
Captain Michael Burns, former popular and efficient lieutenant of Number 11
Fire Station, whose recent promotion to the rank of captain of the same station
has greatly pleased his many friends. He joined the fire department in May 1907
and succeeds Captain Stephen Starr, who retired December 31.
This newspaper clipping is from a scrap book created by my GGrandmother, Ann Robb,
(1851-1927), wife of James Burns. The wife of Michael Burns was Mamie McCurrie.
Michael's sister Mary Jane (Jennie) married Stephen Starr (see above paragraph).
Fire Chief Michael Burns was born in the 1880's at Lot 10, Concession 3, Osgoode
Township (Manotick Station Road). He was my Grandfather's brother.
July 20, 2005:
Thanks to David Smith for the following:
I have very little on Michael Burns, My data shows his birth date as August
30, 1884 and he joined the Ottawa Fire Department May 16, 1907.
My information on Timothy Brennan was that he was born September 15, 1870
which does not correspond with earlier data. He joined the Ottawa Fire
Department January 1, 1904.
He left the Department either through retirement or death January 1, 1936.
According to the above the 1901 census had him listed as an engineer, so it
must have been railroad as he did not join the fire service until 1904. The
fire service did have engineers as they were the men who ran the steamer
pumps. The Graham station opened in 1921 and was named for Chief Graham
after his death.
Prior to that the fire fighters responded out of Lansdowne Park station.
Hope some of this is useful.
September 17, 2005:
Here is some e-mail correspondence between Gary Long and David Smith:
John Allan LONG
Hi I am very interested in obtaining the history of the Ottawa (Bytown) Fire
Service history. My great grandfather John Allan Long served with the Department
in the 1890's, and possibly beyond. If there is a printed history of the
Department that I could get, it would be great. And if there is anything in
the records of the Department pertaining to my great Grandfather, I would
really appreciate getting it. I do know some facts about him, so if you need
these to cross reference, he was an engineer stationed at #4 Station in 1891-92.
And from 1893 to at least 1897 he was at the Central Station, City Hall Square.
Thanks very much for your time.
... Gary Long
Good morning Gary;
Sorry for the delay in responding, I was out of town.
John Long was born in 1850, I have the middle initial as D. my files show he
joined the Department July 1, 1887.
He and two others joined that day, Robert Burnett who became Fire Chief and
R. D. Nesbitt.
An Engineer was the term used for a pump operator. They had to work the horse
drawn steam engines.
It looks like fifteen men were hired in 1887 to staff the fire station (Central)
later renamed Number 8 Station was built behind City Hall facing Albert Street next
to the canal (present site of National Arts Centre). I recall that in the fifties
the building housed both police and fire.
A history of the Ottawa Fire Department was written by two Ottawa fire fighters
in 1988. J Bernard Matheson and David R. Fitzsimons. The book's first printing was
presold and no other copies were printed. I would suggest you may get your library
to get a copy from the Ottawa Branch. ISBN-09693609-0-8
There is more information regarding the Ottawa Fire Department in the Ottawa
archives 111 Sussex Drive.
I hope this of some use to you.
... DAS (David Smith)
Hello Gary and David:
David Smith has sent a copy to me of his reply to you regarding your ancestor
John Allan Long and the Ottawa Fire Department.
Do you mind if I add your e-mail to our page at www.bytown.net/firedept.htm as a
contact for other researchers? Please let me know. (And thanks, David, as usual for
There was a family named Long who were in the Ottawa area, very early on. I'm not
sure if this is your family or not. A lady named Lois Long has written a lot about her
Long family history. An area in Nepean Township (part of the City of Ottawa) is
called "Longfields" after this family.
Thanks again for this.
... Al Lewis
By all means, I do not mind. It was the fortunate relaease of the 1901 and 1911
Canada census that got me back on track with my genealogy. David says John D. Long,
but this must have been a reading error from somewhere, as Allan is the name on
census records and his mother's maiden name was Allan.
Both of my great grandfathers lived in Ottawa and New Edinbugh during the 1890's.
And I have obtained the street addresses for them. I was in Ottawa during week of
Sep. 1 to 8 and visited many of the addresses.
I wonder if there is a record of how long my g.g.father John served with the
Department. Some of his fire fighting blood passed to me, as I spent 10 years on
the volunteer Department here.
Thanks to both you and David for your quick responses.
October 18, 2005:
Good morning Gary;
My records show that there were two John Long's on the Department
(A) JOHN LONG ENGINEER "JOHN HENEY" Dec'd Appointed Dec 08, 1874
There is no birth date or departure date for (A) but it shows he was
Engineer (pumper operator) for the steamer "John Heney"
(B) JOHN ALAN LONG Date of Birth 1850 Left Jan 01, 1904 Appointed Jul 01, 1887
I originally had John D. Long and changed to John Allan Long after your
correspondence as you can see there is a birth date a departure date and
an appointment date.
The fire chief was Peter Provost who had been brought in from Montreal to
straighten out the Department. He was a strict disciplinarian who dismissed
many and I do not have the particulars of these dismissals.
I hope to go to the city archives in October and will try and sort these
... David Smith
Visit the Ottawa Fire Department Wall of Honour Web Page
February 27, 2006:
John DANN, Hull Fire Department, c. 1890's
I’m researching the history of my great-uncle, John DANN (born Jun. 12, 1860 in
Wilburton, Cambridgeshire, England). He was a “fireman” living at No. 23 Ann Street,
Hull, from the mid-1890s onwards. (Reference: “The Ottawa City Directory: 1897+)
According to his niece, who is still alive, and contemporary news articles, he perished
in the great Hull fire in April 1900. Is it likely he was employed by a municipal
fire department or was there a firefighting company funded by E.B. Eddy? Any
information you could provide would be greatly appreciated!
... Jeremy DANN
September 21, 2007:
Looking for photograph of Fairmont Avenue Fire Station, Later Police Station
I am a volunteer with the Ottawa Police Service and have been looking for a
photo of the old Number 11 Fire Station on Fairmont Avenue for several years.
It was a fire station until approx. 1924 and then the Ottawa Police
inhabited the same building until 1958. Do you know if you or any of your
relatives have a picture of this building?
Thank you so much for your swift - and interesting -
response. Yes, the early days of Bytown were
certainly a challenge for those trying to enforce law
and order. James Burns must have had a very interesting career!
I have researched with Serge Barbe at City Archives
and have the book by Gilles Larochelle and have spoken with him too.
This seems to be the most invisible building on the
planet. I'd almost wonder if it had ever really
served as a police station except that I've spoken to
2 people who served in it....but didn't take any
photos, of course. I've canvassed the churches in the
area, Hintonburg historians, and the Orpheus Society
and Crawley Films, which were both on the street at
the time. I've put requests in local newsletters. I've
spoken to one of the authors of the History of the
Ottawa Fire Department and he says it's the ONLY
building they can't find a photo of! So if you don't
mind posting my request on your site it would be much
appreciated. Everything helps and it may, by some
miracle, turn up someone who has such a photo. Even
if the photo is of the building when it was a fire
station - the exterior will look much the same.
Many thanks again.
March 22, 2008:
For the next Ottawa South Community Review (OSCAR), I plan to run some
of these photos and a short article describing what took place: an
April 29, 1960 fire on Bank Street south of Sunnyside. The people in the
picture are looking across from the Hopewell school yard that fronted onto
Bank. The firefighters would be responding from 260 Sunnyside.
Any insight from people with knowledge of the Ottawa Fire Department
at this time would be appreciated.
The photos, cleared through Library and Archives Canada, are from the
Ted Grant Collection.
Leo B. Doyle
February 10, 2009:
My name is Adèle Groulx and my Mother’s great uncle was Romeo Girouard. We believe that
Romeo was a fire chief for the city of Ottawa sometime in the 1930’s. I have been trying to
find out his history with the fire department. If any of you know, where I may find any
information on him, please let me know. Thank you for your time,
... Adèle Groulx
P.S. I have a historic picture of my uncle and his firefighters if you are interested in
receiving a copy.
April 5, 2010:
See also the history of the Pembroke Fire Department.
May 8, 2010:
Here is a picture of the Fairmont Police Station Number 2, in the Ottawa Citizen, January 13, 1947:
Source: Ottawa Citizen Digital Archives
Told you that we had more snow back then!
May 10, 2010:
Hello,my name is Carl Christian Nymark, I am looking for any info on my grandfather also Carl Christian Nymark (photo below)
who served with then fire dept at old #7 on Fairmont St off Wellington.
He lived close to Penny and Armstrong Streets in Hintonburg.
I also understand there is no picture of the station , my father 94 in July knows different people from that area they may
have something , I'll go looking and will be in touch if i find anything.
My Father said to check on Jensen Bakery on wellington st at that time close to Fairmont. He also said my grandfather worked with
Chief Starr and he (my Father although young at the time) remembers going to the St. Anthony Church fire Booth and Gladstone
then different names . Fire equipment was a horse drawn hook and ladder, at the intersection in front of the fire he says there
was a sign post which were low in those days ,the driver of the hook & ladder had a hard time slowing the team & one of the
lead horses impaled itself on the sign post. It was a team of six.
He also said at the same fire he recalls the church had an organ over the door on second floor balcony where two priests were trapped
Chief Starr a short plump man as he recalls went in and with a priest under each arm jumped through the window saving both their lives.
He also remembers the son Harold as a hockey player with Ottawa and another team, and a rugby player as well.
He remembers the time Harold and another gentleman went swimming with the Viau sisters , a rich family making boilers at the time,
they drove a Cord car with a torpedo back. sorry i can't tell the rest of the (bare) facts.
Carl Christian Nymark
Hi Al & Carl;
I have very little information regarding Carl Nymark. According to my information Carl was born October 20, 1878 and
joined the Ottawa Fire Department July 17, 1913.
I believe the Fire Station on Fairmont Avenue was # 11 and I have a picture but am having trouble finding it. If I can
find out more regarding your grandfather I will post.
Hello again al,
I was checking out your website - bytown it is great ,you have got to meet my dad if i can arrange it with him.
He is 94 born in ottawa and still sharp as a tack ,still drives his own car and lives alone.
He has great stories of -- Westboro village before ottawa.
--west end hintonburg city stopped at Preston st.
-- went to school with Governor General Madame Sauve
--Ottawa in general
--ottawa street cars, stories of lines built in beechwood, bank,
britanna, holland to carling ,Que. mossitte park,
aylmer, his cottage still has windows made from streetcars
--Lebreton Flats incl. round house ,pacific & ottawa hotels conner washers, ottawa power house
--ottawa logging of the time
--my grandfathers connection building Champlain bridge
--fires in ottawa
--brennans hill & Low, new the brennans, mcdonalds, hickeys, mahanys
--chick chillcot's hotel, sign out front said - our beer contains vitimain P.
And the list goes on and on.
If interested i will ask him,he loves to talk
July 17, 2011:
I was recently told that my great uncle was quite prominent in the Ottawa Fire Department. His name would be
Edmund Dobson or Edmund McLellan. Do you know of him? It would have been around 60 yrs ago?
Good morning Darrell;
My files are not all that they could be but the closest I could find was the name recorded below. I have copied a
friend who may have some other records which might be of help. If you could send the date of birth it may help.
Born …May 26, 1889
Date if Appointment … Sep. 8, 1916
Date Retired … May 26, 1949
I will continue looking if these dates are not consistent. I do not have any rank for this gentleman,
Hope this helps some;
I just phone a long lost family member and they informed me that his name was Adam Dobson.
He received a pocket knife for so many years in service. They say that we was quite high in the force.
We have a birth date of May 26, 1891.
August 11, 2011:
Thanks to David Smith who has sent along a copy of The History of the Ottawa Fire Department, written by Captain John Graham, c. 1920.
(More to come from this document)
Ottawa Fire Department Assistant Chiefs
Robert Burnett and J. E. Lemieux
September 13, 2012:
I am looking for any photo of Nelson Poirier, died January 29th 1921. I would appreciate anything you may have.
Thank you for your help.
... Michèle Boisvert
See new page for Nelson Poirier. It includes a photograph of Mr. Nelson Poirier and some information from the
Ottawa Citizen concerning his death.
December 26, 2012:
Mr. David A. Smith has contributed a new web page about local firefighters who served in England during the blitz in WW2.
E-mail Dave Smith, Janet Burgess, Gary Long, Jeremy Dann, Alison, Leo Doyle, Adèle Groulx, Carl Nymark, Darrell and Al Lewis
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