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) *
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 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 Services. DASmith Note: See the updated Ottawa Fire Fighters Community Foundation web site. ... Al
March 21, 2003: Hello: 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 two daughters. 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. Diane Brown E-Mail dianebrown645@msn.com
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? Janet Marchington E-mail jmarchin@magma.ca ______________ Janet: 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. ... Al
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 accomplishment. 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
Good morning; 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, 1859. 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) DA Smith _____________________ Hi Al; 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. ... DAS
July 3, 2005:
Chief Timothy BRENNAN
Hi Al 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 him. Janet Burgess E-Mail ancestralforest@gmail.com ______________________ Hi Janet: 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 ... Al ______________________ Hi Al 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. ... Janet


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. ... Al
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. DAS
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 the information). 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 ____________________ Hi Al 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. Sincerely Gary
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 records out. ... David Smith
Visit the Ottawa Fire Department Wall of Honour Web Page
February 27, 2006:
John DANN, Hull Fire Department, c. 1890's
Hello Everyone! 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! Many Thanks. ... Jeremy DANN e-mail: jpdann@shaw.ca
September 21, 2007:
Looking for photograph of Fairmont Avenue Fire Station, Later Police Station
Hi Al: 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. Alison E-Mail: rockpark_police@yahoo.ca
March 22, 2008: Mr. Smith: 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. Thanks, Leo B. Doyle


February 10, 2009: Hello everyone, 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! Fairmont Police Station in 1947

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 Nymark
Carl Christian Nymark Fairmont Police Station in 1947
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. David Smith ____________________________________________ 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 ... Carl
July 17, 2011: Good morning, 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? Thanks Darrell __________________________ 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. DOBSON, Alex 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; David Smith _________________________ 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. Thanks Darrell
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) ... Al
Ottawa Fire Department Assistant Chiefs Robert Burnett and J. E. Lemieux
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.
New 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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