Historical Commercial and Industrial Development
in and around the City of Ottawa, Canada in the 1800's

Painting by Ruth McMillan in 1976
Shows the Head of the Rideau Canal Locks in Ottawa, Canada in 1893

 January 2, 2021:

This photograph is from the book Lanark Legacy: Nineteenth Century Glimpses of an Ontario County, by Howard Morton Brown and Glenn J. Lockwood, 1984, ISBN 0-9690289-2-X, page 139. Keywords: Lieutenant Alexander Rosamond The combination of a large number of Scottish weavers and textile workers who migrated to Lanark County starting about 1820 helped to make the Canadian Textile industry become centered in the towns of Lanark County - Almonte, Carleton Place, Perth and Smiths Falls.
Almonte Rosamond Textile Mill, c 1910 Adams Textile Mill in Perth, c. 1895

December 21, 2020: This page shows the Statistics Canada table of classification of industries with examples. The one person small farm business operation usually grew to a small business in a nearby village with a few employees and eventually evolved into a larger, private enterprize in a nearby city. The table labelled "the 1871 industrial profile, City of Ottawa" below, fits the major industrial groups into the 1871 framework. I think that Statistics Canada today uses "The 1970 Standard Industrial Classification" which may have been updated recently to include all of the new computer businesses, etc. Keywords: Ramsay Township, Tannery Photograph Source: Lanark Legacy: Nineteenth Century Glimpses of an Ontario County by Howard Morton Brown and Glenn J. Lockwood, 1984, ISBN 0-9690289-2-X, page 44, 45
April 30, 2010:
Source: Bytown Gazette, January 14, 1841 Help Wanted Ad, Bytown, 1840 Search the Ottawa Citizen and Bytown Gazette for other articles

December 27, 2002:
1871 Industrial Profile
City of Ottawa
Type of Business Number Employees
Bakeries 17 89
Blacksmith Shops 16 42
Boot and Shoe Shops 22 97 Perth Shoe Company
Brick Yards 2 18
Cabinet Makers 7 58
Carding Mills 1 3
Carpenter Shops 3 5
Cooperages 5 16
Dressmakers 21 109
Flour & Grist Mills 3 25
Foundries 4 84 Caledonia Foundry and Iron Works
Saddleries 8 62
Saw Mills 7 1,202 Picture of E.B. Eddy Sawmill at Chaudiere Falls
Tanneries 3 20picture
Tailor Shops 24 329
Tin Mfg'ers 12 46
Breweries 2 7
Broom Makers 1 8
Furriers 7 25
Jewellers 7 25 Jacob Fink
Meat Curing 6 12
Painters & Glaziers 3 35
Photographers 3 8
Printers 4 208
Sash Factories 3 92 Davidson and Thackray
Ship Yards 1 6
Stone Cutting 2 17
Book Binding 2 54 James HOPE & Co.
Cordial & Syrup 4 12
Edge Tool Makers 1 12
Misc. Wares 3 9
Soap & Candlemakers 1 4 Charles SPARROW
Wood Turners 2 7
Carvers and Guilders 2 9
Engraving & Lithography 1 3
Gas Works 1 14
Wig Makers 1 5
Bank Note Makers 1 82
Plumbing Mfgrs. 4 34
Firewood and Coal John HENEY and Sons
Source: 1871 Census data and 1879 Atlas of Carleton County, H. Belden, page xxvii. The major industries are 1. wood (saw mills, sash and door makers, etc) 2. printing (and bank notes), dependent on the federal government. (Canadian Bank Note Company)

April 29, 2005: Hi Al I wonder if any of your contributors is familiar with any of the Sash and Door factories operating in Ottawa between 1865 and 1880? My ggf James Craig worked at one of them for several years before becoming an agent for pianos and sewing machines, and I would like to identify the company if I can. Luckily I have a set of his woodworking tools all stamped with his name. Most of the planes are plainly for making window sashes and panel doors. Any help would be great. Enjoy your summer of canoeing, no long portages planned I hope. You are no doubt familiar with Eric Morse's books on fur trade canoe routes, do you plan on tracing some of the same? Regards ... Al Craig allencraig@sympatico.ca _________________________ Hi Al: Just last week I was reading something on the early sash and door businesses in Ottawa. It may have been in "The Upper Ottawa Valley to 1855" edited by Richard Reid. I'll let you know if I come across it again. By 1855 the original raw timber trade had become dominated by sawmills exporting sawn lumber to the USA. (some by water to Montreal and then via Lake Champlain, and early shipments by rail via Ogdensburg, NY). At that time, the lumber industry began to specialize into smaller firms. The Sash and Door Industry was one of the new specialties and I think it may have become increasingly concentrated into fewer but larger firms. Maybe someone knows the names of these firms. In the old church records, say from 1830 to 1870, the groom's occupation was often recorded. The number of lumbermen and raftsmen of the 1830's declined while the number of sawyers and joiners increased, reflecting the increasing artisanal / craftsman nature of the woodworking field. ... Al
May 2, 2005: The Ottawa Citizen dated May 1, 2005 includes a special 16 page section written by half a dozen writers. This 16 page report describes the industrial development of Ottawa and the Valley through the entrepreneurs - J.R. Booth, John Egan, Allan Gilmour, Thomas "Carbide" Willson, Morrison Lamothe Bakery, Thomas Ahearn, the A.J Freiman, Caplans and Charles Ogilvy's Department Stores. Also related is the story of E.B. Eddy (who started the first major sash and door firm in Ottawa) and McIntosh and Watts. Other stories: E.R. Fisher, Orme's and the empire built by Robert Campeau. John Egan (one-time mayor of Aylmer) had timber rights on the Bonnechere River in Renfrew County. There he established a large farm in order to supply his shanties. This is where Eganville is today. He also had timber holdings at Fitzroy Harbour and Quyon. (belden, 1879 map). ... Al
November 26, 2005: 1. Businesses in Ottawa 1860s and later (28/04/05 email) I have learned that my ggf James Craig worked at the J M Currier factory. I believe it was on the Rideau, I'm not sure if it was on the Ottawa side or in New Edinburgh. My ggu William Craig also worked there for several years before setting up a carpentry shop for himself on Wellington St. My ggm's stepfather Micheal Noctor (Nocter) apparently also worked at Curriers about the same time. J. M. Currier was an M.P. as well as owning the mills. If anyone has any info about the Currier mills they can share I'd appreciate it ... Al Craig __________________ From the book Hurling Down the Pine, page 42: Two men whose names were to become prominent in Ottawa business circles, Moss Kent Dickinson and Joseph Merrill Currier, rented Thomas McKay's lumber mills at Rideau Falls in 1853.
February 22, 2007: Hi Al I do not know how much information you or your readers are interested in but I found this today and I wanted to share it with you. In 1828 in Bytown there were 15 general stores, 3 jewelers, 4 bakeries, 1 chandler shop, I harness shop, 8 shoemakers, 3 blacksmiths, 1 butcher, 2 tailors, and 1 tinsmith shop. The men who owned the general stores were: Howard & Thompson – This is the store where Thomas Hunton worked as a young man when he arrived in Bytown. McIntosh & Stewart J. D. Bernard & Co George & Robert Lang (some of the Langs were here in February 1829. They came from County Armagh, Ireland) 4 1/2 d McKenzie John Johnston James Inglis Samuel Fraser Charles Friel John Anderson John Joyce William Kipp Matthew Connell Miss Fitzgibbon Louis Mainville – He also owned a row of about a dozen tenement houses on Rideau near Dalhousie whose trade he is said to have monopolized. (housing for the Rideau Canal workers) Mary

August 14, 2007: From Jean-Claude Dubé: Just as an aside, I read somewhere but I do not remember where (could have been a Francis Audet article??) that the many hotels in upper and lower town in the 1850's served greatly as recruiting centres for the lumber industry. When young lads came to town, looking for employment, they were provided with room and board and a bar bill by an hotel keeper. They thence became indebted to the hotel keeper who was then able to barter the services of these lads to a lumber camp who would garnishee their wages and pay back the hotel keeper. I think that the same kind of credit system was used by the clothing stores. Aumond and Egan probably operated that way with their diversified business operations. I suspect that many lads went home with empty pockets in the spring-time. If I come across that article again, I will forward a copy to you Jean-Claude Dube _____________________________
More about Jean Bareille
Thank you very much, Al. This is useful information for me. I get a kick out of the occupation of roture for John Belleile, Belisle, Bareille. Roture normally means a well-off person of non-nobility status or nouveau-riche. A bit like Pinhey of Pinhey's Point. It could be Jean Bareille although I think that Bareille was married into the J.D. Bernard family ???. It could be Belisle but I haven't come across an old Belisle family yet. Last year, in the St.Columban-Irish website, you submitted information on a Margaret Williams, daughter of George Williams, marrying Eusebe Varin from St.Jacques de l'Achigan, and in which Jean Bareille was a witness. St.Jacques de l'Achigan is not far from L 'Assomption, where Joseph Aumond and J.B.Turgeon came from. In fact, some of Turgeon's relatives lived there. That town was settled by Acadians who came back to Canada after being deported down the U.S. coast from Nova Scotia (Acadia). It is just south of Joliette. Jean Bareille, as well as being associated with Joseph Aumond and then owning a store on Sussex St., also owned a 200 acre farm (Gloucester Township, Front line, lot 23) that encompassed all or most of the former RCAF Rockliffe Air Base. In fact, the officers's Mess was Bareille's old stone house (I think he called it Manoir Beaumont). That stone probably came from the escarpment behind him or Antoine Robillard's quarry in the not-yet-named Rock Village. (see Aviation Museum Web site). National Defense has since torn the house down. Ottawa Heritage had some acrid comments about that in their newsletter a few years ago. To get to his Manoir , Bareille probably had to ferry across the Rideau River and ramble down a dirt path where Beechwood and Hemlock Streets are situated, just skirting the Beechwood Cemetery area. I guess that there were lots of beech trees and hemlocks in those days. There were also stone quarries in the north-eastern part of the cemetery. Bareille then moved to Merrickville and I have lost his tracks there. Maybe some of the Bytown or Bust afficionados could help me out. I would like to know what he did in Merrickville, when he died and where he is buried. (see posting dated February 12, 2008 for more about Jean Bareille ... Al) Thank you very much for your help. Jean-Claude _____________________________ and from Allen Craig ... Good Morning Jean Claude, I do not know Mary's source but there is a list almost identical to hers in the print version of Belden's 1879 Atlas of Carleton County in the historical sketch of Ottawa on page xix. Here are the names of the tradesmen and merchants in 1828 as listed there: Jewellers Arthur Hopper, William Northgraves, Maurice Dupuis Cobblers William Murphy, John McCarthy, John Miller, Robert Mosgrove, Henry Shouldice, Watson Little, Andrew Main Blacksmiths N.S. Blaisdell, Lyman Perkins, William Tormey Carpenters John Matthews, James Fitzgibbon, John Duggan, James Tough, Isaac Clough Bakers George Patterson, James Lang, George Shouldice, Thomas Hanly Butcher Andrew Hickey Harnessmaker Robert Wanless Tinsmith Thomas E. Woodbury Chandlery John McGraves Auctioneers Daniel Fisher, James Johnston Tailors Henry Shouldice, Daniel Fisher (later E.R. Fisher on Sparks Street) Brewer Michael Burke Tavernkeepers Isaac Firth, John Chitty, Thomas Corcoran, Baptiste Homiere / Homier / Aumier, John Little, Louis Pinard, William Cowan, Donald MacArthur, "Mother McGuinty / McGinty" Hope this is of use. Regards, ... Allen Craig _____________________________ Over to Jean-Claude: Thank you very much Allen. Mary Cox did reply to me this morning, giving me this as her source of information and I was planning to go to The Ottawa Room of the Ottawa Public Library to check it out. You saved me from that trip. I am trying to key in on the very early influential french-speaking arrivals, such as Bareille, Aumond, St.Louis etc. There is very little documentation on these guys. Except for Aumond, they were primarily small-scale businessmen, tradesmen and entrepreneurs. An example would be Antoine Robillard that opened up the Gloucester quarries. One of my GGF was a stonecutter in Bytown before Confederation. I am not surprised that there were already two french-sounding names as tavernkeepers. I wrote Al Lewis earlier giving him my suspicion that the inns and taverns in Bytown later became recruiting centres for "volunteers" to go to the shanties. Thank you for your help. Jean-Claude ____________________________ Note: The St. Louis family were early contractors on the Rideau Canal. They worked at building the dam and locks at Hogs Back. Dow's Lake originally drained into the Ottawa River at the northwest end of the lake, where the "boat house" and restaurant are today. The St. Louis Dam is what keeps Dow's Lake from running along Preston Street to Lebreton Flats. ... Al ____________________________ Hello, Jean-Claude and Al: I just wanted to let you know that I have more of the records which give names and occupations (1840-1850) and will pass them along. It's interesting because as the records progress from 1829 to 1855, the increasing social status is reflected in the records. In 1829, a man may be a lumberman. Ten years later, he's a lumber merchant. Ten years later, he's referred to as Esquire or Squire. Also, their wives' status sometimes evolved to "Dame". The more respected in the community these families became, the more they were in demand to be Godparents or Best Man. Another thing, regarding the early tavern keepers. The taverns in the Market were hotbeds of land speculation. Charles Rowan had a tavern on York Street and he sold 100 acres in Osgoode Township to my ancestors. He also owned other farm land in Osgoode Township which, beginning in 1854, was easily accessible via the Bytown and Prescott Railway. The station in the Market was 2 blocks from St. Patrick's Street and it ran across the Rideau River, through the township of Gloucester and then through Manotick Station and to Osgoode Station before continuing on to Prescott. There is a photograph of Rowan's Tavern in Ottawa: An Illustrated History, by Professor John Taylor. See our bibliography) ... Al
October 31, 2007: In the early part of the twentieth century, due to increased urbanization and industrialization, there was a strong increase in demand for hydro-electric power. Dams were built across northern Ontario and western Quebec. The Ottawa River and the Gatineau River were the scenes of many construction projects. Garry McFadden has sent in some photos of the Paughan Dam in the Gatineau Valley. This dam was built in the 1920's.
February 12, 2008: (continued from August 14, 2007, above):
John Allen SNOW
Hi Jean-Claude Was just reading one of your emails on Bytown.net regarding lot 23 Concession 1. I'd like to let you know that one of my great grandfathers also owned that same property, don't think it was the whole 200 acres though...maybe 120 acres.. My great grandfather x3 was John Allen Snow. He used to live in the Bareille house. Then John Snow died and his son Hammet moved in there. The property looked over Kettle Island which John Snow surveyed. I'll keep my eyes open for Bareille, I run across it from time to time. ... Karen P ________________________ Note: There is more about John Snow on our Philomen Wright page. ... Al
March 3, 2008: A map printed in 1893 for the Bank Street Planing Company shows the streets of Ottawa. This map has business card sized advertizing around it's four edges. Each ad shows a photograph of an established business. Map Source: Canadian Cities: Bird's Eye Views, Ottawa, 1893 Reproduced in 2004 from an original at Library and Archives, Canada, 2004, Sponsored by World of Maps, Ottawa, ON. The commercial businesses are generally three story brick buildings with the storefront at street level and the upper two floors were used as dwelling units. The business and their photographs are: Cole's National Manufacturing Company, 160 Sparks and 519 Rideau Streets, makers of tents and awnings. (Cole) Bank Street Planing and Turning Mill, all kinds of house finishings, owned by Daniel O'Connor, Jr. H. Philion and Company, Corner of Bay and Florence Streets, manufacturers of sash, doors and blinds. J. Oliver Company, Furniture Manufacturing, 86 and 88 Duke Street (Lebreton Flats), there is an inset photo of their plant at the Chaudiere Falls. Workman and Company, two furniture stores, Wellington Street and also on Rideau Street. Stonhouse and Chamberlin, 335 Wellington Street, Carriage Makers. J. Erratt, Furniture and Carpets, 34 and 36 Rideau Street, known as the Palace Furniture Store. The Brunswick Hotel (four stories high), J. Huckell, Proprietor, Sparks Street. R. Doney, Fine Boots and Shoes, Sparks Street A. G. Pittaway, Photographer, Sparks Street. Butterworth and Company, Iron Foundry, Stove and Furnace makers, Queen Street. Carling Brothers, Brewers and Bottlers, Albert Street, "The Largest Bottling Cellar in Canada" -- a very popular beer among WW2 veterans in Ottawa in the 1950's. Ottawa Business College, Corner of Sparks and O'Connor, John Keith, Principal W. C. Gibson, Steam Biscuit Maker, Plain and Fancy Biscuits and Confectionery. J. J. Jarvis, Photographer, 117 Sparks Street. Ottawa Electric Street Railway Powerhouse (a large industrial building) MCrae and Company, Coal Contractors Ottawa Free Press Building Union Bank of Canada, 126 Wellington St, Established 1865. John Murphy and Company, Direct Importer of Fancy and Staple Dry Goods, 66 and 68 Sparks Street Parson and Smith, Crockery , Glassware, China, Lamps and Coal Oil Grant Brothers, Hardware Merchants, Corner Sparks and Bank Streets R. Parker, Ottawa Steam Dyeing and Cleaning C.S. Shaw and Company, Importers of China Crockery, 100 Sparks Street James Hope and Company, Booksellers, Bookbinding, Stationery -- Sparks Street (Drawing below) Sanitas Manufacturing Company, Plumbing Supplies, Messrs Torney, Georgeson and Gervan. (a growing business in the 1890's) ... Al
Drawing of James Hope's Book Store, 22 Sparks Street at Elgin Street in 1879 Drawing Source: McGill University Digital Atlas Project James Hope, Booksellers, 1879

August 29, 2008:
The W. C. Edwards Saw Mills on the east side of Rideau Falls, c. 1900 Photo Source: Hurling Down the Pine by Bond and Hughson, page 36

October 11, 2008: In 1879, Belden's Atlas of Carleton County included the names and occupations of many local businessmen.
August 17, 2009: New e-mail address for Mary Cox: bytownmary@hotmail.com
October 28, 2009:
William Washington Wylie was the owner and operator of the Ottawa Carriage Company beginning in the 1890's.

November 18, 2009: Hello Al, We've corresponded before and you've been very helpful. A friend of mine has an old crock (jug with cork) which has the inscription "W. Moeser, Grocer and Wine Merchant, 29 and 31 York Street, Ottawa". I've looked through my books about Ottawa but can't find any mention of that business. Would anyone know more about it? Thanks very much. ... Carol Gibson (Email) __________________________________________________________ November 19, 2009: Hi Carol, In 1889 my grandfather was a clerk in William Moeser's store on York St. From the City of Ottawa directories on the Library and Archives Canada website, it appears that Mr Moeser's store operated on York St from about 1882 through 1900. A quick search of the directories online here http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/canadiandirectories/001075-100.01-e.php using Moeser, grocer and Ottawa as keywords returned 48 pages with entries Some of these will be the entries for employees but most are directly for the store. I will check the post 1899 directories I have and pass on whatever I find. Regards, Allen Craig
February 6, 2010:
The Bronson family's Sawmills at Chaudiere Falls in 1857 Source: Where Rivers Meet, by Courtney C.J. Bond, page 58
The Bronson family's Sawmills at Chaudiere Falls in 1857 Keywords: Reciprocity Treaty of 1854, Great Fire of 1870
February 24, 2010:
Source: Bytown Gazette Archives, February 15, 1844
Shop Licences, Bytown, 1843
Names for Search engine: Aumond, Bareille, Chitty, Stethem, Lyon, Goodman, Graham, Hunton, George Patterson, Simon Fraser, William Stewart (Stewarton), John Forgie, Loux and Wood.
Businessmen in Bytown, 1827-1828 Source: Recollections of Old Bytown, by William Pittman Lett, page 98 Pioneer Businessmen in Bytown in 1828 (Ottawa, Canada)

July 29, 2016: Here is the classic economics / labour history book on the development of industrial capitalism in Canada, including in the Ottawa area: Labour and Capital in Canada, 1650-1860 by H. Clare Pentland, James Lorimer and Company Publishers, 1981, ISBN 0-88862-379-8, 280 pages ... Al
January 23, 2019 Many of the towns and villages just outside of the city of Ottawa were located on rivers and could easily develop water-powered mills, such as this one in Almonte on the Mississippi River. The picture shows the Victoria Woolen Mills, c. 1860. These mills employed many of the Scottish weavers who came to Lanark County in 1he 1820's.
Victoria Woolen Mill in Almonte, c. 1860
And here is the Frost and Wood foundry in Smiths Falls on the Rideau River.
Frost and Wood foundry in Smiths Falls, Ontario

June 19, 2020: Gananoque on the St. Lawrence became an industrial town beginning about the 1850's. The Gananoque River was an early transportation route from the hinterland to the St. Lawrence River. Source for the next picture and for the next table is The Irish in Ontario, page 304 and page 307 by Donald Harman Akenson.
Gananoque River Mouth
Gananoque 1861 Business Census

E-mail Al Lewis

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