Streetcars Come to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada in the 1890's



July 21, 2008:

The Ottawa Electric Street Railway Company was created in 1891 by Thomas Ahearn and Warren Soper.
Thomas Ahearn invented a method of heating the floors of the trams, a first for North America.
The tram cars were trimmed in oak and were considered luxurious for their time.

Families would take the street cars to Britannia and Lansdowne Park (in the Glebe) on Sundays for a day
of recreation.

Photo Source: Ottawa: City of the Big Ears by Robert Haig. Early Streetcar in Ottawa


The streetcars ran on the streets of Ottawa until 1959. My grandfather's brother, Terrence (Terry) Burns conducted the last street car trip in Ottawa in a ceremony in 1959. According to his obituary, he belonged to Local 279 of the Amalgamated Association of Street and Electric Railway Employees (Street Car Conductor). From the marriage records of ancestry.ca for the City of Ottawa: Name: Terrence Burns Age: 22 in 1911 Parents Names: James Burns and Annie Robb Estimated birth year: abt 1888 (actually born on February 13, 1888 in the family home on the Manotick Station Road, Osgoode Township) Spouse Name: Ellen Ryan Spouse's Age: 20 Spouse Father Name: Michael Ryan Spouse Mother Name : Marguerite Hughes (believed descended from Patrick Hughes, a Rideau Canal Worker from County Armagh, Ireland). Marriage Date: 4 Jan 1910 Marriage Place: Carleton County Marriage County: Carleton Source: Indexed by: Ancestry.com Terrence was later married to Rose Belanger after Ellen's death.
October 28, 2009: Mr. William Washington Wylie owned and operated the Ottawa Carriage Company beginning in the 1890's.

November 21, 2011: Hello Al I am looking for a home for an historic Medal I acquired from my late Uncle’s collection. See attached photo. Ottawa Amalgamated Association of Street Railway Employees, Sept 15 1892 Medal, Division No 279 Ottawa, Ontario Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks, ... Tom Truty (Tom may be donating this medal to the Bytown Museum ... Al)
Amalgamated Association of Street Railway Employees of America, 1892

October 26, 2012: My other Grandfather was a street car conductor in Ottawa for most of his adult life. Here is his streetcar clock which was presented to him on his retirement in 1959. This is an eight day clock. ... Al
Streetcar Clock presented to Edward (Ned) Lewis on his retirement in Ottawa, Canada

October 7, 2014: Here is the best book about the history of streetcars in Ottawa: Ottawa's Streetcars: An Illustrated History of Electric Railway Transit in Canada's Capital City, by Bill McKeown, Railfare DC Books, 2004, ISBN-10: 1-897190-07-7. A copy of this book is available in the library of the Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society.

E-mail Al Lewis and Tom Truty

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