Timeline of Ottawa’s urban Waterfront

For my 2012 Jane’s Walk

  • Before 1600’s: Victoria Island is an important meeting place for aboriginal peoples from up and down the Ottawa River.
  • 1610:Étienne Brûlé is the first European to travel up the Ottawa River on his way to the Great Lakes.
  • 1613: Samuel de Champlain portages around the Chaudière Falls, web noting that the Algonquin make sacred offerings to the Falls: “This waterfall makes such a noise that it can be heard for more than two leagues (about 10 km) off.”
  • 1600’s-1800’s: Voyageurs from Montreal use the Ottawa River as their highway to the upper great lakes.
  • 1800: Philemon Wright – an American – builds the first permanent settlement at Hull.
  • 1812: War of 1812 ends. Decommissioned soldiers are given land in Richmond area – land at Richmond Landing.
  • 1826-1832: Construction of Rideau Canal turns Ottawa into a bustling urban waterfront town.
  • 1836: Major Timber slide erected on Ottawa side of river.
  • 1850s: large industrial lumber mills erected around Chaudière Falls to serve growing timber trade.
  • 1854: first rail lines arrive in Ottawa.
  • 1855: Bytown becomes a City – changes name to Ottawa.
  • 1857: Queen Victoria chooses Ottawa as capital.
  • 1860: KingEdward VII (then Prince Albert of Wales) rides Timber slide.
  • 1860’s: Lover’s Walk around Parliament Hill is built.
  • 1890’s: extensive streetcar system is built – centred at Chaudière Falls.
  • 1900: Huge fire destroys major industries on islands and housing on LeBreton Flats.
  • 1912: Chateau Laurier built by Grand Trunk Railway on Major’s Hill Park.
  • 1912-1916: First hydro dams built at Chaudière Falls
  • 1930’s: Lover’s Walk dismantled.
  • 1950: Greber Plan
  • 1960’s: Expropriation of Le Breton Flats and most of Ottawa’s waterfront property. Parkways built.

2 replies on “Timeline of Ottawa’s urban Waterfront”

Hi Dennis,
Thank you for the tour today. 
Just wanted to say, as a spoiled temporary resident, it would have helped if the final comments of the tour included something that could being continuity to the tour, like a future gathering or signing a petition. 

 @YukoInoue Thanks for the note! You’re right. That would have been a great way to end the tour, and I wish I’d had something concrete to offer – or at least a way to collect e-mail addresses for future contact. Truth is, there is no formal movement and no other events planned… yet.  But thank you for your interest! 

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