THEN AND NOW: From car shop to coffeeshop. When Westboro Automotive became Westboro Station

Westboro Station. Photography by Miv Fournier

By Phil Jenkins

Cities grow in two directions — outward and upward. In the process of the condo-ization of downtown, rather like taking old perennials out of a flowerbed and planting new, taller ones, samples of the architecture of the past are disappearing. And so we look both up and back, at five condominium developments that are already up — or soon will be — to discover in words and pictures the buildings that went before them.


Ottawa’s streetcars are gone now — the last one ran in 1959 — but when the lines started pushing out along the compass points from the hub of downtown in the 1890s, they made the suburbs possible. The line that ran westwards travelled alongside what is now Byron Avenue (drive down Byron, and it is easy to see where it once was) until it met Richmond Road, Ottawa’s oldest thoroughfare, where the cars reversed direction, and another line carried on toward the dance hall and riverside amusements out at Britannia. The gentlemen playing bowls at Highland Park club learned to ignore the rattling transportation.