Clippings of the Old Albion Hotel

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Clippings of  the Old Albion Hotel
Lost Ottawa
July 5, 2020  · 
No Sunday Driving after you’ve visited this Ottawa watering hole for a pint or three — it’s the Albion Hotel in May of 1957.
First opened in 1871 (although there was apparently previous hostelry on the site dating back to 1844). Now known as the Albion Rooms and part of the Novotel at Daly and Nicholas.
Plus a new looking Chevy passing by … new for then, anyway.
(City of Ottawa Archives CA046463)

It didn’t seem ironic to regulars having a final round at the Albion Motor Hotel that the last day of business at Ottawa’s oldest hotel would fall on Friday the 13th. They know the 140-year-old hotel will still stand as a heritage site in new development slated to start in spring of 1985. But most who came to hoist their glasses in farewell to their favorite watering hole don’t think any bar can live up to to what they consider the “friendliest place in town.” Sure the 50 rooms at the Albion are a little shabby now, and the Rideau Centre across the street makes the modest building pale in comparison. “But where else could you be insulted with such love by your waiter?” said Matt Napier, referring to the hotel’s crusty 72-year-old beerslinger, Ralph Moisan. Napier is now studying in at the University of Windsor, but the former customs officer extended his visit to Ottawa for coffin” of his former Ottawa hang-out. As for Moisan, who worked 30 years at the Belle Claire Hotel on Queen Street before it closed in 1974, most of what he had to say to customers about how he felt about the end of an era at the landmark was unprintable. But there was a trace of a tear in his eye when Moisan finally admitted he looked upon the Albion closing as “losing my second home,” though he insists he can still find employment as a bar waiter “just about anywhere.” Thomas C. Assaly Corp. and Jarvis Freedman, head of Equity Management International Ltd., were given approval by Ottawa Council last week to develop the city block surrounding the hotel. An 18-storey, 243-unit apartment building, 300-room hotel and recreational complex is planned on the site bounded by Daly Avenue, Nicholas, Waller and Besserer streets. The project is expected to cost about $75 million. Ken MacLennan, director of marketing for Assaly, said Friday that close to $5 million will be spent to renovate the Albion, designated a historical site in 1983. “The building will be renovated to the same state as in its heydays during the end of the last century, and will most likely Fred Cattroll. Citizen be turned into a restaurant serving customers at the new hotel,” said MacLennan. At least three sides of the building must remain standing. The fourth wall, facing Nicholas Street, will be torn down since that side of the original building underwent major renovations in the 1950s, when the Albion was owned by former NHL hockey star William Touhey.


CLIPPED FROM
Ottawa Daily Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
10 Apr 1866, Tue  •  Page 1

CLIPPED FROM
Ottawa Daily Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
20 Jul 1874, Mon  •  Page 2


CLIPPED FROM
Ottawa Daily Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
26 Jun 1877, Tue  •  Page 4

CLIPPED FROM
Ottawa Daily Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
20 Jul 1874, Mon  •  Page 2
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
06 Jul 1984, Fri  •  Page 43

If you look at my hanging fixtures on my porches (6) and the lights in my 2nd floor TV room (6) they all came from the Albion Hotel..

In July of 1984, Cumberland Township councillor Brian Coburn landed a good deal on a slightly used bar. At the same time, Ottawa collector Ian Macdonald was picking up some mirrors and chairs from the 1930s and an area farmer was buying a 40-year-old baler. But what they really bought were chunks of local history as the Albion Hotel, Ottawa’s oldest, bares its body and sells its soul this week. Because the 140-year-old hotel is to be incorporated in a $75-million hotel and residential complex, everything inside cash registers, pillows, switchboard and bar stools is to be sold, beginning today.

At a sale for dealers Wednesday, most of the larger items, such as stoves, bars and kitchen equipment, were bought. Macdonald is opening a 1 930s-st vie restaurant on Clarence Street in September. “I heard about the Albion closing and thought ‘Hey, that place is the 1930s personified’,” he said while walking out with chairs and octagon tables. Coburn, meanwhile, got a bonus with his buys, which included the $1,700 bar. As he and several helpers dismantled it, dozens of old, rusty coins were uncovered about $10 worth, some dating back to the 1920s. Coburn plans to use part of the bar and refrigerating equipment in his Navan restaurant, the Ballycastle, and save the rest for expansion.

The baler was used by hotel staff to crush and package paper and cardboard. The new owner intends to use it to bale wood shavings in his horse barn. Al Cohen, of Cohen and Cohen wreckers, handling the sale, said at least 100 dealers visited the hotel Wednesday. He predicted the hotel, at Nicholas and Daly streets, would be swamped today. For those wanting memorabilia, Albion Hotel blankets are selling for $5, while tavern chairs are going for $25. A sign promoting happy hour has a $2 price tag while another proclaiming the hotel’s ‘Showgirl Revue’ will cost $49. Black and white televisions are selling for $25, while glasses are 50 cents and red lounge chairs are $19. While some shoppers had history in mind, others were there strictly on business. Steve Valois, general manager of Capital Food Equipment, was eyeing a gas stove that had a $1,500 price tag.

He said the company, which specializes in used restaurant equipment, could turn the stove into a new-looking appliance by cleaning and sandblasting it. Thomas C. Assaly Corp. and Jarvis Freed-man, co-owners of the hotel, plan to build an 18-storey, 243-unit apartment building, 300-room hotel and recreational complex. The Albion was designated a heritage site in 1983 and $5-million is to be spent renovating the hotel. Construction is to start next spring, 1985.

Lost Ottawa
August 23, 2013  · 

Friday night’s alright … for the Albion Hotel at 1 Daly Street, shown here in 1875, shortly after it opened. The Court House and Jail across the street provided a steady stream of customers.

I never drank there, but I believe this place became, shall we say, rather notorious in more recent decades. Now it has regained respectability by being incorporated as a wing of the Novatel Hotel.

Barry Augerahhh, the big “A”, safest bar in town, ’cause that’s where all the cops and judges from next door drank.

Andrew Bartholomew ChaplinThe Albion was a watering hole for the members of NDHQ’s Directorate of History that was lodged on the fourth floor of the Ogilvy Building in the 1970s.

Lost Ottawa

September 3, 2015  · Raymond Bjornson shares this picture described as the Albion Hotel, a favorite Ottawa watering hole.No source, or date, alas.

Tania LevyThe portion of the Albion incorporated into the hotel, as its restaurant/bar is still there. It used to be Trio and was renamed The Albion Rooms recently. They make an excellent Caesar!

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About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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