August 27, 2016 · Here’s a major Ottawa corner in January of 1910. This is Rideau and Little Sussex, which is now the southeast corner of Rideau and Colonel By. Sinkhole to the left.This building once housed jeweler James Tracy, the drug store of William Roger, and the Dairy Lunch. Kind of a mini Rideau Mall.The corner would be transformed in 1916 with the construction of the Transportation Building (once the home of the NCC, and once also the home of City Hall).(LAC PA-042564)
The Fest Family
In 1887 on the site of the Transportation building southeast corner of Rideau and Little Sussex streets, there stood a 2and one half storey tin-roofed, solid stone building. That old building, a relic from the 1850s, was occupied by Mrs. William Fest. Her shop was the candy and pastry centre of Ottawa in the 1880s.
Everybody in the 1870s- 1880s in Ottawa knew the Fests. Fest’s confectionery store, at the southeast corner of Rideau and Little Sussex streets, was known to everybody in Ottawa, It occupied the same position in the public eye that Scott’s confectionery on Sparks street did in the 1860s and 1870s. The Fests came to Ottawa from the county Donegal in the late 1860s and opened a confectionery store in the 2 1-2 storey stone building where the Transportation building now stands.
Mrs William ( Pender) Fest in the early 1880s was an indefatigable worker. The Fests attended St. John’s Anglican church on Sussex street. In church work Mrs. Fest was always just as busy as she was in her store. Mrs. Fest was noted for her equable and calm disposition. She always had a cheery word for her customers and was a good judge of human nature. Whenever a new girl came to the store to serve, Mrs Fest would say, “Now, my dear, eat all the candy you feel like eating, but do not take any home. If I find you taking any home I will have to discharge you. It will not be necessary for you to wait till I am out to eat. You may do it when I am present.”
The result of such talks was that Mrs. Fest’s girls, or parcel boys, used invariably to start in to gorge themselves on candy (mostly when Mrs. Fest was not around). The further result was that they always got sick, their stomachs turned upside down and candy became repulslve to them. Thereafter the Fest candy became as safe from attack as though it had not been there. Mr. Fest was seldom seen by the public. He was always too busy at the back making cakes and candies.
Transportation Building — It was incorporated into the Rideau Centre and is heritage designated.
Joy Eastop WatsonNCC was definitely in there, My mom worked for the NCC for 26 years & I remember looking out those big 1st floor windows when the Santa parade went by in the 70’s… Those were also the days when you could open the window and smoke in the office.
Andrew DeBeaupréWasn’t it also known as the Dominion Bridge building before WWII? NCC was there in mid-70s
Where was the first Darou Bakery? Was it on Bell or Mill Street?
So Doug showed me this photo on Saturday and said he had no idea where the second bakery was.. It didn’t take me long to figure it out.
Darou’s second bakery was in the Capital Optical building on Bridge Street which later became Woodcock’s Bakery. One of the senior Jamieson’s confirmed it with : Darou’s was in that building before Woodcocks!
I write about community and the history these folks gave us. Sometimes great little stories pop up while you are researching. I was doing a typical geneaology page for the Darou’s and Dunlops who had Darou’s Bakery on Bridge Street in Carleton Place when I came up with Minnie the Hooker’s story. Everyone needs to be remembered so now Minnie is with great joy and happiness.
Where was Darou’s?
Ray PaquetteBeginning at the bottom of Bridge Street in Carleton Place, on the west side: the Texaco station, the Salvation Army Citadel, Levines, Hick’s Grocery, Charlie Jay Shoe Repair, Mae Mulvey’s Candy Shop. Central Grill, Galvin’s Men’s Wear, Carleton Grill ( and the Colonial Bus Lines stop), the Roxy Theatre, Harold Dowdall’s Barbersop, Denny Coyles Esso, Ned Root’s Shoe Repair, Stanzel’s Taxi, Dr. McDowell, Darou’s Bakery. Doucette Insurance, McAllister’s Bike Repair, Oona’s Applicances/Bob Flint TV, Hastie Bros Plumbing, Bruce McDonald Optometrist, Foote Photography, the public restrooms, the Queens Hotel, Woodcock’s Bakery, Lewis Reg’d Ladies Wear, Okilman’s, and Patterson’s Furniture. I probably forgot a business but I’m sure other readers can “fill in the blanks” or take exception to some of the names on the list. More to come when I crossover to the East side of bridge…
Nobody can accuse Minnie Dunlop of misspending her youth. Sure, she shoots pool a couple of times a week and may go dancing once or twice or play bingo. But after all, Minnie is almost 82 and times have changed. Minnie, who lives in a senior citizens’ high rise on MacLaren Street, looks quite comfortable with a pool cue in her hand. “C’mon baby, c’mon baby,” she says, urging the brown ball to its intended destination. “They call me Minnie the Hooker,” she says, and quickly adds an explanation: in snooker, you “hook” your opponents by leaving them without a shot. Not every ball makes it, of course. Snooker is a demanding game and Minnie didn’t take it up until last fall. “My oldest son is 53,” says Minnie, “and when he found out he said ‘Mother, don’t tell me. I never thought I’d live to see the day you’d be playing pool’.
The Dunlops operated Darou’s Bakery in Carleton Place until 1953 and lived across the street from a pool hall. If you read below her husband was also the mayor of Carleton Place at one point. ( Read-Tales From McCann’s Pool Room – Rob Probert) Minnie remembers hauling her sons home by the ear after rescuing them from the evils of pool-playing. Now she shoots in a seven-team house league and enjoys it immensely. “I like anything where there’s competition,” she says. “I bowled until this winter but it got too cold to go out. With pool, I can play right in the building.” With partner John Beaulieu, Minnie leads the other six mixed teams in the league, organized . by fellow-resident Maurice Trudeau, Ottawa’s senior citizen snooker champ last year. Next year, Trudeau hopes his league can play off with representatives from other seniors’ buildings. No doubt Minnie will be there.
Jamie DunlopThere were stories about how my dad and brothers and sister worked in the bakery when they were growing up. They delivered bread by horse and cart when they were kids. It was quite a shock to see Minnie on Facebook playing pool. I have the Citizen picture and article from when it came out in the 80s(?). She was no shrinking violet for sure. Thanks for the interest.
Diane JudgeMy Mom’s parents were Ida and Charles Darou, owned the dairy in Lanark, my grandmother Ida would order meat & food from there, and they delivered to the Darou home , next to the machine shop, which they owned as well.– read John A Darou 1905 Lanark Village
Janet LockyerI remember some Darou’s of Lanark, in the late 1960s, dad build a cottage on the Clyde river, near the bridge dump. Jim Darou and sons had a cottage down at the point and Jim and my dad sure managed to get into some fun situations.. Thanks for giving me these memories back, had a chuckle remembering. There was one time that my dad, from the city, went off with Jim Darou to get corn for a corn roast. Jim been the leader of this expeditation, said why pay for corn, he knew where they could get it for nothing. Off they go, hours later they return, muddy, dad pants were torn up and they are laughing away. Jim took dad to a farmer’s field, surrounded by barber wire of course. They climbed the wire got lots of “free” corn. We boiled it up, smothered it with butter and salt and nearly broke our teeth trying to eat it. Dad and Jim just laughed and laughed watching us trying to eat COW corn. There really is a difference between the corn, one for humans and one for cows.
Paul MilotteI remember it being called the Cow bridge as well. If memory serves me right it was used to let Cows cross the river as part of the old Plant farm. It was a huge dairy farm back in the day and the Darou family dairy business bought milk from them. The main building of the Plant farm is the old Caldwell mansion that is now a bead and breakfast. Anybody remember the Red barn behind the main house? I think the same family converted the the old mansion into a nursing home after the farming operation had stopped.-Primitive Bridges –Where was this Bridge?
Archibald McLean was one of the last surviving veterans in the district from the Fenian Raid. McLean’s bake shop was operated in 1862 by Archie McLean and for several years he was the oldest resident of the town who had been born in Almonte.
Archie was succeeded by his brother “A.J.” commonly known as “Sid” who died only a few years ago. He was the old stand-by in the early Almonte “Brass Bands” and later with his sons Alec and James. Sid played the kettle drum and all the boys competed for the honour of carrying the musicians’ music into the N.L.A.S. grounds during the fair.
Next to McLean’s Bake Shop was Stafford’s grocery and liquor store and further down John McKinnon’s grocery and liquor store. In April of 1954 McLean’s bakery and confectionery business which had operated in the town of Almonte for over 65 years on Mill Street had come to an end.
The store and residence long owned by Albert J. McLean has been sold to William J. Green. Mr. McLean, Sid as he was familiarly known, established his baking business in a frame building on the corner of Mill and Brae Streets years ago. He later moved and erected the brick’ residence and store occupied by the family ever since he opened for business in 1907.
Two sons, Alex and Jim, became associated in the business after they left school. Jim recalls the days when he delivered bread with a horse and sleigh. The streets were not plowed then and he had to trudge many blocks through snow drifts with a basket on his arm to distribute the loaves and other products of the bakery to his customers.
Bread sold then at six cents a loaf or 17 tickets for a dollar. The new tenants of the Mill Street house and store were the William Green family. Mr. Green was a retired insurance salesman. Mrs. Green and two sons, Don and Morris were engaged in the upholstery business which would be carried on in the lower section of the newly-acquired property.
5368-79 Archibald McLEAN, 28, baker, Almonte, same, s/o Alexander McLEAN & Catherine LAWSON, married Ellen RALPH, 28, Joliette Que., Almonte, d/o Richard TAYLOR (sic) & Eliza, witn: Richard SHILSON & Margaret BOWES, both of Almonte, 13 March 1879 at Almonte
Food was just as expensive for the early settlers as it is now. Baking was often delivered personally to homes by bakers or pastry cooks. Families could prepare their own bread and cakes in their own ovens, or have it baked professionally in a bake house. Cakes were cooked in closed, cast iron ranges by the 1850s. Originally ranges were all coal-based, but then gas versions became available, but were considered very dangerous. The family coal budget was one of the issues that led to making these choices of what to buy from the baker, or make yourself.
In 1835 B. F. Heath of Smiths Falls was listed as opening a bakery at the end of the bridge opposite Ward’s Mills at the corner of Beckwith and Water Street (Chambers Street). It was said that Mr. Heath made bread, biscuits, crackers and other confectioneries that any sweet tooth might demand. It wasn’t cheap-getting supplies, it was difficult, and various grades of flour, classes of butter, and different kinds of sugar, and eggs needed to be fresh and fruit needed to be of the best quality. So bakeries came and went because of the intensive labour, costs and lack of supplies.
To the south of the grist mill in Smiths Falls was once Durant’s Pool Room. The one-storey
frame building which was owned by Mahlon Durant was built in 1909, and an addition was put on later on the back end of the structure. Durant worked for the CPR until he lost an arm in a railroad accident in 1910 and had to retire. Mahlon became a tobacco merchant along with a confectionery store until his death in January of 1932. The building remained there until 1925 when the Old Home Week Committee wanted the land for a park site.
South of Durant’s Pool Room was a bakery. The original construction date is unknown, but Alexander Wood had planned such a building before his death in 1895 and the building must post-date that event. It was a one and one half storey frame building with a small addition on the south end.
The bakery was connected with the grist mill, and for a time it was operated by Mrs. Wood. It was possible the building was removed at the same time as Durant’s Pool Room. Beside the bakery was a double house and across the road from the bakery was a blacksmith shop. No one knows when Mrs. Wood closed down, but she too likely closed for the same reasons as her predecessors.
The bakers and confectionery makers came and went like the wind through the 1800s, but soon Davidson’s Bakery opened in 1890, and brought the use of baking machinery to the area which made baked goods at an economical cost. Once upon a time Davidson’s was the largest commercial bakery in eastern Ontario, and it was a place Smiths Falls local residents could have a lifetime career. They served the area until 1994 when beloved delivery driver Mr. Johnson delivered his last load of bread.
An empty bakeshop on King Street was used by by Kezia Lewis and Margaret McMullen in 1910 who then persuaded the local Methodist church to organize a Sunday School for the young children of the area who were destitute. In 1914 the former bakeshop was vacated and Wesley Hall was built to accommodate the children on the the corner of King and Empress Street. The teachers from Elgin were recorded in the media that because of the Sunday School run by the women some poorer children had a better chance at life.
July 15, 1966
In the 50s and 60s Flann’s Bakery was once a high point in Smiths Falls. Mrs. Flann was oriignally Evelyn Edith Patterson of the Patterson Funeral Home family in Carleton Place, and some locals still remember her today. Darlene Findlay from Darlene’s Café and Bakery on Main Street W. had high hopes in 2009, but once the Smiths Falls Hershey Candy factory closed Findlay was selling fewer of her famous lemon meringue pies and closed.
But tradition continues, and now Smiths Falls has a couple of locally owned bakeries: C’est Tout and Noal Pantry are keeping the area sugar coated and making sure that the local population can have their cake and eat it too.
September 1925 Perth Courier – MRS. JANE LAURIE retired from business. Laurie’s Ginger Beer, in the stone bottles, was once one of Perth’s popular drinks. Mrs. Laurie passed away in a few months after retiring.
The 1871 federal census lists James Laurie, a 33 year old baker, born in Ontario, of Scottish descent. Upon James’ death, it appears that his widow Jane assumed the proprietorship of the business.”Mrs. Jane Laurie’s Bakery and Confectionery was located on Gore Street in Perth. The three-storey white brick building was erected in 1886 as a store with residence above.
Baking and candy making were done in the basement, where the bake ovens were situated. The store was elegantly furnished with mahogany shelving and counters, topped with solid walnut. Adjoining the store was a neat restaurant in which oysters, ice cream and fruit were served in season, together with bread, cakes and pastry.
A favourite lunch consisted of buns and chunks of local cheese, with a bottle of Mrs. Laurie’s Old English Ginger Beer. The Laurie business was established in 1858 and was operated by Mrs. Jane Laurie and her daughter, Mrs. Margaret MacCormack, for 67 years. Following her daughter’s sudden death in 1925, Mrs. Laurie sold the business. She died later that same year, on November 11, 1925 at the age of 90 years.-Primitive Stoneware Bottles of Canada
This article comes from an issue of a local Perth newspaper
Jane Laurie – A Sweet Merchant The buildings in town record the name of many of the major retailers … Shaw, James Brothers, Code … but what must have been one of Perth’s unique stores is not even recognized with a plaque. Jane Laurie opened “Mrs. Laurie’s Bakery and Confectionery” in 1858. She would soon bring her daughter into the business and it would remain open for 67 years until 1925 when she sold the business. Jane was still in the store working in her 90th year. The stories she must have witnessed, the history that passed by the door to her shop: the wide-eyed, nose-pressed-to-the-window children who one year were buying penny candy and who went on to do great things for Perth and Canada. This would be a special story and a unique window on our heritage.
Please note–Trying hard here to piece things together– but if their are any errors, omissions or additions, please tell me.
Please see *Jaan Kolk’s comments at the end. This would be my second encounter with Jaan Kolk in 2016 when I did this. FIVE years ago and have learned a lot from him.
I rescue photos and find the families and document them. This was my first estate sale buy.
The Aitkenhead Scotch Bakery in Ottawa was owned by Scottish immigrant George Aitkenhead in the late 1800’s- early 1900’s. It was situated on McLaren Street until the great fire of Ottawa/ Hull and then moved to Bank Street. After he moved to his new spot business was not great, so he moved out west. His son Robert moved to Carleton Place to 20 Frank Street and Robert Jr.later moved to Almonte.
“Linda, you mentioned this family moved to Almonte and opened a Bakery. The bakery was located on Queen St and right next door to the current Menzies House Bed and Breakfast . The bakery was on the first floor and the Atinkhead’s lived upstairs. As a youngster Saturday morning trips from our Ramsay Township Farm to Almonte for Fresh Bread and ooh those famous “Butterfly Buns” will never be forgotten. Today many years later, I still remember that bakery’s smell of cinnamon and fresh bread… Makes me homesick when I walk past those St. Cinnamon shops in the big city. Mrs. Atinkhead should have taught the St. Cinnamon bakers how to bake!”
Robert Aitkenhead – The Almonte Bakery Ontario, Queen Street January 1953
Robert Aitkenhead – The Almonte Bakery Ontario,Queen Street
Robert (Dad), Delmer Royce, Millie Aitkenhead rolling buns.
Aitkenhead – The Almonte Bakery Ontario,Queen Street 1969
Aitkenhead – The Almonte Bakery Ontario,Queen Street 1969 (Look at the building across the street)
The photos from the Millie Aikenhead Collection as I call it will be split between the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum (Carleton Place Photos) and the North Lanark Regional Museum (Almonte Photos)
I try and save old photos after I share them with the world as I feel no one will appreciate them if they sit unseen. If you read My Family in a Box story those pictures are now in the save keeping of Archives Lanark.
*Jaan Kolk— Linda, the early genealogy and Ottawa history in your article is a bit off. Robert Stephenson Aitkenhead (~1901-1978), father of Mildred (Mrs. Roy Woodcock) was the son of David Aitkenhead (~1863-1945) who came to Ottawa from Scotland in 1887. Both David and a George J. Aitkenhead operated bakeries separately in Ottawa 1899-1908, and I believe they were related. They appeared in Ottawa about the same time, and David also named his other son George J – but I have not found a close family connection. See also my comments where your photo is shared on Lost Ottawa‘s timeline. Here is the obituary of Robert Stephenson Aitkenhead from the Ottawa Citizen, July 3, 1978:
From Jaan Kolk– 2016
Here is a more accurate history of the Aitkenhead bakers of Ottawa. About 1887, two brothers David Aitkenhead (1863-1945) and George Jeffrey Aitkenhead (1859-1940) emigrated to Ottawa. They were sons of retired Glasgow baker Alexander Aitkenhead. Both worked innitially for RE & JC Jamieson, Grocers and Bakers. Each operated a production bakery in Ottawa beginning about 1899; David at 95 Turner (now Cambridge St) and George at 517 Mcleod. Each also had a storefront confectionery on Bank St. at different times. It was George’s shop at 217 Bank St. 1906-1908 that was called “Aitkenhead’s Scotch Bakery.” George and his family left Ottawa in 1908 for the US, settling ultimately in Omaha, Nebraska. David remained in Ottawa, and it was the children of David’s son Robert Stephenson Aitkenhead (~1901-1978) who ended up in Carleton Place and Almonte. Mildred Aitkenhead, who married Roy Woodcock of Carleton Place, was Robert’s daughter and David’s granddaughter
Llew Lloyd –The bakery on Bridge Street in Carleton Place called Woodcocks became Aitkenheads and Millie Aitkenhead married a Woodcock .