Tag Archives: hull

As The ROYAL BURGER Turns — Memories of the Secret Sauce Emporium

As The ROYAL BURGER Turns — Memories of the Secret Sauce Emporium

Paul Gratton

The secret is that they would put the sauce on the burgers once flipped while still on the grill.

Author’s Note- another recipe below.

Lost Ottawa


Royal Burger came up this morning on CFRA. Where were they? This is where they were in 1961. Tache Blvd, Richmond Road, and Montreal Road.

This ad from the Citizen says “Bruce MacDonald Announces.” I’m assuming this is the Bruce MacDonald of the motor hotel in west end as well?

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada07 Feb 1990, Wed  •  Page 40

Lost Ottawa


Mike Robert shares a fabulous photo which may have been shared in the comments of Lost Ottawa before.

It looks like family that would have a lot trouble fitting in to that Porsche, but it really fits with our sign theme of the week.

Behind the family? The sign for the Royal Burger just east of St. Laurent on Montreal Road.

Notes Mike: “love this sign at the corner of Mtl. Road and Brittany Drive where Mark Motors is located now. My mother’s house was the white house in the background that became a vet’s office. I fondly remember the drive-thru at the RB!”

Peter Parsons

Best onion rings ever made. Large sweet onions, my friend worked there and I i Rembrandt correctly they were hand made at one point. Very rare to find this kind of onion ring today.

Paul Devey

Love them. Our family went to the Royal Burger on Richmond Rd. as well as Carling and Woodroffe. Also in the 90s went to the one in Aylmer.

Barb Hughes

I live around the corner and had no idea that Mark Motors used to be a burger place. I still remember the drive up A & W on St. Laurent!😀

Rene H Beauchemin

Worked as a cook at that royal burger

Mike Komendat

Absolutely the best burger and their sauce was delicious!

Carol Booth

There was a Royal Burger at Woodroffe and Carling we went to a couple of times, but usually we went to Capital Burger which was cheaper on Croydon and Carling across from the Fire Station. I used to love the hot dogs, that were curled to fit a hamburger bun.

Lynn Forrest

My parents used to take us to the Royal Burger on Richmond Road where Kristy’s is now. Such a treat on the way home from the cottage.

Sandy Mulloy

I found this recipe for the sauce

Ann Mills Desormeaux

OK … for those of you who asked and messaged me

… it’s pretty easy …. and versatile

Equal parts finely chopped onion and dill pickle, ketchup and mustard … mix together.

Measurements don’t matter … it’s however much you want to make

You can try it out and tweak it however you want.

We like more of the chopped onion and pickle and less of the ketchup and mustard.

sometimes I leave it coarsely chopped and sometimes give it a quick pulse or two in the food processor. Mostly I do it by hand.

It’s awesome on sandwiches 🙂

Dorothy Hill

I remember this Royal Burger. Loved the little pickles the RB put on their burgers.

Gene Hamelin

Best burgers and especially their “Bermuda” onion rings and real shakes to wrap up a great meal. Our daughter worked at the one in Peterborough. It closed and became a DQ. White house also vet clinic of Dr. Carioto. I would not be surprised if that was not the Mark family.

VR Hunter

Our first fast food chain “experience” was at the Royal Burger on Bank just north of Heron. 1963. Eating at a drive-in restaurant

Lost Ottawa


Dining Out in Lost Ottawa, with a sign and a query shared by Al Thompson

Asks Al:

“Does anyone remember the Royal Burger on Montreal Road?”

Bonnie-Dee Racette

I remember it. We used to go there until they closed not long after McDonald’s opened in front of it.

About six years ago, I discovered The Hintonburger’s burgers tasted the same as the Royal’s and biting into one brought back good memories of the Royal Burger. Now, both are closed. 😔

Diane Turpin Pugliese

Loved Royal Burger. I believe they closed around 1973. I was pregnant, had a craving for their onion rings and made my husband drive all over Ottawa trying to find one but they were all closed.

Malcolm Stewart

Bank Street location biggest hangout……and a few doors away used to be the Marco Polo….best egg rolls ever.

Fred Zufelt

They were the first to have an intercom to order your food and have it ready when you arrived at the window. they had a slider window on the side for the carless customers. The special sauce was the taste. We liked the one on bank street, it was close and open late.. Owned by Lou MacDonald.

Wayne R Cunneyworth

No, but I remember the Royal Burger on Bank Street which was managed by Ralph Maves. Great burgers, neat cars but a short-lived location to hang out.

Dave Alburger

When I ate there a long time ago, I said to my date “If we ever have a son, let’s name him Roy”.

Roch Brunette

there is still a RB sign on the 148 highway towards Luskville

Bill Anderson

If memory serves me the Richmond road and Carling Avenue stores were owned by the Bruce family that also owned Bruce Fuels and Frazer Duntile (the quarry on Clyde Avenue). I worked for the Bruce family (old man Reginald and son Bob) in the mid 70s. There office was a big White House on Carling avenue stuck between two tall apartment buildings just next to Carlingwood. It was the longest year of my life. Swore I would never work for a family business again, at least as an outsider.

Sherry Drew

I sure do! My husband and I lived on Montreal Road right across from Royal Burger. Their burgers were the best, as were their onion rings. I remember the Royal burger, with 2 patties was 60 cents, and the burgerette, with one patty was 25 cents. Oh, for the good ol’ days of the 60s. 😀

M Frederick Mason

I used to go to the one just east of the Champlain Bridge when I was a kid. The last one I remember was at the corner of Richmond and Ambleside. I last saw “Mike” at Super Ex running a Royal Burger ‘truck’ that he said was doing the fair circuit at the time. He rememberd both my mom and me and even gave me my burger for free. That can’t be more than 5-10 years ago.

James Jim Taylor

I worked at the Richmond road location as a teen, I remember making the “Special Sauce” in 5 gallon pails that pickles or other food products came in. We would pour all the ingredients in the pail, then stir it with your arm fully emerged in the product.

Barry Lemoine

I worked for a year at the one on Carling at cross if Woodruff Ave. Friday and Sat. Were madhouse. A lit of folks at Britania Drive inn would make food run before second feature and I remember frilling 25 Royales at once for a single order.

Adam McDonald

Yes. That was my grandfather Reg Bruce’s chain of burger places. He also had Royal Donut. The ” Bruce MacDonald ” that someone is referring to is the “Bruce /MacDonald Motor Hotel that my grandfather built on Carling Ave. His business partners last name in that hotel was MacDonald. It’s now called Embassy West Hotel. So there’s some history for you. 🙂

David Sampson

There’s an ad on this CMN chart(From June 1963) in the top left corner with a list of the Royal Burger locations. I’ll post the actual chart below so you can enjoy it too.

Pierre Vachon

Four years after our marriage, in 1964, we rented an apartment on the West end of Hull, on the very street where the first Royal Burger was installed. It was built from prefab components in less than a week. Thereafter, every evening until the wee hours, we were treated to “Yeah!”, “with the works” and wonderful phrases like that, never to be forgotten. Wafts of burning flesh perfumed the air all summer long. Wonderful memories!

Curtis Webster photo

Randy Lacey

I must have been 5 or 6 (1969-70) when for a treat my parents would hit the Royal Burger on Richmond rd. It was a drive-through and i was allowed to yell into the order board what I wanted. It was always the same thing “Chip & Coke). Yes, I was very exciteable back then. Can’t say I was upset years later when Harvey’s occupied the same land.

Brian Hilton

I only remember the one on Bank Street. Does anyone remember their display on the Sparks Street Mall with the 1957 Desoto dinky car that continuously ran in a circle?

Patricia Cassidy

What was ever in their special sauce…..if I got a stain on my clothes…..no matter what I used could. to get it out hmmmmm????

Bran Martin

The one in Hull was Royal in name only after Bruce Macdonald shut the doors. My first job (after paper routes) was sweeping the parking lot on Richmond Rd. I impressed the manager that he hired me. I remember getting rides home in his 57 Canary yellow Chevy. Loud and fast, back then not as many cars on the road then. Especially after dropping the takings at the hotel. I remember Harvey’s bedside us. We traded burgs for fries. Funny our meat was fresh and fries frozen. While Harvey’s was the opposite. And our rings were made daily. Double dipped was that procedure. The closest to them would be A&W rings.

Lost Ottawa


Dining Out in Lost Ottawa … at the Royal Burger on Quebec Route 148 as you head up river to the Pontiac region.

Shared by Bruce Mitchell, who says:

“This Royal Burger sign is all that remains of what might have been the last Royal Burger. It is on Highway 148 in Quebec just west of Ottawa before Luskville.

When I started taking this route 12 years ago there was a burned out restaurant and they were still operating out of a trailer.

Both gone now but I did enjoy stopping for the occasional burger!”

Micheline Beauchemin

Actually it is in Luskville, corner Dominicain and the 148

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada17 May 1973, Thu  •  Page 9

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa JournalOttawa, Ontario, Canada05 Oct 1963, Sat  •  Page 49

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa JournalOttawa, Ontario, Canada04 Oct 1965, Mon  •  Page 13

CLIPPED FROMThe Kingston Whig-StandardKingston, Ontario, Canada21 Oct 1961, Sat  •  Page 12

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa JournalOttawa, Ontario, Canada20 Feb 1964, Thu  •  Page 8

popular in the 60s

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada30 Jun 2007, Sat  •  Page 40

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada25 Jan 1972, Tue  •  Page 22

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada21 Aug 1961, Mon  •  Page 32

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada19 Dec 1962, Wed  •  Page 5

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada08 Jan 1966, Sat  •  Page 84

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada30 Jan 1969, Thu  •  Page 43

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada04 May 1988, Wed  •  Page 84

The Maple Leaf Forever —- Maple Leaf Tavern

Fight Over the “Restaurant on Wheels” 1899 — The First Food Truck Fight

Food Review of the Smorgasbord at The Queen’s Royal Hotel 1947

Let’s Have Some Curb Service!

So tonight I made the Old Royal Burger with their secret sauce that was in Ottawa in the 60s and 70s that I wrote about today..


Love at Flora Lake in Hull — Disappearing Lakes- Simpson Book Collection

Love at Flora Lake in Hull — Disappearing Lakes- Simpson Book Collection
Unknown Hull Couple from the Simpson Book Collection.. Hull 1800-1975

Where Flora Park was in Hull there was once in the 1880s a good sized lake, lined on all sides by a thick growth of weeds and cattails. In connection with this lake of by-gone days, Mr. Fabien Raymond of 127 Besserer street, relates a rather amusing story.

About the year 1881 a young man who resided in Hull and who was one of the few letter carriers of that period, decided to enter into the holy bonds of matrimony. His means, however, would not permit of an extended honeymoon, so he decided to take his bride on a row-boat picnic on Flora Lake.

They started out early in the morning with a well-filled lunch basket, and all went well until near the noon hour when one of the boys in that vicinity spotted them and rounded up a gang of fifteen young chaps who quickly collected all the noise producing instruments they could lay their hands on.There were dishpans, tin palls, tin cans, etc., and they started a grand parade around the lake, setting up an awful noise on their improvised musical instruments.

The young groom had provided himself with an accordion, but all his attempts to fill the air with its inspiring notes were of no avail, The tin-pan band drowned out every note. The gang stayed on the job until dusk and then took their departure, leaving the lovers to themselves at long last.



Barbara Ann Scott performed an exhibition skate here in 1948

Before the lake was drained it was a dangerous place. In the winter children frequently fell through the ice and had to be rescued.

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa JournalOttawa, Ontario, Canada01 Dec 1897, Wed  •  Page 3

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
12 Mar 1898, Sat  •  Page 3
The Hamilton Spectator
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
06 Aug 1898, Sat  •  Page 4

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
09 Apr 1908, Thu  •  Page 1
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
14 Apr 1908, Tue  •  Page 1

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
05 May 1925, Tue  •  Page 3
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
13 Jan 1928, Fri  •  Page 1

The playground created out of Lake Flora was later renamed for J-E Lafontaine, the Mayor of Hull and subsequently Liberal M.P. for the area. Read More Here- CLICK

Before and After- Archives Canada-Le Droit

Before and After-Le parc Fontaine aujourd’hui

1900 Hull map from from the Simpson Book Collection.. Hull 1800-1975 Lac Flora is there
1925 Hull map- Lake Flora is not there.. it is called Ile de Hull Parc — from the Simpson Book Collection.. Hull 1800-1975

What happened?

With the City Council, the Mayor, and prominent citizens in attendance the Federal District Commission Chairman Thomas Ahearn opened Lake Flora park on September 19, 1929. Read More Here- CLICK

Bears at Lansdowne Park- From a Bear Feeding Ground to Terrible Ted

Money, Dance Marathons, and Living in Lion Cages—The Ups and Downs of Luna Park

“Hey You Guys!” A Goonie Adventure on Brewery Creek

The Disappearance of Lake Tamo

Simpson Book Collection

Ed and Shirley’s Simpson –Historic Books — the List

Simpson Book Collection – History of Westboro– 1927 reprint – 1927 Advertisements –Where was PALM BEACH?

Remember Lover’s Lane? Lover’s Walk? Les Chats Sauvage? Simpson Books

You Have to Open Up a Business Here!!! 1912 Ottawa Marketing — Simpson Books

Down on Main Street– 1911-Photos- For the Discriminating and the Particular — Simpson Books

The General Hospital 1867-1929 Photos — Simpson Books

Renfrew Fair 1953-1953-Ed and Shirley (Catherine) Simpson

Did You Know? Union School #9 and Goulburn #16

When One Boat Filled the Rideau Lock–Rideau King

Women’s Institute Burritts Rapids 1902-1988

Looking for Photos of ‘The Castle’ in Ashton

A Romantic Story of the Founding Of Burritt’s Rapids

The First Half Century of Ottawa Pictorial McLeod Stewart – Simpson Book Collection


Ottawa, The Capital of the Dominion of Canada 1923 Simpson Book Collection

Views Of Ottawa (Aylmer) Basil Reid 1890-1900 Simpson Book Collection – Photos Photos Photos

The Ottawa City Directory 1897-98 —Simpson Book Collection

“Ottawa Flashbacks” Photo Collection- Simpson Book Collection

Norman Levine– Selected Photos– Lower Town- Simpson Book Collection

Sussex Street— Photo Collection — National Capital Commission – Simpson Book Collection

Weekly Wages in 1888 — Nothing to Write Home About as they say…

Weekly Wages in 1888 — Nothing to Write Home About as they say…
Construction of the Alexandra Bridge, 1898-1900
Horses dragged the trolleys on the tracks, 1871
Horse drawn cab stand in front of the East Block, 1897
Snowstorm on Sparks St. ca. late 1890s

Photos from CLICK HERE

Lanark Archives-Even the Lanark Era newspaper got into the fray, and advertised where the secret non paying roads were- which didn’t make sense. But if you went to church, or were a man of uniform, you could forgo all means of payment . By 1856 people had enough and refused to pay because the planks were rotting away. Word up and down the Lanark line was that the roads were so bad even the transportation of corpses couldn’t make it to their destinations. In1904 tolls ceased to exist as the maintenance of the road was taken over by the county.from==The Toll Gates of Lanark County on Roads that Were Not Fit for Corpses

Working in the Grist Mill

Working on the Telephone Lines — Electrocution at Carleton Place

Was Working in One of Our Local Mills Like Working in a Coal Mine?

The Early Days of Working in the Ramsay Mine — Going Down Down Down

I’ve Been Working on the Railroad

“Hey You Guys!” A Goonie Adventure on Brewery Creek

“Hey You Guys!” A Goonie Adventure on Brewery Creek

In the 1870’s there was talk of a cave near Brigham’s Creek rapids in Hull, Quebec. It is also said that Brigham’s Creek, also called Brewery Creek, which was originally a narrow inlet from the Ottawa River, (dry during the summer time in certain parts) was also the old Indian portage route for overcoming the rapids of the Chaudière. Similar to the Goonies movie there is an old story of a small gang of boys from Hull who used to scour the land for discovery and adventure. One day while playing on the side of Brigham’s Creek they discovered a cave on the south side of the rapids. The entrance side was about 4 feet high. Not big enough for pirates or a ship, but certainly large enough for a party of Hurons to hide from some surprise-party of Iroquois visitors.

A couple of the boys decided they had to enter this cave but it was too dark, so they visited a family in the neighborhood and borrowed a candle. Two of the more bolder kids ventured in and found the passage of the cave to be about ten feet long. It didn’t take long for the passageway to come to an abrupt end and morph into a five foot square foot room. But that wasn’t the end if you cared to continue the journey– you could head off to another passage that ran off to the left of the room– but if it was me, I would have ended it there– and so did the boys.

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Old Pump House, Brewery Creek, Hull, P.Q.] [image fixe] / Frederick B. Taylor

The story of the boy’s discovery became gossip, and then folklore, and years later a couple of men found the cave and decided to go further, but never did reach the end of it. One of these men declared that while in the cave he had heard the trip hammer belonging to Walter’s Axe Factory on the Chaudiere Island. Hull is basically built on a swamp/pile of islands. The Brewery Creek does indeed connect to the Ottawa River in two places, but it flows into the Ottawa and not out of it.

So did the cave end on Chaudiere Island somewhere, or did it go further? The end of that cave was never found and the mystery remains unsolved. Upon further research I found a copy of the 1880 edition of Ottawa Field Naturalists Club Volume 1. It talks of Minnow’s Lake which was surrounded by ‘those tinder boxes which constitutes Wright’s Town’ and how both Minnow Lake and the sluggish Brigham Creek created an imperfect communication in the Spring which tapped at the natural cave just behind the storehouse at the old distillery causeway.

So as far the boys were concerned “the cave remained unknown territory” and we wonder if anyone knows the rest of the story.

Update–Rick HendersonA few corrections to the article: 1. Brewery Creek empties right before the mouth of the Gatineau River: its source is upstream from the Chaudière Falls. It essentially is a branch of the Ottawa River, making Old Hull an island. 2. The name Brewery Creek predates the name Brigham Creek. Brigham Creek was used by few people and for a relatively short time. 3. The lower portage (Portage-du-Bas) that was used to get past the falls was located where the Hull Slide was built. Brewery Creek had a set of falls on it and was historically too shallow in the summer to be used as a portage route by anyone. 4. The article mentions the Devil’s hole at the south bank of the mouth of the Lost Channel. It was a relatively small whirlpool that formed there, but the Lost Channel certainly did not “disappear” down the hole. The Buchanan Timber Slide was built in the Lost Channel. The legendary Devil’s Hole that was believed to be “a bottomless hole” was at the foot of the Little Chaudière Falls that were hidden when the Hydro station was built.


Christian Inkster
View of Brewery Creek from 1931, courtesy of https://ssimpkin.carto.com/, photo number A3331_29 (cropped). The creek is in the middle left area of photo, with Rue Montcalm just to the left of it. Tache Boulevard runs left to right in upper area. The modern day brew pub restaurant (Les Brasseurs des Temps) is in bottom left corner (where Montcalm crosses over the creek).

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
05 Dec 1894, Wed  •  Page 5
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
26 Dec 1899, Tue  •  Page 6
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Bridge on Brewery Creek in Hull
Wal Rectan Red
What was to eventually became the Walters Axe Company actually started as H. Walters & Sons in 1889, although Henry T. Walters had purchased the company in 1886. Henry Walters had been the foreman of S. J. Tongue & Co. of Ottawa, Quebec,  in 1864. Two years later he was reportedly working as an axe maker in the factory of Sexton Washburn in Hull, Quebec. The family history indicated that Henry had actually purchased that company himself in 1886 but the company name wasn’t changed until 1889. It was then that it became H. Walters & Sons.
 Initially, the Walters sons involved were Henry, Jr., David and James. It wasn’t until sometime after another son, Morley,  graduated from McGill University in 1897 that he also became associated with the company. Morley had received a degree in engineering and by the time Henry, Sr. passed away in 1901, Morley was quite active in the business, rising to the presidency by 1912.
The company name was changed to the Walters Axe Co., Ltd., right around the time Morley took over in 1912. It was about then that Morley purchased the company and became president, a position he held until he too passed away. That was in 1969 when he was 101 years old. He had been the company president for 57 years.
All during that time the plant in Hull continued in operation. The company also maintained a manufacturing facility an warehouse in Ogdensburg, New York quite probably to accommodate the business activities that they were  engaged in within the United States. After Morley’s death, the company was sold. By 1973 axes were no longer in significant demand to continue the operation and the new company closed its doors. Yesteryear’s Tools

· November 16, 2015

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The Lost Channel and the Devil’s Hole. I am thinking the channel was lost because the water fell through the Devil’s Hole, apparently a long subterranean passage.


  1. Where Was Meyers Cave?

  2.  Meyer’s Cave — John Walden Meyers

    Snow Road Adventures- Hikes in the Old Cave — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

    So Where Were the Caves in Carleton Place?

  3. Now You see it, Now You Don’t: The Disappearing and Reappearing of the Tim Horton’s Subterranean

Caves and Mines

Lusk Caves

Brewery Creek Hydro Ruins – CapitalGems.ca


The Tragic Tale of Harvey Boal

The Tragic Tale of Harvey Boal


March 1912

Sometimes working for the railroad was not a good thing. The shocking accident that had happened in March of 1912 had greater interest for those who lived in Almonte than those who lived in the Ottawa area. Harvey Boal, son of William Boal (or Boale) ( mother Mary Jane Stanley of Almonte was held responsible for the train accident in Hull. The loss of life and injuries could never be minimized but, had Harvey been habitually careless or inattentive the citizens of Almonte would have understood, but he wasn’t.

In 1915 he had completed a telegraphy course with Mr. W. S. MacDowell and he was noted as being above average in ability. The rapidity in which he achieved promotions from Almonte to the CPR head office and then  sent out west was incredible for someone who was barely 21. He had not been married very long, and did not drink and attended church regularly. He was taking classes so he could rise to a position of  divisional superintendent rather than pound a key.

 - OOOOOO oooooo oooooo ooooo WARRANT ISSUED O O...

Sympathy was expressed for the consequences that this young lad was now going to face after working a 19 hour shift. Fear took over Harvey Boal and instead of waiting to be questioned, he ran way and a warrant was issued for his arrest. In the end he was not the only guilty one, and operator John Francis Cole was also dismissed for issuing the wrong orders. I tried to find out what happened to poor Harvey Boal but the trail went coal. There was another Havey Boal that died at age 41 in an elevator accident in the 1950s, but it was not the same chap.

Jiana Daren
The elder Harvey Boal was the brother of Stanley Boal who was the father of the younger’s Harvey Boal. The elder Boal died in Vancouver in 1967 :

 - "That the collision was caused through...


Jiana Daren

The elder Harvey Boal was the brother of Stanley Boal who was the father of the younger’s Harvey Boal. The elder Boal died in Vancouver in 1967 :

images (19).jpg

From the Chesterville Record –– Colin Churcher’s page

Five killed. Fifteeen Injured.
Work train let go ahead of time and crashed into local passenger train.
Ottawa March 8.  A train was let go this morning five minutes before it should have moved. The result was a splintering of wood, binding of iron and five people gave up their lives amid the cries of fifteen others injured.
The accident occurred on the Pontiac branch of the Canadian Pacific Railway within three miles of the Parliament buildings.
The Dead.
John Moyles, Undertaker, Quyon.
John Anderson, CPR Conductor, Ottawa.
John Darby, Duke Street, Hull.
Miss Kehoe, Quyon.
E.J. Taber, Contractor, Hull.
Details of injured not taken except Fred Cole, Engineer.
The morning train from Waltham, a little late, had reversed as usual on the Y near Hull, and was backing to reach the Union Station in Ottawa.  This is the way in which it enters the station each day.  A work train was being held at Hull until the passenger train had safely passed. In some incomprehensible way the work train was let go. At Tetraultville it met with a crash the rear of the backing passenger train.
The trains were moving in opposite directions at a fair speed.  The locomotive of the work train came into contact with the first class car.  It was new of strong construction and resisted the shock. The second class car just beyond it was not so strongly built and collapsed like a berry box between the squeeze of the two locomotives.  It was the weak spot and gave.
The result was terrible for those within and the car was half full.  Men and women were jammed with smashed seats. broken glass, fractured woodwork and twisted steel in a mass of dead and injured.  Rescue work was promptly started.  Ottawa was communicated with, doctors and nurses rushed to the spot and the injured quickly conveyed to Ottawa.
The passenger train was in the charge of Conductor John Anderson who was instantly killed apparently from a blow to the head.  The engineer was Joseph Murphy and his fireman Camille Lemieux.
The freight engine was in charge of engineer Cole and William Short, fireman, all of Ottawa.  Anderson was one of the best known conductors on the road.  The accident happened where is a sharp curve and deep cut and it was impossible for the crew of one train to see the other till too late.
Harvey Boal, operator at Hull, whose mistake in issuing an order for a clear track is said to be the direct cause of the disaster, has disappeared and detectives are searching for him.  He is a young man with a good record on the line.
Chesterville Record 3/21/1912  William Kennedy the sixth victim of the railway wreck on the Pontiac line near Hull died at the Water Street hospital at 4 o’clock this morning.
Chesterville Record  3/28/1912  The jury conducting the inquest on the victims of the fatal wreck on the CPR at Hull on March 8, returned a verdict Monday night practically exonerating Harvey Boal, the CPR telegrapher, for whose arrest a warrant has been issued and placing the blame on the CPR.

The official report gave two killed and 15 injured.

This accident was responsible for the installation of the Electric Token Block system between Ottawa West, Hull and Ottawa Union.  The Ottawa Citizen of 24 April 1912 explains:

Since the wreck of the Pontiac train at Hull last month, whereby five(sic) persons were killed and several injured, the C.P.R. has introduced a new block system between Hull and Ottawa which if it is strictly observed, will prevent a recurrence of the accident.
According to the rules of the present system a train cannot leave Hull or Ottawa before the conductor has obtained a staff which is locked and unlocked by an electrical arrangement.  Only by deliberately ignoring the system could another collision of two trains occur between Hull and Ottawa.  The Pontiac train still continues to back in from Hull to Broad Street station, but, by the new arrangement there is little or no danger of an accident.

 - BOAL HAS GOT AWAY TO STATES Drove to Russell...

 - , I He-then LETTER OF BOAL GOT v BY POLICE Hull...

 - ACKNOWLEDGES HIS GUILT. Operator Says He Was...

 - Said Boat Is Arrested. Toronto, March 19. A...



( no date ) In the afternoon and evening of May 21st more than two hundred friends gathered at the home of Mr. and Mrs. R. M. Boal to honor them, on the occasion of their fiftieth wedding anniversary. Messages were received from the Prime Minister of Canada, the Hon. John Diefenbaker, the Premier of Ontario, the Hon. John F. Robarts, Mr. George Doucett, MP for Lanark and Mr. G. Gomme, MPP for Lanark. Mr. Boal the oldest son of Mr. and Mrs. William Boal was born near Pakenham. (Cedar Hill)

When a young man he, went West and homesteaded at Davidson, Sask. After a few years he returned and married Miss Letitia Foster of Ramsay. Their love for Lanark County proved to be strong, for after eight years at Deux Rivieres they returned to reside at Cedar Hill and later in Pakenham. During this time Mr. and Mrs. Boal took an active interest in Community affairs. Mrs. Boal has been a keen worker in her church and in the Women’s Institute. Mr. Boal served as Reeve of Pakenham Township for thirteen years and also as Warden of Lanark County. Among the remembrances received was a table with a vase containing fifty golden roses. The tea table was decorated with yellow roses, yellow tapers and centered with a three-tiered wedding cake. All arrangements for the celebration was by the courtesy of the Cedar Hill and Pakenham Branches of the Women’s Institute.

Another Harvey Boal in Almonte–

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Almonte Man Fatally Crushed by Heavy Door – (1958)–ALMONTE, August 28. – (Special) – Harvey Boal, 41, of Brae street, Almonte, was crushed to death Wednesday when a 6,000-pound door he was helping install in a bank vault, tipped and pinned him by the stomach against a wall. An employee of Howard Davey, local building contractor, Mr. Boal died in Ottawa Civic Hospital two hours, after the accident. Carman Denny and Alex Spinks were on one side of the seven-foot door and Mr. Boal was on the other side when it I slipped off the roller and pinned the victim against the wall. Twenty men were unable to move the door. He was freed half an hour later by jacks obtained at nearby service stations. Mr. Boal was conscious while pinned against the wall. Attended by Dr. 0. Schulte, he was removed to the Rosamond Memorial Hospital by Kerry-Scott Ambulance where he was given first aid and then taken to hospital in Ottawa. OPP Constable Ross McMartin investigated the accident. Born and educated in Ramsay Township, he was a son of Stanley Boal and the late Mabel Miller. He attended Almonte Presbyterian Church. Mr. Boalserved overseas with the Canadian Army during World War II. He was a member of the Almonte Legion. He is survived by his wife, the former Ellen Green whom he married in 1942. Also surviving are a son, Bill, 15; three sisters, Mrs. 0rville Abbott (Luella), of Brockville; Mrs. Clare Syme (Ione), of Ramsay township, and Mrs. Clarence McInerney (Jean) of Minden. Ont. The body is at the Kerry-Scott Funeral Home, Almonte.

ome and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place and The Tales of Almonte

Money, Dance Marathons, and Living in Lion Cages—The Ups and Downs of Luna Park

Money, Dance Marathons, and Living in Lion Cages—The Ups and Downs of Luna Park

I began to write this piece as a tribute to Victoria Day and some how the more I read about Luna Park that was once located on the Aylmer Road the more obsessed I got. It upset me that something that was so creative and wonderful disappeared after years of upheavals and the memories are now just part of  the pages of Lost Ottawa“.

Chances are if you were lucky, mom and dad might bring you on a traditional Victorian Day picnic as this was the norm in days gone by. There was no shopping for flowers to plant in the garden– it was a family day– and you probably celebrated together whether you liked it or not.

If Dad wanted to do something special he might drive the family for an outing at Britannia on the Bay just outside of Ottawa. Travelling at 20 miles an hour would take you a couple of hours to get there mind you–but it’s not like you had social media to keep up with. (Weekend Driving- Smiths Falls Franktown and Carleton Place 1925)


 Postcard from Lost Ottawa featuring a fine Sunday Outing to Britannia on the Bay circa 1900-05.Shared by Laura Stewart. I added the Ottawa Journal clipping.


While the flappers danced to rambunctious jazz music in the 1920s and the Ziegfield Follies were a hit with your ancestors, something so amazing was created for the Ottawa Hull region.  Luna Park opened in Val Tetreau in 1925 and was the brainchild of H.F. Blackwell of Lowell, Mass. who created the park with an investment of $500,000. He installed many symbols of the new free thinking decade and one feature was a giant wooden roller coaster.

There was much interest in roller coasters in those days and some estimates state that between 1,500 and 2,000 coasters existed during this time period, an astounding figure even by today’s standards. The roller coaster built specifically for Luna Park was called The Deep Dip.  It was designed and built by Keenan, Addison, & Pearce, but sadly they took down the remains and used the wood for civic repairs in 1937.


Photo-Lost Ottawa 

Many attribute the spread of “the amusement park” in North America at that time to Frederick Ingersoll and his family as he opened Luna Park in Pittsburgh. It was the first amusement park to use one of the names made famous by the amusement park in Coney Island. All of a sudden there was a surge of “electric parks” that opened in the United States and Canada and Luna Park was about to open in Aylmer.



The newspapers said the management “left nothing undone” and Luna Park opened May 22, 1925. It was one of the most  ambitious amusement parks ever constructed–but the parks financial dilemmas began quickly. It was said that H.F. had a world of experience in the amusement park business, 18 years to be exact, and had also been one of the organizer and manager of Parc Belmont in Montreal. But, like the roller coaster, it was all up and down with finances and the city of Hull.

There was the world class swimming pool with a sand beach on each side with parasols, palm trees, and probably a great place to scope out the local beautiful women. A membership to the swimming pool was only one dollar for 9 weeks, and after that time frame you had free entry to Luna Park and its aquatic marvels and attractions.



Blackwell’s financial problems probably began with his costs of opening Bellevue Park in Trois Rivieres. That particular park lasted only one season in 1926 and the overhead was astronomical.There was no way Blackwell could stay afloat with his losses.

One theory is that Blackwell made the mistake of holding the grand opening of Bellevue Park on a sacred Sunday seemingly mocking the faith of that time. In the 50s there were still few drive in theatres in Quebec as the priests deemed them ‘dens of sins’, so you can imagine Blackwell opening on a Sunday in the 1920s was considered a threat to common decency.

At the Municipal Council, Proceedings of the Municipal Council of Trois-Rivières, June 7, 1897: Citizens complain that young people gather between 8:00 and 10:00 in the evening and “engage in serious excesses”.  (Municipal Archives of Trois-Rivières)


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal02 Oct 1925, FriPage 9


The pious folk began a public smear campaign against Blackwell and he was forced to close the Bellevue Park barely a year after it opened.  In Le Nouvelliste (June 28, 1928) it said: “As a result of pressure from the clergy, the management of Bellevue Park decided to close the dance floor and turn it into a roller skating rink.” The article ends by saying: “Those who will visit Bellevue Park in the future can be assured of enjoyable and enjoyable amusements.

Even after a quick August move to another location, Bellevue Park closed and never reopened. Like an aftershock the Aylmer Luna Park too fell into tough times and Blackwell walked away after just three years of its operation.


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal13 May 1927, FriPage 19


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal06 Sep 1928, ThuPage 1

In 1929 William Conboy took over the defunct park after managing Erie Beach (which was right across from Buffalo) for 18 years. For 12 more years Luna Park was alive thanks to the city of Hull who had taken it over and added a zoo because of Conboy’s fascination with animals. He had weekly spots on local radio discussing the behaviour of wild animals and Billboard wrote that for five more years Conboy made a heroic struggle to keep Luna Park going.


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal16 May 1929, ThuPage 3

A bizarre and little-known fad emerged across the land and it was called: dance marathons. Beginning in 1923 as light-hearted competitions of endurance, dance marathons eventually transformed into something rather dark and exploitative. Contestants, who were often in dire financial straits, were given shelter and meals as long as they kept dancing, with a substantial cash award for the last couple standing.

Rules varied from event to event, but many competitions allowed each dancer to take brief naps and bathroom breaks as long as their partner continued dancing. This allowed the marathons to stretch on for days, weeks and even months — as exhausted dancers vied for prize money while event promoters charged gawkers an entrance fee to watch.

Many cities, aghast at the humiliation of marathon dancers and concerned for their safety, passed statutes outlawing dance marathons.-– (with files from Mashable)

Luna Park was no different, and on many occasions the dance marathons brought in the local police.  Conboy even had “an in” with local RCMP Inspector Charon and on October 6, 1933 over 200 students protested the dance marathons and were met with the local police forces and their hoses.





Clipped from The Ottawa Journal13 Apr 1938, WedPage 2

Luna Park had varied historical notations after its prime years that few know about. In the late 1930s it became a local sanctuary.  After a fire at Notre Dame de Lorette in Val Tetreau in 1938 temporary housing for school children was found at the old roller skating rink and dance hall of Luna Park which was now fully owned by the city.

What is ironic is temporary masses were also held at Luna Park,  but not before Archbishop Forbes blessed the site and gave permission for masses to be held there. Maybe if the priests had blessed the site when it opened it would not have had such an unlucky history.

After serving their country for the long, horrible years of WWII former soldiers wanted only to re-establish their civilian lives and set up households with their families. The return of more than a million Canadians to peacetime life created a housing demand that the private sector could not meet. Wartime housing in the 1940s was in dire straights in the Hull area and the former lions cage in Conboy’s zoo in the park became home to families in need. (Heritage Minutes)


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal16 Dec 1944, SatPage 22


Luna Park finally became known as Moussette Park officially in 1939 named after the Hull Mayor Alphonse Moussette. The mayor had always supported local parks but it was said that his fascination with the past of Luna Park was another reason. But, it was an amusement park no more, and through the years everything disappeared one by one leaving only the roller skating rink and a playground.


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal25 May 1942, MonPage 3

Even in the best of times, amusement parks are chaotic, occasionally ugly, and full of danger. But when they are abandoned, or lost in time, their history becomes tragic. The iconic name “Luna Park” is still used by dozens of amusement parks around the globe and Parc Mousette is still located in the Hull sector of Gatineau on the Ottawa River. While the amusement park is gone there are numerous outdoor activities available, such as tennis, basketball, baseball, volleyball and swimming for all ages.

This was not exactly the vision H. F. Blackwell had– but I’d like to think the memories from days gone by are still buried in the sand. They say that behind every amusement park are the fans, and now I too have become hooked on the past of Luna Park. After researching and writing this piece I realize that history moves pretty fast if you are not paying attention. If we don’t stop and look back we are going to miss so much of what once was. To the memory of Luna Park!

H.F. Blackwell-Bellevue Park(1926 – 1926)–Click here





Clipped from The Ottawa Journal25 Jun 1927, SatPage 15


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal06 Oct 1933, FriPage 13


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal21 May 1931, ThuPage 23


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal18 Jul 1938, MonPage 20

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Names Names Names — who do you know?




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Gatineau – 1928 –
Saturday Night in Lost Gatineau. I came across this incredible map of Luna Park beside the Ottawa River between Hull and Aylmer.
Look at all the stuff you could do! Sky Chaser, Merry Go-Round, Roller Skating and “Drive Your Own Car.” Would love to know what the was …
Luna Park was more or less on the site of what is now Morrisette ParK. As a business, seems to have lasted from 1925 to 1928, which is the date of this map.
(Detail of Insurance Map for Hull, 1928. BanQ)
Marie Rhodes