Tag Archives: Ottawa

I Tried to be Normal once.. Memories of Flash Cadilac and Life — Linda Knight Seccasina

I Tried to be Normal once..  Memories of Flash Cadilac and Life — Linda Knight Seccasina

Photo- 1983( 40 years)- Written in 2019

I tried to be normal once.. Worst two minutes of my life LOL

Last night I watched The Devil Wears Prada for the 100th time and wondered again why character Andy Sachs put up with that awful Runway Magazine editor. When I got up this morning I realized I too had once been an “Andy Sachs” and today I thanked my lucky stars that I had these “Miranda Priestlys” in my life.

Some of you might not know that once upon a time I had a cutting edge fashion store on Rideau Street in Ottawa called *Flash Cadilac. I designed 85% of the clothing in a store that was featured in many Canadian fashion magazines and an attraction on the downtown Ottawa street.

I could have never opened this store if it had not been for Saul Cohen from the Fine Togs Company in Montreal in the 60s. That man worked me to the bone from 7:30 am until 8 pm at night. Some days I just wanted to walk out of there. But, if it had not been for the ‘education’ from someone who had been in the schmata business for years I would have not learned that stamina, hard work and creativity keeps a business alive. Was I crazy? Probably, but that’s how badly I wanted to learn, and when I became a writer I encountered another ‘devil’ in my life.

I had been blogging for years on an American site that began Julie Powell’s Julia and Julia career. I was a popular blogger, but just not really learning that much. During that stint I met a woman called Elizabeth Coady in Chicago. Elizabeth Coady, was a former Harpo producer, who tried in 1998 to write a book about her time as a senior producer for Oprah. In the end Coady was stopped by the courts, which ruled that her hands were tied by the agreement she signed. So she began a celebrity gossip site and she took me under her wing and I became her lead writer.

If I thought Saul Cohen was tough Elizabeth was 100% worse- and again I wanted to throw in the towel. But, I learned how to write quickly, efficiently and prolifically, and my story links were in USA Today, Huffington Post, Time Magazine and the list went on. I learned for the second time in my life that anything you want badly enough has to come hand in hand with hard work and I thank you Elizabeth.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition-– Steve Jobs

Thanks Amanda Thompson for posting this photo.
Flash Cadilac 40 years ago!!! Holy cow..

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
24 Dec 1983, Sat • Page 36

I Bought Your Grandmas’s Clothes –Flash Cadilac Ottawa

Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac– Chapter 2 –Was it Because I Have AB Positive Blood? Element #1

Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac Chapter 1

Mini Memories of Retail Stores, Au Bon Marche, Liberty Stores, Orientique, and Flash Cadilac 1976

Glitter Shine and Satin – Ottawa Fashion 1978 – Flash Cadilac

The Best Adult Brownie Recipe with a side of the Vice Squad — A Flash Cadilac Story

Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac — A Hello and Goodbye Hawaiian Short Story

Flash Cadilac -Sex Lies and Video Tape?

Stayin’ Alive — Reconnecting With the Friends of Flash Cadilac

Flashy Memories of Pandora’s Box ETC — Oh Ottawa Behave!

Remembering Nash the Slash at The Black Swan Pub

Thanks to Monique for sending in a photo of one of my outfits from my store…
Monique Kischel
Linda Seccaspina This came up the other day – 1977-79 skirt and favourite wide leather belt with brass/gold hoops and links (a staple for 3 decades) 100% FLASH CADILLAC, pretty sure the top was as well.

The Toll Gate at Merivale Road

The Toll Gate at Merivale Road

Warren Foster shares an article about Merivale when it was a toll road from “Hopper’s Corners,” to Carling and Parkdale, and seems to have been in existence from 1872 into the 1920s.

Writes Warren: “The newspaper article that talks about the toll booth on Merivale road, that my great great great grandfather ran for most of his life. My great great grandfather was Alex Dynes, who had a large Yorkshire pig farm on what is now Dynes road.”

The Merivale areas was once known as “Hopper’s Settlement,” I read on the internet, but exactly where the corners were I don’t know.

Lost Ottawa


Your Morning Commute to downtown Ottawa circa 1925 — on the Merivale Road.

Original record doesn’t say exactly where, but middle of nowhere seems about right!

The note at the bottom says “asphalt macadam.” That makes me think that this picture was taken for the Ottawa Suburban Road Commission which was responsible for maintaining road to the city through the townships in those days.

(City of Ottawa Archives CA019368)

Lost Ottawa


Your Morning Commute from Bell’s Corners to Ottawa on the Bytown and Nepean Macadamized Road, circa 1920.

You are going to need 20 cents for this one day pass, one-way pass.

The road in question was Richmond Road and I think the toll got you as far as Westboro. Previously I found out that that toll lasted until 1920, when the road was expropriated by Carleton County.

(LAC e003895338)

Sunday Driver! We’re all about Merivale Road today and here we are on the “outskirts” of Ottawa in 1926 as a gent clears snow with a road grader below Shillington Hill in 1926.

Shillington is just a few blocks south of Carling (and the photo Dave Allston shared earlier).

The gent is operating a WEHR One-Man Power Grader. Look at those cool tracks on the back! And his three steering wheels! One for the actual wheels. The others for the blades, I’m guessing.

(City of Ottawa CA018513)

Cheryl Lacasse

Old Ottawa’s past – forgotten and fond memories

Richmond Rd Toll House – History

(Kitchissippi Times – Dave Allston)


In 1893, Robert Cowley created a new subdivision “Ottawa West” on his family’s farm, years before most development had begun west of Parkdale. Ottawa West was a small plan situated between Richmond and Scott, bordered by Western and Rockhurst.

One of the first structures to be built in the subdivision was actually a toll house. Richmond Road from 1853 until 1920 was a toll road operated by the Bytown and Nepean Road Company, and those travelling west from the city limits of Ottawa into Nepean Township were required to pay in order to use it. Up until 1895, the eastern toll house was situated within Hintonburg (the western toll house was in Bells Corners).

The Company purchased a lot at the western edge of Cowley’s subdivision (there was no intersection at the time; Island Park Drive was still 28 years away), and constructed a modest house for the tollgate keeper, who operated the gate at all times. A small office was constructed in front of the house, extending onto the roadway, and a large bar stretched across Richmond Road to ensure travellers would stop and pay the required toll, which would vary depending on the time of year, the number of horses, and whether the driver was on horseback or in a carriage.

Richmond Road toll house, circa 1911-1912.

Pictured is toll master Richard Bassett and likely his wife.

The Toll Gates of Lanark County on Roads that Were Not Fit for Corpses

Floating Bridges, Toll Gates and Typhoons– Clippings of Billings Bridge

Mary ( Minnie) Elizabeth Jones Born at the Toll Gate

For Whom the Toll Gates Tolled– Revised

Running the Toll Gate on Scotch Line– Mary Scott Reynolds — The Buchanan Scrapbook

Armstrong’s Corners: Cross Roads of History

Rolling Down Highway 15

The Tales of the Klondike Hotel/ Klondike Inn South March Road

The Tales of the Klondike Hotel/ Klondike Inn South March Road

Carol McCarthy Martin

 here is the one photo I have of the Klondike Inn. Please note it was known by both names- Klondike Inn and Klondike Hotel. It was formerly on the March Road.

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada07 Mar 2010, Sun  •  Page 3

by Kelly Eagan

Driving along the March Road the other day after an absence of some months we notice an old, creaky friend is gone. And buried. The Klondike Inn has vanished. Empty for many years now, it had always been a source of exotic speculation, coloured by the odd family story about drink, daring, desperation. Well, we just had to know, didn’t we? Not long after, we are at the kitchen table in a house two doors away, home to the Burke family, the Klondike’s last and longtime owners.

Outside, the afternoon rush-hour traffic is racing by, as high-tech alley unchains its workers for the weekend hands on wheel, blue teeth gritting, we imagine. The road, indeed the past, is under siege. This was once the stretch where the western city gave way to country, where Zarlink and Alcatel faded to cows and corn stalls and split-rail. Now it is all pipes and trucks and steel girders, the opening overture for Sobeys, Pharma Plus and Dollarama. The gold rush finally hit the Klondike, 113 years later, flattening the old girl in the name of progress.

Donna-Lee Burke is the unofficial family historian. With bits of archival material and family memory, we piece together the Klondike’s story. In 1870, there was a hotel on the same site, corner of March and Klondike roads, owned by a John Turner. It was lost to fire and rebuilt in pale red brick, opening in 1896 and licensed two years later. It seems to have had three names in its day: the Bytown, the Klondike Hotel, the Klondike Inn. In its early years, it had a wrap-around porch, giving it an air of grandeur.

This undated photograph shows the November to make way for new stores there was wood trim and fancy banisters. Its name suggests sawdust floors and fortunes lost at all-night poker, but hunters, trappers, loggers, tradesmen, short-hop travellers, railway men, were more its bread and butter. Donna-Lee says it was built with three layers of brick, about 50 of which she kept as keepsakes. It was three floors and consisted of large principal rooms on the main floor with a massive kitchen at the back. On the second floor, there were six or seven bedrooms.

Family legend has it that a certain John A. Macdonald once darkened the door. Before the modern era of travel, South March was considered a stopping point for horse-drawn travellers heading west a day from Ottawa, a day from Arnprior. So a collection of taverns grew up, so many that “Whiskey Road” and “Whiskey Town” were names attached to an intersection not far from here. The Klondike came to be owned by the Scissons family sometime before 1913, a family related to the Burkes by marriage. (In fact, Ken Scissons, 82, an Arnprior resident, says three of 10 siblings in his family were born in the Klondike.

Since then, it has been used mostly for storage, though Donna-Lee said the Burkes, for compassionate reasons, let a poor family live there for eight years without paying rent. With the imminent expansion of March Road from two to four lanes (six at intersections), the Klondike’s days were numbered. Moving it would have been difficult, if not impossible, and renovations would have wildly expensive. Demolition seemed the only reasonable option.

On Nov. 21, in a five-hour flurry, the building was torn down. It had no heritage designation. Across the street, the old March House restaurant sits on a new foundation, set back from the street. The building and a lovely stone one it is is to be preserved and given a new assignment. With the Klondike gone, it will live as an orphan, just as the road is losing its sense of long ago, a place of exotic possibility. Progress, for all its advantages, suffers this great flaw: it arrives with a ruthless predictability, place-less, bored at what came before. Contact Kelly Egan at 613-726-5896 or by e-mail, kegan(g)thecitizen.canwest.com

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa JournalOttawa, Ontario, Canada30 Apr 1898, Sat  •  Page 5

How the “Klondike” Hotel at South March Got Its Name

A lot of people in Ottawa have heard of the old Klondike Hotel at South March, but few have likely heard how the hotel came by its name. Burned in the fire of 1870, the old John Turner frame hotel was made over, bricked and reopened in 1897. Mr. Turner gave a party to his friends to celebrate the reopening. Somebody suggested that as the hotel was virtually a new one, It should have a new name. Suggestions for names were called for. A lot of names were offered.

As might be supposed, some were foolish, and some were quite unsuitable. Most of the names were discarded by ‘ unanimous vote. Names began to run low. Finally a man who was going to the Klondike rose and offered the name “Klondike.” He said that as the Klondike was full of gold, It would be a good omen to use that name. It might ensure Mr. Turner’s pockets being always full of gold. The idea took like hot cakes. Quickly the name was adopted. The name took with the public. At that time the Klondike was in everybody’s mouth. Its fame as a goldfleld was becoming widespread. In the years succeeding 1897 the Klondike was a popular hostelry.

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa JournalOttawa, Ontario, Canada03 Oct 1952, Fri  •  Page 2

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa JournalOttawa, Ontario, Canada12 Apr 1907, Fri  •  Page 9

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa JournalOttawa, Ontario, Canada01 Apr 1899, Sat  •  Page 12

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa JournalOttawa, Ontario, Canada04 Jul 1929, Thu  •  Page 3

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada17 Jun 1902, Tue  •  Page 7

The Mystery of the Pump Handle — Gatineau Road

The Carp Flour Mill Fire 1991

The Suckers of Carp — Johnston Family

The Carp River Floating Bridge

The Lanark County “Carpetbaggers”–Lanark Electric Railway

I Bought Your Grandmas’s Clothes –Flash Cadilac Ottawa

I Bought Your Grandmas’s Clothes –Flash Cadilac Ottawa

The Flash Cadilac Burlap Bag, thanks to Wanda Jane who sent it all the way from California( see below)

I Bought Your Grandmas’s Clothes

I learned some valuable lessons during my initial employments. One of the most important things I noticed was never let your paramours be involved in your business. I watched short-duration girlfriends be allowed to become fashion buyers and awarded free living quarters for their unqualified work. Eventually, the boss realized running a few residences could drain his finances quickly and make or break any future retail developments in mind.

Sometimes when the girlfriends, aka buyers, were ceremoniously dumped; the style direction their stores took was disastrous. But then again on rare occasions, a change in buyers every few months kept their styles current and fresh. But I watched them as I hemmed pants, and loved it when a few clever ladies brought in recycled clothing to sell.  I was impressed that it was made so well that the inside looked almost as good as the outside.

In the 70’s vintage clothing began to evolve, and some of the cool stores I went to in NYC like Reminiscence on MacDougal Street mixed surplus and vintage together to create a unique fashion style. There was such an upsurge in the vintage fashion trends that Caterine Milinaire and Carol Troy came out with the great book called Cheap Chic in 1975. This particular book, considered a fashion Bible is worth almost 100 dollars if you find it and re-sell it today.

When I opened my store Flash Cadilac, there were very few thrifts stores in Ottawa except for The Salvation Army, Ste. Vincent de Paul, and Neighbourhood Services. Local vintage fashion stores included: “Yes We Have No Bananas” on Elgin Street, Paddlin Maddlin’s, and Ragtime on Bank Street, and of course my friend Catherine Landry’s shop’s “Pennies From Heaven.”
The quest for good vintage finds in Canada was sparse and I used to go to Flushing, N.Y. and buy 500 pound bales of “silks” which cost me 50 cents a pound. The first time we bought such a bale we crushed the roof of the rental car we were driving when the forklift put it on top of the car. We had no clue about customs forms, and when the agent at Ogdensburg, N.Y. didn’t want to deal with us, he sent us to Prescott Ontario.

Arriving at the Prescott border the agent looked at us and the load on top of the car we had just driven 12 hours with and dryly said,“Ya got forms for this?”We had no idea that all commercial products brought into Canada needed forms and duty had to be paid.Needless to say the Canadian customs also made us cut the compressed clothing bale open. I don’t think I need to tell you what 500 pounds of compression looks like when it’s finally free. Three trips to the Canadian customs office on Carling Avenue and 10 station wagon trips later made from Prescott, N.Y. to Ottawa– we learned about importing the hard way.

At that point fashionistas were just beginning to realize that vintage was just not wearing old clothing. The fabrics and quality of vintage clothing were better because they were all made here. Gradually through the years what’s old is new again and today’s malls seem to contain stores of endless disposable clothing. When I was a child of the 50’s my mother used to say, “you dress appropriately because nobody likes an eyesore”.  After all Grandma didn’t wear Pink stretch pants that had the word “Juicy” plastered across their rear ends.

The Flash Cadilac Burlap Bag, thanks to Wanda Jane who sent it all the way from California

I was pretty naive when I opened the store in 1976. Ordered 5000 bags from a salesman thinking they would be in customers hands in a month. LOLOL

Had no idea they werebeing made in India and they took the slow boat to China back to Ottawa. Little over a year later they arrived. Boxes and boxes and boxes… and yes we had to go to customs to pick those up too.

Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac– Chapter 2 –Was it Because I Have AB Positive Blood? Element #1

Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac Chapter 1

Mini Memories of Retail Stores, Au Bon Marche, Liberty Stores, Orientique, and Flash Cadilac 1976

Glitter Shine and Satin – Ottawa Fashion 1978 – Flash Cadilac

The Best Adult Brownie Recipe with a side of the Vice Squad — A Flash Cadilac Story

Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac — A Hello and Goodbye Hawaiian Short Story

Flash Cadilac -Sex Lies and Video Tape?

Stayin’ Alive — Reconnecting With the Friends of Flash Cadilac

Flashy Memories of Pandora’s Box ETC — Oh Ottawa Behave!

Remembering Nash the Slash at The Black Swan Pub

Never on Sunday —- Billings Bridge Vs. Store Hours 1955

Never on Sunday —- Billings Bridge Vs. Store Hours 1955

Lost Ottawa· 

How the Billings Bridge mall looked in Ottawa South in 1954.

Shared by Victoria Edwards, who found it on a site that features pictures of shopping plazas across Canada.

According to the site, Steinberg’s arrived in 1962.

(Picture seems to have come originally from the City of Ottawa Archives)

November 1955

An interim injunction, restraining merchants in the Billings Bridge shopping center from remaining open after the regular 6 p.m. closing hour, -was denied yesterday by Senior County Judge A. G. McDougall. As a result the six shops in question remained open until 9 o’clock last night, and will remain open again until that hour tonight. Assistant City Solicitor Donald D. Diplock told The Citizen today that the city’s next legal move will be made in Toronto before a justice of the Ontario Supreme Court.

In the meantime Ottawa’s downtown department stores are considering a plan to remain open in the evening from Dec. 20 to Dec. 30, something that has not been done in the past 15 years. On Wednesday night Eastview Council amended a bylaw which will in future permit shops in that municipality to stay open until 10 o’clock every Friday night the year round. v Mr. Diplock, referring to the city’s next move, said that an interim injunction against the Billings Bridge merchants will be applied for at Osgoode Hall (Toronto) “sometime before next Thursday”. If it is granted it will have the effect of keeping the stores from staying open after fi p.m., pending hearing of an application for a permanent restraining order which would come before the January Assizes here. In hearing yesterday’s application Judge McDougall was sitting in the capacity of local Judge of the Ontario Supreme Court. In that capacity he has the power to grant an interim injunction where an emergency is proven by the applicant.Hp ruled, however, that in this case the city had failed to prove the existence of an emergency as interpreted by law.

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa JournalOttawa, Ontario, Canada26 Nov 1955, Sat  •  Page 14

Good old Charlotte Whitton

WON’T HELP AT OPENING OF LOBLAWS City Hall sources revealed today that Mayor Whitton has “found it impossible” to accept an invitation to officiate at the opening of the new Loblaws store at the Simpsons-Sears shopping center. The Mayor participated al Loblaws openings at Billings Bridge and oti the Montreal Road. The assumption now, however, is that she is “strongly displeased” with Loblaws because of the fact that the firm is among those who have Insisted on remaining open after hours on Thursdays and Fridays at the Billings Bridge shopping center. November 1955

Sharon Stewart

There was a little restaurant in there to the left of Loblaws at one time. I was taken there (without my siblings) for a treat (e.g., a sundae) after singing in a concert or playing in a piano recital

Donna Claire Ager

Sheila – Mom wheeled Rick and me to the opening!

Claude J. Leduc 

Steinberg’s Opening ad 1962 (in French from Le Droit)

Photo-Claude J. Leduc  Flikr

Elizabeth Elton

My mum walked back and firth across Billings Bridge to get her groceries at Steinbergs three times a week in the 1960’s. Twice she was part of a promotion where they took her cart of groceries and bought the same things at Loblaws and compared prices.then put the numbers and her photo in the paper. The second time they told her in advance!

Wendy Wickware Conway

I remember the mall too. We used to walk there from Heron Park, down Clementine to Ohio(formerly Creek Street) then when we got to Bank we had a very narrow path along Bank just past the old church above the creek. We had to hold on to the roadside cable connected to the white and black highway posts to get by as there was a steep drop to the creek. The trampolines were such fun. I remember the stores mentioned as well as Fairweathers and The Davis Agency. We could listen to 45’s in a little booth there. They would play a 45 once for you to see if you liked it. Oh and there was a Fishers Men’s wear store too.

Kathy Wesley

yes it was never all enclosed the way it is today. As you say, in and out of each store and having to keep taking your coat off and on again going into and out of each store. I used to walk there from where we lived near Bank St and Heron Rd and it was about a 20 minute walk. and Bank St was one lane going each way.

Glenn Clark

I remember this format very well when I was a child. Notice the row of trees below the parking lot. This was Sawmill Creek before it was relocated east of Bank Street. At the bottom of the picture is a rectangular building. This was the Orange Lodge that is now a clothing store. Just above that building is another clump of trees. It would be interesting to really blow that part up. This was the location of a fairly large monument remembering Wesley Hull who died in the Boer War. When Riverside Drive was twinned around 1960, the monument was put into storage for almost 40 years. It can now be seen in Hawthorne Cemetery on Russell Road.

Click here…

Did Charlotte Whitton Live in Carleton Place?

Floating Bridges, Toll Gates and Typhoons– Clippings of Billings Bridge

Larry Clark Memories : Billings Bridge, Willow Trees and the Orange Lodge

The Bakeries and Frame Houses of Lower Wellington Street – Aitkenhead

The Bakeries and Frame Houses of Lower Wellington Street – Aitkenhead

This was the store and express headquarters of the late Jasper Jessel Hitmore, on the north side ef Wellington street near the corner ef Lyon in the block which will become new government building and courts. In the 1870s this house is one of a type which represented Wellington street as it used to look between the forties and seventies. In the picture are seen (left to right) James Wigmore, Mrs. Jasper Wigmore. Jasper Wigmore, “Dad” and James Currell, who worked for Mr. Wigmore. 

Ottawa in color on lower Wellington street around Pooley s bridge was a regular beehive of Industry. Moreover, it is the story of bread that essential of life. In Ottawa prior to the Introduction of dough machines. It Is the story of the old Ottawa, bakers.

The narrator is Mr. George J. Aitkenhead of Omaha, Nebraska, started his apprenticeship as a baker with his father in the 1870s went to Ottawa in the early 1880s, where he engaged in the same with R. E. and J. C. Jamieson, one of the leading bakery firm of period, whose place of business was on the south side of Wellington street, just west of Pooley Bridge. In later years Mr. Aitkenhead was in business for himself on McLeod street. George Aitkenhead was born in Glasgow, Scotland when young Aitkenhead (he was twenty-four then) landed in Ottawa with but $2 50 in his jeans and no immediate prospect of work. For several days he tramped the streets the Capital in search of employment, having in the meantime secured temporary lodgings at the home of Mr. Joseph Pageau on Lett street. Finally, after many discouraging calls, tempered with many kind ad- monitions not to be discouraged, he landed a job with the Jamieson firm.

Aitkenhead Bakery deliveries- lower end of Wellington street Ottawa from the Aikenhead photo collection of which I preserve.

He worked in the shop twelve hours a day for seven dollars a week. Young Aitkenhead found that Canadian and Scottish bakery methods were considerably different and that the laws pertaining to the same were also different. In Scotland the bakeries had only been run in the daytime. He found that here, on the contrary, all bakers worked at night. He was obliged to report at twelve midnight and remain on the job until noon the next day.

When Mr. Aitkenhead left Scotland, the bakers were still kneading the dough with their hands. He found the practice the same here in that respect (machinery did not come in till about 1887). But things were different in styles of bread manufacture. For instance in Glasgow and other parts of Scotland, pans were not used and the loaves were laid side with the side of each loaf being greased with lard to make it part easily. The result was a series of loaves, with crust only on the tops and bottoms. In Ottawa the only loaves that were anything like Scotch ioaves were the so-called “split loaves,” or twin loaves, which had crust all over except on the parted side. 

Then, too, the bread ovens in Scotland hsd stone bottoms. In Ottawa the bottoms were made of brick. Many people in those days liked bread baked on oven bottoms (not tins and as a consequence the bakers turned out what was known fancy or scone bread). The “twist” loaf, pointed at each end, and the cottage” loaf were popular styles. The “cottage” loaf might best be described aa a small round loaf on top of a large round loaf.

One of Mr. Aitkenhead’s recollections of the lower end of Wellington street the 1880s and nineties is one which my come as a surprise to the younger generations. In those days the high cliff overlooking Wellington street south of Pooley’s bridge sheltered a collection of buildings– allof which were frame.

These buildings housed Samuel Johnson’s blacksmith shop. Robert Lennox’s carriage ship, the family of John Atkinson and last, but by no means least, that dear old person of revered memory John Lucy, who kept a stationery store, Ottawa division of the C.P.R.; and the corner of Lett and Wellington was the home of Fred. W. Carling, then a clerk in the employ of the Carling Brewing and Malting Company, whose works were on the southside of Albert street, adjoining the old Orand Opera House.

Aitkenhead homes- lower end of Wellington street Ottawa from the Aikenhead photo collection of which I preserve.

In those days William A. Jamieson conducted a drug store on the south side of Wellington, at the corner of Commissioner, which was well patronized by the farmers on their way to and from the market. Next to Jamieson ‘s drug store was James boots-Marshall’s shoemaker shop, Post office of which was the meeting place of the, sound advice to all and then Jamieson’s bakery and next to the bakery was the home of Dr. H. P. Small. A few doors up the street Tom Kennedy kept a small hotel and the balance ot tne block tended to stray from the straight and narrow path.

These houses used to make Wellington street form a dangerous bottle neck at Pooley’s bridge, so a good many years ago City Council bought the property, swept the buildings away and widened. Many of the old buildings which stood in the block on Wellington street between Commissioner and the bread shops move to different locations.

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada15 Nov 1907, Fri  •  Page 4

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada08 Nov 1905, Wed  •  Page 1

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada10 Oct 1936, Sat  •  Page 2

Craig Shouldice–The first Aitkenhead to come to Canada was David Aitkenhead, in 1886. He was married to Elizabeth McInnes and had 10 children, 4 of whom died young. Two of his sons were George as mentioned here and Robert, who opened the Aitkenhead bakery in Almonte. I think David was the original owner of the Ottawa bakery. I have a picture somewhere of him standing in front of his delivery van and store. George married Rhoda Donovan, his sister Margaret married Rhoda’s brother John Donovan.

Hog’s Back Falls Ottawa –Aitkenhead Photo Collection

How to Make a Vintage Apron- Aitkenhead Photo Collection

The Aitkenhead Family at 20 Frank Street in Carleton Place

What do the Darou Family of Bakers and Minnie the Hooker Have in Common?

Documenting 28 Frank St, Carleton Place

What Happened to the House and Family on Frank Street –Part 1

The Aitkenhead Family at 20 Frank Street in Carleton Place

Before there was Baker Bob’s There was The Almonte Bakery

Wondrous! The Woodcock Bakery

Roy Woodcock Photo -Woodcock’s Bakery

Photos of the Orange Parade Almonte 1963 — Name that Band?

“A Woman was not a Person in the Strictest Sense of the Law” — Rev Dr. Findlay -Manotick –1899

“A Woman was not a Person in the Strictest Sense of the Law” — Rev Dr. Findlay -Manotick –1899
The Lanark Era
Lanark, Ontario, Canada
19 Apr 1899, Wed  •  Page 1
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
18 Apr 1899, Tue  •  Page 3

The Kingston Whig-Standard
Kingston, Ontario, Canada
18 Apr 1899, Tue  •  Page 1

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
31 May 1899, Wed  •  Page 8
A Short History of Knox Presbyterian Church, Manotick Ontario
The completion of the Rideau Canal saw settlements in Nepean, Osgoode, Gloucester and North Gower.  Many of the workers on the canal were stone masons from Scotland and the settlement of some of these people formed the nucleus to establish Presbyterian Churches.

In 1846 a recognized congregation was organized at Long Island; the cemetery is on the River Road, not far from the locks.  By 1875 the congregation had grown to such a size that they decided to build a larger church – and closer to the village of Manotick.  A red brick church was erected in 1877 on what is now the vacant lot on the south side of Bridge Street at its intersection with Long Island Road.  This building was demolished in 1951.
The present Presbyterian Church on Mill and Dickinson Streets was built on land donated by Thomas Cummings and opened in August 1926.  An addition was added in 1986 that included a balcony, offices, Christian Education rooms, washrooms and updated kitchen facilities.


What was the social amusement that the congregation did not care for ?

A young woman has a perfect right to propose marriage, to a young man according to the decision of the Presbyterian church whose members listened last night to an energetic debate on the subject by four of its members. The negative end of the argument failed when its church supporters tried to urge that a woman was not a person in the strictest sense of the law as she could not sit in the senate. The decision was won by the affirmative, however, owing to the masterly argument put up by its defendants, two women of the parish. The remainder of the evening was spent in games.


It’s Hard for Women to get into Office in Carleton Place — 1974 –Mary Cook
The Hurtful World of Women in Politics– Christa Lowry
Documenting the First Female Councillor in Carleton Place
Ana & Mia: The Lemony Unfresh World of Anorexia & Bulimia
Dedicated to Those That Were Once a Keane Big Eyed Kid
Women “Bobbed” for Having a Bob 1923
Women Arrested for Wearing Pants?

Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac– Chapter 2 –Was it Because I Have AB Positive Blood? Element #1

Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac– Chapter 2 –Was it Because I Have AB Positive Blood? Element #1

Was it Because I Have AB Positive Blood? Element #1

 I was told by my doctor once that 10% of the world’s population has AB Positive blood and it’s where I get my “oddness” from. Funny, I never thought I was odd! All I knew was I didn’t want to end up in the military like my Father had daily visions of. It had come to his attention many times that I was different, and I stuck out like a sore thumb in my rural hometown in Quebec. When your father is a prominent municipal fixture, and the only electrician in town, word travels around like a bush fire that your daughter is weird or a character as they called me. Honestly, there are lots of people like myself, and then there are those that pretend not to be.

Catherine Landry ( Pennies from Heaven, Ladies Who Lunch) Me, Diane Woodward (Diane Woodward Art) and Wanita Bates ( Citizen Journalist, CBC, award winning author) at the store when it was on the ground floor where Le Chateau used to be on Rideau

My friend Wanita Bates said something once that made complete sense to me after all these years.

‘Linda, some of us have gifts to feel what is going to be in style, and you and I are one of them.” When I had my store I was way ahead of fashion trends, but when major retailers grabbed on to it and money making was involved–I was long out of it. 

So after heated arguments with my father, I left home and headed to Montreal, Quebec. I attended fashion design school on Bleury Street where I became instantly bored. Instead of great 60’s fashion and styles that I was expecting my teacher made me make pattern after pattern of 1950’s styles. After classes, I would venture into store after store, just absorbing the culture and the fashion.

After almost completing my course, I decided I needed to find a job. Well Twiggy, Mary Quant, and all the Carnaby Street styles were afloat and guess who was wearing them? My Dad was getting remarried and gave me $75 dollars to buy something for his wedding. Being the drama queen I purchased a black velvet Twiggy mini dress and a black floor length Dr. Zhivago style coat. It was a real floor duster with black faux fur trim, and Omar Sharif would have been proud.

Militmore Road, Bromont, Quebec. There I was in that Dr. Zhivago Midi coat circa 1968?? that was supposed to be the end all to me getting a job. Like the manager of Bill Blass in Montreal said to me that year,
“Kid get yourself another coat if you want a job!”
My how things have changed

So when I went for job interviews I insisted on wearing the same “ultimate”outfit I wore to the wedding. Most clothing manufactures were not into the “Carnaby look” yet and I was told time after time, “Kid, get yourself another coat”. In layman’s terms I was scaring all these fashion people with my wardrobe. Defiant, I kept wearing it. A few weeks later I got my dream job. It was working for trendy Le Chateau on Ste. Catherine Street hemming pants. It was their first store, and their clothing styles were worn by anyone who wanted to be someone. I was right up their alley– or so I thought.Sadly, I only got to work there for about 6 months, as I was basically hired for the Christmas rush. In those few months I got to meet the Montreal trendsetters, wore “Gabardine Mod” pants, and so began my lifetime eating disorder. But, it was a time I will never forget, and believe fashion has never been so exciting. Just being able to sneak into the Boiler Room on Crescent Street and watch fashion happen was mind blowing.For some reason only known to God, I was just not ‘cool” enough to work as a salesperson in their store, and rent had to be paid. In the middle of the coldest winters ever I hauled my derriere all over the Island of Montreal looking for a job.

I finally found a job at The Fine Togs Clothing Co. It was a childrens manufacture run by Blossom and her husband Hy Hyman. Actually Blossom ran the company and Hy smiled a lot and played golf. They thought I was a spunky kid and if I had stayed there, I would have probably be retiring from the company about now. They were good people.

If my grandmother Mary was my foundation for my hard working ethics, then Saul Cohen was the drywall. He expected me to arrive at 7:30 every morning and I had to ask to leave around 7:45 pm at the end of the day. The man worked me to the bone, and I just chalked it up to experience. I worked in the cutting department, sewing, swept floors, did book work, and worked in the show room. There was not one stone that he did not make me turn over, and turn over again.’Sauly” was relentless, and when he found out that my Mother had been born to a Jewish Mother  he made sure I knew about my heritage. Anytime I asked to leave early he would turn around and say to me,”Do you know how our people suffered?”.Enough said.

One day he decided that I was ready to represent the company selling their clothing line at the Place Bonaventure clothing mart. He told me I had to have, no, must wear, something conservative.So I did what every other girl my age did. I went to Sears and bought “The Suit”. It was navy blue, a box jacket complete with a knee length pleated skirt. I had red shoes and red earrings to match. That was the last time I wore something so conservative. It just wasn’t me.

I applaud Saul for everything he taught me and how someone actually got me into something that wasn’t black. Word got around the clothing market about me and I was soon hired by a competitive children’s wear company run by Palestinians. Yup, I was no peace maker between the people of Israel and Palestine, but this was a time I will never ever forget.

Patricia McCoy

Hey Linda, what a blast from the past! I still have my unique, favourite top from your store.

Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac Chapter 1

Mini Memories of Retail Stores, Au Bon Marche, Liberty Stores, Orientique, and Flash Cadilac 1976

Glitter Shine and Satin – Ottawa Fashion 1978 – Flash Cadilac

The Best Adult Brownie Recipe with a side of the Vice Squad — A Flash Cadilac Story

Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac — A Hello and Goodbye Hawaiian Short Story

Flash Cadilac -Sex Lies and Video Tape?

Stayin’ Alive — Reconnecting With the Friends of Flash Cadilac

Flashy Memories of Pandora’s Box ETC — Oh Ottawa Behave!

Remembering Nash the Slash at The Black Swan Pub

Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac Chapter 1

Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac Chapter 1

Saturday I posted this picture of Wanda Jane–originally from Ottawa, originally from Disco Viva, and now of California. She used to shop in my store in the 70s and Saturday was the first time we had seen each other in 47 years. So I decided Im going to put my book about my store online. Im getting older and I want none of you to forget that its okay to be yourselves.. and sending big hugs. Keep the message going..#beyourself

Chapter 1- ‘Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac.

To Dan Webb who got me to write these stories.

Self Employed? Even though I’m a Jedi, I’m Not Invincible!

Friday, Jan 16th, 2015.

“Hi, my name is Dan. I just saw your post on the Facebook Lost Ottawa group. You spoke to my Small Business Management Class at Algonquin College back in 1996. A speech we all never forgot. Just wanted to say Hello!!”

As I read the Facebook message again I was amazed people remembered me. After all, I had opened my business before the internet surge, and most of my customers were on the verge of forgetting everything, like myself. Two weeks previous I had actually found the speaking engagement itinerary from Algonquin College along with the complimentary pen they gave me. As my eldest son said,

“Keep the pen Mum, it could be a collectors item one day.”

I remembered the hour-long speech and cringed. Speaker number 5 was my position between the Second Cup Business Franchise and the students ‘nutrition break’. It was a tough slot to be in. I wanted to be different, so I remember walking in lip-synching to Aretha Franklin’s “Respect”. Knowing that Maureen Donnelly would not have done anything similar in her discussion previously about car dealerships; I figured I walked alone. The 50 odd business students sat before me with their mouths open after that entrance, and I immediately told them that if they wanted to hear how glorious owning a small business was that they should have invited Corel’s Michael Copeland. I patted a front row student on the shoulder and told him,

“Honey, don’t think you are going to get rich, as there ain’t no Love Boat dockin’ at the retail port anymore.”

Relentless, I continued to tell them a small business was like a giant Mousetrap game, and to make sure all your balls run smoothly so you don’t get trapped financially. My entrance to life in the business sector began inside the very first Le Chateau store on Ste. Catherine Street in 1967. Again, I asked the bewildered student how old he was that particular year. I told the crowd if I had to do it all over again I would have stayed in school– but most teachers in High School thought I was a taco short of a Mexican Combination Plate. There was no choice for me but self-employment, as who in their right mind was going to hire me. The trail of life had to be forged on my own like Reece Witherspoon in the film “Wild”.

I offered those gullible students some really great business advice like: if your store becomes successful, don’t let your 83 year-old senile Grandfather become the floorwalker, as he is libel to make people nervous. Or, never rent the former premise of Marvel Beauty School, as it’s going to take awhile to get the perm smell out of the place. Remember if a Chinese restaurant next door has a fire, you are most certainly going to deal with a lingering smell, and a wall full of water pockets. Some how I related to them that a burgeoning store owner uninterested in their customers was like a sad mime, and then went off on a tantrum on how I hated mimes. Anyway, the rent was right, and so began Flash Cadilac in 1974 on a budget of $1500.

Who else would instruct these young impressionable business students that making a big sale was like stages of phone sex I asked myself? I believed I described it as, “getting in there quietly, and building the momentum until you get that big orgasmic sale.” Explaining to them that my initial customers were from the gay community, the Rocky Horror crowd, and strippers from Pandora’s Box made their mouths drop. Never become a statistic I said.

I advised one young man that his dreams of opening a chain of stores should be dashed unless he had a relative in each town. The staff in my Toronto Yonge Street store were dealing drugs out of the store at 3 am and even my alarm system wasnt catching them. I lamented how business gets tough, and the only way I could sell things after the Rideau Centre opened, was if people could smell I was losing my shirt on Betsey Johnson apparel.

The most important message I repeated three times: even if you rent from family get a lease, and ads saying “find me behind the yellow line” really means I am truly behind a yellow duct tape line.

No matter what I went through, I stressed my customers throughout the years were my family, and we became a community. I always encouraged my fellow local business people, and never trashed local musicians that made it big like Alanis Morisette. Insisting, after a local backlash, complete with stickers, that said we had to “give the bitch a break”.

I never gave up, never became mainstream, and never looked back. If you can’t be true to yourself and like what you sell—well, what’s the use? Never ever regret what you do! Before they opened a business I said in closing, do research, make sure your finances are in check, study hard and graduate, and always believe in yourself. In my best Yoda voice I smiled at them and said:

“Adventure, excitement-a Jedi seeks not these things.”

Because of Dan and the public response on the Facebook group “Lost Ottawa” I decided to reminisce about Flash Cadilac in words. In years past I would not go near any mention of the store as it hurt too much to go down memory lane. It’s amazing how you get into a mindset that what you did for decades had nothing to do with you, but in reality, it will always be part of Ottawa’s fashion history.

Mini Memories of Retail Stores, Au Bon Marche, Liberty Stores, Orientique, and Flash Cadilac 1976

Mini Memories of Retail Stores, Au Bon Marche, Liberty Stores, Orientique, and Flash Cadilac 1976

David Ellis–Downtown Sherbrooke’s Au Bon Marche at the corners of King & Grandes-Fourches Streets in the 1960’s

Liberty stores in Ottawa came to Ottawa from the Eastern Townships in Quebec.

Another person I owe who I am today is the late Morty Vineberg from Au Bon Marche in Sherbrooke, Quebec. I learned the retail trade from the bottom up from him, and to this day, if there is a spot for just 50 items, and I have 300; I can whip that into shape as fast as you can say “bargain designer clothes”. In those days you took pride in your work, listened and worked hard, and you learned from those that knew.

How do you explain to kids today that’s how life was? You don’t– you had to be there.


Memories of Au Bon Marche in Sherbrooke. 1969? –This was an ad for the Sherbrooke Daily Record for Au Bon Marche..Me on the left and the other model on the right– my fellow friend and Au Bon Marche employee Pauline. Worked at Le Chateau and manager of The Knack in the store. Where do those years go? Miss my Sherbrooke years and Au Bon Marche. Cherish what you have today because they disappear..

1982 flood in Sherbrooke Quebec . Le Chateau was part of Au Bon Marche as you can see the Le Chateau sign on the building.

It was 1972, and I was being transferred from Au Bon Marche in Sherbrooke, Quebec to their new Liberty Stores in the old Bingo Palace just after the Cummings Bridge in Ottawa — which connected Rideau Street to Montreal Road in Vanier. The Vinebergs, who were the owners, were taking a big chance on opening that store as gossip said Ottawa people did not cross the bridge into Vanier.

1896 Cummings Bridge

The first wooden bridge over the Rideau River was constructed in 1836 by Charles Cummings, rebuilt in 1845, and replaced in 1890 – draws settlement to the area that will become Vanier. Many merchants and civil servants take advantage of the opportunity to move out of Ottawa’s Lowertown, already densely populated. Janeville is founded in 1873, followed by Clarkstown some 20 years later. In 1909, the Ontario government merges the two settlements with Clandeboye to form the village of Eastview.

And so I was transferred to the other side of the bridge and I lived at Pestalozzi College. read-I Lived in Pestalozzi College – Life in Ottawa 1972


Liberty Stores Montreal Road Vanier

Liberty Stores 1974 – I think the gal’s name on the right was Brenda.I managed Le Knack

Liberty Stores 1974 – I think the gal’s name was Brenda.I managed Le Knack

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
02 Apr 1980, Wed  •  Page 79

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
29 Apr 1978, Sat  •  Page 9

I only worked there a few years. If remember correctly I left because there was just a lot going on at that store in Vanier and actually developed a bad case of retail anxiety.


Six months later I was working for the Orientique Company as a merchandiser and was thrilled to be working with a great couple, Irwin and Wendy Kruger that had all these neat stores in Ottawa, Toronto and Windsor. As my friend Connie said: Crinkle cotton skirts, batik printed bohemian wrap around skirts and Jesus sandals! (soaking them in water to mold them to your feet and of course) and Tie Dye Shirts. The scent of Patchouli forever in my memory.

After that it was off to open Flash Cadilac on the second floor at Rideau and Dalhousie

Ready-Steady-Go! Dear Sheila- 1976

Dear Sheila,

I am about to open within the next two weeks, hopefully. I have had a lot of issues getting a Vendor Permit because the landlord was doing renovations in another part of the building without a building permit. So Ange got mad, and that is all it took, and we are about to open. We also had to file for a Health Permit because I am selling recycled clothes. Yes, they have to check the cleanliness of your washroom to be able to sell anything that is not new. I am so excited, we have a 9:30 am appointment with the Mary Quant cosmetic rep tomorrow.

You remember how I used to wear her makeup all the time in Montreal when I worked in Le Chateau years ago. I still remember the day she was at the Oglivy store on Ste. Catherine Street and I shook her hand. I think it was even better than when I grabbed Paul McCartney’s hand in Seattle!I was telling Ange that we have set it up just like Biba was like in London, but I will never be a Biba!

I have just added a huge Japanese-style round table with seating pillows in front of the change room. This is what have so far:

Ray Straight-Leg Jeans

Old Fur Coats

Recycled Dresses

Cozy Sweaters



Russian Flowered Shawls with Fringe

Gauze Embroidered Tops


Hanes Hosiery


Recycled Suede Purses and Vests

Ballet Shoes

Mary Jane Chinese Shoes

Ballet Leotards and Tights

Japanese Fans

Paper Wallets

Feather Boas

Fur Boas I make out of Fox Tails

Cigarette Holders

Ladies Pipes

I would love to carry Laura Ashley too, but, wonder if it would go with the things I have. My dream is to go to San Francisco and touch Gunne Sax clothes designed by Jessica McClintock! I am going to put a dancing girl (with clothes on of course) in the window Thursday and Friday night to draw attention. Randy, the hairdresser has offered, but I think I will pass.

If you didn’t know Randy the hairdresser acrossthe hall that was another story LOLOL

Driving into Rideau Street

The early 1970s was a cruel time for Ottawa’s locally-owned department stores. Familiar companies, which had serviced Ottawa residents for generations, seemed to fall like nine pins, replaced by national chain stores. Freiman’s on Rideau Street was bought out by The Hudson Bay Company. Murphy-Gamble’s, the grand old lady of Sparks Street, became a Simpsons. Meanwhile Eaton’s moved into the Ottawa market, launching an anchor store in the new Bayshore Shopping Centre in Nepean. But perhaps no loss was felt as badly as the closure of Larocque’s, the Lowertown emporium that catered primarily to Ottawa’s francophone community. On 11 September 1971, the Ottawa Journal revealed that the venerable store, a fixture at the corner of Rideau and Dalhousie Streets for more than fifty years, would be closing its doors for good at the end of the year. Staff had already been given their notices. It was the end of an era. Read more here click

Hidden Creeks, the Bywash and Sinkholes

Documenting Mr.and Mrs. William Fest Transportation Building or—I Want Candy