August 27, 2016 · Here’s a major Ottawa corner in January of 1910. This is Rideau and Little Sussex, which is now the southeast corner of Rideau and Colonel By. Sinkhole to the left.This building once housed jeweler James Tracy, the drug store of William Roger, and the Dairy Lunch. Kind of a mini Rideau Mall.The corner would be transformed in 1916 with the construction of the Transportation Building (once the home of the NCC, and once also the home of City Hall).(LAC PA-042564)
The Fest Family
In 1887 on the site of the Transportation building southeast corner of Rideau and Little Sussex streets, there stood a 2and one half storey tin-roofed, solid stone building. That old building, a relic from the 1850s, was occupied by Mrs. William Fest. Her shop was the candy and pastry centre of Ottawa in the 1880s.
Everybody in the 1870s- 1880s in Ottawa knew the Fests. Fest’s confectionery store, at the southeast corner of Rideau and Little Sussex streets, was known to everybody in Ottawa, It occupied the same position in the public eye that Scott’s confectionery on Sparks street did in the 1860s and 1870s. The Fests came to Ottawa from the county Donegal in the late 1860s and opened a confectionery store in the 2 1-2 storey stone building where the Transportation building now stands.
Mrs William ( Pender) Fest in the early 1880s was an indefatigable worker. The Fests attended St. John’s Anglican church on Sussex street. In church work Mrs. Fest was always just as busy as she was in her store. Mrs. Fest was noted for her equable and calm disposition. She always had a cheery word for her customers and was a good judge of human nature. Whenever a new girl came to the store to serve, Mrs Fest would say, “Now, my dear, eat all the candy you feel like eating, but do not take any home. If I find you taking any home I will have to discharge you. It will not be necessary for you to wait till I am out to eat. You may do it when I am present.”
The result of such talks was that Mrs. Fest’s girls, or parcel boys, used invariably to start in to gorge themselves on candy (mostly when Mrs. Fest was not around). The further result was that they always got sick, their stomachs turned upside down and candy became repulslve to them. Thereafter the Fest candy became as safe from attack as though it had not been there. Mr. Fest was seldom seen by the public. He was always too busy at the back making cakes and candies.
|Racial or Tribal Origin:||English|
|Birth Date:||26 Mar 1875|
|Relation to Head of House:||Head|
|Working at Trade in Factory or in Home:||F|
|Months Employed at Trade in Factory:||12|
|Can Speak English:||Yes|
|Sub-District:||Ottawa (City/Cité) Central (Ward/Quartier)|
|Neighbors:||View others on page|
|Household Members:||NameAgeWilliam Fest25Margurite Fest27Margurite Fest5Katherine G Fest2George Fitzgerald29|
Transportation Building — It was incorporated into the Rideau Centre and is heritage designated.
Joy Eastop WatsonNCC was definitely in there, My mom worked for the NCC for 26 years & I remember looking out those big 1st floor windows when the Santa parade went by in the 70’s… Those were also the days when you could open the window and smoke in the office.
Andrew DeBeaupréWasn’t it also known as the Dominion Bridge building before WWII? NCC was there in mid-70s
David TwolanI miss the Elephant and Castle. Great pub.
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