Boarding Houses in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, in 1881

Painting by Ruth McMillan in 1976
Shows the Head of the Rideau Canal Locks in Ottawa, Canada in 1893

 January 1, 2003:
Boarding House #1
Here is the 1881 Census data for household number 323. It appears to be a boarding house or a hotel in Wellington Ward in downtown Ottawa. The inhabitants of this building comprise an interesting mixture of ethnic and religious backgrounds. Most of them were not born in the Ottawa area. The owner of the boarding house / hotel is a barrister named Henry Clarke. The tenants are a mixture of Civil Servants, a "manager", a conductor, two clerks and housekeepers. There don't appear to be any mill workers from Lebreton Flats although the lumber mills were Ottawa's largest employer at the time and this residence was within walking distance. By 1881, the process of urbanization and industrialization in Ottawa was well under way and this establishment may be an example of the living accomodations available to young people starting out. Most of the tenants are single and in their '20's. There is one married couple who have a daughter. In 1881, a Saturday night in this building would have been interesting! A quick search through the 1881 City of Ottawa Directory at the National Library would enable us to pinpoint the exact address. 1881 Census Place: Wellington Ward, Ottawa, Carleton County, Ontario, Canada Source: FHL Film 1375865 NAC C-13229 Dist 105 SubDist A Div 1 Page 72 Family 323 Name Sex Marr Age Origin Birthplace Occ Religion Henry CLARKE M M 46 Irish Ireland Barrister Free Thinker (Clark) Maria CLARKE F M 39 Irish Ontario Church of England George C. CANNINE M 23 Scottish Scotland (CANNON) C. E. Church of England Alex NANNERANAN M 28 Scottish Ontario Conductor C. Presbyterian Allen AULT M 24 German Ontario Clerk C. Presbyterian Angus G. MORRISON M 30 Scottish Ontario C. E. C. Presbyterian Thomas C. WATSON M M 38 Irish England Civil Service Church of England Lila WATSON F M 27 French England Church of England Lucile WATSON F 2 Irish Quebec Church of England Emma L. GRAHAM F 21 Irish Ontario Housekeeper Reformed Episcopal James HACKETT M 28 Irish Ontario Clerk Church of England Charles MALONE M 27 Irish Quebec Catholic James MCANDREWS M 25 Irish Quebec Catholic Harvey MULLIGAN M 24 Irish Ireland C. Presbyterian Hugh ARNOLD M 17 Irish Ontario Catholic Sidney MILLS M 18 English USA Church of England James GLOVER M 25 English Quebec Church of England David WELLS M 43 English USA Manager Presbyterian Erring BELAIRE M 21 French USA Bookkeeper Catholic James MABEL M 21 Irish Ontario (MABLE) Catholic (Continued) Census Place: Ottawa, Carleton, Ontario, Canada Source: FHL Film 1375865 NAC C-13229 Dist 105 SubDist A Div 1 Page 73 Family 323 Sex Marr Age Origin Birthplace Continued from Henry Clarke Name Sex Marr Age Origin Birthplace Occ Religion James W. JONES M 18 Irish USA N. G. Methodist James DAWSON M 20 Scottish Ontario Church of England Lizzie DONNELLY F 25 Irish Ireland Catholic Mary A. ROBINSON F 22 Irish Ireland Catholic Catherine TAIT F 38 Irish Ireland Catholic Michael DESERMA M 22 French Quebec (DESORMEAUX) Catholic Matilda MASON F 18 French Quebec Catholic John BURNS M 15 Irish USA Catholic William BISHOPRICK M 21 English Ontario Catholic Apostolic Catherine KILDUFF F 22 Irish Ontario Catholic Sarah BRINIONS F 35 Irish Ontario (BRINTON) Methodist Bridget QUINN F 22 Irish Quebec Catholic Emma STREART F 29 Irish Ontario(STEWART) Catholic Ross DODD M 38 Irish Quebec Methodist Annie WELCH F 16 Irish Quebec (WALSH) Catholic Grace M. TURNER F 23 English Ontario Methodist Elizabeth CONNOLLY F 22 English England Catholic Ellen TURNER F 24 Irish Ireland Catholic
Boarding House #2
And here's what seems to be another boarding house, run by the young widow Mary Taylor. This boarding house is in the same neighbourhood as the one above. Also interesting - there are no labourers listed but the occupations include more diversity. These folks are skilled workers. Census Place: Wellington Ward, Ottawa, Carleton, Ontario, Canada Source: FHL Film 1375865 NAC C-13229 Dist 105 SubDist A Div 1 Page 69 Family 309 Name Sex Marr Age Origin Birthplace Occ Religion Mary TAYLOR F W 31 Scottish Ontario C. Presbyterian Walter TAYLOR M 9 Scottish Ontario C. Presbyterian Jane WARD F 26 Scottish Ontario C. Presbyterian Leslie MORGAN M 21 Irish Ontario Boot & Shoe Methodist Albert MORGAN M 22 Irish Ontario Boot & Shoe Methodist William H. LEWIS M 29 Irish Ontario Clerk Church of England John BUCHMAN M 22 Scottish Ontario Carpenter C. Presbyterian William FRASER M 17 Irish Ontario Methodist Findley MCNAUGHTON M 29 Irish Ireland Carpenter C. Presbyterian William MCCULLOUGH M 28 Irish Ontario Saddler C. Presbyterian Henry P. HOWELL M 19 German Hanover, Germany Traveller William PITTARD M 29 English Printer Methodist James ARMSTRONG M 22 Irish Ontario Clerk Church of England Christine MCDERMOTT F 25 Irish Ontario Seamstress C. Presbyterian William COSCORAN M 25 English England (CORCORAN) Church of England

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