Wall advertisements

A while ago, I started a blog about vanished places in Ottawa (so far only two postings but more are in the works!). After photographing the wall advertisment in Westboro for my PhotoHunter submission last week, I decided to branch out and ad one for wall advertising in the area. Unfortunately, I THINK is may not be worth adding a whole blog as these bits of the past are fast disappearing in Ottawa.

As a matter of fact, I went down to photograph one which was revealed after a fire destroyed a well-known Ottawa landmark, the Tommy and Lefebvre store on Bank Street in the Spring. I saw a photo that someone else had taken, on Flickr. However, they are gone already!

I did manage to get one on Saturday afternoon:

G.A. Snider ~ Photographer, circa 1890

G.A. Snider ~ Photographer, circa 1890

I don’t know much about G.A. Snider. There are a number of fonds at the National Archives of Canada which contain examples of his work. His shop was at 134 Bank Street and then at 123. He lived, I believe, on Rideau Terrace, in New Edinburgh. The rest of the photos can be seen here.

and one this morning.

The former Imperial Theatre amid Bank Street construction

The former Imperial Theatre amid Bank Street construction

The Imperial Theatre, circa 19

The Imperial Theatre, circa 1914

The Imperial Theatre was built in 1914. It closed in 1955 and was eventually reopened as Barrymore’s, a music venue.

Original Imperial Theatre facade with painted wall sign.

Original Imperial Theatre facade with painted wall sign. (circa 1937)

In case you are interested, the theatre was showing “Forty Naughty Girls” with Zazu Pitts (1937) and “Men Are not Gods” with Miriam Hopkins, Gertrude Lawrence, and Rex Harrison (1936).

Interestingly, The Imperial and other Ottawa theatres appear to have ignored the “Lord’s Day Act” as late as 1950 and incurred the wrath of the chairman of the Motion Picture Censorship and Theatres Inspection Branch. He wrote the Ottawa theatre owners:

“the theatres in your city have been used [on Sundays] more than any others in Ontario and in most cases you have ignored our arrangement with the Lord’s Day Alliance of Canada. You are all familiar with the requirements. They are quite simple. You write me for certain forms which are to be completed twenty-one days prior to any performance, and they must be completed in full…From this date should any of your theatres be opened on Sunday for any event, without the necessary forms being completed, I shall ask the Provincial Secretary to deal with the matter”

This one was a smash and grab as I was illegally parked in a dodgy neighbourhood, left the car running while I dashed to the corner, and the parking authority guy was writing a ticket on someone a few feet away. But I managed to get the photos I wanted and not get a ticket or the car stolen!


  1. Eric Darwin said,

    June 18, 2009 at 11:03 am

    There is a ghost sign for “Scharf – grocer” at the corner of Lisgar and Bay, southeast corner.

    Eric Darwin

    • rodionx said,

      June 18, 2009 at 11:14 am

      There’s another one at Gloucester and Bay, on Bayscorner store.

      • mudhooks said,

        June 18, 2009 at 11:26 am

        Not familiar with that one. I will have to check it out. Adding it to the list.

        • rodionx said,

          June 20, 2009 at 6:55 am

          I had another look at the one on Bayscorner. The ghost sign facing Bay reads “Toilet Articles.”

          • mudhooks said,

            June 20, 2009 at 1:31 pm

            OH! Even cooler!

            I HAVE to get out, maybe tomorrow, and do a little photographing. Thanks!

  2. r said,

    June 18, 2009 at 6:40 am

    You think Bank/Gilmour or Bank/McLeod is “dodgy”?

    • mudhooks said,

      June 18, 2009 at 7:02 am

      Yes… Bank and Gilmour is well known as being dodgy.

      • rodionx said,

        June 18, 2009 at 11:12 am

        It is? By whom? I live downtown and I’ve never known that corner to be dodgy. Dirty, yes. Dodgy, no.

  3. alantru said,

    June 12, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    This is great stuff.

  4. RJ Flamingo said,

    June 12, 2009 at 3:38 am

    Just stopped by to say Hi. I really enjoyed seeing and reading about this. I think it’s neat that you want to document these places before they’re gone forever…

  5. Hannah said,

    June 9, 2009 at 9:28 am

    Those are great pictures! Thanks for posting! Ottawa has a lot of interesting history to it and we should try and preserve our heritage buildings as much as possible. Did you hear the rumors about Barrymore’s allegedly being haunted?

    • mudhooks said,

      June 9, 2009 at 9:58 am

      I hadn’t heard that! Interesting addition to the entry, I think. I will research that. I don’t believe in ghosts (maybe they don’t believe in me, either!) but it is part of the grand picture, isn’t it?

      Thanks for your comment. If you have any ideas or something to add, just let me know!

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