What`s in a name? Andrew Fleck
A Gift to Lowertown:
Shannon Ricketts - There was a day when working mothers were frowned upon. Only the most desperate, whose husbands had died or were incapable of supporting their family, resorted to leaving their home to find paid employment. Then, as now,"the question was how to find a safe place for their pre-school children? The response was the beginning of the day care movement. The earliest-known purpose-built day care in Ottawa is still very much in use at 195 George Street, just across from the Metro grocery store.
What’s in a Name: Heney Street
Pronounced HEEney, this street was laid out in early surveys but was not named until after the four cemeteries were closed. Early reminiscences talk about the heap of sand that remained there after the bodies had been taken out for burial elsewhere. City and private contractors apparently used the sand for road-making purposes.
John and Mary Ann Heney with children, 1879The street is named after John Heney (1821-1909), a man with a long association with Lowertown.
He was married in 1849 at Notre Dame on Sussex and attended the meeting convened to create St Brigid’s Parish in 1888. Over the decades, he built a reputation as a prominent local entrepreneur. On arrival in Bytown in 1844, he produced shoes and boots in the York Street workshop of the Protestant John Heney. By 1849, he had his own business, eventually with a shop and a house on Sussex Street. In 1868 he started supplying cordwood to heat the Parliament Buildings and built a company that supplied coal and then oil for furnaces up to the 1970s. No surprise that he became an alderman for the City of Ottawa in 1857 and served in this capacity until 1887
For some Lowertown residents, the tall apartment building at 160 Chapel will always be associated with an era of hippies and “sex & drugs & rock & roll.” But when construction of the 22-storey cooperative college and residence was announced in 1969, it was promoted as a positive social and educational experiment.
Named after Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (1746-1827), a Swiss educational reformer whose motto was “Learning by head, hand and heart”, the college’s aim was to support development of all aspects of a person. The emphasis was on group learning through participation in activities that supported intellectual, moral and physical improvement. In addition to providing housing, the facility provided spaces for subject matter such as history, literature and philosophy as well as artistic activities including photography, dance, ceramics, video and music.
Go here for a brief outline of historic Lowertown and the mandate of the Heritage committee.