As we await the opening of the OTrain, after one more delay, it’s good to look back to the time when Ottawa streets were filled with the clatter of trolleys and the clanging of their bells. Sandy Hill was served by two lines, Bank-Rideau and Somerset-Laurier route that looped around Charlotte St. Ottawa’s streetcar system, known as the Ottawa Electric Railway (OER) operated between 1891 and 1959, first as a private company and then by the City after 1948. In this 1950s photo two cars have just passed each other on Rideau about where the OTrain sinkhole was. The map of the OER routes is from 1948. Will 2019 be the year Sandy Hill will once more be served by rail? If I had my way the OTrain bell will echo the one of the long ago OER.
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- Masthead • December 2018