The City expanded geographically, economically, and physically as workers and government employees increased.
Populations in Bytown and other cities were expanding, although Bytown had one of the larger expansion rates between 1841 and 1851 census takings, with an overall increase of 149 percent. Toronto increased during the same period by 116 percent, and Hamilton increased by the largest margin – 315 percent! Bytown had the largest population increase between 1851 and 1861, with an increase from 7760 residents to 14,669, an increase of 189 percent.
With the increasing population, the types of workers and artisans were also diversifying. From the City Directories of Ottawa, 1861-1871, the types and numbers of advertisements increase and show change and diversity of services available.
Necessary to build and support a growing city, the trades and services in the early 1860s supported the expansion of the Parliament buildings, and other structures. Such trades include:
Stone cutters, carpenters, lock masters, insurance, lumber merchants, shoemakers, labourers, cabinet makers, blacksmiths, gas fitters and plumbers, tavern owners, clerks, land surveyor, civil engineers, grocers, a postmaster, Banks, goldsmiths, butchers, coopers, pump makers, gun smiths, harness makers, lawyers, booksellers, a homeopathic physician, pharmaceutical chemist, tinsmith, teachers, contractor, bookkeeper and printers, hair dressers, hotels, dentists, insurance companies, watchmakers, mills, the Prescott railway, tailors, a music store, photographers and carpenters.
Title/description: Her Majesty’s Theatre, before 1867.
Creator: William James Topley , photographer
Date: [before 1867]
Identifier: Credit: Library and Archives Canada / Topley Studio Fonds / PA-012584
The contemporary perspective of the change in Ottawa by the year 1861 was focused on the many new private and public buildings erected, and improvements made, such as:
- New wing of St. Joseph’s College; the church of England Schoolhouse and the new goal buildings
- New buildings in Spark’s Street replaced those destroyed by fire in Spring
- Dr. Grant’s residence on Rideau Street
- Building and launch of a new steamboat, the Victoria
Government buildings’ progress was noted as ‘satisfactory’ and ‘not a single man was discharged from work; all ‘applicants connected with the stone trade were employed and for fair wages.
The City Directories for 1864 and 1865 show the lumber trade and masonry made up a large portion of Ottawa’s businesses.
Within this set of years, there was an increase in advertisements for merchants, hotel owners, bookkeepers, clerks etc. Therefore more hotels to be constructed, which supported the building tradesmen. Ottawa also had many social clubs, such as literary societies, natural history societies, temperance societies, sporting clubs, Masonic groups, horticultural societies and a museum.
Title/description: Victoria Hotel, sketch from Frank Leslie’s Illustrated News
Identifier: Library and Archives Canada / CA-000141
While Ottawa was still in many respects a rough lumber town, the construction of public buildings, such as the jail and Post Office, and the emergence of cultural and academic societies, illustrate that the city was becoming a more “refined’ urban area.