Ottawa City Directory 1861-2 (A Boyd & McDonald company directory.)


Cat No.:   CA0191:

Here is an early directory of Ottawa / Bytown published by Boyd & McDonald. It advertises itself to contain, ..the names and residence of the Citizens; also, a subscribers Business Directory, classified according to trade. Examination seems to indicate that it also contains the names and addresses of business who were not subscribers. As usual, however, the listing contains primarily the male population who have attained the age of majority and the widows. Listings for widows frequently give the deceased husbands given name. There are a few spinsters identified, and female names are given for businesses whose owners were female. There are a few Mrs. designations but nowhere near enough to account for the wives of all the men mentioned so we conclude these were married ladies living on their own.

At first one might be surprised at the limited size of this directory but the city of Ottawa / Bytown at this time had not gobbled up the surrounding villages of New Edinburgh, Billings, and Bells Corners or the townships of Nepean and Gloucester. The areas included are: Victoria Island, Lower Town, Centre Town and Upper Town. Another consideration of the city's size is that this was the period following the timber boom, so that many of the transient workers in that trade had moved on, and before the city actually became the seat of Government with the consequential influx of Politicians and Civil Servants.

Notable, but characteristic of the time, is that there are no street numbers given for addresses, only a reference to a nearby cross street or some other identifying feature. One can only speculate that in order to find the dwelling of a particular individual you would have to arrive in the vicinity and then question passer's by as to the exact location of dwelling of the person being sought. Or could it be that everyone was in the habit of hanging out their shingle?

The directory's listings identify Boarders as well as Householders and Business Proprietors. The majority of the entries also indicate the individuals trade or profession, including those identified as Labourer.

This directory has been scanned to make it text searchable using the Search or Find functions of the common PDF interpreter applications such as Adobe Reader (compatible with V4 or above, V6 or higher recommended.) We have provided a free downloadable sampler of the book on our Downloads web page.

We are indebted to the Historical Society of Ottawa for kindly loaning us this early directory so we could reproduce it for you on CD. Please join with us to thank them for their public spirited generosity in allowing us to make this valuable book more accessible. Another successful Archive CD Books Canada cooperative project. Also thanks to the Bytown museum, who house and maintain the Society’s book collection, for their cooperation.

You can also reach the Sampler by clicking on the following link Sampler

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No. of CDs is:  1 ;   Format is:  PDF ;   Searchable?:  YES;

FastFind:  No;  ISBN No.:   1-897338-63-5;