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June 01, 2014

Christopher Ryan: Loafing Around on Gladstone (the Enriched Bread Artists building)

A weekly feature by Christopher Ryan, a local photographer, blogger and researcher.

Sure, the scent of bread has long since disappeared from this southeastern corner of Hintonburg, but its former source has been put to good use. Image: May 2014.

Unlike a number of other cities around the country, there is very little of Ottawa’s industrial heritage standing. Though I am lucky enough to work in one Hintonburg example, aside from the Chaudiere complex, there is precious little which still stands. Of what does, the appearance of a wrecking ball does little to raise the same objection that it does at a Victorian redbrick.

Nevertheless, one of the few industrial survivors in the capital is the former Standard Bread Factory, now home to Enriched Bread Artists. Standard’s new factory was officially opened at Gladstone and Loretta – or as it was then known, Oliver and Bethany – on January 31, 1925 to much acclaim. On that day, newly-elected mayor J.P. Balharrie (uncle to Watson) ceremoniously pushed the button and set the wheels in motion. I have uploaded the four-page spread that appeared in that day’s edition of the Ottawa Journal here.

Had that sign been preserved it would no doubt be featured in a large number of Instagram accounts. I know I would have. At least we have this historical aerial to view. Image Source: geoOttawa, Aerial Photographs (1958).

The factory itself was the design of Canada’s reigning monarch of bread factory design, Syndey Comber. Though it it perhaps much less grand a design than Toronto’s Ideal Bread Factory, the Standard Bread factory on Gladstone served the city well and has stood the test of time.

(See more on our blog from Christopher...)

See also: Ottawa Art Guide
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