I could have used the photograph in this first shot for this month's aging theme. It is placed in the Ottawa Room, and dates back to 1898. The view is from a building that stood where the Government Conference Centre now stands, on the east side of the Rideau Canal. My search through fire insurance maps from the era was for the name of this building; it was likely the original train station that stood here, one that predated the construction of the building, which dates back to 1912. The photo itself has similarities and differences to the view from this area today. The two bridges you see here merging here, Dufferin and Sappers Bridges, are no more; there was a reconfiguration of the roads here, and Plaza Bridge replaced them. The building at the left was the main Post Office of its time; the National War Memorial stands now in its place. The building to the right of Sappers Bridge is still there- it's the lockmaster station for the Ottawa Locks. Parliament Hill lurks in the background, but this dates back to before the 1916 fire, which destroyed the Centre Block at the time. While the East and West Blocks closer to the street were untouched by that fire, only the Parliamentary Library, at the extreme right of the photograph, survived the destruction of Centre Block itself.
It is not possible to get into the Government Conference Centre for a comparison shot- the only time in the past for the public to access it has been during Doors Open, but the building is undergoing work as it will be a temporary home to the Senate during renovations on the Hill in the coming years. For comparison to then and now, this view is by the Canal below the Centre, a short distance south of the bridge, taken last summer. The Centre Block of today is most noticeably different from the one in 1898 by the presence of the Peace Tower and its distinctive clock. Plaza Bridge is also higher than Sappers and Dufferin Bridges were. The foundation stones of Sappers Bridge can still be found along the west walkway, beneath the bridge.
And this view on the north side of the Conference Centre was taken last spring. Dufferin Bridge, if it was still here today, would be starting below where I was standing, and down near the level where those women are walking.