Tuesday, September 8, 2015

From Past Into Present

Some of you will know Linda from her blog Linda's Peaceful Place. She was doing a search on historic Montreal for her blog and came across a picture dating back to 1953 here in Ottawa, and sent it onto me. It's the old Auditorium, a hockey arena that once stood here in the city before being torn down.

I did some looking around online to see where it might be so that I could photograph the current location. It stands along Argyle Street downtown, between O'Connor and Metcalfe, where today the YMCA stands, serving as an athletics facility, community centre, and social support agency. This is the view today.

Linda also sent me this period picture on Sparks Street, dating back to 1956. Back then cars were still allowed on the street. That movie theatre is long gone, replaced by a bank. The street has changed, but the Hardy Arcade is still there, its sign now embedded on the wall of the building. Yousuf Karsh had his portrait studio in the Hardy Arcade at the time. I've matched the first photo up with a current look at the buildings.


  1. I love how you presented these photos, William, it is so cool to see the difference from then and now! :)

  2. A vastly different era William but interesting to see that the Hockey Arena still remains a place for activity - albeit of a different kind ... and has not been turned into a multi-story office block.

  3. The evolution of life makes us not want to go back, but ...
    The slow time say that his memory was better and saddens us. (One spanish said).


  4. That is funny to see the old pictures. I like the views how things have changed over the years.

  5. I love seeing the changes in places like this. Great comparison images

  6. Love the old black and white photos. And your header.

  7. Oh I enjoy seeing before and after photos of cityscapes. So much change, some good and some bad.

  8. It is very interesting to see the great change of the same building, before and now.

  9. I prefer the old buildings they have character and old stories to them ! Thanks for sharing , Have a good day !

  10. @Linda: thank you!

    @Cloudia: thanks!

    @Dianne: we've got too many of those around.

    @Tomas: a good saying.

    @Marianne: looking at the Sparks Street one, it occurs to me how much of the core has lost movie theatres.

    @Revrunner: so do I!

    @Mo: thank you!

    @Whisk: thanks!

    @Deb: thank you!

    @Pamela: with the second one, once I saw Hardy Arcade, I knew pretty much where it had been taken. I took a similar shot during the buskers festival from that angle.

    @Nancy: it certainly is.

    @Country Gal: thanks!

  11. There's very little left from 1956 from that famous street. Nice work.

  12. I love the photo comparisons! Looks like a lot has changed.

  13. It is such fun to see these old shots! And then compare with today.

  14. Many changes, not always for the better!

  15. It's always interesting to see the changes in streetscapes.
    I've been to Sparks St and I must say, there are more people walking it in your picture than I ever saw!

  16. Interesting! I like photos from the past like these ones.

  17. Times are a changing. Nothing is for ever. My house where I lived from birth until I got married is now a high-rise apartment building.

  18. Great to see those older pictures William. Interesting about Karsh, I thought he lived and had his studio in a hotel perhaps it was when he became more famous..

  19. I love then and now photos. Such a great piece of history!


  20. This was a fun journey Linda sent you on. I enjoyed the before and after photos very much.

  21. i love the older. always enjoy old roots.

    i would hope the Pony Express guys would b honored by all the plaques, etc. i hope? ( ;

  22. @Red: some, but a lot on that street has changed.

    @Tamago: especially on Argyle Street.

    @Norma: thank you!

    @EG: it is a creative way to post, with historical and contemporary shots.

    @RedPat: I wonder what someone from sixty years ago would make of the changes.

    @VP: not always!

    @Hamilton: it depends on the time of day and year. It's exceedingly busy these days around noon.

    @Lauren: thank you!

    @Marleen: me too.

    @Andy: I wonder how long the house I lived in will be there.

    @Geoff: he was here for many years, but later on he moved his studios to the Chateau Laurier.

    @Janis: indeed!

    @Shelly: so do I.

    @Denise: thanks!

    @Beth: the older buildings still stand out well against the new.

  23. Seeing what places used to look like compared to today has always been so fascinating to me.

  24. I love this! I've always loved seeing how cities change and grow over time.

  25. These are wonderful. It's always a lot of fun to look at things "back then" and compare them with how they are now!

  26. Then and now photos are always interesting, especially when you're familiar with where they were taken.

  27. Each period, the city will change. Fortunately, we are now wiser, and not immediately unloaded something old out.
    But it is nice to look at before and now -photos

  28. Nicely done! Very interesting seeing the before and afters. Progress of a sort!

  29. Loooove these kind of comparisons William.. those old b&w's are beyond fabulous!

  30. I looove them too and you've just reminded me that I have a few to post but I need to take the modern pics first. These are way cool!

  31. @Lois: things change!

    @Meradeth: in some ways, this city changes significantly.

    @Lowell: it is!

    @Kay: that's true.

    @Orvokki: it is.

    @Jennifer: true!

    @Grace: they are.

    @Ciel: thanks!