Sunday, August 14, 2016

Faces From History

These items in one of the cabinets at the Bytown Museum caught my eye.

Another display had busts of two Fathers of Confederation, John A. Macdonald and George-Etienne Cartier, the former our first Prime Minister and the latter one of his closest political allies and co-premier before Confederation. I have no idea what Lex Luthor was doing there. Or was that Captain Picard?

The assassination of Thomas D'Arcy McGee, the Irish born statesman and fine orator, another member of Parliament and Father of Confederation, is featured here. McGee was a close friend of Macdonald, and among the relics here is one you might recognize from a previous theme day- a casting of his hand taken after his death. The gunman took him from behind while he was coming home from debate in Parliament late one night. A man was hung for it, but there have always been questions about the case.

There are three cabinets here that show the progress of time. These are models of the city centered around the Canal. The first, in 1832, shows very little in the way of settlement. Parliament Hill back then was Barracks Hill. The second cabinet shows things as they were in the 1850s, with quite a change- particularly on the east flank of the Canal where Lowertown was spreading out. The third gives us a look at the city during the time of the reconstruction of Centre Block on Parliament Hill, around 1918. In each of these cases, you might notice the large pool in the Canal (not so large in the last case). That basin no longer exists, but appears to be roughly where Confederation Park is today.

One of the Gallery rooms featured works by a contemporary artist. This first view is from the terraces over at the Museum of History, giving us a look across the river to the Ottawa skyline as it is at present- complete with construction cranes working on the Hill.

This is a familiar view to me- the artist painted from the perspective of the top of the Canadian War Museum, looking east towards the city core.

And this last painting is close to the Bytown Museum's location, as if the artist is on a boat on the river, looking up at the empty Ottawa Locks of the Canal.


  1. So much attention to historic detail in this museum. The models are amazing.

  2. Interesting topic. I do like the paintings that were done.

  3. The paintings are magnificent.

  4. Belas imagens e as pinturas são soberbas
    Um ótimo domingo
    Um abraço

  5. I went to D'Arcy McGee high school in Montreal. The building is now condos.

  6. i think that is cool how you got a picture within a picture. you included. my mom has very similar photos of our relatives in those tiny picture frames, so cool. such history. nothing is like it use to be. i enjoyed it like that in those days. ( :

  7. Interesting information about the past. Have a fabulous Sunday!

  8. A lot to take in. So glad it is preserved for all to see.
    I love the one where you are featured taking the photo!


  9. One museum contains much of our important Canadian history. I wonder if the extra guy in the second photo will make it with some the key figures of our country?

  10. @Janey: I thought so.

    @Gemma: it is interesting to pick out differences over time.

    @MB: the artist has talent.

    @Bill: I agree.

    @Gracita: thanks!

    @Jackie: I hope the building still retains its character.

    @Beth: thank you.

    @Nancy: thanks!

    @Janis: it is quite a collection.

    @Red: I think he's far too disreputable!

  11. Nice cameo! How Hitchockian of you. : )

  12. I like that old camera in the first shot! By Jove, I think I saw an extra relic in one of those photos!

  13. That last painting really drew me in!

  14. Wow! Having been on the Rideau I find that final shot mesmerizing!

    I suspect you are somewhat Picard, and a smidge of Lex Luthor too :)

  15. @Tex: I could have added Professor X to the mix.

    @SRQ: Hitch would approve.

    @Lowell: quite different from current day cameras.

    @Linda: me too. The artist has talent.

    @Cloudia: my British accent could use a little work.

  16. Huge growth in the city over 20 years in the first 2 pics of Ottawa.

  17. I often wonder what might have happened to all the artifacts that are unsaved! Museums are amazing snapshots.

  18. Thise are really interesting dioramas showing the change over time.

  19. I love looking at models and maps of towns showing how they've grown and changed over time.

  20. William, did you do an unintentional selfie?

  21. @RedPat: it was a booming town by the time Queen Victoria selected it as a capital.

    @Jennifer: they certainly are.

    @Furry Gnome: knowing the city as well as I do, it's interesting to see what's still there, and what's changed radically.

    @Debs: these had a lot of detail.

    @Norma: I'd have preferred not to be in the pic, but there was no way to hide me!

  22. Amazing. You sure spend time taking pictures inside these buildings.

    To-day was a nice day outside compared as the last weeks. Heat waves. . Did you have any storms out your way. A lot of Tornadoes in many areas.