History of Ottawa's Brickyards

William Rowland's brickyard, Prescott Highway ( Prince of Wales Drive ), 1879

Wednesday, April 20, 2016 - 19:00 to 20:00

Brick was an uncommon building material in the Ottawa area until the building boom that crested in the early 1870s.

Brickworks for the Ottawa market mostly developed along the banks of the Rideau Canal and River in Ottawa, Nepean and Gloucester where suitable clay was available in abundance and the canal itself facilitated transportation into town. Due to the rising cost of lumber, bricks were increasingly used for house construction by the early 20th century. Building contractors and local capitalists expanded the industry and even began to tap the Montreal market, but never approached the productive capacity of the largest Toronto or Quebec firms. The local yards eventually were bought out by external interests or were expropriated by the federal government. 


Bruce Elliott is a professor at Carleton University and author of many studies on Ottawa and area history.

The lecture is free and there is no need to pre-register.

Auditorium, Ottawa Public Library
120 Metcalfe Street
Ottawa, ON K1P 5M2