When you walk in the woods, you may encounter a few house foundations and manholes. They are hints of past development and ancient plans. I recently came across an old map that explains them.
There’s a 1930s manhole on Pontiac, west of Patricia, obviously part of Pontiac when it existed there. You can easily walk over it since the forest path goes over the old road. I should really get a photo of it, but it’s currently too cold and snowy outside to do that.
There’s a stranger 1950s or 60s manhole in the woods near Clearview and Island Park Drive, high off the ground, suggesting a planned street height.
Looking at a 1950s EMO (Emergency Measures Organization) evacuation map for Ottawa, there’s quite a bit of detail around our Champlain Park neighbourhood that shows what streets could have existed or had existed. With the latest closure of part of Pontiac to turn it into a park, we have even fewer than back then.
It looks like Pointiac curves around to make a U shape with Clearview. Those little narrow roads are the back alley stable access ones. There are still a few around, though usually overgrown or encroached on by adjacent houses.
So, was it a former street that was closed (like the river ends of Daniel, Keyworth and so on) or was the U a new planned street? Well, the manhole height tells us there never was a road there, so perhaps that U was a plan which didn’t happen.
If you have tales to tell, feel free to write to the webmaster or leave a comment here.