Book explores Ottawa's lost history

A new book shows Ottawa's history and how the city has developed and changed over the decades.

Book takes a walk down memory lane with Britannia drive-in, Green Valley restaurant and Lansdowne Park

Saturday Shopping in downtown Ottawa in 1984. (Lost Ottawa)

If you grew up in Ottawa, you probably have fond memories of cafes and movie theaters that are no longer around.

The city has seen its fair share of change and that's something that historian David McGee has set out to preserve in a new book.

"The city changes a lot faster than you think," said McGee, the founder of the popular Facebook page Lost Ottawa. "We live here and in 10 years it doesn't seem to change, but when you look at these photos you realize things change quite drastically and radically."

He's preserved the most popular photos from the Facebook page in a book of the same name, Lost Ottawa. He said it's those photos and the history they show that people truly relish.

Ottawa Rough Riders game shown from the end zone of the old stands at Lansdowne Park in October 1964. (Lost Ottawa)

"This is the kind of history that's closer to the people. It's closer to their everyday lives," said McGee. "It's about their identities because most of the stories are related to the experiences they've had in their lives." 

He said one of the most rewarding aspects of running Lost Ottawa is hearing about how the page has helped re-connect childhood friends who lost touch over the years.

The book launch takes place on Sunday at Books on Beechwood from 12 until 2 p.m.


With files from Our Ottawa