Saturday, January 7, 2012


It figures: I drop off the grid for a few hours to enjoy some time with some good friends, and someone solves the Where In Ottawa contest. Actually, two people sent responses while I was offline, though I'm not sure the second person pinpointed the location because the comment was ambiguous and provided neither the name of the location nor the street.

Our winner, of course, not only provided the intersection but also a Google Maps aerial view. While he didn't know the name of the building, he certainly knew where it was. And so, congratulations, David Hicks!

The name of the building is Odell House, on 180 Waller Street, at Nicholas. Built in 1883 by brickyard owner Horace Odell, it is currently owned by the University of Ottawa and houses the Centre on Public Management and Policy.

Here's a breakdown of the clues:
  1. It's more homely around the front—while homely is more-commonly used to mean plain or ugly, I meant the other term: having a feeling of home. It was originally a home. And it's much better looking from it's front side.
  2. That's some wedding gift!—not only was this structure originally built as a home, it was built for Odell's son as a wedding present. Nice guy.
  3. Transitway landmark—the intersection of Waller and Nicholas streets is right along the OC Transpo transitway. Every day, thousands of commuters pass this spot. Also, if you are heading towards the Byward Market from the Queensway from Nicholas, you can't help but see Odell House.
  4. One time, doctor's office; another time, music school—I don't know if Odell House ever held a law firm, but according to the plaque on the front, it had become a doctor's office and was at one time the Department of Music at the U of O.
  5. An excellent example of 2nd-empire style architecture that was popular in Canada in the 1870s—also taken from the plaque (Odell House became a designated heritage property in 1982), the house is distinguished by its mansard roof, central tower, and semi-circular dormers. It's a gorgeous house.
Thanks to everyone who played. As always, Where In Ottawa will appear in The Brown Knowser on the first Monday of each month. So get ready for February's installment.

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