I Love That Tree – OOE Tree Recognition Project Proves Poplular

Mainstreeter Staff

In our June issue, we initiated a popular collaboration with Sustainable Living Ottawa East (SLOE) entitled the “I Love That Tree” challenge, which is just one of several components of SLOE’s Old Ottawa East Tree Recognition Project. In developing the initiative to feature many of our community’s glorious trees, Jayson MacLean, chair of SLOE, observed that “(t)his is the chance for readers of The Mainstreeter to wax poetic about that one tree in the neighbourhood which always brings them delight.”
Our first entry back in June was a much-loved majestic red maple tree that fronts Alexandra Gruca-Macaulay’s home at 49 Herridge Street.
Response to the SLOE/Mainstreeter challenge has been heavy with many residents coming forward to exclaim the virtues of their favourite community tree.

My past and future ass tree
Old Ash New Ash

My “past” tree, the ash, grows near the sidewalk on Concord North. When it was originally planted, there probably weren’t any sidewalks, and it has been a witness to the growth and change in that special corner of Old Ottawa East. It is majestic in size and grace, and its canopy provided protection from the sun on days like the ones we’re experiencing now. It and its sister tree, which had to be removed because of Emerald Ash borer, gave the house so much shade that we rarely used air conditioning.

But it wasn’t just its size, grace or practicality that endeared it to me. It was home to a continual stream of visitors all year long from the upper deck on a summer’s evening, we would watch the cardinals, the starlings, the crows, the squirrels, and the occasional raccoon as they got ready for the night ahead. Some of them made their homes in the tree, and others just stopped by on their way to somewhere else, all part of the evening symphony.

My “future” tree just appeared a few weeks ago. It is one of many that have been planted along the Rideau River Nature Trail and symbolizes the hopes of the community for growth and permanency. As with all new plantings, I view it with tendernessand trepidation, praying that it will survive and truly become part of our community.
                                          Heather Jarrett,
                                          Corners on Main

Oblats Avenue maple tree

Oblats Ave Maple Tree

The stark branches of the tree in the winter shelter the snow. The pale green buds in the spring hold such promise of the warmth to come. The leaves of summer offer shade from scorching sunlight. And of course, the brilliant red and orange leaves of the fall capture the eyes of all passers-by.

This maple tree is beautiful, but it is also quite special. It has a history. Planted by the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at their convent, the Sisters put slips of paper into the ground when the tree was planted expressing their hopes for the merger of two of their provinces.

The Sisters of the Sacred Heart began living in this convent on Oblats Avenue in 1915. They operated a school here and were involved in many of the churches and schools in Old Ottawa East. In time, the order grew so large that it split into two provinces. When the numbers of Sisters decreased, they merged the two provinces together.

Shortly after we moved into Phase One of the Corners on Main, a tea party was organized for the Sisters to visit our building. It was one of the Sisters at the tea party who told us about this incredibly special tree.

While it is likely that the convent will be demolished in time, it would be a shame to lose this tree which has such beauty and such deep roots in the history of Old Ottawa East.
                                          Lorna Kingston,
                                          Corners on Main

Growing up in Archville

Maple trees at 38 & 40 Main St Plant by Maxime Laundry 134 yrs ago.

In the late 1800s, Archville, now known as Old Ottawa East, was a growing concern.

North of the Queensway, on Macadamized Road, now known as Main Street, a couple of young maple trees were planted by Maxime Landry, who worked as a cooper making flour barrels for J.T. Ballantyne. In 1886 and 1893, Landry purchased two lots on Macadamized Road which became 38 and 40 Main Street, respectively.

The maple trees became part of the Landry family. Léa and Maxime raised five girls, one boy – and two maple trees. These magnificent trees have many stories to tell.

With regard to the family, Max Jr., the only son, worked as a cooper with his father. He was also a star player for the Capital Lacrosse Club. Max Jr. later became a conductor on the Ottawa Electric Railway. Daughters included Delina, Amanda, Laura, Louisa, and Eva. Delina was one of the first ladies in Old Ottawa East to own and drive a car, and she was employed by St. Patrick’s College.

Amanda and Laura, married and raised their children on Harvey Street and Echo Drive while Louisa and Eva, left the neighbourhood but eventually returned. Eva married Mr. Villeneuve and lived with her son, Lawrence at 38 Main Street. Lawrence also worked for J.T. Ballantyne and, after the war, he was employed by Morrison Lamothe to deliver bread by horse and wagon.

The two maple trees are still there. They stand tall and proud, 134 years after being planted and they are perhaps the only mature trees left on all of Main Street.
                                       Viv Villeneuve,
                                       Echo Drive
                                       Great-granddaughter of
                                       Maxime Laundry

If you have a favourite tree – and who doesn’t! – send a couple of photos and an accompanying submission of up to 250 words on why you love it, adding any particular details you might know about the tree (history, approximate age, species, etc.) to sloe@ottawaeast.ca. All entries will be published on the Old Ottawa East Community Association website and one (or more) entry will be featured in the pages of each of the next few issues of The Mainstreeter.

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