Art Beat – Tim Hunt’s Main Street Sketches

Image by Tim Hunt

Image by Tim Hunt

Tim Hunt

Tim Hunt explores his community outfitted with a small sketchbook, pen, and watercolour kit. In our regular feature, he shares the pages from his sketchbook and tells the stories behind his work.

Tim Hunt: On a crisp Saturday morning in November, I found myself tucked behind the vintage gas station at the corner of Main and Hawthorne lining up a good three-quarter vantage point of the Old Town Hall. After two years of contributing sketches to The Mainstreeter, it seemed about time I considered this subject—both a physical and a symbolic cornerstone of this community.

According to the Ottawa East Archives, this modestly elegant building survived a fire and possibly a decade of vacancy and has served, among other things, as a baby clinic, dance hall, kindergarten, Carnegie Library, and jail. Archival photos by James Ballantyne (his nephew Henry was the architect) show the building under construction when Main Street was still a dirt road.

While working on the sketch I watched locals coming and going with yoga mats in tow and wondered how many people had walked through the doors of 61 Main over the past 127 years. With the community centre relocating in the next few years, what new chapter will be written for the storied Old Town Hall?

Filed in: Front Page

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