Friday, February 22, 2013

Ottawa City Directories

About a year ago, I viewed the 1926 Ottawa, Ontario, Canada city directory at WorldVitalRecords.

I searched for my grandfather Fed Belair, thinking he ought to be listed in it since he married in Ottawa in October 1926. Unfortunately, there was no Fred or the other names he used when younger (like Ménésippe and Jean-Baptiste) under “Belair” or "Belaire".1

So then I searched for my grandmother Julie, his soon-to-be wife.

I think I found her as “Juliet Vanasse”, living at 370 Cooper Street, a centretown-downtown street in Ottawa that runs east-west between Bank and O’Connor.2

1926 Ottawa City Directory
1926 Ottawa city directory (cropped image of p. 646)

My grandmother was Julie, Julia or Juliette, never “Juliet”, as far as I know. That particular spelling could be due to how the directory canvasser chose to spell her name. Or, maybe someone (perhaps the landlord) spoke on my grandmother Julie’s behalf and guessed at how she spelled her name.

I don't know when my grandfather moved to Ottawa, but I know he worked there at the time of his marriage. My grandmother Julie lived and worked there before she married, but I'm not sure just when she left her home in the province of Quebec for Ottawa. With that thought in mind, I looked at the 1923 Ottawa city directory, but neither of them seem to appear in that edition.3

So far, I haven’t located other 1920s Ottawa city directories on the Internet. I’d love to travel to Ottawa in the next couple of years and find these books at a library or an archive so that I can have a good look for my grandparents.


1. “The Ottawa City Directory, 1926, Part 1”; digital image, World Vital Records ( : accessed 27 April 2012), 83, “Belair” and “Belaire”.

2. “The Ottawa City Directory, 1926, Part 1”, 646, “Juliet Vanasse”.

3. “The Ottawa City Directory 1923"; digital image, Internet Archive ( : accessed 20 February 2013), 234, “Belair”, 235, “Belaire”, 812, “Vanasse”, 813, “Venance”, and 813, “Venasse”.

Copyright © 2013, Yvonne Demoskoff.

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