Buildings Historical Significance
The Ottawa Ladies’ College was built between 1912 and 1914, just prior to World War I. The Ottawa Ladies’ College was established in 1869 and the building served as a new location whereby women in Ottawa were provided the opportunity to continue their studies at the post-secondary level. Women studied in disciplines such as: mathematics, language, sciences, handicrafts and athletics. During Word War II, the building served as a residence for members of the Canadian Women’s Army Corps.
268 First Avenue subsequently served as Carleton College and became Carleton University in 1957. In 1970, the building was converted to be the new location of the Ottawa Board of Education.
268 First Avenue historical past is unique to the history of women in the Ottawa region and particularly their involvement within the institution of post-secondary education.
Heritage Designation and Architectural Design
When the Ottawa Board of Education contemplated the sale of 268 First Avenue, staff held the belief that the building’s history and architecture should be preserved by the Ontario Heritage Act. Through these efforts, 268 First Avenue was officially designated as a heritage property on May 20th, 1997. The historical importance of the building is mainly attributed to the role of women during World War II, women and education and post-secondary education in Ottawa.
268 First Avenue was designed in 1912 by a prominent architect in the Ottawa area, Allan Keefer. Keefer worked on Centre Block of Parliament after the famous fire of 1916 and designed many homes in Ottawa’s Rockliffe Park neighbourhood. Keefer designed 268 First Avenue in the architectural style of Edwardian Classicalism. Some highlighted Edwardian architectural features include: symmetrical t-shaped structure and dormer windows with a form reflecting the slope of the roof.
“The domestic charm and subtle classical references of the former Ottawa Ladies College continue to make a significant contribution to the Glebe neighbourhood”.
268 First Avenue was converted into condominiums in 1999 by Routeburn Urban Developments and the architectural firm Barry J. Hobin and Associates Architects Inc. The project consisted of converting the building into 17 luxury condominiums with units reaching up to 4000 square feet of living space. Balconies and dormer windows were added to enhance the character of the building.
Bill Metz from Routeburn stated in 2001: “when we recycle an existing building, we bring to the forefront the architectural and historical value of the building” (Glebe Report January 12, 2001, page 3).
Routenburn received the Heritage Conservation Award for this project.