The Ottawa Journal Closes

27 August 1980

Headline, Ottawa Journal, 27 August 1980

Rumours had been circulating that the Ottawa Journal was living on borrowed time. Staff were worried. But Jim Rennie, the executive editor, met with the newspaper’s editorial staff to provide some reassurance. They were doing good work, and circulation was on the rise. After falling to a low of only 52,000 copies per day the previous year, readership had risen to 77,000. The goal of 80,000 by mid-September 1980 was in sight.  But on the very evening of that staff pep talk, Rennie received an unexpected and unwanted telephone call; the newspaper was folding.

The next morning, under the headline “Ottawa Journal closed,” Arthur E. Wood, the publisher, wrote: “It is with deepest regret that I am obliged to announce the cessation of publication and closure of The Ottawa Journal effective with this morning’s edition, Wednesday, August 27, 1980.”

Less than a year earlier, Wood, then the publisher of the Montreal Star, delivered the same bad news to that newspaper’s staff.  A few months after a ruinous and lengthy pressmen’s strike that saw the newspaper lose circulation and advertisers to its rival, the Montreal Gazette, the Montreal Star collapsed.

Wood explained to Journal staff that over the past five years, the paper’s financial losses had grown from $112,000 in 1975 to $3,400,000 in the first eight months of 1980. Such losses were simply not sustainable. Although circulation has risen significantly in recent months, more newspaper sales ironically increased the red ink as advertising revenue didn’t rise commensurately, and the cost of producing the additional newspapers outweighed the higher circulation revenue. Advertisers stuck with the Ottawa Citizen despite its higher advertising rate per column inch. Even The Bay, then owned by the Thomson group, the proprietors of the Journal, cut back its advertising in the Journal. Among the reasons cited for the inability of the Journal to attract advertisers was that both newspapers were going after the same demographic group. One observer also suggested that the newspaper’s failure to switch to offset printing from hot lead typesetting when the Ottawa Citizen did in 1973 was an important factor as advertisers had to prepare two different types of advertisements, one for the Citizen and one for the Journal. The additional expense was not worth the effort.

With the closure of the newspaper, 375 people lost their jobs. Only Wood was assured of a new position within the Thomson newspaper empire, the owner of the Ottawa Journal since the beginning of 1980.

The Journal had a long history in Ottawa. It had been founded almost 95 years earlier in 1885 by Alexander Smith Woodburn. In its first edition, which came out on 10 December of that year, Woodburn stated that the reason for a new daily newspaper in Ottawa was obvious. But to ensure there was no doubt, he added that Ottawa needed a newspaper that was “able and independent,” ready to express the opinions of, and advocate for, the interests of the city’s citizens. He opined that there was a “pressing need” for a daily newspaper of “high moral form, free from political partisanship and party prejudices,” and “loyal to the Empire and zealous in the promotion of the best interest of its noblest member—the Dominion of Canada.” As the Ottawa Citizen was the leading English-language newspaper in Ottawa, Woodburn’s words were a not so veiled attack on that newspaper.

Woodburn added that the new Ottawa Evening Journal would not be the mouthpiece of any clique, political party or religious denomination, and would cover the news without favour to friend or foe. While the newspaper would provide news of the world, it would, of necessity do so in a condensed fashion. Its principal focus would be on matters pertaining to Ottawa, especially civic affairs.

The Journal’s office was located at 36 Elgin St. The cost of the daily newspaper was two cents. The newspaper’s first editor was John Wesley Defoe. He held the position for only six months before he headed out to Winnipeg to work for the Manitoba Free Press. He was later to become that newspaper’s editor, a position he held from 1901 to 1944. Defoe was succeeded at the Journal by Mr. A. H. U. Colquhoun. 

P. D. Ross, Ottawa Citizen, 18 January 1910.

In 1886, Philip Dansken Ross bought a 50 per cent interest in the financially shaky Journal from Woodburn. Four years later, he bought out his partner, and became president of the company. He was to remain at the head of the newspaper until his death in 1949. In 1917, Ross organized the merger of the Journal with the Ottawa Free Press. An eminent pressman, he was also a founder of the Canadian Press newspaper association. Four months before his death, he sold his shares in the Ottawa Journal to his colleagues working for the newspaper.

Ross was a man of many parts. In his early years, he was an outstanding athlete both at McGill University and later as a player for the Ottawa Senators. In 1892, he was named as one of the original trustees of the Stanley Cup. He later became chairman of Ottawa Hydro-Electric Commission. Politically, he was a conservative, and was active in Ottawa politics at all levels of government. Reflecting his political affinity, the Ottawa Journal was broadly seen as a Conservative newspaper.

In July 1959, ten years after Ross’s death, the newspaper, never financially strong, was acquired by the newly-formed FP Publications Ltd. The company, based in Winnipeg, was owned by Colonel Victor Sifton of Winnipeg and G. Max Bell of Calgary. Other newspapers owned by the group at that time included the Winnipeg Free Press, the Victoria Daily Times and the Daily Colonist as well as several Albertan newspapers. In January 1980, the Ottawa Journal was purchased by the Thomson Corporation, established by the Canadian Roy Thomson, 1st Baron of Fleet. The Thomson group owned roughly 200 Canadian and British newspapers, including London’s prestigious Times and Sunday Times.

The closure of the Journal, just months after it was acquired by the Thompson group, came as a shock to Ottawa citizens as well as its employees. When woken at 3:00 am by a journalist with the news, Mayor Marion Dewer thought she was having a bad dream. Jean Pigot, president of the Morrison-Lemothe Bakery and the Progressive-Conservative MP for Ottawa-Carleton from 1976 to 1980, and later Chair of the National Capital Commission, is reported to have exclaimed: “Good Lord, I don’t believe it.”

Shock changed to anger when it was revealed that on the same day the Thomson group closed the Ottawa Journal, it’s arch rival the Southam group of newspapers closed the Winnipeg Tribune. The dual closures left the Southam-owned Ottawa Citizen the sole English-language newspaper in Ottawa, and the Thomson-owned Winnipeg Tribune the sole English-language newspaper in Winnipeg. Southam’s also sold the fixed assets of the Tribune to the Thomson group for $2.5 million.

The chairman of Southam’s, St. Clair Balfour, claimed that there had been no deal between the two newspaper groups, though there had been discussions about the losses each had been suffering. Balfour said the both groups believed that confusion and uncertainty among employees and shareholders would have been heightened had the decisions to close the two newspapers been separated by weeks or months. The situations at the Tribune and the Journal were mirror images of each other.

Outrage over the closure of the two newspapers that left the Southam and Thomson newspaper chains with monopolies in Ottawa and Winnipeg, respectively, led to the creation of the Royal Commission on Newspapers, commonly referred to as the “Kent Commission” in 1980. Among other things the Commission recommended that the government block further cross-media concentration, and that newspapers put on public record reports on their editorial purpose and policy, and establish advisory committees composed of journalists and outsiders. The Commission also advised the establishment of a Press Rights Council within the government’s Human Rights Commission to review the annual reports of newspapers’ advisory committees.

Following widespread outrage within the newspaper industry, and fears of “Big Brother,” the recommendations of the Kent Commission were set aside. At a time when the government of Pierre Trudeau faced more pressing issues, such as a deep economic recession, and Quebec separation, it was unwilling to take on the wrath of the newspaper industry. However, the upshot of this was further concentration in the industry. By the year 2000, three chains (Hollinger/Southam, Quebecor/Sun Media and Torstar) reportedly controlled 72% of daily newspaper circulation in Canada.

Today, concerns about concentration of ownership in the newspaper industry are overshadowed by broader issues. The rise of digital media has led to a major shift away from print media. Newspapers are closing around the globe, leading to the loss of thousands of journalist positions, as readers and advertisers gravitate towards on-line content. In the process, the likes of Google and Facebook have scooped up the lion’s share of advertising revenue. According to Canadian Media Concentration Report, there has been a breakdown of the three-way beneficial relationship between advertisers, journalists and the public.

Not all are concerned about this, with some arguing that media fragmentation rather than media concentration is more relevant. However, the democratization of news provision—everybody can be a “journalist” and upload material to the web—and the algorithms used by search engines to disseminate content has led to “echo chambers” where readers only see material that support their world view. This phenomenon, combined with “fake news,” pushed by those with a particular agenda, have contributed to widening social divisions.


Creely, Tim. 1984. “Out of Commission,” Ryerson Review of Journalism,, Spring.

Keshen, Richard & MacAskill, Kent, 2000. I Told You So: The Kent Commission,”

New York Times, 1949. “P.R. Ross, Headed Ottawa Journal; President of newspaper since 1886 Is Dead at 91 – Acquired Publication for $8,000, 6 July 1949.

Ottawa Citizen, 1980. “Ottawa Journal folds,” 27 August.

——————, 1980. “Citizen to fill the void,” 27 August.

——————, 1980. “Without advertising increases, circulation hike actually hurt,” 27 August.

——————, 1980. “Shutdown confirms rumors,” 27 August.

——————, 1980. “Massive changes revealed,” 27 August.

Ottawa Journal, 1885. “Prospectus,” 10 December.

——————-, 1949. “P.D. Ross, Journal President, Dies At 91,” 5 July.

——————-, 1980. “Ottawa Journal Closed,” 27 August.

Royal Commission on Newspapers, The Kent Commission, 1980.

Victoria Daily Times, 1959, “Victoria Newspapers Join National Group,” 16 July.

Winseck, Swayne, 2017. Canadian Media Concentration Research Report,

The Boston Red Stockings Come To Town

27 August 1872

In 1994, the federal government passed a bill naming hockey as Canada’s national sport of winter and lacrosse as the country’s national sport of summer. The latter might surprise some since I suspect relatively few Canadians have ever watched a lacrosse game. Football, soccer and even baseball have greater followings. Samuel Hill, author of an article titled Baseball in Canada that appeared in the Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies, makes the audacious claim that if it wasn’t for baseball being the national summer game of the United States, it would be the national sport of Canada.

Back in the mid-nineteenth century, there were three popular summer sports for Canadian men—lacrosse, cricket and baseball—that could claim to be the nation’s favourite. Lacrosse was a game first popularized by Indigenous Canadians and later adopted and adapted by European settlers. First Nations’ games could involve as many as 1,000 participants in a community event with religious overtones that could last for days. Apparently, it was combat by other means. The European version of the sport, codified by Montrealer William Beers in 1860, reduced the number on a team to twelve and drastically shortened the game. This version of the sport proved to be very popular, with lacrosse clubs and teams forming throughout Canada, and indeed in the United States and even in Britain and elsewhere.

Cricket was also popular, especially in what is now Atlantic Canada and in Ontario. While it may have had an elitist connotation, there were many cricket clubs across the country, including in Ottawa. Cricket was also enthusiastically played in the United States until baseball supplanted it. Perhaps Canada’s most prestigious cricket pitch in the nineteenth century, and even today, is found on the grounds of Rideau Hall, the home of Canada’s governor general.

In 1869, the Ottawa Daily Citizen commented that cricket was growing in popularity among young men and that the sport deserved that popularity. It was “both a graceful and manly game and a healthy exercise.” The newspaper added that at one time it believed that lacrosse would supersede cricket in Canada and become the national game but that this was now unclear. “We are inclined to think that cricket will maintain a place in the regard of our young men for many a day to come.”

Baseball, or base ball (two words back in the nineteenth century) was also very popular throughout southern Ontario, with the first game reputedly played as early as 1838 in Beachville, Ontario. Apparently, the Canadian game was very different from that played today, or even in the United States at the time, as the sport’s rules had yet to be standardized. Among other things, there were five bases in the Canadian version instead of four, and the ball could be thrown directly at a runner for an “out”. According to Samuel Hill, “New York Rules,” which became the standard rules of baseball, were introduced to Canada during the 1850s. Canadian and US teams competed frequently, with north-south matches facilitated by easy rail access. The first international baseball match was a contest between Hamilton and Buffalo, New York. By 1877, London and Guelph baseball clubs joined the International Association which also included US teams, such as Pittsburgh and St. Louis. That year, the London Tecumsehs won the league championship over the Pittsburgh Alleghenies—Canada’s first major league baseball championship, ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays by more than a century.

According to a splendid 2005 Citizen article on early Ottawa baseball written by David McDonald, a member of the Society of American Baseball Research, the sport was brought to the nation’s capital in 1870 by Ottawa-native Tom Cluff. Cluff, who had been an avid lacrosse player, became enamoured with the new sport after a visit to the United States. He and others formed the Ottawa Base Ball Club, an amateur team.

By 1872, the Citizen was lamenting the disappearance of lacrosse in the city. The newspaper opined “What has become of our old Lacrosse Clubs? Are they disposed to let the national game die out in the capital of the Dominion? We hope they will take a lesson from the more enterprising devotees of the United States game and revive the excellent sport.”

That year, the Ottawa Base Ball Club leased a ten-acre field “in a line with Elgin Street and running close to the Rideau Canal, a ten-minute walk south from the old Post Office. It was accessible by foot and boat. The Club erected a 7 to 8-foot fence around the site, and built a grandstand with refreshment booths. Unlike games today, there was no alcohol served. According to the Citizen, this was “something which will, we are sure, meet with universal approval” as it will show that the “sport can be enjoyed without the use of the drinks that invariably ‘inebriate’ but seldom cheer.”

Cal McVey, Boston Red Stockings’ catcher who scored nine runs in the 64-0 rout over the Ottawa Base Ball Club, 27 August, 1872, Picture taken in 1874, New York Public Library, Public Domain.

The inaugural game played in the new ball field was a match between the Ottawa Base Ball Club and the Boston Red Stockings held on Tuesday, 27 August 1872, a civic holiday. The Boston team had been formed just the previous year and had been a great success, playing in the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players. It also toured throughout the United States and Canada playing exhibition games. The team should not be confused with the similar-sounding team, the Boston Red Sox. That team was founded in 1908. The Boston Red Stockings became the Boston Braves in 1912, and are now known as the Atlanta Braves.

The Boston Red Stockings were a professional team. The Citizen was awed that members were paid salaries ranging from $1,800 to $2,500 per annum “to do nothing else but play base ball.” The Boston Club had a capital base of $15,000 and was established under a Massachusetts charter.

That 1872 civic holiday in Ottawa was a sporting extravaganza. The day started with a cricket match at the Rideau Hall pitch between 22 selected Canadian players and the Eleven of England. On the English side were cricket luminaries Cuthbert Ottaway, deemed the most versatile athlete of the age, and William Gilbert Grace, generally considered one of the finest cricketers of all time. Grace, who was feeling ill during the match still managed to score 73 runs. The English team overwhelmed Ottawa, downing the home team 201 runs to 42. The Red Stockings, who were in the crowd of about three thousand, thought the batting was “very fine” but remarked that the game was “darned slow.”

After the match, the Red Stockings were driven to the baseball grounds by the Russell House’s horse-drawn bus. Team members were immediately surrounded by admiring fans. The Citizen journalist appreciatively called the Red Stockings the “most athletic looking lot of players that have ever visited the city.” He added that the “Red Stockings [were] all heavy men, very strong and active, in fact picked men.” The Boston players wore a loose-fitting uniform of light brown flannel with red belts and red stockings—“admirably adapted for their active play of sinew and muscles.”

The team took to the field and immediately began to practise pitching and catching. The crowd of several thousand, some of whom had walked to the baseball field across the newly opened Maria Street bridge over the Rideau Canal, quickly could see that the home team would have little chance against the tourists. “There were very few even of the most sanguine of the Ottawa men who would bet one to ten that our club would obtain a single run,” opined the Citizen’s journalist. Just the day before, the Red Stockings had beaten the Toronto “Dauntless” team 68 to nothing. Indeed, it was reported that nineteen of twenty amateur clubs they had played that season had lost without even being allowed to first base, let alone score a run. Up until their game with Ottawa, the Boston team had only been defeated three times that season, twice by the Athletics of Philadelphia and once by the Haymakers of Troy, both professional clubs. Against these three losses, the Red Stockings had more than forty victories.

The game’s box score, Ottawa Citizen, 28 August 1872.

The Ottawa Club won the toss and elected to field for the first inning. Initially, the Boston Club found the pitching of R. Lang to be “puzzling,” according to the Citizen. But they visitors soon figured him out. The Red Stockings had considerable praise for the fielding abilities of the home team, especially that of W. McMahon in left field. Reportedly, he made a number of very difficult catches. They also complemented the skills of Tom Cluff at first base.

It was Ottawa’s batting that fell very short. Boston said the home team suffered from the same fault as other amateur teams that they had faced—a lack of confidence that prevented balls leaving the in-field.

The Ottawa-Boston match-up lasted 2 hours and 13 minutes with the score an extraordinarily lopsided 64 to nothing. Mind you, that was better than how Toronto’s “Dauntless” team had fared. The Citizen very charitably noted that the final score was 18 earned runs to zero. The newspaper added that the Boston team was “undoubtedly the finest club in existence.”

This wasn’t the only appearance of the Red Stockings in Ottawa. The following year, the Boston team returned to the nation’s capital for a rematch with the Ottawa Base Ball Club. This time, the Ottawa Club managed to score not just once but four times in a losing cause, being downed 41 to 4 by the visitors.


Hill, Samuel R., 2000. “Baseball in Canada,” Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies: Vol. 8. Issue 1, Article 4.

Lemoine, Bob, 2015.  “April 6th 1871: Boston Red Stockings take to the field for the first time,” Society for American Baseball Research.

McDonald, David, 2005, “Aug. 27th: The day the tide turned in Ottawa,” Ottawa Citizen, 27 August.

Ottawa Citizen, 1868, “The Lacrosse Match At Prescott,” 2 October.

——————, 1869. “No title,” 6 September.

——————, 1872. “Many Sports,” 12 August.

——————, 1872. “Toronto,” 26 August.

——————, 1872. “The Civic Holiday,” 28 August.

——————, 1873. “The Base Ball Match,” 27 August.

The Diamond Arrow Motor Car Company

27 August 1910

For current residents of Ottawa, it’s hard to imagine that their green, smog-free city, populated by white-collar bureaucrats, high-tech. engineers and software designers was once a smoky, blue-collar, manufacturing centre. Back in 1910, 168 manufacturing firms operated in Ottawa/Hull, employing roughly 14,000 workers. This compared with 3,596 Federal public servants. In other words, manufacturing workers outnumbered Federal government workers by a ratio of almost three to one. In contrast, in 2012, Federal government employment in Ottawa accounted for 21 per cent of total jobs, with the manufacturing sector accounting for a mere 4 per cent.

Ottawa’s attraction as a manufacturing centre during the early twentieth century was principally due to the availability of cheap hydro-electricity generated by the power stations at the Chaudière Falls. There were, of course, other factors that helped, including a comparatively low cost of living, efficient rail and water transportation routes, and the city’s proximity to Eastern markets. One firm that was attracted to Ottawa by these factors was the Diamond Arrow Motor Car Company.

The Diamond Arrow Motor Car Company of Ottawa’s 5-passenger Touring Car, billed as the “The Acme of Perfection,” The Ottawa Citizen, 15 February 1912.

In 1909, a group of five, well-connected businessmen came up with the idea of manufacturing automobiles in the nation’s capital. While the above list of city attractions must have factors in their decision, it probably helped that Ottawa was the home of metal workers, mechanics and other artificers. Indeed, the Ottawa Car Company owned by Thomas Ahearn and Warren Soper already produced streetcars and railway carriages in the city. The five businessmen felt that there was no reason why motor cars could not be made at a reasonable cost in Ottawa and help satisfy the burgeoning demand for automobiles throughout North America. To give a sense of scale of this rapidly expanding industry, the Ford Motor Company alone increased its U.S. automobile production from10,202 units in 1908, to 69,762 units in 1911 and to more than 500,000 vehicles in 1915. Initially, the Diamond Arrow factory was more of an assembly plant, using parts, including engines, made by others. However, the company had ambitious plans of manufacturing its automobiles in-house.

The president of the Diamond Arrow Motor Car Company of Ottawa was Thomas Cameron Bate, the son of Henry Newell Bate who had come to Ottawa in 1854 when the community was still called Bytown. Henry Newell Bate was the principal owner of the eponymous H.N. Bate & Company, an important wholesale grocery, which he had started with his older brother Charles in the mid-1850s. (The company was initially called C.T. Bate & Company after the brother.) Henry Bate was to become Sir Henry Bate in 1910, honouring his efforts as chairman of the Ottawa Improvement Commission.

While Thomas Bate was employed by the family firm, he began the Diamond Arrow Motor Car Company with Edward McMahon in 1909. McMahon was the secretary of the new start-up firm. The other principal members of the company were its Managing Director, T. Fleming, the firm’s Mechanical Superintendent, L.L. Finney, and its sales agent, Nelson Ker.

The car company’s base of operations was a factory at the corner of Lyon and Wellington Streets, now the location of the offices of Veterans Affairs Canada, just a five-minute walk from Parliament Hill. The company’s sales office was at 26 Sparks Street. Through 1909 and 1910, from 10 to 20 mechanics were employed at the factory with the first car turned out of the shop for road testing on Saturday, 27 August 1910. The automobile was complete except for its woodwork, and was test-driven over a couple of miles of city roads. Five other vehicles were almost assembled. The company’s management hoped that they would have between 75 and 100 vehicles ready for delivery by the time of the 1911 season. The chassis of the Diamond Arrow car went on display the following month at the 1910 Central Canada Exhibition in the Process Building at Lansdowne Park.

The fledgling firm produced two models—a 5-passenger Touring Car and a two-seater Roadster. The Touring Car was a 4-cylinder, 38-horse power vehicle with a 3-speed transmission plus reverse. It had a Bosch dual system magneto and battery ignition. The body, which was on a 116-inch wheel base, was constructed by L. Duhamel Ltd of Ottawa, a local carriage maker. The upholstery was made from the finest, hand buffed, French leather. The car boasted 34-inch, white hickory, artillery-style wheels with Goodrich tires and a 14-gallon gas tank. It was also equipped with 8-inch Rushmore headlights, oil side and tail lamps, a horn, tools, and a tire repair kit.

The two-seat Roadster had a 4-cylinder engine, 45-horsepower vehicle with a 3-speed transmission plus reverse. Its 114-inches wheel base was marginally shorter than that of the Touring Car. Its body was also made by L. Duhamel, and ran on 34-inch, artillery-style wheels with Goodrich tires.

Both were clearly luxury vehicles, bearing a price tag of about $3,000, a huge sum of money in those days when a Ford sold for $775. Much was made of the fact that its engine was the same as the one used for several years by the Pierce-Arrow automobile made in Buffalo, New York. (Pierce-Arrow began using a six-cylinder engine in 1910.) Indeed, the name of the car, “Diamond Arrow,” may well have been an attempt to associate the Ottawa car with the very famous and successful Pierce-Arrow brand. The Diamond Arrow Roadster also looked very much like the 1909 Pierce-Arrow Roadster.

While a few Diamond Arrow automobiles may have been sold during the first half of 1911, the finished vehicle returned to the Central Canada Exhibition in September 1911, displayed in the Carriage and Automobile section under the grandstand at the Exhibition Grounds. The Ottawa Evening Journal enthused that it was “the ultimate achievement in motor car construction, a degree of perfection which leaves nothing to be added or desired in the way of improvement.” The Diamond Arrow Motor Car Company won an award for its entry in the Exhibition.

The Diamond Arrow Radiator Emblem, American Auto Emblems by Mike Shears

Despite the praise, something went wrong, though what is not clear. In February 1912, there was a huge automobile show held at Lansdowne Park in Howick Hall, also known as the Coliseum. Almost forty motor cars of all major marques were on display. But one vehicle was conspicuous by its absence; there was no sign of Ottawa’s own Diamond Arrow. The Ottawa Citizen called this a “great misfortune” since the car was “an excellent piece of machinery and a special interest to Ottawans.” People were instead advised to go to the company’s showroom on Sparks Street to view the car. The unconvincing explanation given for its absence from the Motor Show was a lack of space. But how could there be no room in an Ottawa Motor Show for an Ottawa automobile produced by such well-connected Ottawa entrepreneurs?

At the same time as the Motor Show, the Diamond Arrow Motor Car Company paid for a huge advertisement in the Ottawa Citizen for its two models—described as the “acme of perfection”—complete with their specifications. After that, the company seemingly vanishes. There are no further references to the vehicle or the company in Ottawa newspapers. Apparently, the company was dissolved later that year. The reason is unknown. Perhaps the owners overestimated the local market for such an expensive car. Most small automobile start-ups succumbed during those early, heady years of the motor car industry, unable to compete owing to a lack of economies of scale, insufficient financing and other factors. How many cars the Diamond Arrow Motor Car Company produced during its short life is also unclear. What is known is that its two principal owners, President Thomas Cameron Bate and Secretary Edward McMahon, went in a different direction in 1912 with the formation of a new company called Bate, McMahon & Company, General Contractors. The new company was very successful in the construction business, building for the Canadian military Camp Valcartier in Quebec in 1914 and Camp Borden in Ontario in 1916. In 1917, the company was contracted to help rebuild Halifax after the great explosion. In Ottawa, the firm also built the Hunter Building on Albert Street in 1918 and the 1,000-seat Capitol Theatre on Queen Street in 1920. Both buildings have since been demolished.


City of Ottawa 2019. Employment by Top Sectors, 2012,

Coristine Cynthia & Ian Browness, 2014. The Bate Brothers of Ottawa, Booklet 3. Sir Henry Newell Bate & Family, A Civic Legacy, Bytown Pamphlet No. 93, Historical Society of Ottawa.

Ottawa Citizen, 1911. “Bright Future For Publicity,” 24 January.

——————, 1912. “The Diamond Arrow Car,” 15 February.

——————, 1912. “Before Buying an Auto See The Diamond Arrow,” 15 February.

Ottawa Evening Journal, 1910. “First Made In This City,” 29 September.

—————————–, 1911. “Diamond Arrow Motor Cars,” 14 September.

—————————–, 1910. “New Ottawa Industry,” 15 September.

Shears, Mike, 2016. American Auto Emblems, 24 December,

Wikipedia, 2018. U.S. Auto Production Figures.