Bank Street Revisited With One Tram Ticket, Published 2 April 1958
Somehow on the street car the other night. I got back the Bank Street I have lost for years. I have always loved this friendly, often shabby, but long enduring two torey thoroughfare which runs straight from Wellington to Gladstone without jog.
I am back riding "Shanks Mare", sirtce the angel in Human Form took the eight cylinder job and headed for the orange groves. That reduced me to travelling the Dave McMillan system. Don't get me wrong; I love the trams.
I had hardly swung onto Bank Street with a 1924, 800-type car, minus a Frank Ahearn clock, when suddenly I began to see Bank Street. My old Bank Street. It has just turned dark, and I had a chance to get a seat where I could study the stores.
These buildings, which for years had whizzed past the automobile window so fast I could not identify them, suddenly, in trolley tempo, were discerned anew.
My mind rolled back 40 years, as I saw these good old staid Bank Street merchants. The street which is usually only a traffic nuisance came alive again, 1910-1920 version. Maybe earlier.
This was the street along which I unwillingly pushed my brother or sister as I went to Bank and Lisgar to buy some of McGregor's "Six to the Pound" sausages. Here, again, were the fruit stores of my youth, a departmental store, a furniture shop or two, and many another shop which has survived the years.
Jarvis' book store, a fixture from Victorian days, has gone to a side street, while Mosgrove's ("His fluent praescripti diligentissime") drug store has changed location and management but not the name.
It suddenly hit me that this after-dark street car ride was giving me back the old Ottawa which my car never could. I was immediately at home again in an earlier and friendlier era. The new crowd which came into Ottawa, during the war, or after it, wouid hardly know what I am talking about. Maybe they would not like it either.
Just the same, it was Old Home Week all the way the other night, and I rolled hack the calendar of the lovable old street, just with one car ticket