'Cross Town - OTC Cars Tucked Away In Cobourg Barn, Published 28 October 1959Safely tucked away for posterity here are four ancient Ottawa street cars.
While elsewhere, historical societies are trying to make something big of the old trams they have lovingly put by, the Ottawa Transportation Commission has quietly stored a quartet of old timers.
At Cobourg Barn is being kept No. 854, a red car which was "out-shopped" about 1924. It was a product of the Ottawa Car Manufacturing Company on Albert Street.
Keeping company with it here in town are three other ex-Ottawa Electric old timers such as Sweeper A-2, a fin de siecle piece which swept up the snows of yesteryear.
Sand car 423 is to be preserved. She began her glamorous career as part of a sister act. Cars 423, 424, and 425 used to take the mail through the streets of Ottawa from the post office to the railway stations. they were a cream shade, trimmed with gold, a delight to the eye.
Oldest of all this preserved quartet is No. 6, who ended her active career as a grinder. She is still in her First World War green paint. The six-spot also enjoyed life in a previous incarnation on the Hull-St. Patrick run as 66. The 66 used to shuttle back and forth when Hull was "wet" and Ottawa "dry".
Car connoisseurs have always insisted that old 6 is preserved in alcohol. The fumes breathed second hand into her work work, as the boys came back from Hull after the 11 p.m. closing, served to preserve her for posterity.
Thus you have a unique quartet right here in Ottawa, as far as street car types are concerned. There are a passenger car, a sweeper, an old mail car, and a grinder.
Meanwhile, back at the car house, there are other stirrings. Omer S. A. Lavalee (sic) of Montreal, a frequent visitor to Ottawa as head of the Canadian Railroad Historical Association, has had shipped to Montreal two Ottawa street cars. They left the capital this week for their own Valhalla in the Youville barns in northeast Montreal.
Car. No. 696 has been stored at the Canada Cement Company's Hull plant. Car. No. 859 was tied up at the Cobourg barn.
Both have been "floated" by truck to Montreal.
Perhaps of special interest is No. 696. She was one of the first all-steel, two-man cars to come out about 1914, and favored in pre-auto days by such distinguished tram patrons as Sir Wilfrid Laurier and Sir Robert Borden. Beginning her career, 45 years ago, as an all green job, old 696, like a leaf, turned red at the end of her days, and now has withered and died.