Special exhibition about the architect of Nepean Town Hall

By Shaun Markey – 

Moses Chamberlain Edey (1845 – 1919) was arguably one of Canada’s most notable architects of the late 19th century.

The buildings he designed and frequently helped build in the late 1800’s still dot the Ottawa urban landscape, including Westboro, over 100 years later.

Now, thanks to the efforts of volunteers and his great grandson, his work will be the subject of a special display at the 43rd annual Bytown Antique Show organized by the Bytown Antique and Bottle Club of Ottawa.

Photo of Moses Chamberlain Edey courtesy of Topley Studio / Library and Archives Canada.
Photo of Moses Chamberlain Edey courtesy of Topley Studio / Library and Archives Canada.

Moses designed over 125 buildings in Ottawa and the Valley including the Aberdeen Pavilion –built for the Central Canada Exhibition in 1898 – and the original Nepean Town Hall building, which still stands proudly on Richmond Road in Westboro.

The Edey display includes drawings of buildings, photographs  and a wonderful scale “apprentice” model of a sleigh in wood and metal that he designed and built in 1865, at age of 20.

Born near Shawville, Quebec, and educated first as a carriage maker in Arnprior and then as an architect in the USA, he was a gifted, hands-on architect. He designed The Daly Building, Ottawa’s first department store, the railway station in Aylmer, Quebec along with many other commercial, institutional and residential buildings in Ottawa and the Ottawa Valley.

This is the first time this much of his material has been on public display. His descendants will be on hand to discuss his life and achievements.

Once you’ve viewed the Edey display, you can also visit the show’s 50 dealers who will be offering antiques with an emphasis on nostalgia, advertising, stoneware, bottles, vintage toys, folk art and other small collectibles. It is a fun and interesting opportunity to see antiques and collectibles from Ottawa’s past. Don’t be surprised if you see antiques from Kitchissippi!

The show date is Sunday, April 24 (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) at the Nepean Sportsplex, 1701 Woodroffe Ave. Admission is $5.

For more information about the club and the annual show visit ottawacollectors.com.


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