The unique neighbourhood we now call the Glebe first appeared in a survey of the Ottawa area in 1837. Back then we literally were a “glebe”—lands belonging to a church.
By 1900 the land was sold and transformed into one of the city’s first suburbs. Many of the houses standing on our streets today date back to that era.
Architecture buffs will enjoy seeing the grand, eclectic stylings of a W.E. Noffke–designed house, or the Arts-and-Crafts brick design done by David Younghusband. Most of our middle-class residents lived in simple “foursquare” homes and rode the new Ottawa Electric Street Railway back and forth to work.
By the mid-century, newer, more-distant suburbs attracted our first residents away and the Glebe became a working class neighbourhood, with many of our houses subdivided into apartments or turned into rooming houses.
The gentrification of the 1970s transformed the Glebe again, bringing in a tide of white-collar workers, and turning it into a strong, family community.
Today, the stretch of Bank Street that runs through the Glebe is one of Ottawa’s premier shopping areas, with many small stores and restaurants offering a wide variety of services.