(ABOVE: Bradley’s General Store at 1518 Stittsville Main Street. Undated photo.)
A significant piece of land at 1520 Stittsville Main Street just south of the Trans Canada Trail is up for sale at $925,000.
The 0.69-acre parcel of land, across the street from Quitters, is mostly vacant except for a small 3-bedroom home at the back of the lot and a large storage shed.
But it was once home to the historic Bradley’s General Store building, and more recently the Louisiannie’s and NOLA restaurants. A fire destroyed the building in 2013 while renovations were underway for a new restaurant owned by the people behind the Wellington Gastropub. It was demolished in 2014.
The building was designated by Goulbourn Township in 1986 for its architectural and historic value:
“This local landmark brick building was built in the early 1870s. The building was first owned and operated as a hotel, with the first floor being used as a variety of shops. Between 1919 and 1943, it was the Bradley’s Grocery Store. In the 1920s, this was also Stittsville’s Post Office, an important community facility and meeting place. The interior has impressive and rare original trimwork which is still in place. From earlier pictures, it can be determined that this building’s exterior has not changed since the early days of the Village of Stittsville.”
Here’s the description from the real estate listing: “Prime Commercial Lot in the heart of Stittsville. 90ft of frontage on Stittsville Main St near the Abbott St intersection. Currently there is a 3 bedroom home on lot which can renovated for a business or personal living. Fully serviced by the City of Ottawa. Zoning allows for multiple options both Non-residential and Residential. Please see the city of Ottawa website zoning for TM9.”
The size of the lot, and its location in the heart of the historic section of Stittsville, makes it a very strategic property for the redevelopment of Stittsville Main Street. Any new development would be subject to zoning and guidelines established in the Stittsville Main Street Community Design Plan. It’s current zoning allows for a variety of commercial and residential uses.
When Ottawa’s planning committee was discussion the demolition of the building back in 2014, Barbara Bottriell, then president of the Goulbourn Township Historical Society said it well:
“Demolition of this building will leave a big hole in that area and whatever goes up instead will be at odds with the buildings around it, unless some stipulations are put in place that will give it some historic character. At the very least, an historic plaque detailing the history of the building that was lost should be included as part of any building project that occurs on that site.
During the Second World War, most of the buildings in the central square of the town of Arras in northern France were destroyed by bombs. But they were all rebuilt from photographs of the original buildings, and to-day, that square is a beautiful and vibrant place full of cafes, restaurants, shops and living spaces and its historic character is what makes it so attractive.
We have a choice to either destroy our built heritage because it is the easiest immediate economic solution, or keep it and work with it to create something beautiful and useful that enhances our community. “
(Of note: Just north of the land, the Hudson Insurance building has been up for sale since June. It’s the last remaining heritage-designated building on Stittsville Main Street.)
UPDATE: John Bottriell fills us in on some of the businesses that called the building home over the years: “This building has had many uses over the years… The Royal Albert Tea Room, Pixie’s Florists, Toomey’s Photography and of course Bradley’s dry goods store. I have memories of the early 1980’s walking our children to the Stittsville Nursery School and stopping with them to view the stuffed animals displayed in the window.”
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