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Traction History by Bill McKeown

Ottawa’s Streetcars

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Ottawa’s Streetcars, Bill McKeown , 256 pp., 9 x 12, History, May 2006

ISBN: 1-897190-07-7 (Bound*) . . . $59.95

* Smythe-sewn binding, with sturdy, colourful dust jacket printed on both sides.

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Streetcar history


Ottawa's Streetcars

Ottawa’s Streetcars was authored by Ottawa native Bill McKeown, after over fifty years of research. It details the history of the Ottawa Electric Railway, its predecessors, and the Ottawa Transportation Commission, all forerunners of today’s OC Transpo.The book contains 256 pages, with over 300 historical photographs – much larger than post-card size, for more interesting detail–with more than 50 photos in full colour.

• Details the history of the Ottawa Electric Railway, its predecessors, and the Ottawa Transportation Commission.

• A magnificent historical record of Ottawa as it was at the end of the 19th and during the first half of the 20th centuries.


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• A dozen appendices include coverage of the new O-Train, the restoration of OTC Streetcar 696, bibliography, trackage history, recollections from a retired motorman, and much more.


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• Ten city, trackage, and route maps including a large 1929 route map in full colour.


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• Extensively detailed 19-page roster of passenger and work equipment.


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• The photos feature operating transportation equipment and surrounding street scenes in Ottawa.


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Critical Comment

“On May 2, 1959, the last of Ottawa’s streetcars made its final run on the Britannia line, bringing to an end almost seven decades of streetcar service. The history of the service is thoroughly documented in Bill McKeown’s book.... The book also looks ahead to the promise of light-rail transit, basically using updated streetcars.”

— The Ottawa Citizen, May 10, 2006

“I must say that this is a most attractive book. In fact it is shaping up...as one of the best local streetcar histories I have ever seen. And as the onetime owner of Interurban Press, I published quite a few such books myself! The author has a lively writing style and shows diligent research. And that jacket – absolutely marvellous. Red is my favorite color for streetcars.”

— G. Mac Sebree, Vancouver, Washington

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