20070523/渥太华1900年毁灭性大火和1916年国会大厦火灾

/**渥太华1900年的毁灭性大火成为城市在二十世纪的惨痛开端,不过,发生在1916年的国会大厦火灾,则更为旅游观光客熟知。**/

1900年一场毁灭性的大火,使渥太华受到严重的破坏。1937年,法裔建筑师雅克·格勒贝承担了改建渥太华市区的重任。坐落在渥太华河畔国会山麓的国会大厦是渥太华著名的建筑群,中央有陈设着加拿大各省标志的大厅和一个高88.7米的和平塔,塔顶有个带着53个铃铛的钟琴,塔内有战争纪念碑。塔的左、右分别是众议院和参议院,后面是规模宏大的国会图书馆。1916年大厦曾遭火焚,翌年开始重建,1927年竣工。

严寒之都——加拿大首都渥太华

新华网/加拿大首都渥太华(Ottawa)位于安大略省东南部与魁北克省交界处。首都地区(包括安大略省的渥太华市、魁北克省的赫尔市和其周围城镇)人口110多万(2005年),面积4662平方公里。市内有渥太华河由西向东湍流而过,将整个城市南北分开。南部居民是英国移民后代,讲英语;北部居民是法国移民后代,讲法语。里多河自南向北穿城而过,注入城北的渥太华河。渥太华为加拿大第四大城市,是水、陆、空交通枢纽。水力资源丰富,以轻工业为主,有造纸、木材加工、食品、机械制造等工业。

渥太华处于低地,平均海拔约109米,周围几乎完全被加拿大地盾的岩石群所包围。属大陆性寒温带针叶林气候。夏季空气湿度较大,有海洋性气候的特点。冬季由于北面没有横亘的山脉,来自北极的干燥强冷气流,可以毫无阻挡地横扫渥太华大地,气候干燥寒冷,1月平均气温为-11度,是世界上最寒冷的首都之一,最低气温曾达零下39度。春天一来,整个城市布满了色彩艳丽的郁金香,把这座都城装扮得格外美丽,因此渥太华有“郁金香城”的美誉。据气象部门统计,渥太华每年约有8个月夜晚温度在零度以下,故有人称其为“严寒之都”。

17世纪初,法国探险家塞谬尔·戴·查普雷恩来到这里。之后英法殖民者便纷至沓来,把这里逐渐变成了木材集散地。他们沿用了印第安人的叫法,把“渥太华”正式标注在地图上。在印第安语中,“渥太华”是“贸易”的意思。1756-1763年间,英法殖民者之间爆发了“七年战争”。法国战败,1763年签订了《巴黎条约》,法国把在加拿大的殖民地割让给了英国。1800年,美国赖特开始在渥太华河北岸伐木,以后发展为赫尔城。1812-1814年英美战争期间,里多河成为渥太华和金斯顿之间的水上安全通道。美军战败,英国从此确立了在加拿大的地位。1826年,英国皇家工程兵中校约翰·拜至此修建运河,加速了该地的发展,当时的工程指挥部所在地被称为拜镇。1850年成为镇,1855年成为市,并以从休伦湖迁来的印第安部落的名称重新命名为渥太华。1867年英国议会通过《不列颠北美法案》,成立加拿大自治领,才正式定为加拿大的首都。

1900年一场毁灭性的大火,使渥太华受到严重的破坏。1937年,法裔建筑师雅克·格勒贝承担了改建渥太华市区的重任。根据雅克·格勒贝的方案,穿越市区的铁路被移到了郊外,新的政府各部大楼也建在郊外,城市居民区、商业区、办公区、文化区、科技教育区的规划和建设全部采用现代英式、法式和美式建筑风格,工业区置于下风地带以使市区免受污染,城内的所有街道和空地全部实现公园化、绿地化。市区道路呈棋盘状。

渥太华依山傍水,风景秀丽。市中心区位于上城和下城。里多运河以西,为上城,这里围绕着国会山,集中了不少政府机关。坐落在渥太华河畔国会山麓的国会大厦是渥太华著名的建筑群,中央有陈设着加拿大各省标志的大厅和一个高88.7米的和平塔,塔顶有个带着53个铃铛的钟琴,塔内有战争纪念碑。塔的左、右分别是众议院和参议院,后面是规模宏大的国会图书馆。1915年(应为1916年–jack注)大厦曾遭火焚,翌年开始重建,1927年竣工。在国会山南,沿着里多运河是联邦广场,广场上耸立着1939年5月建成的国内战争纪念碑。国会大厦对面是威灵顿大街,联邦政府大厦等首脑机关座落在这条大街上。里多运河以东为下城区,这里是讲法语的居民集中的地方,这里有很多重要建筑物,市政厅、国家档案馆、加拿大造币厂以及渥太华历史博物馆和法国罗马天主教的圣母玛丽亚大教堂等建筑;还有联邦火车站及具有法国建筑风格的铁路旅馆--劳利大楼。 

渥太华是一座花园城市,每年有200万左右游客到此观光游览。渥太华市中心区有里多运河通过。里多运河以西为上城,这里围绕着国会山,集中了不少政府机关。坐落在渥太华河畔国会山麓的国会大厦是一片意大利哥特式建筑群,中央有陈设着加拿大各省标志的大厅和一个高88.7米的和平塔。塔的左右分别是众议院和参议院,其后是规模宏大的国会图书馆。国会山正南沿着里多运河的联邦广场中央耸立着国内战争纪念碑。在国会大厦对面的威灵顿大街上云集着联邦政府大厦、司法大楼、最高法院、中央银行等重要建筑。里多运河以东为下城区,这里是法语居民集中的地区,拥有市政厅、国家档案馆等著名建筑。

加拿大总督府位于上城和下城之外,座落在国会山不远的伊士斯特维尤镇洛克立弗公园南面。总督府花园内有一片友谊林,来访的各国国家元首都要在这里植树留念。1997年11月28日中国国家主席江泽民访问加拿大时在此种下了一棵象征友谊的大果栎树,意在祝愿中加友谊长存。

渥太华还是一个文化城市,市内的艺术中心有国家画廊和各种博物馆。渥太华大学、卡尔顿大学、圣保罗大学是这个城市的最高学府。卡尔顿大学是一所单一的英语大学,渥太华大学和圣保罗大学都是通行两种语言的大学。

渥太华还是一个花园城市,郊区到处是草坪、花圃,自春至秋,碧绿青葱、姹紫嫣红,美丽的景色每年吸引着众多游客。1826—1832年在英国威灵顿公爵倡议下,为军事目的修建的里多运河,现在成为著名游乐中心。当年河上的水闸、水坝等石彻工程,现在成为历史性文物,夏季可在河上驾驶游艇,冬季则是天然滑冰场。人们来到这里欣赏她那四季迷人的风光。

渥太华所处的优越地理位置为工业、农业、商业和金融业的发展提供了有利的环境和条件。渥太华的主要农作物是小麦、大豆、玉米、甜菜、土豆和烟草,其农业全部实现了机械化、电气化、水利化和化肥化,并在加强农业科研和成果推广的基础上实现了由“雨育农业”向“生态农业”的转变。在城区和近郊,传统的皮革加工、木材加工、造纸、建筑材料等工业已不占重要地位,取而代之的是电子、生物研究与开发、医疗器械、办公设备、宇航与卫星通讯设备、消防与环卫设备等行业。

渥太华是加拿大的科学文化中心,国家级、市级和大企业公司级的科研机构遍布全市。最有影响的自然科学和社会科学研究机构分别是加拿大国家自然科学研究院和加拿大北美学会。这两大研究机构集中了全国最有影响的自然科学家和社会学者,每年有大量的学术成果问世。渥太华市区北部是高技术集中发展的地区,被人们称为“北硅谷”。几百家大中小高技术公司云集在这里。

渥太华气候寒冷,冬季漫长,冰上运动十分发达。渥太华市的冰上运动水平在全国堪称一流,特别是冰球运动,享有盛名。加拿大素有“冰球之国”之称,渥太华则是“冰球之城”,现代化的室内冰球场遍及全市。

1999年10月18日,渥太华市与中国的北京市结为友好城市。

http://news.xinhuanet.com/ziliao/2003-11/25/content_1197171.htm

The Great Fire of 1900 – A Disastrous Start to the 20th Century in Ottawa

On Thursday, April 26, 1900, catastrophe and destruction struck Ottawa’s main industrial area. It started as a small house fire in Hull, but quickly became an inferno that covered the region. Thirty mile per hour winds carried the fire across the Ottawa River by the wooden bridge at Chaudière Falls, all the way to Dow’s Lake. Smoke from the fire was visible as far away as Kingston, Ont.

And the next day’s headlines read: “Large portion of Ottawa destroyed” and “Hull to all intents wiped out.”

“Just after 10 a.m., . . . a spark flew out of the chimney of (a) . . . wood-frame house in Hull and ignited a fire . . . The fire grew out of control and by noon had consumed most of downtown Hull. . . Embers borne by strong northerly winds ignited lumber yards on the Ontario shore . . . at 12:18 p.m. the alarm was sounded in Ottawa. At 3 p.m., buglers were sent . . . to call out the militia . . . explosions filled the air, as dynamite and industrial chemicals blew up. A power plant was burned, cutting electricity to whole sections of the city. Streetlights were off for five nights. Thousands of people filled the streets, anxious for news . . . By the time the fire burned itself out around midnight, Ottawa’s industrial heart was gone.”

Though over 14,000 were left homeless, amazingly, only seven people died in the fire. (More people died of disease in the densely packed, unsanitary tent cities where the homeless were forced to live afterwards.)

The scale of the fire was enormous. Over 3,000 homes were destroyed. Property loss was estimated to be greater than $100,000,000. The Canadian Pacific Union Station and freight sheds on Lebreton Flats were completely destroyed (valued at $40,000), while the value of Canadian Pacific freight lost was estimated at $30,000.

“Lumber King” J.R. Booth lost his mansion and 50 million board feet of lumber. The resulting shortage of lumber forced Canada Atlantic Railway car shops in Ottawa East to cease building new freight cars temporarily.

And the calamity made news around the world. Donations and expressions of sympathy poured into Ottawa from as far away as Chile.

“Even before the flames had died out, relief work had started . . . homeless people were accommodated at the Exhibition Grounds until the middle of June . . . a committee of women presided over by Lady Minto . . . wife of the governor general, distributed food and clothing daily to 3,000 people, until May 19.

“Officials feared that many of the homeless would move away, depriving Ottawa of valuable manpower. Swift compensation was arranged to prevent that: nearly $1 million was paid out, much of it in August.”

The rebuilding of Ottawa began immediately, resulting in 750 new buildings by the end of the year.

(Quotes from 1895–1904: Great fire of 1900 left trail of devastation, ushered city into 20th century. Series: 150th Anniversary of Ottawa; Daniel Drolet. Ottawa Citizen. Ottawa, Ont.: Feb 12, 2005. p. E.2.)

http://www.biblioottawalibrary.ca/connect/research/local/fire_e.html

Canadian Parliament Buildings Fire of 1916

From Susan Munroe,

About the Parliament Buildings Fire of 1916:
While World War I was raging in Europe, the Canadian Parliament Buildings in Ottawa caught fire on a freezing February night in 1916. With the exception of the Library of Parliament, the Centre Block of the Parliament Buildings was destroyed and seven people died. Rumours were rife that the Parliament Buildings fire was caused by enemy sabotage, but a Royal Commission into the fire concluded that the cause was accidental.

Date of the Parliament Buildings Fire:
February 3, 1916

Location of the Parliament Buildings Fire:
Ottawa, Ontario

Background of the Canadian Parliament Buildings:
The Canadian Parliament Buildings consist of the Centre Block, the Library of Parliament, the West Block and the East Block. The Centre Block and Library of Parliament sit at the highest point on Parliament Hill with a steep escarpment down to the Ottawa River at the back. The West Block and East Block sit down the hill on each side at the front of the Centre Block with a large grassy expanse in the middle.

The original Parliament Buildings were built between 1859 and 1866, just in time to be used as the seat of government for the new Dominion of Canada in 1867.
Cause of the Parliament Buildings Fire:
The exact cause of the Parliament Buildings fire was never pinpointed, but the Royal Commission investigating the fire ruled out enemy sabotage. Fire safety was inadequate in the Parliament Buildings and the most likely cause was careless smoking in the House of Commons Reading Room.

Casualties in the Parliament Buildings Fire:
Seven people died in the Parliament Buildings fire:

Two guests of House Speaker Albert Sévigny and his wife returned to get their fur coats and were found dead in a corridor.

A policeman and two government employees were crushed by a fallen wall.

Bowman Brown Law, the Liberal member of parliament for Yarmouth, Nova Scotia died near the House of Commons Reading Room.

The body of René Laplante, Assistant Clerk of the House of Commons, was found in the building two days after the fire.
Summary of the Parliament Buildings Fire:
Shortly before 9 p.m. on February 3, 1916, a member of parliament noticed smoke in the House of Commons Reading Room in the Centre Block of the Parliament Buildings.

The fire quickly raced out of control.

The House of Commons was interrupted in the middle of a debate on fish marketing.

Prime Minister Robert Borden was in his office when he was alerted to the fire. He escaped down a messenger’s stairway through thick smoke and flames. His office was badly damaged, but some papers on his desk were not touched.

Major-General Sam Hughes, who was down the street at the Ch?teau Laurier hotel when he heard about the fire, called in the local 77th Battalion to provide crowd control and help with evacuation.

At 9:30 p.n. the roof of the House of Commons collapsed.

Senators and soldiers rescued some historic paintings from the Senate before the fire spread to it.

By 11:00 p.m. the Victoria Clock Tower had caught on fire, and by midnight the clock was silent. At 1:21 a.m. the tower fell.

By 3:00 a.m. the fire was mostly under control, although there was another outbreak the next morning.

The Centre Block was a smoking shell filled with icy rubble, with the exception of the Library of Parliament.

The Library of Parliament had been built with iron safety doors, which were slammed shut against the fire and smoke. A narrow corridor separating the Library from the Centre Block also contributed to the Library’s survival.

After the fire, the Victoria Memorial Museum cleared its exhibition galleries to make room for parliamentarians to meet and work. On the morning after the fire, the museum’s auditorium was converted into a temporary House of Commons Chamber, and that afternoon, members of parliament conducted business there.

Rebuilding the Parliament Buildings began quickly even though there was a war on. The first parliament sat in the new building on February 26th, 1920, although the Centre Block wasn’t completed until 1922. The Peace Tower was finished by 1927.

http://canadaonline.about.com/od/parliament/p/parlbldgsfire.htm

Great fire and rebuilding

The Centre Block the morning after the 1916 fireThe Centre Block burned in 1916; the edifice was entirely destroyed except for the Library of Parliament, whose treasures were preserved by a quick-thinking librarian who was able to close its massive, iron doors. The Centre Block was immediately rebuilt, being completed in 1920, with the Peace Tower, commemorating the end of the First World War, being completed in 1927. The new structure, designed by John Pearson and Omar Marchand, again embraced Gothic Revival, but also integrated the Beaux Arts ideas current at the time.

The Peace Tower is the most prominent part of the buildings. It replaced the 55-metre Victoria Tower, burned in the 1916 fire. Like the entire interior and exterior of the building, the tower is decorated with approximately 370 stone carvings, including gargoyles, grotesques, and freizes.

The centrepiece of the new buildings is the Hall of Honour in the Centre Block, which is notable for being the only place where Canadians can lie in state.

Since then there have been a number of significant incidents in the building’s history. In 1966 Paul Joseph Chartier killed himself in a Centre Block washroom while preparing to bomb the House of Commons. In 1989 Charles Yacoub hijacked a Greyhound bus and drove it up onto Parliament Hill.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliament_Hill

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