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Lecture 3

Week 3rd Property Development Processes to 1945.docx

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Carleton University
HIST 3209

rd Week 3 Canadian Urban History – Property Development Process to 1945 Jan 27 2014 What is different about the land process in the 1945 period to today’s periods What is different between the literature of the Ontario land process Reading by Ducet about the North American city • they really mean a North American city Subdivisions: how rural land becomes urban land • Rural survey framework o Divided into townlots – rural frameowkr tend to be where urban development develops o They were divded in the easiest way possible  imposing another grid in this farmlot o Land owner/subdividers, surveyors  Usually divided by surveryors for land owners  Land near the town would be bought by mercantile elites – would later reap the rewards for later subdivisions  Ottawa similar to Hamilton in this regard  The location of these subdivisions also reflect the new transportation technologies that provide more distant sites from downtown o Boom and Bust years in the reading by Ducet – useful to understand these years of recession to understand growth o Grid plans, street names, lot sizes  Street names usually take the names of the land owner or their family name  i.e. Preston Street is named after a city tax collector  Streets typically 66 feet wide because that was the length of a traditional surveryor’s train  66’ x 95’ is a chain and a half  Streets vary from survey to survey so they didn’t always meet up rationally – these properties tended to be developed on its own in their own time without consideration of others  Units of land measures used: acre, rood, perches  40 perches in a rood, and 4 roods in an acre o Registration process – 1795, 1847, 1866 Registry Acts  1795 when the Ottawa land registry office opened – prior to this, land registry wasn’t compulsory  People were often registering deeds on a map that’s not on the office before this  1847 tried to force the registration to be done again  Registry involves taking a copy of the deed into an office  The main need people needed from the land office was to trace the people who owned it  1866 introduced an abstract index • Opens the page in an index book for every lot in the city • Every lot has chronological order of every transaction that happened on that property • Those abstract indexes went back to the original one • The original alphabetic index went into private hands and later was donated – now transferred to the archives  The system makes it simple to trace the ownership of a property, but hard to find how much an individual owned  Lot and concession number, or plan and plot number needed to use this system • Go to geo Ottawa to do this  The first wall on the left of the registry office will have a series of maps with the block plan number which will take you to a bookcase of books  Those books will show various parts of the city with the registry plan numbers and the lot numbers within the plan  Block plans useful when working on neighbourhoods because it shows how they’re put together o Conversion lists in registry offices to take your index references in order to find your microfilm  First stage is to look it up in an abstract parcel log – can photocopy for 50cents  Abstract index AR77, then look up lot 333 plan 374 • Lists grantor, restrictions, and other details on the deed  Many abbreviations used in LRO Abtract indexes • Will – only included if it has a legal description o To find the microfilmed deed, there’s another cross reference between the system and the microfilm system  Go to a set of binders on the same table labelled ‘registry’  5 – 411 is the one you need, so then go back to the cabinet  1866 – separate numbers for different municipalities  RO – stands for real old prior to 1866 o Obtaining plan numbers:  Part of legal description  From abstract indexes  Chronological plan indexes  From block plans o Subdivision plan 374  Annotated by changes • Marketing o Different from how it’s done today • Selling unserviced lots vs installing services/infrastructure and building houses prior to sale (the current practice) o 19 century – you bought an empty lot, and then the purchaser had to build the house himself or hire a contractor to do it for them o Practice of selling vacant lots increases the amount of speculation that took place (buying lots in hopes that the land will increase) o Subdivisions – may be registered and divided, but may have no immediate buyers o There may be a stage of speculative buying – people buy vacant lots in hopes to sell it later when the value increases, sometimes doesn’t happen o The old upper and lower town in Colonel By – that offer was on leasehold o The vestment act to 1843 made it possible to buy lots in Upper Town and also in the ordinance of survey in lower town o Many people began to rent from the ordinance because it was cheaper to rent than to buy o So few houses surviving in Lowertown – you rented, there was no incentive to build an expensive house because it would eventually come back to your landlord – houses not built to last o Colonel By’s speculative subdivision (7 on map)  When he came back to England and died an it became property of his heirs  Was divided to 10 acres lots for gardeners for a long time  Was subdivided into town lots in 1873 o Labourers on the Rideau Canal – Katherine M.J. McKenna  book for those doing Old Uppertown and Lowertown o Lots were generally auctioned to the higher bidder – second difference in how marketing was done o What generally happens is that your advertise with an expected price and people negotiate a price from this o Buyers from lots usually from the same class o As industrialization happens, there are more palces for rich people to place their capital and to invest in other than property  The amount of control of the elite over the market starts to decline in favour of home ownership o • Infrastructure private utility companies; munic. Services; Local Import Act o Infrastructure services are often developed in O
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