I came across the above scene while walking through Hintonburg this morning; it’s the newly-sandblasted western entrance to the Capital Wire and Cloth Building at 7 Hinton Avenue having its brickwork re-pointed in preparation for a fresh coat of paint.
Watching the work, I was reminded that the old building is a destination on the excellent Hintonburg Heritage Walking Tour. It’s a thoroughly-researched self-guided 30-point tour, with rich detail about sites like the old Crawley Film studios on Fairmount, the historic Elmdale House Tavern on Wellington, or the elegant Iona Mansions at the top of Carruthers Avenue.
Here’s a sample of the detailed research – it’s what the guide has to say about the Capital Wire and Cloth Building itself:
Capital Wire Cloth bought this property in 1902 from the Ottawa Land Association Company, a consortium of local entrepreneurs who bought and subdivided a large tract of land in Hintonburg in 1895. When it first opened about 1922, the factory stood virtually alone. A block away, between Parkdale and Pinehurst Avenues, stood an isolated forest grove described as “thickly wooded ground — mostly pine”. The nearest building was a grocer’s on the site of the present-day Carleton Tavern (built 1935) on Armstrong Street. The factory was expanded in 1919, in the mid-1920’s and again in 1948. Capital Wire Cloth ceased production at the Hinton Avenue plant in July 1974 due to an industry-wide conversion from metal wire screens to plastic mesh screens. In 1983 the factory was sold to Metcalfe Realty and completely renovated by Barry Padolsky, one of Ottawa’s leading heritage architects.
The entry goes on to mention that in the 80s the building housed the Hinton Animation Studio; the animated TV show The Racoons was produced there.
The guide is a project of the Hintonburg Community Association; in print, a perfect compliment to it is Hintonburg and Mechanicsville, A Narrative History, by architectural historian John Leaning.