Bytown Antique & Bottle Club
2016 Show Display
Moses C. Edey - Prominent Ottawa Architect
The 43rd annual Bytown Antique Show, held on April 24, 2016, was organized by the Bytown Antique & Bottle Club of Ottawa, combining an antique show and sale with a unique, educational display highlighting the work of Moses Edey (1845-1919). Edey was a prominent Ottawa Valley architect of the late 19th Century.
Born near Shawville, Quebec, Moses Chamberlain Edey was proud to be a ninth generation direct descendent of the two original Edey immigrant brothers who came to America, on the ship the Handmaid, from Bristol, England. This is documented in 1630, in the town hall records at Plymouth Rock Colony, Massachusetts.
Edey was educated first as a carriage maker in Arnprior, and then as an architect in the U.S.A. Edey was a gifted, hands-on architect who designed over 125 buildings, including the jewel of Lansdowne Park, the Aberdeen Pavilion. It is also known as The Cattle Castle. The Aberdeen Pavilion was built under his supervision in 1898 for the Central Canada Exhibition. Edey also designed the Daly Building, Ottawa’s first department store, the railway station in Aylmer, Quebec, along with many other commercial, institutional and residential buildings in Ottawa and the Ottawa Valley.
Between 1893 and 1901, Edey designed three major blocks of retail and office buildings in the town of Renfrew. These were: a commercial set of buildings for Alexander Barnet on Main Street in 1893-94; a commercial block for Patrick Devine in 1893; and the Mackay Block in 1896. He also designed a residence for Mayor John Mackay on Raglan Street South in 1900.
The display included several original drawings of buildings, awards, hand tools, photographs of Edey and a scale apprentice’s model of a sleigh in wood and metal that he designed and built in 1865, at the age of 20. This was the first time that most of this material had been on public display. Descendants of Edey were on hand to discuss his life and achievements.
Moses Edey - A Gifted Architect
Barry Padolsky, heritage consultant and Ottawa architect, commented on the two key buildings in Canada’s capital designed by Edey:
“Moses Chamberlain Edey was a gifted and prolific Ottawa architect who practiced at the dawn of 20th century modernism. His design for the Aberdeen Pavilion, a National Historic Site, endures as a dramatic steel structure costumed in the apparel of an 17th Century Italian cathedral. His design for the Daly building, inspired by the rising skyscrapers of Chicago, was Ottawa’s first modern building, was sadly demolished by government misrule in 1991 - 1992.”
The Aberdeen Pavilion was restored in 1992, and in 2000, the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada chose it as one of the top 500 Canadian buildings of the last millennium.