Report to/Rapport au :


Planning Committee

Comité de l’urbanisme


and Council / et au Conseil


25 October 2011 / le 25 octobre 2011


Submitted by/Soumis par: Steve Desroches, Councillor/ Conseiller

Ward 22/ quartier 22


Contact Person/Personne resource: Councillor/ Conseiller Steve Desroches




Ref N°:ACS2011-CMR-PLC-0019






That the Planning Committee recommend Council approve that the Director of Building Code Services and the General Manager of Planning and Growth Management, as the case may be, be directed to take necessary actions to re‑name or name, Bent Oak to Slattery’s Field in accordance with the Municipal Addressing By-law Number 2005-322 or through the development approval process, as shown on Document 1.



Que le Comité de l’urbanisme recommande au Conseil d’approuver que le directeur des Services du Code du bâtiment et le directeur général d’Urbanisme et Gestion de la croissance, selon le cas, soient chargés de prendre les mesures nécessaires pour renommer ou nommer, la rue Bent Oak en Slattery’s Field conformément au Règlement 2005-322 sur l’adressage municipal ou dans le cadre du processus d’approbation de demande d’aménagement, tel qu’illustré dans le document 1.



Slattery’s Field is an important chapter in Ottawa’s history.  The field was located across the Rideau Canal from Lansdowne Park. It ran between what is now known as Main Street and Echo Drive, near the intersection of Main and Riverdale. The Field was part of extensive pasture land belonging to William Slattery, a wealthy Ottawa butcher. Where the entire Slattery property was located by today’s standards was the border between Ottawa and Ottawa South and the former Town of Ottawa East.


In 1911, The Central Canada Exhibition Committee tried to hire John A.D. McCurdy to give flying demonstrations in his aircraft, the Silver Dart as part of the Central Canada Exhibition. This was an attempt at making the 1911 Exhibition the biggest and best to date.


Mr. McCurdy was unavailable and arranged for his colleague, Captain Thomas Baldwin to put on the performances. Baldwin placed himself in charge of the aircraft and brought in his protégé, Lee Hammond, to do the flying. The Committee contracted Baldwin for two flights a day from September 11th through September 14th.


According to the Ottawa Evening Journal newspaper, over 20,000 people came to see the first flight in Ottawa. Alexander Moffat Ross, Chief of Police (1910-1931), and four constables were on hand to see that the crowd did not interfere with the aviator or put themselves in harm’s way.


Captain Baldwin elected to assemble his aircraft at Slattery’s Field Shortly after 1:00 p.m. on September 11th the propeller on the Red Devil was primed, taxied eastward and rose into the air after travelling 150 yards. The plane was flown over the exhibition grounds, southwest to Dow’s Lake and northeast back to Lansdowne Park. Hammond then guided the plane southward and over the Rideau Canal completing a figure eight. He turned above Dow’s Lake again and drove the Red Devil back to Slattery’s Field where he made a perfect landing. The whole flight took about 5 minutes.  September 11, 2011 is the 100th anniversary of the event.


In 1909, Canadian born John A. McCurdy (1886-1961) made the first successful flight in the British Empire. The flying demonstration took place at Baddeck, Nova Scotia in his own biplane, the Silver Dart. Mr. McCurdy established the first aviation school in Canada and was the manager of Long Branch Aerodrome, Canada’s first airport. He served as Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia from 1947-1952.


Thomas Scott Baldwin (1854-1923) was an American aviator and inventor. He is considered the father of the modern parachute and the American dirigible. Baldwin designed and built all his own aircraft including the Red Devils. A volunteer for the US Army during WWI, he was commissioned Captain, Aviation Section, US Signal Corps and rose to the rank of major. After the war, he went to work for the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. His most famous invention remains the Goodyear Blimp.


American Lee Hammond (1891-1932) was Thomas Scott Baldwin’s protégé. He crashed at Coney Island, New York the previous day and been thrown into the sea and had to catch a later train to Ottawa arriving here one hour prior to scheduled flight time. Following his performance here he went on to fly for other pioneer aviators and inventors including Englishman Thomas O. Sopwith. At the request of his wife, he quit flying in 1916 and went on to make Hollywood movies about flying.


All the Baldwin machines were named the Red Devil. Each successive one was enumerated. The one that was flown over Ottawa was the Red Devil III. The naming of this plane was derived from the colouration. The biplanes’ tubing was painted bright red with yellow contrast wings. A Red Devil is on display at the Smithsonian Institute’s Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air & Space Museum in Washington D.C.


John A. McCurdy’s Silver Dart was the first Canadian military aircraft. He put on a demonstration for the Canadian Army on July 31, 1909 at Camp Petawawa. The Army purchased a few following the demonstration. A reconstruction is on display at the Canadian Aviation Museum in Ottawa.




The community of Findlay Creek in South Ottawa is continuing to expand. There are a number of plans of subdivision in various stages of the development process, each including approved or proposed names for new streets. A plan of subdivision for the area east of Albion Road and north of Findlay Creek Drive was registered in March of 2011, and it provides for the access to two new future streets, “Bent Oak” and “Willowburn” Streets, from the easterly portion of Gracewood Crescent. Another plan of subdivision is currently under review, but has not been registered yet, which provides for new lots along and the extension of these two streets, connecting to the westerly portion of Gracewood Crescent, as shown on Document 1. 

It is proposed that “Bent Oak” Street be renamed to “Slattery’s Field” to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first flight in Ottawa.  It is a fitting location for the street name given that the neighbourhood is located close to the Ottawa International Airport. Further, given that the street has not been developed yet, there would be no impact on the public from the name change. The proposed name complies with the guidelines of the Municipal Addressing By-law, By-law Number 2005-322, and as well, it supports the objective to promote the City’s history through municipal naming initiatives.

The process for the street name change for the small portion of Bent Oak Street identified by registered plan will fall under the provisions of the Municipal Addressing By-law. This will require notice to the public through the City’s web site; approval either under delegated authority or by Planning Committee (depending on whether objections are received); Council passage of a by-law and registration. For the balance of the street, where the plan of subdivision is currently under review by the City, this simply requires a change to the proposed name on the plan before it is approved and registered. The developer is in support of the proposed change to the street name and will be responsible for installing the street blades.



There are no rural implications associated with this report other than the fact the Slattery’s Field was active farmland 100 years ago.



The airport authority supports efforts to recognize Ottawa’s aviation history.

The City Clerk has advised that because the name relates to a historic geographical location, it is not subject to the formal commemorative naming process. Nevertheless, this proposal aligns with the goals of the City’s Commemorative Naming Policy, namely the following criterion: The nominated name has historical significance.

The Clerk’s Office has circulated the proposed name to the departments responsible for streets, parks and facilities to determine whether duplicate or similar sounding names exist.  While there were some partial matches, both the Civic Addressing staff and the Chief of Security & Emergency Management have agreed that the name poses little risk to emergency response and is therefore acceptable for use. 

The Planning and Growth Management Department has no objections to the proposed street name change as the proposal complies with the guidelines contained in the Municipal Addressing By-law.



Councillor Desroches: This is unique opportunity to recognize an important chapter in Ottawa’s aviation history.



There are no legal implications associated with this report.  



There are no risk implications associated with this report.



The cost of registering the by-law is $88, which would typically be funded through the street name change application fee. As no fee will be collected, the associated cost will be funded from within Building Code Services – Other Permit and Compliance Reporting budget, and may impact Planning and Growth Management’s 2011 operating status. 


There are no technological implications associated with this report.







Document 1    Slattery Field Map



City Manager’s Office, City Clerk and Solicitor’s Department to draft and process the necessary by-law amendment for Council approval.


Department of Planning and Growth Management to notify those directly affected by the street name change including primary public and private sector agencies.