Fleet Street Pumping Station

Written by Bytown Museum on 03/Dec/2009

A photograph of the Fleet Street Pumping Station in Centretown West

Built in 1874, the Fleet Street Pumping Station and Aqueduct, Ottawa's first waterworks, were designed by Thomas Coltrin Keefer, one of the continent's top hydraulic and civil engineers. The design incorporates a 750-metre-long aqueduct arcing through Lebreton Flats from an Ottawa River intake above Chaudière Falls and following a natural depression whose solid rock was further excavated for the purpose. Five stone-arch bridges were also built to carry roadways over the aqueduct.

Before the waterworks were built, the City of Ottawa's then-population of 22,000 people took their water from individual wells or from carriers who delivered water door-to-door. Fear of large-scale urban fires eventually propelled the city into approving the project, originally designed in 1859.

The station has proven its worth – it provides pumping for no energy cost and continues to serve as part of the region's water supply system.

An excerpt from an article by Mark Brand published in “Ottawa: a guide to heritage structures.”


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A beautiful building to visit. Do when you have the chance espeically during Doors Open Ottawa. Amazing technology (so simple but so effective).

Grant, Sunday, October 03, 2010

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Neighbourhood

For the sake of the Capital Neighborhoods web site, the boundaries of Centretown West have been extended north to the Ottawa River and south to Dow's Lake. The history of this enlarged ... read more