The Carlington Summit

During the meeting of Summit staff in August of this year, there was a general discussion on the value of looking back at the news and events which have made the Carlington community what it is today. As a long time supporter and contributor to the Summit, and owner of a fairly complete set of the 17 volumes published, I agreed to prepare a regular retrospective based on the content of the Summit five, ten and fifteen (or more) years ago.

This is the first installment of that retrospective. If you read and like it, please let us know (see page 2 for information on how to contact us). If you do not read any further than this, or did not think the story was of value, please let us know why.

If you are interested in some aspect of the history of this fine community, send in your query and we will see if we can do a bit of research and come up with a story. Or even better, maybe you have a story that just begs to be told. Write it down or record it and pass it on to us.

Our summertime staff discussion also got around to the need for some photos to go with these retrospectives. Perhaps you have photos of Carlington in its earliest days that you might like to share with Summit readers. We are well aware that there are some people or their families who have lived in the community since the late 1940s. But did you know Carlington has a history stretching back to 1863?

The Summit debut

Thanks to current editor Greg Clunis and a cleanup of old Summit files, I am happy to say I am the owner of a copy of the very first Carlington Summit newspaper. It is dated June 1983. Looking over the paper, several thoughts come to mind.

First, the front page is topped by the very same graphic as on the paper you are holding in your hands. The size of the typeface has been reduced a bit, but otherwise you would not see much of a change.

Second, a glance at the contributors section on page 2 indicates graphics were done by H.J. McClemens. If you look in this paper, you will see that graphics and layout are attributable to the very same person. For dedication to his community and to the task, no one deserves to take a bow more than our faithful Clem.

MO< Speaking of layout, the third thought when looking at Volume 1 Number 1 is how much the layout look and process has changed over the years. In 1983 there were no desktop computers, so stories were typed on typewriters and pasted onto a page layout sheet. Columns were wide and ragged, but neat and tidy. Overall, the first issue was a work of art.

The editorial staff for the first issue were David Bertram, Mary Lu Beaupré and Peter Robertson. In their lead editorial they stated: “Our goals are not completely solidified but we hope this paper will do one thing, reflect the community back on to itself.” One wonders if they imagined the paper still going seventeen years later.

The contents of the paper showed the big issue in the community was the installation of high pressure sodium (orange glow) cobra-style street lights at a cost of $500,000. The front page also recounted how the orange glow of night fires at 1153 Emperor and 1147 Dorchester in late May had unsettled the community. Other stories featured sports (two pages worth!), Scouting, Guiding, Mooretown beautification and the community association activities (Bellevue Manor Tenants Association and Carlington Home Owners' Association).

Advertisers took a chance on the new paper in a big way. Some have since disappeared while others continue to exist in our community. The advertisers included: Freshlands silk flowers on Bakervale, Emery's Bike Shop on Stevenson, European Shoe Repair on Merivale, Canada Trust, Century 21, Lauzon Meat on Merivale, Mister Arcade, Photo World Westgate, Macies Ottawan Motel, Queensway West Car Wash on Leperriere (sic) and Royal Food Store on Carling featuring a Summit first edition special of 2% milk 4 litre bag at $2.75.

Terry Denison was our representative at city hall while Lloyd Francis served as our MP (and Deputy Speaker). Reuben Baetz was our MPP as well as Minister of Tourism and Recreation.

Five years later

In June 1988 the Summit published sixteen pages full of news, photos and a healthy balance of advertisements. The front page presented stories on Carlington Days tug-of-war, the introduction of 9-1-1 and the facelift for Meadowvale Park between Trent and Trenton. The Carlington Days festival was also featured in a two-page spread in the centre of the paper.

Frances Tanner was editor and a prolific contributor of stories as well. Yours truly was writing a Scouting column while Daphne Biggs regularly contributed family stores in her Daphne's Diary column. Clem's Corner was anchored on page 2 where it resides today.

Reviewing the paper's stories shows how important school news was at the time. There were stories about the new principal (Carol Kirby) at Gowling, the closing of T.P. Maxwell, astronaut Marc Garneau visiting the alternative school at MacGregor Easson, a full page of news from St. Elizabeth written by students Amy Lecompte and Erin Brophy, happenings at Laurentian High School and Multicultural Day at Gowling. (Whew! If only we heard this much about these schools today we would be able to fill sixteen pages every month. Hint, hint!)

The political faces had changed completely since 1983. The alderman for Queensboro Ward was Mark Maloney, David Daubney was MP and due to the provincial boundaries splitting Carlington, two MPPs served the community with Richard Pattern in Ottawa Central and Bob Chiarelli in Ottawa West. Interestingly, school board trustees were now advertising in the paper. Ads appeared for Zone 5 representatives Alexander Cullen and Kathy Yach.

As always, there would be no paper without local businesses paying for space in the paper. The Volume 5 Number 10 issue was paid for by: Amigo's Restaurant, Merivale Pharmacy, Kelly's Plumbing and Heating, dressmaker Elvira John, Bente's Beauty Studio, Nettleton's Jewellery, Cypress Garden, Deane Corneil of Photocan on Laperriere, architect James Edwards, Young's Service Station (Esso), Arcadian Carpet on Merivale, Innovation Hair and Esthetics Studio, Eric McLean Insurance Brokers, CTR Ceramic Tile, Marble and Mosaic on Coldrey and the Sombrero Restaurant on Baseline.