Some Ottawa Foodie History [General]

2011 Jun 12
Maureen gave me a copy of the 1950 edition of the "Duncan Hines Adventures in Good Eating" for my Birthday. Many don't know that Duncan Hines' claim to fame before being the cake mix king, was that he was the authority on restaurant guidebooks for travelers - the first to catalog restaurants around North America.

In the 1950 edition, there are two entries for Ottawa, The Bytown Inn and La Touraine. I've copies the entries in the latest blog posting with some photos of the book itself. I've also found a copy o an ad for the Bytown Inn.

Here's the posting:

Does anyone know anything about these places? I know that La Touraine expunged their trademark two years before the National Arts Centre was built, as they were at 101 Elgin, the site of today's NAC. The Bytown Inn was at the corner of O'Connor and Albert, replaced by rather unsightly modern office buildings.


2011 Jun 12
Hi Rob,

La Touraine was THE place to eat back then. It was located in a lovely old apartment building that was actually where Confederation park is now I believe, The building was occupied mainly by MPs and Senators and was very toney. I think MPs ans Senators were also significantly tonier then than now!!! I believe the building was called The Seigneury Apartments, anyone know more?

2011 Jun 12
Hi again... The building was The Roxborough. The Prime Minister macKenzie King lived there, Here is a link thats fun

2013 Jun 7
Louis Saint Laurent also lived there as PM before 24 Sussex was purchased and renovated.

I remember, when the Roxborough was about to be demolished, walking through the empty, stripped La Touraine. That would have been around 1964.

I also remember having lunch in the Bytown Inn, as a special treat. I must have been very young. It was no later than 1965.

2013 Jun 8
In a similar vein, I have a book about the old Ottawa WHA hockey team in the early 70's that was written by the owner. He mentions that when they had out of town guests they took them to a restaurant called "Louis IX". They didn't really go into any more details in the book. If you google it though there's a story on about Cafe Louis IX in Hull which was apparently one of the places to go to in the 60's and according to the book, the early 70's as well.

2013 Jun 9
I was looking for more information on La Touraine and found an ebay listing for a menu.
I am not affiliated with the seller, I just thought some may find it interesting as there are pictures of the menu.