Early Letters


A look back to the way things were through two separate letters to Ottawa Electric Railway.

Opposite: Confederation Square, August, 1955

OER Bulletin - November 1923


A Compliment

Dear Major Burpee:

I desire to report the conductor on Car No. 512 going up Elgin Street at a quarter to ten this morning for his kindness and prompt civility in dealing with a small boy passenger who had by mistake put into the fare box the twenty-five cents which was to take himself and his friend to a show.

The conductor, acting apparently under rule, took his name and address and gave him twenty-five cents from his pocket, but what impressed me was the promptness and businesslike courtesy with which the conductor relieved the distress of the boy, who was on the verge of tears.

I would much sooner make this sort of report to you than any other, and as a matter of fact the occasion on the Ottawa Electric Railway for reports of any other character are happily few and far between.

J. E. Macpherson

(The conductor was J. Dale)

A Royal Streetcar "The Duchess of Cornwall and york"

Public Transit Milestones in Ottawa


OER Bulletin - January 1924


A Justifiable Complaint

General Manager, O.E.R.

Dear Sir,

Being a regular user of the electric cars, four times daily, I should like to enquire whether any endeavour has ever been made by your Management to stop the objectionable habit practiced by some of the motormen in opening the door of the vestibule while the cars are in motion and spitting there from into the street. I say "into the street" advisedly, since no doubt those who make a practice of this, honestly intend the street to be the landing place for what they void from their mouths, but the trouble is that more often than not the mark is missed and it finds its destination on the steps of the car or even in the vestibule.

But even that is not the most objectionable part of the matter. At noon today I was travelling on a westbound car from Bank St. to Holland Ave. and during this run, on at least four occasions, the motorman opened the vestibule door and emptied his mouth on each occasion of a volume sufficient to derail the car had it landed on the track, and the lighter part of the volume, being caught by the breeze, generously distributed itself over my face and clothes as I sat in the seat second from the front.

I therefore think, Sir, that something should be done to obviate unpleasantness experienced by passengers on the street cars under these conditions. In your weekly bulletin you invite criticism of the street car service and this is a criticism which I believe would be upheld by a large majority of your patrons.

Personally, I do not object to the straight five cent fare about to be brought into operation, but I do not desire any service beyond the ordinary car ride for my five cents, particularly when an involuntary bath from the mouth of the motorman is entailed.

Yours very truly,

George Partridge

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