82. Booth Street Headquarters (1959)

Booth Street Headquarters

One constant in the history of the Geological Survey of Canada has been the need for more space to house its staff and its collections. By the early 1950s, the Survey had outgrown the Victoria Memorial Museum Building, which had been its home since 1911. Its scientists and support staff were located around Ottawa in nine locations, plus, the Survey’s museum had become a separate entity and had space pressures of its own.

In 1951, a national advisory committee recommended that a new building be constructed for the Survey to allow for the growing number of specialized laboratories needed to support its fieldwork operations. The result was the government decision, in 1953, to build a complex of buildings near Dows Lake in Ottawa to house both the Survey and the Mines Branch. The Survey’s new home at 601 Booth Street was ready for occupation in 1959.

The $6.3 million building brought the Survey’s scattered staff under one roof for the first time in decades. The results were immediate: improved morale, better communication, and increased cooperation between scientists of different disciplines. It also allowed the Survey to expand and undertake new laboratory operations to support its fieldwork.

Category: Buildings and Places

Decade: 1950s

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