The former City of Hull (now Gatineau) and the Quebec Ministry of Culture and Communications (MCCQ) retained MTBA to undertake a comprehensive Heritage Conservation District (HCD) Study for the “E.B.Eddy” site at the Hull waterfront. The site comprises 16 historic industrial structures at a prime, arresting Ottawa River waterfront location at the “Devil’s Hole” and the Chaudière Falls Ring dam, in the heart of the central business district. Phase Two of the study comprised specific architectural conservation guidelines for the key street front, 6- building complex at the site, including the major 19th century limestone paper mills of the E.B.Eddy Company, whose founder, Ezra Butler Eddy, is a person of national historic significance.
The HCD Study and Conservation Guidelines Report included in-depth research, site investigations, analysis, history and heritage value summaries, establishment of applicable evaluation criteria, heritage character statements and evaluations for 16 structures, mapping, photographic recording and building condition summaries, review of and report on applicable international conservation charters, guidelines for heritage character preservation, and for potential interventions, and preparation of a research bibliography. The guidelines included specific reviews of original materials, and of the prime character-defining elements of these buildings.
The city of Hull was founded in 1800, upon the arrival of Philemon Wright from Massachusetts, and his subsequent rapid establishment of a village of mills and other structures at the massive Chaudière Falls. Commerce (notably the export of wood and wood products) and expansion (such as houses, taverns, bridges, etc.) followed and Wrightstown became the most important place in the entire Ottawa Valley, before Bytown (Ottawa) was established. In 1851, E.B.Eddy arrived from Vermont, starting working for Wright’s interests and became the first in a line of major entrepreneurs to fully exploit the hydro power of the Falls and the wood commerce of the virgin Valley forests. Eddy’s wood products and pulp and paper fabrication empire became the foremost on the continent and a major player on the global scene. The buildings surviving today, and those built following the Great Fire of 1900, make up this industrial heritage district, along with the surrounding waterfront landscape and the Victoria & Chaudière Islands lands adjacent. It is also the location of significant aboriginal settlements prior to the industrial activity and today represents the foundation of a potential vibrant, revitalized mixed-use urban district capitalizing upon the heritage sites, structures and spirits.