Former Ottawa Businesses That Bring Back Childhood Memories


It’s time to jump in your DeLorean, hit 88 miles per hour and travel back in time as we bring up some former Ottawa hot spots.

Faces asked the question on our social media platforms: “What former business in Ottawa reminds you of some of your favourite childhood memories?”.

The results were amusing and sparked many old memories; Here are some of the top responses shared by Faces readers:

Duff’s Smorgasbord

Duff’s Smorgasbord buffet in Bells Corners was a popular spot for food and most notably their soft ice cream bar in the ‘80s. Diners would line up at stalls around the company’s patented “Circl-Serv” rotary food line to get their meals.


Skateway Roller Disco


Ottawa is known for skating on the canal, but back in the day, you could wear your bell-bottom pants, crop tops, and glitter on the Skateway Roller Disco. Skateway offered 1,200 pairs of rental skates and was featured in Skate Magazine in 1980. It was in the West End at Greenbank Road and Morrison Drive.




I.P. Looney’s Restaurant



Every day was Halloween at I.P. Looney’s, another popular ‘80s spot listed by multiple readers. It was a fun, fancy place to eat teriyaki steaks and brontosaurus ribs while wearing a costume or enjoying their dance night. Crazy enough, they are still active on social media to this day.



A.J. Freiman Department Store

Photo via James Powell


Archie Jacob Freiman opened his store on Rideau Street in 1911 and, after many successful years, eventually was bought by The Hudson Bay Company in 1971.




The Britannia Drive-In Theatre


Ottawa’s first drive-in theatre was the overwhelming winner of this question. It opened in 1948 and closed just short of 50 years in 1997.


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