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The Ottawa Journal was a daily broadsheet newspaper published in Ottawa, Ontario, from 1885 to 1980.

Ottawa Journal
Owner(s)F.P. Publications (1959-1980)
Thomson (1980 closure)
Ceased publication27 August 1980
HeadquartersOttawa, Canada

It was founded in 1885 by A. Woodburn as the Ottawa Evening Journal.[1] Its first editor was John Wesley Dafoe who came from the Winnipeg Free Press. In 1886, it was bought by Philip Dansken Ross.

The paper began publishing a morning edition in 1917. In 1919, the paper's publishers bought the Ottawa Free Press. The former owner of that paper, E. Norman Smith, then became editor with Grattan O'Leary.

In 1959, it was bought by F.P. Publications. By then, the Journal, whose readers tended to come from rural areas, was trailing the Ottawa Citizen, its main competitor. The paper encountered labour problems during the 1970s and never really recovered.

In 1980, it was bought by Thomson Newspapers and was closed on 27 August 1980. This left Southam Newspapers's Ottawa Citizen as the only major English language newspaper in Ottawa[2] (Le Droit remaining the only French language daily newspaper in Ottawa).

The closure aroused considerable controversy at the time since a day later, Southam closed the Winnipeg Tribune, the primary rival to Thomson's Winnipeg Free Press. Concern over these incidents prompted the federal government to conduct the Royal Commission on Newspapers, commonly known as the Kent Commission.[2]

To many, it seemed that possibly illegal collusion to reduce competition had occurred. Charges were brought against both Southam and Thomson in April 1981 under the now-defunct Combines Investigation Act, alleging a breach of section 33 of that act through merger or monopolistic conduct, but they were dismissed on 9 December 1983.[3]

Ottawa went without a second major newspaper until the debut of the Ottawa Sun in 1988.[4]

The paper's politics were generally regarded as conservative.[5]


  1. ^ Starr, David (22 September 2005). "Lighting up the city: Ottawa 150 Special Edition 1876-1885". Ottawa Sun. Archived from the original on 20 February 2006. Retrieved 6 February 2009.
  2. ^ a b "Newspaper tycoons lash out". CBC Digital Archives. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 6 February 2009.
  3. ^ Jackson, Joseph (17 December 1999). "Newspaper Ownership in Canada: An Overview of the Davey Committee and Kent Commission Studies". Government of Canada / Political and Social Affairs Division. Archived from the original on 3 October 2008.
  4. ^ Sherring, Susan (7 September 2013). "Quarter-century in blink of an eye for the Ottawa Sun". Ottawa Sun. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  5. ^ Bothwell, Robert. "Ottawa Journal". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 6 February 2009.


  • Smith, I. Norman (1974). The Journal men: P. D. Ross, E. Norman Smith and Grattan O'Leary of the Ottawa journal, three great Canadian newspapermen and the tradition they created. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart. p. 191. ISBN 0-7710-8192-8.