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1945 to 1990

In response to the acute housing shortage after the war, the Veterans Housing League occupied a number of vacant military buildings around the city. In 1946, Wallis House was leased to the City of Ottawa by the Federal Emergency Shelter Corporation, for use as rental housing.

The Wallis House was converted into 46 apartments and initially housed 47 families with 136 children. By 1950, the dilapidated condition of the building raised questions in the House of Commons, and the city vacated the site soon after.

The advent of the Korean war saw the Wallis House take on a new role when the 13 Personnel Depot moved in to undertake recruiting for the conflict. A year later 113 Manning Depot (M) and 1 Cadre moved in.

In 1954 additional military units arrived: Divisional Signals Regiment RCSC, 130 Transport Company RCASC,
3 Ordnance Company RCOC, 10 Medical Company RCÄMC, and 54 Dental Unit RCDC. In 1965, the logistics units were amalgamated to form the Ottawa Service Battalion, and the Communications unit was re-designated the 763 Communications Regiment.

For a period of time, some of Canada’s most recognizable members of the Canadian Armed Forces even lived at Wallis House. The Ceremonial Guard, who now conducts a daily changing of the guard on Parliament Hill, and a relief of the sentries at Rideau Hall lived briefly at Wallis House for its first few summers.

Given the hot summer weather, and even hotter bearskin hats, it was not a rare sight to pass by Wallis House and see the scarlet uniforms dangling precariously from the windows, in an attempt to dry them out for the next day.

A member of the Ceremonial Guard holding his bearskin hat, outside the front doors of Wallis House.

In October 1990, 28 Ottawa Service Battalion and 763 Communications Regiment and their affiliated Cadet Corps left Wallis House and moved to the Major EJG Holland, VC, Armoury on WalkIey Road. With their departure, the Wallis House again became vacant and derelict.