• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

RCAF Mess Ottawa

AKa

Member
Reaction score
76
Points
480
Anybody know what happened to the mess? The website says it's closed permanently. WTH?
 

dapaterson

Army.ca Relic
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
9,768
Points
1,090
My understanding is that much like the RCN mess in Ottawa, continually deferred maintenance has rendered the facility unusable.

With the majority of military personnel now in the west end, any reinvestment would be challenging to justify in the downtown core.
 

FSTO

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
2,224
Points
1,210
We could make a pretty nice all ranks mess at the peak of Moldor, I mean Carling Building 5 (I think its five).
 

Furniture

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
1,892
Points
1,110
We could make a pretty nice all ranks mess at the peak of Moldor, I mean Carling Building 5 (I think its five).
Would be pretty easy to merge the C&POs with the Officers messes, in the same building as the downtown Jrs mess. The C&POs has two floors, one could become the wardroom.
 

Edward Campbell

Army.ca Myth
Subscriber
Donor
Mentor
Reaction score
2,157
Points
1,160
My understanding is that much like the RCN mess in Ottawa, continually deferred maintenance has rendered the facility unusable.

With the majority of military personnel now in the west end, any reinvestment would be challenging to justify in the downtown core.
Ottawa's mess messes are one of my pet peeves.

First: I believe in all-ranks or multi-rank messes. The all-ranks mess at Leitrim works very well, but that's a unit. I think that the junior ranks might prefer some privacy, away from officers and senior NCOs - even Leitrim has some "closed" (juniors asks only) events. My own ( limited and idiosyncratic) experience in Signal units says that combined officers/WO & sergeants messes can work quite well.

Second: there is no need for three officers' messes in downtown Ottawa ... but there probably is enough business - especially associate members and senior officers - to justify one. In practice that means that the Ary Mess has to be made a joint CF mess.

I think Carling needs a club - I suspect the right sort of place might be very attractive for lunches, after work drinks, events and branch/divisions social gatherings - maybe two or even three bars and a couple of dining rooms, al over and above the dry 'food court' which I think is there.

There could be, from an institutional perspective' one officers' mess, one WOs and sergeants mess and one junior ranks mess, each with more than one venue, plus unit messes at e.g. Leitrim and Connaught.
 

dimsum

Army.ca Legend
Mentor
Reaction score
5,542
Points
1,260
Ottawa's mess messes are one of my pet peeves.

First: I believe in all-ranks or multi-rank messes. The all-ranks mess at Leitrim works very well, but that's a unit. I think that the junior ranks might prefer some privacy, away from officers and senior NCOs - even Leitrim has some "closed" (juniors asks only) events. My own ( limited and idiosyncratic) experience in Signal units says that combined officers/WO & sergeants messes can work quite well.

Second: there is no need for three officers' messes in downtown Ottawa ... but there probably is enough business - especially associate members and senior officers - to justify one. In practice that means that the Ary Mess has to be made a joint CF mess.

I think Carling needs a club - I suspect the right sort of place might be very attractive for lunches, after work drinks, events and branch/divisions social gatherings - maybe two or even three bars and a couple of dining rooms, al over and above the dry 'food court' which I think is there.

There could be, from an institutional perspective' one officers' mess, one WOs and sergeants mess and one junior ranks mess, each with more than one venue, plus unit messes at e.g. Leitrim and Connaught.
All-ranks messes work, if there are also "breakout" rooms where people can go and be just part of their own group if need be. 14 Wing Greenwood essentially has that.

With the number of places that folks in the NCR could be posted to, it would be hard to nail down one "Officer" mess, etc. Aside from unit messes, maybe 3 all-ranks messes (Carlng, downtown, Star Top?) may work better.
 

Edward Campbell

Army.ca Myth
Subscriber
Donor
Mentor
Reaction score
2,157
Points
1,160
Anything is better than what I read/hear is happening: the junior rank in the downtown core (Military Stores Bldg, by Cartier Square) have been told to make room for the RCN officers.

I'm trying really hard to remember on which leadership course - somewhere between LCpl and LCol - I was taught that the junior ranks should stand aside so that the officers could be cared for ... 🤔. It seems to me that a millennium or two of military custom says exactly the reverse.
 

rmc_wannabe

Army.ca Veteran
Subscriber
Reaction score
2,831
Points
1,310
Anything is better than what I read/hear is happening: the junior rank in the downtown core (Military Stores Bldg, by Cartier Square) have been told to make room for the RCN officers.

I'm trying really hard to remember on which leadership course - somewhere between LCpl and LCol - I was taught that the junior ranks should stand aside so that the officers could be cared for ... 🤔. It seems to me that a millennium or two of military custom says exactly the reverse.
We had the opposite happen here in Kingston in 2015 for OP PROVISION.

The Base Commander needed a place to feed hundreds of potential refugees away from the main Dining Hall. The JRs mess lost the game of "Rock, Paper, Rank" and were "graciously" given access to the Vimy Officer's Mess...

... well ...through the very closed off side door....to the basement... with the spare furniture....and mice. And wouldn't you know it, none of the bar sales made it back to the JRs coffers, but boy were they lucky to have a place to hang out....
 

Bruce Monkhouse

Pinball Dude
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Reaction score
3,049
Points
1,260
The whiney pathetic last gasps of a group of dinosaurs who believe the crap from 200 years ago still is relevant today. Go suck an asteroid losers....
 

Blackadder1916

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
1,467
Points
1,160
I'm trying really hard to remember on which leadership course - somewhere between LCpl and LCol - I was taught that the junior ranks should stand aside so that the officers could be cared for ... 🤔. It seems to me that a millennium or two of military custom says exactly the reverse.

. . . the crap from 200 years ago . . .

Or 100 years ago. While recently looking through some old Militia Reports I noticed in the report for the FY ending 31 March 1920 that a couple of the appendices (i.e. the reports from Cmdt RMC and Board of Visitors to RMC) dedicated a comparatively significant amount of space bemoaning the "servant" problem at that institution and recommending that it could be solved by having the servants at RMC be soldiers.

what the Cmdt said . . .

RMC servants 1920.jpg

and the response from the Board of Visitors . . .

RMC Board of Visitors servants 1920.jpg

Whether the matter was eventually resolved to the satisfaction of the general officer responsible for the education and training of future leaders of the Canadian Army is unclear, but in the reports for the following two fiscal years he reiterated the problem and recommended remedy. That would suggest two things about how little certain aspects of the Army has evolved over the course of a hundred years; that a segment of senior leadership spends way too much time worrying about their own comfort, and the highest leadership level of the Army and Department are unable to reach a simple decision in a timely manner.
 

dimsum

Army.ca Legend
Mentor
Reaction score
5,542
Points
1,260
Anything is better than what I read/hear is happening: the junior rank in the downtown core (Military Stores Bldg, by Cartier Square) have been told to make room for the RCN officers.
I don't think it's as drastic as it sounds. It's one room out of the entire building (I believe) - I was there for a small event and that room isn't that big. Maybe double the size of the bar section of the Army O Mess.
 

Halifax Tar

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
3,410
Points
1,260
We had the opposite happen here in Kingston in 2015 for OP PROVISION.

The Base Commander needed a place to feed hundreds of potential refugees away from the main Dining Hall. The JRs mess lost the game of "Rock, Paper, Rank" and were "graciously" given access to the Vimy Officer's Mess...

... well ...through the very closed off side door....to the basement... with the spare furniture....and mice. And wouldn't you know it, none of the bar sales made it back to the JRs coffers, but boy were they lucky to have a place to hang out....

It boggles my mind when C&POs / Sgt/WOs messes don't stand up and welcome the JRs in in situations like this.

GOD DAMNIT! We were them; we are their representatives, examples and guardians. Fucking act like that great responsibility and privilege we've been given or GTFO or take a commission.
 

Furniture

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
1,892
Points
1,110
Anything is better than what I read/hear is happening: the junior rank in the downtown core (Military Stores Bldg, by Cartier Square) have been told to make room for the RCN officers.

I'm trying really hard to remember on which leadership course - somewhere between LCpl and LCol - I was taught that the junior ranks should stand aside so that the officers could be cared for ... 🤔. It seems to me that a millennium or two of military custom says exactly the reverse.
That strikes me as odd, when the entire upper floor of the C&POs is only ever really used for events. Maybe the RCN officers didn't want to have to walk up an extra flight of stairs?
 

Edward Campbell

Army.ca Myth
Subscriber
Donor
Mentor
Reaction score
2,157
Points
1,160
That strikes me as odd, when the entire upper floor of the C&POs is only ever really used for events. Maybe the RCN officers didn't want to have to walk up an extra flight of stairs?
I don't know for sure ... see dimsum's comments, just above.

It doesn't alter my main point: when one or two officers' messes must close it is the duty of the other officers' mess to welcome them ... we do not displace the rank and file or even the sergeants for the convenience and comfort of officers.
 

Halifax Tar

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
3,410
Points
1,260
I don't know for sure ... see dimsum's comments, just above.

It doesn't alter my main point: when one or two officers' messes must close it is the duty of the other officers' mess to welcome them ... we do not displace the rank and file or even the sergeants for the convenience and comfort of officers.

Never take from your men.
 

Navy_Pete

Army.ca Veteran
Subscriber
Reaction score
2,587
Points
1,040
Never take from your men.
I think it is on the third floor of the Jrs, which probably wasn't getting much use. but agree it's weird. Hopefully at least the bar funds go to the JRs, and this usage by a limited number of people is helping them, as I suspect it's mostly retired lifetime Bytown members going in as most are still WFH.

I had thought they were somewhere on HMCS Carleton tbh, but not sure why they didn't go to the Army mess on Somerset. The 3 messes had an open door policy between them for gratis growlies, and used to work down the street from there so was a good Friday lunch, and back when people were at the office a lot of people just dropped into whichever was closest. More common people going to between the RCAF and Navy messes though, the army is still a bit more formal so it's less relaxed.

Shame about the air force mess, had a great setup for having actual functions and met a lot of nice people there. Bytown had a lot of memorabilia but was a pain in the ass layout wise and wasn't surprised to hear it was shut down with a lot of fire code violations due to the state of it and the age (think a lot of the insulation was found to be newspaper, IIRC).

Hopefully they set up some kind of all ranks mess in Carling with breakout rooms; it's a bit of an isolated spot so having somewhere to go 'out' to lunch with the team would be great (if you are working out there). Ottawa is a lot more casual for the most part, and with the mix of civvies and military in the same team first name basis is pretty common. I think the fundamental idea of having a place to go socialize is sound, but they really need to look at the concept. There are definitely times when the different ranks wouldn't mind a break from their subordinates/supervisors, but we aren't operational units here living together 24/7 in an isolated spot, so it's a really different context here in the NCR.
 

Furniture

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
1,892
Points
1,110
I think it is on the third floor of the Jrs, which probably wasn't getting much use. but agree it's weird. Hopefully at least the bar funds go to the JRs, and this usage by a limited number of people is helping them, as I suspect it's mostly retired lifetime Bytown members going in as most are still WFH.

I had thought they were somewhere on HMCS Carleton tbh, but not sure why they didn't go to the Army mess on Somerset. The 3 messes had an open door policy between them for gratis growlies, and used to work down the street from there so was a good Friday lunch, and back when people were at the office a lot of people just dropped into whichever was closest. More common people going to between the RCAF and Navy messes though, the army is still a bit more formal so it's less relaxed.

Shame about the air force mess, had a great setup for having actual functions and met a lot of nice people there. Bytown had a lot of memorabilia but was a pain in the ass layout wise and wasn't surprised to hear it was shut down with a lot of fire code violations due to the state of it and the age (think a lot of the insulation was found to be newspaper, IIRC).

Hopefully they set up some kind of all ranks mess in Carling with breakout rooms; it's a bit of an isolated spot so having somewhere to go 'out' to lunch with the team would be great (if you are working out there). Ottawa is a lot more casual for the most part, and with the mix of civvies and military in the same team first name basis is pretty common. I think the fundamental idea of having a place to go socialize is sound, but they really need to look at the concept. There are definitely times when the different ranks wouldn't mind a break from their subordinates/supervisors, but we aren't operational units here living together 24/7 in an isolated spot, so it's a really different context here in the NCR.
I agree 100%.

My directorate is about half military, and half civilian. The military half is 2x PO/WO 1,1x MWO, and a Major. We usually use first names, and when we go for lunches together we avoid the messes because someone is always left out. It works for us because we are downtown, but out at Carling that would be less of an option.
 
Top