Elvis performed at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto on April 2, 1957, and after his show in Toronto, Elvis and his gang caught the overnight train to Ottawa's Union Station. They arrived in Canada's capital at 8 in the morning on April 3, 1957.
It was a sunny day in Ottawa and the temperature was 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Elvis got off the train wearing a black suit, burgundy velvet open-necked shirt, rose coloured raincoat and smudgy white bucks. He carried a stuffed yellow and brown teddy bear. There was a small crowd of girls who screamed when they saw him walking their way across the station floor to a waiting taxi outside.
The taxi took him to the nearby Beacon Arms Hotel to rest up before his two shows that day at the Auditorium. One show was to be at 4:30 pm and the other at 8:30 pm. For the two shows 12,000 people got to see Elvis. Tickets for both shows were $3.50 each. More than 100 policemen guarded the stage. It was sheer bedlam with non-stop screaming. Elvis sang but no one could hear him. When he snapped a hip, fell to his knees, or flashed his lop-sided smile, it was mass hysteria. During Elvis' rendition of Hound Dog, three cops ran down the centre aisle tossing fans back into their seats.
After the show Elvis spoke to reporters sitting cross-legged on a table in one of the hockey dressing rooms. One reporter asked Elvis if he ever had thought of becoming a doctor or a psychiatrist, and Elvis said: "No sir, I haven't thought of becoming a psychiatrist, but I've often thought of going to one." Elvis said the people in Ottawa were real friendly, but he found the temperature a little cool.
After Ottawa, Elvis returned once more to Canada on August 31, 1957 when he performed in Vancouver. He was never again to set foot on Canadian soil, though there were rumours of a Canadian tour in 1975, but it was not to be.
If you would like to get some photographs of Elvis' Ottawa shows you can call the City of Ottawa Archives at 613-244-5300, Ext. 3683, Fax them at 613-244-5464 or write to them at:
City of Ottawa Archives 111 Sussex Drive Whitton Hall, 2nd Floor Ottawa, Ontario K1M 1P1 Canada Attention: Serge Barbe