50 Years | 50 Stories

Ontario 150

In celebration of our 50th anniversary in 2017, Heritage Ottawa released our popular online series entitled 50 Years | 50 Stories.

This valuable online resource shares the illustrated stories of 50 buildings that Heritage Ottawa helped to save and preserve over the course of our first 50 years of advocating for our city's heritage structures.  Read about the architectural and historical significance of these 50 important places, what threats they faced, and the people who mobito save them.  A few of the stories are about buildings lost along the way—making our appreciation for the successes even greater.  Many thanks to Heritage Ottawa member and architectural historian Ken Elder for the considerable hours of research he devoted to this project.

All 50 stories are also published in French. Vous pouvez les lire ici.

Heritage Ottawa gratefully acknowledges the support of Ontario150 for this project.


  • Heritage Ottawa 50 Years | 50 Stories - City Registry Office

    10. City Registry Office

    The City Registry Office formed part of the 19th-century judicial precinct, which included the Carleton County Courthouse, Registry Office and Gaol. The architect, recorded as “Mr. Hudson,” likely followed…

  • 9. No. 10 Graham Station

    Designed in 1920 by prominent Ottawa architect Werner Ernst Noffke, No. 10 Graham Station is an elaborate Spanish-Colonial style building named in honour of Ottawa Fire Chief John W. Graham, who served…

  • Heritage Ottawa 50 Years | 50 Stories - La Salle Academy

    8. La Salle Academy

    The former La Salle Academy complex includes two significant mid-19th century buildings: the Bishop’s Palace and the Bytown College, both fronting on Sussex Drive between…

  • Heritage Ottawa 50 Years | 50 Stories: Pretoria Avenue Bridge

    7. Pretoria Avenue Bridge

    The Pretoria Avenue Bridge spans the Rideau Canal at Pretoria Avenue, linking Centretown and Old Ottawa East. Completed in 1918, it replaced the Argyle Bridge, an iron and timber swing bridge…

  • Heritage Ottawa 50 Years | 50 Stories -  Ottawa Normal School

    6. Ottawa Normal School

    The Ottawa Normal School, designed by Toronto-based architect Walter R. Strickland, presents an eclectic interpretation of the Gothic Revival style. The building’s symmetrical facade, enhanced by projecting centre and side pavilions with gabled entrances, is capped by…

  • Heritage Ottawa 50 Years | 50 Stories -  Carleton County Gaol

    5. Carleton County Gaol

    A solid stone structure signifying strength and austerity, the Carleton County Gaol was considered a “spacious, airy building” when it first opened in 1862, replacing “the wretched and poisonous basement” nearby, which had served as Ottawa’s first gaol for 20 years…

  • Heritage Ottawa 50 Years | 50 Stories -  Carleton County Court House

    4. Carleton County Court House

    Designed by civil engineer and architect Robert Surtees, the Carleton County Court House was built between 1870 and 1871 by contractor John Webster.  The new building replaced a small, square stone…

  • Heritage Ottawa 50 Years | 50 Stories: Billings Estate House

    3. The Billings Estate House

    Built as a family home by Braddish Billings, Gloucester Township's first settler in 1812, the Billings House is a classical design inspired by Georgian architecture. A home of distinction, it was …

  • Heritage Ottawa 50 Years -  50 Stories: The East Block, Parliament

    2. The East Block, Parliament Hill

    The East Block of Parliament, officially known as The Eastern Departmental Building, is an outstanding example of the High Victorian Gothic Revival style.  Designed by British-born architects Thomas Stent and Augustus Laver…

  • Union Station | Gare Union

    1. Union Station | Government Conference Centre

    The former Union Station building, initially known as Grand Trunk Central Station, was designed by Montreal-based firm Ross & MacFarlane. The firm's Beaux- Arts concept was praised as …