Heritage Ottawa recently learned that at least two of the city's most important heritage structures appear on a list of city-owned buildings available for corporate naming rights.
Like many heritage properties, the Aberdeen Pavilion and the Horticulture Building, both located at Lansdowne Park, have names that reflect their historical significance and/or heritage character.
The Aberdeen Pavilion was named for Governor Governor General Lord Aberdeen, a staunch supporter of the agricultural fair movement who opened the building to great fanfare in September 1898. Now an Ottawa landmark, the building is a rare surviving example in Canada of specialized late-Victorian exhibition halls and remains a testament to Ottawa’s agricultural heritage.
The Horticulture Building was completed in 1914 as a venue for the Cental Canada Exhibition's annual Horticulture Show, and is considered an excellent interpretation of the Prairie style pioneered by architect Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959).
Both buildings exemplify the importance of historic names to the understanding and heritage value of designated buildings.
With concern, Heritage Ottawa wrote to Councillor Glen Gower, Chair of Ottawa's Built Heritage Sub-Committee, to recommend that all properties designated under the Ontario Heritage Act be exempt from eligibility for corporate naming rights, and be excluded from any lists of city-owned buildings available for corporate sponsorship.
A prompt reply was received not only from Councillor Gower, but from the Mayor's office. We're pleased to report that city staff have been directed to remove both the Aberdeen Pavilion and the Horticulture Building from the corporate naming rights list, and to undertake a review of that list for any additional heritage-designated properties.
Heritage Ottawa thanks Councillor Gower, Mayor Watson and city staff for their swift response to this matter.
The Aberdeen Pavilion | Heritage Ottawa: 50 Years | 50 Stories
The Horticulture Building | Heritage Ottawa: 50 Years | 50 Stories