Lecture Series

Our popular Heritage Ottawa Free Lecture Series runs from September to June every year, and features a wide range of interesting speakers and topics pertaining to Ottawa's history and heritage.

Each February, we present the Phillips Memorial Lecture in honour of Heritage Ottawa’s co-founders, Bob and Mary Anne Phillips, two pioneers of heritage conservation in Ottawa.

Unless otherwise noted, lectures are free and are held at the Main Branch of the Ottawa Public Library, located at 120 Metcalfe Street at the corner of Laurier Avenue. Elevators are available and the room is wheelchair accessible.

Lectures begin at 7:00pm, last approximately one hour and are followed by an informal gathering. 

There is no need to pre-register. We look forward to welcoming you at our next Heritage Ottawa event!

Thanks to our Lecture Series sponsors Andrex Holdings and the Ottawa Public Library.

Upcoming Lectures

  • Tempting Values for Early Shoppers: The Birth of Ottawa’s Department Stores
    Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - 19:00 to 21:00
    Dominion-Chalmers United Church
    355 Cooper Street ( use entrance on Lisgar Street )
    Ottawa, ON K2P 0G8
    Canada

    The department store was the product of an increasingly leisured middle class, a new consumer economy, and architectural innovations like plate glass windows, electric lights and passenger...

  • The Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn
    Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - 19:00 to 20:00
    Auditorium, Ottawa Public Library
    120 Metcalfe Street
    Ottawa, ON K1P 5M2
    Canada

    Join us for a special evening presentation by Pikwàkanagàn Elder Ron Bernard on the past and present of this vibrant Algonquin community.

    Pikwàkanagàn, meaning “a hilly place,” is situated...

  • Modern History: Preserving Canada’s legacy of modernism
    Thursday, February 21, 2019 - 19:00 to 21:00
    Ottawa Art Gallery
    50 Mackenzie King Bridge
    Ottawa, ON K1N 0C5
    Canada
    Heritage Ottawa 2019 Phillips Memorial Lecture

    The architecture of the Modernist movement once spoke of the future. Now the buildings of the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s are past middle age. They need...

  • Meet the Developers: Apartment Building Construction in Ottawa, 1900 to the Present 
    Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - 19:00 to 20:00
    Auditorium, Ottawa Public Library
    120 Metcalfe Street
    Ottawa, ON K1P 5M2
    Canada

    Although developers of Ottawa’s apartment buildings are less well-known than the architects who designed them—after all, it is a building’s appearance that endures—it was these local entrepreneurs...

  • NCC’s Assessment and Rescue of Archaeological Legacy in the Capital Region: Summary of Results
    Wednesday, April 17, 2019 - 19:00 to 20:00
    Auditorium, Ottawa Public Library
    120 Metcalfe Street
    Ottawa, ON K1P 5M2
    Canada

    The erosion of ancient shorelines along coasts and inland rivers and lakes due to sea level rise, and the increased frequency and severity of flooding has been characterized as a global crisis for...

  • A Portrait of Canada’s Parliament: A new book on the architecture and history of the Centre Block
    Wednesday, June 19, 2019 - 19:00 to 21:00
    Orange Art Gallery
    290 City Centre Avenue
    Ottawa, ON K1R 1C7
    Canada

    A Canadian architectural and cultural marvel, Canada’s Parliament Building, or Centre Block, has been the focal point of Canadian parliamentary democracy for much of the past century. As the...

Past Lectures

  • Preserving Canada’s Heritage: The Foundation for Tomorrow
    Wednesday, November 21, 2018 - 19:00 to 20:00
    Auditorium, Ottawa Public Library
    120 Metcalfe Street
    Ottawa, ON K1P 5M2
    Canada

    The federal government, proud steward of many national historic sites and other designated heritage properties, has an important role to play in the preservation of Canada’s built heritage and...

  • Emerging Scholars: Three Talks And a Pub Night
    Tuesday, October 16, 2018 - 19:00 to 20:00
    Brigid's Well
    St. Brigid's Centre for the Arts
    310 St. Patrick Street at Cumberland
    Ottawa, ON K1N 5K5
    Canada

    Join us at 7pm for three informative talks by recent graduates. Each talk will be 15 to 20 minutes in duration and the audience will have an opportunity to pose questions to the speakers.

    ...
  • Flora Hall Brewing: Crafting the Future of a Derelict Building
    Thursday, September 27, 2018 - 19:00 to 20:00
    Auditorium, Ottawa Public Library
    120 Metcalfe Street
    Ottawa, ON K1P 5M2
    Canada

    For decades, Ottawans have lamented the loss of one structure, or the slow demolition by neglect of another as the city grows and develops—too often leaving history in its wake.

    This...

  • Carved in stone: The Art of Architectural Stone Carving
    Wednesday, June 20, 2018 - 18:30 to 21:00
    Orange Art Gallery
    290 City Centre Avenue
    Ottawa, ON K1R 1C7
    Canada

    From the European guilds of the Gothic era to modern day digitally assisted techniques, John-Philippe Smith will discuss the history of stone carving as well as tales from his journey working as a...

  • The Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn
    Wednesday, April 18, 2018 - 19:00 to 20:00
    Auditorium, Ottawa Public Library
    120 Metcalfe Street
    Ottawa, ON K1P 5M2
    Canada
    = CANCELLED =

    April 16, 2018 — Heritage Ottawa regrets the cancellation of this lecture due to extenuating circumstances.

    Join us for a special evening presentation by Pikwàkanagàn Elder...

  • OMB Reform: Getting Heritage Planning Right
    Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 19:00 to 20:00
    Auditorium, Ottawa Public Library
    120 Metcalfe Street
    Ottawa, ON K1P 5M2
    Canada

    We have all seen the problem. City Council-approved Official Plans, Neighbourhood Plans and Heritage Conservation District Guidelines – developed to safeguard communities’ criteria for density and...

  • And after: The consequences of World War 1
    Wednesday, February 28, 2018 - 19:00 to 20:00
    Auditorium, Ottawa Public Library
    120 Metcalfe Street
    Ottawa, ON K1P 5M2
    Canada
    Heritage Ottawa 2018 Phillips Memorial Lecture

    AND AFTER: The Consequences of World War 1

    In commemoration of the centenary of the First World War,  joint Canada-France symposiums were held...

  • Cultivating Canadian Modernism: The Architectural Research Group of Ottawa and Montreal
    Wednesday, January 17, 2018 - 19:00 to 20:00
    Auditorium, Ottawa Public Library
    120 Metcalfe Street
    Ottawa, ON K1P 5M2
    Canada

    This talk will explore how a group of young, politically savvy architects promoted modern architecture across Canada and in the Ottawa region during the 1940s through articles, radio addresses,...

  • From Walk-Up to High-Rise: Ottawa’s Historic Apartment Buildings
    Wednesday, December 13, 2017 - 19:00 to 21:00
    Dominion-Chalmers United Church
    355 Cooper Street ( use entrance on Lisgar Street )
    Ottawa, ON K2P 0G8
    Canada

     

    Update: The book is available for purchase here on our website for $20 including shipping within Canada.

     

    A HERITAGE OTTAWA BOOK LAUNCH

    Join Heritage Ottawa as we launch...

  • Ottawa Architects 150: A Genealogy of Architectural Practices in Ottawa
    Thursday, November 16, 2017 - 19:00 to 20:00
    Auditorium, Ottawa Public Library
    120 Metcalfe Street
    Ottawa, ON K1P 5M2
    Canada

    Ottawa Architects 150 documents the history of the practice of architecture in Ottawa from 1867 to 2017, marking Canada’s Sesquicentennial and recognizing the contribution of local architects to...

  • Emerging Scholars: Three Talks And a Pub Night
    Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - 19:00 to 21:00
    Brigid's Well
    St. Brigid's Centre for the Arts
    310 St. Patrick Street at Cumberland
    Ottawa, ON K1N 5K5
    Canada

    Join us at 7pm for three informative talks by recent graduates. Each talk will be 15 to 20 minutes in duration and the audience will have an opportunity to pose questions to the speakers.

    ...
  • Celebrating Village Heritage: The Sixth Annual Heritage Ottawa Forum
    Saturday, September 30, 2017 - 09:30 to 16:00
    Canada
    Celebrating Village Heritage The Sixth Annual Heritage Ottawa Forum

    Village of Kars | Saturday, September 30, 2017

    9:30 am to 4:00 pm | Doors open at 9:00 am

     

    Heritage Ottawa...

  • A Legacy to Build On:  Renewing the NCC’s Conservation Role in the Capital
    Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 19:00 to 20:00
    Auditorium, Ottawa Public Library
    120 Metcalfe Street
    Ottawa, ON K1P 5M2
    Canada

    In the context of the 150th anniversary of Confederation and the recent launch of the Plan for Canada’s Capital 2017-2067, Heather Thomson will discuss what has been and is being conserved as...

  • What's in a Name?
    Wednesday, June 21, 2017 - 19:00 to 21:00
    Auditorium, Ottawa Public Library
    120 Metcalfe Street
    Ottawa, ON K1P 5M2
    Canada

    This lecture will present the early histories of Bytown, Rochesterville and Nepean with an exposé woven from the Rochester, Cole, Baillie and McDougall families whose collective...

  • Heritage Ottawa Lecture: Prime Ministers' Row Project
    Prime Ministers' Row Project
    Wednesday, April 19, 2017 - 19:00 to 20:00
    Auditorium, Ottawa Public Library
    120 Metcalfe Street
    Ottawa, ON K1P 5M2
    Canada

    The extraordinary built heritage of Ottawa’s Laurier Avenue East, historically home to seven Fathers of Confederation and eight Prime Ministers, will be transformed into Canada’s first...

  • Vimy One-Hundred Years Later: A New Education Centre
    Wednesday, March 15, 2017 - 19:00 to 20:00
    Auditorium, Ottawa Public Library
    120 Metcalfe Street
    Ottawa, ON K1P 5M2
    Canada

    The Canadian National Vimy Memorial, centred on the evocative design of Walter Allward's beautiful monument and the surrounding landscape, evokes tremendous emotion and provides...

  • A Landmark Transformed: The New Global Centre for Pluralism
    Wednesday, February 15, 2017 - 19:00 to 20:30
    The Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat
    199 Sussex Drive ( use Boteler Street entrance )
    Ottawa, ON K1N 1K6
    Canada

     

     

    HERITAGE OTTAWA 2017 PHILLIPS MEMORIAL LECTURE

    UPDATE: This lecture is available on YouTube courtesy of our partners at the Global Centre for Pluralism.

    Order...

  • Heritage Ottawa at Fifty
    Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - 19:00 to 21:00
    Auditorium, Ottawa Public Library
    120 Metcalfe Street
    Ottawa, ON K1P 5M2
    Canada

    Join us for a lively review of the past and future of local heritage as we gear up to celebrate a milestone anniversary year!

    Councillor and Chair of the Built...

  • THE GRÉBER PLAN: 65 YEARS LATER
    Tuesday, December 13, 2016 - 19:00 to 20:00
    Dominion-Chalmers United Church
    355 Cooper Street ( use entrance on Lisgar Street )
    Ottawa, ON K2P 0G8
    Canada

    This talk presents the fascinating story of Jacques Gréber’s vision and plan for Canada’s capital, with a look at what worked and what we might do differently today.

    From his 1950's lens,...

  • THE DIEFENBUNKER: COLD WAR FORTRESS
    Wednesday, November 16, 2016 - 19:00 to 20:00
    Auditorium, Ottawa Public Library
    120 Metcalfe Street
    Ottawa, ON K1P 5M2
    Canada

    A marvel of Canadian engineering built under duress during the unknown threats of the Cold War era, the massive structure now known as "The Diefenbunker" demanded the development of a number of...

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