Lecture Series

Heritage Ottawa's popular Free Lecture Series runs from September to June every year, and features a wide range of interesting speakers and topics relating 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!

With the assistance of the Ottawa Public Library, a selection of reading lists has been developed to accompany a number of our lectures. CLICK HERE to access the lists.

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

Our 2019—2020 Lecture Series kicks off at the Ottawa Art Gallery on September 24. See the full season schedule below.

Upcoming Lectures

  • Omàmiwininì Pimàdjwowin: The Algonquin Way Cultural Centre
    Wednesday, January 22, 2020 - 19:00 to 20:00
    Auditorium, Main Branch
    Ottawa Public Library
    120 Metcalfe Street
    Ottawa, ON K1P 5M2
    Canada

    The Omàmiwininì Pimàdjwowin mission is to revitalize, reintegrate, enhance and protect the cultural traditions, customs, practices, heritage, language and arts of the Algonquins of Pikwakangan...

  • Cultural Landscapes of the LGBTTQ+ Community in Ottawa
    Wednesday, February 19, 2020 - 19:00 to 20:00
    Auditorium, Main Branch
    Ottawa Public Library
    120 Metcalfe Street
    Ottawa, ON K1P 5M2
    Canada
    Heritage Ottawa 2020 Phillips Memorial Lecture

    Ottawa’s LGBTTQ+ community has an interesting history unique to many other cities. Due in part to the government employee purges during the 1950s to...

  • The Changing Architectural Landscape of Vanier: Future Possible Avenues
    Wednesday, March 18, 2020 - 19:00 to 20:00
    Auditorium, Main Branch
    Ottawa Public Library
    120 Metcalfe Street
    Ottawa, ON K1P 5M2
    Canada
    Le paysage architectural changeant de Vanier : Quelles avenues possibles?

    This French-language presentation will explore the issues related to the re-development of the neighbourhood of Vanier and...

  • Delighting Visitors for Generations: The Restoration of The Opinicon
    Wednesday, April 15, 2020 - 19:00 to 20:00
    Auditorium, Ottawa Public Library
    120 Metcalfe Street
    Ottawa, ON K1P 5M2
    Canada

    Built in the late 1870s on the shore of the lake of the same name in the village of Chaffey’s Lock, The Opinicon’s prime location on the Rideau Waterway attracted locals and tourists alike for...

  • Gold, Snakes, and Mother Insurance : The Preservation of the 180 Wellington Building Mosaic
    Wednesday, June 17, 2020 - 19:00 to 21:00
    Orange Art Gallery
    290 City Centre Avenue
    Ottawa, ON K1R 1C7
    Canada

    Built in 1927 as the headquarters of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, 180 Wellington Building’s most stunning feature is the dramatic mosaic on the vaulted ceiling inside the main entrance...

Past Lectures

  • National Capital Commission | Garden of the Provinces, 1962
    The Garden of the Provinces and Territories: Almost 50 years along!
    Wednesday, December 11, 2019 - 19:00 to 21:00
    Christ Church Cathedral, Great Hall
    414 Sparks Street
    Ottawa, ON K1R 0B2
    Canada

    This presentation will reprise John Zvonar’s presentation at Heritage Ottawa in 2010, which was entitled “Terra Incognita: Ottawa’s Unfamiliar Landscapes.”

    More ‘familiar’ these days, the...

  • Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona | Photo: Mariana Esponda
    Reevaluation of Modern Sites
    Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 19:00 to 20:00
    Auditorium, Main Branch
    Ottawa Public Library
    120 Metcalfe Street
    Ottawa, ON K1P 5M2
    Canada

    The importance of conserving modern heritage has gained increasing prominence in recent years, as many unique sites have come under threat of destruction. Mariana Esponda will describe her...

  • Emerging Scholars: Two Talks and a Pub Night
    Tuesday, October 22, 2019 - 19:00 to 20:00
    Brigid's Well
    Saint Brigid's Centre for the Arts
    310 St. Patrick Street, at Cumberland
    Ottawa, ON K1N 5K5
    Canada

    Join us at 7 pm for two 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.

    ...
  • Modern History: Preserving Canada’s Legacy of Modernism
    Tuesday, September 24, 2019 - 19:00 to 20:00
    Ottawa Art Gallery, Alma Duncan Salon (Level 3)
    50 Mackenzie King Bridge
    Ottawa, ON K1N 0C5
    Canada

    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 work — and a critical look. This problem of modern...

  • Modernism for the Masses
    Wednesday, June 19, 2019 - 19:00 to 21:00
    Orange Art Gallery
    290 City Centre Drive
    Ottawa, ON K1R 1C7
    Canada

    During the mid-20th century, Ottawa homebuilders introduced modern design to tract housing.

    Some embraced the modern ethos wholeheartedly, while others sprinkled touches of it throughout...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • The Firestone Collection of Canadian Art: An Evening with Brenda Firestone
    Thursday, February 21, 2019 - 19:00 to 21:00
    Ottawa Art Gallery, Alma Duncan Salon (Level 3)
    50 Mackenzie King Bridge
    Ottawa, ON K1N OC5
    Canada
    Heritage Ottawa 2019 Phillips Memorial Lecture

    O.J. and Isobel Firestone were passionate collectors of Canadian art.  In the early 1950s, they embarked upon a collection that would grow to more...

  • Modern History: Preserving Canada’s legacy of modernism
    Thursday, February 21, 2019 - 19:00 to 21:00
    Ottawa Art Gallery, Alma Duncan Salon
    50 Mackenzie King Bridge
    Ottawa, ON K1N 0C5
    Canada
    = POSTPONED =

    Heritage Ottawa will be announcing a new date for this lecture soon.

    The annual PHILLIPS MEMORIAL LECTURE is taking place with a new guest speaker. Please join us at the...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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. The lecture is rescheduled for January 16, 2019.

    Join us for a...

  • 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...

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