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

  • 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.

    ...
  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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

  • 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...

  • Emerging Scholars: Three Talks
    Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 19:00 to 20:00
    Auditorium, Ottawa Public Library
    120 Metcalfe Street
    Ottawa, ON K1P 5M2
    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.

    ...
  • HOW HERITAGE WORKS IN OTTAWA: THE FIFTH ANNUAL HERITAGE OTTAWA FORUM
    Saturday, October 15, 2016 - 12:00 to 16:30
    allsaints
    317 Chapel Street ( at Laurier Avenue East, main entrance of former Church )
    Ottawa, ON K1N 7Z2
    Canada
    The Event is Full and Pre-Registration is Now Closed.

    Join us for this informative afternoon of presentations and practical information focusing on How Heritage Works in Ottawa. Hear and share...

  • From Triplex to Tower: Building Ottawa's Apartments 1945-1975
    Wednesday, September 21, 2016 - 19:00 to 20:00
    Auditorium, Ottawa Public Library
    120 Metcalfe Street
    Ottawa, ON K1P 5M2
    Canada

    Between the post-World War II housing crisis and the dawn of the condo era, Ottawa witnessed successive waves of apartment building construction - good, bad, and indifferent.

    This...

  • National Arts Centre: The Rejuvenation in its Urban and Historic Context
    Wednesday, June 15, 2016 - 19:00 to 20:00
    National Arts Centre
    53 Elgin Street
    ( Lecture takes place in the SALON, access via Main Lobby )
    Ottawa, ON K1P 5W1
    Canada

    The National Arts Centre was the federal government’s centennial project to commemorate Canada’s 1967 celebration of Confederation. The project fulfilled a long-held national dream to create a...

  • History of Ottawa's Brickyards
    Wednesday, April 20, 2016 - 19:00 to 20:00
    Auditorium, Ottawa Public Library
    120 Metcalfe Street
    Ottawa, ON K1P 5M2
    Canada

    Brick was an uncommon building material in the Ottawa area until the building boom that crested in the early 1870s.

    Brickworks for the Ottawa market mostly developed along the banks of the...

  • Bletchley Park's Outpost in Sandy Hill
    Wednesday, March 16, 2016 - 19:00 to 20:00
    Auditorium, Ottawa Public Library
    120 Metcalfe Street
    Ottawa, ON K1P 5M2
    Canada

    During World War ll, an Examination Unit was installed in a Victorian mansion in Sandy Hill to carry out top secret code breaking activities. This lecture will examine how the Unit came to be set...

  • 2016 Phillips Memorial Lecture
    Wednesday, February 24, 2016 - 19:00 to 21:00
    The Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat
    199 Sussex Drive ( use Boteler Street entrance )
    Ottawa, ON K1N 1K6
    Canada
    Saving Heritage: Preserving History in the Developing World

    Please note that PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED for this lecture.

    Harnessing the culture and history of a region can be a powerful...

  • MacDonald Gardens: A Study in Community Heritage
    Wednesday, January 13, 2016 - 19:00 to 20:00
    Auditorium, Ottawa Public Library
    120 Metcalfe Street
    Ottawa, ON K1P 5M2
    Canada

    BEFORE AND AFTER FREDERICK TODD

    The park at the centre of Macdonald Gardens commemorates the graveyards of four congregations from 1845 to 1873.

    This lecture will reveal how...

  • Landscape Architecture in Canada 1870 - 1920
    Wednesday, December 9, 2015 - 19:00 to 20:00
    Auditorium, Ottawa Public Library
    120 Metcalfe Street
    Ottawa, ON K1P 5M2
    Canada
    The Creation of Canada's Iconic Public Open Spaces

    This well illustrated talk explores the outstanding work carried out in the creation of Canada's public open spaces and institutions from about...

  • CRAFT, HERITAGE AND DIGITAL TOOLS
    Wednesday, November 18, 2015 - 19:00 to 20:00
    Auditorium, Ottawa Public Library
    120 Metcalfe Street
    Ottawa, ON K1P 5M2
    Canada

    Digital technologies play an increasingly significant role in large, complex heritage documentation projects such as the one under way for the Parliament Buildings National Historic Site of Canada...

  • REINVENTING BUILDING 94 AT THE CENTRAL EXPERIMENTAL FARM
    Wednesday, October 14, 2015 - 19:00 to 20:00
    Auditorium, Ottawa Public Library
    120 Metcalfe Street
    Ottawa, ON K1P 5M2
    Canada
    The New Canadian Agriculture and Food Museum

    The masterful re-purposing of Building 94, a "Recognized" Federal Heritage Building on the Central Experimental Farm National Historic Site, was...

  • Behind Closed Cells: The Architecture of Canada's Jails and Prisons
    Saturday, October 3, 2015 - 19:00 to 20:00
    Ottawa Jail Hostel Courtyard
    75 Nicholas Street
    Ottawa, ON K1N 7B9
    Canada
    SPECIAL PUB LECTURE

    For over a century, the intimidating architecture of Canadian prisons inspired sentences to be carried out in solitude and silence.

    Set within Ottawa's own historic jail...

Pages