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

  • 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

    APRIL LECTURE POSTPONED

    In response to the guidance of Ottawa Public Health with regards to COVID-19 (coronavirus), Heritage Ottawa has cancelled the April lecture. We hope to have a...

  • 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

  • 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...

  • 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...

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