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

  • OTTAWA'S RURAL AND SUBURBAN HERITAGE
    Saturday, September 26, 2015 - 09:30 to 17:00
    St. John's Anglican Church, South March
    325 Sandhill Road
    Kanata, ON K2K 1X7
    Canada
    The Annual Phillips Memorial Heritage Forum Saturday, September 26, 2015 9:30 am - 5:00 pm

    Followed by an optional bus tour of Beaverbrook to 6:30 pm 

    PLEASE NOTE: Registration for this...

  • A MONUMENTAL ISSUE: The Long Term Vision and Plan for Canada's Capital
    Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - 19:00 to 20:00
    Auditorium, Ottawa Public Library
    120 Metcalfe Street
    Ottawa, ON K1P 5M2
    Canada

    Planning for Ottawa has been underway since its choice as Canada’s capital in 1858. Focus of this planning has always been on the Parliamentary and Judicial Precincts located along Wellington...

  • City Water and Country Air: Rockcliffe Park at 150
    Wednesday, June 17, 2015 - 19:30
    Rockcliffe Park Recreation Centre, Library Building
    380 Springfield Road
    Ottawa, ON K1M 0K7
    Canada

    Rockcliffe Park has long been a Village within a city setting. Its early history is closely linked to Frederick Law Olmsted, whose remarkable planning philosophy was imported to Canada by...

  • 20th Century Built Heritage Symposium / NCC Capital Urbanism Lab
    Thursday, May 7, 2015 - 18:00
    National Capital Commission (NCC)
    NCC Headquarters, Capital Urbanism Lab
    40 Elgin Street, 5th Floor
    Ottawa, ON K1P 1C7
    Canada

    In celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the Conserving the Modern in Canada Conference held at Trent University in 2005, the National Capital Commission's Capital Urbanism Lab is pleased to...

  • Ottawa’s Frontier Modernism
    Wednesday, April 15, 2015 - 19:00
    Auditorium, Ottawa Public Library
    120 Metcalfe Street
    Ottawa, ON K1P 1E7
    Canada

    Beginning as a settlement built on the forest frontier, Ottawa has largely been shaped by Modern ideas over the past two centuries. Since Confederation, it has had a complicated relationship with...

  • Taking Care of Business: The Mausoleum Promoter and the Cemetery
    Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - 19:00
    Auditorium, Ottawa Public Library
    120 Metcalfe Street
    Ottawa, ON K1P 1E7
    Canada

    Beechwood Cemetery was established in Ottawa in 1873. Now almost one hundred and fifty years old, it is recognized for its naturalistic, pastoral and picturesque landscape. It features a number of...

  • The Way Forward for Heritage in the Capital: Beginning A New Conversation
    Thursday, February 19, 2015 - 18:00 to 20:00
    NCC Headquarters
    Capital Urbanism Lab
    40 Elgin Street, 5th Floor
    Ottawa, ON K1P 1C7
    Canada

    The National Capital Commission (NCC) and Heritage Ottawa are proud to present a panel discussion about emerging ideas in Canadian and international heritage conservation, and how these ideas...

  • National Capital Commission Parkway System “All Roads Lead to Parliament Hill”
    Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - 19:00
    Auditorium, Ottawa Public Library
    120 Metcalfe Street
    Ottawa, ON K1P 5M2
    Canada

    Ottawa is home to some of the loveliest shoreline driveways in the world with the Rideau Canal Driveway, the first beautification project of the capital. This lecture will present the history of...

  • Art or Selfie? Canadian Portraits High and Low
    Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - 19:00
    Auditorium, Ottawa Public Library
    120 Metcalfe Street
    Ottawa, ON
    Canada

    Dr. Lilly Koltun will lead an irreverant promenade through the history of portraiture in Canada, leaving us to wonder at the unexpected wealth we've inherited in that art as well as the...

  • The East Block: An Exemplary Example of High Victorian Gothic
    Thursday, November 20, 2014 - 19:00
    Auditorium, Ottawa Public Library
    120 Metcalfe Street
    Ottawa, ON
    Canada

    The East Block was designed in 1859 as one of the first Gothic Revival office buildings and it was an early example of the style’s first phase of development. The talk will focus upon how the East...

  • Emerging Scholars and Ottawa Architecture / 1 of 2
    Tuesday, October 14, 2014 - 19:00
    Auditorium, Ottawa Public Library
    120 Metcalfe Street
    Ottawa, ON K1P 1E7
    Canada

    This month’s lecture features two talks on local monuments. Meredith Stewart offers a new perspective on the heritage value of the Champagne and Plant Baths “The Public Baths in Ottawa: A Heritage...

  • Emerging Scholars and Ottawa Architecture / 2 of 2
    Tuesday, October 14, 2014 - 19:00
    Auditorium, Ottawa Public Library
    120 Metcalfe Street
    Ottawa, ON
    Canada

    This month’s lecture features two talks on local monuments. Meredith Stewart offers a new perspective on the heritage value of the Champagne and Plant Baths “The Public Baths in Ottawa: A Heritage...

  • A.W.N. Pugin and the Revolution in Residential Architecture
    A.W.N. Pugin and the Revolution in Residential Architecture
    Friday, September 26, 2014 - 19:00
    Saint Alban’s Church
    454 King Edward Avenue (enter on Daly Ave)
    Ottawa, ON K1N 7M8
    Canada

    A.W.N. Pugin, best known as a designer of Gothic churches and the decoration of the Palace of Westminster, perhaps had his greatest impact designing residences that were completely different from...

  • The Origins and Significance of Residential Gothic Architecture in Ottawa
    The Origins and Significance of Residential Gothic Architecture in Ottawa
    Friday, September 26, 2014 - 09:00 to Saturday, September 27, 2014 - 17:00
    Carleton University, River Building
    Ottawa, ON
    Canada

    The competition for design of the Parliament Buildings in the late 1850s drew to Ottawa several English architects who introduced popular Gothic domestic forms that helped transform the housing...

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