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

  • 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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