PO Box 523, Station B, Ottawa, ON, K1P 5P6

Lady and Lord Aberdeen with the National Council of Women at Rideau Hall, shortly before their return to the United Kingdom, October 1898, Topley Studios/Library and Archives Canada, PA-029033

Truss Bridge over the Chaudière Falls, Ottawa River, watercolour by John Burrows, 1828, Library and Archives Canada, I.D. No. 2833217.

Timber raft on the Ottawa River, date unknown, John William Woolsey and family fonds, Library and Archives Canada, I.D. No. 319157.


The Historical Society of Ottawa (HSO) is Ottawa’s oldest historical organization.The principal aim of the Society is to increase public knowledge of the history of Ottawa and the surrounding region through meetings, tours, awards, publications, and sponsored research.


HSO Articles

  • Top Judge’s Grandson Tells Court Tale

    4 September 2020 Speakers Presentations
    The second speaker at the HSO meeting on November 27, 2020, was Stephen McKenna. His grandfather, Patrick Kerwin, was a justice on the Supreme Court of Canada for 27 years, from 1935 until his death in 1963, the last nine years as Chief Justice. During this time, the Supreme Court…
  • A Caring and Daring Bytown Pioneer

    4 September 2020 Speakers Presentations
    Venerable Élisabeth Bruyère — 175th Anniversary Gravely needed in Bytown, Élisabeth Bruyère (aged 26) and her small entourage of young Grey Nuns bravely journeyed the frozen Ottawa River by sleigh from Montreal. Within three months of their arrival in rugged Bytown, Mother Bruyère and her group had founded a school,…
  • Buchan’s Talents Bedazzled Author

    4 September 2020 Speakers Presentations
    Lord Tweedsmuir was Governor General of Canada from 1935 until 1940. Tweedsmuir’s remarkable memory, writing capacity, and skill in working with people were what first drew the attention of Bill Galbraith, the speaker at the HSO afternoon meeting on January 29, 2020. Bill ended up writing a book about Lord…
  • Bytown Museum’s Roots with HSO

    3 September 2020 Speakers Presentations
    The guest speaker for the first HSO meeting of 2020 is familiar to many who have a love of Ottawa’s past. As the executive director of the Bytown Museum, Robin Etherington has been an enthusiastic promoter of culture and heritage in Ottawa for over 20 years. Robin has been the…

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Photo credit: Sgt Johanie Maheu, Rideau Hall © OSGG-BSGG, 2017

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Julie Payette

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The Governor General, Her Excellency, The Right Honourable Julie Payette, has kindly consented to be our Patron, continuing a tradition that began more than a century ago.

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