PO Box 523, Station B, Ottawa, ON, K1P 5P6
Slide 1 - With Welcome Message - Bottom

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

  • Tunney’s Pasture - The Story Behind Ottawa’s Field of Dreams

    2 October 2021 Speakers Presentations
    If there’s one area of Ottawa that seems devoid of history, it’s easy to imagine Tunney’s Pasture being that place, but our September 29th guest speaker, Dave Allston managed to add some humanity to the story of an area famous for its dehumanizing buildings and wide, vacant parks. Tunney’s Pasture…
  • Jim Hurcomb: Rockin' on the Rideau

    2 October 2021 Speakers Presentations
    You can say that the Historical Society of Ottawa’s guest speaker for September 15, 2021 is certainly an accomplished speaker. From 1973 to 1980, Jim Hurcomb was a familiar voice on CKCU-FM, Radio Carleton. From 1980 to 2000, Jim hosted a number of programs on CHEZ-106, including the morning show,…
  • Project 70,000: The Indochinese Refugee Movement to Canada

    17 August 2021 Speakers Presentations
    Our last presentation before the summer 2021 break took us halfway around the world but the story resonated here in Ottawa in 1979. After seeing stories on the news about the plight of refugees fleeing Cambodia and Laos and Vietnam, Ottawa mayor Marion Dewar anxiously arranged a public meeting at…
  • James Powell: The Assassination of D’Arcy McGee

    17 August 2021 Speakers Presentations
    Our guest speaker for May 12, 2021 was James Powell, who is a long-time member of the Ottawa Historical Society, and a director on the HSO board. For his presentation James spoke about one of the most tragic heroes in Canada’s history. Thomas D’Arcy McGee was murdered near his Sparks…

Upcoming Events

Oct 27 2021
7:00PM - Online via Zoom

Grandpa Jack - British Home Child

Emma Kent

Nov 10 2021
7:00PM - Online via Zoom

Mapping Ottawa's Indigenous Trails

Peter Stockdale & Barb Sarazin

Nov 24 2021
7:00PM - Online via Zoom

Upheaval across Canada's Landscape of Commemoration

Randy Boswell

Special Event

No events

Ottawa Stories

Ottawa has an interesting and varied history.
Enjoy stories from this month in history or discover other Ottawa stories.

old house

Supporting Partners

city of ottawa logo
Ottawa Public Library
capitalheritage white