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Sunday, 11 April 2021 18:45

Charlotte Gray: Murdered Midas

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Our March 31st guest speaker shares an interest history’s darker side. Author of nine award-winning books on Canadian history, Charlotte Gray published Murdered Midas: A Millionaire, His Gold Mine, and a Strange Death on an Island Paradise in 2019 to tell the story of the rise to wealth, and the unsolved murder of Sir Harry Oakes. Harry’s life was not a rags-to-riches story (his father was a lawyer, and Sir Harry studied to be a doctor) but his life became one of adventure (with a bit luck here and there)…
Thursday, 08 April 2021 10:34

Andrew King: What’s Ottawa Hiding?

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The Historical Society of Ottawa went underground for our March 10th presentation, following author Andrew King on a journey to some of the hidden secrets of Ottawa’s past. In 2019, Andrew wrote Ottawa Rewind: A Book of Curios and Mysteries. This was a collection of stories Andrew had written individually for local publications, about lesser-known people, places and events in Ottawa’s past. He followed this book up recently with Ottawa Rewind 2: More Curios and Mysteries, which takes a more “in-depth” look at the city beneath our feet. One of…
Monday, 08 March 2021 15:08

Community Project Chosen

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The Society’s Board of Directors is delighted to announce that it has approved a pledge of $5,000 towards a project to construct a replica gazebo at Strathcona Park. This project was proposed by HSO member, François Bregha. At last year’s Annual General Meeting, members agreed to allocate funds to finance community projects over the coming years. Members were asked to suggest potential projects, and a process was established to choose among projects. The selection process was based on a number of criteria, including relevance to the HSO’s mission and objectives,…
Tuesday, 29 December 2020 13:45

Kettle Island: A Bridge to Ottawa's Past by Randy Boswell

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If you missed our virtual Speaker Series presentation "Kettle Island: A Bridge to Ottawa's Past" with Randy Boswell, or you'd just like to watch it again, you can view this presentation online. Here is a link to the recorded video of Randy's talk. Enjoy!  
Wow! Did you miss our virtual Speaker Series presentation "Uncovering Canada's Past: Digging Up Parliament Hill" with Stephen Jarrett? What an amazing presentation it was! The good news is... here is the video link to enjoy Stephen's talk in its entirety! Our apologies to those who were unable to attend Stephen's presentation due to Zoom's 100 attendee limit. We had processed the request to increase attendance but we seem to have experienced a technical glitch. We're so sorry! The November 2020 presentation was our third foray into the new world…
Saturday, 14 November 2020 15:37

Jo-Anne McCutcheon: Researching Ottawa’s Past

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We’ve all been obligated to face many new challenges this year, and it was with some concern that the Historical Society of Ottawa chose to make a transition to on-line meetings so that we can continue to reach out to our members and the community during this difficult time. We weren’t certain how well the transition would go. Perhaps people might pass on HSO presentations if they were to be presented via computer. However, for our second online lecture we gathered 86 participants. That compares favourably to some of our…
Wednesday, 04 November 2020 19:14

Michael Kent: Secrets from the Geniza

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The September 14th 2020 presentation of the Historical Society of Ottawa took us on two journeys. One was to the Middle East; but more on that in a moment. The other journey was shorter in distance but was a big step technologically. With recent social restrictions forcing us to cancel live presentations at the Main branch of the Ottawa Public Library (for the time being) our Regular Events coordinator, Ben Weiss, asked guest speaker Michael Kent if he’d be interested in making a presentation online through a video conferencing application…
Friday, 04 September 2020 16:22

Top Judge’s Grandson Tells Court Tale

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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 was housed in two buildings at different locations on Wellington Street. Stephen’s talk, entitled ‘Along the Road to Today’s Supreme Court’, told some of the story of the two buildings. The Supreme Court of Canada was created by an Act…
Friday, 04 September 2020 16:02

A Caring and Daring Bytown Pioneer

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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, a general hospital, a home for the aged and an orphanage; and within another two years Mother Bruyère and the sisters would defy the risk of deadly contagion and tend to the sick as Bytown found itself in the midst…
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