PO Box 523, Station B, Ottawa, ON, K1P 5P6
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 executive director of Bytown Museum since 2012. The Bytown Museum is located in the oldest building in the city. Of course, the museum wasn’t built as a museum. The stone structure was initially a “commissariat” and its construction was supervised…
Thursday, 03 September 2020 20:55

Rawlson King Recounts Journey

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The speaker for the HSO presentation on February 12, 2020, not only brought to our event a more culturally diverse crowd than usual, but also a younger crowd. Rawlson King has recently become an inspiration not only for young Ottawans, but also to Ottawans of any culture who feel marginalized and who look up to people like Rawlson to provide a voice for their concerns and hopes in the city. Rawlson was elected as Ottawa’s first black councillor in a 2019 municipal by-election in Ward 13. The successful campaign for…
Sunday, 23 August 2020 23:37

Tree Trouble in Ottawa’s Urban Forest

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At the HSO November 2019 afternoon meeting, Joanna Dean, a Carleton University history professor, described to listeners the Trouble With Trees. While being a lover of trees, Joanna acknowledged that trees sometimes do cause the city and its residents problems. William Saunders, the first director of the Experimental Farm was instrumental in promoting elm trees. Many were planted on King Edward Avenue and Clemow Avenue. However, in 1903, 1922, and 1932 reports, city engineers described problems that trees were causing to infrastructure. They heaved sidewalks, grew into the sewers, and…
Sunday, 23 August 2020 20:43

McGill: Protect, Promote Historic Canal

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Construction of the Rideau Canal began early in the year 1827. Taking only four years to construct, it opened for navigation in the spring of 1832. About 150 years later, Hunter McGill arrived in Ottawa to attend Carleton University, located near Hartwell’s Locks. Since the 1980s he has been a member of the Friends of the Rideau. Hunter talked about the history of the Canal, how it has operated since its opening, and some of his views on the Rideau Canal today. The British Colonial Administration of Canada was very…
Saturday, 15 August 2020 15:51

The HSO Wants You!

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Your Historical Society of Ottawa, an all-volunteer organization, needs a Treasurer and a Membership Director! The Membership Director is a member of the elected Board of Directors whose tasks include the upkeep of the membership database and the collection of membership dues. The Membership Director also works closely with the Publications Director (maintaining an up-to-date hard-copy and digital-copy mailing list) and Treasurer (tracking membership dues). The Treasurer is a Member of the elected Board of Directors whose tasks include handling receipts, banking and protecting the Society's funds and investments; anticipating…
We do indeed live in interesting times. Normally HSO holds its Annual General Meeting in May, but with all of us putting our lives on hold, the decision was made in April to postpone the AGM until we could safely get together again. Once it became clear that a community gathering was not going to happen soon, the decision was made to invite as many members as possible to join us electronically for an Annual General Meeting on July 22, 2020. We’re aware that this is not a perfect solution,…
Saturday, 15 August 2020 13:29

The HSO returns–virtually!

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Although COVID-19 continues to prevent us from getting together in person, your Society is getting back in action—virtually! After a successful, virtual, Annual General Meeting held in July, Ben Weiss has organized three fantastic, virtual presentations to kick off our 2020-2021 speakers’ programme. Leading off will be Michael Kent, the curator of the Jacob M. Lowy Collection at Library and Archives Canada. Michael will be speaking to us about Ottawa’s Jewish history on September 16th. Up second on October 14th will be Jo-Anne McCutcheon from the University of Ottawa. Jo-Anne…
Dear members of the Historical Society of Ottawa, As patron of your organization, I wanted to send along my best wishes to you during these difficult times. I hope you are well. Wherever you are and whatever you do, you are facing a historic and unprecedented challenge alongside people and organizations from around the world. And you are tackling it head-on. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed everything and it is affecting every aspect of our society. This invisible enemy is scary and strong, and it has forced us to change…
Owing to the ongoing COVID-19 emergency, our President, Karen Lynn Ouellette, unanimously supported by the Society’s Board of Directors, announces that the Society’s Annual General Meeting, scheduled to be held on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at the Main Branch of the Ottawa Public Library, has been postponed. The meeting will be rescheduled once there is a clearer idea of when the emergency will be lifted and members can once again meet in safety.
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