PO Box 523, Station B, Ottawa, ON, K1P 5P6
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.
Monday, 09 March 2020 23:05

HSO 2020 All Saints Luncheon

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Reception & Lunch, Plus Music by Paul Weber The HSO was blessed with exceptionally good weather for this event as the Society Members and other attendees arrived, registered and chose their seats in “Borden Hall” (in its previous incarnation, the church’s “nave” or main area). The dining area, its pews long since repurposed elsewhere and replaced by tables and chairs, was copiously illuminated by the sunlight shining through the hall’s many tall stained glass windows. A sumptuous buffet of sandwiches and soup, accompanied by a beverage service, provided no small…
Our website is a vital tool in the Society’s communications tool kit. It not only informs members of upcoming events and Society news, it is our prime means of disseminating information about the Society and interesting Ottawa historical stories to the general public. Its reach is global; we have visitors from around the world. Look for a forthcoming HSO article on our readership. Despite its success, few are probably aware of the person who built the website and maintained it since its inception. That person is John Reeder. In January…
Monday, 03 February 2020 13:25

Ottawa LRT Art Celebrates HSO’s 1898 Origin

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An elaborate public art installation at the new Lyon Street light rail transit station in downtown Ottawa is sharing the origin story of the HSO with thousands of daily commuters. The undulating stainless steel sculpture commemorates and celebrates the 1898 founding of the Women’s Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa — later opened to men and renamed the Historical Society of Ottawa — and incorporates the entire 5,000-word text of a society-published pamphlet about the city’s early history. Individualized silhouettes representing the 32 women who were present at the first meeting…
Monday, 13 January 2020 15:34

A Tour of PMs’ Sandy Hill Homes

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The Historical Society of Ottawa’s October 9, 2020 meeting was our first evening gathering at the main branch of the Ottawa library. We had many first-time attendees. Maybe the new time and location are the attraction. Or it may have been our guest speaker, who is well known in Ottawa for his passion for history. Neighbourhood historian François Bregha, described many prime ministerial homes during his Oct. 9 evening presentation.Sandy Hill is more than just a passing interest for François Bregha. He has lived in Sandy Hill for 34 years.…
Monday, 16 December 2019 16:07

Jenkins Delights With Stories & Song

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Most of our meetings don’t start with a sing-along, but then the guest speaker for our Nov. 14 meeting is no ordinary presenter. Phil Jenkins is an author and historian but he’s also a musician who, in addition to his own songs, performs songs by the Beatles — which is fitting considering that most of Phil’s life not lived in Ottawa was spent in Liverpool. In Phil’s own words, he lived in Ottawa in two shifts. His first was as a child, from 1952 to 1962. He returned to the…
Sunday, 15 September 2019 16:23

Fall Trip a Heritage Horn of Plenty

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On Sunday, Sept. 15th, 42 HSO members and their guests boarded a coach and headed out to Vankleek Hill, where they visited the local museum — housed in a recently restored 19th-century general store. Participants were then split into three groups for a leisurely walking tour of Ontario’s “Gingerbread Capital” guided by Denis Séguin, the architect responsible for the restoration, the town’s ex-mayor and a well informed resident whose family has lived in Vankleek Hill for five generations. In 1797, Simeon Van Kleeck, an United Empire Loyalist, received a land…
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