Heritage building on Slack Road. Photo by Glen Gower.
Ottawa History Guide
We're not an old city, but we have a rich heritage nonetheless. We started out as a rough and tumble lumbertown called Bytown became a headquarters for the federal government along the way, and we're now evolving into a moden, high-tech city.
- Christmas Craft Shows
A list of upcoming Christmas craft shows and bazaars in the Ottawa area. Good luck with your gift shopping!
- Christmas Light Displays
A big list of dozens of Chirstmas light displays in and around Ottawa, including Parliament Hill, Upper Canada Village, and Taffy Lane in Orleans.
- Christmas Tree Farms
A list of Christmas Tree Farms in the Ottawa area, as well as places where you can pick up a Christmas tree in and around the city.
- Make your business stand out from the rest for just $15/month.
Click here to add your Featured Listing...
Local History Links
- 1857 - A Capital Choice
- Ancient Ottawa
- Archaeological and Historical Landmarks
- Barrymore's: 1978-1988
Originally opened as the Imperial Theatre in 1914, the building we now know as Barrymore's lasted for nearly four decades as on of Ottawa's premier movie theatres. It closed in 1955, spent a number of years as a furniture warehouse, and then re-opened in the 1970s as concert hall, and then as a restaurant/discotheque.
- British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa
- Bytown or Bust: Pioneer families
A genealogical site run by Al Lewis containing information about pioneer families who settled in Ottawa starting in the early 1800's.
- Bytown Museum
- Central Canadian Exhibition History
- Closed Canadian Parks: Britannia Park ... Victoria Park ... Rockcliffe Park
- Colonel John By - Canadian Heritage Gallery
- Commonwealth Historic Resource Management - Projects
- Council of Heritage Organizations in Ottawa
- Cumberland Township Historical Society
Ontario Ghost Towns
Here's an idea for a weekend getaway: explore Eastern Ontario's ghost towns. This site features photos and information about dozens of abandoned towns in Ontario and across Canada.
- Encyclopedia of Ottawa Movie Theatres
- Friends of the City of Ottawa Archives
- Goulbourn Historical Society
- Growing Up in Ottawa
A blog by Mark Daley: "I was born in Ottawa in 1969 at the Civic Hospital. My Family moved quite a bit while I was growing both within and outside of Ottawa – although I've always considered Ottawa to be Home. I went to St. Mark's Elementary School, St. Pat's Jr. High and Hillcrest High School. I now live and work in Toronto, On (moved in 1997). These are my fond memories and stories from growing up in Ottawa."
- Heritage Ottawa
This site is full of interesting articles and facts. One of the best features is an archive of their newsletters, dating from 1974 to the present. Editor Gordon Cullinham remarks: "Don’t be surprised if you are visited by déjà vu from time to time; the battles are the same, the conditions are the same, and unhappily, the arsenal for engaging the wrecking crews is not much improved."
- Historical Society of Ottawa
"...founded in 1898 as the Women's Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa. Its objective is to increase public knowledge of the history of Ottawa through its publications, meetings, tours, outreach programs and participation in local heritage events..."
- Imperial Theatre (now Barrymore's)
- Kanata Timeline History
This site highlights important personalities and events tells, telling the story of Kanata from 1977 to 2000.
- Lansdowne Park History
- Lebreton Flats and Chaudiere Area Photo Album
- One Room Schoolhouses
From local author Joy Forbes, who recently published her book, "Perseverance, Pranks and Pride - Tales of the One-Room Schoolhouse". It is a collection of 75 stories from English- and French-speaking individuals who attended or taught in local one-room schoolhouses, capturing the fascinating history of our rural education system.
- On To Ottawa Historical Society
- Ottawa Chapter of the Ontario Archaeological Society
- Ottawa Family Tree (blog)
- Ottawa Genealogical Society
If you're looking for ancestors with an Ottawa connection, this should be your first stop. It's an extremely worthwhile resource, with plenty of material and suggestions to get you started on your search for your great-great-great-great-grandparents.
- Ottawa 150 (from CBC Ottawa)
To mark the city's 150th anniversary, CBC Ottawa presents information on the myriad of people and organizations from each time period of Ottawa's history.
Citizen: 150th Anniversary of Ottawa
A collection of articles from the Citizen's continuing series marking Ottawa's birthday.
- Ottawa History (brief)
Some mayoral trivia: Bytown's first mayor was John Scott (1847). Ottawa's first mayor was John Bower Lewis (1855). Ottawa has had three female mayors: Charlotte Whitton, Marion Dewar, and Jacquelin Holzman. (from Wikipedia)
- Ottawa Railway History
- Ottawagraphy (a heritage project for sharing Ottawa's stories)
- OttawaStart Blog: History
A history of Preston Street (aka Corso Italia), the heart of Ottawa's Little Italy, and the home of many of Italian immigrants in Ottawa.
- Parks Canada: Rideau Canal
- Radio history...
- Rideau Canal (1)
- Rideau Canal (2)
- The Story of the Glebe (alternate link)
- Sparks Street - the Commercial and Banking Centre
- Sparks Street Mall History
- Stories You Told Me
- Thomas Ahearn
- Transit history...
- Tulips in Ottawa (Tulip Festival)
- Victoria Memorial Museum Building
- Victoria School Museum
- Watson's 2002 Guide to the Rideau
- Watson's Mill
- Westboro Online Historical Database
- Vanished Ottawa
A blog documenting "the vanished and the vanishing" in Ottawa, including buildings, landmarks, etc.
- Vintage Ottawa
Facebook Group with photos of old Ottawa.
Ottawa History Books
An Illustrated History. Author: John Taylor. One of the best histories of Ottawa available,
it mixes maps and photographs with a detailed — but very readable
text. Taylor is a history professor at Carleton University.
Acre of Time. Author: Phil Jenkins. "I've come here to unearth a story . .
. the biography of the field beneath my feet". So begins a journey
at once eclectic, invaluable, and unique. A great read for anyone
who loves a good story -- not just history buffs. Also
available in paperback.
- Almonte: The life of Juan Nepomuceno Almonte. Author: Frank Cosentino.
Ottawa album: Glimpses of the way we were. Author: by Marion Van
on Parliament Hill! Author: Jane Varkaris.
PREACHERS & BIG WHITE BEARS: One Hundred Years on Country Roads. Author: Claudia Smith .
Titans: Fortune and Fame in the Early Days of Canada's Capital. Author: L.D. Cross
the Hills to Georgian Bay: The Ottawa, Arnprior & Parry Sound Railway.
Author: Niall Mackay.
in Our Midst: The Incredible Story of Igor Gouzenko, Cold War Spy
Author: L.D. Cross
the line: More portraits of the Ottawa Valley. Author: Steve Evans
THE HECK IS BALAHECK? Unusual Place-Names from Eastern Ontario. Author: Michael Dawber.
- Witches, Ghosts & Loups-Garous: Scary Tales from Canada's Ottawa Valley. Author: Joan Finnigan.
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