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.

We invite you to tour our site to see what we do and learn about the projects and services we offer. If you have any questions or comments about our site, please email us. We'll do our best to answer.

Ottawa Then and Now

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    View of Parliament Hill from Interprovincial bridge, c. 1906, City of Ottawa Archives/MG513/CA001240
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    Parliament Hill Today
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    Rideau Canal with boat, c.1860, Bytown or Bust
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    A busy summer afternoon today on the Rideau Canal beside the National Arts Centre in downtown Ottawa
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    Hockey players on Canal, c. 1901, Library and Archives Canada, PA-133406
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    Skaters on the canal today enjoying an afternoon outing.
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    Nurses and Tulips in front of the Civic Hospital, c. 1950, photographer unknown, Canada, Minister of Manpower and Immigration, Library and Archives Canada, MIKAN No. 4365985
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    The annual Spring show of tulip colour today
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    Major's Hill Park, c. 1889, National Capital Commission
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    A Fall day in Major's Hill Park today
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    Dedication of the National War Memorial, 1939, during the visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth
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    The National War Memorial and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier today during November 11th Remembrance Day Ceremony
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    Col. Ross and Governor General Foot Guards, c. 1875, Library and Archives Canada, C-000641
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    Band of the Governor General Foot Guards Today

Today in Ottawa's History

Ottawa has an interesting and varied history. Stop for a monent to read a couple of brief accounts of two engaging or important events that occured during a past month of June in Ottawa’s history. Check back each month throughout the year to read two new articles.

Our Patron

The Governor General, His Excellency, The Right Honourable David Johnston, has kindly consented to be our Patron, continuing a tradition that began more than a century ago.

Our Patron: His Excellency, The Right Honourable David Johnston, C.C., C.M.M., C.O.M., C.D., Governor General of Canada



James Powell is a very interesing writer

He is the author of the blog, "Today in Ottawa's History". In it he helps to bring our shared history to life through his regular postings. He has given us permission to repost entries from his blog on an ongoing basis here on the OHS web site.

Below, Powell descibes his blog along with a brief summary of his other writing accomplishments:

"The purpose of this blog is to provide readers with a brief account of an interesting or important event that happened in Ottawa’s history on a given day of the year. Ultimately, my objective is to have an article for every day of the year. While I will try to cover the highlights of each event, the brevity of the articles precludes a lot of detail and analysis. If readers wish to explore a topic in more detail, the sources listed at the end of each story will provide a useful starting point for research.

This is clearly a work in progress. While I have lots of additional stories on the drawing board, I would be delighted to hear your suggestions for new stories associated with a particular date that is not yet filled. You can email your suggestions here.

I am the author or co-author of three books dealing with some aspect of Canadian history. These comprise:

A History of the Canadian Dollar, 2005. Bank of Canada, Ottawa,

The Bank of Canada of James Elliott Coyne: Challenges Confrontation, and Change, 2009. McGill-Queen’s University Press, Montreal, Kingston, and, with Jill Moxley, Faking It! A History of Counterfeiting in Canada, 2013. General Store Publishing House, Renfrew, Ontario.

I am also a member of the Historical Society of Ottawa."

Click here to read two articles that deal with events that took place during this month in Ottawa's history.


Slide-Out Panel 2

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Ottawa Fringe Festival

St. Paul's Eastern United Church

June 8-18, 2017


A musical retelling of Canada's birth. Confederemix is kickin’ it really old school with a musical retelling of Canada’s birth as seen through the eyes of Anne Brown and her husband George, a lesser known Father of Confederation. The story is told and sung through a mash-up of contemporary songs and dramatic moments in Canadian history. It’s a bumpin’ new show that you don’t want to miss!



An open-access festival where 100% of ticket sales go to the artists. Nobody curates the Ottawa Fringe Festival. Ottawa Fringe rents the venues and programs the festival by lottery. Every show is independently produced and more artists get into the program by submitting a Bring Your Own Venue show (BYOV).

For more details on this musical, along with instructions on how to purchase tickets for it, please click here.