Coming Events

Unless otherwise stated, these meetings are held at 1:00 pm on the last Friday of the month (except December, July and August) in the lounge of the Routhier Community Centre, 172 Guigues Street at Cumberland.

“Death, Illness & Squalor: Cave Creek & Primitive West Ottawa” will examine the problems west end residents faced through the 19th century and well into the 20th century in dealing with Cave Creek, which ran throughout the entirety of Kitchissippi. This small, yet troublesome creek was attributed as the chief cause of the typhoid fever epidemic of 1911, and also stunted the growth of west end neighbourhoods until proper sewage systems could be installed. The presentation will feature maps, photos, and many anecdotes from media reports of the time.

Dave Allston is a life-long west end Ottawa resident, with a passion for local history. A sixth-generation west-ender, Dave’s focus is strictly on the Kitchissippi ward, which encompasses Hintonburg west to McKellar Park. He writes a regular column for the community newspaper Kitchissippi Times, and runs his own website, the Kitchissippi Museum, along with regular contributions to mainstream media as well. Dave established a Kitchissippi history and heritage group in 2016, with a goal to promote local history, knowledge share, and contribute to the identification and protection of heritage buildings. He is married with three kids, and works full-time with the Department of National Defence, while also acting as Returning Officer for the district of Ottawa Centre for Elections Ontario.

Details: Despite being the most successful of the early National Hockey League teams, with the most Stanley Cup wins in the 1920s, the Ottawa Senators often struggled to attract fans. This presentation discusses how the building of a new rink, the Ottawa Auditorium, was seen as the solution to Ottawa's woes, but could not fight the economic tide that was pulling NHL hockey to larger American markets.

Biography: J. Andrew Ross holds a PhD in history from the University of Western Ontario, and taught economic history at the University Guelph before joining Library and Archives Canada as an archivist in 2015. He is the author of Joining the Clubs: The Business of the National Hockey League to 1945 (Syracuse University Press, 2015).

Lillian Bilsky Freiman (1885-1940) nicknamed “The Poppy Lady”, was designated a Person of National Historic Significance by the Canadian Government. During the First World War, Lillian worked tirelessly for the benefit of our soldiers overseas by setting up sewing circles which would become a Disraeli Chapter of the Daughters of the Empire. She also co-founded The Great War Veterans Association which would become the Royal Canadian Legion. Lillian crafted the first Canadian poppies in her living room in 1921. This presentation will look at this fascinating woman.

Dan Mackay has had an extensive career in the military, and is now a Friend of the Canadian War Museum, and as a volunteer, is guardian and custodian of the military artifacts in the Museum. He has been deeply engaged in conserving the history of our Armed Forces holding such positions as Army Heritage Officer at NDHQ; Deputy Director, Directorate of History and Heritage at NDHQ and, in earlier days, served in senior positions as a geographer and cartographer with Energy, Mines and Resources and on secondment to the Department of External Affairs.

Details: For more than 40 years during Ottawa's transformation from backwoods Bytown to burgeoning capital of a new Dominion, the pioneer physician, naturalist and polymathic public intellectual Dr. Edward Van Cortlandt helped shape the city, its founding institutions and coalescing civic culture. Recent research has revealed the remarkable depth and range of Van Cortlandt's contributions to early Ottawa and illuminated his enduring imprint on the history of the capital and the country.

Biography: Randy Boswell is a professor at Carleton University's School of Journalism and Communication, where he conducts historical research while continuing to work as a freelance writer and editor. During a long and varied career as a journalist with the Ottawa Citizen and Postmedia News, Boswell developed a unique national history beat that pushed edgy stories about Canada's past onto front pages across the country. Among his recent writings were an Ottawa Citizen front-page feature on the history of the marble cornerstone of the Parliament Buildings — which kicked off the newspaper's special coverage of the Canada 150 anniversary — a scholarly article revealing the origins of the 19th-century sawdust pollution controversy on the Ottawa River, published by the academic journal Histoire Sociale/Social History, and a magazine piece that solved the mystery behind Elvis Presley's 1956 mega-hit "Heartbreak Hotel", published by Rolling Stone.