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.

J.-P. Dostaler


Biography and Abstract –3D Aerial Photographs:I have always been curious about the history of Ottawa, especially what it looked like in the past. The method I use for realizing my curiosity is through old photos—photos at different angles, whether from the ground or from the air.

I wondered if there was a better way to see and appreciate them. Since I formerly worked for the department of Energy Mines and Resources, now NRCan, as a map maker, I was familiar with aerial photos using 3D for compilation. I found that this method of viewing was how I wanted to view old photos as it gave me the feeling of being part of the scene.

In the past, we achieved the 3D effect using a stereoscope or with anaglyph glasses. As this was quite cumbersome, I had to find a better, more portable method.

By doing some research in photographic viewing techniques, I came across a method that uses lenticular lenses. This unique method does not need any special equipment to perceive depth; it can be viewed with the naked eye.

Unfortunately most of my 3D photos are aerial rather than taken from ground level. Stereo images need two pictures of the same scene taken at different angles. As few historical ground level shots were taken in this fashion, I don't have many of them. If there were, they would have provided a closer look at ground-level history and would have made the viewer part of the scene, almost like "being there without being there.”

In addition to making 3D images of historical photographs, I have combined modern and old aerial photographs to make comparative viewing possible. The results are impressive.

Jon Church

Abstract: “Show and Tell”: Collecting is not only fun, often it is a doorway to an appreciation of local and Canadian history. Jon intends to bring a number examples from his collection with a particular focus on early utilitarian pottery and ephemera. The former will point to Bytown’s and Ottawa’s political and business communities. The ephemera will provide humour and a look at the social norms and habits in the second half of the 19th century. And finally, expect to be challenged with a few “What Is It?” items. It promises to be fun.


Biography: Jon Church is a long-time member of the HSO. A graduate of the University of Guelph (science) and of Carleton University (law and economics), Jon spent much of his career in international development, first as a volunteer with CUSO in India and Ghana, (then Director of West Africa Programs at CUSO, Ottawa) and subsequently as V.P. Administration at Canada’s International Development Research Centre. In between, he served as Executive Assistant to the Hon. Mitchell Sharp, Secretary of External Affairs in the Pierre Trudeau government.

Jon served as Executive Director at the Restrictive Trade Practices Commission. He then became V.P. Investment Promotion at Investment Canada with the mandate to persuade foreign companies to locate operations in Canada.

Now retired, Jon’s hobbies include collecting and researching early, primitive Canadiana antiques, and travel to remote locations in search of wildlife. He is a member of the History & Heritage Committee of the Civic Hospital Neighbourhood Association and together with others, is researching neighbourhood history.

Abstract: Britannia is a unique community in Ottawa, having evolved from rural to cottage country, to recreation centre, to outer suburbia and now inner suburbia. We will be overviewing the history of those changes, touching on the many stories that give this community a sense of place. Only faded echoes remain of much of once was, but these stories remain to connect us to what once was, and explain some of what now is.


Biography: Jonathan has lived in the Ottawa area most of his life, the last 20+ of it in Britannia Village. While employed in the local tech industry, he has also been active in various community initiatives for many years, and currently acts as president of the Britannia Village Community Association. Last year, he helped re-published a history of the area, Ottawa's Britannia, that had been out of print for many years. To call him an amateur historian would be a gross exaggeration, but he enjoys the connection to place that local history can provide.

Jonathan will be supported by Mike Kaulbars who authors a history blog about Britannia at

Abstract: Navvies and Nation Builders will speak to the incredibly important and often overlooked contributions of the Irish to the development of Bytown (now Ottawa), with a special focus on the construction of the Rideau Canal, 1826- 1832. Using artefacts and images from the collection of the Bytown Museum, as well as first-hand accounts, historical documents, and biographical sketches, this talk will emphasize how the Irish, through their labour and perseverance, ensured that Bytown would progress beyond a backwater timber depot to become a thriving metropolitan centre and seat of national government.

The early Irish settlers were a diverse group, and built some of the first communities in the Bytown. Many workers brought their families, about whom we know precious little. For all, life was a constant struggle for survival. Despite old world prejudices, many of Bytown’s key figures were Irish-born or of Irish decent: community builders, businessmen and women, educators, and politicians, all with a role to play.


Biography: Grant Vogl is the Collections and Exhibitions Manager of the Bytown Museum in Ottawa, Ontario. Since 2009 Grant has managed the Museum’s permanent gallery and curated numerous special exhibitions highlighting the events, people and stories that have made Ottawa history. He also manages the Museum’s historic collection of over 10,000 artefacts, and has spearheaded

Abstract: In recent years, there has been a movement to rename landmarks in order to better reflect our history, and to remove names of those considered unworthy of commemoration. This effort is particularly focused on honouring Indigenous people, and removing commemoration of those who systemically mistreated Indigenous people. This has been broached at all levels of government, with the federal renaming of the Office of the Prime Minister and Privy Council (formerly the Langevin building); demands of the province by the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario that Sir John A. Macdonald’s name be removed from public schools; and local renaming of LeBreton to Pimisi Station. This talk will discuss how history is used in these cases for reconciliation and to honour Indigenous people and cultures; whether this is effective; the basis of historical accuracy; and how the practice of renaming may be contested. We will also broach the practical fact that one group’s commemoration may come ¬– or be perceived to come – at the expense of another. The purpose of the talk is to raise examples and pose questions and options, without presenting a solution or prescriptive conclusion. With this open-ended format, a following discussion will be encouraged.

Biography: Betsey Baldwin is one of the owners of Public History Inc., a historical research firm in Ottawa. She has a PhD from uOttawa, and has been a part-time professor at that university since 2002. Her course offering include Public History and Indigenous History in Canada. In her work at Public History Inc., Betsey provides historical research that informs Indigenous claims related to treaties, reserves, education, and other matters, for First Nations, Aboriginal organizations, provincial and federal Crown clients. She believes that a shared basis of historical knowledge can aid grievance resolution, and she hopes that her career serves that purpose.