The Ottawa Valley Historical Society


The Secretary, 
Historical Society of Ottawa,
Box 523, Station "B",
Ottawa, ON
K1P 5P6. 


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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.


The (Women’s Canadian) Historical of Ottawa was founded in 1898 by some of Ottawa’s most influential women, among them Margaret Ahearn, Adeline Foster, Madame Zoe Laurier, and M.E. O’Connor.  This society opened and curated Ottawa’s material history by operating the Bytown Museum from 1917 to 2003 and fostered an interest in local history through publications, lectures, and meetings.  The directors chose to open the society to men as full members in 1956 and we have been enriched by their participation ever since.  Perhaps our greatest achievement was commissioning and championing the long awaited statue of Lieutenant-Colonel John By, in Major’s Hill Park in 1971.  John By was the Royal Engineer tasked with the construction of the Rideau Canal, and so Bytown’s foundation, growth, and rebirth as Canada’s capital.  We still hold monthly meetings at the end of every month, publish the quarterly Bytown Pamphlet Series, organize historical outings, support local history students with awards, speaking and publication opportunities, and work with our sister organizations to continue sustaining  interest in our one-of-a-kind local history.


Meeting times: 


All are welcome at our regular monthly meetings held at 1.00pm on the last Wednesday of the month (except for June, July, August and December) in the auditorium of the Main Branch of the Ottawa Public Library, 120 Metcalfe Street, and at our evening meetings held from time to time at 7:00pm also at the Main Branch of the Ottawa Public Library. At each meeting, a speaker informs and engages members and guests about a topic of local historical interest. Light refreshments will be served 30 minutes prior to the start of a meeting in the lobby of the Library’s auditorium.


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