Billings Estate National Historic Site

Visit the historic estate of one of Ottawa's founding families and spend the day enjoying one of our special events or programs, exploring the exhibitions with interactive and kid-friendly activities, discovering the beauty of our well-preserved parkland, or renting the space for your special event.

We take the time to understand how children see the world, and we make sure they actively experience history through connections with objects, people, places and ideas.

About Us

The Billings family settled on the shores of the Rideau River in 1812 and took an active role in shaping the community as it evolved over time and until the 1970s when they left the estate. They helped build farms and churches, ran a dairy operation, and contributed to the development of the Byward Market by providing produce for sale and building the “Farmers’ Bridge”.

This National Historic Site on 8 acres of green space is also home to one of Ottawa’s oldest community cemeteries where well-known Ottawa pioneers, such as the Evans, Brouse and Firth families, are laid to rest.

Children and Families

We’ve got two new ways for kids to learn about history while spending time with their parents.  With activities like scavenger hunts, old-fashioned toys, and word games, our Experience Backpacks will take kids indoors and out to better understand what childhood was like for kids long ago. 

Head over to Sally’s Kitchen for our own take on games like Guess Who? and Clue.  Hands-on activities, from building the Estate house from different materials like Lego™ to making a community quilt, will help your kids connect with the past.  These activities are free with regular admission.  Access may be limited during special events or private rentals.

School Programs

Curriculum-linked programs are offered for students from kindergarten to Grade 8 from Tuesday to Friday throughout the year. Contact us for more information.

Exhibitions and Artefact Collections

Home to more than 27,000 artefacts, the Billings Estate tells an epic story of starting a life anew in the wilderness and the legacy of the family over many generations. With both permanent and temporary exhibitions, these artefacts help bring the story to life.

Eating

The museum’s food service is known for both its quality and affordability. Specializing in refreshments and baked goods made from scratch and served overlooking heritage gardens, our food service is a unique addition to the site.

Tea on the Lawn

The high tea service overlooking this National Historic Site's beautiful flower gardens is one of the museum’s most popular features. Choose a scone and tea served with Devonshire cream and jam or order our 3-tier service with finger sandwiches, scones, and desserts ($12.50 + tax per person).

The Tea on the Lawn is served from May 11 to August 31 on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays, from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., rain or shine. Indoor tea service is also available to groups by reservation during the rest of the year.

Because we use the freshest ingredients possible, it’s best to contact the museum at 613-247-4830 for the daily menu. Reservations are recommended to avoid disappointment.

Boxed Lunch

If you’re interested in refreshments but would prefer a more casual meal, the museum will prepare a small boxed lunch for you and your family to enjoy on the park grounds of the museum. For $6.50 per meal, you’ll receive one of the sandwiches being prepared as part of the tea service that day, a dessert, a drink, and a piece of fruit.

Bring Your Own

Visitors are also welcome to bring their own snacks or meals and picnic in the park. To preserve the artefacts in the museum, no eating is permitted in the exhibition spaces.

Venue Rentals

Billings Estate National Historic Site is a uniquely picturesque and tranquil setting just 10 minutes from downtown Ottawa. The 200-year-old house is surrounded by gardens and reigns over more than 8 acres of lush parkland that can accommodate parties from 15 to 150 guests.

An affordable and flexible option for your wedding, anniversary, or other celebration, Billings Estate offers modern facilities with historic character. Under our marquee tent or inside our meeting rooms, we can help make your gathering both beautiful and successful.

Book an Appointment

The breathtaking beauty of Billings Estate must be seen to be believed. Make an appointment with our Customer Service Booking Clerk for a tour of our facility and to receive a full rental information package and application form.

Hours

Wednesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from May 11 through October 31, with special programming offered throughout the year. Times may vary for special events and/or programs. Be sure to check all listings for more details.

Admission

Unless otherwise indicated, regular admission fees apply.
Adults - $6, Seniors and Students - $5, Youth - $3.50, Families (two adults and unlimited children)- $15. Group rates available upon request. Additional fees may be applicable to some special events and programs. 

Accessibility

View our accessibility features. Work with us to shape your experience. Contact the museum before your visit to discuss your needs. Information about accessibility at the facility, programs, and services is available upon request.

Driving Directions and Map

The museum is located at 2100 Cabot Street.

The museum is located near the intersection of Bank Street and Riverside Drive in Alta Vista, near Billings Bridge Shopping Centre.  Turn onto Pleasant Park at the intersection of Riverside Drive; take the first right onto Cabot Street and follow the signs to the museum.  Bus routes 87, 97 and 149 to Pleasant Park Station.

Map

Public transportation

The museum is near the Pleasant Park transit station. Consult OC Transpo for route information and times.

Contact Us

2100 Cabot Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1H 6K1
Tel: 613-247-4830
Fax: 613-247-4832
museums@ottawa.ca

 

 

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