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Exhibitions, displays and events

COVID-19 Update

The highest priority of the City of Ottawa Archives is the safety and well-being of our visitors, volunteers, and our staff. Consistent with Ottawa Public Health guidance related to the spread of the novel coronavirus, the City is undertaking a phased reopening, during which we are committed to providing access to records. As of September 8, 2020, the City of Ottawa Archives will re-open to the public by appointment only.

Our hours of operation have changed to accommodate the new health and safety protocols in place during the pandemic.

Tuesday to Friday: 9:30 to 3:30 pm
Saturday: 10:30 to 4:30 pm
Sunday and Monday: Closed

Drop-ins are not possible at this time. However, we are currently exploring how we might also offer virtual appointments in future; more details will be available soon.

Researchers will be required to follow health and safety procedures to prevent transmission. These include wearing a non-medical mask during your visit, in accordance with Temporary Mandatory Mask By-law (By-law No. 2020 – 186).   

Please contact Reference Services for more information or to book an appointment: archives@ottawa.ca or 613-580-2857.

Barbara Ann Scott Gallery

location and hours, current exhibition…

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Ottawa Sport Hall of Fame

location and hours, current exhibitions, history of the Ottawa Sport Hall of Fame…

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Gallery 112

location and hours, current exhibitions…

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Rideau Branch Exhibit: Main Street North Gower

This facility is currently closed until September 7, 2020 to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

City of Ottawa Archives - Rideau Branch and Friends of the Rideau Township Archives invite you to view a new exhibit: Main Street North Gower. Explore the rich heritage of North Gower's 'main drag' through images, artifacts and documents.

6581 Fourth Line Road, North Gower

June 2019 to May 2020

Time Traveller App

The City of Ottawa Archives has developed a new application that provides access to Ottawa’s history and its landmarks in the palm of your hand.

This app allows you to travel through time to discover places, events and people that shaped the City of Ottawa since Confederation. By no means an exhaustive list, Time Traveller encourages you to go out and seek history. 

There are three ways to ‘time travel’ using the app:

  • Use the interactive map and choose a story based on location
  • Follow the timeline
  • Teleport to a random story

The app is available in the Apple and Google Play stores for download. The app works in English and French depending on the language preference you have chosen for your phone.

Image: To illustrate what the Time Traveller app looks like.

Chains of Office

This exhibit is currently closed until September 2020 to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

A Chain of Office symbolizes the mayor's service to the municipality. The chain also symbolizes the strength and diversity of Ottawa communities. The idea comes from the medieval tradition of livery collars where colourful fabric collars, unique to a powerful individual, were worn by their servants for identification. British municipalities began to copy this behaviour in the 1500s. Many Canadian municipalities adopted the practice.

With amalgamation in 2000, a number of Chains of Office used by former municipalities were retired and are now on display.

Location and Hours

Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West

613-580-2857 (TTY: 613-580-2401)

Open daily 9 am to 8 pm, including holidays.

Free admission.

Wheelchair accessible.

Paid parking available. FREE PARKING available at the City Hall garage on weekday evenings after 6 pm and all day on weekends.

Gifts to the Mayors of Ottawa

This exhibit is currently closed until September 2020 to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Gifts to the Mayors of Ottawa collection represents symbols of friendship that the City of Ottawa shares with individuals and countries all over the world. The City has a commitment towards the long-term care of this special collection.

The giving of gifts is a ritual that dates to the ancient times when gifts were given as a gesture of goodwill between peoples of different cultures and clans. In the modern world, this important ritual is a formal diplomatic activity between visiting dignitaries.

The City of Ottawa Archives is focused on acquiring, preserving and making accessible Ottawa’s documentary heritage for current residents and for future generations. Since 1977, the Archives has been the official custodian of the gifts to the Mayors of Ottawa. Each gift is catalogued into the Archives’ database, researched and photographed. The gifts that are not currently on display are stored in one of four environmentally controlled vaults.

Location and Hours

Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West

613-580-2857 (TTY: 613-580-2401)

Open daily 9 am to 8 pm, including holidays.

Free admission.

Wheelchair accessible.

Paid parking available. FREE PARKING available at the City Hall garage on weekday evenings after 6 pm and all day on weekends.

The Canadian Tribute to Human Rights

The Canadian Tribute to Human Rights monument is dedicated to the struggle for fundamental rights and freedoms. The Tribute is located in Nelson Mandela Square on the grounds of Ottawa City Hall, at the intersection of Elgin Street and Lisgar Street.

Location and Hours

Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West
Nelson Mandela Square - Ottawa City Hall grounds (intersection of Elgin Street and Lisgar Street)

613-580-2857 (TTY: 613-580-2401)

Open daily. The monument can be visited 24 hours per day.

Free admission.

Wheelchair accessible.

Paid parking available. FREE PARKING available at the City Hall garage on weekday evenings after 6 pm and all day on weekends.

A Virtual Exhibit: Ottawa Becomes the Capital

Witness of Change: Visions from the Andrews-Newton Photographs

Events

Letters to Santa

Join us at the City of Ottawa Archives to create your letter to Santa. You will also get to make crafts, decorate cookies and hear traditional holiday stories. Bring your whole family.

December 5, 2020
9 am to 3 pm
​​​​​​​100 Tallwood Drive

It’s free!