St. Bartholomew’s Anglican Church was established in 1867 by a small number of households living in the newly-formed community of New Edinburgh. The building was designed by architect Thomas Seaton Scott on land donated by the estate of canal-builder and pioneer industrialist Thomas McKay, founder of New Edinburgh and first occupant of Rideau Hall. His son-in-law, Thomas C. Keefer, a civil engineer and business man, was one of the founders of the parish as well as of the village of Rockcliffe Park.
The church is built of local limestone and is a designated heritage building. An active place of worship and concert venue today, its history is closely intertwined with that of the local community, the city of Ottawa and the nation. Artefacts and windows remind us of those connections.
Particularly striking is the stained glass window behind the altar. The East Window, unveiled in 1919, is the only work by renowned Irish artist Wilhelmina Geddes in North America. It commemorates staff members of the Duke of Connaught, Canada’s tenth Governor General, killed in WWI. The window, in An Túr Gloine style, depicts a fallen soldier being welcomed into Heaven by other “warrior-saints.”
Against the west wall stands the magnificent Létourneau organ. Installed in 2013, the first pipe organ in Ottawa for a generation, it boasts 17 stops and over 1000 pipes.
Many of the plaques, tablets, fittings and other objects, including the lectern and font, are memorials to clergy, parishioners and individuals associated with the church. Heraldic shields bearing the coats of arms of Canada’s Governors General point to the close links to the office of the Governor General and the residents of Rideau Hall. The church is the regimental chapel of the Governor General’s Foot Guards. Two stands of regimental colours are displayed.
Location and contact
In-person visiting hours
*Follow building health protocols.
- Saturday, June 3 202310am to 4pm
Virtual and 3D Tours
*Some content may not be available in both official languages.
Amenities and features
- Accessible access
- Free parking
- Bike parking
- Family friendly
- OC transpo nearby