Circle of Nations Learning Centre

The Observatory House is located on landscaped grounds at the Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa. The large and dignified two-and-one-half-storey structure is constructed in brick with a stone foundation and wood shingle roof. The house displays elements of both the Queen Anne and Classical Revival styles, including its generous verandah around two elevations, irregular eave line. Classical Revival influences are evident in the balanced arrangement of dormers, classical columns and the building’s central entrance hall. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building. Observatory House is associated with the theme of Canadian research in astronomy and geophysics.

Built in 1909 shortly after the construction of the Dominion Observatory, the building served as the official residence of the Dominion Chief Astronomer for many years, including William King, R.M. Stewart, and C.S. Beale, each of whom made significant contributions to the field. In addition to its residential function, magnetic survey work and other research were carried out in the building's basement laboratories.

Location and contact

In-person visiting hours

*Follow building health protocols.

  • Saturday, June 3 2023
    10am to 4pm

Virtual and 3D Tours

This building does not offer virtual or 3D tours.

A red brick two-storey building with dark teal pillars. A wide, white set of steps lead to a large porch area.
A safe space to learn about First Nations, Inuit and Métis Culture.


Architect/Builder on record
CSV Architects
Architectural style
Queen Anne revival
Construction date or date range
Government buildings

Amenities and features

  • New participant building
  • Public washrooms
  • Accessible access
  • Free parking
  • Bike parking
  • Family friendly
  • Guided tours
  • OC transpo nearby