This site uses JavaScript. Please enable JavaScript in your Browser and reload the page to view the full site.

Billings Estate National Historic Site

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.

Location and hours

2100 Cabot Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1H 6K1

Contact us

Tel.: 613-580-2088
Fax: 613-247-4832
Email: museums@ottawa.ca
Facebook: @BillingsEstate
Instagram: @BillingsEstateMuseum
Subscribe to our monthly "At your museum" eNewsletter. 

Hours

The museum is now closed for the regular season. Special programming is offered throughout the year.

Please see our Programs and Special Events listing below, subscribe to our monthly "At your museum" eNewsletter, or follow us on Facebook for further information.

We welcome private tours even when the museum is not open to the general public. Contact the museum to make arrangements.

Admission

Unless otherwise indicated, regular admission fees apply.

Adults - $6.75
Seniors and Students - $5.50
Child - $4.00
Families (two adults and accompanying children) - $16.50
Children 5 and under are free.

Group rates available upon request. Additional fees may be applicable to some special events and programs.

Programs and special events

Home for the Holidays

Sunday, December 15 from 10 am to 4 pm
Cost: $6.75 per person; Families $17.50 (two adults and accompanying children under 18).

The holiday season has been celebrated at Billings Estate since 1829. Family and friends of all ages are invited to experience the classic Christmas traditions of early Ottawa together with kid-friendly storytelling, performances by the Dickens Carolers, a themed photobooth station, and more! Staff in period clothing will add to the atmosphere and warm drinks will be available for cash purchase.

*Please dress for weather conditions; activities will take place both indoors and outdoors.

Holiday Hours

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, December 20 to 22 from 4 pm to 8 pm
Cost: Adults $6.75; Children $4 (5 and under are free); Seniors and students $5.50; Families $16.50 (two adults and accompanying children under 18).
Recommended for adults and families with children 10 and older

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of holiday preparations and enjoy a guided tour of the museum with a special Christmas theme. Take in the beautiful decorations throughout the house, learn fun facts about seasonal traditions as you explore the exhibitions, enjoy atmospheric music, and challenge yourself to “find the ornaments” for a fun bonus activity.

Christmas Tea

Sunday, December 1 and Sunday, December 8 with seatings at 10:30 am, 12:30 pm, and 2:30 pm.
Cost: $23.10 per seat

*Please note that reservations for our Christmas Tea are now full.

Celebrate the season with your friends and loved ones at our special Christmas Tea. Share in the holiday spirit as you enjoy our festive decorations and themed holiday menu in a beautiful historical setting.

Reservations:

Reservations open Tuesday, November 5 at 10 am. Please call 613-580-2088 ext. 35258 and leave a single message including the following information:

  • Name;
  • Phone number;
  • Number of seats you would like to reserve (Maximum reservation size is 10. Large groups will be split between tables of 4 or 6. Due to the layout of the space, tables cannot be pushed together and large groups are not guaranteed neighbouring tables.);
  • Preferred date and seating time.

Capacity for this program is limited. All messages will be returned in a timely manner and reservations will be filled in the order messages are received. Due to demand, leaving a message does not guarantee a reservation. A waitlist will be maintained once reservations are full.

Payment:

After your reservation is confirmed by a museum staff member over the phone, you will have one week to visit the museum (2100 Cabot Street) and complete advance payment for your seating. If payment is not completed in that timeframe, the reservation will be offered to the next guest(s) on the waitlist.

Wednesday, November 6 to Friday, November 8 - 9:30 am to 4:30 pmSaturday, November 9 - 10 am to 4 pmSunday, November 10 - 10 am to 2 pmMonday, November 11 - closedTuesday, November 12 to Friday, November 15 - 9:30 am to 4:30 pm

Mobility and dietary concerns:

Please note any mobility or dietary/food allergy concerns at the time your reservation is confirmed. Regrettably, last minute requests for accommodations on the day of the event cannot be met.

School Programs

School Programs and Educational Activities are offered for students from kindergarten to Grade 8 from Wednesday to Friday during the months of May, June, September and October.

 

Collections and exhibits

Artefact collections

A large portion of the Billings Estate National Historic Site artefact collection received Canadian Cultural Property designation in 1996 because of its significance as material evidence of the historic development of the nation's capital. The eclectic collection contains more than 27,000 artefacts - many of which are on exhibition at the museum - that belonged to the family and their neighbours, including furniture, household goods, personal possessions, an extensive library, tools, entomological specimens, agricultural equipment and a 1959 Cadillac. 

Exhibits

The museum's exhibitions are designed to tell the stories of the estate and the community's evolution over more than 150 years, beginning in 1812 when the Billings family settled on the Rideau River.

Permanent Exhibition - The Billings Family Story

Always at the museum is our permanent exhibition that explores the story of pioneers carving out from the wilderness a new life, the progress of relationships and families through good times and bad, the history of industry and agriculture in the area, and the community that grew over the years.

Interactive features like a touch-screen family tree, audio recordings of poetry readings and the Oath of Allegiance, as well as radio programs from days long gone by round out the experience, with telescopes showing a peek into the past. We've made sure there's a scavenger hunt for our young visitors, too. An accessible audio tour is also available.

Our volunteers

The City of Ottawa Museums are committed to offering residents meaningful and rewarding volunteer experiences.

Heritage volunteers play an invaluable role in preserving our unique heritage and in providing museum visitors of all ages with opportunities to appreciate our shared story.

Thank you to all our volunteer team members for their continued support.

To enquire about volunteering, please contact heritagevolunteers@ottawa.ca.

Venue rentals

wedding ceremony

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. 

Weddings and Special Events

Beautiful gardens, historic buildings, and open green space are complemented by a gorgeous antique staircase for photographers to capture your memories. Dressing rooms for the bridal party and special guests are available. Choose your own caterer to make sure your event is exactly how you’ve always dreamed it would be.

Corporate Meetings and Retreats

Need a change of scenery for your meeting, retreat or corporate function? Recharge your company’s batteries at this National Historic Site, which offers modern meeting rooms and equipment in a unique heritage setting.

Amenities for Rentals Include

  • Large marquee tent (30’x50’) with wooden floor and electrical outlets
  • Small tent (20’x20’) with stone floor (available outside of Tea on the Lawn service hours)
  • Tables and chairs for 150 guests
  • Commercial kitchen (available outside of Tea on the Lawn service hours)
  • Two private rooms for up to 20 people
  • Staff to facilitate set-up and take-down
  • More than 8 acres of gardens for photos and activities
  • Technical equipment: TV, VCR, projector, fixed screen, easel/flip chart
  • Free parking

You can book your outdoor special event up to 18 months in advance, and your indoor events can be booked up to 6 months in advance.

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. Call 613-580-2088 or email museums@ottawa.ca.

Accessibility

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.

The accessibility features of this facility are detailed below. While the City of Ottawa is constantly working to improve access, please note that not all parts of every facility are necessarily 'accessible for all' as facilities were built to meet accessibility standards of their time.

Parking

  • 2 designated parking spaces 
  • Accessible path of travel from the parking lot to entrance
  • 100 metres from parking space to the door

Passenger Loading Zone

  • Access aisle

Entrance/Exit

  • 2 accessible entrances (Main House and Tombstone Garage)
  • Ramp
  • Wide door for wheelchair passage
  • Automatic door opener
  • Direct access to the main floor, lobby, elevator

Interior

  • Accessible seating available
  • Wheelchair available for patrons

Reception desks

  • Accessible counters
  • Floor area for manoeuvring a wheelchair

Signage

  • Directional signs
  • High contrast signage
  • Large lettering

Washrooms

  • Accessible washrooms on 1st floor and basement
  • Large stalls to allow transfers

Telephone

  • Volume control
  • Accessible path

Museums/Galleries/Archives

  • 2 exhibition spaces are accessible
  • Non FM-loop system available
  • Good visibility for patrons in wheelchairs
  • Interpretive labels/panels in large font

Learn more about special needs and accessible services.