Billings Estate National Historic Site

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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.

Hours and admission

Hours of operation

Closed: December 19 through January 3.

Winter Hours
January 4 through April 23, 2023:
Wednesday – Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm

Closed: Friday, April 7 (Good Friday)

Book your visit online.

Regular admission

  • Adult, $7.25
  • Students and seniors, $6
  • Youth (ages 6 to 17), $4.25
  • Child (5 and under), free
  • Family (2 adults and accompanying children under 18), $18

Special pricing may apply for programs and events. 

The Ottawa Museum Network has suspended their library pass program with Ottawa Public Libraries for 2022.

Programs and special events

Easter at the Estate

Saturday, April 8: Morning (10 am to 12:30 pm) and Afternoon (1:30 pm to 4 pm).
Cost: $18.90 per group (six people max per group; see “how to register” below).
Family friendly (best suited for families with kids ages 10 and under).
Advance registration is required.

Spring has arrived at the Billings farm! Join us at the museum to explore our community’s agricultural heritage with fun, hands-on family activities. Decorate pre-dyed eggs, plant carrots for the growing season, challenge yourself to a market-themed scavenger hunt, see how wool is dyed, and more! Meet some new furry, feathered, and scaled friends at the petting zoo and catch a puppet show (11 am and 2 pm).

How to register:

Register online at using the activity codes listed below or by using the location search to filter for events at Billings Estate National Historic Site. Only one registration ($18.90) is required per group. Each group may include up to 6 participants; at least one adult per group must be present to accompany children. Registration should be completed by an adult (18+) who will be present on the day of the program. Children 5 years of age and under will not be counted toward the group maximum of 6 participants.

Morning session (10 am to 12:30 pm) - 55805
Afternoon session (1:30 pm to 4 pm) – 55868

Registration is non-transferable and non-refundable. Please bring proof of registration (printed or saved to your mobile device) with you on the day of the program to facilitate the check-in process.


  • This program will be delivered primarily in English. Bilingual (English/French) staff may be present to assist visitors and all printed materials will be provided in both languages.
  • The recommended final entry will be 1 hour prior to end of your registered session (11:30 am for the morning session; 3 pm for the afternoon session). You are welcome to plan your arrival any time during your registered session.
  • All reasonable attempts will be made to ensure any chocolate distributed as part of this program is nut free, however, we cannot guarantee a 100% nut free environment.
  • This program will run rain or shine and will take place primarily outdoors on the museum grounds. Please check the forecast and dress for weather conditions, including proper footwear for wet grass, snow, or muddy grounds.
  • In the event of extreme weather conditions or other circumstances which may disrupt or prevent the program from running as scheduled, all registered participants will be contacted by museum staff with information regarding their options.

Accessibility and sensory advisories:

  • The Community Quilts exhibition will be open to visitors. It is located on the second floor of the museum and is not accessible by wheelchair. There is no elevator access to the second floor. A visual alternative of the exhibition will be available to view on the main level of the museum.
  • Weather permitting, activities will take place primarily outdoors on the museum grounds. The grounds include gravel pathways, grass, and uneven terrain. Due to the season, the grounds may be wet, muddy, or still have some snow cover, which may make it difficult to navigate using a wheelchair or other mobility aids. 
  • Noises: We are expecting 450-500 people throughout the course of this event (10 am to 4 pm). As a result, there may be crowds and loud noises.
  • Scents: Please be aware that there will be a petting zoo with rabbits, guinea pigs, tortoise, birds, chinchillas, and small reptiles. Hardboiled eggs will be used in the egg decorating activity; we will have a small number of alternatives to hardboiled eggs available to those who request them.
  • A quiet, low sensory space will be provided, and can be located on the event’s map.
  • If you have event participation questions due to disability or have concerns regarding the accessibility of the event, please contact the museum by phone at 613-580-2088 ext. 35250 or by email at Additional information about accessibility can be found on the museum web page.

Tea on the lawn

Tea on the Lawn has closed for 2022. Thank you for a fantastic summer! When offered, seasonal or themed teas are listed under “Programs and Special Events”.

Picnic on the museum grounds

Visitors are welcome to bring their own snacks and picnic on the museum grounds. To preserve the artefacts in the museum, no eating or drinking is permitted in the exhibition spaces. Outside food is also not permitted in the tent where Tea on the Lawn is served.

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. 


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.

Temporary exhibition - Community Quilts

March 8, 2023 - June 4, 2023
Community Quilts celebrates quilting as a tradition both past and present. The exhibition showcases quilts created this past summer at Billings Estate National Historic Site by older adults from Ottawa West Community Support (Somerset House and Clementine House), South-East Ottawa Community Health Centre, and Elders from Inuuqatigiit – Centre of Inuit Children, Youth and Families. A pair of quilts and select needlework artefacts from the City of Ottawa Museums and Historic Sites collection will complement this display and highlight common threads in Ottawa’s quilting history. The quilting program and exhibition is supported by a grant from the New Horizons for Seniors Program (Employment and Social Development Canada).

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.

Billings Family virtual exhibition 

The Billings Family virtual exhibit, presented by the City of Ottawa Archives, gives a view of the Billings Family and their interactions with the growing city center of Ottawa and Billings Bridge Village. The histories are written from the perspective of one family’s experiences and activities, within the context of Ottawa’s development as a city.

Cabinet of Curiosities virtual exhibition

Cabinets of curiosities displayed the strange and the scientific, the weird and the wonderful. Our team has gone through our collections and picked out the artefacts that appeal most to them to create our very own cabinet of curiosities. You can enjoy this exhibition from the comfort of your own home while learning the history of each artefact and why it stood out to our staff. Enter Cabinet of Curiosities here!

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.

The museums are not currently accepting new volunteers. If you have any questions about the volunteer program or would like to be notified when volunteering resumes, please contact


Reminiscent of a country estate, the nearly 200-year-old manor house and surrounding eight acres of landscaped greenspace and gardens provide a picturesque and historical backdrop for your special event.

For more information, please contact our Customer Service Booking Clerk. Call 613-580-2088 or email


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.


  • 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


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


  • Accessible seating available
  • Wheelchair available for patrons

Reception desks

  • Accessible counters
  • Floor area for manoeuvring a wheelchair


  • Directional signs
  • High contrast signage
  • Large lettering


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


  • Volume control
  • Accessible path

Museums, galleries, and archives

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

Learn more about Inclusive Recreation and accessible services.