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Fairfields Heritage House

About Us

An impressive 19th century Gothic Revival farm house, Fairfields Heritage House represents the homestead and community building legacy of the Bell family. Originally built on 660 acres of farm land, the museum tells the epic story of almost 200 years of rich, local history and the people who so actively helped shape the evolution of the area.

Beautiful green lawns surround the house and are an invitation to spend leisure time at the site. With a gazebo, gardens, and statuesque trees the space is perfect for picnics, exploration, and family-friendly activities.

Address and contact information

3080 Richmond Road
Nepean, Ontario, K2B 7J5

*Please note that due to construction, visitors will now enter and exit the museum through the side entrance (near the gazebo).

Tel: 613-580-9638 (Nepean Museum)
Email: museums@ottawa.ca
Facebook: @FairfieldsHeritageHouse
Subscribe to our monthly "At your museum" eNewsletter. 

Pre-book your visit

Visitors are encouraged to pre-book online or by calling the museum by 4 pm the day prior. Visitors without a booking will be admitted only if capacity allows.  

Reserve your space now

Hours and admission

Hours of operation: 

September 12 through October 18
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
10 am to 5 pm

*Hours of operation may vary for programs and events.

Admission:

Admission is by donation.

*Special pricing may apply for programs and events.  

What to expect when you visit 

We look forward to welcoming you back to the museum! We have adapted the visitor experience to reflect guidance from Ottawa Public Health and the Province of Ontario while still providing fun opportunities to engage with local history. Please read below before planning your outing.

  • The number of visitors inside the museum is limited according to provincial guidelines. Booking your visit online by 4 pm the day prior helps us maintain physical distancing on site.

  • Contact-tracing information will be collected and visitors will be asked screening questions upon arrival.

  • Exploration of the museum is self-guided with directional signage to guide traffic.

  • Interpreters are available outside on the grounds to answer any questions you might have and to facilitate any scheduled guided or self-guided activities or demonstrations.

  • Pack a picnic, including snacks and water, and make the most of our beautiful grounds! Please note that access to potable water may be limited.

  • Public washrooms are available to museum visitors.

Planning a COVID-wise visit

Help reduce the risk of transmission by being COVID-wise! More information can be found on the Ottawa Public Health website.

  • Only visit the museum with members of your household or social circle.

  • Masks are required inside museum buildings including the lobby, exhibition spaces, and washrooms, as well as when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

  • Maintain two meters of distance from others outside your household or social circle.

  • If you or a member of your group is not feeling well, cancel your visit by calling 613-580-9638 or emailing museums@ottawa.ca.

  • Wash your hands regularly or use hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer is available at the entrance area but bringing your own is recommended.

Programs and special events

Family activities on the museum grounds

Activities have been adapted to meet public health guidelines. They are being offered outdoors only and are weather dependent.

Participation in the family activities is included in your pre-booked “Indoor self-guided tour” or “Outdoor guided tour” timeslot. Visitors without a booking will be accommodated only if capacity allows. Admission is by donation.

Fridays 
10 am to 12 pm / 1 pm to 4 pm

  • Croquet (self-directed)
  • Rock mining activity
  • Animal tracking (self-directed)

Saturdays
10 am to 12 pm / 1 pm to 4 pm

  • Croquet (self-directed)
  • Laundry day washboard activity
  • Animal tracking (self-directed)

Sundays
10 am to 12 pm / 1 pm to 4 pm

  • Croquet (self-directed)
  • Bookmark craft
  • Animal tracking (self-directed)

Makers at the Museum: Pumpkin Centrepiece Workshop

Saturday, October 17, 2020 from 1 pm to 3 pm
Ages 16+
Cost: $65 + tax (includes supplies)
Registration opens Wednesday, September 23 (barcode: 1583140)

Join award-winning florist Crystal Hill (Floral Envy Inc.) to create a beautiful autumnal centrepiece where the pumpkin takes center stage. A variety of flowers and foliage in seasonal colours will complete the arrangement which is guaranteed to (pumpkin) spice up your fall décor. This workshop is hosted by Fairfields Heritage House and will take place outdoors on the museum’s grounds surrounded by willow trees and a small apple orchard. Marquee tents will provide overhead shelter but participants should dress warmly and for weather conditions. Light refreshments will be served.

Plan for a COVID-wise visit:

  • Plan to participate in this workshop with members of your household or social circle only.
  • The maximum number of participants will be limited to allow for physical distancing.
  • Contact tracing information will be collected and visitors will be asked screening questions upon arrival.
  • Bring a mask for use when physical distancing cannot be maintained or when accessing indoor facilities (washrooms, etc.).
  • Maintain two meters of distance from others outside your household or social circle.
  • Wash your hands regularly or use hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer will be available but bringing your own is recommended. Enhanced sanitation measures will be in place.
  • If you or a member of your group is not feeling well, cancel your registration by calling 613-580-9638 or by emailing museums@ottawa.ca.

Makers at the Museum: Harvest Centrepiece Workshop

Sunday, October 18, 2020 from 1 pm to 3 pm
Ages 16+
Cost: $65 + tax (includes supplies)
Registration opens Wednesday, September 23 (barcode: 1583142)

Create a beautiful harvest-themed centrepiece with award-winning florist Crystal Hill (Floral Envy Inc.) using seasonal fruit, flowers, and foliage. This unique and rustic arrangement will bring the colours of fall to your dining room or living space and add a handmade flair to your fall décor. This workshop is hosted by Fairfields Heritage House and will take place outdoors on the museum’s grounds surrounded by willow trees and a small apple orchard. Marquee tents will provide overhead shelter but participants should dress warmly and for weather conditions. Light refreshments will be served.

Plan for a COVID-wise visit:

  • Plan to participate in this workshop with members of your household or social circle only.
  • The maximum number of participants will be limited to allow for physical distancing.
  • Contact tracing information will be collected and visitors will be asked screening questions upon arrival.
  • Bring a mask for use when physical distancing cannot be maintained or when accessing indoor facilities (washrooms, etc.).
  • Maintain two meters of distance from others outside your household or social circle.
  • Wash your hands regularly or use hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer will be available but bringing your own is recommended. Enhanced sanitation measures will be in place.
  • If you or a member of your group is not feeling well, cancel your registration by calling 613-580-9638 or by emailing museums@ottawa.ca.

Collections and exhibits

Artefact collections

Purchased by William Bell in the 1820s, the Bell family homestead – now known as Fairfields Heritage House – remained in the Bell family for nearly 175 years. The collection of 3,000 artefacts tells the history of five generations of the Bell family within the context of the greater Ottawa area. Many of these objects are on exhibition at the historic house.

Exhibits

Recreated historic rooms of this designated heritage property tell the story of the many generations of the Bell family who made their mark on the home, the property, and their community over the 175 years they lived at the site. Artefacts, including furniture, personal belongings, and artwork tell the story of the Bell family's shifting priorities from farming to social issues to politics.

Virtual Tour

Can’t visit the museum in person? Fairfields Heritage House can be toured from the comfort of your own home. This virtual tour gives you a 3D look at of the Bell family homestead.

Use the coloured circles to help guide you:

  • Click on the grey circles on the floor to navigate around the museum.
  • Click on the blue circles to discover the house and artefacts.
  • Click on the yellow circles to view images from the past.
  • Click and drag anywhere on screen to rotate your view 360°.

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.

Rentals

A 19th-century Gothic Revival farmhouse sitting on two acres of greenspace provides a picturesque backdrop for your intimate outdoor gathering.

Please note that rentals are not being offered at this time. If you have questions regarding the rental program, please contact our Customer Service Booking Clerk by calling 613-580-9638 or emailing 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

  • 25 metres from parking space to the door

Passenger Loading Zone

  • Cut curb

Entrance/Exit

  • 1  accessible entrance
  • Ramp
  • Wide door for wheelchair passage

Reception desks

  • Floor area for manoeuvring a wheelchair

Washrooms

  • Accessible washroom on 1st floor
  • Lowered sink counters
  • Lowered towel dispensers
  • Large stalls to allow transfers

Stairs

  • Stairs with no-slip surface
  • Continuous hand rails

Learn more about special needs and accessible services