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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.

Come visit the museum, explore the grounds and chat with knowledgeable guides. Imagine yourself in the past as you try on our dress-up costumes and play some old-fashioned games. With guided tours, as well as programs and events for families, Fairfields Heritage House remains a hub of community activity.

Location and hours

3080 Richmond Road
Nepean, Ontario, K2B 7J5

Contact us

Tel: 613-726-2652
Email: museums@ottawa.ca
Facebook: @FairfieldsHeritageHouse
Subscribe to our monthly "At your museum" eNewsletter. 

Hours

May 12, 2019 to July 31, 2019
Saturday - Sunday: 10 am to 5 pm

Please note: The museum will be closed on Sunday, June 16. 

August 1, 2019 to September 1, 2019
Wednesday - Friday: 1 pm to 5 pm
Saturday - Sunday: 10 am to 5 pm
* Hours of operation may vary for special events and programs.

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

Admission

Admission to the museum is by donation. Special event and program fees may apply.

Contact the museum for special group rates. Family rates allow for a maximum of two adults. We require two weeks notice to make accommodations for our visitors with special needs.

Programs and special events

The Bell Family’s “Last Stand” - Interactive experience with Live History

Saturday, July 6
Time: Morning 10 am / Afternoon 2 pm / Evening 7 pm (run time is 1.5 hours)
Age: 16 and up
Cost: $21.75 per person
Language: English-language performance

Tickets: Please use the barcodes below to register using Service Ottawa’s online system. If you do not already have a family account, please create one before registering. Tickets will be available at the door on a first come, first served basis. Advance registration is recommended. Please arrive 15 minutes before your show’s start time. There will be no further admittance after the show begins.

Adult (16+) – Morning 1510392
Adult (16+) – Afternoon 1510393
Adult (16+) – Evening 1510394

The time has come; all things must end. Fairfields has been in the possession of the Bell family for generations but it’s in danger of slipping through their fingers…unless you can help save it.

Join Mary Bell and her loyal servant in the Last Stand; a high stakes adventure. The Last Stand brings history to life and leads audiences on a journey back to a time. John Scott Sullivan Jr. has arrived along with the audience for a final tour of the house. He is determined that his father has a rightful claim to the land and refuses to leave without a fight. The audience will experience love, loss, and honour as they experience Fairfields through the one set of eyes that has seen all in this home.

If you are successful in finding the land deed in time, you may be able to help save the house. If not, this will truly become the Bell family’s “Last Stand”.

Live History is Governor General’s Award nominated theatre group that specializes in bringing local history to life.

Light refreshments will be available following the show.

Note: The show will move guests throughout the house and includes stairs. If you have questions regarding accessibility, please contact 613-762-2652 or museums@ottawa.ca.

Curious Minds

Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays: August 7 to August 30 from 9:30 am to 12 pm
Age: 6 to 9
Cost: $6.65 per child

Engage with local history in a fun and unique way! Each program will explore a different theme through hands-on activities and crafts.

Registration

Advance registration is strongly recommended to reserve your child’s place and to ensure enough participants for the program to run. If registration is not full on the program date, drop-in participants are welcome. Please contact Nepean Museum (613-580-9638) to confirm if space is available.

Please use the barcode provided to register using Service Ottawa’s online registration system. If you do not have an family account, please create one before registering.

August 7 – Greenthumb Gardener
Barcode: 1466128
August 8 – Kidstruction
Barcode: 1466140
August 9 – Life on the Home Front 
Barcode: 1466142
August 14 – Little Lawyers
Barcode: 1466145
August 15 – Museum Chefs
Barcode: 1466146
August 16 – Behind the Badge (Police and Nepean)
Barcode: 1466147
August 21 – The Clothes We Wear
Barcode: 1466148
August 22 – Telling Stories and Traditions
Barcode: 1466149
August 23 – Constructing the Rideau Canal
Barcode: 1466150
August 28 – Toys and Games from Past to Present
Barcode: 1466152
August 29 – Rock On Nepean! Rocks, Minerals and Layers of the Earth
Barcode: 1466153
August 30 – Listen, Dance, and Play
Barcode: 1466154

Makers at the museum

Join a local artisan on site as they share the tricks of their trade with participants and we connect your new talent to the history of the property and surrounding community.

Please use the barcodes provided to register using Service Ottawa’s online registration system. If you do not already have a family account, please create one before registering.

These workshops will be delivered in English with bilingual (English / French) staff available to assist.

Introduction to Knitting

Saturday, July 27 from 12 pm to 4 pm
Ages: 16 and up
Cost: $50 per person

Whether you are looking to pick up a new hobby, or are already thinking ahead to winter, join Mandie from Ginger Snap Handmade to learn the basics of knitting and to make your own knitted hat.

Note: All supplies are included in the cost of registration. Participants in this workshop will enjoy a tour of Fairfields Heritage House and light refreshments will be served. It is recommended that participants bring a water bottle.

Barcode: 1477953

The registration deadline is Friday, July 19. A minimum of 3 participants is required for the session to run.

Introduction to Needlepoint Felting

Saturday, August 17 from 12 pm to 4 pm
Ages: 16 and up
Cost: $40 per person

Learn the history of felting and make an adorable felted cat inspired by Ruth Bell’s personal collection of cat figurines. Local doll maker, Edwina Sutherland, will lead this workshop.

Note: All supplies are included in the cost of registration. Participants in this workshop will enjoy a tour of Fairfields Heritage House and light refreshments will be served. It is recommended that participants bring a water bottle.

Barcode: 1477958

The registration deadline is Friday, August 9. A minimum of 3 participants is required for the session to run.

School programs

Take your class to Fairfields for our unique school programs. Contact the Nepean Museum for more information at 613-580-9638, or 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.

 

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

Take advantage of the museum's ideal location in the community to rent the grounds for your special event. Contact us at museums@ottawa.ca or 613-580-9638 to book an appointment or to find out more about our rentals.

Fairfields’ stunning 19th century Gothic Revival exterior and picturesque grounds is perfect for smaller events and celebrations. Whether you’re planning an important meeting or the most important day of your life, our team will work with you to achieve your vision.

Weddings

Couples looking for a smaller more intimate outdoor venue, look no further! Fairfields Heritage Property offers a stunning backdrop for your special day. The 19th century Gothic Revival farmhouse and over two acres of lush greenery will lend that romantic touch when you capture your memories on film.

Birthdays and Special Events

Fairfields welcomes you to celebrate your birthday or special event with us! Whether it’s for a bridal or baby shower, or perhaps a milestone anniversary with close family and friends, we can provide the perfect location.

Parents can also plan a special birthday celebration for their little ones! Organize your own activities, or work with our staff to incorporate some of the museum’s favourite kids programs into the celebrations.

What we offer

Bookings for your outdoor event can be made up to 6 months in advance. Contact staff at the Nepean Museum for more information on rental availability and amenities.

Contact Us

You can reach our client services clerk by phoning 613-580-9638 extension 17300, or by email at museums@ottawa.ca, Tuesday to Saturday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

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