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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

Tel: 613-726-2652
Email: museums@ottawa.ca

Hours

Open Saturdays and Sundays, 10 am to 5 pm from May 13 through September 2.

Times may vary for special events and/or programs. Be sure to check all listings for more details.

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.

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Upcoming events and programs

Makers at the Museum

Each workshop will tie into the rich history of Fairfields Heritage House and local artisans will be on site to share their diverse skills and talents with participants. 

Itching for a Stitching: Embroidery Workshop

Saturday, August 4 – 12 pm to 4 pm
Ages 16 and up

Add a creative flair to your day with the art of embroidery! This traditional skill can bring new life to a mundane item, transforming it into a work of art. With a myriad of styles and stitches to learn, embroidery is a fantastic way to express yourself. Participants in this workshop will enjoy a tour of Fairfields Heritage House with a focus on leisure activities throughout history, including embroidery, followed by tea under the gazebo. Local artisan Lee Stach (Fraser Road) will guide participants step-by-step through a cheerful and colourful Fairfields-inspired embroidery design.

Cost: $40 per person

Barcode: 1406784

Registration is required. You can register for this program using the City of Ottawa’s online registration system. Enter the program barcode in the box labelled “Search for programs by barcode”. Click “Add” and log in to complete registration. If you do not already have an account, click “Create new family account”. A minimum of 3 participants is required for the program to run.

Curious Minds

Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays in August – 9 am to 12 pm
Ages 6 to 9

Each Curious Minds program will explore a different theme and will feature a hands-on activity or craft to allow children to engage with local history in a fun and unique way.

Cost: $6.50 per child

Registration is required. You can register for this program using the City of Ottawa’s online registration system. Enter the program barcode in the box labelled “Search for programs by barcode”. Click “Add” and log in to complete registration. If you do not already have an account, click “Create new family account”.

August 1 – Not Guilty!

Barcode: 1407840
Act out a trial scene as you learn about the Canadian justice system and interact with artefacts connected to the courtroom.

August 2 – Building Basics

Barcode: 1407859
Put your building skills to the test as you race to complete a construction-themed scavenger hunt.

August 3 – Women, Their Rights, and Nothing Less

Barcode: 1407911
Let’s celebrate the inspirational women in our lives and throughout Canadian history!

August 8 – Greenthumb Gardener

Barcode: 1407913
Where does our food come from? Learn how early settlers grew their produce and plant your own vegetable to take home.

August 9 – Museum Chef

Barcode: 1407923
How does butter make it from the barn to our tables? Put your foodie know-how to work making a delicious treat.

August 10 – Exploring Your Roots!

Barcode: 1407931
Many families, like the Bells, have a long history in Nepean. Bring photos from home to help craft your family tree as you explore your own family’s story.  

August 15 – Textiles Past & Present

Barcode: 1407939
Fashion has gone through many transformations through the years. Dress-up in period costumes, learn how fabric has been dyed, and get an introduction to the art of weaving.

August 16 – Heard It Through The Grapevine

Barcode: 1407954
Oral storytelling has always had an important place in local and family history. Write and perform your own story with costumes and puppets.

August 17 – Victorian to Modern Medical Practices

Barcode: 1407961
How do modern medical practices compare to the Victorian era? Learn about the history of hospitals and medical tools. Examine artefacts related to medical history and explore how remedies have transformed over the years.

Help us decorate a get-well poster for CHEO patients that will be signed by kids from across the city at museum programs throughout the summer!

August 22 – Step Into a Poet’s Shoes

Barcode: 1407962
Explore the power of words and the works of Canadian poets including Nepean’s William Wilfred Campbell. Write your own poem and have it displayed at the museum. 

August 23 – Listen, Dance and Play

Barcode: 1407964
What role does music play in our lives and our communities? Build your own instrument and keep a beat.

August 24 – Constructing the Rideau Canal

Barcode: 1407970
Explore how the Rideau Canal was built and how it works. Become an engineer and build your own version of Ottawa’s famous canal and lock system.

August 29 – Immigration to a New Land

Barcode: 1407973
What was daily life like for early settlers such as Ira Honeywell or Sir Evan Nepean? Learn skills they would have used to find shelter, communicate with loved ones back home, and more.

August 30 – Behind the Badge

Barcode: 1407977
What did a day in the life of a Nepean police officer look like?

August 31 – Victorian Lawn Games

Barcode: 1407983
What activities did children enjoy in the Victorian era? Travel back in time with fun and games on the lawn and build your own Victorian-inspired toy.

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.

Food and drink

Fairfields Heritage House is the perfect picnic location. Visitors are also welcome to bring their own snacks or meals and enjoy them in the park. To preserve the artefacts in the museum, no eating is permitted in the exhibition spaces.

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.

 

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