Ottawa Historic Sites & Interpretive Centres
Much more than gravesites, the Beechwood Cemetery offers visitors a stunning garden of mature trees and a profusion of flowers. Horticultural talks are offered on a regular basis. Within these gardens is a cherished history that dates back to 1873. 160 acres are dedicated to Canada's war heroes, and is the site where many of the brave souls who served in the Second World War, Northwest Revellion and recent United Nations campaigns now rest. Visitors may also find many impressive historical buildings, such as the Mausoleum. Beechwood was designated as a National Historic Site in 2001.
Home to the National Archives and the National Library, the building was established in 1953 by an Act of Parliament to preserve Canada's literature. The Archives holds more than 60 million manuscripts and government records. Open daily for vistors and researchers.
Ottawa's first English-speaking Roman Catholic Church, St Patrick's has long been a part of the city's history. Found in 1855 and determined a basilica in 1995, the church holds regular mass and services. The church was first designed by the same architect who designed the east and west blocks of the Parliament Buildings. While the outside, with a large protruding spire and many arched doors, is impressive, the inside is a stunning gothic style and constructed entirely of local stone. Shamrocks are subtley built into the design in unusual places. Solid oak pews, stained glass, stencilled dome ceiling and more make this church a traditional beauty.
St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church
Located across from the Supreme Court in Ottawa. St. Andrew's is one of Ottawa's oldest churches, dating back to 1828. Open year round, Monday to Friday from 9am to 1pm. Services are held on Sunday at 9:30am and 11am.
Originally built in 1905 by a lumber baron, 5 Blackburn is a heritage home that was subsequently used as an Italian Embassy as well as the headquarters of the Victorian Order of Nurses. Located in Ottawa's Sandy Hill neighbourhood, 5 Blackburn is currently the headquarters of the Heritage Canada Foundation.
St. Margaretís Anglican Church
This modest, stone church was officially named in 1887 when the cornerstone was laid by Lady MacDonald, the wife of Sir John A. MacDonald, Canada's first Prime Minister.
Laurier House National Historic Site of Canada
Once the home of Sir Wilfrid Laurier and William Lyon Mackenzie King (two former Canadian Prime Ministers), the house represents part of Canada's rich national history. Open April to mid-May from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, mid-May to Thanksgiving from Monday to Saturday, 9am to 5pm and Sunday 1pm to 5pm and October to March for group tours (ten or more) by appointment.
Billings Estate Museum
Built in 1827, this Georgian estate was once home to one of the region's founding families: Braddish and Lamira Billings. Included on over eight acres are the grand house, an ice house, dairy room, a cemetary, lush landscaped grounds, pathways a picnic area and more. Open May - October, Tuesday to Sunday.
Canada & the World Pavilion
Learn about Canada's place in the world through a variety of interactive displays, informative exhibits and special activities. Visitors will learn about the hundreds of Canadians who have made important contributions to the world, from Dr. Lucille Teasdale to Celine Dion. Help to build the international space station, become a business mogul, take part in the olympics and much more! The Pavilion is closed in the winter aside from the year-round school program.
Notre-Dame de Lourdes Grotto
Based on the original Notre-Dame de Lourdes in France, this grotto is complete with a statue of Mary. Stones comprise an arched shelter that houses the alter, also made of stones. Wooden park benches operate as pews and the entire area is encapsulated in shrubs and trees. Story has it that the church and grotto were built in 1887 when a local dignitary, Michel Cyr, donated land in exchange for a free seat in church.