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Bytown looks back
100 years
 
 

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Where Ottawa begins...

Located in the heart of downtown Ottawa, the BYTOWN MUSEUM explores the stories of an evolving city and its residents from its early days as Bytown to present day Ottawa. The Museum is located at the Rideau Canal’s Ottawa locks, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, between Parliament Hill and the Fairmont Château Laurier hotel one of the most picturesque sites in the city.

The history of the BYTOWN MUSEUM begins with the Women’s Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa (WCHSO), founded in 1898. The WCHSO quickly amassed a collection of artifacts relating to the history of Bytown/Ottawa. It became apparent that a museum was required to house this impressive collection and in 1917 the BYTOWN MUSEUM opened its doors.

In 1951, the BYTOWN MUSEUM moved to its current home, the Commissariat. The building was a treasury and storehouse during the construction of the Rideau Canal. In 1956, the WCHSO admitted men for the first time and thus changed their name to the Historical Society of Ottawa (HSO). Today the museum is run independently from the HSO.


The Bytown Museum gratefully acknowledges
the financial support of
The City of

Member of the Virtual Museum of Canada
The Bytown Museum gratefully acknowledges
the financial support of
The Government of Ontario


The Bytown Museum gratefully acknowledges the financial support of

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