Saturday, August 13, 2016

Visiting The Museum

This view over to the east side of the Canal shows the rock wall leading up to Major's Hill Park. You might make out the outlines of a building on the grass and the wall- there was a building there in the 19th century that has long since been removed. A close look above that, at the top, might make out the location of Colonel By's statue.

This is the slope on the west side, which happens to be part of Parliament Hill.

People in period clothing were walking around the area through the day, including this trio- the fellow in uniform is taking on the part of Colonel By, and I've seen him before. The woman has also been around in previous years, as has the priest- who I think is an actual priest, just wearing a period cassock. 

The Bytown Museum itself is one of the oldest buildings in the city, built as the Commissariat for the Canal project. It served as a headquarters, treasury, and storehouse during that time, spent time in various government capacities afterwards, and has for decades served as headquarters for the museum, which focuses on local history while also blending the story of the nation into its mandate, something apparent by its many exhibits. It also has a few ghost stories in its time.

This map inside shows the complete system of the Canal, from here in Ottawa down to Kingston and its fortifications, which are included in the UNESCO designation as a Heritage Site. Built as a military measure and transport route in case the Americans ever invaded again, the Canal's full route retains most of its original form. It ascends from Kingston, over the high ground that leads to the Rideau watershed, and comes all the way up here to Ottawa. This masterpiece of 19th century engineering more than deserves its current celebrated status.

The old vault, surrounded by thick stone walls, is still here, as the visitor can see.

Upstairs among the exhibits, I wanted to photograph this table again. Covered in glass, it's carved wood, with a map of what was called Hull at the time, and is now Gatineau, across the river.

This model of Colonel By's home is on display. The home was up in Major's Hill Park during his day, and its foundations are still visible.

This display case deals with the troubled early days of what was Bytown, renamed in the 1850s. In its early decades, it was a rough lumber town, with little in the way of police, law, and order, and a good deal of violence and conflict.

Today I'm finishing with this rather formidable chair, which back in the 19th century was a mayor's chair.


  1. Very good information about the history of your city.


  2. An interesting exhibition. I like the house and the formidable chair. I can imagine the Mayor sitting there!

  3. History of the area is always nice to know and learn. The chair is pretty impressive!
    Enjoy your day William!

  4. I've got to visit the Canal someday. It seems so lively and dynamic. The pulse of the community. Is it?


  5. Fascinating post, I would enjoy visiting here.

  6. @Tomas: thanks!

    @Bill: it is.

    @Nancy: that chair is quite upscale.

    @Bill: it is a fascinating museum.

    @Janis: I think that is a fair description.

    @Denise: thanks!

  7. What a great post and I thank you for sharing all these photos and information re this area. That canal is an engineering marvel. I love all the stone. The chair looks a bit uncomfortable but elegant!

  8. With the technology and equipment they had at that time the canal is a amazing project. Period costumes always catch my interest.

  9. That really is a huge chair! One would really have to feel important to sit there.

  10. i like the folks who return year after year. :)

  11. Great post. I am watching a lot of the Olympics in Rio.
    I like sports as I was always a winner of a lot of activities when I was younger to a teen.
    So behind in comments. I am afraid. Sorry. So catching up in-between commercials and set ups.

  12. @Lowell: you're welcome.

    @Red: it was a marvelous achievement.

    @Sharon: it would have dwarfed whoever was sitting in it.

    @Tex: so do I. It's a fun occasion to take part in.

    @Carolann: thank you!

  13. cool wall, can you imagine seating in a chair like that? you would have great posture. or at least look like it for the moment??! ( ;

  14. Ottawa really knows how to preserve its history.

  15. There is so much to see there in Ottawa!

  16. I like the period duds, although I suspect they might be a tad warm.

  17. One would really need to be short legged to sit in that chair. I'd love to see the inside of that museum.

  18. Lots of interesting stuff here! The Bytown Museum building is a real beauty. And models like the one you show here make me long to have had an opportunity to walk through streets as they once were, a stroll back through history.

  19. Your love of history shows, even here on your photoblog!

  20. Lots of history! That chair is quite something, but it needs to be gilded! ;-)

  21. @Beth: you would!

    @Stuart: this place does well at that.

    @RedPat: there is a lot.

    @Linda: thanks!

    @Revrunner: they would be.

    @Mari: it is a welcoming space.

    @Kay: the place does its job well.

    @Norma: thank you.

    @Linda: that would be different.

  22. They are hardly the good old days, are they?!

    1. Sometimes life in the 19th century could be quite difficult.