Temporary Gallery

City in Flames: Ten Fires that (Re)shaped Ottawa
May 12, 2023 – April 7, 2024

Ottawa’s history and landscape have been shaped and re-shaped by fire. Prominent buildings, industrial areas, landmark businesses, homes, and indeed entire neighbourhoods have all fallen victim to flames. These destructive fires not only devastated, but also renewed, allowing for architectural growth, the evolution of the cityscape, new iconic tourism locales, the passing of new laws, and more.

City in Flames explores ten historic fires – fires that influenced development, brought tragedy, and changed lives. From the destruction of Lt.-Col. John By’s home in Major’s Hill Park; a suspected Fenian arson attack on Sparks Street; a devastating blaze that left thousands homeless; a lesser-known fire that plagued Parliament Hill; and the numerous buildings lost to flames in Ottawa’s downtown, discover how fire has forged this city.