Doors Open

This Saturday and Sunday, June 3rd– 4th, the Bytown Museum will be participating in Doors Open Ottawa from 10 am – 5pm.DOORSOPENbanner

Doors Open Ottawa is an architectural event where over 150 culturally significant buildings around Ottawa will be opening their doors to the public for free.  Doors Open Ottawa also allows visitors to see different parts of buildings around Ottawa that are not regularly open to the public.

The Commissariat, home of the Bytown Museum, is the oldest stone building in Ottawa and tells the story of the city through its architecture, additions, renovations and uses. 

                                                                      museum side view 1

The Commissariat started as a storehouse for the construction of the Rideau Canal in 1827. The doors on all sides and levels were made to facilitate the loading and unloading of supplies. The walls were built 1 metre thick in case of attack to the building, as the Canal was originally constructed for strategic military purposes. The total cost was reported to be £1100 to erect the building. In 1854 the Commissariat was owned by the government and used by many departments for the upkeep of the Canal, until it became home to the Bytown Museum in 1951.

                                                                       museum side view 2

Come and see behind-the-scenes of the Bytown Museum as the tour guides will show the upstairs offices where our staff works, normally closed off to the public. Look at the historic fireplace and out the windows, which have a beautiful view of the Locks looking towards Gatineau, all located on the 3rd floor offices.

               upstairs                                          musuem staff only pls

The architecture of the Commissariat tells the story of the early days of Ottawa and Canada, so it holds great significance among the founding of our city and country.

Come visit the Bytown Museum to receive a special tour of the museum with a focus on the architecture of the Commissariat building. Learn about the architectural details of Ottawa’s oldest stone building; how it has changed and stayed the same since its construction in 1827.