Ottawa – Notre Dame Roman Catholic Basilica

385 Sussex drive

When Ottawa was still rural with the school next door and a few houses dotted around, our gaze was systematically directed towards the church with its imposing proportions, typical of many religious establishments of the time. Over the years, urban planning altered its surroundings and the oldest church in the city survived all the transformations of the village which has become the national capital of today.

The construction of the church began in 1841 to replace the previous one made of wood and dated from 1832. Only the main structure was completed in 1846 and already the following year it was granted the status of a cathedral. Still far from being completed, the exterior continued and the interior decoration began in 1876. Once again, in 1879, and before the end of the complete layout of 1885, the cathedral was elevated into a basilica.

The staggering duration of the construction influenced its style. Indeed, according to the aspirations and desires of the person in charge at the time, the exterior architectural style has changed from a neo-classical model to a neo-Gothic one and today’s results is solid in front of the National Gallery on Sussex Street.

It was the site of the last tribute to Governor George Vanier and Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier.

Joseph-Bruno Guigues was the first appointed bishop. His statue sits in the park to honor him. You will inevitably pass by during your visit to Ottawa. Unfortunately, the doors were locked during our visit on a weekday at the end of June, but we noticed a few architectural elements: the two towers with a high gloss finish as well as the golden statue of the Virgin Mary on the roof.

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