Our campus’s strong federal connection

Posted on Friday, April 28, 2017

By Johanne Adam

Did you know that Thompson Residence is named for a former Canadian prime minister? That Vanier Hall is named for Canada’s first francophone governor general? Or, for that matter, that Fauteux Hall is named for a former chief justice of the Supreme Court?

Since Confederation, the University of Ottawa has had close ties with leading figures in the federal establishment. Many of them are our alumni.

The Right Honourable Sir John Sparrow David Thompson, prime minister of Canada from 1892 to 1894. uOttawa's Thompson Residence is named after him. Photo: William James Topley / Library and Archives Canada, PA-025749

University Chief Archivist Michel Prévost invites the public to discover our campus’s long-time federal connection during a guided tour taking place as part of Alumni Week. The tour was developed to mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

“Some visitors will be surprised to discover that former prime minister Paul Martin studied at the University’s high school, which he graduated from in 1956,” says Prévost, who adds that the high school was located in Tabaret Hall. “Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the first francophone to become prime minister of Canada, visited the old University chapel after the fire that destroyed Sacré-Cœur church in 1907.” On the other hand, “contrary to popular belief, Sir  Hector-Louis Langevin, one of the Fathers of Confederation, never lived at 147 Séraphin Marion.”

The guided tours will take place Friday, May 5. The English tour starts at 10 a.m. and the French tour at 2 p.m. Both start in front of Tabaret Hall.

The tour will also take place on Sunday, May 7 at 1 p.m. in French as part of Jane’s Walk.

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