As you walk down Elgin Street near Laurier, it is easy enough to get distracted and miss this week’s gem. It is by no means small, or hidden from view in any way. In fact it sits right along Elgin in one of the busiest parts of Ottawa. Yet it usually goes unnoticed. As you walk past it, your eye is usually drawn to its more imposing neighbours: the courthouse, the main City Hall building, or the office buildings across the street.
And so it’s time to give some much needed love to this downtown gem: the Teacher’s College building on Elgin.
This 18th century Gothic Revival building was completed in 1875 and was initially home to the Ottawa Normal School, the city’s main teachers college. The teacher’s college eventually merged with the University of Ottawa Faculty of Education in the 1970’s and the building was vacated. It was then sold to the federal government, and was later acquired by the Regional Municipality of Ottawa Carleton. In 2000 the heritage building was transferred to the City of Ottawa and was incorporated into the new City Hall complex on Laurier Avenue. It now houses the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame as well as the Mayor’s Office.
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