Due to the recent flooding in the Ottawa Region, our tour organizer has had to change the location and modify the schedule for the day.



A Day In Merrickville

Having officially been dubbed as Canada’s prettiest village and with more designated heritage buildings than any other Ontario community of like size, Merrickville is a unique and vibrant Victorian village.  Idyllically situated along the historic Rideau Canal, less than an hour’s drive from Ottawa, Merrickville loves to celebrate its history and culture and heartily invites everyone to join in!  Today, we invite you to enjoy its heritage, natural attractions, delightful restaurants and shops, its small town hospitality, and its all-round, year-round enchantment.

The Library and Archives Canada Preservation Centre opened in June 1997 in Gatineau, Quebec. Its facilities are dedicated to the preservation of Ottawa’s documentary heritage. This centre of excellence provides collection storage areas with optimum environmental conditions, and laboratories equipped for preservation activities.

It is a unique building containing 48 climate-controlled preservation vaults and state-of-the-art preservation laboratories.  Vaults are designed to protect documents by eliminating potential threats, by a sophisticated fire detection and suppression system, and by carefully controlling all materials used inside the vault to maintain a contaminant-free environment

Hop aboard an authentic London-style double deckers or turn-of-the-century trolley for a guided city bus tour. Guests will be picked up at the Westin Ottawa and taken on a private of the National Capital area of Ottawa. On the tour you will see the sights and learn about the rich history of Ottawa. The tour includes over 75 attraction sites such as parks, museums, embassies, Prime Minister residence, rideau hall, byward market, Parliament hill and much more.

The former City of Ottawa Public Workshops Building #4 at Bayview Yards is a heritage designated, circa 1941, industrial building on the western edge of downtown Ottawa. The retrofit and upgrade of the City Workshops Building #4 is an adaptive reuse with elements of preservation and restoration. The reinforced concrete frame, brickclad building can be described as an unadorned example of a Modern Style industrial building.


The building was designed by Barry J. Hobin & Associates Architects Ltd. The design conveys innovation, dynamics, industry and discovery and strives to inspire the tenants and visitors with a building that facilitates free thinking, provide spaces for conversation, social mixing and is configured, through careful manipulation of the space, to encourage random collisions and serendipitous meetings between a diverse group of people. The design of a new centre aligns the spirit of the building with the best intentions of the activities it accommodates.

Please Note: Long Pants, 6” high steel toed boots, safety vests, glasses and hard hats are required. Participants must provide their own safety gear to include boots, vest and hard hat. Anyone not coming equipped will not be allowed on the tour.

This tour will provide participants with a behind the scenes look at the construction of a landmark municipal arts centre.

The Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) Expansion and Arts Court Redevelopment project is part of a long-standing vision for the revitalization of Ottawa’s downtown. This unique city-building project will expand the OAG and Arts Court at 2 Daly Avenue by utilizing vacant City-owned land and integrating it with complementary private sector development. This initiative represents a public-private investment of over $100 million, with funding for the public component from the City of Ottawa, the Province of Ontario, the Ottawa Art Gallery, and the University of Ottawa.

Prominently located on Ottawa’s Confederation Square, the National Arts Centre (NAC) is a Centennial Year project to create a national centre of excellence for the performing arts. For Canada’s 150th anniversary, a rejuvenated NAC will re-open on July 1st, 2017 that establishes new transparency and connection with the city. The transformation will include improved spaces for performance, new wings for audience and events and will create a fresh identity and visible presence in the city.

A marquee tower designed to extend the geometry of the original architecture into the 21st  century marks a new entrance. Public space for education, pre-concert gatherings and small concerts will occupy the new North Atrium. An upper level Lounge will take in views of Confederation Square and Parliament Hill. A transformed Fourth Stage, which serves as an incubator for theatre and music, will animate the NAC’s presence along Elgin Street. The tour will also take in the refurbished main auditorium, Southam Hall.

The Government of Canada, under the leadership of the Department of Canadian Heritage, is building a National Holocaust Monument. It will honour and commemorate the millions of men, women and children murdered during the Holocaust and will recognize the survivors who were able to make their way to Canada during and after one of the darkest chapters in human history.

The design team includes renowned architect Daniel Libeskind, Lord Cultural Resources, Claude Cormier, landscape architect, Edward Burtynsky, artist-photographer and Doris Bergen, Holocaust scholar.

The tour of the construction site will be led by Susan Fisher, Project Manager, Landscape Architect, National Capital Commission (NCC).  The NCC has overseen design development and is responsible for the construction of the monument. Afterwards, the NCC will be responsible for long-term maintenance, preservation and management of the monument.

Participants must provide their own safety gear to include boots, vest and hard hat. Anyone not coming equipped will not be allowed on the tour.

The Bank of Canada head office, a landmark institution near the Parliament buildings on Confederation Boulevard in Ottawa, is reopening in 2017 after a three-year renewal project.

The Bank of Canada’s objectives were to transform its workplace; address life safety compliance; and achieve higher levels of sustainability and physical security, while respecting the vision and intent of both Arthur Erickson, design architect for the 1979 glass addition, and the classical Centre Building designed in the 1930s by Marani, Lawson and Morris.

Perkins + Will were charged with the architectural renewal, while DTAH has been engaged to design and implement a public realm and landscape concept.

The tour will begin outside the Bank in the renewed landscape areas, proceeding inside to the ground floor spaces, including the renovated winter garden, office towers and historic Centre Building lobby.

This tour will include 2 current projects by CSV Consultants Inc. in Ottawa designed to the Passive House Standard, one completed (Fall 2016) and one currently under construction (starting Spring 2017). The tour will provide an overview of the Standard and  give insights on construction techniques used as well as some of the key features of a Passive House building.

The completed Salus Clementine housing is Canada’s first Passive affordable housing. The goal was to provide affordable, sustainable and reliable housing to individuals in need.  Forty-two apartments are provided in a non-combustible four-storey Part 3 building. Construction includes a Legalett tray slab, and exterior SIPS panels over a light steel frame.

Participants must provide their own safety gear to include boots and hard hat. Anyone not coming equipped will not be allowed on the tour.


Please be advised that the tour of the Sir John A. Macdonald Building being offered as part of the RAIC/OAA Festival of Architecture has been cancelled due to the requirement of the space for Parliamentary business. The tour of the Wellington building will continue as planned.   We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.  

The tour will explain and demonstrate progress on the Long Term Vision and Plan (LTVP) produced by Public Works and Government Services Canada in conjunction with key stakeholders and the Parliamentary Partners: The House of Commons, The Senate and The Library of Parliament. The 2007 Long Term Vision and Plan (LTVP) for Parliament Hill outlined a vision and guiding principles for future development in the Parliamentary Precinct, set strategic direction, established priorities, then developed and suggested focused five-year restoration and construction plans.

The Wellington Building

The Canadian Museum of Nature (CMN) was the first purpose built museum in the country. The original building – known as the Victoria Memorial Museum Building (VMMB) - was designed in the Beaux-Arts Style by David Ewart. Ewarts structure reflect the Romanesque and Medieval styles of Europe with a combination of Tudor and Gothic features.

The revitalization project designed by Barry Padolsky Associates Inc. Architects, Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects, Gagnon, Letellier, Cyr, Ricard, Mathieu Architectes showcases the original heritage building, using contemporary architecture to generate a dialogue between past and present. The most visible feature is a glazed Lantern element that restores the original proportion of the main entrance and creates a super-scale display unit. With the lantern, a butterfly stair resolves the original circulation system which was disconnected when the tower was removed. The stunning museum is the winner of a 2011 OAA Design Excellence Award. 

The National Research Council (NRC) is the Government of Canada's premier research and technology organization.

Working with clients and partners, they provide innovation support, strategic research, and scientific and technical services. They offer access to leading technology equipment, research and training programs.

The tour will allow members to tour the Canadian Centre for Housing Technology (CCHT).
CCHT is Canada's unique research, assessment and demonstration resource for innovative technology in housing.

The Canadian Centre for Housing Technology features twin research houses to evaluate the whole-house performance of new technologies in side-by-side assessment. The twin houses offer an intensively monitored real-world environment with simulated occupancy to assess the performance of the residential energy technologies in secure premises.

Safe Wings Ottawa founder Anouk Hoedeman, local expert on bird- building collisions, will lead a tour of old and new structures in downtown Ottawa to point out the characteristics that make buildings safer or more hazardous for birds. The tour will also include a discussion of challenges and progress on this serious but often overlooked and misunderstood architectural issue.

Bird collisions with buildings are a leading cause of avian mortality, killing an estimated one billion birds per year in North America, including 16 to 42 million in Canada and as many as 500,000 in Ottawa- Gatineau. While many jurisdictions have recognized this grave threat to bird populations by introducing bird-friendly design standards or guidelines, awareness and mitigation of bird collisions are only beginning to gain traction in the National Capital Region.

This national museum presents Canada’s military past and how it shaped the country. Its outstanding exhibitions explain Canada’s rich military history from earliest times to the present, featuring the experiences of people on the battlefields and at home. Designed by Toronto’s Moriyama & Teshima Architects in joint venture with GRC Architects, the Museum’s dramatic architecture is a showcase for its vast art and artifact collection. The extensive permanent exhibition highlights key events and defining moments in Canada’s military history.

Using the stunning new building as a backdrop, this tour shows how ordinary Canadians faced extraordinary challenges. The tour includes a look at War Museum’s world-class architecture, the collection of military art and dazzling exhibition galleries. It combines personal stories with important artifacts to reveal how our military heritage has affected all Canadians.

One of Ottawa’s most recognized buildings is undergoing a restoration and transformation to become the interim home for The Senate of Canada. The grand, century-old former train station in Beaux-Arts style that became the Government Conference Centre in the 1960s will see its architectural features restored and public access return when it opens in 2018.

Diamond Schmitt Architects in joint venture with KWC Architects will reintroduce the processional route through the building while restoring the major public spaces including the finely detailed General Waiting Room and Concourse. The renewed spaces will house the Senate Chamber, Senate committee rooms and parliamentary offices and restore interior design features of columns, arches, large Diocletian windows and vaulted plaster ceilings. The building will house The Senate while the permanent Chamber in Parliament Hill’s Centre Block undergoes a decade-long renovation of its own.

As this tour will be on an active construction site, participants must provide their own safety gear, to include boots, vest, hat and glasses. Anyone not coming so equipped will not be allowed on the tour.

We're Starting In


24-27 May 2017
Ottawa, Ontario

About Us

The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and the Ontario Association of Architects have partnered to present the 2017 Festival of Architecture May 24-27, 2017 in Ottawa.

Join the conversation:


For general information, please contact us at:

  • 1-844-856-RAIC ext 200
  • 613-241-3600
  • 330-55 Murray Street, Ottawa, ON K1N 5M3