Third Building

After a large portion of land was offered to the Catholic Church by Louis-Théodore Besserer, the college moved once again, in 1856, to the current location in the Sandy Hill area. This building was constructed in stages and by 1887 it had expanded to cover the entire length of Séraphin Marion between Waller and Cumberland. The building accommodated over 400 students with classrooms, dormitories, a museum, laboratories, and an impressive chapel.

[Image: Collection 38, PHO-NB-3AH-2-18, Credit: Archives de la maison de l’Assomption]

Official University

In 1866 the College became an official University when it was granted a Royal University Charter. The University could now deliver University degrees.

[Image: Collection 38, NEG-NB-38A-3-92, Credit: University of Ottawa]

Catholic roots

In 1889 the University was granted a Pontifical Charter, issued by Pope Léo XIII, making it a recognized Catholic University.

[Image: Collection 38, PHO-NB-38AH-3-7, Credit : Mortimer & Co. Lith. Ottawa]

Linguistic Balance

Offering a bilingual education was at the heart of the Oblate’ mission from the very beginning. Courses were offered in English in the morning and in french in the afternoons. However, this mission was not always easy, and the linguistic duality that prevailed at the turn of the 19th century gave way to education being offered only in English for some thirty years. After this, the return to bilingualism set in for good.

[Image: Collection 38, PHO-NB-38-2869, Credit: Unknown]

Street Names

Louis-Théodore Besserer, owner of portions of land in Sandy Hill land in 1856, named the streets after himself and members of his family. When the University purchased this section of the street in 1987, the name was changed from Wilbrod, Besserer’s son, to Séraphin Marion.

An historian and University alumnus, Séraphin Marion maintained close ties with the University, where he taught French and French-Canadian literature. The eminent Franco-Ontarian subsequently became professor emeritus.

Photo : Séraphin Marion.
[Image: Fonds 98, PHO-NB-98-80-00-06, Credit: Unknown]

1903 Fire

On December 2, 1903 a tragic fire destroyed the central building of the University of Ottawa. The results were devastating: 3 deaths and some $ 500,000 in material losses. The exact cause of the fire remains a mystery.

[Image: Collection 38, NEG-NB-38A-1-79, Credit: University of Ottawa]

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Tour the Historic Quad of the University of Ottawa

Tour the Historic Quad of the University of Ottawa image circuit

Presented by : University of Ottawa Information and Archives Management
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