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Lisgar Collegiate grads to celebrate venerable building

May 4, 2018
CBC News

When Lisgar Collegiate Institute celebrates its 175th anniversary this weekend, who better than David Jeanes to walk people through the corridors?

The president of Heritage Ottawa, who graduated from Lisgar in 1965, will conduct five tours of the building, three of them already sold out.

“I liked the school so much I got a perfect attendance prize for being there every single day of my high school career,” Jeanes said. “It was a great school, and great people and great teachers.”

The building came close to demolition about 40 years ago, according to Jeanes.

“We almost lost it back in the 1970s because it didn’t meet the fire code. And the decision was made to demolish the school and build a new one. But there was a big battle and Heritage Ottawa, which is the organization that I’m with now, was one of the groups that fought to save the school.”

They came up with between $4-million and $5-million dollars to bring it up to code and to modernize the interior, Jeanes said.

Through the weekend, Jeanes will take fellow alumni through the corridors of the school, whose student body included legendary showman Rich Little, Scrabble champion Adam Logan, social media tycoon Chamath Palihapitiya, and even the inventor of basketball, Dr. James Naismith.

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