One of the architectural gems of the nation, now a jewel in the crown of the National Gallery of Canada, is the Rideau Street Convent Chapel. A captivating space, its rows of delicate columns support intricately carved and painted fan vaults, the only such set of fan vaults in Canada. Its extraordinary design is the work of its brilliant architect, Georges Bouillon, and due in no small measure to the superb craftsmanship of the woodworkers and painters who executed his unique design.
The origins of this space, how it was saved from demolition, how it came to reside in the National Gallery, and what this saga of near-disaster and survival has to say about heritage protection in this country are the subjects of the presentation.
Who saved this chapel, and why? What does it represent to us today? Why does this kind of destruction of an historic complex like the Rideau Street Convent happen again and in Canada?
Leslie Maitland is an architectural historian who worked for many years for the National Historic Sites Directorate of Parks Canada, where she was involved in the designation of over 70 national historic sites and federally designated structures. Leslie later moved to the private sector, working on planning programs for Ontario Place, the Ontario Science Centre, and other prominent complexes. She is a past president of Heritage Ottawa and a current board member.
Pre-registration is required.