How to celebrate Sir Wilfred Laurier’s 175th birthday in Ottawa

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The prime minister who brought Canada into the 20th century, Sir Wilfred Laurier, turns 175 this Sunday and Laurier House will be holding special events to celebrate.

Get a glimpse at the lives of former prime ministers Laurier and William Lyon Mackenzie King with a guided tour of their former residence. Tickets are $11.20 for adults and $9.20 for youth…

Help the house maid Mary find the clues and solve the mystery in an interactive theatrical tour that will take guests back to 1901 to meet Laurier and Mackenzie King.

Library and Archives Canada opens its vault in a special exhibit called “A Sunny Legacy: Celebrating Sir Wilfrid Laurier,” featuring original records, photos and letters – some to be seen by the public for the first time.

A main exhibit will be on display at Laurier House with an extension at the Château Laurier.

Funding announced, plaques unveiled

As part of celebrations the federal government announced over $500,000 to rehabilitate Laurier House.

“Improvements to the site will enable Parks Canada to continue to tell the story of Laurier House’s role in the building of our nation, so Canadians can connect first-hand with their history.” said a government news release.

Also, four plaques to honour Laurier’s city-building were unveiled at the Central Chambers building, Confederation Square, the Connaught Building, and the Former Archives Building.

“When Sir Wilfrid Laurier arrived in Ottawa as Prime Minister, Canada’s capital was a frontier lumber town without piped water, paved streets, or sidewalks. Laurier, who had stated that Ottawa should become ‘the Washington of the North,’ made beautifying the city part of his legacy.” said another government news release.

“Today, residents and visitors to Ottawa can admire a modern and beautiful city with landmark sites that have a direct link to Laurier’s planning efforts.”

Laurier was born Nov. 20, 1841 and served as a Liberal prime minister from 1896 until 1911. He died in 1919 at 77.

Laurier is known for many things, including gracing the five-dollar bill and being Canada’s first francophone prime minister. During his time, a young Canada entered the 20th century, expanded in the west and welcomed new provinces and territories into confederation.


Devyn Barrie

Devyn Barrie is an editor for OttawaStart.com and writes for our sister site StittsvilleCentral.ca. He studies journalism at Algonquin College. Follow him on Twitter @DevynBarrieNews.

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