Lisgar Collegiate Institute
29 Lisgar Street
Written by Bytown Museum
Originally known as the Ottawa Collegiate Institute, the school opened in 1874. Years of expansion ensued, which included the addition of a rifle range in the fourth-floor attic in 1912. In 1922, the school was renamed Lisgar Collegiate Institute.
In the 1970s, the cash-strapped Ottawa Board of Education attempted to close the school and sell the valuable downtown land. A public outcry ensued, including this excerpt from a speech by a Lisgar supporter: “Lisgar Collegiate does not deserve immortality because a great act of history was unfolded there. Nor would anyone claim it is a unique and compelling example of our architecture. But Lisgar Collegiate is a product of its age, a different age than ours, a product that gives variety to our city, a survival that evokes the sound of young voices then and now.”
Notable Lisgar alumni include Rich Little, Dan Akroyd, Adrienne Clarkson, James Naismith, Peter Jennings and Lorne Greene.
Did you go to high school in Ottawa? What's one of your favourite memories?