A brief history of our Diocese

The Diocese of Ottawa with its See City being the National Capital of Canada, straddles the Ottawa River and includes the eastern counties of Ontario and the western counties of Quebec. The Diocese includes a mix of large urban and small rural farming and forestry communities, spanning 180km from Christ Church in Maniwaki, Que to the north to St. Albans in Maberly, Ont. to the south, and 330km from St. Margarets in Rutherglen, Ont. to the west to St. Johns in Lancaster, Ont. to the east. The diocese is now part of the Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario (which includes the dioceses of Niagara, Toronto, Ontario, Huron, Algoma, Moosonee, and Ottawa) in the Anglican Church of Canada. But it was not always so! The following outlines the main dates and events that brought us to where we are today.

1787 - 1793
The present territory of our Diocese was under the "extra-territorial spiritual oversight" of the Rt. Rev. Charles Inglis, Bishop of Nova Scotia, and the first Anglican bishop of what was yet to become Canada.

1793 - 1839
Part of the Diocese of Quebec

1839 - 1862
Part of the Diocese of Toronto under the Rt. Rev. John Strachan

1862 - 1896
Part of the Diocese of Ontario under the Rt. Rev. John Travis Lewis.

7 April 1896
The Diocese of Ottawa was incorporated. The new diocese included the counties of Carleton, Lanark, Renfrew, Russell, Prescott, Stormont, Dundas, Glengarry, and the majority of the then Territory of Nipissing in the Province of Ontario.

8 April 1965
The Deanery of Clarendon, on the north shore of the Ottawa River in the Province of Quebec, was transferred from the Diocese of Montreal to the Diocese of Ottawa. The Deanery of Clarendon is comprised of "the westerly portion of the County of Papineau from and including the Township of Buckingham, and the counties of Gatineau, Hull, Pontiac, and Temiscamingue". (The Parish of Holy Trinity in the town of Temiscaming was subsequently transfered to the Diocese of Algoma on 26 August 1970 on the authority of the Provincial Synod of Ontario.)

For a detailed history of the parishes of the Diocese of Ottawa consult Faith of Our Fathers:The Story of the Diocese of Ottawa by The Rt. Rev. Robert Jefferson, Third Bishop of Ottawa, 1957, The Anglican Book Society, Ottawa, and The Anglican Church in Canada, by The Most Rev. Philip Carrington, 1963, Collins, Toronto. Unfortunately both books are out of print, however, you should be able to borrow a copy from diocesan, university and public libraries in Canada, or through Inter-Library Loans from one of these libraries.

For detailed records of the diocese and its parishes you can consult the Archives of the Diocese of Ottawa.


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