Previously All Saints Anglican Church, the new “allsaints” is housed in this beloved heritage property and building of national historic significance in the heart of Ottawa’s Sandy Hill neighbourhood. The site of Ottawa’s only royal wedding and a Prime Minister’s state funeral, the church features stunning WWI memorial stained glass windows and a tower with a rare nine-bell chime.
Built in 1899 on Chapel Street by Sir Henry Newell Bate, one of Ottawa’s most important businessmen and the first Chairman of the Ottawa Improvement Commission (predecessor to the National Capital Commission). In 1921 Bate gifted the church to the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa and his children donated the nine bells for the church’s carillon. His third son Thomas Cameron donated Bate Hall in 1934.
All Saints Anglican Church was the parish church for many of Ottawa’s most influential figures, including Sir Robert Borden. As Prime Minister, Borden led the way in gaining international recognition of Canada as an autonomous dominion. A leader during a turbulent time in Canadian and World history, Borden formed a Union Government during WWI and introduced conscription, one of the most divisive policies in Canadian history. At the same time, Borden’s War Times Elections Act paved the way for women’s suffrage by allowing sisters, mothers and wives of soldiers to vote in the federal election. Ill health forced him to resign in 1920. Sir Robert Borden’s state funeral was held at All Saints Anglican Church in 1937. One of the church’s stained glass windows is dedicated to his memory, and others to the memory of WWI fallen soldiers.
The big event of the 1924 social season was the wedding of Lois Booth to Prince Erik of Denmark at All Saints Anglican Church. Mackenzie King, Sir Robert Borden and the Governor General were all in attendance. The deputy chief of police at the time described the crush of gleeful spectators; “Yesterday afternoon, every available man was pressed into service, but ten men could not handle a crowd of ten thousand, 90% of whom were women who would not do as they were told but smiled and giggled all the time” (Ottawa Journal, Feb. 12,’24)
Over its 118 year history, All Saints Anglican Church has held an important place in Ottawa and the local community. With a commitment to celebrating its rich past and preserving its architectural heritage, allsaints is looking forward to building on its traditions and reaching new communities as a an inclusive, multi-use urban space.