(Photo Credit: Claire MacDonald)
Site of Ottawa’s only royal wedding, Sir Robert Borden’s state funeral, WWI memorial windows, and a tower with a 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). Bate gifted the church to the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa in 1921. His children donated the bells for the church’s carillon, and his third son Thomas Cameron donated Bate Hall in 1934.
All Saints Anglican Church served as the parish church of many in the political elite, including Sir Robert Borden. As Prime Minister, Borden was the leading figure in gaining international recognition of Canada as an autonomous dominion. He 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 World War I 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 said “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)