The Rideau Street Chapel was originally part of Our Lady of the Sacred Hearts, a girls’ boarding school in Ottawa, run by the Sisters of Charity. The school first opened in 1849 and moved to Rideau Street in 1869. he school was sold in 1970 and the entire property was scheduled for demolition in 1972.
Although the school was demolished, the chapel interior was purchased by the National Gallery of Canada. With the help and collaboration of the National Gallery of Canada Foundation, the Friends of the National Gallery of Canada, various government bodies and heritage conservation groups, the Gallery was able to relocate the chapel and its original altar and altar screen – all 1123 pieces of it – to its current location inside the National Gallery of Canada’s new building in 1988, preserving this rare example of Canadian architectural history.
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