On August 19th the Ottawa Built Heritage Advisory Committee voted to consider the Coliseum Building for potential heritage designation.
The building consists of two parts: the main exhibition hall built in 1906 and the entrance pavilion, fronting on Bank Street, built in 1926. The Coliseum, also referred to as Howick Hall, has hosted many agricultural, political and cultural events throughout its long history. It was the home of the Ottawa Winter Fair and Horse Show and the RCMP Musical Ride. Numerous political conventions were held on site including leadership decisions for William Lyon MacKenzie King, Louis St. Laurent, Lester B. Pearson and John Diefenbaker. In 1961 founding convention of the New Democratic Party held in the Coliseum chose the party’s first leader Tommy Douglas.
The century-old building has fallen through the cracks with the attention focussed on protection of the Aberdeen Pavilion and saving the Horticulture Building from demolition.
Despite the ongoing plans for Lansdowne, the historical, architectural and contextual significance of the Coliseum has yet to be evaluated.