Notre-Dame d’Afrique Statue
300 Des Pères Blancs Avenue
Located in the heart of Richelieu Park, the Richelieu-Vanier Centre is a complex consisting of two architecturally different buildings. The older of the two, a red brick building, is home to the Richelieu-Vanier Community Centre, Ottawa’s archival offices and the Vanier Museopark. It was built in the 1950s by the White Fathers and was attached to their Scholasticate. After it was purchased by the town of Vanier, the building served as Town Hall for Vanier from 1985 until its amalgamation with Ottawa in 2001.
The second building, which has a much different architectural style, holds community halls. Its Spanish neo-colonial inspired architecture is surrounded by wooden columns which support a wrap-around terrace. Built in 1985 at the request of Mayor Gisèle Lalonde, the building served the needs of various community groups. In 2003, the two buildings were renovated and became the Richelieu-Vanier Community Centre.
The Vanier Museopark is located on the second floor of the Richelieu Centre. It is a non-profit community museum named for its location in Richelieu Park. The Vanier Museopark is the result of a dream by a group of citizens who wished to create a place to celebrate and preserve Vanier’s cultural and linguistic heritage. It was the Action Vanier group, at the time run by René Doré, who founded the committee in charge of creating the museum. On October 11, 2006, the Vanier Museopark officially launched its first exhibition, “Vanier-on-the-Ottawa – Today for Tomorrow”. This exhibition has a variety of themes showcasing Vanier’s history: from the area’s first inhabitants, the First Nations, to the history of its residents with an emphasis notably on education, religion and economy.
The Vanier Museopark is the only Francophone museum in Ottawa and one of very few in Canada outside of Quebec.