Just Who was Lord Elgin?

Almost every time I give a tour of the hotel, people always ask me “just who was Lord Elgin?” This usually happens, just as we are standing in front of his bust that is displayed in our lobby.


Often, I respond that many consider him one of the most important Governor Generals in Canadian History.

There is a still a Lord Elgin today. His name is Andrew Bruce, 11th Earl of Elgin, 15th Earl of Kincardine and he lives on his estate in Scotland.  The hotel is named after his Great Grandfather, James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin and 12th Earl of Kincardine and Governor General of the Province of Canada from 1847 to 1854.

Lord ELgin Man

It was under this Lord Elgin that responsible government came to Canada.  He was the first Governor General to allow the local, elected legislature to govern while he adopted a largely symbolic role.  This was the model for all subsequent Governor Generals and this act alone should put him at the top of the greatest GG list.

Another reason he should be consider one of the top GG is because he also granted royal assent to the Rebellion Losses Bill in 1849 even though he personally had misgivings.  This bill caused riots between the French and English in Montreal and later Bytown, (future Ottawa).  Instead of calling out the militia to put down the riots, Lord Elgin allowed the local civil authorities to respond.  By avoiding what surely would have become a blood-bath, Lord Elgin actions allowed calmer heads to prevail.  Many historians believe using the army to put down the riots would have led to the riots spreading and potentially turning into a rebellion.  Sometimes it takes more courage to walk away than to fight.  And maybe this act of discretion saved the future Canada.

Finally, a very big threat to the very existence of Canada was a push by Canadian based merchants, many of American descent, to join the United States as it was the closest and biggest market for their goods.  In 1854, Lord Elgin negotiated a Reciprocity Treaty (free trade treaty) that removed the need for Canada to join the United States to ensure access to that market.  With easy and open access guaranteed, the impetus to join the US was removed.  Had it not been for this treaty, the economic push to join the US would probably been unstoppable.

Written by:

Senior Sales Manager, Associations & Unions

Andrew Horsfield

Lord Elgin is Jazzed Up for TD Jazz Festival

Date: June 22 – July 2

Check out the line up here and schedule!

Buy your tickets: click here

Book your reservation: click here

Ottawa is home to a vibrant music scene with many artists at the forefront of creativity. Festivals, like TD Jazz Festival, create a vibrancy in our city for those of us here as well as for those that are visiting.  The Lord Elgin Hotel has always supported the festivals and the arts in our Nation’s capital. Since we are an independent hotel, we like to support our community as much as we can.

This year we are so excited to start counting down the days until 37th Annual TD Jazz Festival begins. The folks at the Jazz Festival have created an amazing line-up this year, with the likes of Joss Stone, Feist, Serena Ryder, Kenny Rogers and many more!

And it doesn’t stop there!

Late Night Jam Sessions

Late Night Jam Sessions will be held in the Lord Elgin’s restaurant, Grill 41! Being one of the many sponsors for the Ottawa Jazz Festival, we like to help keep the good times rolling! So this year when the party ends at Jazz Fest, take a walk to the Lord Elgin to enjoy Late Night Jam Sessions, every day through June 22 until July 2 at 10:30 p.m. – 2:00 a.m. (excluding Canada Day).

Grill 41 will transform on Late Night Jam Session Nights. With live music from local artists, as well as performers from the TD Ottawa Jazz Festival, each night is unique.  What makes your evening complete is Grill 41 has created a special Jazz Festival menu for the evening to celebrate this festival. For a sneak peek click here! But, our favourite part about late Night Jam Sessions is the ability for our guest to bring in their own instrument to jam with these artist! Our only advice is to get there early, as the event fills up quick.

You could not find a better location than the Lord Elgin Hotel to take in the best of this festival!  Being so close to the TD Ottawa Jazz Festival, located in Confederation Park across the street from us, is such a treat for both our guests and staff alike. You can literally take it all in from your Parkview guestroom window or simply walk across the street on any night and take in such incredible talent up close!

In an unbeatable location, the Lord Elgin Hotel is your ideal accommodation choice in downtown Ottawa any time of the year, but particularly during the summer months.  With the Changing of the Guard marching by our front doors each morning, you cannot find a better landmark to stay in.  Within steps to all major attractions and museums, and close to hundreds of shops and restaurants, there is no better place to stay.

Our on-site Starbucks and incredible cuisine at Grill 41 complete your foodie experience as well. To burn it off, the Rideau Canal offers the most scenic running and cycling route, just one block from our front door AND we store your bike for free.  It doesn’t get better than that!!!

So, bring it on… the heat, the music, the food trucks, the patios, the people and finally the summer weather!

Written by:

Social Media Intern

 Jazlyn Dunham