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What’s in a Name

If you watch the video above, please fill out this follow-up survey.

Do you know the origin behind the names of places you encounter everyday? The names and the history of the people for which places have been named are often forgotten. For many, Goulbourn is one of those names. First established in 1818, Goulbourn Township included the towns of Richmond, Stittsville, Munster, Ashton, and many small hamlets. This area is now amalgamated into the City of Ottawa, but the name Goulbourn is still very present. Goulbourn Middle School, Henry Goulburn Way, and Goulbourn Museum make up some of the present-day bearers of the name in the area.

On February 23rd, Goulbourn Museum hosted a live discussion on the Township’s namesake, Sir Henry Goulburn, and how historic naming practices affect people today. We invited experts and community groups to lead the discussion as panellists, including Museum Manager & Exhibitions Curator, Tracey Donaldson, and a representative of Black History Ottawa, Sarah Onyango.

The discussion will focus on three areas:

  • The history of Sir Henry Goulburn centred around his participation in the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the War of 1812. As well as his involvement in slavery through his ownership of sugar estates such as Amity Hall in Jamaica.
  • Contemporary case studies on how other communities and organizations have approached controversial historic naming practices.
  • Diverse perspectives on how historic naming practices impact today’s community.

We apologize for technical difficulties which resulted in some lapses in recording. The Case Studies section was re-filmed after the event to ensure the information presented would be still accessible.

Click below to view the synopsis and annotated bibliography:


Annotated bibliography

To view the answers to questions we were not able to answer within the time constraints of our February 23rd discussion, click HERE.

Watch for updates on future discussions our blog and social media.

Goulbourn Museum

Goulbourn Museum