Stage Door News

Ottawa: The Arts Court celebrates its transformation into an arts hub

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

A pandemic-delayed celebration got underway Monday marking the final step in transforming Ottawa’s Arts Court from a former courthouse facing the wrecking ball into the city’s creative hub.

What was once the Carleton County Courthouse is now a multi-disciplinary arts facility operated by the City of Ottawa and a steering committee of nine resident organizations.

Officials from the city, federal government and Arts Court residents and private partners were on hand for the event marking the official completion of the redevelopment.

Rideau-Vanier Coun. Mathieu Fleury, Ottawa-Vanier MP Mona Fortier, Chief Wendy Jocko of the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation and representatives from Arts Court unveiled a plaque and toured the facility at Daly Avenue and Nicholas Street.

“Back in 1988, the beautiful and historic courthouse was saved from demolition and brought to life as the city’s main hub for the arts,” Fleury said in a release. “It has been amazing to watch it transform over the years with the art community into a more modern and accessible building.

“The Arts Court property is Ottawa’s local arts mecca. The investments to support our local arts organizations are well worth it and are already paying dividends for residents of Ottawa and for local artists.”

Groups using the facility include Artengine, the Canadian Film Institute, the Digital Arts Resource Centre, the Independent Filmmakers Co-operative of Ottawa, Odyssey Theatre, Ottawa Dance Directive, Ottawa Fringe, the Ottawa International Animation Festival and more.

Construction to add more space for programming and amenities and meet current accessibility standards started in 2015.

A total of $41.68 million from the city, province and other partners was used for the public municipal components, while investors spent another $60 million on a hotel, condominium tower and parking.

“When I walk through the halls of the completed facility, I feel nothing but pride for what we have built with the support of our partners,” Mayor Jim Watson said in a release.

Visit the Arts Court at

By Megan Gillis for

Photo: The Arts Court Theatre. © 2003 Dickpenn.