142-144 St-Patrick Street
Written by Bytown Museum
An Ottawa connection to Louis Riel?
Dr. François-Xavier Valade had this structure built for his medical practice and as his residence, and lived here from 1866 until 1918. Undoubtedly, one of his more memorable moments was his report on the sanity of Metis champion Louis Riel.
In Riel's less-than-exemplary trial, his sanity was hotly contested. Ultimately, he was found sane and guilty of high treason and he was sentenced to hang. In the face of mounting pressure from the country's francophone population, Riel's sanity was put under the lens one last time before his execution. Three doctors were called in. Only Dr. Valade concluded that Riel was insane, stating that he was unable to distinguish between right and wrong on political and religious subjects. But the federal government falsified the doctor's testimony, making it appear that he agreed with the other doctors.
Valade House is a stone structure that clearly reflects the long French-Canadian tradition of masonry construction, dating back to the days of New France.
From its very beginnings in 1826, Bytown (early Ottawa) was divided geographically, with Uppertown to the west of the Rideau Canal and Lowertown to the east. Lowertown, then ... read more