Please read the legal notice concerning these photographs at the end of the pictorial essay.  Thank you!

Welcome to the Canada's National Capital: Ottawa

By scrolling through these photographs, you will be taking
a mini-tour of the places that John Lennon and Yoko Ono had
visited on June 3, 1969 and December 23, 1969.

Research and photography (unless otherwise noted) by John Whelan, Chief Researcher for the Ottawa Beatles Web Site, using Tony Copple's "Fuji Film DS7" digital camera. This project was posted on the Ottawa Beatles Site January 24, 2002.

Page Updated: October 21, 2020.


On June 3, 1969, John and Yoko arrive from Montreal to the Ottawa Train Station

Hugh Segal was an executive member on the Student's Association at the Ottawa University in 1969. He assisted Allan Rock in procuring the Lennons for a June 3rd visit to Ottawa. Hugh recalls in how the couple arrived to Ottawa:

 "John they arrived by train; Allan and I went out to the train station - it was mid afternoon - which is all I recall. They were driven to the Chaplaincy where they rested for a while. I arranged for a smoked fish platter from Nates. At the train station I carried the baby [Kyoko] while Allan had the press conference at the train station. I hope this helps. Hugh" (e-mail correspondence from Mr. Hugh Segal to John Whelan, dated Monday, October 22, 2001 9:59 PM).  (See also: "Historical Discoveries" at the bottom of this pictorial essay).


The heart of downtown Ottawa

This photo was taken from the Laurier Avenue bridge and is situated about a half-block away from the Ottawa University campus. The waterway is the Rideau Canal. Towards the end of the canal and just to your right is the Château Laurier Hotel. The opposite side at the end of the canal also reveals Canada's Parliament Buildings. These areas are of historical significance as they are places that John and Yoko visited
during 1969.


According to Allan Rock, who back then was President of the Student's Association
in 1969, claims that John and Yoko arrived in big white "Rolls" for their discussion on world peace. If they did arrive in a big white "Rolls", then the trip was less than a 1-minute drive from the Chaplain Services and no more than a 5-minute car drive from the Ottawa Train Station to the Ottawa University campus.

An overview of the campus buildings and roads can be viewed at:


The Chaplain Services -- now known as the Alumni Relations building, is located at 178
Laurier Avenue, next to King Edward Avenue. This was to be John and Yoko's first stop at the Ottawa University campus.
Here the couple had a "smoked fish platter" and, as you see in the next photo, they also rested up
before they began a panel discussion on world peace.


This photo is historically significant as it is displayed all-year-round at the Ottawa University campus in their museum called the 150th Anniversary Lounge which is located on 110 University Street.

Here we see John taking a snooz in the Chaplain Services. This same photograph is published
in the Ottawa University's Gazette book in 1969 which I had a chance to examine. Note the stylized trimming on the window pane -- the stylized trim is exactly the same now as it was back then!

John Lennon et Yoko Ono à l'Université d'Ottawa. 3 juin 1969
John Lennon and Yoko at the University of Ottawa. 3 June 1969
Auteur: Daly
Photographer: Daly
Cote: Archives de l'Université d'Ottawa Fonds 6/Gazette/vol.IV,5/9-6-1969,p16/Daly
Reproduction Interdite Sans Autorisation pour le Site Web Ottawa Beatles 
© Copyright 2001 Daly - Ottawa
© Copyright 2001 par le Site Web Ottawa Beatles
Indeterminate Reproduction in Authorization for the Ottawa Beatles Web Site
© Copyright 2001 Daly - Ottawa
© Copyright 2001 by the Ottawa Beatles Web Site


While John and Yoko remained at the Chaplain Services, the couple decided on having an early supper. Thus Hugh Segal ordered a "smoked fish platter" from Nate's Deli shop -- which amounted to be the Lennons first official meal in Ottawa. Though the Lennons never stepped inside Nate's Deli, the shop is located on 316 Rideau Street and is about a 5-minute walk up hill to the Chaplain Services.

Today, the exact same proprietors from 1969 are still their running Nate's Deli. They were very surprised to have recently learned for the first time that Hugh Segal arranged for their famous "smoked fish platter" for John Lennon and Yoko Ono. And yes, they still remember Hugh Segal coming in often for meals! (Note: Hugh Segal later worked in Ottawa as a "backroom strategist" for the former Conservative Prime Minister, Brian Mulroney.)


After the Lennons finished an early supper, the conference on world peace commenced
on or around 5:00 or 5:30 p.m. John, Yoko, along with Yoko's daughter Kyoko, pulled
up to the sidewalk in a car at the Simard Hall amidst reporters, camera men and campus students.


The Simard Hall is located on 165 Waller Street
(facing West towards the vantage point of the camera.)


In the photographic essay of The Ballad of John and Yoko in Ottawa, a photo shows Yoko Ono with John Lennon (who is supporting Kyoko in his arms) had passed through this doorway and went up a small flight of stairs and into the large Arts lobby of the Simard Hall. A local press report claims John Lennon then went off to a room adjacent to the lobby. In actual truth, John went much further down the long corridor and used the men's facility based on an on-site inspection I made where various class rooms also run directly off the hallway. The story of John using the washroom is documented in the Ottawa Citizen report: "Gimmick -- Yes. U of O gets a peace of the Lennon Action."

Also, in that same pictorial essay, a photo confirms John and Yoko's making their re-appearance from the long hallway and back into the Arts lobby as they pass by the Divus Thomas Aquinas Doctor Communis statue in order to commence a Seminar On World Peace.


The Arts lobby of the Simard Hall

John and Yoko made their enterance through those glass doors and sat at a table from this point, looking out towards the enterance. Ottawa University archival photographs reveal about 150 students were flanked from one support beam directly across to the other support beam in a standing-room only capacity. According to press reports, John and Yoko's Seminar On World Peace with the Ottawa University Student's Association lasted 90-minutes.


And yes, thirty-two years later the Divus Thomas Aquinas Doctor Communis statue that Derek Taylor
stood next to is still there and in the exact same location. The the long table where John and Yoko sat was spread across between the two solid support beams.


Back view of the Simard Hall. Public access into the building is easily obtained from a sidewalk that runs out near the front entrance of the Arts Hall which is located on 70 Laurier Avenue.


Reverse angle view of the Simard Hall on 165 Waller Street


Continuing our tour...


This is the North-West corner of Laurier Avenue and Waller Street which houses the
and the newly constructed Arts Hall (not to be confused with the Arts lobby located in the Simard Hall) and the Simard Hall (to your immediate right).

This has always been extremely busy corner with pedestrians and vehicles. I'm sure the big concern of the Student's Association of June 3, 1969, must of been how to safely move John and Yoko across Laurier Avenue in order to get them to the Tabaret Hall without being noticed when the 90-minute Seminar On World Peace had concluded...


The Arts Hall is located on 70 Laurier Avenue

This newly constructed Arts Hall sits directly across from the Tabaret Hall

So someone on the Student's Association (was it you, Allan Rock?) came up with the idea that must of been inspired directly from one of those escape scenes from "A Hard Day's Night"...

[Note: In 1969, the area for this newly constructed Arts Hall was nothing more than an parking lot -- what is historically important is not the parking lot itself from back then, but what laid below it!]


After all, there were at least 300 campus students waiting patiently on the grounds of the Tabaret
Hall waiting to see and hear from John and Yoko...


Jim Huber, who graciously supplied the Ottawa Beatle Site with his June 3, 1969 photograph of John Lennon (see: Beatles Timeline for the photo), recalls an interesting point: he believes that Lennons did not walk or drive across Laurier Avenue in order to reach Tabaret Hall from the Simard Hall. Had they done so, Jim feels he would have heard the crowd of students reacting quickly and they would have moved towards John and Yoko had the couple been spotted.


Instead, Jim believes John and Yoko made their way from the Simard Hall to the Tabaret Hall through an underground tunnel...


With the assistance of Archivist Anne Lauzon from the Ottawa University Archives Department, we examined the photographs they have on file from the June 3, 1969 event. We were able to confirm that
John and Yoko made their way to the Tabaret Hall from the Simard Hall through an underground
tunnel. Jim was right!! The photos revealed a tunnel of having large electrical cabling running along the white-washed painted walls near the top of the ceiling. Part of the cement floor which the Lennons walked through actually had some light surface water on it. The tunnel is not normally accessed by campus students or the general public but does run under Laurier Avenue between the Simard Hall and the Tabaret Hall.

The underground tunnel was also confirmed by Bruce Robin, Manager of Information Systems Marketing and Communications Service at the University of Ottawa.

September 2002 Update: During the month of June of this year, city planners decided to do major renovation to city roads, sewage systems, tunnels and Laurier Avenue was certainly no exception! Construction workers began digging below the Laurier Avenue surface to begin masonary repair work on the underground tunnel that John and Yoko passed through in 1969. Click the link for the photos: tunnel.html


Reverse angle view, side entrance to the Tabaret Hall, located on 75 Laurier Avenue


Tabaret Hall's main entrance of the Administration Building

The Tabaret's main entrance is surrounded by a large open lawn, facing East on 550 Cumberland Avenue. It was here where the students gathered and waited for John and Yoko to appear.

The left wing block of this building is 75 Laurier Avenue.


The rotunda from inside the main entrance of the Tabaret Hall

Both John and Yoko emerged somewhere from the underground tunnel inside the Tabaret's Administration building. They were then led through the front doors of this rotunda where they stepped outside to address a large crowd of campus students. Both file footage from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's John and Yoko's Year of Peace along with file photographs from the Ottawa University Archival Department confirm this is exactly what happened.



This institution was established in 1848 by Bishop Joseph Eugène Guigues
and placed under the direction of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. Incorporated
by Act of Parliament on May 30, 1849 as the College of Bytown, it occupied a
three-story frame building in the garden of the Episcopal Palace. Renamed "College
of Ottawa" in 1861, it received University status five years later, and was decreed
a pontifical university by Pope Leo XIII in 1889.

The college, which has occupied its present site since 1856, was destroyed by fire
on December 2, 1903, but quickly rebuilt. Administrative control of this, Canada's
first bilingual university, was transferred in 1965 from the Oblates to a board of governors.

While the Federal Government and the various "hi-tech" companies located in
Silicon Valley North are the biggest employers for the city, the University of Ottawa
remains the 8th largest employer overall. On a yearly basis, enrollment at the campus
comprises 25,000 full-time and part-time students. For the local economy, the financial
spin-offs of this popular University are very rewarding: $400 million is generated into
the local economy on an annual basis.

A virtual tour of the campus can be access at the following link:

For access to the University of Ottawa's main web page, please click on the following link:


John and Yoko
appeared here between the pillars, on or around 7:00 p.m. on June 3, 1969

Jim Huber, who was present for their speech, recalls the security being very sparse at the time
and for this reason alone, he claims, John and Yoko could only make a brief statement to the
300 hundred students as the couple sensed that the crowd was ready to close in on them.


Reverse angle photo of the main entrance to the Tabaret Hall

The Globe and Mail captured some of the days activities made by John and Yoko in their June 4, 1969
article entitled: Lennon Urges The Plugging of Peace. Click on the link to read the news report.


The Rideau Canal

After the Lennons made their brief speech at the Tabaret, Health Minister Allan Rock -- when interviewed on John and Yoko's Year of Peace -- states he then gave John and Yoko "a tour of the city" with a drive by "The Rideau Canal" in his Volkswagen fastback. The canal is flank on either side by the Queen Elizabeth and Colonel By driveways and runs 3.5 miles long and is just one of the many scenic parts of the city. In this photo, straight ahead and down The Rideau Canal, you can just barely make out the University of Ottawa.


This photo, © Copyright by Richard McGuire
Used with permission.

24 Sussex Drive
Residence for the Prime Minister of Canada

Allan Rock's "tour of the city" for John and Yoko also included pulling into the laneway and right up to the steps of Prime Minister Trudeau's residence on June 3, 1969. When they got out of the car, they knocked on the door and spoke with a lady to see if the Prime Minister was home, to which she answered, "No, he's not here at the moment." The Lennons then left a message for Prime Minister Trudeau. While John wrote his note, a photo was taken at that precise moment. The photo was displayed on John and Yoko's Year of Peace (C.B.C. television) and is also filed at the University of Ottawa Archives Department.

Rock also claims that he drove the Lennons around the Parliament Buildings that evening.


Rideau Hall

When John and Yoko left the Prime Minister Trudeau's residence, it would be hard to imagine them
not noticing Rideau Hall -- The Governor General's Residence since it faces directly across from Prime Minister's laneway.

An Ottawa Urban Legend: Based on a photograph of an "unidentified location" that showed Lennon in 1969 turning some soil with a spade, some local Beatle fans have long believed that when the couple visited Ottawa in 1969, that the Lennons somehow planted an acorn on the Governor General's Residence and that an "acorn tree" grew as a result of it. This never happened. Every reasonable effort was made to substantiate the claim. Spoke persons for the Governor General's Residence and the National Capital Commission who oversee the grounds, have no records of the event. Furthermore, Mr. Ralph Hayter whom I interviewed was the principal Superintendent in charge of the grounds in 1969, has stated no such event ever took place. Lastly, John and Yoko could never have planted an acorn on the estate because that privilege (the turning of soil and planting of trees) is reserved only for Heads of State.


According to a Globe and Mail report dated June 4, 1969: "John Lennon and his party left Ottawa by train at 11:30 last night. The train is due in Toronto at 7 a.m. today. The party will be staying
at the Windsor Arms Hotel."

This concluded John and Yoko's June 3, 1969 visit to Ottawa. The couple would make one more visit
to Ottawa later in that year.


The Château Laurier

John and Yoko were at the Château Laurier Hotel, December 23, 1969, located on 1 Rideau Street.



 Charles Melville Hayes, an American business man who financed and built the The Château Laurier, died on the Titanic just two months before it was completed in June, 1912.


The Ballroom of the Château Laurier
The above photo was taken on September 16, 2001 during the bi-annual Ottawa Record Convention that hosts vendors selling Beatles' records and other musical memorabilia.

Since we're on the "thematic discussion" of the Château Laurier, I thought I'd place this photo here even though this photo involves John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

According to historical information supplied by the Château Laurier, the Ballroom was used by John Lennon and Yoko Ono. The guests who were accommodated in the Ballroom over the years reads like a list of "Who's Who" of the rich and famous: from Marlene Dietrich to the Rolling Stones to Harry Belafonte; Shirley Temple; Dwight D. Eisenhower; Sir Winston Churchill; Queen Elizabeth; Charles de Gaulle; Paul Anka; Rich Little; and Christopher Plummer to name a few.

Unfortunately, the document did not provide dates for when these very famous celebrities used the Ballroom. There are only two dates to consider for the Lennons visitation: either June 3 or December 23, 1969. Since the June 3rd Seminar On World Peace was a spur-of-the-moment decision by John and Yoko to come to the Ottawa University, it hardly makes sense that the Lennons would arrange on such short notice, a visit to the Château Laurier. They were pretty much "in-and-out" on the same evening of June 3, 1969. However, it makes more probable sense that the Lennons used the Château Laurier during their December 23, 1969 visit with Prime Trudeau here in Ottawa. Perhaps the Lennons may have used of the Ballroom for dinning purposes either before or after completing their visits to Prime Minister Trudeau and Health Minister John Monro.


The Château Laurier, facing South-West near Canada's National War Memorial. On their
separate visits, John Lennon, Yoko Ono and Paul McCartney would have easily spotted the cenotaph.


Rear view photograph of the Château Laurier sits by the locks of the Rideau Canal.


The Château Laurier is less than a 5-minute walk to the front lawns of Canada's Parliament Buildings. In this photo we are looking straight up the street (facing West) from the Château Laurier towards Parliament Hill. Oddly enough, Rideau Street (where the Château Laurier is located) becomes Wellington Street by the time you've reached Parliament Hill.


This photo, © Copyright by UPI/Ottawa Citizen

December 23, 1969
Continuing with our tour, more on John and Yoko, their
2nd visit to Ottawa...


John and Yoko visit Parliament Hill to meet Prime Minister Trudeau on December 23, 1969

Ritchie Yorke reported the following in Rolling Stone magazine dated  June 27, 1970

"Tuesday morning at 10:30, the press in Ottawa was stunned to learn of an impending meeting between Lennon and the prime minister. One of the conditions which the prime minister's office had imposed on Lennon if there were a meeting between the two, was that there would be no advance publicity of any kind. At precisely 10:55, John and Yoko were rushed by limousine to the Parliament building.

   The Lennon's fifty-one-minute meeting with the PM was private and, afterward, they were besieged by the press.
   'If there were more leaders like Mr. Trudeau,' John said into a field of microphones and cameras, 'the world would have peace.' Later John told me Trudeau had talked about how important it was for him to keep in close contact with youth, and how he would like to meet the Lennons on less formal ground for further discussions.

   From the PM's office, the Lennons were escorted to the ministry of health for a lengthy meeting with Health Minister John Munro and senior members of his department."


Rear view of the Parliament Buildings over looking the Ottawa River. The smaller building to the very far right side of the picture is the Supreme Court of Canada.


Signage for the Brooke Claxton Building (Bldg. No. 9)


Tunney's Pasture is a wide open area of various government buildings located in Westboro (or part of the West-end of Ottawa as it is also known)

On December 23, 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono met with Health Minister John Munro. The Ottawa Journal reported that after John and Yoko's meeting with the Prime Minister, they then went over to Tunney's Pasture for a 1-½ hour meeting with the Health Minister. This meeting was covered and reported the following day in the Ottawa Citizen, by staff writer Tracey Morey in an article called Drugs: John promises help.

This is the main entrance into Tunney's Pasture from Scott Street which is about a five minute drive by car
from the Parliament Buildings via the Ottawa River Parkway.


The Brooke Claxton Building
This is the Health Canada building located in Tunney's Pasture

It is here, at the Brooke Claxton Building that John Lennon and Yoko Ono chatted with Health Minister John Munro about drugs and the use of marijuana. John proclaimed then to the local press that if he could, he would like continue to use marijuana for the rest of his life "just like most of this generation." While Lennon admitted that he still used marijuana on occasions, he also indicated that "we can't sell peace to people who are hooked on drugs."

Ritchie Yorke, from his same report as cited previously, relates another story that took place:

  "When the generation-gap subject hit the table, Munro seized the opportunity to get some Lennon advice. 'Often when I talk with young people,' he said, 'I can't even get my mouth open before I'm battered with placards and posters and catch phrases.' Quipped Lennon: 'Get your own posters together and fire them back.' 

For Ritchie Yorke's complete article, click on this link:

And the local press recorded John and Yoko's flattering comments on Canada:

Yoko: "We have great hope and love for Canada....Canada hasn't had time to degenerate, while the other countries are all jaded now".

John: "It's the only place on earth where people have asked us for help in the cause of peace and where
we've received tangible offers of help".


The Museum of Science and Technology

Our last stop for this tour is the Museum of Science and Technology which is located on 1867 St. Laurent Boulevard. The museum was home to John Lennon's psychedelic Phantom Rolls-Royce which was displayed from March 9, 1996 to September 15, 1996.



Developing and working the "thin trails" of a pop star from over 30 years ago required one to be patient but thorough as possible with the research while trying to develop new leads. What might be considered and viewed here by the reader as a simple pictorial essay, actually required several months of intensive research which included several interviews and two visits the Ottawa University Archives Department.

Thus, there are two new significant discoveries revealed in this research that were never known before both by local residents and the media. The first significant discovery occurred while I was examining the many John and Yoko photographs on file at the Ottawa University Archives Department. All of the photos are date-stamped by hand and, along with supporting documentation, confirms the "Ottawa Citizen" and the "Ottawa Journal" are correct on the Lennons arrival date to Ottawa, that is, "June 3, 1969". However, some the many photographs at the Ottawa University Archives Department also reveal that Ottawa Citizen and the Ottawa Journal had unintentionally provided some erroneous information in their news articles when they covered the event. I say this was unintentional, I believe this to be so. Here is what happened...

Both papers report the Lennons arriving late -- they were, according to early press reports, expected to have arrived on-time from Montreal to Ottawa at 4:00 p.m. on the afternoon of June 3, 1969, to commence with their discussion on world peace. The Ottawa Citizen and the Ottawa Journal news reports create a strong impression of the Lennons having come down by car from Montreal but were delayed for several reasons causing them supposedly to be late. The press reported of a "mechanical breakdown" with a car; they also reported John Lennon was having a troubled stomach on the way in, so the couple had to stop along the way and wired ahead for some "garlic pills". In all likelihood, this was nothing more than fiction made up by someone on the Student's Association who fed the local press a couple of false reports.

Simply put, the Lennons never came down by car from Montreal to Ottawa on June 3, 1969. A series of sequential photographs reviewed by myself and Archivist Anne Lauzon at the Ottawa University Archives Department reveal that John and Yoko came down by train. The photographs show the Lennons standing with their backs to a train after they got off -- they then proceeded to walk through the various corridors of the Ottawa Train Station where they eventually reached the outside to the front entrance of the building. All these archival photographs traces their position and movement within the Ottawa Train Station!

The obvious question now arises: why did the local papers not know about the Lennons arrival by train and not report it?

For starters, both the Ottawa Citizen and the Ottawa Journal were never told to go down and wait at the Ottawa Train Station for the arrival of John and Yoko. They cannot be faulted for not knowing in advance of the correct location where the Lennons would first turn up in Ottawa since they were never told to go there by the student executive! One only has to go back and re-read the Ottawa Citizen report to pick up an obvious clue as to why they didn't show up -- The Citizen reports that "mostly newsmen and photographers" were "directed to the arts building" of the Ottawa University campus to wait for John and Yoko's arrival. Thus, someone from the Student's Association had intentionally misled the local press -- and, as you'll soon discover, there was good reason for this! But had both local daily papers known about the couple arriving at the Ottawa Train Station, the Ottawa Citizen and the Ottawa Journal would easily have gone down and covered the event because they have always been very creditable and respected sources of journalistic reporting for the Ottawa community.

Surprisingly, the only news media that did capture the Lennons on film at the Ottawa Train Station was that of United Press International (UPI) -- definitely not the local media per-se! How is it then, that UPI covered the event at the Ottawa Train Station?  For starters, UPI had already been covering John and Yoko's peace campaign in Montreal. What I strongly suspect is that UPI might either have come down by train with the Lennons on board or, perhaps in the alternative, departed by car from Montreal ahead of time and showed up just before the Lennons arrival at the Ottawa Train Station (the travel time between Montreal and Ottawa is only 2-hours by car). Another possibility is that UPI might of had an office here in Ottawa at the time and were tipped off by the their own UPI media from Montreal about the couple's location and arrival time.

My curiosity piqued as to why the local reports were somewhat skewed, I decided to contact Mr. Hugh Segal by e-mail. Hugh Segal, in 1969, was an executive on the Ottawa University Student's Association. He had assisted Allan Rock in bringing the Lennons to Ottawa.  As with his opening remarks found in this pictorial essay, it is worth reviewing what Mr. Hugh Segal remembers from the event: "John they arrived by train; Allan and I went out to the train station - it was mid afternoon - which is all I recall. They were driven to the Chaplaincy where they rested for a while. I arranged for a smoked fish platter from Nates. At the train station I carried the baby [Kyoko] while Allan had the press conference at the train station. I hope this helps. Hugh" [Note: Hugh's comments are correct.  Of the many photographs that I examined, Hugh Segal does appear in one of them which shows him carrying Kyoko as he walks through the Ottawa Train Station. Therefore, Hugh's recollections are accurate!].

With Hugh Segal's answer, we now know that John and Yoko had a scrum with the UPI press at the Ottawa Train Station -- meanwhile the Ottawa Citizen and Ottawa Journal who were directed to wait at the "arts building" at the campus, were, unfortunately, not at the train station to record the event. In fact, as Mr. Segal's testimony reveals, John and Yoko's next movement was to have them whisked away from the train station to the Chaplaincy located on 178 Laurier Avenue where the couple had, of all things "smoked fish platter" and a "snooz" (see photograph) before convening a 5: 30 p.m. conference on world peace.

Thus, it now seems fairly safe to conclude it was most unlikely that the Lennons were delayed due to a "mechanical breakdown" or had to stop in along the way for tea and wire ahead for "garlic pills" before reaching Ottawa. Based on photographic evidence and testimony from Hugh Segal, I would strongly suggest that someone on the Student's Association fabricated these stories in order to quell an anxious local press who, in all fairness to the press, had actually expected the peace conference to commence at 4:00 p.m. but were put back to 5:30 p.m. and not realizing all-the-while that John and Yoko had already arrived at the Chaplaincy having supper from Nates Deli along with a quick snooz.

Another factor for the delay might well have been last-minute efforts by Allan Rock at the Chaplaincy to see if Prime Minister Trudeau would participate on the world peace discussions with the Lennons.  The big caveat that Allan Rock used in Montreal to entice John and Yoko to come down to Ottawa, was this strong possibility he created in their minds of a meeting taking place between Prime Minister Trudeau and the Lennons at the Ottawa University campus. Unfortunately, Trudeau declined the offer this time around but would later meet John and Yoko on December 23, 1969.

Based on the above-mentioned evidence, i.e. the early supper and the snooz that occurred at the Chaplain Services, coupled by the possibility of Rock attempting "last-minute efforts" to lure Trudeau into the peace discussions, all add up to a series of very logical reasons as to why the local press never knew of the exact location of the couple until 5:00 or 5:30 p.m.  Thus, I believe the reasons above now solves the "big riddle" as to why the local news reporting was somewhat skewed back on June 3, 1969.  John and Yoko were detained for other reasons unknown to the local media!  Mystery solved, as they say.

The second significant discovery occurred by "happen-chance" while gathering research for this project. Basically, I was using a "search engine" in order to locate a good map of Rideau Street for your perusal. Unfortunately, I couldn't really find a good map! In any event, I did end up landing on a local resident's web-page who did a nice write-up on the Château Laurier Hotel. Imagine my excitement when I read and learned that both John Lennon and Yoko Ono had once been accommodated in the hotel's Ballroom! I decided to investigate further and so I contacted Ms. Deneen Perin, Promotions and Public Relations for the the Château Laurier, confirmed over the phone that John and Yoko did make use of their Ballroom. According to Ms. Perin, the information is listed in a 7-page document that could be obtained at the front desk of the main lobby -- all one had to do was ask for it. I went down and picked up a copy and, sure enough, they list both John and Yoko of having been accommodated in the Ballroom of the hotel! This was something never reported by the local press.  After all, the big media scoop for December 23, 1969, was covering the meeting between the Lennons and Prime Minister Trudeau, and not necessarily the couple being accommodated in the ballroom of the Château Laurier. As a resident from back then, I certainly don't remember hearing about the Lennons being accomodated at Château Laurier and so I was very amazed to discover this fact!

-- John Whelan, Chief Researcher for the Ottawa Beatles Site.

Bibliography of research material used:

Meet me at the Château -- A Legacy of Memory -by Joan E. Rankin, published by Natural Heritage Books, Toronto, 1990.

Château Laurier History - published and distributed by the Château Laurier. A seven-page copy on the history of the hotel can be picked up upon request at the front desk of the main lobby.

Lennon urges the plugging of Peace -by The Globe and Mail, published June 4, 1969.

Drugs: John promises help - by Tracey Morey, The Ottawa Citizen, published December 24, 1969.

Lennons Came for 5 Minutes; Stayed With PM an Hour - by Richard Jackson, The Ottawa
Journal, published December 23, 1969.

John and Yoko's Year of Peace -an excellent television documentary presented by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, December, 2000.

Erek's Beatle Pages, contains references from Ritchie Yorke.

People Interviewed:

Jim Huber, June 3, 1969 eye-witness who saw the event from beginning to end.  Jim runs his own multi-media business called Baseline Communications here in Ottawa.

Ralph Hayter, Principal Superintendent for maintaining the grounds of the Governor General's Residence in 1969, was interviewed in July, 2001.

Tom Strike, National Capital Commission, oversees projects for the Governor General's Residence, was interviewed in July 2001.

Patricia McCrae, Governor General's Residence, was interviewed July 2001.

Michel Prévost, Ottawa University Archivist, interviewed in July 2001.

Jacques Pallascio, Ottawa University Assistant Director of Institutional Affairs and Community Relations, interviewed in July 2001.

Bruce Robin, Manager of Information Systems Marketing and Communications Service for the University of Ottawa, interviewed in July 2001.

Deneen Perin, Promotions and Public Relations for the The Château Laurier, interviewed August, 2001.

Hugh Segal, former student executive of the Ottawa University Student's Association from 1969, e-mail correspondence dated October 22, 2001.

Special Technical Assistance:

Ms. Anne Lauzon, Ottawa University Archivist, deserves a heartfelt thank you in the preparation of archival documentation as well as photos of the Lennons visit to Ottawa for my personal viewing. She also arranged with their Corporate Legal Services Department to grant the Ottawa Beatle Site an Indeterminate Reproduction status of their John Lennon campus photo. Thank you Anne, your help was truly appreciated!

Brad Howard and Mark Peters of The World Beatles Forum, for providing e-mail correspondence regarding the rational as to why some local fans believed the Lennons might possibly have planted an acorn on the Governor General's Residence. Unfortunately, my research pretty well puts to bed any possibility of that ever occurring.


Richard McGuire,  The Prime Minister's Residence,  © Copyright 2001. Special thank you to Richard McGuire for use of his photo of the Prime Minister's Residence.

Mike Daly, Lennon at the Chaplain Services, © Copyright 2001, 2002, by the Ottawa University Archives Department, © Copyright 2001, 2002.

The Ottawa Citizen, Photo of John, Yoko and Prime Minister Trudeau,  © Copyright 1969 by UPI/Ottawa Citizen.

John Whelan, all other photography presented on this pictorial essay,  © Copyright 2001, 2002, Ottawa Beatle Site.


1) The photos used in this pictorial essay cannot be displayed freely on the Internet (or Intranet) without first obtaining permission the respective copyright holders. The copyright holders are: the Ottawa University (re: Mike Daly photograph); Richard McGuire (re: photo of 24 Sussex Drive, Prime Minister's Residence); The Ottawa Citizen/UPI photo of John, Yoko and Prime Minister Trudeau; the balance of photography in the pictorial essay, by John Whelan;

2) Any web site owner who displays these photos knowingly without first obtaining permission from the Ottawa University Archives Department; local area photographer Richard McGuire; and the photos taken by John Whelan, will be subject to legal prosecution to the furthest extent of the law; 

3) And, furthermore, no part of the publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without first prior written permission of the exclusive copyright owner(s) and the publisher of this site.


John Whelan's personal visit, Ottawa University Archives Department, July 25 & October 2, 2001:

The Ottawa University Archives department has a very extensive collection of photographs of John and Yoko's visit to their campus of June 3, 1969. The principal photographers on file are:

1) Dominion Wide Photos who, in 1969, were located on 226 Sparks Street in Ottawa, used with permission from R.L. Olson, President of Dominion-Wide Limited. 

2) Le Droit photography by Champlain Marcil;

3) Mike Daly, local resident, photographer who took the picture that you see in this pictorial essay (he took several more pictures of John and Yoko on that day.);

4) United Press International -- a series of photos/printer proofs are on file.

While there are a great many prints to view, Archivist Anne Lauzon estimates they own between 20 to 30 negatives. A lot of the photos they have of John and Yoko together are terrific -- and it is my hope that these photographs might one day see the light to be published in a legitimate Beatles' book. It would be a pity to keep them stored up in their campus vaults only available for limited viewing -- which is why I made arrangements with the campus to allow the Ottawa Beatle Site to at least e-publish the Mike Daly photo that he took of Lennon. Thus, the Ottawa Beatle Site is most grateful to the Ottawa University Archives and Corporate Legal Services Department's in this regard. Thank you so very much for usage of your file photo of John Lennon!

John Whelan, Chief Researcher for the Ottawa Beatle Site, January  24, 2002