In early 1919, the City of Ottawa chose to build an auditorium dedicated to the memory of those who had died in World War I. George Washburn, designer and architect of many of Ottawa’s historic structures, began work creating a versatile building. The original layout included a large stage and fly gallery, over 1400 seats and a spacious meeting hall downstairs. It was dedicated in 1921. After the flood of 1951, the decay of years and high maintenance costs the auditorium was declared unsafe in 1974 and closed. Ottawa citizens decided by a nearly 3-1 margin to appropriate needed renovation and yearly maintenance funds to save the facility. The Auditorium reopened its doors on October 8, 1978 after an extensive $680,000 renovation.
The Ottawa Memorial Auditorium has a 35 foot proscenium stage and seats 830 guests. The OMA is a community hub for live music, theatre and dance productions, meeting space and rental options.