Ontario's Historical Plaques 

Discover Ontario's history as told through its plaques

2004 - Now in our 15th Year - 2019

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L'École Guigues and Regulation 17

L'Ecole Guigues and Regulation 17

Photo by Alan L Brown - Posted June, 2005

L'Ecole Guigues and Regulation 17

Photo from Google Street View ©2010 Google - Posted December, 2010

Plaque Location

The City of Ottawa
On the north side of Murray Street
halfway between Dalhousie Street and Cumberland Street

Coordinates: N 45 25.852 W 75 41.482


Plaque Text

Erected as a school in 1904-05, this building became a centre for minority rights agitation in Ontario early in the twentieth century. In 1912 when the provincial government issued a directive restricting French-language education to the primary grades, heated controversy resulted. Opposition to this directive, commonly called Regulation 17, was widespread and particularly intense in Ottawa. Funds were withheld from the city's separate school board and in 1915, after it had closed the schools under its jurisdiction, the board was replaced by a government-appointed commission. Openly defiant, the disenfranchised board fought back and successfully regained control of l'École Guigues in 1916. In the face of mounting protests, the provincial government reinstated the board and, moderating its policy, finally recognized bilingual schools in 1927.

Related Ontario plaques
Jeanne Lajoie 1899-1930
French-Canadian Settlement and the CPR in the Mattawa Area
The French Presence in Hearst
French Community in Welland
The French Presence in Cornwall
The French Presence in Lafontaine
French Settlement on the South Shore


Ottawa Plaques

Here are the visitors' comments for this page.

> Posted June 24, 2013
French culture in Ontario will always be in a minority fighting position. The government of Ontario will use what it takes to impede its existence as does the Quebec government with the English culture. So sad. Imagine their are no countries. It isn't hard to do.

> Posted November 7, 2012
Honestly, as a French speaking Ontarian, this plaque makes me happy. It means they recognized this incident as something pretty major, and it was a major event to keep French in Ontario. To this day, people are fighting to keep the French system alive, and it's in part, working. I hope that we never lose this awesome heritage.

> Posted May 3, 2012
As I chance upon this page, tears fill my eyes. Some things in Ontario never change. KCVI & le Module Vanier in Kingston, Ontario are struggling in 2012 (100 years after Reg. 17) for self-preservation. Strangely, it seems to be French-speaking and English-speaking personnel, parents and students trying to bring down 2 fine bilingual education programmes. I feel like Daudet's hero in La Derniere Classe: Vive La France.

> Posted February 7, 2012
Thank you for making this information available

> Posted March 11, 2009
Go French people -Scuba Steve

> Posted December 16, 2008
Imagine no French!! (gasp!)

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