Club History

Zonta Club of Ottawa

It’s time to celebrate February 1st as the 91st anniversary of the chartering of our Club.

If we look back, we see a group of women who identified a need in the community and came up with a solution.  These pilot projects went on to be funded by government – municipal or provincial:
– the After Four project providing young children a safe place to go after school and    before a parent would be at home;
– Zonta House, a retirement residence for those single women who came to Ottawa to replace the men who had enlisted and who had limited means;
– Zonta Centre for Young Single Parents, a drop-in Program for high risk young parents, which was one of the five agencies that formed the Single Parent Network.

They assisted when Interval House and Nelson House ( second stage housing) were established; they worked with an Adult Literacy agency as volunteer tutors; they held meetings with various agencies to raise awareness of issues such as human trafficking; provided social interaction with immigrants who could not find work in their profession; and the list could go on.

Things were different in those earlier days – to be a Zontian one had to work full time, when one retired with less than five years, one’s membership was rescinded, there were two meetings a month which one was expected to attend, and communication was by “snail” mail – that wonderful invention called email was years in the future.

And, there was THAT FUNDRAISER – when an additional matinee was added to Peter Ustinov’s performance at the NAC with net net funds coming to the Club.

We have a wonderful opportunity now to get back to being the leader in the community.  If there is an advantage of the pandemic it is that virtual meetings can be held with attendees being anywhere in the world.  The event held with Dr. Koski was a good example with Zontians (and maybe others) from coast to coast and elsewhere attending.   Let’s get back to being community leaders and not show hesitancy, such as in setting  March 8th for an International Women’s Day event in case another organization has plans.

Zonta is a wonderful organization for forming lasting friendships.  Get out to beyond Ottawa’s borders and meet Zontians from the whole world.  It is so easy now to attend virtual District or International meetings; no longer does it involve travel or lodging costs.

Although there have been many “memorable” trips in the past and many a tale to tell!

This photo is of members who attended the 90th celebration on February 1st, 2020.  One of the last in-person meetings.  Let’s hope it’s not too much longer before we can have more of those.

Zonta is about empowering women – let’s make sure our contribution does just that.

Yours in Zonta


On May 15, 2019 Zonta Club of Ottawa, Canada Members Celebrated our 90th Anniversary at the Chateau Laurier with High Tea.

Our 88th Year of serving the Ottawa Community and Zonta International!

On Wednesday, May 28, 2014, the Zonta Club of Ottawa began celebrating our eighty-fifth anniversary.  Imagine, for eighty-five years a group of like-minded women, all decision makers in their respective careers, have been working to improve the status of women, in step with Zonta members in sixty-three other countries.  Today, 2016 – we are in our 88th year!

Guest speaker, The Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women
Guest speaker for our 85th Celebration and 2014 Awards Evening was The Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women

The first seventy years of our history were captured in a 70-page published book. Through the Chateau Door, a History of the Zonta Club of Ottawa, 1929-1989, written by Valerie Knowles, a Canadian writer.  The history as well as club records reveal a busy and productive women’s service club.

Today, we look back with pride on the remarkable contributions the club has made to the Ottawa community as well as to Zonta International over its eight-five years.


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