Our History

At the invitation of Dr. Noubar Bostanian, Bishop Aris Shirvanian, Vicar-General for Canada of the Eastern Diocese of North America, came to Ottawa in October 1977 to celebrate the Divine liturgy for the faithful in Canada’s capital. Bishop Aris returned to Ottawa to celebrate the Christmas liturgy (Dzenount), on January 7, 1978. During the second liturgy, he announced the establishment of a new parish in Ottawa under the name of “Saint Mesrob” and the appointment of the members of the first Parish Council. A few months later, Bishop Aris returned to Ottawa to celebrate the baptism of two Ottawa-born children, Caroline Ashekian and Ardashes Kassakhian.

The members of the first Parish Council were Mr. Levon Civan (Chair), Dr. Jirair Arsenian (Vice-Chair), Dr. Noubar Bostanian (Treasurer), Mr. Vahé Balabanian (Secretary) and Dr. Parsekh Ashekian (Advisor).

Saint Mark’s Anglican Church on Fisher Avenue was rented for the religious services. Saint Mark’s had been recently renovated by Mr. John Adjeleian, who built the adjacent Bishop Reed Hall. For forty years, Saint Mark’s has been both a place of worship and of community.

In the 70s and 80s, the Parish organized four or five liturgies every year. In the 1990s the number of liturgies was increased to ten, then twelve a year. The Parish Council is also very active in working to foster an active community life, by organizing cultural and social activities, to allow Armenian community members to interact.