The February 1, 2016, front page of the Ottawa Citizen
(Sundays discontinued in mid-2012)
|Founded||1845(as The Bytown Packet)|
|Headquarters||1101 Baxter Road|
84,394 Saturdays in 2015
Established as The Bytown Packet in 1845 by William Harris, it was renamed the Citizen in 1851. The newspaper's original motto, which has recently been returned to the editorial page, was Fair play and Day-Light.
The paper has been through a number of owners. In 1846, Harris sold the paper to John Bell and Henry J. Friel. Robert Bell bought the paper in 1849. In 1877, Charles Herbert Mackintosh, the editor under Robert Bell, became publisher. In 1879, it became one of several papers owned by the Southam family. It remained under Southam until the chain was purchased by Conrad Black's Hollinger Inc.. In 2000, Black sold most of his Canadian holdings, including the flagship National Post to CanWest Global.
The editorial view of the Citizen has varied with its ownership, taking a reform, anti-Tory position under Harris and a conservative position under Bell. As part of Southam, it moved to the left, supporting the Liberals largely in opposition to the Progressive Conservative Party's support of free trade in the late 1980s. Under Black, it moved to the right and became a supporter of the Reform Party. In 2002, its publisher Russell Mills was dismissed following the publication of a story critical of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and an editorial calling for Chrétien's resignation. It endorsed the Conservative Party of Canada in the 2006 federal election.
The logo used to depict the top of the Peace Tower of the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa. In 2014 it was rebranded, with a new logo showing the paper's name over an outline of the Peace Tower on a green background.