Ottawa Secular Chats

Secular Chat is an informal weekly discussion group for atheists, agnostics, humanists, skeptics, and other free-thinkers in the National Capital Region.

Hosted by the Centre for Inquiry (CFI), Secular Chat meets every Sunday from 2:00 to 3:00 pm in the upstairs back room at the Fox & Feather Pub on Elgin at MacLaren. Similar to CFI’s former “Sunday Unsermon” group, enlightening conversation and fun debate topics can vary from week to week
based on the interests of participants that day: current events, ethics, skepticism, science, philosophy, history, counter-apologetics, comparative interpretation of religious scriptures, and any other subjects related to atheism and science-based thought. CFI volunteers lightly moderate the
meeting to help ensure everyone has a chance to talk. You can* RSVP through* Meetup . If you would also like to come earlier at 12:00 to offer or receive emotional support on leading a secular lifestyle, please RSVP to Living Without Religion.

Living without Religion (LWR) is a weekly peer support group for believers and non-believers who have left their religion, are considering leaving their religion, and/or are encountering challenges with friends, family, classmates or co-workers due to religious differences. If you’re already
comfortable leading a secular lifestyle, you can also come to offer emotional support or advice, or just to enjoy a sense of social community that religions often offer.

Moderated by volunteers from the Centre for Inquiry (CFI), LWR meets every Sunday from 12:00 to 1:45 pm in the upstairs back room at the Fox & Feather Pub on Elgin at MacLaren. Seating is limited. Please arrive on time so we can make sure everyone has a comfortable place at one of the tables. If
you’re going through emotional difficulties and there’s a waiting list, please show up early and speak to a moderator so we can find space for you. If you don’t feel comfortable sending an RSVP via Meetup and would like to let us know about your presence in a confidential manner, feel free to
email directly to If you can no longer make it, be sure to cancel your RSVP so others can attend.

Ottawa Secular Events


CFI Ottawa is doing two secular events this solstice season run by active CFI team members.

We have a secular brunch planned for Dec 24, the result of CFI Ottawa’s very successful Living Without Religion project. It was observed by LWR participants that many members had been shunned by their family for being non-religious or they had no family at all in Canada. We have organized this event to help make an otherwise lonely holiday season happier and although this effort comes out of LWR, all are welcome. (but please RSVP on Meetup so we can make sure we have enough space at the restaurant.)

Acknowledging that even secular people can be busy at this time of year, we have another winter get together: a potluck on Dec 30 held at a CFI member’s home. Drop in for as long as you want, to re connect with old friends, or meet new ones. (RSVP Here)

Everyone is welcome to attend either or both of these events.


2016 Ottawa Pride March


CFI-Canada has been a long-time supporter of LGBT rights, and a participant in pride parades across the nation. In Ottawa, CFI has walked in the Capital Pride parade since 2009. Our message, “Stop faith-based bigotry,” is a reminder that most of the barriers held up against LGBT equality are religiously motivated.

CFI Ottawa marched on August 21 in the Ottawa Pride March. Despite the rain we were there to support the GLBT community against Faith Based Bigotry. We had 600 “Stop Faith Based Bigotry” stickers and we handed out every single one.


Our message against the few preaching hate on the sidelines, was very much appreciated by marchers and bystanders. This writer was personally thanked by many from the sidelines for all we do and those words of support were reward enough.

Choice in Dying – Informal discussion in Ottawa, Tuesday May 3

Gary Bauslaugh, former editor at Humanist Perspectives and author of several books on assisted dying, is in Ottawa this week to speak to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights regarding suggestions for amendments to Bill C-14.

Gary will make a short presentation, after which there will be an opportunity for informal group discussion. Everyone is invited to participate – we welcome the opportunity to discuss a variety of opinions on this important topic.

Start time is 7pm.

We will be at Pub Italia – 434 Preston. Please ask for the CFI reservation


Meaning without a Maker?

Meaning without a Maker?

Sunday,  May 1
7:00 PM

Ottawa Little Theatre
400 King Edward Ave., Ottawa, ON

Dig & Delve, Centre for Inquiry Canada, and Ravi Zacharias International Ministries jointly present a public dialogue between a Christian and an atheist regarding the universal search for meaning.

Admission is free; donations will be accepted at the event to help defray expenses.

You can also donate directly to CFIC to support this event:

Space is limited – please sign up at to reserve your spot.


The Speakers

Dr. Os Guinness is an author and social critic. A witness to the climax of the Chinese revolution in 1949, he was expelled with many other foreigners in 1951 and returned to Europe where he was educated in England. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of London and his D.Phil in the social sciences from Oriel College, Oxford.

Dr. Christopher DiCarlo is a philosopher, educator, and author. He currently teaches in the Faculties of Philosophy at the University of Toronto and Ryerson University. He also teaches at Sheridan College in Brampton and Oakville, ON.

Space is limited; to ensure your spot, please click here to pre-register.