Story kiosk location
- Corner of Sussex and York
(1965) The year that Café Le Hibou opened its doors at 521 Sussex Drive where it hosted a range of live music performances until closing in 1975.
What happened here?
- Café Le Hibou attracted big names like Joni Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Gordon Lightfoot, Bruce Cockburn, , George Harrison, Leonard Cohen, and The Doors.
It’s late on Tuesday night, 19 March 1968 and you’re heading down the road to Café Hibou to see Joni Mitchell play...
But wait, who is that going in? Can it be? No doubt, yes, it’s Jimi Hendrix!
Café Le Hibou was founded in 1961 by Ottawa francophone Denis Faulkner, a University of Ottawa student. The coffee shop, which started as “a little place for people to meet and talk and have good coffee and listen to folk singers,” morphed into an iconic venue where popular poets, musicians, and artists performed until 1975.
Café Le Hibou played a vital role for young and upcoming Canadian musicians, including Five Man Electrical Band, Joni Mitchell, and Bruce Cockburn.
One of the many famous moments in its history was when Jimi Hendrix came after his own show to hear Joni Mitchell perform. International stars such as Muddy Waters also performed at Café Le Hibou.
Distinguished by its distinctive membership card, shown here, Café Le Hibou played a vital role in Ottawa’s cultural life. So much more than a café and meeting place, it was where musicians and their fans created moments to remember for a lifetime.