The New Rideau Canal Promenade Unveiled Along the Rideau Canal Pathway
OTTAWA – May 14, 2019
One of the most important historical developments in Ottawa was the creation of the Rideau Canal, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Member of Parliament (Ottawa Centre), on behalf of the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, was joined today by Jean-Claude Poissant, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food; Marc Seaman, Chair of the National Capital Commission Board of Directors, and the Commission’s Chief Executive Officer, Tobi Nussbaum; Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa; and representatives of the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation and Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn First Nation to unveil the Rideau Canal Promenade, a series of outdoor exhibits that have been installed on the pedestrian/bike path along the 7.8-kilometre Canal.
Each of seven exhibits includes sculpture, plaques and illustrations that highlight the history and cultural significance of that particular location of the Rideau Canal. Bikers, joggers and walkers will enjoy reading about the importance of water to the Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation, how the Canal was built for military purposes but ended up being used for commerce, and finally how the Canal achieved its world-class reputation for recreation in both winter and summer.
The seven sites are the Ottawa Locks, Shaw Centre, Pretoria Bridge, Lansdowne Park, Dows Lake, the Central Experimental Farm and Hartwells Lockstation.
The development of the Rideau Canal Promenade project was managed by the Department of Canadian Heritage in partnership with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Parks Canada, the NCC and the City of Ottawa. The Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn, Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation and the Algonquins of Ontario were also involved.
“History is not just in books, webpages or museums; it is all around us. This is especially true in the Capital Region, which evolved along with Canada as we became a nation. I am therefore very pleased to have been able to work with my federal, municipal and Indigenous colleagues to create an engaging, outdoor experience that tells the story of one the most important historical developments in Ottawa and Canada—the creation of the Rideau Canal.”
—The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism
“Canadians can take great pride in the Rideau Canal system, which stretches over 202 kilometres between Lake Ontario and the Ottawa River. These seven wonderful exhibits in the Capital will really enhance our experience of the Canal and help us understand why the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada declared it to be of national historic significance. Every year the Canal attracts thousands of visitors, who will now learn more about this remarkable engineering achievement and its role in the development of Canada.”
—The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Member of Parliament (Ottawa Centre)
The construction of the Rideau Canal began in 1827. It was planned and managed by Lt. Col. John By of the Royal Engineers. It was originally constructed for strategic military purposes to help defend the colony of Canada during a time when the United States of America vied for control of the region.
The Rideau Canal was a vital corridor for thousands of immigrants moving to settle in western Canada, as well as for the transportation of commercial goods.
The Canal remains the best preserved example and oldest continuously operating slackwater canal in North America.
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism
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