Ottawa Off The Beaten Path Tips by johngayton Top 5 Page for this destination
Ottawa Off The Beaten Path: 118 reviews and 182 photos
The Memorial Itself
I had taken a picture of this memorial as a foreground to The Old City Hall without actually understanding what it was all about. It was only on my return from Canada, when going through my pictures, that I decided to investigate further and it really has been quite educational.
The memorial is situated opposite the Old City Hall on Sussex Drive about a mile or so upriver from Downtown Ottawa and commemorates the 822 people who lost their lives during the 2nd World War in Canada, the US and West Indies and who have no known grave. Many of the dead were trainees participating in the Commonwealth Air Training Plan which was predominantly based in Canada. The Air Training Plan was instigated by Britain who needed to train aircrews during the war but had neither the facilities nor the physical space to do so and also required a place where such crews could be safely trained without the daily threat from the Luftwaffe.
Thus Canada was chosen and at its height the program involved 231 training sites, over 100,000 personel and was responsible for the training of over 130,000 people from all over the Commonwealth(about 50,000 of whom were pilots) who then returned to Britain to serve with the RAF.
The "Battle of Britain" was one of the turning points of WWII and whilst there were the inevitable losses of life during such an intensive "crash course" (sometimes literally) those who died during their training are as equally remembered as those who died in action.
The memorial was commissioned by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and the Canada Public Works Department and unvieled on July 1st 1959 by HM Queen Elizabeth the 2nd.
The Ottawa "Man With Two Hats"
Ottawa has an amazingly eclectic collection (can you have an "eclectic collection" or is that an oxymoron?) of odd-bod statues and memorials and here out at Dow's Lake is "The Man with Two Hats".
Dow's Lake itself is a pleasant wander (or skate in the winter) up the Rideau Canal, heading south of Downtown, and has a history all of its own. It's main claim to fame is being the saviour of Ottawa during the Great Fire of 1870, but that's a different story from this one.
The "Man with Two Hats" stands majestically across the road from the lake itself waving his twin bonnets as a salutation to the Canadian soldiers who helped liberate the Netherlands during the Second World War and is itself a twin of an identical statue at Apeldoorn.
During the war the Dutch Crown Princess Juliana, escaping the ravages or war-torn Europe, made here home here in Canada and her third child, the Princess Margriet, was born in Ottawa's Civic Hospital.
Margriet returned to Canada on May 11th 2002 to unveil the statue here, having unveiled its original back home a couple of years earlier, as a token both to her own roots and to the everlasting companionhood of the two countries.
The Grandoise Old City Hall
This fairly modern building out by the Rideau River on Sussex Drive has accumulated quite a controversial history in its relatively short lifetime. It was originally built to be Ottawa's City Hall and was officially opened by Princess Margaret in 1958. At the time it was considered to be the epitome of Canadian style (being awarded a Massey Medal for its design) and was the first public building in Canada to be fully air-conditioned.
In 1988 the then mayor, Jim Durrell, decided that the building required a revamp and the Internationally-famous, Israeli-born, Canadian Architect Moshe Safdie was chosen, after an open competition, to lead the project. However the city council then had qualms about cost and the original design was compromised in order to cut costs and instead of a pair of grand observation towers to the south of the building they ended up with a scaffold instead.
However the revamped building proved to be too large for its needs and much of its space remained unused and was subsequently sublet to the Foreign Affairs Department. Then in 2001 the function of the City Hall was transferred to the ROMC building in Downtown and this building sold off to the Public Works Department and is now predominantly used by Foreign Affairs and known simply as 111 Sussex.
Even to this day this expensive fiasco still gets the odd mention in the local press as an example of proliferate public expenditure!
Rideau Falls in February
...quite impressive nevertheless!
If you head out of Dowtown Ottawa following the river westwards along Sussex Drive you arrive, after about a mile, at the Rideau River which is Ottawa's "raison d'etre" as it was the fact that the Rideau River was chosen by John By to form the start point for the Rideau Canal from the Ottawa River to Kingston. The waterfalls here give the river itself its name, Rideau being the French for "curtain" and was by all accounts so-named by Samuel de Champlain in 1613.
The first section of the Rideau Canal was constructed in order to bypass these falls with its workcamp and associated infrastrucure becoming a town in its own right (Bytown) which subsequently became the Ottawa which we now all know and love.
More Reviews (58)
- See All Across The River To The Museum of...
- See All A Freebie For Art Lovers - Sussex Street
- See All A Little Bit Of Everything And Cheap!
- See All Nice Looking Courtyard!
johngayton's Related Pages
Ottawa Travel Guide
Member Travel Pages
- "CANADA - OTTAWA"
- "My Home town.....a work in progress : o ]"
- "O t t a w a"
- "Definitely A Tale Of Two Cities!!"
- "Ottawa, Ontario! The Canadian Capital!"
- "The capital city of Canada"
- "Ottawa! The Capital!"
- See All...
- Things to Do in Ottawa
- Hotels in Ottawa
- Transportation in Ottawa
- Nightlife in Ottawa
- Restaurants in Ottawa
- Shopping in Ottawa
- Warnings and Dangers in Ottawa
- See All...
Explore the World
- Pellestrina Hotels
- Rapu Rapu Island Hotels
- Turkbuku Hotels
- Warner Robins Hotels
- Detroit Off The Beaten Path
- State Parks, Animals and Nature
- Benidorm Off The Beaten Path
- British Virgin Islands Off The Beaten Path
- Shinjuku Off The Beaten Path
- Jodhpur Off The Beaten Path
- Kassel Off The Beaten Path
- Roswell Off The Beaten Path
- Castle Rock Off The Beaten Path
- Nantucket Off The Beaten Path
- Basse-Normandie Off The Beaten Path
- Yellowstone National Park Off The Beaten Path
Badges & Stats in Ottawa
- 62 Reviews
- 125 Photos
- 14 Forum posts
- 12 Comments
- See All Stats
- See All Badges (106)
Have you been to Ottawa?Share Your Travels
Latest Activity in Ottawa
- Posted in Miscellaneous Forum "Re: Word Association Game."
- Commented on one of johngayton's Ottawa travel pages
- Uploaded a Photo to "Across The River To The Museum of Civilization"
- Wrote a Review Across The River To The Museum of Civilization in Ottawa Transportation
- updated a Ottawa Travel Page "Definitely A Tale Of Two Cities!!"
Photos in OttawaSee All Photos (125)
Top 10 Pages
- Berlin Intro, 75 reviews, 266 photos, 9 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Lundy Island Intro, 63 reviews, 270 photos, 7 travelogues
- Krakow Intro, 66 reviews, 221 photos, 8 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Varna Intro, 65 reviews, 182 photos, 3 travelogues
- Bergamo Intro, 39 reviews, 191 photos, 6 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Exeter Intro, 63 reviews, 164 photos, 2 travelogues
- Copenhagen Intro, 52 reviews, 168 photos, 5 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Plovdiv Intro, 44 reviews, 147 photos, 1 travelogue
- Top 5 Page for this destination Lynmouth Intro, 35 reviews, 153 photos, 9 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Ottawa Intro, 62 reviews, 125 photos
FriendsSee All Friends (120)
Latest Ottawa hotel reviews
- Lord Elgin Hotel
- 912 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Dec 2, 2013
- Travelodge Hotel & Convention Centre - Ottawa West
- 311 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Dec 3, 2013
- Byward Bed and Breakfast
- 38 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: May 27, 2013
- Capital Hill Hotel And Suites
- 233 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Dec 2, 2013
- Radisson Hotel Ottawa Parliament Hill
- 214 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 14, 2013
- Extended Stay Deluxe Ottawa - Downtown
- 245 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 22, 2013
- HI Ottawa Jail Hostel
- 115 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 20, 2013
- ByWard Blue Inn
- 187 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Dec 3, 2013
- Best Western Victoria Park Suites
- 300 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Dec 1, 2013
- Beacon Hill Motel
- 19 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Sep 18, 2013
- Embassy Hotel And Suites
- 124 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Dec 1, 2013
- Cartier Place Suite Hotel
- 264 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 28, 2013
- The National Hotel and Suites Ottawa
- 305 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Dec 3, 2013
- Cardinal Suites
- 15 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 22, 2010
- The Business Inn
- 266 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 30, 2013
- Parliament Hill- 110 Reviews, 280 Photos
- Byward Market- 34 Reviews, 83 Photos
- Ottawa and area Museums- 64 Reviews, 135 Photos
- Rideau Canal - Skating in Winter- 18 Reviews, 23 Photos
- National Art Gallery of Canada- 34 Reviews, 64 Photos
- Winterlude- 19 Reviews, 25 Photos
- Views of Ottawa- 16 Reviews, 32 Photos
- Parliament Hill - Changing of the Guard- 17 Reviews, 33 Photos
- Rideau Canal- 26 Reviews, 56 Photos
- Rideau Hall- 14 Reviews, 48 Photos
See All Ottawa Things to Do