The walk will follow city sidewalks.
What is next for this dowdy street (from King Edward Ave to the Rideau River) that provides the eastern approach to downtown? This stretch of Rideau St has been getting a facelift for the last couple of years. Already four major pieces of adjacent land have been assembled for development. There are few heritage buildings left to save, although Wallis House (at Charlotte) is one of the most popular heritage re-use projects in the city. Nearby McDonald Gardens, with a rich heritage, will be included.
Will Rideau St be able to surmount the disadvantage of being the boundary between two very different communities (Sandy Hill and Lower Town) rather than the centre of a single neighbourhood? How vibrant was the street in the past? How have recent redevelopments worked out? What role do the heritage Rideau library branch, the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre, and the Bytowne Cinema play?
Participants will have an opportunity to participate. Let's discuss what kinds of future businesses will help integrate the community and which might hurt. What is the role of the 2005 community design plan (now in the process of being revised: a draft of the plan is expected before the walk) in the future of this area?
We'll meet in front of the Rideau Branch of the Ottawa Public Library (377 Rideau St., on the north side just east of Loblaws (Nelson St.)). The walk will proceed along Rideau St. to Besserer Park, at the west end of the Cummings Bridge. Then we'll loop back to Wallis House at the corner of Rideau and Charlotte.
Chris has lived in Ottawa for over 40 years; over 30 of those in downtown, and 10 in Sandy Hill. Dedicated to pedestrian issues, he was founder and president of Ottawalk (1988-2000) and was co-founder and co-manager of Vrtucar (2000-2006). He has been leading walks for Jane's Walk Ottawa every year from the very beginning. He convenes Friends of Uptown Rideau network.
Peter Ferguson is a member of Friends of Uptown Rideau and chair of Lowertown Community Association's planning committee. He is a retired staffer from Foreign Affairs.