This walk follows city streets and paved pathways.
Ever wonder how Wellington came to be Ottawa’s most quirky and confusing main street? How downtown Wellington and Wellington West came to be separated? Where the connecting lines are? Well the good news is, as DenVan (Dennis Van Staalduinen) will show you, you can still walk almost the whole the length of Wellington. And many clues and remnants remain from Wellington’s glory days. But with construction of the Light Rail and LeBreton Flats, this may be your last chance to see many of the links that still tell the story.
And what a story! The story of Wellington Street is the story of Ottawa in miniature – how it grew, how it changed, and the myriad forces pulling the street – and the city – apart and putting it back together. Industrialization, the railroads, government action (and mistakes), and most importantly, the patterns and priorities of people using the public spaces of Ottawa. All have played their part. And it’s all there in the abused old bones of Wellington Street.
Tour leader and local storyteller DenVan will tell that story and will highlight dozens of the places, stories, and characters along the route, including: the long lost Lover’s Walk, Lorne Greene’s birthplace, ghosts of LRT, a legendary tunnel filled with golden treasure (spoiler: it’s beer) and more.
The twitter hashtag for this walk is #OldWelli
This walk will trace the story and historical route of Wellington Street – starting at the intersection of Bank Street and Wellington, then heading West out of the ceremonial and commercial heart of Ottawa. Then we’ll trace the ghosts of Wellington down the escarpment following them westward across LeBreton Flats. We’ll end where the two Wellingtons used to connect near Bayview Station and the current O-Train tracks – and maybe hang around for a coffee and chat at Art-Is-In Bakery in the City Centre building.
In his third year as a Jane’s Walk leader, DenVan is a story teller. His day job is telling stories for companies and products as a branding and social media guy with Brandvelope Consulting. But he's fascinated by stories of all kinds. As an urban dad with three kids, a performer, community activist, and urban public space geek, he often speaks in the media and conferences on smart growth issues. He also helped found the Champlain Oaks Project, the Wellington West BIA, and is a Board Member with the Champlain Park Community Association. You can find him online at www.DenVan.ca, @DenVan on Twitter, or @DenVanGram on Instagram.