The walk will follow city sidewalks and paved pathways, and possibly grassy areas in the park. Participants are advised to wear good walking shoes and bring water to drink if you think you will need it.
Photo: The Poets' Pathway walk, 2012.
This tour celebrates the literary history of New Edinburgh. New Edinburgh was a literary hotspot of 19th Century Ottawa, with poets’ homes and literary salons. We will walk past some homes of literary figures of the 19th century, see where Confederation Poet William Wilfred Campbell lived for a while, tell the story of Bessie Blair and her Sir Galahad, and read some of Campbell’s poems written for people who lived right here between 1901-1910. The tour will culminate with a visit to the Poets’ Pathway plaques (installed last November), where we say hello to poets Archibald Lampman and Alfred Garneau, and read some poems.
We would love to hear other stories of the neighbourhood, and to hear any poems anyone else would like to read.
The Poets’ Pathway is a 34-km walking trail around Ottawa established to commemorate the Confederation Poets, Canada’s and Ottawa’s famous poets of the 19th Century, who lived in this area and wrote about Ottawa’s local landscape. Our group is installing bronze poetry plaques along the trail, which runs from Britannia to Beechwood Cemetery. For each plaque, we select a poem that is appropriate to the landscape where it will be situated. The Poets’ Pathway also plans to recognize modern day poets of Ottawa.
It is part of our mandate to help maintain the trail areas as greenspace.
To date, we have installed seven plaques in five locations, including on the Ottawa River in Britannia Park, at Nepean Creek on Colonnade Rd, at an entrance to McCarthy Woods near Hunt Club, in Stanley Park in New Edinburgh (which we will visit on this walk) and in Beechwood Cemetery.
The walk will begin at 38 Charles St., from whence we will walk over to MacKay St., back to 42 Stanley Avenue, then down past the Minto Bridges and through the park to the Poets’ Pathway plaques beside the river in Stanley Park (New Edinburgh Park).
Ben is a musician and composer with a life long love of poetry and the outdoors. He has been active with the Poets' Pathway for many years, and this is his fourth year leading a tour with Jane's Walk Ottawa.