2024 Theme - Towards Water - Vers l’eau

Jane’s Walk Ottawa-Gatineau 2024 « Towards Water »

“The waterfront isn’t just something unto itself. It’s connected to everything else,” said Jane Jacobs, a prominent urbanist. 

This connection is twofold; it refers to the relationship between cities and their waterfronts – as ever-changing as cities themselves. 

Evolving from its past definition during the industrial era as a city’s service yard, the urban waterfront has, in recent decades, taken on new meanings. 

On one hand, the waterfront is playing a more significant role in transforming the urban fabric of a city or even reshaping a city’s identity. 

On the other hand, successful urban waterfronts have also demonstrated how city resources – such as available land, cleaner water, historic preservation, and urban revitalization – can be unlocked and realized, and how these elements can be integrated into the city and public life.

(The above from this article: https://blogs.worldbank.org/en/sustainablecities/transforming-urban-waterfronts)

In Ottawa, going further back from the early industrial era of paper & pulp and other commercial uses of our waterways, our rivers provided key transportation routes to Indigenous and early settlers populations. Furthermore, the convergence of the Ottawa, Gatineau and Rideau rivers were a key Indigenous trading and meeting place for thousands of years, as archeological evidence has proven.

New efforts to revitalize and conserve our waterways have resulted in wildlife resurgence and many recreational public sites for citizens and tourists. 

There are countless organizations in the Ottawa-Gatineau area that have an interest and indeed a focus on our waterways many of whom will be participating in Jane’s Walk 2024 to lead participants through their projects, their findings, and their passions. 

Our 2024 schedule of walks will feature, among others, the new community dock in Pointe-Gatineau, the rich history of the Ottawa River and the Deschênes Rapids, a walk along the Rideau Canal, and Mud Lake microbes. We will also feature a number of walks by the National Capital Commission, who are doing outstanding and exciting work around sustainability, mixed use development, revitalization and recreation incorporating the region’s waterways

Join us on May 4th and 5th as we look Towards Water in the national capital area.