When Henry Met Sammy: 12 Alternate Ottawa Histories… That Almost Happened
Did you ever hear the story of the famous English explorer who met the famous French explorer in Ottawa? Or the guy who tied his shoe and saved two lives? Or the rusty old cannon that changed Canadian history?
We’ll explore how each place is the result of choices by people, made at particular points in history, and driven by priorities that made sense at the time. But what if those choices were different? What if historical moments, personal decisions, or global events had been slightly altered. How would Ottawa be different?
Local storyteller and history enthusiast Dennis Van Staalduinen will lead you on this mind-bending walk to explore alternate timelines for 12 spaces in downtown Ottawa. For each space, he'll tell you the actual story of a "hinge point" in Ottawa history when a space-changing decision was made—he'll describe the players, the context, and the options that were considered. Then he'll pose an alternate story—where only one small choice could have radically changed our city. For better. And worse.
Come hear about the poet who didn’t become a monster, the secret agent’s cigar, and the New York Irishman who stopped an awful war by starting another.