When Henry Met Sammy: 12 Alternate Ottawa Histories… That Almost Happened

Photo:  Alternate Histories of Ottawa 'Movie Poster'  (design by Dennis Van Staalduinen)

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.

Carte indiquant le point de départ

We'll meet in the courtyard in front of Library & Archives Canada. The walk will proceed down to Ottawa River behind the Archives, then a bit West before coming back up to head east through downtown along Sparks and Wellington, ending near the canal.

This walk will also be held on Sunday, May 8.

Au sujet du guide

Dennis Van Staalduinen—DenVan as he is known online— is a local storyteller, dad, community activist, and communications consultant. He thrives on discovering the hidden connections between cities, stories, and history, and develops entertaining new walks every year for Jane's Walk Ottawa-Gatineau. His nine walks of previous years have been well-attended and well-received—including Necropolis Now, Ghosts of Wellington West, and the 2015 Architecture Week walk Plans of the Crown, Ghosts of the Town.

If you tweet about this walk, use #AltOtt


Dennis Van Staalduinen

Date:sam 7 mai, 2016
Durée: 2 heures
Langue: anglais
Début:Library & Archives Bldg, front steps
Fin:near Wellington & the canal
Quartier:Centretown/Parliament Hill
Distance:2.0 kms

May be difficult for mobility-challenged participants. There are some grassy slopes, stairs, and the route traverses rough ground near the LRT construction site.

Galerie d'images
Volunteer to Marshal This Walk