Un-Built Ottawa - Historical Mega-Projects That Never Happened

You might have noticed that there's no giant dam with a lake a few hundred metres upstream from downtown Ottawa today. Nor are there docks for ocean-going ships in Hull, nor a giant star-shaped fortress on Parliament Hill, nor a century-old transit tunnel under Wellington Street, nor a 25-year-old "Grand Metcalfe Boulevard" slicing up the middle of the core. It might surprise you that these are just a few of the dozens of huge city-altering projects that have been seriously proposed and considered by prominent leaders at various points over Ottawa history.

Join local history nerd and long-time Jane's Walk leader Dennis Van Staalduinen as he takes you on another mind-bending stroll through alternative history. He'll share lots of examples of surprising mega-projects from Ottawa history distinguished by the fact that they never happened, and we'll consider together how radically different the urban fabric of Ottawa would be if any—or heaven forbid, all—of these projects had gone ahead.

The Grand Metcalfe Boulevard Plan

Carte indiquant le point de départ

We'll meet at the south side of the National War Memorial in Confederation Square. From there, we will step into the past and envision how our city might be different today if each of these projects had been completed. The visualizing will take place around Wellington St. and Parliament Hill. We'll work our way Westward along Wellington / the top of the escarpment for the first part of the walk, then descend to river level toward the end around Richmond Landing / Lebreton Flats. We'll finish up near the Mill St. Brew Pub. Participants may wish to stop at the pub for refreshments after the walk

Note: This walk has a higher limit on attendance than the other walks. The walk is entirely out-of-doors, but participants may want to wear masks in any case, as social distancing may be more difficult given the group size. There will be extra amplification for the walk leader.

Accessibility: The walk will follow city sidewalks and paved pathways. Please keep your 'visualizations' tidy and free of construction debris ;>).

Please review our covid guidelines before attending a walk.

Au sujet du guide

Dennis Van Staalduinen is a seasoned Jane' Walk walk leader and an advocate for the Wellington West business district. A renowned local storyteller, he loves discovering the hidden connections between cities, stories, and history, and over the years has led more than a dozen compelling and entertaining new walks for Jane's Walk, including 'Sir John A. Macdonald Gets an Eyeful,' 'Necropolis Now! Monuments to Dead People,' and 'Ghosts of Wellington Street.'


Dennis Van Staalduinen

Date:sam 17 juin, 2023
Durée: 2 heures
Langue: anglais
Début:National War Memorial, Confederation Square
Fin:near the Mill Street Brew Pub
Distance:1.5 kms

The walk will follow city sidewalks and paved pathways.

Galerie d'images
Canada's National War Memorial, Confederation Sq. Artist's concept of the view of Parliament from the Grand Metcalfe Boulevard. Dennis Van Staalduinen speaking to participants at his walk Town & Crown (2014), Dennis talks to attendees at his walk on Alternate Histories of Ottawa Dennis talks to attendees at his walk on Alternate Histories of Ottawa, 2016
Portez-vous bénévole pour mener cette promenade