Name: Chris Bradshaw & Peter Ferguson
Date: May 03, 2015
Time: 10:30 AM
Duration: 1.25 hr
Language: English
Start: Ottawa Public Library, 377 Rideau St
End: Wallis House, Rideau & Charlotte
Area: Sandy Hill/Lowertown
Distance: 1.5 km

The walk will follow city sidewalks and paved paths.

Uptown Rideau: A Mainstreet Interrupted



Photo:  Wallis House pre-renovation.

What is next for this dowdy street (from King Edward Ave to the Rideau River) that provides the eastern approach to downtown?   This stretch of Rideau St has been getting a facelift for the last couple of years. Already four major pieces of adjacent land have been assembled for development. There are few heritage buildings left to save, although Wallis House (at Charlotte) is one of the most popular heritage re-use projects in the city. Will Rideau St be able to surmount the disadvantage of being the boundary between two very different communities (Sandy Hill and Lower Town) rather than the centre of a single neighbourhood? How vibrant was the street in the past? How have recent redevelopments worked out? What role do the heritage Rideau library branch, the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre, and the Bytowne Cinema play?

Participants will have an opportunity to participate. Let's discuss what kinds of future businesses will help integrate the community and which might hurt. What is the role of the 2005 community design plan (now in the process of being revised:  a draft of the plan is expected before the walk) in the future of this area?


The walk will proceed along Rideau St. from near Rideau library branch to the refurbished Besserer Park (at west end of Cummings Bridge) and loop back to heritage Wallis House at Charlotte St.


Chris has lived in Ottawa for over 45 years; 34 of those in downtown, and nine in Sandy Hill. Dedicated to pedestrian issues, he was founder and president of Ottawalk (1988-2000) and was co-founder and co-manager of Vrtucar (2000-2006). He has been leading walks for Jane's Walk Ottawa every year since its debut.

Peter Ferguson is an active resident of the Rideau St. community.  Among his activities, he is working on the Uptown Rideau Community Design Plan, he is researching the history of the nearby Borden House, and he is a member of the Watergate Tenants Association.