To switch things up this week, I’ve decided to explore one of my favorite outdoor spaces in central Ottawa: Strathcona Park. Situated on the eastern edge of Sandy Hill, the park is centrally-located yet far enough from the buzz of Rideau Street and the Market. The park stretches out along the Rideau River, with the river on one side, and a row of embassy residences on the other.
The existing area of the park was used as a rifle range in pre-WWI Ottawa, before being redeveloped into a park and the site of Ottawa’s first golf course. There’s plenty of great natural and man-made gems in this one, including a 19th century sculpted fountain that sits on the North entrance to the park on Laurier Street.
For this week’s segment, I’ve decided to focus on one of the many great features at Strathcona Park: the stone and bronze sculpture by Stephen Barthwaite located in the center of the park. At first glance the piece looks like the ruins of an ancient Greek temple. In reality, Barthwaite used a variety of building pieces, all taken from historical buildings in Ottawa. Chunks of the Parliament Building, the Chateau Laurier and the Royal Canadian Mint are all part of his intricate arrangement. As you walk past the stone pieces you will notice bronze statuettes in small niches all around the sculpture. Definitely worth checking out if you’re in the area!
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