Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Jane's Walk Ottawa 2014 this weekend

This weekend (May 3-4, 2014) is the annual Jane's Walk Ottawa series of free urbanist walking tours, and as with last year, I'm publishing a list of walks in Somerset Ward.

I mentioned two of the walks I went on last year in my blog posts The Lonely Elm (Dennis van Staalduinen's walk on Wellington Street, who this year is giving a walk in Champlain Park) and The stones don't fall far from the hill (Quentin Gall's talk on Ottawa's Building and Monument Stones), both of which seem to have been one-offs.

Here's the rundown of Jane's Walks in Centretown for this year:

Jane's Talk Kickoff
Thursday, May 1, 2014, 7-9pm
Arts Court, 2 Daly Ave (2nd floor Courtroom & Library)

The weekend kicks off with talks tomorrow and Friday in Ottawa and Gatineau. The one on our side of the river is at Arts Court (Daly/Nicholas), one of Ottawa's oldest civic buildings. From the Jane's Walk homepage: "Speakers include Ottawa poet David O'Meara, story-teller Dennis Van Staalduinen, and author Alain Miguelez, Our MC for the evening will be CBC Ottawa news anchor Adrian Harewood."

The "Ottawa In One Room" installation by Jessica Aylsworth and Jon Booth will be making a second appearance that night through the weekend, after debuting at last year's Nuit Blanche. In the installation, videos of Ottawa submitted by users are projected onto translucent fabric panels floating through the room, which you can walk through.

Arts Court's stone exterior belies some of its modernist interior spaces

Centretown Garden Gems make Connections
Saturday, May 3, 2014, 10am-12pm
125 McLeod (Gladstone & Cartier)

Bonnie Mabee, longtime member of the CCCA's Trees & Greenspace Committee, has hosted a walk each year on the parks and gardens in Centretown. This year's edition goes through seven small "garden gems", including two guerrilla gardens (gardens on public property maintained by volunteers), community gardens, and floral gardens.

As a bonus, bring your shopping bag because the Nanny Goat Hill Good Food Market will be hosting a Market in the rear parking lot of 125 McLeod on Saturday from 11:30 to 2:30. Get your fresh, affordable produce after your walk!

Food Trees of Centretown
Sunday, May 4, 2014, 11am-12pm.
Minto Park (Elgin & Gilmour)

If you miss Bonnie's talk on Saturday, you can take in Katrina Siks' Hidden Harvest talk in the Golden Triangle on the fruit and nuts hiding in plain sight in our neighbourhood. I might have to go to this one, after my neighbour cut down the mature apple tree overhanging my back yard last year!

The walk will meet in Minto Park, which has a games table installed with funds raised by the CCCA:

'Foodies' Walk in Centretown
Saturday, May 3, 2014, 11am-12:30pm
Whalesbone 504a Kent St (at Arlington) to Gladstone & Percy

Continuing thematically (rather than chronologically), Shiang Dai and Mark Farren are giving a walk of the foodie locations in the southwest part of Centretown, starting with Whalesbone. If you've never been to Whalesbone's Brown Bag Lunch (Tues-Fri 11-2, Sat 11-3) you're missing out on some of the tastiest Fish & Chips, fish sandwiches, and 'chowda' in town. (Note: Whalesbone apparently just opened a new location at 40 Beech St near Preston, a.k.a. The Beechbone)

I blogged about Red Apron when it moved into its current location at 564 Gladstone. True Loaf Bakery, across the street, is one of the only bakeries in Centretown that I've heard of that makes tasty gluten-free bread.

Along the Rideau Canal: the Locks to the Corktown Bridge
Sunday, May 4, 2014, 2-3:30pm
Bytown Museum to Corktown Footbridge

A graduate of Lisgar Collegiate, a rail aficionado, and a longtime Heritage Ottawa member, David Jeanes possesses a wealth of knowledge about Ottawa's history that he never hesitates to share.

This year, he'll be giving a walk that he normally gives on Colonel By Day, starting at the Bytown Museum and finishing at the Corktown Footbridge.

Two years ago, he gave a Jane's Walk of the rail history of LeBreton Flats, and as usual for David's walking tours, it was very well attended. I mentioned some of the information from his talk in my two-part 3D post on the aqueduct in LeBreton Flats:

Discovering the O-Train Multi-Use Path
Saturday, May 3, 2014, 11am-12pm
Carling O-Train Station to City Centre

CfSC Vice-President Alex deVries and DCA President Michael Powell will be giving a Jane's Walk on the O-Train pathway. They were both on the committee for the planning of the pathway, which I blogged about as part of the fifteen-part series on the Somerset Street West Reconstruction, in the three entries starting in part 11.

Alex gave an excellent bike tour on last year's Jane's Walks weekend, starting at the War Museum and heading through downtown to the Corktown Footbridge. One of the stops was on the picturesque Portage Bridge (this year's will be on foot, though):

Art and Culture of Little Italy
Saturday, May 3, 2014, 9-11am
St Anthony's Church, Booth & Gladstone

Across from Piazza Dante, St Anthony's Church recently celebrated its 100th anniversary. Luciano Pradal, editor of Il Postino, the newspaper of Ottawa's Italian-Canadian community. His walk will continue through Little Italy on Preston Street to Pasticceria Gelateria Italiana. The famous Pasticceria suffered a fire in late 2011 and reopened in May 2012. In addition to delicious pastries and gelato, they also make wedding cakes. The Jane's Walk will apparently include a tour of the "Cake Gallery"!

Jane's Walk Wrap-up Party
Sunday, May 4, 2014, drop in anytime between 4pm-7pm
Lieutenant's Pump, Elgin and Waverley

The annual wrap party is a great place to mingle with walk-givers and people who went on other walks that you might have missed. As always, it's held at the Lieutenant's Pump on Elgin Street at Waverley. Swing by for a drink or a bite!

Oh, and if you wanted to check out any of the walks that aren't in Centretown, see the full schedule on the Jane's Walk Ottawa website.

Have a fun time!

[Tune in on Wednesdays at noon for a new pedestrian-themed blog post. View the Pedestrians label for previous Peds on Weds posts]

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