Voice from past would spark Sparks Street

Ottawa Citizen - - LETTERS -

Drop­ping the re­mains of a joint or edi­ble at the side of the road (or in a pub­lic park), or toss­ing it out a car win­dow, can pose a sig­nif­i­cant risk to dogs, cats and other mam­mals. Jeff and Mar­garet Rose of Man­otick

Re: ARM­CHAIR MAYOR: One way to re­dis­cover Sparks Street, Oct. 11.

I read with great in­ter­est Thomas Brawn’s sug­ges­tion of cre­at­ing an app to high­light the story of Sparks Street. I salute this idea and add one of my own.

Canada’s most fa­mous ad­dress is 56 Sparks St. Ot­tawa hu­man­i­tar­ian Lotta Hitschmanova, who helped found the Uni­tar­ian Ser­vice Com­mit­tee of Canada, for­ever im­planted that ad­dress in the mem­o­ries of mil­lions of Cana­di­ans via her heart­felt ap­peals on TV and ra­dio in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s.

A bust of Lotta cur­rently re­sides on the wall be­side the en­trance to 56 Sparks. Imag­ine what it would be like to have a record­ing of her old pub­lic ser­vice an­nounce­ments play­ing for vis­i­tors as they passed by. Let’s take a tip from the Os­car Peter­son memo­rial at the Na­tional Arts Cen­tre: his mu­sic can be heard along­side Ruth Aber­nethy’s amaz­ing sculp­ture.

If Thomas Brawn’s pro­posal could also be im­ple­mented, imag­ine all those vis­i­tors to Ot­tawa strolling down this pedes­trian mall, check­ing out the Sparks Street app on their smart phones, sud­denly hear­ing this voice from the past, hav­ing a lis­ten, per­haps tak­ing a photo or two to show the folks back home. Bril­liant idea, and Ot­tawa tourism would be a di­rect ben­e­fi­ciary.

David Rain, Ot­tawa

(Ed­i­tor’s note: David Rain es­tab­lished a blog in mem­ory of Lotta Hitschmanova: lot­ta56s­parks.ca)

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