Ottawa Magazine - - THIS CITY - Emily Kennedy and Chris Lack­ner, Ed­i­tors, The Big 150

Happy 150th, Canada. Wel­come to your own party, Ot­tawa. Play­ing duel roles, you’re both a guest of hon­our and a re­spected host.

Some of the coun­try’s great­est gifts — from the Rideau Canal to the Ot­tawa River — can be found in cap­i­tal’s loot bag. While thou­sands of tourists will un­wrap the city’s joys this year, it’s the per­fect time for lo­cals to also show their home true pa­triot love.

For peo­ple, birthdays can of­fer a time to re­flect and rein­vent. The same can hold true for a city. That’s why our Big 150 book, which hit news­stands in late 2016 and will be sold through­out this sesqui­cen­ten­nial year, aims to turn Ot­tawa’s fa­mil­iar into the un­fa­mil­iar, its mun­dane into the mag­i­cal.

We hand­picked the best sto­ries from that com­mem­o­ra­tive edi­tion to hand­out as 150th party favours in Ot­tawa Magazine’s sum­mer is­sue: Art critic Paul Ges­sell plays a one-man game of “I Spy” with this favourite pub­lic art, his­tory guru An­drew King un­earths her­itage build­ings of to­mor­row, and we ex­pose the foun­da­tion of new projects such as the Cana­dian His­tory Hall and the ren­o­vated Na­tional Arts Cen­tre.

We also share Ot­tawa’s best-kept se­crets — from spy capers to near-myth­i­cal un­der­ground trea­sure. Ap­pre­ci­ate the great out­doors anew as we re­veal the re­gion’s top beaches and hid­den-gem pic­nic spots — and even of­fer new ways to dive into fun on the Rideau Canal.

Of course, ev­ery good party has a sur­prise guest list. Award-win­ning au­thor Roy MacGre­gor takes us on a unique jour­ney along the cap­i­tal’s water­ways and Wil­liam Shat­ner rem­i­nisces on his starv­ing-artist days in lo­cal theatre (and plants an ec­cen­tric idea for a new Cana­dian flag). Fi­nally, for­mer gover­nor gen­eral Adri­enne Clark­son rem­i­nisces about her time putting a new face on Rideau Hall.

Open these pages, and join our party an­i­mals. How of­ten do you get to at­tend a 150th birth­day cel­e­bra­tion?

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