Ottawa Magazine



- 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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