Major's Hill Park

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Major's Hill Park with the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica and American Embassy in the background

Major's Hill Park is a notable park in downtown Ottawa. The park stands above the Rideau Canal at the point where it enters the Ottawa River. Across the canal to the west are the parliament buildings, to the north of the park is the National Gallery of Canada, and to the east are the United States embassy and the Byward Market. To the south is the Chateau Laurier hotel, built upon land that was once part of the park.

The neighborhood surrounding the park was once home to those who constructed the canal. In particular, the area that is now the park was the official residence of the Superintending Engineer of the Rideau Canal, Lieutenant-Colonel John By until he returned to England in 1832. The hill was known at the time as "Colonel's Hill." By was replaced in 1832 by Captain Daniel Bolton who took up residence in By's house. In 1838 Bolton was promoted to Major. By the time he left the Bytown in 1843, the hill had become known as Major's Hill. Commemorative plaques and a statue of Lieutenant-Colonel By, Major Bolton and their successors were erected in Major's Hill Park.[1] The residence was destroyed by fire on October 5, 1848,[2] though ruins survive to today. The use of the area as a residence gives the park the rather unusual quality of remaining a green space since the early days of Ottawa. It is now managed by the National Capital Commission, which has placed historical information in the northwest corner of the park.

Due to its central location, Major's Hill Park is frequented all year round. It is frequently used as a venue for events, and is central to Ottawa's Canada Day celebrations. A more recent addition to the calendar is the annual pre-Maxville Highland Games event titled 'B In The Park' with pipe bands and highland dancers from all over the world performing, and presented by the Sons of Scotland Pipe Band of Ottawa, Canada's oldest civilian pipe band.[3]

Evolution of the park[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Major's Hill Park". National Inventory of Military Memorials. National Defence Canada. 2008-04-16. 
  2. ^ New Light on Colonel By’s Residence by Peter Nayler, The Ottawa Archaeologist, Vol.40, No. 3, September, 2012
  3. ^ "The Sons of Scotland Pipe Band - Home". Sospb.com. Retrieved 2012-06-14. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°25′38″N 75°41′51″W / 45.427311°N 75.697496°W / 45.427311; -75.697496