Doors Open Ottawa 2018

Ottawa Valley Wild Bird Care Centre – Doors Open Ottawa 2018 image

Doors Open Ottawa invites you to visit places of interest in Ottawa, many of which are not normally open to the public. See architecturally significant, historic buildings, interesting community spaces, sites of scientific and technological interest, embassies, gardens, centres of religion, and more. The annual, free event happens Saturday, Jun. 2 and Sunday, Jun. 3, with more than 140 sites taking part this year.

A few examples:

There’s a free shuttle bus between 50 of the buildings; some (downtown) are walking distance apart.

See the full list of participating sites, an interactive map, and a downloadable mobile app on the City of Ottawa’s Doors Open Ottawa website.

 

#100in1Day Ottawa 2018

Image courtesy 100in1Day Ottawa/Synapcity

This weekend is packed with amazing things to do in Ottawa. For starters, there’s #100in1Day.

#100in1DayOTT consists of more than 100 creative and fun activities, all citizen-led, happening around the city on Saturday, Jun. 2, 2018.

The 100+ “interventions” are designed to illustrate the kind of sustainable, inclusive and accessible city we could have. Read more in Synapcity’s guest post and on the #100in1DayOTT website.

Here are just a few examples:

There’s so much more—check out the #100in1DayOTT website and interactive map.

Jane’s Walk Ottawa 2018

Get to know your city and your neighbours; explore a new corner of Ottawa, or see a familiar, well-trodden area in a new light. You can do all of that and more at Jane’s Walk Ottawa, taking place on Saturday, May 5 and Sunday, May 6, 2018.

Jane’s Walk is one of my favourite events every year. It offers free walking tours, led by knowledgeable and engaging residents, to explore different areas of the city.

For more on Jane’s Walk Ottawa, what it’s all about and what’s on offer this year, check out this guest post.

Jane’s Walk Ottawa always includes numerous walks that explore Ottawa’s green spaces; consider how we as residents live in nature; cast a sharp eye on our land use and built environment choices; and look at what could be, as well as what has been. Here are some examples from this year’s schedule:

These are just a sample of the many historic, scenic and intriguing walks taking place during Jane’s Walk Ottawa weekend. Check out the full schedule and interactive map. Don’t forget the after-parties!

Ottawa Park Summit and Earth Day Party 2018

Ecology Ottawa, in collaboration with Park People, is holding the annual Ottawa Park Summit on Saturday, Apr. 21, 2018. The aim is to bring residents together to plan for and engage in making our parks green and effective spaces.

After the Summit, Ecology Ottawa hosts an Earth Day Party to celebrate Earth Day and the efforts of all in Ottawa who are working to create a sustainable city.

The Ottawa Park Summit takes place from 2-6 p.m. at allsaints Event Space (10 Blackburn Ave.). The Earth Day Party runs 8-11 p.m. at 25One Community (251 Bank St.).

 

The Basics: Water

A Tale of Two Cities film – via The Story of Stuff CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 on Twitter

Essential for our survival: water. Learn more this week about the threats to water globally and locally, and what we can do to address them.

A Tale of Two Cities and Water Warriors

This film screening and talk presents A Tale of Two Cities and Water Warriors, which look at community action to protect water from industrial development and privatization. Speakers are Algonquin Elder Verna McGregor from Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, Council of Canadians water campaigner Emma Lui, and video appearance by one of the Story of Stuff filmmakers. Free event (donations welcome) to mark World Water Day, organized by Council of Canadians’ Ottawa Chapter, on Tuesday, March 20, 2018, 7-8:30 p.m. at 251 Bank St. (2nd floor).

World Water Day Fast and Celebration

The Mamidosewin Centre hosts this gathering to honour the water we rely on. The fast, which takes place on Thursday, March 22, 2018 from 12:01 a.m.-11:01 a.m., will be followed by sharing of soup.

Protecting your Rights to Swim, Drink and Fish the Ottawa River, a talk by Riverkeeper Meredith Brown

Hear from Ottawa Riverkeeper Meredith Brown about the work that the Ottawa Riverkeeper, along with an array of other organizations and community members, are doing to protect rights to a clean and safe Ottawa River. This World Water Day talk will be held on Thursday, March 22, 2018, 2:45-3:45 p.m. at 182 University Centre, Carleton University. Organized by the Global Water Institute and Carleton University’s IWA/WEAO/OWWA Student Chapter. (Check out this and other upcoming GWI “Water Conversation” Series events on their website.)

World Water Day 2018 / Journée Mondiale de l’eau 2018 Event – Blue Drinks Ottawa

Blue Drinks Ottawa hosts this evening of refreshments and discussion on nature-based solutions to water challenges. Pizza and networking start at 5 p.m., followed by a panel discussion with James Brennan (Ducks Unlimited), Sara O’Neill (Smart Prosperity) and Eva Katic (National Capital Commission) at 6 p.m. The event takes place on Thursday, March 22, 2018 from 5-8 p.m. at the Ottawa Public Library Main Branch Auditorium, 120 Metcalfe St.

Also check out Council of Canadians’ suggestions for action on World Water Day here, and The Story of Stuff campaigns here.

The Basics: Land (and Everything)

Chaudiere Falls, Ottawa, from the Bytown Banks
Chaudiere Falls, Ottawa, from the Bytown Banks, July 1838, image by Philip John Bainbridge (collectionscanada.gc.ca) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
What does it mean to protect “the commons” when “the commons” is stolen land? This will be the focus of a conversation between author Craig Fortier (Unsettling the Commons: Social Movements Within, Against, and Beyond Settler Colonialism) and writer and activist Fiona Jeffries (author of Nothing to Lose But Our Fear: Resistance in Dangerous Times). The launch of Unsettling the Commons takes place on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 at 7 p.m. at Octopus Books, 116 Third Ave.

An important read about land and water in Ottawa: Lynn Gehl’s article Akikodjiwan: The Destruction of Canada’s Heart of Reconciliation, published in the Watershed Sentinel (March 8, 2018). Lynn Gehl explains how reconciliation and environmental progress are impossible as long as local and federal governments do not recognize and respect Algonquin jurisdiction and rights.

Prerequisite for Environmental Progress: Justice

Something is happening right now that might be easy to miss. It’s the door closing on the possibility of reconciliation between Indigenous peoples and Canadians. We need to understand this, and address it.

Injustices against Indigenous people have been a reality since well before Canada became a country, and ongoing injustices are well documented. Still, somehow there has been hope of renewed positive relationships among Canadians and Indigenous peoples and of a better understanding that we are all treaty people residing on Indigenous land.

Recent events have underscored the gap between where we are now and where we need to be in this relationship. On February 9, the man who shot and killed 22-year-old Colten Boushie of Cree Red Pheasant First Nation was acquitted, despite the evidence. On February 22, the man accused of murdering 15-year-old Tina Fontaine of Sagkeeng First Nation was found not guilty. The injustices of these decisions, and of the circumstances leading to the deaths of both young people, are compounded by the expressions of racism that have been unleashed as Indigenous people and allies speak up about injustice.

Many of us are horrified by these racist responses as well as by the injustices, but it’s time we acknowledge and address the racism embedded in our social, political and justice systems.

Creating a positive relationship with the land and environment—our goal as people committed to sustainability—requires that we understand Canada as a society and political entity built through colonialism, on land that does not belong to most of us, and sustained through inequitable and unjust relationships. There is no way forward without that understanding.

 

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