Residents Learn about the Important Contribution of Immigrants to OttawaNovember 7, 2017
For the second year in a row, as part of Welcoming Ottawa Week (June 20 to 30, 2017), Ottawa residents took a journey through some of the city’s most unique and interesting neighbourhoods.The Immigrant Heritage Walking Tours, led by experienced guides, gave participants a taste of the sights and sounds of Chinatown, Little Italy and Lowertown.
The twelve, 90 minute walking tours celebrated Ottawa’s diversity by focusing on the history, daily life, architecture, food and culture of these fascinating neighbourhoods. These free tours offered in English and French, included stops at notable landmarks and local businesses to explore the social, cultural, and economic contributions of immigrants to Ottawa’s development.
The tours were often interactive in nature with the guides not only sharing their wealth of knowledge about each neighbourhood, but also their personal perspectives and experiences. Participants who lived in the neighbourhoods also could add anecdotes and information. One participant remarked on the impact of such tours: “Only when we know each other can we truly count on each other!”
“These tours helped to expand the understanding, not only of the neighbourhoods, but their progression over time, as Ottawa has evolved to the present day rich mosaic of diverse cultures,” said David Jeanes, President, Heritage Ottawa.
Participants discovered the treasure trove of history, food, art, architecture, places of worship, and the myriad of businesses that have flourished in these neighbourhoods thanks to the efforts of successive generations of immigrants and of their descendants.
“Little Italy has given a lot to Ottawa,” explains Luciano Pradal as he guided a group and points out the landmarks along Preston Street during the Little Italy tour. “This includes everything from sports, arts and culture to flourishing family gardens.”
The Immigrant Heritage Walking Tours were initiated by OLIP, funded by Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada, and organized collaboratively by OLIP, Heritage Ottawa, and the City of Ottawa’s Cultural Development Unit.