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Rideau Canal 

Ottawa, Ontario

Photo Credit: Nik Dimitriou Photography


Initial Research by: Desiree Theriault

Continued Research by: Samantha Miller

Edited by: Nicole Brekelmans

Case study compiled in 2017



Project: Rideau Canal Esplanade

Type of Urban StrategyWater 

Type of ProjectParks / Open Spaces

LocationOttawa, Ontario 

Date Designed/Planned: 2004

Construction Completed:  2012

Designer: Corush Sunderland Wright Limited, and Lashley + Associates Landscape Architecture


“[The Rideau Canal Esplanade] demonstrates how simple, but bold design moves can transform otherwise wasted space into spectacular urban space.” The Rideau Canal Esplanade was first introduced as apart of Ottawa’s Downtown Urban Design Strategy in 2004. The project’s main focus was to create a cohesive composition with the multiple existing elements including City Hall, Parliament Hill, the NAC, the OCC, Confederation Park, and the Government Conference Centre. Along with creating this cohesion, the project also aimed at improving public access to the canal and creating a strong sense of place and identity by emphasising the site’s heritage. The site includes many exhibits and events, paths for walking or biking, and material palettes, each element carefully highlighting the historic and cultural importance of the Rideau Canal.


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