Exploring McKay Lake and The Pond

One of the best things about living in Ottawa is the easy access to nature.

After years of living in Ottawa’s downtown core, I now make my home in the Beechwood Village section of the city, which straddles the neighbourhoods of Vanier, New Edinburgh and Rockcliffe Park Village. There is a lot of green space around here. Maybe most impressive is McKay Lake and The Pond, part of the Caldwell-Carver Conservation Area.

 Ottawa Magazine wrote about The Pond in 2013:

“In the 1950s, as young families began to move into new housing in nearby Manor Park, The Pond turned into the neighbourhood swimming hole. The Pond, just 170 metres in length, belongs to everyone in Ottawa and is open at given hours for public swimming. Indeed, most of the people who swim there come from outside the neighbourhood. Nevertheless, local people have a special passion for their little lake, and they work hard to keep it safe and healthy.”

Local residents are allowed to swim here between 7am and 2pm. Now that fall has arrived, there aren’t many swimmers around, but the colours of autumn are on the trees. There are paths lining the shore around both bodies of water. I took a walk around the lake today, here are some of my favourite photos.

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Beechwood Cemetery in the Fall

Ottawa’s Beechwood Cemetery is one of Canada’s most prestigious and historic cemeteries. Designated as a National Historic site, it is open to visitors, who can stroll through the meticulously maintained grounds. It is the final resting place for over 75,000 Canadians including many important figures in Ottawa’s development during its early years as Canada’s Capital. There are also sections dedicated to the RCMP and Canada’s Military. Former Prime Minister, Sir Robert Borden also lies at Beechwood.

During autumn, the leaves on the century old trees change colour, making for some wonderful scenery within the city. Walking through the cemetery and reading the plaques that chronicle the accomplishments of the people buried there is inspiring. The legacies left behind by those who now rest at Beechwood invites reflection on one’s own life.

Here are some of my favourite scenes from the cemetery.

The RCMP Cemetery
The RCMP Cemetery

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A Sherman Tank at the Military Cemetery
A Sherman Tank at the Military Cemetery

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Throughout the cemetery there are plaques like this one, highlighting important historical figures.
Throughout the cemetery there are plaques like this one, highlighting important historical figures.

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I also enjoyed seeing a memorial to the freedom fighters of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. Hungary is a country that I’ve spent a great deal of time in. I know a lot about its history and culture. Glad to see one of its most tragic moments is recognized here in Ottawa.

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Right now, the leaves on the trees are changing colours. Red, Orange and Yellow colours are found throughout the cemetery.

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The Embassy of Croatia – Doors Open Ottawa

I visited the Embassy of Croatia in Canada during Doors Open Ottawa over the weekend. The heritage building, called Toller House, is located at the corner of Chapel and Daly streets in Sandy Hill.  The building was bought and beautifully restored by Croatian expats in the 1990s. This visit was the highlight of my Doors Open Ottawa 2016 weekend. I love spending time inside the old heritage buildings that give Ottawa its character.

The area around the fireplace is often use as a space for receptions. There is plenty of space to move around and a lots of natural light.

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Free chocolates, including the famous Bajadera bars, and pamphlets were offered to visitors.Jeremy_MacLaine_Doors_Open_Ottawa_04

Croatia’s current President, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović (in the above photo),  served as a diplomat during the renovation of Toller House in the 1990s.

Here we see the Embassy, viewed from Chapel street.

The Peace Tower at Sunset

This photo was well-received on Instagram. Ottawa Tourism even decided to share it.

 

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