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Wateridge Village / Village des Riverains: Commemoration Program

Wateridge Village / Village des Riverains: Commemoration Program

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In partnership with the Algonquins of Ontario (AOO), Canada Lands Company (Canada Lands) is developing a new mixed-use urban community east of Ottawa’s downtown core. Now called Wateridge Village/Village des Riverains, the 310-acre site is on unceded Algonquin traditional territory, located on the former Rockcliffe Airbase, and near surrounding francophone neighbourhoods.  

ERA was engaged to develop a Commemoration Program for use by Canada Lands and its development partners as a framework for implementing commemoration strategies in the redevelopment, such as park design, street naming, interpretive signage, and community programming. The Commemoration Program responds to Canada Lands’ Participation Agreement with the AOO (2010), the goals of the City of Ottawa’s Official Plan (2020), the former CFB Rockcliffe Community Design Plan and Secondary Plan (both 2015), and supports Canada Lands’ mandate to imbed the histories of its sites within the fabric of new developments.  

ERA and its consultant team – Department of Words & Deeds (stakeholder engagement), Lisa Prosper (Indigenous cultural heritage), and Dr. Craig Mantle (military history) – worked collaboratively with Canada Lands and the AOO to develop the Commemoration Program.  

The Program is grounded in story collection and research which generated an understanding of the lands as experienced by Algonquin, military, and francophone communities over time. The personal and ancestral stories of these communities are summarized in the document to inspire and inform commemoration strategies as well as the ongoing reconnection between Algonquin peoples and the oral traditions, including stories associated with the lands. The Commemoration Program also includes a Handbook, providing Canada Lands and future and current builders with a framework for implementing commemoration strategies and uses themes, design elements, precedents, and principles to guide future design conversations.  

The ultimate ambition of the Commemoration Program is to support and encourage community building. The Program is intended to provide a basis for ongoing collaboration with the AOO and stakeholders, including the City of Ottawa. 

The jury felt that the commemorative guidance provided by Indigenous voices of the Algonquin Nation in this text stands as a model for all future development projects. It presents stories of the land over time, and reflects a layered history of the place, rather than conceiving the landscape as lacking cultural meaning. As well, it offers inspiring strategies to reconnect people and encourage future dialogue.”

—Jury comments, City of Ottawa Heritage Awards, 2022

Canada Lands Company
Algonquins of Ontario
Department of Words & Deeds / Lisa Prosper / Craig Mantle
Victoria Angel/Alexis Cohen/Sharon Hong/Angela Garvey/Private: Carl Shura


  • City of Ottawa: Heritage Award, 2022

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