Major's Hill Park
(At the corner of Mackenzie Avenue and St-Patrick Street)
Written by Bytown Museum
Once known as Colonel’s Hill after Lieutenant-Colonel John By, builder of the Rideau Canal, this area's name was changed when Major Daniel Bolton took up residence on the hill. Ottawa's first park, Major's Hill remains a picturesque setting for Ottawa's Tulip Festival.
Most visitors notice the park's sculptures, including Lt.-Colonel By's on the park's western edge. But have you seen the statue of the Anishnabe scout? This kneeling statue was originally placed at the base of the Samuel de Champlain statue that sits atop Nepean Point to demonstrate that the Native people had acted as guides for Champlain.
In 1997, Native groups convinced the National Capital Commission (NCC) to remove the scout from his diminutive position to a more respectable location in Major’s Hill Park. The scout's new location was considered curious by some: he kneels looking to the west towards Victoria Island — an island in the Ottawa River that was, at the time of the Champlain statue controversy, the site of a standoff between the NCC and local Native groups.
From its very beginnings in 1826, Bytown (early Ottawa) was divided geographically, with Uppertown to the west of the Rideau Canal and Lowertown to the east. Lowertown, then ... read more