seminar title Public Space and “Public” Space: Do you feel like you belong here?

Experience first-hand the blurry boundaries between public, pseudo-public, and private space
as we walk over, under, and through some of Ottawa’s most prominent landmarks (and a few
less recognizable buildings) that range from shopping centres and cultural institutions to hotels
and office buildings.
As we attempt to access these places and spaces – some of which are publicly-accessible, some
hidden in plain sight, and some that are behind nondescript doors – we’ll get a chance to ask
ourselves: Do we feel like we are welcome here? What, if anything, are we allowed to do? And
if we are breaking the rules, who gets to make and enforce those rules?
See your city from a new perspective – literally and figuratively – from places you’ve never
noticed before or have walked by a million times. Afterwards, enjoy some post-walk
refreshments at a hidden pseudo-public cafe with a killer view! (Weekend tours only)
Once you start noticing the fine texture of the built environment — the details, the spaces
and edges, how they make you feel, what kinds of activities they encourage or discourage
— it’s impossible to stop.” David Roberts, vox
The tour will take approximately 90 minutes, depending on how quickly we walk (it can
easily take longer if we take our time to chat, take photos, etc.) There will be lots of
opportunities for washroom breaks or to sit and rest.

About your tour guide: James Chan is an urbanism enthusiast
with a particular appreciation for thoughtfully-designed
architecture, infrastructure, and the public realm. He has worked
with community organizations in the areas of parks, complete
streets, and civic participation. In 2016, he co-led a popular Jane’s
Walk titled “Why is there a parking lot here?!?!”, written in all caps.


Further details:
Meeting place: Lobby of Delta Hotels Ottawa City Centre (101 Lyon St N)
Ending place: In front of ByWard Market Square
Post-walk venue: An additional 10 minute walk from the ByWard Market (weekend tours only)
Duration: 90 minutes and up
Total distance covered: approximately 3 km
Terrain: mostly flat pavement with some inclines and stairs
Accessibility: tour can be modified to accommodate those in wheelchairs or mobility devices 
  • walking seminar guide - Public Space and “Public” Space: Do you feel like you belong here?
  • availability - Runs select Saturdays, Sundays (3:00pm start) and Thursdays (5:00pm start)
  • meeting place - Lobby of Delta Hotels Ottawa City Centre (101 Lyon St N)
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