Join us as talk about legacy and commemoration through an examination of some of Ottawa's street signs

$15 & up/person
Experiential 2.5-3.0 Hours Suitable for ages 12 and up

What's in a (street) name?

Join us on a walk through downtown Ottawa and Centretown, roughly tracing the early years of Ottawa's growth. Along the way, we'll talk about the layers of meaning embedded in the street signs we pass, as well as broader themes about commemoration and legacy in the modern city. We'll share stories about familiar figures from Ottawa's past whose names still grace our streets, as well as lesser-known figures whose names have faded over time. This is a walk about the legacies of people and places, the power of naming, and how street names are so much more than just navigational signposts.

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Scheduled tour
Happens monthly.
  • Printed souvenir postcard
  • Maximum of 25 people on tour
Private tour
Minimum booking: party of 3 people. Happens if you request.
  • Tour content is tweaked on the spot to cover your interests
  • Printed souvenir postcard
  • Maximum of 8 people on tour
  • Follow-up additional resources by email
Customized tour
Minimum booking: 1 person (or more). Happens if you request.
  • Pre-tour chat with your guide to discuss your interests in topic (optional)
  • Content customized to your interests
  • Printed souvenir postcard
  • Your group only on tour
  • Follow-up additional resources by email

Request a private or customized (de)tour
September 2022
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun

Stops along the way (preview):

Start-point - Northwest corner of Wellington St and Kent St (Supreme Court of Canada)

We'll start by talking about Ottawa's oldest streets: the waterways that crisscross the region, and the roles we expect these infrastructure networks to play.

Mid-point - Laurier Ave. (City Hall)

By now we're into the late 19th century, talking about the colonial legacy left behind in our street signs.

End - McLeod St. (Museum of Nature)

We'll wrap up with some literal and figurative intersections of history - both in the street names and current public debates.

Sarah Button and Jaime Posen

Your tour guides
Jaime and Sarah are former professional tour guides turned urban planners who share a love of quirky-but-true stories about people and cities. They are both long-time residents of downtown Ottawa, and enjoy digging beneath the surface to learn more about things hiding in plain sight.
"Ottawa has many attractions to offer but nothing is similar to the walking tours offered by Ottawa (de)tours. These tours are not only for visitors to the capital but to locals as well...The tour led to interesting discussions and exchanges between the guide and the participants. I highly recommend it."
Martin D
Tripadvisor review, May 2017
“I have gone on several Ottawa (de)tours and think they are a fantastic way to engage with the city in new and interesting ways...The content is thought-provoking and the guides are very passionate and engaging. This is a fun way to see parts of Ottawa for both locals and tourists; and is good to try on your own, or with a group of friends.”
Tripadvisor review, July 2015

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