Thomas MacKay Day

This evening I decided to go for a quick ride and honour Thomas MacKay Day en route. My goal was to bike down the road in New Edinburgh which bears his name, and photo some projects along the way for which he was responsible.

This image captures two projects built under the supervision of our famous Scottish stonemason – the tier of Rideau Canal locks leading up from the Ottawa River and the Commissariat, Ottawa’s oldest stone building.

Locks and Comissariat

On the east side of the locks, close to where the above photo was taken, sits this small monument in the form of a celtic cross dedicated to those who died building of the canal. UPDATE, August 2017Unfortunately the cross was knocked over and has yet to be replaced.

Memorial to those who died building the canal

The glyphs engraved on the face of the cross suggest the work (pick, shovel and wheelbarrow) and the hazards (explosions and disease carrying mosquitoes) associated with the building of the canal. Not sure what the harp in the centre symbolizes other than reinforcing the celtic theme of the monument.

Monument detail

There is another creative MacKay whose work is on display throughout the capital region. Janet MacKay is a talented sculptor and designer who was very much responsible for promoting and integrating bronze sculptures into the interpretive panels found along Confederation Boulevard, such as these.

Janet MacKays work

This is what MacKay Street in New Edinburgh looks like as dusk settles. To the left is Rideau Hall, a mansion Thomas MacKay built for himself where the Governor General now resides. I wasn’t able to photograph the building but did capture the gate that surrounds the property with its distinct top heavy posts. Don’t know if they were designed and installed by Mr MacKay.

MacKay St

On the way home I joined many others along the shore of the Ottawa River to pause and admire tonights beautiful sunset.

Author: ottawavelo


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