Ukraine in Ottawa – A Bike Tour

Canada is home to one of the largest number of persons of Ukrainian descent outside of Ukraine. Most reside in the western provinces, however many have chosen Ottawa as their home. Here’s a bike tour of edifices around town representing the Ukrainian diaspora within Canada’s capital.

On December 2nd, 1991 Canada recognized Ukraine’s independence. Suddenly in need of an embassy, this building at 331 Metcalfe St was purchased with the help of funds gathered by Ukrainian-Canadians. The embassy has since moved a few blocks over to 310 Somerset West, which will be visited at the end of this tour, however this one on Metcalfe is still used as a consular building.

Consular building at 331 Metcalfe St
Consular building at 331 Metcalfe St

Next stop is the Saint John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Shrine near the corner of Heron Road and Prince of Wales Drive. To get there I rode over to the Rideau Canal bike path, crossed the canal at Pretoria Bridge, and rode along the Rideau Canal Eastern Pathway all the way up to where Heron Road crosses overhead. I accessed Heron by pushing my bike up the mini bike ramp along the edge of these stairs.

Stairs from pathway along the canal up to Heron Road
Stairs from pathway along the canal up to Heron Road

There is a bike lane along Heron Road that ends a hundred yards or so before reaching Prince of Wales Drive, so I took this well trodden path right around where the bike lane ends, that leads to the back of the church.

Small path off Heron Road
Small path off Heron Road to the back of the Shrine

The statue on the edge of the parking lot is a monument to Taras Shevchenko (1841-1861), artist and national hero for his promotion of Ukrainian independence.

Monument to Taras Shevchenko
Monument to Taras Shevchenko

The church (or Sobor, or Shrine) was completed in 1987. More about it’s history can be found by clicking here.

Saint John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Shrine
Saint John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Shrine

Next destination is the Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral at 1000 Byron Avenue. To get there I cut through the Experimental Farm, along Island Park Drive, then west along Byron. The Cathedral opened in 1978. More on it’s history can be read by clicking here.

Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin
Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin

To complete the tour I rode along the Ottawa River Pathway back downtown to check out the Ukrainian Embassy on Somerset.

Ukraine purchased this building at 310 Somerset St from the federal NDP party in 1994, and it’s been their embassy ever since.

Ukrainian Embassy - 310 Somerset Street West
Ukrainian Embassy – 310 Somerset Street West

Et voila – the tour is complete!

P.S. Ottawa is also home to the rock band Ukrainia!

Author: ottawavelo

bicycler

2 thoughts on “Ukraine in Ottawa – A Bike Tour”

  1. NEVER sease to amaze! Bravo. I didn’t know there were so many beautiful Ukranian inspired buildings.
    Nat B.

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