Outdoor Public Spaces
The Village Green
As the Village’s Centennial project in 1967, Village architects Humphrey Carver and Andrew Hazeland transformed the area north of Mariposa Avenue and east of Springfield Road from a vacant area into the Village Green. They made use of the grove of Black Locust trees and formed a central circle from glacial boulders on the site.
To celebrate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, the site of the former lawn-bowling green beside the Village Green became in 1977 the Jubilee Garden. The evolution of this space into a formal public garden was the idea and design of Humphrey Carver. In the Garden he sited sections of the Corinthian columns that were once part of the classical portico of the old Carnegie Public Library that was on Metcalfe Street at the corner of Laurier Avenue. Other sections – a column and other carved stones – can be found in the National Capital Commission’s Rockeries adjacent to the Village.
The Jubilee Garden is used for Village events, such as croquet and the Garden Club plant sale. It may be rented for private functions such as wedding receptions. For bookings, contact the Recreation Coordinator at the Community Police Centre.
Major funding for the Pavilion was provided by Thomas and Susan d’Aquino.
Walking Paths Around McKay Lake and the Pond
McKay Lake (formerly called Hemlock Lake) is a natural spring-fed lake. The Corridor of Public Passage (COPP) foot-paths around the eastern shore of McKay Lake and the Pond wind through the Caldwell-Carver Conservation Area. It was named in honour of two long-time residents Ewan Caldwell and Humphrey Carver who were active in environmental work and who planned the initial program of restoration after damage caused in the late 1960s and early 1970s to the eastern shoreline of the lake and to the bird and fish habitat. A Management Plan, commissioned by the former Village Council, guides the city and residents’ activities there and current restoration projects.
Secondary school students may earn volunteer hours by assisting in this restoration work (watch the newsletter or the RPRA Bulletin Board outside the Community Hall for details). The area of McKay Lake and the Pond is now Urban Natural Area No. 176 in the city’s inventory of ecologically valuable places.
On the west side of McKay Lake, joining the north and south parts of Lansdowne Road, is a walking path locally called the Dog Walk. The shoreline on this side of the Lake is not public.
The Pond, just south of McKay Lake, was originally a sand and gravel pit, excavated over the period 1890 to 1949. The Sandpits, as it was called then, filled with water over time. Even during the time of sand extraction, it was a popular swimming hole.
Swimming is allowed in the Pond from June to September between the hours of 7 am to 2 pm. Students are hired during the summer months to ensure that the swimming hours are observed. There is no public swimming in McKay Lake; swimming from private docks is by invitation of the owners only.
Trees, Hedges, and Roadside Verges
The Rockcliffe Park Heritage Guidelines encourage residents to plant and maintain trees on their private property, as trees contribute substantially to the Village’s park-like ambience. Trees on the verges of roadways are City property and are cared for by the City’s Forestry Services. The width of the verges may vary from five to twenty-five feet. Before planting trees on the verge, please consult the City at 311 as the planting of trees on city property is not allowed without Forestry Services permission. Residents are encouraged to maintain native biodiversity on their own property by planting trees and shrubs native to the Ottawa Valley region (see www.ofnc.ca/ofgac for further information). On corner lots, the heights of hedges, fences and gates built on the lot lines and within 40 feet of the corner are restricted. For information on permissible fence heights, please consult the city website under by-laws.
Please maintain the roadside verges in front of your house, cutting the grass and raking the leaves. Also, be careful not to damage the bark of trees planted near the roadway. Young trees will die if their bark is damaged by cord-type grass-trimmers or lawnmowers.