Monument de la francophonie d’Ottawa
Ottawa, Ontario
Franco-Ontarion Community
The Monument de la francophonie d’Ottawa is a celebration of the humble beginnings and continuing contributions of Francophones to the economic and cooperative sectors of Ottawa.

The monument diagrammatically portrays the historical progression of their contributions through natural symbolic gestures of granite and vegetation. These elements recognize obstacles of the natural terrain that settlers would have encountered - elements that were fundamental to both their survival and to the development of Ottawa.

Fittingly then, the monument’s entrance confronts one with a symbolic threshold of large granite blocks and vegetation that must first be endured before greeting the monument’s historical progressions. These progressions are marked by granite statues placed successively along a timeline dating back to 1610, the year of arrival of the first French-speaking entrepreneurs, Samuel de Champlain and Étienne Brûlé, to the new millennium; this creates a symbolic journey from the past to the present, facilitating an understanding of the contributions and journeys of past generations. The first monument, smaller and more isolated, represents the first homes and the founding of Ottawa previously called Bytown. This monument is followed by five others, each progressing uphill and highlighting significant business achievements that were crucial to the prosperity of Ottawa economy. The seventh monument, an unfinished granite block, has been left incomplete to symbolize developments yet to come.

The beauty of Monument de la francophonie d’Ottawa is in how, as a mere summary of this rich history, it leaves future generations to fill in the voids with the responsibility it imparts an experience unique to each individual’s imagination and stirs an interest in wanting more.

© Edward J. Cuhaci and Associates Architects Inc. All Rights Reserved

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