Thursday, July 14, 2011

Finding D'Arcy McGee: From Parliament to the Pub

Thomas D'Arcy McGee, an Irish-Canadian politician, journalist and poet is one of the few Canadian politicians ever assassinated for his political beliefs and is remembered throughout the Nation's capital. From monuments to a Prime Pub, D'Arcy McGee remains a public figure within Ottawa.

One of the greatest local adventures I took a couple years ago was my quest to find D'Arcy McGee within the Nation's Capital. My quest took me from Parliament Hill where his monument sits in commemoration to his political ideology to Sparks Street (a short walk from the Hill where McGee was assassinated). My interest in McGee was sparked by a CBC radio program that discussed his assassination and the cultural division it caused within the city.

If you are visiting Ottawa this summer or looking to explore Ottawa in a new way, Finding D'Arcy McGee allows you to experience and learn about the history of the Capital through a new lens. Some of the places I have explored in my tour includes, The Hill, Sparks Street, D'Arcy McGee's Pub, The Ottawa Jail Hostel (where alleged murderer of McGee, Patrick J. Whelan was hanged for his crime) and the Bytowne Museum. Not only will you learn more about McGee and his life in Ottawa but the history and displacement of the working class in this political city.

I have already started a new adventure myself and I am now trying to Find Mackenzie King, planning a trip into Centre Block and out to the Gatineau Hills. Finding the lives and places of a well known individual within your home town may be a new way for you to explore your city.
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