The 2011 walking tour season for Heritage Ottawa finished as another boom year. Over the course of the summer and autumn, we organized and conducted 13 different tours, and attracted a total paying participation of 550 persons, of whom nearly half were non-members. This surpasses last year's record total of 479 walkers for 14 walking tours (there were a couple of weather challenges in 2010) and is a new record.
One of the big draws this year was the new walk conducted by David Jeanes through Lowertown East, and we hope to repeat that tour in the coming year.
We also offered a walk conducted in French by Michel Prévost in the Ruisseau de la Brasserie area of Gatineau (Hull sector), in an effort to make Heritage Ottawa more representative of our community.
Traditional favourites such as the walks through the neighbourhoods of Rockcliffe Park, Sandy Hill, Old Ottawa South and Hintonburg were, as usual, popular, fun and well attended.
In addition to the more than $4,000 in revenue generated, these walks have proved to be excellent occasions to show non-members what we care about in Ottawa's heritage houses and buildings, and why we care. The enthusiasm of our volunteer tour leaders has been rewarded by dozens of new memberships for Heritage Ottawa. Thank you all for your support of this activity which very concretely demonstrates both the interest in and concern of the people of Ottawa for our unique built heritage.
Richard Belliveau is a member of the Board of Heritage Ottawa and planner of the Walking Tour program.