Global Affairs monument will offer “space of remembrance and  contemplation”
People & Places

Global Affairs monument will offer “space of remembrance and  contemplation”

It’s often said that Ottawa is a big city with a small-town feel,  but it’s also the capital of a country with a global reach. A new  monument will soon be erected to remind us of that. 

It will be constructed on the west lawn of Green Island, where the Rideau River empties into the Ottawa River. The site is next  to one of the most striking buildings of its era, what was once  the city hall on Sussex Avenue, since given over to the federal  foreign service and now the John G. Diefenbaker Building. 

Rendering by Nicholas Croft and Michaela MacLeod

Designed by artists Michaela MacLeod and Nicholas Croft of Polymetis Studio, in conjunction with James B. Lennox and Associates and GRC Architects, the new monument will commemorate those who have died while on duty with Global Affairs Canada in a way that links their names to the whole planet.  

At the centre of the monument is an analemma, the date  equivalent of a sundial; shaped like an oblong figure eight, it  traces the location of the Sun as the Earth makes its trip  through the solar system. It’s designed so that the name of  each person who has died will be highlighted by the sun at  noon on the date of their death.  

“We explored a monumental expression of a scale visible from  vantage points around the site and across the river,” said MacLeod. The exterior monument will surround a sphere carved out  in the middle, intended as a “space of remembrance and  contemplation” where the names of the dead will be visible. Once built, it will stand as a reminder of a link between the  city and the globe, and the cost of playing a part in our world.