Picnic on the Bridge: Capital Region to host a Canadian first in 2017


Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and Mayor Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin of Gatineau enjoyed a picnic on the Alexandra Bridge today to announce a new joint initiative for Canada’s sesquicentennial celebrations. On July 2, 2017, the iconic steel truss structure that spans the Ottawa River between Ontario and Quebec will be transformed into a grassy haven for a Canadian first – the Interprovincial Picnic on the Bridge.

“Ottawa and Gatineau are two cities that form one community,” said Mayor Watson. “In 2017, we will celebrate together and I invite all Canadians to join in the memorable experiences to be enjoyed on both sides of the Ottawa River, as well as over it.”

“The Interprovincial Picnic on the Bridge will highlight our unique feature: two of our country’ great cities, located in two different provinces, but united in the hearth of Canada’s Capital Region,” said Mayor Pedneaud-Jobin. “This very original event will elevate our cities, and celebrate both our unity and diversity.”

To fête the announcement, the mayors enjoyed a meal together featuring culinary favorites from each city, as they dined at a bistro table set on a patch of green grass, surrounded by the majestic views of the Ottawa River. The two discussed plans for the Interprovincial Picnic on the Bridge, as well as ongoing developments of the Global Relay Canadian Road Championships, another joint event both cities will host in 2016 and again in 2017 that could attract as many as 400 participants and tens of thousands of spectators.

For the Interprovincial Picnic on the Bridge, the Alexandra Bridge will undergo an overnight transformation into a park, complete with lush green lawns and family friendly activities. Families and small groups will be assigned picnic spaces.

Sod for this project is graciously donated by Manderley Turf Products Inc, a Canadian leader in lawn and garden products. “When we approached the Ottawa 2017 Bureau with an offer of support, we never imagined that we would get to deliver such an innovative and inspiring tribute to Canada’s 150th birthday. We are very proud to be a part of it,” said Greg Skotnicki, President of Manderley Turf Products Inc. Following the event in 2017, the sod will be donated to local community organizations.

“Ottawa 2017 is excited to add this exceptional event, inspired by a similar successful program that first took place in Sydney, Australia in 2009, to our list of Signature Events,” said Guy Laflamme, Executive Director of the Ottawa 2017 Bureau. “We will be announcing many more events of this caliber in the weeks and months to come, as we gear up for this once-in-a-lifetime, yearlong celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, right here in the Capital.”