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Vincent Massey Park

Vincent Massey Park

Designed by Hart Massey, the unique modernist pavilions of Vincent Massey Park commemorate his father, Governor General of Canada. They are a reminder of the legacy of sustainable ideals. This is a fantastic article to read.

They are built with the six biophilic elements of environmental features, natural shapes and forms, evolved human-nature relationships, natural patterns and processes, and light and space in mind.

Entrance Pavilion

The entrance pavilion, like Hart Massey’s original pavilions and the new washroom building shaped to look like a beech leaf, connects visitors to nature through its biophilic design. This is achieved through the use of natural shapes, materials, colors, and textures.

The natural heritage of the park continues to be nurtured by implementing the city beautification plan and Greber Plan introduced in 1903 and 1950 respectively. Trees have been preserved and the park’s ecological and biological integrity is protected (Von Bayer, 1993).

The cultural heritage of the park reflects the legacy of Governor General Vincent Massey and of Ottawa architect Hart Massey. It commemorates the legacies of these architects through the preservation of their unique modernist structures and celebrates Indigenous culture with festivals such as Summer Solstice.

Bus Shelter

The bus shelter, concession stand, and washroom building were designed by Hart Massey. This unique modernist architecture connects visitors to nature through vibrant colors, minimalistic forms, and place-based relationships. It commemorates the legacies of Hart Massey, one of Ottawa’s most innovative architects, and his father, Governor General Vincent Massey. It also celebrates traditional Indigenous connections to the land through events like the Summer Solstice Festival.

The park has retained its natural environment since it was opened in 1958, continuing the ideals of the Greber Plan and the city beautification project. It has maintained its heritage value, adhering to standards 1 and 7 of the Canadian Heritage Conservation Act. These standards include ‘Do not remove or substantially alter its character-defining elements’. (Von Baeyer, 1993). The preservation of this landscape is also an educational tool for Carleton University students who use it to undertake hands-on practical research, enhancing their university experience. Discover more exciting places here.

Concession Stand

The concession stand is one of the modernist structures that were introduced at the park when it opened in 1958. It was designed by Hart Massey, who also designed the entrance pavilion and washroom building. These unique pavilions connect the park to nature. Their minimalistic design also promotes sustainability by avoiding any unnecessary additions.

The National Capital Commission has maintained the site to this day. The NCC was responsible for the deconstruction of the original washroom buildings and the construction of the new beech leaf-shaped bathrooms. The NCC is also responsible for maintaining the historical information gathered by Past Recovery Archaeological Services during the redevelopment of the concession stand and washroom buildings. The NCC’s actions contribute to a sense of place in the park that commemorates the legacy of Hart Massey and honors his father, Governor General Vincent Massey.

New Washroom Building

During the park’s rehabilitation, the National Capital Commission deconstructed the original washroom buildings and replaced them with this large beech leaf-shaped building. The new washroom building uses 95% of the material from the previous structures and earned the 2012 City of Ottawa Architectural Conservation Award for adaptive use (Edward J. Cuhaci, n.d).

These modernist structures commemorate Hart Massey’s legacy and connect the park’s visitors to nature. This is accomplished through biophilic design, such as mimicking the trees and branches, allowing sunlight in, and incorporating the landscape into the building’s form. They also encourage the senses and educate on sustainability. The park is located on traditional, unceded Algonquin territory and the Summer Solstice festival celebrates indigenous connections to the land.

Centennial Bandstand

The refurbished buildings at Vincent Massey Park showcase modernist architectural styles and commemorate the legacy of the father of Canada’s first Governor General, The Right Honourable Vincent Massey. The bus shelter, concession stand, new washroom building, and centennial bandstand were designed by Ottawa architect Hart Massey for the park’s opening in 1958. All the buildings were designed with sustainable ideals and incorporated many environmentally friendly features. (Von Baeyer, 1993).

The unique design of these pavilions connects people to the natural environment and celebrates the site’s rich ecological and environmental heritage. It also honors traditional indigenous connections to the land. The park hosts a summer solstice festival to commemorate this and other indigenous events throughout the year. The bike paths within the park allow cyclists and other visitors to experience nature while commuting. Continue reading about Brewer Park.



Driving directions from Ottawa House Painter to Vincent Massey Park

Driving directions from Vincent Massey Park to Brewer Park