UPDATE JUNE 2018: In an email exchange with the NCC (who manage this monument), it was relayed to me that “when the NCC’s mandate was modified back in 2013, all the historical information related to interpretation, commemorations, public art, events etc. was transferred to the Department of Canadian Heritage. For this reason, the files that we still maintain, do not contain the detailed interpretation plans for Major’s Hill Park.”
Being the nation’s capital, Ottawa is filled with many curious structures, from incredible museums to stunning historical architecture that fills the downtown core. Yet there are other intriguing structures that go unnoticed unless a more detailed and closer inspection is made, structures that are mysterious in nature and without clear explanation.
Once such structure is a bizarre concrete pad in Ottawa’s scenic Major’s Hill Park. I’ve walked over it many times, but have never noticed until now the oddity of the whole thing. A glimpse at it from an aerial image illustrates its very esoteric nature.
It is a carefully crafted solstice monument which interprets an event that has been celebrated among many ancient cultures such as the Mayans, Egyptians and Celts. Various rituals around the solstice follow themes of religion or fertility, but why is an unmarked secret solstice structure in downtown Ottawa?
I have previously investigated another odd solstice site in Ottawa at the former City Hall island, in which its pyramids mysteriously align with the Solstice. Now another site has been found, this time in Major’s Hill Park across from Parliament Hill. The park is owned and maintained by the National Capital Commission who states “Major’s Hill Park is the Capital’s first park and has been a green space since 1826 when the building of the Rideau Canal began. In 1867, fireworks and bonfires at Major’s Hill Park marked the Capital’s first Canada Day celebrations.”
The park was once occupied by the labourers of the nearby Rideau Canal and more notably it was the official residence of Lieutenant-Colonel John By until he returned to England in 1832. Once referred to as “Colonel’s Hill” Captain Daniel Bolton replaced Colonel By and he moved into his old house. Bolton was later promoted to “Major” and since then the area has been called Major’s Hill. The ruins of the original stone structure were later unearthed and are part of the park today.
After researching the odd elliptical concrete pad at the south end of the park to determine why it was built in such an intriguing manner, I found nothing about who designed or built it so I turned to aerial imagery to see what was going on. Sure enough, it has a very specific alignment. Applying the Sun Surveyor app to the site it was revealed the structure is part of some bizarre summer solstice monument that spreads across the park.
The oval shaped concrete pad is divided into emanating lines from a marked circle with a distinct black line with dashed white lines that points to the north west. If you stand in the centre of the circle and look down that black line, your sightline carries across the park further away to a secondary concrete structure that also contains an odd “runway” that resembles an airport landing strip. This secondary runway area intersects with the stone ruins of Colonel By’s original home.
Once the summer solstice date of June 21 has been computed into the application we can see that the whole structure is in alignment with the setting sun on the date of the Summer Solstice. What this means is that if you are standing in the centre of the circle on the primary concrete pad looking down the black line as the sun sets on the summer solstice you would see the sun disappear in alignment with the pre-calculated and constructed concrete “runway” that stretches across the park.
Now what is really fascinating, is that if you extend that sightline even further, past the secondary runway, the line perfectly intersects with ANOTHER curious structure: The statue of Samuel deChamplain at Nepean point. One alignment match could be coincidence, two is unlikely, but THREE alignment hits makes this a very planned, and deliberate calculated alignment. But why on the Summer Solstice would there be an alignment with the very prominent statue of Samuel DeChamplain on Nepean point?
Champlain is known as the “The Father of New France”, a navigator, cartographer, draughtsman, soldier, explorer, geographer, ethnologist, diplomat, and chronicler. He founded New France and Quebec City on July 3, 1608. This is what the history books tell us, but what could be one of his greatest secrets is that Champlain was a part of the ancient order of the Knights Templar, sent to North America to establish a new “base of operations” for the Knights of Malta, a derivative of the Templars after their disbanding in 1312.
The Knights Templar had a strong presence in a place called La Rochelle in France and it was their largest base on the Atlantic Ocean, also where they stationed their main fleet of ships. Whether by coincidence or by connection, Champlain inherited a substantial estate at La Rochelle.
CHAMPLAIN’S CONNECTION TO THE KNIGHTS
In a book written in 1890, “History of the Knights Templar of Canada”, compiled by the historians of the Order, there is a chapter devoted to the early knights exploits to North America. Champlain is stated to be the first of the Knights to reach Quebec.
Now what is completely fascinating is a detail of Ottawa’s Champlain statue, erected in 1915 and sculpted by Hamilton McCarthy, who incorrectly placed Champlain’s astrolabe upside down in his outreached hand. Why is the astrolabe so prominently displayed incorrectly and in perfect alignment with a series of other structures on the summer solstice? Is there a connection to the order of knights Champlain was associated with?
Well a closer look at the astrolabe shows a unique shape that curiously resembles another recognizable symbol, that of cross of the Templar Knights. Coincidence?
This is all fun speculation, but now we have FOUR odd coincidences all linked to Ottawa’s grand summer solstice monument. A day revered by the Templar knights commemorated with ceremony to mark re-birth and fertility, all part of the ancient Order’s doctrine.
It seems too much of a coincidence that all these elements are associated together, all at one place and at one very specific time. A very carefully constructed, but unknown solar solstice monument that aligns with the statue of Champlain in the Nation’s Capital seems to be the work of someone that knew full well of this occurrence and worked it into the landscape for reasons that are not clear.
Why anyone would go to so much trouble to construct a very esoteric unmarked solstice monument linked to Champlain is beyond me, but perhaps the NCC can can answer that question as they are the ones that own the park and constructed this unusual monument.
Is it a curious coincidence or is some organization positioning secret solstice markers throughout the nation’s capital? As winter continues its icy grasp on the residents of Ottawa, one can only assume it is to celebrate the warmth and rebirth the summer solstice has brought to us for so many years.
Reblogged this on Larry Muffin At Home and commented:
This increbile structure can be seen in Ottawa, you just have to pay attention not to miss it. Really an incredible design and so many are not even aware it exist.
The pad is actually an unfinished Sun dial built in the mid 90’s by Malette Granite for the NCC. The company went bankrupt mid way through the project. They were also responsible for the 3 little monuments sitting around the sundial with plaques and the chimney type thing at the other end of the park.
The work was completed by Bussiere Granite after Malette went bankrupt.
The NCC provide the design and blueprints for this project so they should have more info related to this sundial and the monuments surronding it.
How do I know this? I worked on this project as a Malette employee and finished the project as a Bussiere Granite employee after Malette went bankrupt
Hi Pierre, Thanks so much for taking the time to fill us in on this interesting monument. I will be contacting the NCC to see if they any info on why they built this henge. -AK
Comments on Reddit state that this was an unfinished Sundial built by Malette Granite in the 1990’s.
Thanks Richard, I have posted the comment on here.
I was still fascinated by your research and love your blog. Keep up the great work!
Thanks to your marvelous post the jig’s up and soon you will have ersatz Druids chanting all over it every year.
Andrew, as we get closer to the Summer Solstice, I’d love an update: has the NCC responded?
Just to say that they don’t know much about why it was built that way and it is in the hands of someone else now…stay tuned!
I have just come across this post and I am intrigued. Being a bit skeptical I drew my own line across a Google map and certainly verified the alignment. So It’s on my calendar to revisit at midsummer evening. Is any type of ceremony being planned?
Thanks for the note and interest in this odd solstice alignment….I am not in town on the solstice but encourage others to visit the site and report back on the event!
There is definitely something planned. My hubby is on Security detail at Major Hill’s Park the next couple of weeks and tells me there are sound checks going on today for the Solstice event tomorrow.
Foiled in 2017 – could not decide if June 20 or June 21 would have the solstice sunset, probably both would be close enough, but arrived at Major’s Hill Park at 8:55pm June 20 to find it closed for a rehearsal, and will stay closed for the actual concert June 21. Oh well, maybe next year.
What an amazing feature at Major’s Hill – never knew – will definitely look closer at it next time I’m downtown. Great research – thanks for posting!
Thanks for reading!