Capital Builders: The Remarkable People Who Shaped Ottawa

Text byOttawa Citizen

Paperback | November 15, 2017

Capital Builders: The Remarkable People Who Shaped Ottawa by Ottawa Citizen
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He struck a match and transformed the city’s economy. She penned a hit song that redefined rock music for women. They defied bigotry and — backed by hundreds of mothers wielding placards and hatpins — took a courageous stand for French-language rights. Some blazed trails for black, Chinese and Vietnamese newcomers. Another designed Canada’s ultimate architectural jewel on the Ottawa River shore, a fitting tribute to his Indigenous ancestors. And one fellow carved a canal in the wilderness and gave Canada its future seat of government.

Capital Builders is filled with stories about women and men whose lives and legacies have shaped the capital, and often the world well beyond it. Originally published as a weekly series by the Ottawa Citizen to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, the stories are collected here in collaboration with John McQuarrie, the well-known Ottawa publisher of several beautifully illustrated books. Embracing the city’s distant past and its more recent evolution, CAPITAL BUILDERS reminds us that the creation of Ottawa is still unfolding. 

History writer Randy Boswell teaches journalism at Carleton University.


No one is better placed to explore the history of the National Capital Region than the journalists of the OTTAWA CITIZEN. The newspaper’s own origins date to 1845, the year owner William Harris brought the PACKET (as it was then called) to Bytown.

    In the decades that followed, what began as a four-page weekly publication underwent name changes, shifts in ownership and technology upgrades, all the while closely covering both national politics and local news as Bytown morphed into Ottawa and the young country steadily expanded.

   CITIZEN journalists and photographers have covered everything from the assassination of Thomas D’Arcy McGee in 1868 to the October Crisis of 1970 to the historic report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2015.

    In early 2017, to mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation, the Citizen launched a weekly series online and in print called “The Capital Builders.” That series forms the backbone of this book. So please, settle in and meet some of the region's most interesting characters.

Title:Capital Builders: The Remarkable People Who Shaped OttawaFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:136 pages, 9 X 9 X 0.4 inShipping dimensions:136 pages, 9 X 9 X 0.4 inPublished:November 15, 2017Publisher:John McQuarrie PhotographyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1894673832

ISBN - 13:9781894673839

Appropriate for ages: All ages

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