The grandfather and his grandson park the car and begin
to walk the path along the canal. The boy stops abruptly; his eyes widen.
“What is this
building?”, he asks. Compared to the large beige pillars, the boy
“This building is the Government Conference Centre; it was built over 100 years ago and was once a train station. I will
tell you a secret: your great-grandmother met your great-grandfather in this
very station. In the early years there was an underground tunnel in the
building that led to a ballroom across the street; people would come together
to dance and socialize. The 100-year-old heritage building is being restored and
renovated now to house the Senate so the work on Center Block can begin.”
“There is so much
history here, Grandpa.”
is. The history here makes Canada what it is today. Speaking of history, did
you know the Ottawa Senators are celebrating their 25th anniversary this year?
PCL built their NHL home here in Ottawa. We can go to a game at the Canadian Tire Centre together.”
The boy’s face lights up.
“Why don’t we
head to the Rideau Centre to get some gear for the game? PCL recently expanded
the center, so you can be sure there will be plenty of stores to choose from."
The pair continue to walk the streets of the downtown
core; they pass students walking to the University of Ottawa, families walking
their dogs, professionals walking to work, and other tourists enjoying the
sites Ottawa has to offer.
“Maybe one day
you will go to school in this city just like your father did.”
“And I can be
just like Dad! Where did he go to school?”
“Your Dad went to
school at la Cité collégiale, and then he did his MBA at the University of
Ottawa. PCL has in fact helped to build part of both; we contributed to
education and research both through building and by donating to scholarships
and programs at these institutions.”
“Maybe I’ll sit
in the same seats Dad sat in and have the same teachers, and I’ll be just like
The grandfather chuckles. “Maybe you’re right, but maybe it will be different. It’s okay to be
different; your family will always be a part of who you are no matter what.”
To be continued…