In its second year as a part of the four-day Rideau Canal Festival, Colonel By Day has grown, the director of the Bytown Museum said.
An estimated 6,000 people gathered in the area around the Bytown Museum yesterday to take in free activities, displays and demonstrations to tell the history of the area, said Mike Steinhauer.
The day is something people should celebrate, he said. “Without Col. By, we wouldn’t be standing here today,” he said.
Among the crowds that came to enjoy the locks and the activities were local citizens.
While Jan Yuill and her daughter, Abby, enjoyed a bike ride, Geoff Matthews brought his wife, Asuka, and their son, Kyto, to the festival, where they took in dance performances. The family normally spends a lot of time around the canal, biking in the summer and skating in the winter.
The zero-footprint Rideau Canal Festival, which wrapped up yesterday, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site designation have brought a lot of attention to the canal, Matthews said.
Dozens of historical craftspeople demonstrated their work, including heritage weaver Lise Loader and Ottawa lacemaker Gertrude Thibeault.