Public Artwork

A Monument To a Lost Opportunity

Justin Wonnacott,  A Monument To a Lost Opportunity
Rideau Street, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Artwork creator(s): 
Wonnacott, Justin
Text author(s): 
Wonnacott, Justin
Installation year: 

Slab with an inscription in the sidewalk.

Text of the artwork: 

this land was in my trust.
I had one year to build a tiny
home to prove my sincerity
and care for this place. I built
nothing and lost it forever.

J. Doe 1826


These words refer to a fictional opportunity lost by citing terms from the land grants to soldiers/settlers at the time of Ottawa's early British development. It was necessary to erect a structure of about the same size as this monument within a year of taking possession if you wished to retain/obtain a lasting title to the land. At the time this monument was installed, this end of Rideau Street did not look too good - there were lots that had been vacant for a very long time. It is much improved today.


Source: Justin Wonnacott (2008). Wonnacott - Rideau Street.