Public Artwork


Justin Wonnacott, Untitled, 2003. © Justin Wonnacott
Justin Wonnacott, Untitled, 2003. © Justin Wonnacott
Ottawa, ON, Canada
Artwork creator(s): 
Wonnacott, Justin
Text author(s): 
Wonnacott, Justin
Installation year: 
Remarks on location: 

Disc at Rideau and George Streets; Situated at (George Street?) end of the pedestrian mall, connecting Rideau and George (South end) Streets; End of pedestrian mall connecting Rideau Street and George Street in Byward market.


Circle embedded into the ground. In the middle, there is an image of a rabbit; on the perimeter, flames and text.

Text of the artwork: 

The tin mug, the only tea cup, went round til all had drunk and each with his bush knife cut toasted meat on a shive of bread. A tot or two of weak grog finished the feast then some would fall asleep. Reclining thus like a parcel of spoons, our feet to the fire we foten foudn the hair of our heads frozen to the place where we lay. Thus we spent our Merry Christmas in 1826.

Artwork theme: 

Historical narrative


This work was built three times:

The first version was rebuilt because it was not in very good condition.

The second version was damaged by construction to the sidewalk in 1999.

The third version was built in 2003.



The first version was made of 400 cast concrete letterforms embedded in a concrete matrix, brass flames, hand-made aluminum bunny embedded in terrazzo; assisted by Wiley Thomas.

The text is taken from a surveyor’s journal written on Christmas in 1826. Gives a pithy account of camping in Dow’s great swamp, describing a meal among fellows and how they all shared a drink in a single tin cup. Funds came from city staff, obtained from insurance policy on the work; combined with global budget for the city’s improvement of the Waller street pedestrian mall. Flush with the pavement: third version.


Also, small amount of money available to pay for a new complementary work on North end of the street mall.


Made of one solid piece of gray Barre granite


Constructed by Colonial Granite led by Tom Cole, who had also made earlier work (A Monument to a Lost Opportunity, 1992)