A. Y. Jackson Park
A. Y. Jackson, a prominent member of the famous 'Group of Seven', lived and painted in Manotick from 1957 to 1962. His art was inspired by the landscapes and wildlife of Canada, and is featured in the National Gallery of Canada.
The Manotick Art Association championed the naming of A. Y. Jackson Park in the artist's honour. The riverside setting on "Manotick island" provides a place where many people go to paint, draw or photograph the picturesque Watson's Mill on the opposite bank. People often fish from the park's shore as well as from the Dam.
The park includes perennials, wildflowers, trees planted by members of the Manotick Horticulture Society. A gazebo overlooks the river and mill and benches provide a place to rest. A stairway leads to the water's edge. A number of very large stones have been specially selected and brought to the site to form a memorial garden where visitors can read about the life and times of the famous Canadian painter. The park promotes local history and nature interpretation.
In August 2016, a piano donated by the Riggs family to Pianos in the Park was placed in the gazebo for the summer with donations by local residents and businesses. (About $700 is required each year for moving, storage and tuning.) In 2017, the required money was raised again by the end of July and the "Gord Downey" tribute piano spent the rest of the summer in the gazebo. In 2019, a piano mysteriously appeared and no one knows who put it there!
On Arthur Crescent between Millview Street and Bridge Street. From the east end of the dam, walk left about 100 metres. The park extends to the gazebo on a high point facing Watson's Mill and to the shore of the back channel of the Rideau River. Note: dogs are not allowed in this park. [map]
A. Y. Jackson Park sod turning ceremony was held November 6, 2002 by the Manotick A. Y. Jackson Park Committee and Mayor Chiarelli of the City of Ottawa. The park was completed in 2004.
Jackson built a cottage on Highcroft Drive overlooking the Rideau River where he lived and worked during the 1950's and 60s. Jackson's last home is still configured the same, and his bright studio is currently used by an interior designer. A signed copy of Jackson's book "A.Y.'s Canada" donated by the family will remain in the studio if the cottage is sold. Jackson's niece still lives next door. (Sept/2012)