News / Ottawa

Ottawa's Inspiration Village ends its run in market

The installation will be removed after the Labour Day weekend, but the Ottawa sign will remain.

Ottawa 2017's Inspiration Village hosted over 340,000 visitors over its 110-day run.

Ottawa 2017

Ottawa 2017's Inspiration Village hosted over 340,000 visitors over its 110-day run.

Inspiration Village, perhaps the most tepidly received of the Ottawa 2017 installations, wrapped up on Monday after 110 days occupying York Street between Sussex Avenue and ByWard Market Square.

The installation, comprising of 41 repurposed shipping containers, was not universally popular with residents and nearby merchants.

Businesses had complained early on about the loss of 92 parking spaces, and the village never drew the sort of acclaim and praise that other Ottawa 2017 events, like La Machine, did.

Some people complained that the whole thing felt like a sales pitch, with each of the provincially themed shipping containers housing what was, in effect, a tourist kiosk.
“It looks and feels like a boring tradeshow featuring provincial and territorial tourism organizations,” wrote blogger Juliette Giannesini, in a June review of the installation. “There are no artistic elements, no passion, nothing original.”

Still, Ottawa 2017 is calling Inspiration Village a success. In a press release Monday, the group pointed out that over 340,000 people visited the site between May 20 and Sept. 4 (49 per cent of whom were from out of town), and that the site boasted an 87 per cent satisfaction rate.

(Much like everything else in Ottawa this summer, the Inspiration Village was water-logged: Ottawa 2017 said that it rained for 93 hours while the installation was open to visitors.)

Not all of Inspiration Village is being packed up and shipped out, however. The OTTAWA sign, which proved immensely popular with photo-taking tourists and residents alike, will be sticking around.

Ottawa 2017 will be donating the sign to the City of Ottawa, but the city has not announced any concrete plans about where they will be locating the letters. Ottawa 2017 director Guy Laflamme told CBC that he expects the letters to need repairs before they are sent back on to the streets.

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