Swans A-Swimming Again

By John Dance

The swans are back and if Mayor Jim Watson has his way they’ll be with us forever.
On Saturday the mayor with other dignitaries released the Royal Swans at Old Ottawa East’s Brantwood Park. They casually swam off into the Rideau River, leaving their fans cheering from the shore.

The event marked two important milestones: Canada’s 150th birthday and the 50th anniversary of the original Royal Swans that were gifted to the City of Ottawa by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, in celebration of Canada’s Centennial year in 1967.

The Mayor, marking his third Old Ottawa East visit over the last week, took the occasion to call for permanent funding of the swan program as he noted the importance of the birds and the futility of suggesting that the swans be axed in annual budget deliberations.

Brantwood Park is often the site of the swans’ release from their extended winter captivity because of its quiet and gentle shoreline. With some fanfare, the City provided musicians and family-friendly activities for those joining in the swan release.

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