Ottawa River, ON - Eric Campbell

My name is Eric Campbell and I’m from Ottawa. Being from Ottawa, the water body that has the biggest impact on me is the Ottawa River. You know I’ve lived within probably 200m of the Ottawa River my entire life and only when I was about 17 or 18 that I actually started exploring the Ottawa River both walking along the shores and swimming and/or canoeing.

It’s so central to the city and yet very few people make use of it. I remember going through the Ottawa River as a place that you just walk along, and all of sudden one summer you could swim in the Ottawa River. That was impressive and kinda new and a surprise. It was like Okay, let’s swim in the Ottawa River. But there were some red flags up some days and you couldn’t swim in the Ottawa River and that definitely increased our high school water illiteracy. I lived about 200m from the Ottawa River, my school was about 100m away from the Ottawa River, so you know it’s amazing that the river could be so close but not figure into my existence very much – it was just there, it was kind of a boundary. Until we recognized it as an opportunity for creation, is what we used it for.

That was deep, but it took a long time. Nobody kind of said, oh here’s the river. It was just always there and all of a sudden it was something we wanted to use.

Ottawa River, ON
Ottawa Riverkeeper
Miriam Ahmed
Eric Campbell

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