Massive boulder unearthed this spring finds new home in Ottawa park
The massive rock that stole residents’ hearts after hibernating under Ottawa’s Bellwood Avenue — likely for thousands of years — has found a new home.
The boulder was discovered earlier this spring when city crews began a sewer construction project in the Old Ottawa South neighbourhood. Crews at the time estimated it to weigh between 10 and 14 tonnes.
A mineralogist said the boulder was likely a glacial erratic — a rock deposited in the area by moving glaciers a long time ago. It was estimated to be about a billion years old and sitting in the same spot for more than 10,000 years.
After residents in May advocated to save the massive rock from getting crushed, Coun. Shawn Menard said the city would eventually move it to a local park.
On Tuesday, that promise came to life.
Resident Gauri Sreenivasan said the city alerted her about the move last week and she alerted the growing list of neighbourhood supporters.
“We were all very excited,” said Sreenivasan. “We all appeared out on the sidewalk — it was first thing in the morning. There was already a big crane and really large flat-bed truck.”
Once securely on the truck, the boulder was slowly and carefully dropped off at its new home by a bus shelter in the neighbourhood’s Windsor Park.
Many residents walked over to the park to await its arrival, Sreenivasan said.
“I cheered,” she said, recalling the moment it thudded on the ground.
“To see it come to its new home, at a place where it will be really enjoyed by all ages for generations to come, was really just like completing a circle.”
Weighing 14.5 tonnes, Sreenivasan said the boulder was found to be slightly heavier than initially thought and that a geologist later estimated it may be closer to half a billion years old.
“We all smiled that the boulder gained a little COVID weight as we all have,” Sreenivasan said.