Mr. Speaker, today marks the 395th anniversary of Samuel de Champlain's first visit to Ottawa.
Morris Bishop wrote in his book Champlain: The Life of Fortitude that on this day in 1613, “he admired the superb fall of the Rideau throwing its waters forward, clear of the cliff, to make a curtain (Rideau). The Indians passed behind the waterfall for amusement, barely wetting themselves. Champlain was captivated by this beautiful spot, where one day was to rise the towered capital of all his realm”.
It is Champlain who gave us the name for the Rideau Falls and the river of the same name and, indirectly, for Rideau Street and the city wards of Rideau, Rideau-Vanier and Rideau-Rockcliffe.
Champlain also inspired the naming of Rideau Hall, the Rideau Centre and the former Rideau Township.