One of the great features of the YouRide Event is its location. Strathcona Park is sandwiched between the Rideau River and Range Road. Here it commands a magnificent position on the river at the eastern end of Sandy Hill and just a short distance from the Youville Centre itself.
Strathcona park was formerly the site of the Dominion Rifle Range – hence the name Range Road. Just before the beginning of the twentieth century, this area was purchased for the newly formed Ottawa Golf Club. The land there was sufficient for a nine hole course. Later, to accommodate a larger course, the Club moved, first to a site on the Chelsea Road and then to its present location on the Aylmer Road opposite the Champlain Bridge.
In the intervening years, Strathcona Park has matured into a beautiful place for visitors to stroll or sit while enjoying the beauty of its wonderful setting.
And the park and the surrounding streets are loaded with history as well. For example, the fountain located at the north-west corner of Strathcona Park was brought here from England by Donald Smith, Baron Strathcona, and given to the city in 1909. For many years the fountain sat empty, unused and decaying. However, when the park was upgraded in the 1990s, the fountain was restored to working order. Because it is a real fountain – and not one of those nasty broken pipe imitations that pass for fountains elsewhere in the city – it adds life and movement to this section of the park.