Welcome to Lotta56sparks.ca, a website and blog dedicated to the woman who made 56 Sparks Street one of Canada’s most iconic addresses, Dr. Lotta Hitschmanova, C.C. (1909-1990).
My name is David Rain. I have been a volunteer and worker with the Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization since 2016, and for 22 years I had the privilege of working with the organization Lotta founded, USC Canada (the Unitarian Service Committee), from 1993 to 2015.
I have created Lotta56sparks.ca with two objectives in mind:
- To offer a space for those who still remember Lotta to reminisce a bit, to reconnect with old memories, to explore emotional connections that she made with so many of us, and to share with others their own stories and recollections.
- To offer a space for younger folks (who did not grow up with Lotta) to learn more about this great Canadian, the remarkable role she played in our social history, and the legacy she left us through the seeds of compassion, tolerance and respect for others that she planted both here in Canada and around the globe.
A few acknowledgements:
- First and foremost, I would like to acknowledge Clyde Sanger, Lotta’s biographer, whose painstaking research in the 1980s has provided all of us with a wealth of material on Lotta’s life that I will be using frequently in this blog.
- Joy Thierry Llewellyn has also been an inspiration to me through her writings and pilgrimages to various parts of the world that were dear to Lotta herself.
- My late friend and USC Canada colleague Lillian Holowka deserves special mention for her inspiration, including arranging for a huge birthday cake to be baked for Lotta’s 100th anniversary in 2009, and also successfully requesting the City of Ottawa to proclaim November 28 “Lotta Hitschmanova Day.”
It goes without saying that I alone am responsible for the content of this blog, but I warmly invite visitors to make comments at the bottom of pages or posts, or to share your own Lotta stories or reminiscences.
NB: unless otherwise indicated, all photo credits for images of Lotta are USC Canada.