In 1945, the Government of MacKenzie King asked Jacques Gréber, a French architect specializing in landscape architecture and urban design, to develop a plan for Canada's National Capital district.

Jacques Gréber points at a city model Source: National Capital Commission

Gréber 's plan presented recommendations addressing a variety of issues including transportation, development, regulations, parks and green spaces.


One of the best-known recommendations, which has had a major impact on the appearance and the quality of life in Canada's Capital, is the integration of green spaces and greenbelts within the urban area. Gréber envisioned an outer greenbelt and interior greenbelts. These interior Greenbelts


“would frame neighbourhoods, provide a natural setting as a respite to the strains of urban life, provide focused area for community services and provide a link to the outer greenbelts.”


Source: National Capital Commission

What is not well-remembered about the Gréber plan is that it was to have the Capital become a living memorial to those who fought and died in the Second World War.

The Order of Council of August 16, 1945 stated in part,


"to make a study of the area with a view of preparing plans for a suitable long-term development of such area (Canada's National Capital district) as a National War Memorial to the Canadians who fought and died in

World War II.”

GIVING ADRENALINE- Normandy Beachhead, France, 6 June 1944

Source: Department of National Defence/Library and Archives Canada PA-143845

Photographer: PO Donovan J. Thorndick

Background Image: Then Prime Minister MacKenzie King with Jacques Gréber

Source: Library, Ottawa Citizen