The first piece of street furniture has been installed on Bank Street between Laurier and Somerset, and it inspired me to finally post some photos of the construction. I've managed to pare down my 325 photos of this phase to 18 for this post. I definitely have a sufficient variety of photos for more follow-up posts.
Anyway, the reason I was inspired to post was because this particular piece of street furniture--a bench--is particularly disgusting.
During the open house for the street design, the there was a proposal for a face-to-face bench, which would allow people to meet while discouraging homeless people from sleeping on the bench (not a goal I value highly). As seen in the centre of this display board, the proposed bench design was sturdy and had character:
Instead, we got the flimsy cafeteria-chair design pictured below. Not only is it unwelcoming as a bench, but I couldn't imagine sitting and chatting with someone on it in the remotest amount of comfort:
It is possible (though not likely) that this will be replaced by the comprehensive street furniture project (unlikely because the street furniture for this project was developed for Bank Street specifically).
Anyway, on to the photos from the construction. First is a mostly "before" picture from early June looking North from Bank and Lisgar. We can see what Bank Street used to look like, how wide and decrepit the sidewalks were.
Next is a shot from mid-June looking South from Cooper with a bulldozer pointing down a slope into the ground in front of Henry's camera shop. In the back we can see the building at Bank and Somerset that had two fires (I will post some photos of that later, as I have already promised to do):
Below we see a late-June dusk shot of a pile of old railroad ties unearthed from beneath the street. I presume they were thrown out, which is kind of unfortunate:
Next is a shot of Bank and Somerset after the big hole in the ground was paved over and painted. The sky still had some light in it at 9:30 pm. My how the seasons change quickly!
On July 2nd, a couple of workers are in a pit, connecting up some water mains. The square nub at the top of the red connector is to shut off the water main from a hole in the surface:
Next is a great perspective shot from mid-July looking straight down Bank Street from Laurier. There isn't much to see construction-wise, but the centred horizon really attracts the eye:
Here is a form for a concrete block that will sit under the surface at Bank and Somerset. To be honest, I'm not quite sure what it's for...
This little pigeon has had a rough life. It looked either sick or injured. But it still scrapped along in this early August shot at Cooper:
In early August, they had finished with the centre of the road and moved on to work on the sidewalks. But to maintain access to the stores, fenced walkways were erected at each entrance. It looked a bit of an obstacle course, but really the wide central vista made for a rather enjoyable pedestrian walkway.
In mid-September, work on the East sidewalk at Bank and Somerset had to be suspended while the first fire was investigated. The area was cleared and the sidewalk was completed before the second fire struck and closed the corner again two weeks later. Here's a shot from the day of the first fire:
At 1pm on a weekday in mid-September, the sidewalk was quite bustling between Laurier and Gloucester, while construction workers use the temporarily-paved road to park their vehicles. Good thing the rebuilt Bank Street has wider sidewalks!
Pipes stick out from the middle of the hole at Lisgar on the same day. In order to collect the drainage from the basements of the surrounding buildings, the pipes must go pretty deep!
Again on the same day, a construction worker takes time to help an elderly woman cross the gravel intersection:
...and an assembly-line of workers get the sidewalk ready:
Here's what the mostly-finished sidewalks look like today between Lisgar and Nepean. They're much wider and less cluttered than before!
As much as I enjoy construction, and enjoy a car-free Bank Street, it will be nice for this section to reopen and see the next stretch get rebuilt!
Which reminds me: a gratuitous 19th photo--they've patched some of the worst spots on Bank Street between Gladstone and James. I've already sent a thank-you note to the City for patching this stretch I navigate every morning!