Often when something as small as a bit of street furniture disappears, its absence isn't noticed. That's why the City does an annual inventory of all the signs it has posted, to make sure none were removed unnoticed.
Thus was not the case when I came on this sight on Elgin, just South of Somerset (a block South of the 100-year-old sidewalk). Taken in mid-October 2009, it's the obvious sign of a garbage bin that had been removed, no more than a few days prior.
I scoured my collection for a photo confirming my recollection that there had, indeed, been a garbage bin there, but my search came up dry. Google Street View to the rescue!
Based on news reports and cross-referencing Google Street View photos with my own, I know this would have been taken around March-April 2009, and it very definitely shows a garbage bin in front of the Oriental House Chinese restaurant, by the bus stop.
Here's a broader shot, taken from inside the Fox and Feather pub at the November bi-monthly Ottawa Blogger's Breakfasts (the next of which is this coming Saturday):
That garbage bin's removal leaves a market untapped: people tossing out their drinks before getting onto the bus. In this photo from mid-November 2009 (a month after the bin was removed), you can see three cups on top of the bus stop's timetable box, plus more trash at the base of the hydro pole.
And a month ago from now, the legacy of the missing garbage bin lives on. As poetic as frozen coffee may be, I don't think it's worth streets covered in litter.
Perhaps the bin was stolen and the City didn't notice, or maybe it was removed because it's not the prettiest piece of street furniture.
Let's just hope we get a bin back at the bus stop to help discourage littering.
Also on the topic of disappearing furniture, the bike racks on Bank Street have been removed for refurbishment. Apparently they weren't properly weather-sealed and were starting to rust. The manufacturer will re-paint them and reinstall them at no cost to the City.