Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Doors Open: Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat

(Oops, I meant to schedule this to go up yesterday. Sorry!)

It's that time - Doors Open Ottawa is back for its tenth anniversary in Ottawa. In what has become a bit of a tradition (more links are at the bottom of this post), I'm posting photos from one of the buildings I saw last year, the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat, the Agha Khan foundation's fancy building at 199 Sussex.

The building was lauded when it opened for the quality of construction and the design of the spaces. Chief among them was the "crystal", a glass enclosure at the centre of the buliding.

On the same August 2009 weekend that I toured 111 Sussex, I took some exterior photos of the building. I was rather disappointed that, other than the "crystal", the building is mostly a white box in a field. A well-built white box, but a white box nonetheless.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Stonecliffe Bare

Here's a shot of the Stonecliffe apartments at Bronson and Laurier. I've posted photos of them before, but only from afar and above. I believe the off-blog photoset of mine I linked to from the post Images of Bronson includes a good one.

All that to say that I had aunts and uncles living there whom I visited dozens of times as a child, and I've passed by it a fair number of times in my adulthood, but never noticed until the day I took this photo that there was a flagpole there. (The balconies are under repair, hence the lack of railings)

[Look for more one-photo posts under the label Singles]

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Bell Machine

As a cyclist, I'd never had a reason to enter the parkade at Place Bell (160 Elgin) until recently. Even though its 10 floors are shorter than a regular one (since it's just exposed concrete), it's still dwarfed by the 27-storey Place Bell. This is looking from the roof of the parkade to the top of Place Bell.

In addition to learning the parkade's height, I also discovered that the parkade is square. If I understand correctly, they needed to build it above-ground because of the soft soil underneath the site.

Claridge is building four more towers of the same height next door to this parkade--two across Nepean as part of the 187 Metcalfe development (the one that Council sped through the approvals on the promise of a portrait gallery--since changed to a grocery store), and two more at 89-91 Nepean. 70 Gloucester, the twin of 89-91 Nepean, went to Planning Committee on Tuesday.

When the Centretown Plan was developed, it went up to Gloucester Street, except for a notch to exclude Place Bell due to its obvious incongruence with the neighbourhood. It's a shame, then, that Claridge got away with using 1960s buildings to justify heights far above those in the development plans for the neighbourhood.

[Look for more one-photo posts under the label Singles]

Monday, May 23, 2011

Mixing the fish in Chinatown

Chinatown Remixed is back again this year, and for the third year in a row local artists and shops on Somerset West are promoting each other's fare in a celebration of art and culture. In other words, most of the restaurants in Chinatown have work from different artists hanging on their walls. The restaurant owners generally don't mind if you come in just to check out the art, so long as it's not a very busy time of day.

The launch party was last Sunday, and among the festivities was this sidewalk chalk drawing of two koi chasing each other's tails. Brian Smith (in hat on the left) and his daughter Mika drew the fish, and people walking by throughout the day filled in the scales.

[Look for more one-photo posts under the label Singles]

Friday, May 20, 2011


Sorry for the lack of posts, but you can get your fix of Centretown updates and photos by following me on Twitter (@Centretowner). This week I've tweeted many photos of the new Bixi stations, among other things. See just my Twitter posts with photos here. Since those are mostly photos I take with my Blackberry, I usually take another copy with my regular camera. Since some of those make it onto Images of Centretown, following me on twitter is like a sneak preview!

The Centretown Citizens Community Association is also on Twitter: @CentretownCCA

[Look for more one-photo posts under the label Singles]

Monday, May 16, 2011

Capital Bixi opens Wednesday

The NCC has announced that the Bixi bike-sharing program is coming to the Capital. Well, coming back, that is. There was an NCC-led four-station pilot of the programme in 2009, with two stations in Ottawa and two in Gatineau. One of the stations was across from Confederation Square (not to be confused by the building, school or park of the same name), next to the National Arts Centre and within view of the Chateau Laurier:

They planned to have it back in 2010, but there were no bids to the RFP. The NCC planned to team up with the Cities of Gatineau and Ottawa to have a 50 station, 500 bike system this year, but neither city wanted to put the money towards it. Ottawa instead decided to put the money toward a pathway tunnel under Somerset, a decision I supported, though it would of course have been nice to fund both. If you follow me on Twitter, You'd have seen my photo from Saturday of where the tunnel will go (I plan to do a proper write-up of it eventually). Anyway, here's a photo of the other 2009 station on this side of the River, in the Byward Market.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Red Apron's New Digs

On Monday, May 2, 2011, Red Apron opened the doors to its new, expanded location across the street from its first storefront on Gladstone Avenue. Here Jo-Ann Laverty poses in front of the new fridges for single-serving dishes in the new space:

If you haven't already, check out my previous post in February on the previous tenant of 564 Gladstone, C.C.B. Electric, which moved there after nearly a century on Bank street. The day I posted that entry in February, the C.C.B. signs were flipped inside out.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Rescue Bronson Avenue walking tour and posters

Today's Jane's Walk for the Rescue Bronson Avenue initiative went really well. It was right on time and we had about 35-45 people on each of the two parts of the tour (breaking it up into two parts worked really well, and some people joined us at noon for the second part). See yesterday's post promoting this walk here

Here are the volunteers who led the walk, from left to right: Will and Josée, who helped keep order and time; and moi, who gave the tour. We're standing at what the NCC calls "Bronson Park" at the top of Bronson overlooking Lebreton Flats, and across the street from Roper House on the Christ Church site.

Here's a shot I took near the end of the tour of the attendees on the second part of the tour as we ducked in to Florence Street for a respite from all that heavy traffic along Bronson:

I made eight different location-specific posters to illustrate the walk at the following locations, copied below (click on them to see full-size ~1.5MB ea). I left them up so you should be able to still see some of them and compare with what's there in person until they're inevitably taken down.

Here are all eight. I'm just listing the names of the posters, which don't have current pictures of the sites because they're intended to be seen in situ. I could make this post insanely long with additional photos and text, but I need some sleep after a long and successful day at the Jane's Walk and the wrap party at the Lieutenant's Pump (which was recently renovated).

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Sunday 11am and noon: Rescue Bronson Avenue walking tour

This ain't your mother's Mother's Day Jane's Walk. Unless your mother lived on Bronson before they widened it in the '50s.

Sunday, May 8, 2011, at 11am, head on over to Bronson and Queen for a really exciting Jane's Walk on Bronson Avenue. If you're not the morning type, you can meet up with us at the Chinatown Arch/Raw Sugar where we'll get to the second half of the walk at noon.

This will be an illustrated walk. The photo below shows an historical photo of Bronson and Somerset. There are eight different location-specific posters of behind-the-scenes happenings along Bronson that you can't see while standing on location. I'll post copies of these posters on the blog on Monday, and hopefully the posters will stay up a while.

In honour of the occasion, the Mayor proclaimed Thursday May 7, 2011, Jane Jacobs Day in Ottawa:

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Kenniston Apartments, Elgin Court, and the Lieutenant's Pump

Here are the Kenniston Apartments at 341-359 Elgin, spanning Waverley to Frank. The building is over a century old (a Library & Archives Canada photo dates from 1909) and contains residential apartments surrounding a court.

At Waverley, the Lieutenant's Pump occupies the split lower level of the building, which comes right out to both streets.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The writing on the walk says to vote

Just like for the advance polls, some youth drew chalk lines in the blocks surrounding Jack Purcell Community Centre directing people there to vote today in the Canadian federal election. I happened upon a group of them in action yesterday as they were drawing lines at Elgin and Gilmour:

I was relieved to see they had a tool for the lines; when I first saw the lines I wondered about back pain from drawing that many lines!

[Look for more one-photo posts under the label Singles]