Sunday, June 22, 2008

Before & After

I can't remember why, exactly, but I was browsing old photos of old trolley buses in Ottawa (perhaps it was because I did not know that there had ever been any in Ottawa...)

I landed at this photo, and immediately I recognized the building behind it as none other than the one where the re-Cycles Bicycle Co-op moved into just a couple short months ago.

The same night, I went and took a photo, but it was too dark to illustrate the comparison properly. This afternoon I wandered over and took another photo (tip: if you want to take the same photo, go a couple steps South of the wooden street post nearest Gladstone on the South-West side of Bronson).

I've cropped my photo to have almost the same dimensions as the 1950's one, and the resemblance is uncanny. You may want to open each photo in a separate tab and ctrl+tab between the two tabs quickly for comparison. Can you notice all the differences?

Some of the major differences I notice (aside from the lack of stylish vehicles) are: more trees, fewer signs, fewer posts and wires, the apartment building in the background, the entirely different façade, and the sign over the alleyway.


(This post has been retroactively added to the Centretown Heritage Project series)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Dusk on the 'town

This block is perhaps my favourite in all of Centretown. I just love the character of the three distinct buildings on Elgin between Somerset and MacLaren.

I was out at nighttime on June 16, and there was a beautiful blue sky. Of the three shots I took, this one was clearest, though it didn't quite capture the blueness of the sky as well as I would have liked.

I have a couple of other photos I took on June 8 on McLeod. Here are a couple shots of the tower under construction at the Museum of Nature:

Very pretty.

I literally have dozens of subjects that I would like to post photos for, I just need to find some time. Hopefully tonight I'll be able to queue some posts up so that a new post will go up every other day this week.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Fallen power line on MacLaren

Coming back from Hartman's tonight, there was a commotion. Police and fire vehicles with lights flashing at MacLaren, and yellow caution tape closing the street off.

A bunch of folks (firefighters included) were standing back, looking at a downed power line.

A power line post is knocked over and leaning against the roof of a Centretown house tonight

They're not sure if it was the wind, lightning, or both. Either way, I wasn't willing to hang around for too long. The garbage from Hartman's reeked, even from half a block away. Pity the poor neighbours who, on top of having a streetpost leaning against their house, have to endure trash smell all through the Summer.

Same as above, slightly closer shot


[Updated May 2012]
[Updated January 2020]
[See more extensive/recent bio in the "About" page]

Welcome to Images of Centretown.

My name is Charles Akben-Marchand. I live in Centretown* and love it.

I always carry a camera around with me, and I like to take a photo of anything that catches my eye. At best, it might tell a story. At least, it's an interesting image of something that has happened. In all cases, it's a record for the future.

In this blog I try to capture these various fleeting things about Centretown, and elsewhere in Somerset Ward, that many people might miss because they simply weren't there at the time. I'm also working on the Centretown Heritage Project to add a historical context to what Centretown has become.

I ride a bike year round, mainly because I prefer it to other transportation options, and participate in various formal and ad-hoc cycling advocacy activities (apparently I was the first to use the #OttBike hashtag on Twitter). From 2005 to 2008, I was President of Bike Ottawa (ex Citizens for Safe Cycling)), and since then I have been volunteering at RBC Bluesfest in charge of the very successful valet Bike Park, which has parked over 80,000 bicycles for Bluesfest patrons, volunteers, and staff.

I was previously President of the Centretown Citizens Community Association. I have been since 2009 on the Dalhousie Community Association. From 2011 to 2015 I worked in the office of Councillors Diane Homes and Catherine McKenney. I mention this purely for disclosure; this blog is about Centretown, not about me. Opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily reflect any of my employers or groups with which I volunteer.

I have not posted regularly on the blog in some time, but used to post on Monday, Wednesday and Friday with Pedestrian-related posts on Wednesdays and 3D photos on Thursdays. You can also follow me on Twitter, @Centretowner

I hope you enjoy it!