Sunday, December 21, 2008

Centretown, darkly, under snow

Winter has come to Centretown, and with that come earlier nights. I've acquired a nice compact tripod, which has allowed me to make some quite stunning night shots.

Here's a shot of "CENTRETOWN" written in the snow in early December in the garden at Bridgehead on Elgin. I had inscribed this the day before, and was surprised and interested at the way it had survived:

This shot of Bank Street, looking Northward from Nepean toward the unfinished Mondrian building, was taken before it opened back up to traffic. Just some finishing touches were left to be done on November 27, three days before it officially re-opened:

On December 9, we got quite a whammy downtown with the Chaudière bridge closed, a major snowfall, and a bus strike coming at midnight. While the streets were mostly bare of traffic by 9:30 pm, I plopped my tripod in the snowbank outside of Hartman's and took a few shots of the snowy Bank Street, first looking North to the intersection:

And then South down the street:

Two nights later (by coincidence, also at 9:30 pm), I was at the Bank/MacLaren bridgehead when the big machines came to take the snow away. I stepped out and took some photos from the opposite corner (sans tripod). Incidentally, I'm currently posting this entry from that Bridgehead. They've brought back the one-hour limit on the wireless, which is annoying, as it takes me well over an hour to compose each post.

I'm not sure if the snow clearing department understands that people still ride bikes in the Winter. Indeed, the City is recommending it as one of various alternatives during the bus strike. It's a pity, then, that the relatively new cutout for bicycles on MacLaren at O'Connor wasn't cleared of snow when I last saw it:

While the Chaudière bridge has partially re-opened, the bus strike and the various snow events continue to impact people's (terrible) driving habits. A police cruiser was stationed on the sidewalk on Elgin and Laurier with its lights flashing, presumably as a reminder to pay attention and drive responsibly.

Snow and traffic aren't the only troubles that the cold spell has brought. On the evening of the 16th, on my way home from a CCCA meeting at City Hall, I noticed a crew fixing a broken water main under Bank Street at Gladstone. Luckily, it happened at night, and didn't require the whole street to be closed to repair, both of which were the case with when the water main broke under Elgin Street in May.

I broke out the tripod and took some nice shots:

The water was pumped out of the hole and was running around the corner. In the very cold weather, it was hardening into a slush, which was then molded by the tires of passing cars before freezing into ice:

A friend of mine recently decided to move to Vancouver. He invited a few of us over to his place after the weekly dinner to take some things off his hands. This was my first time in his apartment, and I was quite enamored by the view of Centretown from his balcony. I took a number of photos that night, plus a few shots a couple of days later in daytime. Let me tease you with a couple of them...

Here's Elgin Street between Cooper and Lisgar, including Dunn's and Pizza Pizza store (the recent expansion of which I documented in my last post). Ironically, my tripod was too short to see over the banister, so I rested my camera against the rail.

The snow crews were removing the snow from Somerset Street West, immediately below us, and I got some shots of them doing their work. This shot is my new desktop at work (as always, click the photo to enlarge), which also makes a good deterrent for potential computer thieves who suffer from vertigo!

If you have an apartment with a good view of Centretown, I'd LOVE to come over to take photos, day or night!


  1. Great pictures! I really need to get myself a tripod (and a camera that can take good night pictures) one of these days, myself.

  2. I suppose I should mention...

    It's an Optex tripod that a friend of mine got for me from Jean Coutu pharmacy, somewhere in the East end. It cost $30, and isn't strong enough to hold "real" cameras.

    Here's a description.