Monday, January 31, 2011

77-81 Park Avenue

Park Avenue was one of a handful of streets reconstructed at the south end of the Golden Triangle last year, along with the pathway in that stretch on the West side of Queen Elizabeth Drive.

Going along Park in October, my curiosity was piqued by this interesting front entranceway to an otherwise typical three-unit Centretown townhouse at 77-81 Park.

Interesting, to say the least!

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

Friday, January 28, 2011

Laurier Optical moving

Laurier Optical has been a familiar site at Elgin and Queen street in the second floor of the Central Chambers building for a number of years. A sign in the window advertises the store is moving two blocks West, to 50 O'Connor, as of February 1, 2011.

I wonder what will take its place...

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

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Through the Bridge

I haven't been spending as much time skating on the Rideau canal as in the last two years, but when I do I still take lots of photos! Here's one looking through the side of the Bank Street Bridge:

I was on my way back from picking up some tasty local beef from the Fitzroy Beef Farmers cooperative, who do a dropoff at Bank and Sunnyside when the Ottawa Farmer's Market is out of season.

[Look for more one-photo posts under the label Singles, and Rideau Canal posts under the label Canal]

Monday, January 24, 2011

Floods close Centretown Community Police Centre

On Friday, members of the community received the following notice:
On the morning of January 20th 2011, the Centretown Community Police Centre located at 393 Somerset St. West sustained a flood that resulted in the closure of the property. As a precaution to the health and safety of its staff, all persons working within this facility have been requested to vacate immediately.

The Centretown Community Police Centre will be closed indefinitely, with the expectation to be relocated within the community once another location can be identified. All volunteers have been requested to remain home until further notice by the officer in charge.
Members of the public can still utilize the CPC's website to obtain updates.
Cst. Khoa Hoang will continue to meet his commitments within the community, and may be reached at (613) 236-1222 Ext.5287 or email at:
The Centre's boardroom was well used for community meetings, including Somerset Ward community safety meetings, the CCCA's Safety Committee and the City Centre Coalition.

The Citizen reports that this was the fourth flood in a year. This is an unfortunate setback for Constable Hoang, who started as our Community Officer just a few months ago after Nathan Hoedeman left to work with Ottawa Community Housing. I met with Constable Hoang in early December to discuss cycling safety issues. Hoang, a commuter cyclist himself, wants to latch on to the Laurier Segregated Bike Lane pilot project as an opportunity to increase cycling education.

I wish him the best in his efforts to find a new location for the Community Police Centre.

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

Friday, January 21, 2011

New community garden coming to Gladstone & Bronson

[Note: this site will not be used for a community garden. I jumped the gun and accidentally got the local media into a frenzy. Oops. There are still opportunities for a community garden in this area, including one that has been approved at McNabb Park - September 2012.]

Here's a view of Bronson Avenue looking south at Gladstone, from the Images of Bronson post from last March. Straight ahead is a bus stop at the corner for OC Transpo route 85, and to the left is a vacant lot. Behind that is the building containing re-Cycles community bicycle shop and George Brown & Sons memorials.

This has been flagged as a Rescue Bronson Avenue problem intersection, and will at least be getting pedestrian countdown signals in 2011 (PDF), but the crossing time is still very long, with five lanes on Bronson and a very wide three lanes on Gladstone.

Here's a view looking out the window of the re-Cycles shop. You can see that there's a fair amount of space between the sidewalk and the fence. This has led many people to wonder why isn't there a bus shelter at this stop, when all three other directions have one?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Reflection on Kent Street

While taking some photos of the existing Place de Ville "Podium" building, which is proposed to be demolished for a new office tower at 300 Sparks (mid block of Sparks, Queen, Kent, Lyon), I also took photos of the Mariott. On my way back to my bike, I snapped a couple shots of 240 Sparks' renovated entrance on Kent (before moving on to Bank and Queen, where I snapped last Monday's post post). While I was trying to take a photo of the suspension device for 240 Sparks' new glass wall, I inadvertently got a good shot of the Mariott in the reflection.

The Podium building houses the former three-screen Capitol Square cinema, which replaced the celebrated Capitol Theatre. You can read a bit more about the Podium building at Spacing Ottawa, and in Alain Miguelez' book on the history of screens in Ottawa, A Theatre Near You.

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

Friday, January 14, 2011

80 Florence - Chinese Community Building, part 3

Welcome to the big reveal--the final part in the series on the renovations to the exterior of the apartment building at 80 Florence, the Chinese Community Building.

In the previous two parts, I covered the former look and construction progress of the tower and of the ground level.

In this post, I've got a bunch of before-and-after angles, and some other views of the new look. Here's the view in mid-construction with the now-closed Stinson & Son/Main Garage in the foreground at Kent and Gladstone, in mid-October:

And here's a similar angle last week: the exterior uses two different shades of beige and light red brick to add variety to the view. The beige is contrasted by vertical stripes of blue-green window fixtures.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

My take on the Laurier Segregated Bike Lane

Edit: see also Kate Jaimet's push for the Segregated Bike Lane in an editorial in Friday's Citizen

I sent the following message (sans photos) tonight to Citizens for Safe Cycling's public discussion e-mail list in advance of CfSC's Board meeting, where they will be considering their position on the Laurier Segregated Bike Lane pilot project (see You can view the message in the archives here. It is unfortunate that nobody on Council seems to want to champion this project.

I will not be at the [CfSC Board] meeting tonight [where the Board will be considering whether or not to support the Laurier Segregated Bike Lane pilot project], but I hope that CfSC's Board chooses to support this pilot project and would like to share my thoughts on the topic.

This proposed lane goes entirely across Centretown, from the Rideau Canal to Bronson, and as President of the Centretown Citizens Community Association ( I have heard many concerns from residents.

These concerns are not unfounded, but as CfSC's policy on bike lanes states, these issues must be addressed. On Tuesday, the CCCA's Transportation Committee met with the City's SBL project manager, Colin Simpson, who explained how these issues would be addressed. The committee was satisfied and will be recommending to the CCCA's Board of Directors that the CCCA support the project.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

333 Preston (ex-Xerox building)

The blue-and-white building on the left of the Queensway in the above photo is actually on Rochester street, but formally it's part of Preston Square at 333 Preston. I knew it as the "Xerox" building, because of the large red logo on both sides of the building. I have memories of seeing it out the window of the school bus on the way to McNabb; our bus would come down this ramp and turn up Bronson:

In the last few years, the building was "Xerox"ed, and its twin was put up, seen here. Other buildings have also been put up at Preston Square, including the one along Preston with restaurants and food stores at the ground level.

More recently, the "Xerox" title was replaced with that of Sun Life Financial. In August, the building owners sought permission for a third sign on the building on the North side, and the Dalhousie Community Association chose not to oppose the request.

That third sign is currently being installed. It reads, "RBC Dominion Securities". Not very catchy from a distance.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Fixed! Streetpost at Bank and Queen

Riding around town on December 30, I was standing at the corner of Bank and Queen streets, and noticed that the lamppost was crooked at the north-west corner. It looked like there was a kink in the post behind the poster collar, dangerously threatening to fall into traffic on Queen Street.

I don't know how long it had been like that (or if it had been previously noticed and reported), but I phoned it in to 3-1-1 anyway just in case. By January 5, when I was next around there, it was already replaced with a brand new post:

Nice to see the prompt response by the City over the holidays.

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

Friday, January 7, 2011

80 Florence - Chinese Community Building, part 2

This is the second post of three covering the renovations to the Chinese Community Building at 80 Florence (at Kent). In the previous post, I gave some background on the building and the site, and showed photos of the progress of work on the eight-storey tower part of the building, shown below in April 2010. Today I'll be discussing the details of the lower part of the apartment building.

On Kent Street, mid-block to Gladstone, the building steps down to what used to be a gymnasium, but is being converted to miscellaneous commercial uses. By the brickwork in this late-August 2010 photo, you can see that the upper levels are already pretty far along.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

RIP Charles Boushey

CBC reports on the passing of Charles Boushey, patriarch of the Boushey Dynasty of Elgin Street. In 1960, he bought out his uncle's store at Elgin and Waverley, until he retired in 1989. Boushey's Fruit Market remains a staple of the neighbourhood. I do most of my grocery shopping there.

Of his sons, I know Peter the best. Peter is always friendly, and he has put in a few calls to the City about the removal of all bicycle parking outside the store this winter, including the parking meters.

The ceremony was Monday in Riverside. You can sign the online guest book for Charles Boushey at

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

Monday, January 3, 2011

Ready, Set, 2011! CCCA off to a quick start

The following message was sent to the CCCA's e-mail announcement list yesterday, announcing upcoming events. Contact to be added to this list to receive CCCA e-mail updates a couple times per month.

Dear CCCA members and followers,

First, I'd like to wish everyone a happy new year, and thank everyone who has participated in CCCA activities, including the numerous-but-important December meetings. Below is a a summary of what's coming up in January 2011, plus a recap of the December 21 Board meeting in item 5.

I hope we'll see you at some of these events. Your participation is crucial to the healthy growth of our community.

Summary of this month's events:
(1) Planning & Development Review Committee Meeting #1 - Jan 8
(2) Planning & Development Review Committee Meeting #2 - Jan 10
(3) CCCA welcomes John Woodhouse to the Board
(4) Fundraising added to Communications Committee mandate
(5) December Board meeting updates
(6) CCCA Members and volunteers wanted!
(7) Sen's Mile Charity Chili cook-off

Saturday, January 1, 2011

McDonald's on Bronson: the plywood gem

This is a McDonald's. It's on Bronson Avenue, seen in June. It has a distinctive roofline--in this case in red and white, but also seen with brown roof tiles and yellow beams, and it has a large freestanding sign out front with golden arches that sticks out prominently in front of the store.

This is an automotive service centre (Midas, 450 Bronson). It's also on Bronson Avenue. It has a rectangular shape with flush aluminium siding, large raised lettering of the name of the centre and uses a red band to provide contrast to the grey of the rest of the building.