Monday, January 30, 2012

Thunder and snow

Just over a decade ago, the National Aboriginal Veterans Monument was unveiled at Confederation Park, across from the Lord Elgin Hotel on Elgin Street. After a recent storm, snow covered the wings of the golden eagle, (representing the mythical Thunderbird).

I remember watching the monument being installed. For a number of months before the opening, the big square rock on which the statue is mounted sat on its own. Finally, a statue appeared and it made a lot more sense.

Snow also means winter, which in Ottawa means Winterlude. Confederation Park is one of the primary sites for Winterlude, and the Lord Elgin already has its banner up promoting the event. There's also a trailer for a vendor to set up a waffle tent during Winterlude. The timing couldn't be better, as local blog Apartment613 has been fuelling interest in local waffles.

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

Friday, January 27, 2012

CfSC's winter parade

This past Sunday, Citizens for Safe Cycling organized Ottawa's first winter bike parade. Many others have posted their photos and writeups already, and I've put links to those at the end of this post.

The cyclists gathered at the snowed-over community garden along Laurier at Percy Street. It was encouraging just getting there, as there were three other cyclists in the bike lane on Bay Street as I was heading up.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Two minutes in the snow

The day after a big snowstorm, the city's winter overnight parking restriction is lifted, but there's still lots of snow on the side streets that needs to be pushed aside. Already narrowed by the previous storm's snowbanks, parked cars make the streets awfully narrow. Gilmour, seen here just east of Bay Street, is a one-way street, but even on the two-way streets east of Elgin opposing cars have to pull over to allow each other to pass.

The snowplow above was already stopped when I got there at 2:46 p.m., and two minutes later, it was almost done manoeuvring around that first car. Despite the size of the machine, the grader operator delicately cleared the snow around the car.

Now he just needs to get past the rest of the cars on the block!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Uppertown Winter Walk

On the same day I took photos of the Temporary Building, I took a lot of other photos, despite the frigid cold freezing my batteries. For all the talk of snow clearing on Laurier, this path (for pedestrians) between the Supreme Court and Library and Archives Canada was a lot clearer than many other sidewalks.

The Temporary building (a.k.a. the Justice Annex) is in the background on the left, with its white wooden siding removed.

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Friday, January 20, 2012

179 Waverley fire

Last Monday as my lunch hour was running out, three fire trucks went past where I was eating on Elgin, and chatter on Twitter made it clear that there was a two-alarm fire on Waverley.

By the time I got down there, the fire was out and things were wrapping up.

Luckily there were no injuries in this two-alarm fire at 179 Waverley, though there is significant damage to the house. It would appear that the house next door, barely a foot away, was unscathed.

Power was still out on the block, and two Ottawa Hydro trucks at Cartier and Waverley were working on that.

It seems more common to hear firetrucks race by in the winter, but thankfully most of the incidents they're responding to aren't as severe as this one was. Be careful about how you keep your house warm, and make sure to check your fire alarm regularly!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Imminently, Temporary to be "formerly" permanently

I figured a tongue-twister would be a good follow-up to the previous post on the subject of an eye-twister. The demolition order was issued last week, and work has begun with removal of the trim and siding.

Incidentally, this street is called "Vittoria", a name that long predates the current federal buildings surrounding it.

Links to more details on this building are in the post from last month, Temporary Eyetwister.

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Rideau Canal Skateway now open for the 2012 season!

The Rideau Canal skateway opened at 10am on Sunday morning, with the NCC announcing it just an hour before. The rest area at Fifth Avenue/Holmwood is picture-perfect, with a fresh layer of snow on the evergreens. The ice is so glassy smooth that you can see the canal amenities reflected in it!

Of course, no NCC event would be complete without a hokey media event. Two of the official Winterlude mascots, the Ice Hogs, were out on the ice behind the speaker at the podium (as captured hugging adorably in a photo by CBC reporter Alistair Steele via Twitter). One of them climbed the stairs to raise the green flag, making the opening official. (Unfortunately my photo is from a bad angle to see the flag, again, but Steele got a good photo of that, too)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Ottawa pedestrian advocates, unite!

This evening, pedestrian advocates from across the city will meet at City Hall to get a group for Ottawa pedestrians on its feet. In recent years, frustrations about walkability have grown in the absence of a common venue for people across the city to come together to draw attention to pedestrian issues or push for the implementation of the Ottawa Pedestrian Plan.

Somerset Ward Councillor Diane Holmes (note: I work in her office) has decided it's time to bring these people together so they can organize themselves into a group that will speak out in unison about the barriers to walkability across the city.

There are big problems and little problems all across the city, and systemic problems that transcend individual communities. One problem is illustrated above at the Corktown Footbridge (my favourite bridge): even though it was built specifically for pedestrian use, the steps are blocked off to actively prevent pedestrian use in the winter. Both functionally and aesthetically, the barricades--which clearly weren't part of the original concept--detract from the award-winning design of the bridge.

Following on the recent successes of the cycling community (including Citizens for Safe Cycling and the Ottawa Biking Problems website), Ottawa walking advocates have started a twitter account, @OttWalk, and a website for Ottawa Walking Problems, where you can submit reports of problems spots around the city and pin them to a map.

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

Monday, January 9, 2012

Centretown midnight sun

In the last few weeks, there has been a lot of filming going on in Centretown. This house at the corner of Elgin and McLeod was being used as a set back in December.

Unfortunately, when you work so close to the solstice at our latitude, you have to bring your own sunlight to shoot film for a full day!

Sorry for the lack of posts. Posting should be more regular when I'm done preparing a big series I've been working on for over a year!

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