Thursday, February 28, 2013

3D Thursday: Snowy trees at Cambridge Elementary

Ottawa got hit by a pretty nasty snowstorm yesterday, but the blizzard did leave a winter wonderland behind. I took some 3D photos after a similar snowfall earlier this winter while snow was still covering the trees lining the schoolyard at Cambridge Street Public School on Gladstone. Here's looking up Cambridge from Gladstone Avenue, with a fire hydrant:

Source photos for the 3D image: Left , Right

And here's a shot looking west along Gladstone. Because the 3D effect works by your brain trying to match up the left and right images, it can be hard to discern the cluttered high-contrast branches. I find this one works best if you focus on the school crossing sign, and as always with the 3D images, it works best in fullscreen, high screen brightness, in a dark room.

Source photos for the 3D image: Left, Right

That crossing, by the way, is the subject of some good news: Lana Stewart reported on Twitter that the pedestrian push-button at Gladstone and Arthur now responds much more clearly.

[Tune in on Thursdays at noon for a new 3D image. View the 3D label for other posts with 3D images] [Look for more one-photo posts under the label Singles]

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Peds on Weds: Pathway plows along the canal

Since the canal is not yet officially closed for the season (though it's "Temporarily" closed as of this morning), I figure a post about walking conditions along the canal is timely.

While the NCC doesn't plow any of its pathways*, the City does. And I don't just mean that the City clears snow from City pathways—the City also plows the NCC's pathways along the canal, both on the Queen Elizabeth Driveway and Colonel By Driveway sides. The plows used aren't necessarily the same as what we're used to seeing on sidewalks, though. Here is the Argyle entrance to the canal in the south end of the Golden Triangle, and a plow is going by:

Zooming in, perhaps you can see the trailer being pulled behind the vehicle?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Last chance to see Winterlude

Today is the last day of Winterlude, which means your last chance to see the sculptures in Confederation Park, such as the ones around the fountain that came from Trafalgar Square:

And these muskoxen:

The Korean lantern garden decorations are still about:

As is the neat 15m tunnel of over 1300 lanterns (printed fabric shades over strings of Christmas lights), which celebrates the Jinju Namnang Yudeung Festival, as well as 50 years of Canada-South Korea diplomatic relations (the monument to Canadian soldiers fallen in the Korean war is right nearby, if not directly in line with the tunnel, up on the Mackenzie-King Bridge).

In addition to the sculptures at Confederation Park, there are many "Official Winterlude Restaurants", including Grill Forty One at the Lord Elgin Hotel. These restaurants, as well as the official Winterlude hotels, are usually marked by their own ice sculptures outside. The sculptures will go, but the restaurants will still be around in Centretown, for your patronage.

And the canal will also remain open beyond Winterlude, so long as the weather permits. Not all of the on-ice vendors will stick around after Winterlude, but the staples will (Beavertails, fries, and skate rentals). This shot has the Rideau rest area of the canal reflected in the glass of the Convention Centre.

The cold weather of the last couple of days is promising for the ice conditions on the Canal.

So get outside and enjoy Winter(lude) while it's still around!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Chinese New Year Dragon Parade 2012

Today's post follows the theme of last week's 3D photo of the Chinatown Gateway Arch, in that the Lunar New Year is around this time of year.

Every year, there is a dragon dance through Chinatown down Somerset Street. Last year, I made a point of checking it out, and I got some great photos. The parade is physically short, only a handful of floats, but the performances and audience interaction stretches out the time of the parade.

The parade stretches twice as far if you count these four #2 buses that slipped by in a gap after being held up behind the dancers:

Thursday, February 14, 2013


I've got a number of photos of the 1970's 120 University building from before it was demolished through the demolition and construction, which I might eventually compile into a post (I did post one). Only recently did I get a chance to go inside. It's quite impressive, with lots of open spaces, including high-floor views of Centretown from study areas.

There is one stairway that is pretty spacious, considering it's just a secondary stairway. Looking down a few floors worth of stairs is always cool. It's even better in 3D:

Source photos for the 3D images: Left, Right

The building also has a pretty impressive green wall in the atrium. Go check it out if you have the chance.

[Tune in on Thursdays at noon for a new 3D image. View the 3D label for other posts with 3D images]
[Look for more one-photo posts under the label Singles]

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Peds on Weds: In case of fire hydrant, block sidewalk

Ever hear someone talk about a pole in the middle of a sidewalk or path but you suspect they're exaggerating the degree to which it's blocking pedestrians? Well I've got one for you, with a photo to prove it!

I'll quickly run through how it got there (why it did remains unknown...). The fixture in question is on Albert Street, at the site of the Lorne building, which I've blogged about in posts with the label 90 Elgin.

Here's the back of the Lorne building in May 2011, and the Albert Street sidewalk, looking east toward Elgin, with a fire hydrant and street light more or less at the edge of the sidewalk at the left:

Similar angle in August, after exterior demolition started. A rendering of the new building is on a sign:

In late November 2011, the sidewalk was incised down its length about a foot and a half behind the curb line:

The back two thirds of the sidewalk were removed by the end of November. The fire hydrant from previous photos is just on the other side of the streetlight. Ever wonder what's under the concrete of a sidewalk? Well, here's a photo of it anyway:

Piles were driven right at the cut line and wooden 4x4 fenceposts were strapped to them. Early December 2011.

The same scene from the Slater Street side, looking across to Albert. The piles are interleaved with wooden boards to hold the street up, as I described in detail for the EDC building at 150 Slater in a post in August 2009.

While the wasteland of the site is fun, here's a cropped closeup of the same shot. The hydrant is gone. I only noticed looking at these photos that the streetlight was actually strapped to an I-beam pile during this phase of construction. Weird, but I guess it works!

Since Elgin Street is along Confederation Boulevard, the slightly-less-ugly-than-normal NCC spec hoarding was attached to the fenceposts seen in the previous scene. Needless to say, the sidewalk was closed.

...Unless you work there. (Ever notice how big a tower crane's hook block actually is? If I were as far away from it was the tower crane's operator is, I'd be pretty spooked to have it so close to workers!)

The above shot was from June 2012, and it looked more or less the same as it did at the end of 2011.

By Mid-September, the wooden fencing was taken down and replaced with temporary modular metal fencing.

Cropping in again on the photo, the fire hydrant is still there, and, with the blue top indicating it's apparently still in service.

By the end of October, 2012, the streetlight was removed, and the hydrant is yellow. It's actually not the same hydrant as the one before, which suggests it might have been moved also.

In mid-November, they reinstated the sidewalk and put scaffolding over it since the towers were (and are) still under construction right next to it.

Only, uh...

I'm not sure why the hydrant is in the middle of the sidewalk (the one we've been following is in the distance; the one seen here is mid-block, closer to Metcalfe). Maybe the builder and the City couldn't agree on whether to put it at the front or back of sidewalk, so they split the difference.

For now, the scaffolding over it seems to be keeping the snow away. But when that's gone, I'm not sure how sidewalk plows are supposed to make their way along here.

Luckily, it's just a 'temporary' situation. In all likelihood, there will be a standpipe built into the wall of the building, and the sidewalk will be redone with the final, fancy landscaping.

[Tune in on Wednesdays at noon for a new pedestrian-themed blog post. View the Pedestrians label for previous Peds on Weds posts]

Thursday, February 7, 2013

3D Thursday: Chinatown Gateway Arch

I've already written a number of posts on Ottawa Chinatown's Royal Gateway Arch, and I've assigned them the label Paifang to distinguish them from the rest of the Chinatown blog posts. But none were in 3D, so get your blue and red glasses out for this one! (Click to view larger for better 3D effect)

Source photos for the 3D images: Left, Right

This Sunday, February 10, 2013, is Chinese New Year (Snake).

[Tune in on Thursdays at noon for a new 3D image. View the 3D label for other posts with 3D images] [Look for more one-photo posts under the label Singles]