Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Painting on the Mackenzie-King Bridge

You might have heard earlier this month about Patrick Mills painting every day in March on the Mackenzie-King Bridge. I made a point of going to visit him shortly after that story broke, chatted with him a bit, and of course took a photo:

He has a blog where he keeps track of his regular progress.

A couple days after reading about his work, I recognized one of them staring me in the face as I walked out of the office on the second floor of City Hall (between the elevator bank near the Laurier entrance and the rotunda):

This had just recently been installed, as part of the recent trend to spill out the City's art collection on the otherwise unused wall space.

Patrick is painting every day in March, of which there aren't too many left. So if you want to check him out in person, don't wait too long!

Monday, March 18, 2013

One last (hopefully) blast of winter

The weather forecast suggests that we'll be getting another 20-centimetre blast of snow in the next couple of days. This might be my last chance this year to get some of my winter-related photos out before trying to forget that season and focus on spring and summer. So here goes.

Here's an inuksuk I built outside Bridgehead on Elgin after a snowstorm in December. It was one of those ones with really sticky snow. A couple of days after falling, that sticky snow had hardened into snow you could cut chunks from.

That was actually from the storm pictured below on Gladstone, where the snow 'flakes' were the size of frosted mini wheats. I hope this week's storm doesn't bring us this heavy stuff:

Monday, March 11, 2013

Around 150 Slater

I haven't written much about the Export Development Canada building at 150 Slater since the three-part series on the demolition and excavation. I doubt there's much interest in construction photos, but here are a few shots of the building itself.

Here is the building at nighttime, from Slater and O'Connor. Notice the spotlights on the underside of the podium canopy:

The finishes make for some interesting surfaces. You can see the exposed concrete pillar inside the building, next to the shell that surrounds the podium.

Within the podium enclosure is a two-storey marble projection above the ground floor. The counterpart is a set back ground floor with retail (the Slater Street frontage seen below is still vacant in 2013).

Along O'Connor, a Bridgehead and a Marcello's have opened up. Like the other small downtown locations, this Bridgehead closes at 6pm. If I recall correctly, the Albert and Bank location is the only one north of Somerset to open late, and even then it still closes earlier than the ones in residential areas.

In contrast to the Slater and O'Connor frontages, the Laurier Avenue frontage on the south side of the lot (separated from the corner by a smaller office building) is very unflattering and hostile to the streetfront. Not one, but two sets of garage doors and a bleak surrounding.

The massing of this side is similar to the Laurier Computer building that was torn down for 150 Slater (I assume this is merely a coincidence). Although that building used to be larger, as covered in a history of the Rideau Winter Club and other curling rinks in the city over at URBSite.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Winter cycling, Ottawa, 2013

Even though Citizens for Safe Cycling's 2nd Ottawa Family Winter Bike Ride was over a month ago, I got some photos at unique angles that are worth sharing. Plus, you know, we're still cycling and (despite all protests) it's still Winter.

One of the neat photos I got was this one, from the second floor of City Hall. Get a load of the shadow on that bike at the bottom:

Here's another shot, of CfSC President Hans Moor giving a pre-ride pep talk to the group. He had his own writeup on the ride, which includes a photo of yours truly. That thing on my pant pocket in his photo is the tripod I used to get this high-angle shot:

I went ahead of the group on Laurier to get some shots of the group approaching. People were dismounting to cross the barricade because the snowbank had not been cleared in the opening at Percy to allow a left turn. Cars in both directions waited very patiently for the cyclists to cross.

On another note, there is a public open house tonight to reveal the City's plans for Albert Street through LeBreton Flats. This will (hopefully) show the outcome of the pedestrian report devised from the walkabout in October. It is at 7-9pm at the Dalhousie Community Centre, room 31. As far as I understand, it's a drop-in type event so you don't have to come for the whole duration.