Parole Office Political Decision Again

“This Government has listened to the concerns voiced at last night’s Town Hall meeting organized by the Correctional Service of Canada, and is no longer considering relocation of the Ottawa Parole Office to 1010 Somerset Street,” ministry of public safety spokesman Christopher McCluskey wrote in an e-mail to the Citizen. Continue reading Parole Office Political Decision Again

On Parole – The Meeting

The Parole Office meeting was last night at the Bronson Centre. Meeting FormatCorrectional Services tried to have a series of little workgroups, but was talked out of it. Work groups are find when a large percentage of the attendees share a certain knowledge level, but when facts are scarce this format serves to create little silos of (mis)information and keep people unaware. The question and answer format instead allowed people to get some additional information and judge the agendas/merits of others and their opinions. The wiki format wins hands down in this case. The ProsThe moderator was excellent. I found … Continue reading On Parole – The Meeting

Composting Thoughts on Garbage Collection Day

After putting out the full blue box of bottles/cans/tetrapaks I went looking for the Glad bag of household garbage. The garbage can in the driveway was empty. I went into the kitchen, and discovered the little plastic bag from Luciano’s was stuffed rather full of household garbage. Once I gathered up the wastecans from the bathrooms and bedrooms, I still had barely half a green bag of garbage, and this is in a household of two adults, one teen (with a weekend crowd of five more teens living in). So I cleaned out some stuff that I otherwise hadn’t yet … Continue reading Composting Thoughts on Garbage Collection Day

Tree Trimming from the Bottom Up

Earlier this week I posted some pictures of Mr Beaver’s work on trees near the aquaduct. These trees are on Booth Street, between the CCOC apartment building and Laidlaw CoOp. Obviously not a beaver, but it must have been one hungry rabbit or mouse to do this much damage. I will keep an eye on these trees this spring. Hopefully they will survive. Continue reading Tree Trimming from the Bottom Up

City Living Renovations (Lite)

City Living is renovating their housing units along Albert St. They were originally built in 1980 as the first part of rebuilding the LeBreton Flats neighborhood. Jim Watson, once and possibly future mayor of our fair burg, was recently on-site for a photo-op (when else do politicians come out into the real world?). I thought it interesting that the Citizen story mentioned energy efficiency as part of the renovations. The renovations shown in the picture are exterior. New wood product siding is being put over the stucco exteriors. They are adding house wrap first, which reduces drafts and moisture infiltration, … Continue reading City Living Renovations (Lite)

City Centre Tower

The City Centre Tower, constructed about 1965, lost its red letters around the roof line last week. Nothing was left but the dirt on the brickwork. Yesterday and today workers on scaffolding were cleaning the brick. In the photo, the north wall to the right has already been cleaned; and work continues on the east wall. Double click on the picture to see it up close. Continue reading City Centre Tower

Tailrace Kayaking

The Tailrace, aka Bronson Creek, flows out of the Fleet Street Pumping Station at the eastern end of LeBreton Flats. Bronson Creek was until a few years ago the private property of The Bronson Corporation. It is used as a whitewater kayaking course. The kayakers have already been out this season. On Wednesday, a member of the club was adjusting the gates the kayakers pass through. The kayak course is another hidden gem in the West Side area, and well worth putting it on your evening stroll, dogwalk, or cycling route. Continue reading Tailrace Kayaking

Beaver Tales

Last year I frequently spotted one of our beloved national symbols, a beaver, in the Aquaduct that runs through LeBreton Flats. He has been hungry. One of the few remaining trees that survived “soil remediation” has become lunch. Unless … Mr Beaver is planning a lodge in the aquaduct. I bet he gets his lodge finished before Claridge finishes anything it is building. Continue reading Beaver Tales

Soil Remediation, Preston at Carling

Work crews have been busy this week at the former gas station lot located on the southeast corner of Preston and Carling. If one can guess from the signs on the trucks, its for soil remediation. Once all the oil and gas and other gunk is out of the site, it can be sold for development. It is a prime condo site, facing Commissioners’ Park and Dow’s Lake, and opening right onto the soon-to-be-glamorous Preston Street. BTW, double clicking on the photo should enlarge it on your monitor. Continue reading Soil Remediation, Preston at Carling

Sir John Carling Bldg – demolish vs conversion

The Sir John Carling building is a large gray office slab rising out of the eastern edge of the Experimental Farm between Dows Lake / Prince of Wales Drive and Carling Avenue. Built in 1967, it is certainly a more-attractive building than many government cubicle farms. The distinctive brise soleil screens on the exterior (only on the west and south sides, the picture shows the east side without sun screens) were inspired by the trendy architecture of Brasilia, and promoted by the then minister of agriculture (Hees??), if my ageing memory serves me right. The Feds plan to demolish the … Continue reading Sir John Carling Bldg – demolish vs conversion

Bayview Station – What’s It For?

The Bayview Station isn’t part of the original bus transitway; it didn’t exist until 2001. It was built because the experimental O-Train service, using the existing rail tracks, needed a transfer point for passengers. From day 1, city planners assumed it was only a transfer station from buses to train. Little or no walk in traffic was expected. Yet anyone frequenting the station notices a continual stream of people walking into the Station. They come from the office and industrial buildings on City Centre Avenue, the residential areas to the southeast and southwest. They have worn paths accross the fields … Continue reading Bayview Station – What’s It For?

Parole Office Shuffle (2)

“NO! I think not.” That was the answer. You’ll find the question further below. The Parole Office has been controversial for some years now, since it opened at its Gilmore/Elgin location. Where was it before then? For a long time it was located on Kent St at Albert, where the third tower of Constitution Square was recently completed. Back then there was a small office building there, occupied by the National Film Board. Apparently the NFB arty-types didn’t exactly appreciate the Parole Office’s clientele in the lobby. After that, the Office was located at Bank and Queen, above Laura Secord’s. … Continue reading Parole Office Shuffle (2)

DOTT – Tunney’s Pasture Transfer Station

DOTT refers to the Downtown Ottawa Transit Tunnel project. I sit on the public advisory committee, with a particular interest in the LRT project from Bronson to Tunney’s. Under the current plan, Tunney’s will be the main place for bus users from the west to transfer to the LRT trains which will run roughly along the current transitway alignment to Bayview, LeBreton, and the downtown. Eventually the LRT train service will be extended further west to Lincoln Fields. The City has come up with two concepts for how the bus users will transfer to the LRT trains. Keep in mind … Continue reading DOTT – Tunney’s Pasture Transfer Station


Sanguiccio is a strange word to English eyes, but if you say it fast enough it sounds like someone with a strong Italian accent saying sandwich. Owner Genio Ienzi is opening his sandwich shop at 183 Preston Street (the former Muscle Madness location) to cater to the strong take out market. He is supporting other local businesses too: his meats come from Luciano’s Fine Foods. Genio is currently negotiating with a small artisan baker to supply buns — pannini — and specialty loaves of bread. When talking to Genio, he gave me a sample of his last slice on hand: … Continue reading Sanguiccio

Preston Construction Starts Soon

The Preston Street streetscaping project starts up again soon. Preliminary work by Rogers, Bell and Enbridge is already underway. Heavy construction begins on the sections south of Oak Street on April 14 (after Easter weekend). Work on the section from Spruce north to Albert Street begins the beginning of May. The intersections of Preston and Albert, Somerset, Gladstone, Beach, and Carling may not be given their decorative paving until 2010. The City is holding a public briefing to remind residents and businesses of the scope of the project and what is being built where, on March 31st at 7pm at … Continue reading Preston Construction Starts Soon

Falcon Sighting

On my way to Carleton U this morning at 9am on the O-Train I saw a large falcon perched on a tree just before the CU Station. It was on a low branch. When I left the train I walked back on the sidewalk to take his picture. He remained sitting there, surveying the snow-filled cut as the track ascends out of the Dow’s Lake tunnel to the Carleton Station. He didn’t budge as the northbord O-Train went by just a few feet from his head, so I’ll chalk that up as another reason to support LRTs and O-Trains: low … Continue reading Falcon Sighting

Trees Along the Albert St path

From today’s Ottawa Citizen: “OTTAWA — The city is so serious about getting 100,000 trees planted that it’s now willing to deliver the trees right to your house. All you have to do is go to or call 311, and you’ll be able to select the species of tree you want to plant on your property. They aren’t saplings, either: Each tree delivered under the program, aimed reforesting and enhancing tree cover in the city, is 1.5 to two metres tall. The trees are available on a first-come, first-served basis for June 2009 delivery. If the city runs out … Continue reading Trees Along the Albert St path

Cycling along Albert / Scott — path vs road

In my earlier blog on the proposed 801 Albert St condo development (corner of City Centre Ave, opposite Tom Brown and opposite Bayview Station) I mentioned I thought the site plan would be improved with the inclusion of a new multipurpose path set back from the curb. Most residents will be familiar with the Scott St multipurpose path, and the Albert St one built last year. I personally find both these paths very useful and cycle or walk on them every week. That is not to say they are perfect. The Albert path detours at every bus stop to pass … Continue reading Cycling along Albert / Scott — path vs road

Shuffling the PAROLE OFFICE to Somerset St

The present location of the Parole Office on Elgin Street has been subject to a lot of complaint from area politicians and community groups. Corrections Canada has suggested addressing their unhappiness by relocating the office to 1010 Somerset (pictured above) conveniently located between the Plant Recreation Centre and Devonshire Public School. They are holding a public consultation meeting at the Bronson Centre at 7pm on Monday, March 30th. Comments can also be sent to The office will serve about 200 federal offenders a year. It employs about 36 parole officers and others. Advantages of the proposed location (compared to … Continue reading Shuffling the PAROLE OFFICE to Somerset St

For Lack of a CDP – Community Development Plan

There is a deliberately vague planning environment for the two 30-storey condo towers proposed by Phoenix DCR for 801 Albert Street (the vacant lot beside the City Centre tower and opposite Tom Brown Arena and the Bayview OTrain Station ). The City has signalled that it wants development to be significantly better than the industrial zoning common along the Bayview to Carling rail corridor. Yet it lacks a comprehensive plan for developing the area. A Community Development Plan (CDP) was begun several years ago, and considerable progress was made. The Phoenix development in a number of respects honours the incomplete … Continue reading For Lack of a CDP – Community Development Plan

Woodpecker on Primrose

Saw the pictured woodpecker on Primrose St in front of St Vincent Hospital around 1pm on March 17th. He had created a significant litter of woodchips on the lawn and sidewalk, which is how I spotted him, since his pecking was silent. It was bigger than a robbin, smaller than a crow; much larger than the woodpeckers I normally see in this neighborhood. Continue reading Woodpecker on Primrose