Over on Spacing Ottawa they reprised the traffic video of Bronson at rush hour. Well worth watching the one minute video: http://spacingottawa.ca/2010/11/08/great-divide-the-reprise/
Trying to make a Better Bronson is not just the nefarious scheme of the radical wooly leftist elitist glebe-wanna-be’s, as some MSM might want you to believe. Look at the picture below.
Recall that Bronson is supposed to be a typical mainstreet. You know, mix of houses, apartments, small businesses, useful to the community. Part of the house shown above was converted to doctor’s offices a few years ago. This city apparently didn’t notice. Oops, now they do. And there is lotsa grief about this, because the city doesn’t want a doctor’s office on Bronson because it will attract too much traffic and slow down the through traffic that is going somewhere else!
Now we may think a medical office is just what the doctor ordered … a local service, being helpful to neighbors, the sort of vital activity centre a main street should have. Alas, this sentiment is not shared by our bureaucrats. The Dalhousie Community Assoc. has written to the city to express support for this medical use. But don’t lose sight of the underlying argument from the City that Bronson avenue is to service commuters and people in other neighborhoods but NOT the locals who actually live here, walk here, drive here. Sad, isn’t it?
Here’s another bit of history:
The above house used to be a pair of semi’s. On the left half, a war vet returning from the First World War moved into that house along with his war-bride wife from England. They were joined by the man’s mother. And subsequently they added seven girls and one boy to their household. And his dog. This is my grandfather’s house. My dad grew up here, until he joined the army in the Second World War.
At the time, there was a front yard. With a large tree overhanging the street and providing shade to the horses that drew the ice wagons and produce wagons and coal wagons (there was an ice house in the next lot, long gone now). Then in the 1950’s the city widened the road once, then widened it again. Gone were the trees, the front garden, my grandmother’s English roses, and the burial spot of a certain pet dog that lost a fight with a car in front of the house. My grand parents moved away. And that is the whole story of this street and neighborhood since the 1950’s when the City decided to sacrifice existing neighborhoods to the commuting needs of the growing suburbs.
Some city officials still live in that 1950’s mindset.
Look carefully at the house, now converted into two business premises. The left unit appears unused. The right unit changes hands frequently. Businesses just don’t last on this street. Too ugly, cars go too fast, not enough pedestrian traffic. Blighted.
Be sure to tune in to CBC All in a Day radio between 4 and 5pm Wedn. for their coverage of the Bronson issue; go to www.RescueBronson.ca to sign the petition; and come to the public meeting Wedn. evening at 7pm at McNabb Centre on Percy to tell your councillor what you want on Bronson.
6 thoughts on “Bronson vid”
Thanks for that Eric. It helps to see what the street used to be, to tell us what it could be again. Coincidentally, my wife lived across the street from 380 Bronson for years when we were dating, and what to do about Bronson was a common topic amongst my wife, her roommate and I.
“Recall that Bronson is supposed to be a typical mainstreet. You know, mix of houses, apartments, small businesses, useful to the community.”
That sounds suspiciously radical wooly leftist elitist glebe-wanna-be.
(Tongue firmly in cheek, because someone out there is not going to get the joke.)
CBC is great, but I think you (and other RescueBrosnonites) should go on AM talk radio as well. The opposition to this initiative, as with the pedestrian bridge over the canal, is not going to come from CBC listeners. In an amalgamated Ottawa, its the citizens outside the core who make the decisions.
We discussed this matter briefly at our community association’s meeting last night. Our portion of Merivale Road (between Carling and Caldwell) is also designated in the Official Plan as a traditional mainstreet. What you are trying to do on Bronson is a good model for what we would like to do on Merivale.
I have spent some time out along that stretch, and when talking about the Bronson proposal a while back, used that stretch of Merivale as another example to bring the point home to someone from that part of town.
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