Respecting Heritage … or Not

I’m certainly no purist on Heritage, and I can have a pretty utilitarian view of preserving heritage when convenient, by changing it up when I think it can be made more useful. I was puzzled a few years ago when the City decided the best place to run a giant water main was down the centre of the Heritage-designated aqueduct through LeBreton Flats. Historic stuff, that; Thomas Keefer and all. Still, the pipe isn’t exactly intrusive when the water is in the aqueduct. It’s just that it’s deceiving, since what you see (water, historic aqueduct) isn’t really what is there (its a convenient … Continue reading Respecting Heritage … or Not

Feelin’ drained on a hot summer day

The aqueduct through LeBreton Flats is a sadly neglected city feature. The last time a maintenance crew did anything around there was just before all the politicians showed up to unveil the plaques declaring this an ever-so-valuable heritage site to be proud of. Then they all skedaddled, never to to be seen again. Alas, the plantings along the aqueduct are totally neglected, the trees mostly dead (even right beside a water supply !) and a few years ago the city decided to run a giant water pipe through the aqueduct water because it was cheap. Heritage smeritage. On Monday, the aqueduct … Continue reading Feelin’ drained on a hot summer day

LRT Stations (part iv) LeBreton

There is currently a bus transitway station at LeBreton Flats. The proposed LRT station is essentially at the same location, except it extends further west under Booth Street and is a few feet south of the current station, allowing room for landscaping and breathing space between it and the aqueduct. On the aerial photo above, note also the pedestrian crossing of the aqueduct off to the left side of the picture, this is the old Broad Street right of way and ped bridge. The site analysis drawing, above, shows the proximity of the current LeBreton residential neighborhood. Blue arrows show view planes, but both are rather curiously … Continue reading LRT Stations (part iv) LeBreton

More Life on LeBreton Flats

The second phase of the Claridge project on the Flats is now being occupied by residents. Note just in front of the moving van, the ground floor patio has furniture on it and blanket-drapes. I was interested to note that the low-rise building has balcony railings that are glass above a metal panel, which hides some of the balcony clutter and reduces nosey people (like me) looking in. The balconies on the first phase on the opposite side of the courtyard are all glass. I prefer the Beaver Barracks solution shown a few posts back, where the top half of the glass … Continue reading More Life on LeBreton Flats

Eskimo roll

The picture above is the outlet below the water pumphouse on the aqueduct that runs through LeBreton Flats. The ped bridge is at the top, the beginning of the kayaking course is at the bottom. The water course is variously known as the Tailrace, or Bronson Creek (until the last decade the creek was actually the private property of the Bronson Corporation). There are three signs in the area. Notice one in the lower centre left of the picture above. Here’s a closer up: It says: Combined Sewer Overflow AreaAdverse Water Quality Can Occur I think that is bureaucratic speech … Continue reading Eskimo roll

Eskimo roll

The picture above is the outlet below the water pumphouse on the aqueduct that runs through LeBreton Flats. The ped bridge is at the top, the beginning of the kayaking course is at the bottom. The water course is variously known as the Tailrace, or Bronson Creek (until the last decade the creek was actually the private property of the Bronson Corporation). There are three signs in the area. Notice one in the lower centre left of the picture above. Here’s a closer up: It says: Combined Sewer Overflow AreaAdverse Water Quality Can Occur I think that is bureaucratic speech … Continue reading Eskimo roll

Twilight on the Aquaduct and the … come out to play

A number of earlier posts show damage caused to large trees in the LeBreton Flats area. The Dalhousie neighborhood hosts a surprising number of animals and birds. These two twilights shots show the local vampires, err, beaver out to prey on unsuspecting urbanites. In the photo with a fine stone-arch bridge in the background, the beaver can be jut seen in the right foreground. Click picture to enlarge. The second picture shows him up close … he was about 20 feet away from me and curious about the flash on my camera. After several shots, he dove leaving only a … Continue reading Twilight on the Aquaduct and the … come out to play

Why Not Ask First? We May Have Other Plans!

There’s a lot of hoopla in the mainstream media these days with everybody and their brother popping up with new plans for Lansdowne Park. The alternative plans tend to share some elements in common: The Glebe will get a big grassy and treed park. Someone else’s money will restore some older, architecturally significant buildings into marvellous wonders for the local neighborhood. Locals will wander in on bicycles and by foot to buy directly from the friendly farmer locally-grown no-downside produce. After that they can linger by Venetian canals sipping coffee from organically grown (in the shade) responsibility harvested 100 mile … Continue reading Why Not Ask First? We May Have Other Plans!

Contrary results …

NCC path (foreground); City path beyond what will the yellow line do? There must be a law or maxim somewhere that the more planning is done, the more expensive the administration, the worse the results.– A few blogs ago I lamented the apparent mismatch between the NCC section of the bikepath from new Wellington that goes south along the aquaduct behind the new Claridge condo at 200 Lett Street in LeBreton Flats.– I still cannot believe that despite all the planners, all the coordination, the high city taxes … that the City-spec’d path is two feet narrower than the NCC … Continue reading Contrary results …

How Wide is a Bike Path ?

in May, NCC path is laid, looking south from Wellington in August, Claridge lays path behind 200 Lett St condo Now Claridge may not be the fastest developer in town, but he is finally implementing the landscaping around the 200 Lett Street yellow-brick condo tower on LeBreton Flats. The path behind the condo, along the tailrace/aquaduct, is being laid and connected to the NCC path. The path is laid to City of Ottawa standards, as spec’d to Claridge in the subdivision agreement. Look at the not-yet-paved gravel path in picture two, which extends the NCC path. Notice that the new … Continue reading How Wide is a Bike Path ?

Landscaping resumes at Claridge’s Condo

I figured that Claridge might never landscape its project on LeBreton Flats. But in the last few weeks, a lot has happened. Sod appeared on the west side of Lett Street (right side of picture 2) in front of the Beirut-style bomb crater. And on Friday, some rather large trees appeared in the front lawn of the building, along the sidewalk. Compare the size of the new trees to the ones planted a few months ago along the north side of the building, shown on the left in picture 2. _ Picture 1 is of the rear yard, or courtyard … Continue reading Landscaping resumes at Claridge’s Condo

NCC vs City Maintenance Practices

city aquaduct city aquaduct NCC maintenance The NCC landscaped the area along the bike path behind the new War Museum and east of Booth Street, shown in photo 3. Along the riverside chain link fence the NCC planted rose bushes and other shrubs, then applied mulch. Mulch does not stop all weed growth. The picture shows little piles of weeds and grass pulled out by NCC contractors. They picked them up just after I took the picture. By removing the weeds, the rose bushes will have more chance to grow stronger and bigger and choke out future weeds. And of … Continue reading NCC vs City Maintenance Practices

Bikepath to No-where

The NCC has been landscaping the area north of the Claridge condo building on LeBreton Flats since mid-winter. Earlier posts on this blog showed the winter landscaping and very early spring planting of trees and shrubs. Eventually, the Fallen Firefighters Monument will be constructed on the grassy area. The contractor (same one as is doing Plouffe Park) has now paved the bike path from Wellington Street north along the west side of the tailrace. A side branch cuts off to the west to join Lett Street beside the condo. But the path goes nowhere, as Claridge hasn’t yet landscaped the … Continue reading Bikepath to No-where

Bureaucrats are not Marketeers

aquaduct east of Booth Beirut Flats When Urbandale or Minto or one of the large reputable developers begins to build out a new suburban neighborhood there is usually some park amenities available with the first phase of the project. Then each year the parkland is further developed as more houses are built. These builders do not say “this is a twenty year buildout, we will do the public landscaping when the construction is all finished…” Developers realize that to entice residents there have to be amenities from day one, with tangible promise of more amenities to come. Contrast that with … Continue reading Bureaucrats are not Marketeers

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