When condos replace offices …

Vancouver has been “enjoying” a condo tower boom for some years. Early on in the boom, the demand for condos was so hot that existing office buildings were converted to condos. For example, the iconic BC Hydro building (the highrise with no ground floor) was converted. Critics began to speculate that residences would drive commercial uses right off the prime peninsula space, an interesting reversal of the usual community activist nightmare of expanding commercial uses driving out the residential uses around the core. Apartment towers differ from townhouse developments in Barrhaven and Riverside South in that the towers stick up in … Continue reading When condos replace offices …

Major changes coming to downtown streets

The current downtown Ottawa is rather blah. Some might even call it bleh. Over the decades, it has become a motor-vehicle-oriented environment, with the fast movement of vehicles the main only priority. We all know about the walls of buses. And the priority given to automobile commuters over pedestrians. Trees: rare as hen’s teeth. It has become a downtown one goes to because you have to. It is not a shopping, or even much of a recreation destination. All rather sad. When the LRT is opened, there will be major changes. Most OC Transpo buses will be off the Albert … Continue reading Major changes coming to downtown streets

City wins battle; Mayor losing the war

Last night the City held a public meeting to tell residents all about the plans for Bronson. Well over a hundred people turned up. All were glum, and subdued. Resigned. Was I alone in sensing the seething resentment beating inside those winter coats? Recall that Bronson was widened from a street to a road back in the late 50’s. It was a bad road back then. And it only got worse. It’s bad for motorists. It’s bad for residents. It’s bad for landlords*. It’s bad for anyone who tries to walk along Bronson’s pathetic sidewalks. It’s life threateningly bad for … Continue reading City wins battle; Mayor losing the war

Winter bench

I have started to look out for examples of outdoor benches or patios in use in the winter. In just a few days, I have  spotted a number of them, sometimes in the oddest spaces. Ironically, the easiest to spot are the ones with people there. But I am too shy to take shots of real people living their lives, so the only shots I’ve taken are empty spots that show signs of recent human activity or that the property owner cares for the spot during the winter. Here’s some nice clean tables on Bank Street ready for someone to plunk down: Continue reading Winter bench