The Haven multifaith housing initiative project is located very near Longfields transit station. The transitway and a rail line are right over the fence: The Haven’s entry point to the grande allee debouches onto the MUP: That entry is smokin’ … Continue reading Barrhaven outside the Haven
The wood-frame low-rise apartments at The Haven had a number of attractive touches. The individual front doors, for example, had a quality light fixture: And the doors had lever handles and two peepholes, since not everyone is made the same … Continue reading Barrhaven Haven, apartment living
Ahh, the artist’s image of what the finished project will look like ! Someday. Maybe. We hope. For now the trees are smaller and the landscaping thinner and gate posts were “valued out”: The housing cluster is cleverly arranged around … Continue reading Barrhaven: Faith in common elements
Occasionally I get out of my west-side-of-the-downtown shell. Last week, I headed out again to Barrhaven. The occasion: opening of the Multifaith Housing Initiative. So who built the 98 homes in Barrhaven? The MHI was established in 2001 and has … Continue reading Barrhaven: Faith in Place
When the Ottawa Humane Society left Champagne Avenue there was some sort of contractual agreement they had to offer the land to the city. For parkland. Nothing said the city had to buy it. So they didn’t. And as a … Continue reading City sleeps while mystery bridge decays
So much to learn from a simple picture. Take a gander at this bus stop from … somewhere… [ late edit: photo by Klaus Beltzner, in Santa Cruz, CA] So what’s so special? First, look at the bus stop. It’s … Continue reading Bus stop, bus stop, where’s the bus stop?
So YES, there are successful examples of place making from Ottawa streets. Let’s look at two. To promote a special autumn festival event, the Italian Canadian Community Centre has installed fall-themed decor at many intersections along Preston. They instantly change … Continue reading Placemaking on streets
Back in 2012 I showed you the picture below. The first apartments on the current rebuild of LeBreton Flats (Claridgeland) had been occupied for a year or so, and baby toys were starting to appear in windows. I asked, how … Continue reading Tot Lot Not
This week yet another community will appear before Transportation Committee asking for STOP signs to slow speeding traffic and make neighbourhood intersections safer. Asking for STOP signs is a tactical error, as it shifts the debate from the road safety … Continue reading Non-stop traffic calming
Whatever is happening recently, we have a habit of extrapolating indefinitely into the future. But circumstances change, and what was true before is not necessarily true in the future. Consider the trope: “tiny condo”. If I had a dollar every … Continue reading Return of the large apartment
Picture standing on a rail platform in some interesting place. Off in the distance is the tunnel portal where the train appears. It is a pleasant and amusing scene that caught everyone’s attention on this platform. above: Varenna station, Italy. Do … Continue reading See the train coming out of the tunnel? Maybe not.
SO, the City is considering five separate road underpasses or overpasses in the area where Woodroffe makes it out to Barrhaven. Initial costs are $430 million dollars. An admittedly very preliminary guesstimate. Not including the cost of construction detours, moving … Continue reading About those Barrhaven underpasses …
It is universally acknowledged in real estate circles that walkable neighbourhoods are worth more than the same houses in unwalkable neighbourhoods. Pity the poor folks in unwalkable neighbourhoods. Many no doubt wanted to live in Westboro or the Glebe, but … Continue reading A modest proposal for a walkable city tax, Paris edition
With the recent spate of loser attacks on civilian populations in Germany, at a Christmas Market; France on NY Eve; or Manchester’s teeny bopper concert; or New York’s Broadway; or a tour bus in Egypt … I found myself looking … Continue reading Making Ottawa safe for whom?
As a city, we lack much experience integrating medical facilities and transit. The old Civic bus stops are way out on Carling Avenue, definitely not designed for user convenience, and co-located with year-round curbside puddles and offering free salt washes all … Continue reading A new Civic and that Trillium Connection
While people refer to the new hospital as a “building”, I think that is just convenient shorthand. It’s more likely to be a series of buildings, built over many years. The new hospital needs an organizing system, a spine. I … Continue reading Hospital Design as anatomy
Sometimes corrugated metal can be applied to a house and look good. It requires skill. My eye was caught by this house in the civic hospital neighbourhood. It has the very traditional 1900 shape of two and half stories. The … Continue reading Update on a traditional shape
Down in the Big Apple, the City has completed the pedestrianization of the southern half of Times Square 2.0. The more famous northern half was already done and got world wide publicity. Predictions of carmageddon, as usual, did not materialize. … Continue reading Ottawa Thinking gives us Elgin 1.2
An amazing number of infills, new apartments, and other buildings in Ottawa have been using limestone. The modern era version of this popularity seems to date to the last 15 years. I wonder if it is orchestrated (by who?) or … Continue reading Throwing Limestones
Traditional Main Streets were formed in the past. With lot sizes and building sizes to match. That of course is what makes them “traditional” and of a scale many people like. But since their heyday in the 20’s, or 40’s … Continue reading Merivale CDP: Expanding the Traditional Main Street lots
As more and more people live in apartment buildings, the role of the balcony needs more scrutiny. Many Ottawa builders, including luxury brands like Charlesfort, aim for the smallest sellable bit of concrete. Others, like Brocolinni, aim to provide exactly … Continue reading Extending the balcony season
The proposed addition to the Chateau Laurier simply begs to be seen in the light of “elites” vs popular opinion. The architectural and heritage elites seem to like the idea that every building must be in current architectural styles. And … Continue reading Bhat Boy Inspired Chateau Laurier Addition
Canadians are too tolerant of unsafe roads, and unsafe cities, and unsafe neighbourhoods. There is a lot written about this, only some of which is readily understandable. I thought this video made the case in simple English with persuasively related … Continue reading Vision Zero, or is it Zero Vision?
From time to time the city rebuilds residential streets. Loretta Avenue, which runs north-south between the Trillium Line tracks and Bayswater Avenue, is one such street. It crosses Hickory, a busy east-west cycle and ped route, and crosses Laurel, which … Continue reading Loretta Avenue rebuild
Some pretty darn good new public spaces are appearing in our neighbourhoods. Some are much heralded, like Winston Square in Westboro which is fun day and night. Some are hidden away, not widely known. Here are two of those “secret” spaces … Continue reading New public spaces grace west side Ottawa