Preston Street repaving

Final topcoat of asphalt being applied to Preston Street north of Beech. The finished landscaping sections of the street look great. Unfortunately, while two sections are finished, work is just commencing on the other three sections, and major construction will continue until late December. But the finished sections will encourage residents and businesses and visitors to have courage, better times are coming. Final landscaping and decorative intersection pavings will be done in 2010. Continue reading Preston Street repaving

Landscaping Goes In, Dow’s Lake pathway

Recall that in late fall, 2008, the NCC reconstructed the pedestrian and cycling path along the south side of Dow’s Lake (along Commissioner’s Park). The new path is wider and in many places a foot higher, which should reduce puddling. There are more bench sitting areas too, set back from the path. Workers are busy this week cleaning up the unfinished details, including laying cobblestones between the path and the Queen Elizabeth Driveway. Continue reading Landscaping Goes In, Dow’s Lake pathway

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

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

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 … Continue reading Preston Construction Starts Soon

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 … 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

LeBreton Flats: landscaping in winter time

The much-criticized condo tower on LeBreton Flats near Wellington and the War Museum is the first new residential building on these brownfields in 25 years. The view of the building is not helped by its isolation and strip-mined surroundings. Until the condo apartment market heats up again, we won’t see the second half of the first building (yes, second half: the first building is L shaped; the second joins onto it with another 7 storey yellow brick base and a 14 storey tower, making the whole building look like one, shaped in a U with the open end facing the … Continue reading LeBreton Flats: landscaping in winter time

City Centre Office Tower Loses Roof Sign

The City Centre office and warehouse complex, 250 City Centre Avenue, opposite the Bayview OTrain station and Tom Brown Arena, is often referred to as the ugliest in the city. While not pretty, its not so bad either. I should know, I look at it from my house, and until I sold my business a few years ago, was/is the largest tennant in the industrial bays. The night time picture was taken at 2am a few weeks ago from a window on the third floor of my house, looking across the roof of the Just Rite Storage building, aka the … Continue reading City Centre Office Tower Loses Roof Sign

801 Albert St Condo Towers – Bayview Station area

There is a vacant triangular plot of land at the corner of City Centre Avenue at Albert, just across from the Bayview OTrain Station and Tom Brown Arena, and beside the existing 8 storey City Centre office tower. The land has been owned by Phoenix development for some years. They have applied for rezoning for two 31-storey condo towers and a four storey office building. Each tower would be similar in height and size to the Metropole tower built further west on Scott near Westboro Station. The Metropole development, with townhouses clustered at its base, turned out well, despite its … Continue reading 801 Albert St Condo Towers – Bayview Station area