High rises: Gladstone southwards

Yesterday’s post covered high rise intensification — on an east-west axis — along the north edge — the Carling Avenue line — of our  community. Today’s post covers a north-south line drawn roughly along the OTrain cut from Gladstone to Carling. It is not clear if the drawing (second pic, below) puts the line along the OTrain cut or Preston Street itself. This post is somewhat speculative. Here is the area in Google Maps: Recall that there is a proposed LRT station on the OTrain corridor near Gladstone. Generally, the station is drawn running from Gladstone to the Queensway, with its north exit … Continue reading High rises: Gladstone southwards

Progress on Rescuing Bronson

The City has compromised on some Bronson issues. They have agreed to remove their proposal to widen the street, which would have speeded up vehicular traffic while simultaneously making the corridor less cycling and pedestrian friendly and chopping off numerous front yards, church entries, and mature trees. In our opinion, it didn’t make the road any safer for motorists either. I like to think it had a lot to do with people objecting. Rescue Bronson encouraged many people to have their say. This included residents, landlords, school principals, recreation coordinators, churches … and yup, we even got some of Ottawa’s condo … Continue reading Progress on Rescuing Bronson

Bronson: an exercise in futility

A previous version of this story originally appeared in www.SpacingOttawa.ca, you should have read it there. But here it is again, made slightly longer. ________________________________________________________ Faithful readers will recall the many stories on Bronson Avenue. How it is so poorly designed for motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists. And how it blights the neighborhood. Instead of lively street, the City seems determined to give us more blight, by widening the lanes 2′, thus removing numerous trees and more front yards/greenspace, all in a vulgar attempt to get the cars to go a little bit faster. Gotta get to Greely quicker! Rescue Bronson has been … Continue reading Bronson: an exercise in futility

Planning the O-Train bike path

Okay, so it’s not really a “bike path”, the City doesn’t have any of those. We have MUPs, or Multi User Paths, which are shared by cyclists, dog walkers, parents with wailers, grannies with yappers, kids alone,  etc. (It makes an interesting contrast: on roads, cyclists are told to play nicely with cars, buses, and tractor-trailers going 70km; off road, cyclists are sent to play with various pedestrian folks). I’m on the PAC (public advisory committee) for the O-Train path that will eventually run from the Ottawa River pathways south to Dow’s Lake. The City will construct the section from Bayview Station to Somerset (or maybe … Continue reading Planning the O-Train bike path

Complementarity in sculptures

The City recently reopened Piazza Dante, a small urban parkette in front of St Anthony Church, corner of Booth and Gladstone. Two carved granite pillars flank the main entrance to the piazza from Gladstone. If they look familiar, well, they should. Their cousins mark the entrance to Preston Street at Primrose: When the Preston Street sculptures — Postcards from the Piazzas, by c j fleury –were being made, the granite carvers misread the order and produced four columns instead of two. With some quick thinking by the City, the artist, and Preston BIA, the additional columns were purchased, finished,  and used as gate … Continue reading Complementarity in sculptures

The Thinest of the Thin Houses

Very narrow houses are perfectly livable, if well designed. There are about 25 across the street from me on 12′ lots, which means they are  a bit more than 11′  wide inside. I think CCOC has a bunch a few blocks over, off Rochester. Nonetheless, very thin houses make City regulators expand with worry. A new group of thin houses is under construction at Gladstone and Cambridge. They replace the famous “yellow house” with its Charlie Brown zig-zag brown stripe. I have been anxiously awaiting their construction because they are thin – on 12′ lots. But the end unit, along Gladstone, is even thinner, being … Continue reading The Thinest of the Thin Houses

Sidewalk reflections

Any pedestrian in Ottawa recognizes the scene: melting snow puddles on the sidewalks, roads, and crosswalks. Such puddles are to be expected when the roads are old, breaking up, sagging, worn out.But the pic above is of a main street rebuilt … last year! Why can’t our engineers get it right? Surely it isn’t rocket science to build crosswalks that drain to catch basins? The answer lies in an equally predictable realm. The intersections are not designed for pedestrians, but for motorists. To build that concrete crosswalk one or two inches higher would ensure drainage, but then motorists would feel a … Continue reading Sidewalk reflections

Planning Exercise (ii)

There is a large parcel of land owned by the Feds. It runs from Somerset Street to Gladstone, on the east side of the OTrain corridor. At the Somerset end, it has the address 1010 Somerset Street; at the Gladstone end it is 943 Gladstone; in the middle it has an Oak Street address. Most of the site is covered with a giant brick and concrete warehouse dating from the Second World War era. Before that, it was open field, my father tells me he attended the Ringling Circus there when he was a boy in the ’30’s. The circus arrived … Continue reading Planning Exercise (ii)

Gladstone Ave. north side boulevard

While I think it would have been better to have planted trees that will have an eventual mature size that is significant, this streetscaping is still attractive. The city planted columnar/fastigate oaks and maples along the boulevard on the north side of the street. The stems look rather beat up, but the trees are growing. – More significantly, the boulevard is on what used to be a vehicular lane. Several years ago the City tore up the asphalt and narrowed the road. The sky has not subsquently fallen, irredemably terrible traffic chaos has not been the result. A pleasant streetscape … Continue reading Gladstone Ave. north side boulevard