So is the Sens-trinity et all plan for LeBreton Flats — called IllumiNation — really dead this time? Naah. There’s lots of opportunity to raise it from the mat one more time. There’s a high profile spat going on between … Continue reading Levisoa IlumiNation !
The Clichy-Batignolles plan is highly dependent on the stacking of different uses along its western edge, facing the St Lazare railway tracks, where a track level podium base holds locomotive workshops, with parking above, with offices and apartments above that. … Continue reading Clichy-Batignolles, Paris, rue Cardinet
Here’s part 2 of the Portland series, from 2015. They did an excellent job of creating lively streets. We haven’t done nearly as well here in Ottawa. Yet the formulas for success are out there. Do note that since this story was first written, Claridge’s Flats project has greatly improved, with benches and gardens and resident participation and involvement growing. (We might look at that in a future story). Alas, the city continues to shun the area, except to collect fees and taxes, but not providing so much as a tot lot for the scads of kids that live there. … Continue reading Walking Portland’s SouthWaterfront streets
As part of a retrospective of previous stories on new urban neighbourhoods, lets revisit Portland’s South waterfront new urban neighbourhood. While the details of what gets built and how, may vary, new urban neighbourhoods are tending to look more and more the same. After all, architects and planners read the same world-circulation magazines and journals, attend conferences, and share ideas (sometimes better, sometimes worse). It’s part of that world homogenization that sometimes makes it hard to tell just where one is. Yes, there is a loss of sense of place. Portland is interesting because it was a strong influence on … Continue reading The view from Portland
Two of the intensification projects we looked at in the last few days are on Traditional Main Streets. The City’s official plan for TMS calls for up to six story apartments, built lot line to lot line to create a … Continue reading Rules are for Others, part 3, Gladstone Avenue
Ottawa has an Official Plan (OP), and multiple levels of various sub plans, including many — the CDP or Community Design Plans — which aim at intensification. Indeed, CDP’s could be called City Densification Plans. So, over on Somerset Street … Continue reading Not What the Plan envisioned, part 2, Somerset edition
Occasionally an intensification proposal comes along that seems to fit most of the rules (guidelines, really…). So let’s look at what Project1 Studio is proposing for 440 Bronson, just north of Gladstone. The site used to house Guytel Phones, and … Continue reading Intensification by the rules, part 1
The City is hosting an “open house” on Tuesday (Nov 28, 5.30pm onwards ) to show their plans for the future Albert and Slater Streets between Empress (the Good Companions) and Waller (Rideau Centre, UOttawa U). Here are some things … Continue reading West Side Transportation Cornucopia, part viii – Albert-Slater alert
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
Sometimes community groups or neighbours successfully kill a project. One prominent developer told me at a Champagne Avenue area meeting that if they succeed in killing a project, it only goes away to come back bigger. Because the next proponent … Continue reading They only come back … bigger
West Wellington in Hintonburg is a traditional main street (TMS). The community design plan allows for new buildings up to six stories “as of right” along the active shopping and commercial street. It also permits taller structures, upon application, at … Continue reading Another distinctive landmark?
On a small lot at the end of the stub end street, up against a small cliff or escarpment, a developer has fitted in a small 18 unit apartment building. IMO, it looks great, superior to many of the … Continue reading Interesting Intensification
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
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
In a story earlier this week I enthused about the McRae Avenue progressing from blah to an attractive Transit Oriented Development. Did I speak too soon? Is the city trying to thwart TOD before it can leave the cradle?? Here’s … Continue reading Shooting TOD in the cradle
There is a mixed use development proposed for the corner of McRae Avenue and Scott Street. This is right across the street from the new Farm Boy store, which is also in a mixed use complex (one office tower 7 stories, … Continue reading City Tot Lot with Pee Post
The existing Trillium multi user pathway (MUP) on the EAST side of the OTrain tracks has been a hit with the commuting and recreational public. Its popularity grows weekly. Less well known is the planning “win” when the community obliged … Continue reading Bit of new west side Trillium MUP opens
If my (fallible) memory serves me correctly, all the Confederation Line LRT Stations are freestanding, at ground level, in a ditch, or underground. Only at three downtown stations are the stations under the street but exiting up partially through existing … Continue reading First high rise LRT station?
Councillor Rick Chiarelli was on the radio yesterday, being the only member of planning committee to vote against a “no parking provided” building. He predicted overloaded adjacent streets, complaining neighbours, and suggested there is too much wishful thinking on the … Continue reading Is a “no parking” building sane?
I used to be just as scornful as many when it came to synthetic grass. Fake. Artificial. Faux, to be snobby about it. I’ve changed my mind. I’m tired of seeing public playing fields beat to sh__ mud by over-use. … Continue reading The green green grass of … synthetics
There is lots of coverage about what is in the two proposals to rebuild LeBreton Flats. The Citizen, for example, offers good photo spreads and text. If you prefer original sources, here are the links to the two proposals. My … Continue reading LeBetter Flats (vii) see the details
In the West End, the Confederation Line LRT will eventually extend to Lincoln Fields, then along Pinecrest Creek (where the transitway is) and it will split into two directions from a point north of the Queensway. One leg will carry on to Algonquin College. The other leg vers westward under a city park and emerges from its underground tunnel between the Queensway and the west end bus garage on Queensview Drive. The in-an-open-cut Queensview Station ( much like Westboro and Tunney’s Stations) will replace the lawn directly in front of The Brick. Directly opposite The Brick is The Ottawa Citizen plant, and … Continue reading Queensview Station Crossing (part iii)
Will the redeveloped Tremblay Station area be better than what is there today? Will there be a wonderful world of tomorrow, or just a bigger – higher – denser version of autotopia? Here’s a city-provided sketchup of the Tremblay LRT Station (formerly known as Train). Construction starts in December this year, for completion in July 2017. The ring road that services the train station is visible at the top; with the VIA Station at the top right. The parking lot shown is existing, but not for long. While the main LRT entrance is to the east, by the ring road, … Continue reading Coventry Bridge, Tremblay LRT Station Underachievers (part ii)
The South Waterfront neighbourhood is very well landscaped. Intensively landscaped, with interesting bits of planters, plants, gardens, courtyards, and squares tucked into the smallest corners. The contrast to Ottawa’s LeBreton Flats couldn’t be stronger. Some of this may be due to a milder climate in Oregon. Or a project that has had vegetation in the ground and growing for longer. Or maybe a much more generous budget for greenery. The Flats look good on paper, and on the ground the “right elements” are laid out, but the execution makes me wince and thus far is poorly maintained. The City has … Continue reading Building a Better LeBreton, part 9, Walking Portland’s SouthWaterfront streets
Portland, Oregon, is often referred to as a city that has gone further with “Smart Growth” than other cities. It promotes transit by train, streetcar, bike, and aerial tram. It has numerous award winning downtown parks and redevelopment sites. IMO, its planning reputation and branding sometimes exceeds its delivery. One site in particular is comparable to LeBreton Flats in terms of location (just outside the downtown core, on former industrial lands), although Portland’s South Waterfront is twice the area (402 acres vs NCC’s <200 acres). Portland’s has room to expand as it takes over adjacent industrial users; the NCC’s site … Continue reading Building LeBetter Flats, part 7, the view from Portland