Waterparks in the City

Dufferin Park in Toronto is justifiably well known for its innovative features. The boy on the left (picture, above) is by the spigot that flows water into this large sand lot, complete with oversize logs that seem perfect to stimulate little imaginations while containing the mess and providing bum rests for parents. Can’t you just hear Ottawa park bureaucrats commenting on the “safety” of that big log bridge? (shown above) Actually, watching the baby crawl up out of the ditch was hilarious and inspiring. The Dufferin Park neighborhood and adjacent Trinity Bellwoods neighborhoods appear to me to be in the “Glebe” level of affluence. A number of … Continue reading Waterparks in the City

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)

Pruning thoughts

City maintenance crews have been busy in our west side neighborhood. This is the pruning done on the west side of Plouffe Park, behind the Plant recreation complex. I am always alarmed at the “shave it off at the ground level” style of pruning. It just seems an awful lot of green material to hack off and toss away. A similar pruning took place around the Plant Bath building itself, but not so close cut. Yesterday, the crews were gathering huge heaps of green branches into piles at Primrose Park. Continue reading Pruning thoughts

Flooding Responsibility

I feel empathy for the residents flooded in recent heavy rains. I live in a neighborhood area that has suffered sewer backups/flooding in the past (although not this year that I know of…). I dread the thought of having to tear up my basement etc. But a common thread throughout the media reporting on the flood really bothers me. “The City should … the City must … it’s the city’s fault…” Why are we so quick to blame the City and want taxpayers to cover the cost of our personal losses? All over the City, in surburban or urban areas, … Continue reading Flooding Responsibility

Plouffe Park sodded

Last Wednesday, May 13 about 1/3 of the park was sodded. There was no further action until Tuesday, May 19 when the remainder of the park was sodded. Fences have been constructed to try to keep people and animals off the fields. Limited activities (not including soccer) will be permitted during the summer when the Plant Pool Rec.Assoc (PPRA) holds summer camps. The big green swatch in the middle of the ward is really welcome given all the construction and dirt elsewhere. This neighborhood has the least amount of City greenspace of any ward in the City of Ottawa. Continue reading Plouffe Park sodded

Plouffe Park landscaping

note the two receivers mounted on each end of the blade sod rolls; elevation transmitter in the background laying the carpet … Plouffe Park is behind the Plant Recreation Centre at the corner of Preston and Somerset. The playing fields were torn up last fall in order to lower the ground level several feet. This permits the fields to function as a storm basin in case of severe flooding expected only every 50 years or so. The Park is the lowest point in the entire Preston street catchment area, and has no natural overland outflow. The bulldozer spreading the topsoil … Continue reading Plouffe Park landscaping

DCA – AGM Tonight

There is a community association for the neighborhood bounded on the east by Bay St – on the north by the Ottawa River – on the west by the O-Train tracks – and the south by Carling Avenue. Called the Dalhousie Community Association (DCA) after the now-retired ward name for the area, the association concerns itself with planning, traffic, and social issues in this mixed income changing neighborhood that incorporates both “Chinatown” and “Little Italy”. Their Annual General Meeting is tonight at 7pm at the Dalhousie Centre, corner of Empress and Somerset, 3rd floor. Free cookies. I’ll be baking my … Continue reading DCA – AGM Tonight

New Floodlights, Plant Recreation Centre

Work crews have removed the old floodlights from the Plant Rec Centre playing fields “Plouffe Park”. As of this afternoon, six new posts and new floodlights were installed. Last week, the city removed the hockey boards. On the north side, against the tot lot, crews were busy today installing new chain link fencing to separate the soccer fields from the path and playstructures. Hopefully, sod will soon appear on the playing fields. It will be great to have a large green space again. Seeing work done (ie benches, garbage cans, light standards, paving) to bring visible community benefits is so … Continue reading New Floodlights, Plant Recreation Centre

Vietnamese Museum & Offices

Test drilling has occured at the vacant lot, corner of Somerset St and Preston. It looks like we might soon see the construction of the Vietnamese centre. It will have a museum, office, and meeting space on the upper floors, and one or two storefronts at ground level. It is diagonally opposite the Plant Recreation centre and existing Vietnamese Monument. The garage entrance is off the Preston side. Question: will sewer and water connections be dug before or after the reconstruction and repaving of Preston? Continue reading Vietnamese Museum & Offices

Parole Office Political Decision Again

“This Government has listened to the concerns voiced at last night’s Town Hall meeting organized by the Correctional Service of Canada, and is no longer considering relocation of the Ottawa Parole Office to 1010 Somerset Street,” ministry of public safety spokesman Christopher McCluskey wrote in an e-mail to the Citizen. Continue reading Parole Office Political Decision Again

On Parole – The Meeting

The Parole Office meeting was last night at the Bronson Centre. Meeting FormatCorrectional Services tried to have a series of little workgroups, but was talked out of it. Work groups are find when a large percentage of the attendees share a certain knowledge level, but when facts are scarce this format serves to create little silos of (mis)information and keep people unaware. The question and answer format instead allowed people to get some additional information and judge the agendas/merits of others and their opinions. The wiki format wins hands down in this case. The ProsThe moderator was excellent. I found … Continue reading On Parole – The Meeting

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 www.csc-scc.gc.ca/consultation. The office will serve about 200 federal offenders a year. It employs about 36 parole officers and others. Advantages of the proposed location (compared to … Continue reading Shuffling the PAROLE OFFICE to Somerset St