Western LRT (part iii): neighbourhoods with room to grow?

The transitway is being converted to LRT in order to increase capacity. It will haul more people sometimes for shortish distances, but mostly for longish, or regional  hauls. It is difficult to satisfy the long haul user and the short trip user on the same system. That’s why we have local bus routes, cross town routes, express routes to the suburbs, and high frequency express services on the transitway. As the LRT goes west from Tunney’s Pasture, the City is keeping a close eye on redevelopment potential along the route, as it is development charges that will paying for the … Continue reading Western LRT (part iii): neighbourhoods with room to grow?

Heritage repair

Many west siders will be familiar with this, reputed to be  the oldest house in Ottawa: It is located a half block east of the Westboro Loblaws. Work has been going on for a while to stabilize and repair the structure. Like a lot of building restoration work, or art restoration, much effort goes into undoing the previous version of restoration. In this case, the previous work involved adding a smooth coat of mortar between the stones. Alas, that mortar dried hard and waterproof. This trapped moisture between the stone inside the wall, which then liquified/eroded the sand-lime mixture inside … Continue reading Heritage repair

False choices at Our Lady of the Condos — part i

The site with so much marvellous urban redevelopment potential is back in the news. Our Lady of the Condos is a former convent site running between Richmond Road and Byron. Is it just me, or does this site take on Lansdowne proportions whereby anything aggravates a vocal opposition, so that civil dialogue and compromise becomes untenable in a take-no-prisoners make-everyone-miserable sort of way? Ashcroft is asking for a driveway across the Byron linear park to access Byron Avenue. The alternative is to use Shannon Street. The city traffic engineers become bad guys here, supposedly wanting a full-fledged city street to replace Shannon … Continue reading False choices at Our Lady of the Condos — part i

How does your garden grow?

One of the big fears about high rises is that shadow that they throw. Over the last few years, I have become more observant of shadows. First, a developer built some three story infills in the lot behind my back yard. They are just 20′ from their/my rear lot line. My gardening friends cheered me up: “there goes your sunshine and your garden”, and then consoled me with “but there’s always hostas. They love the total dark dense shade”. Well surprise, those infills throw zero shadow on my garden during the whole growing season (May to September) and only minimal shadow in … Continue reading How does your garden grow?

Proposed condo, 175 Richmond Road

Claridge is proposing a six and nine story condo buildings at the corner of Richmond and Kirkwood, opposite the Real Canadian Superstore: The lot is currently occupied by a three storey industrial building, with strip-mall type retail on the Richmond side; with undefined street/parking lot on the east side where Kirkwood sort-of runs northwards from Richmond; and with loading docks and a very industrial frontage on the north side, Wilbur Street.  The current industrial building is zero lot line on the west, where it abuts the rear lot lines of homes. This is quite similar to my own home, and I greatly … Continue reading Proposed condo, 175 Richmond Road

Westboro tizzy (iv) – of benefits, incentives, and selling out

I was at Development Committee some time back when they voted on the Our Lady of the Condos development on Richmond Road. Then-councillor Leadman could count heads as well as anyone, and no doubt knew the vote was going against her. The audience was chock full of angry neighbours/voters. At the last minute, she changed tactics from opposing the project to one of “if you’re going to approve it, at least get some community benefits”. The charge in the air was electric. The audience was aghast. Betrayal! Selling out!  No matter the logic of the move, the optics were terrible, my sinking stomach knew Leadman had … Continue reading Westboro tizzy (iv) – of benefits, incentives, and selling out

Westboro tizzy (iii)

As part of the Uniform Developments condo proposal for Roosevelt Avenue, the City/Councillor negotiated some “community benefits”. This consists of $200,000 worth of traffic calming and streetscaping to be paid for by Uniform. Here is an overview of the changes to Roosevelt (top street in pic) and Winston (lower street in pic) (transitway trench is running up the right side of the pic): Double click on the picture to enlarge it. The south end of Roosevelt Avenue, to the left in the above pic, where it meets Richmond Road, gets redesigned to be more pedestrian friendly. Midway along the block are some traffic … Continue reading Westboro tizzy (iii)

Westboro tizzy

Westboro and Westboro Beach neighbours are all up in arms about a proposed condo (ie apartment) development along the Transitway just west of Churchill. The site is currently manufacturing, a leftover from the days when the Transitway was a railway line and there was industry along it. The briefs opposing the development plan bring out the usual boogeymen: too much traffic, too high, killer shadows, deleterious change, etc. Being high end, about the only argument not brought out is crime. (Fortunately, an earlier suggestion to route the new condo access away from the older neighborhood by routing through the front lawn of the less-affluent apartment … Continue reading Westboro tizzy

Is it a Syn?

There was a controversy about 18 months ago in the Westboro area about a “perfectly fine house” to be torn down to build a new, larger one. The property owner got their permits, and the house was duly built. Here’s a google street view of the old house, note the mature hedge along Spencer on the right, and the multiple evergreens: And here is a pic of the new house, seen from the front. For a corner lot, they did not take any advantage of westerly views. Fenestration on the front façade is minimal: and the view from the diagonal across … Continue reading Is it a Syn?