Valuable space can be pressed into service when imagination is applied to demand. This city, with a wide river and expensive real estate on each side, built a municipal recreation pool on a barge floating on the river:
Sundecks, swimming pool, yoga and exercise … and of course, drinks and pastries. Not from vending machines.
The Josephine Baker pool is in Paris. I’ve seen similar floating pools on the Danube in Vienna and Lake Como in Italy.
Short of park space? Why not plant up a superannuated barge as a floating public park? Note the lack of a six foot chain link fence on the perimeter.
Ottawa may not have a wide downtown River (the Rideau Canal is petite size, and the Ottawa River itself is strangely absent from the downtown) but where there is a shortage of civic space, it could be added.
Montreal parks “container parks”, aka sidewalk patios for street people, brown baggers, and the rest of us not buying a $3 coffee:
The proposed decking over the LRT line through LeBreton Flats might be using prime land for upcycling.
Why not cover the Confederation Line track in the Scott Street trench with a linear park? Oh, of course, I remember why. The LRT will be in a tunnel to preserve the Byron dog walk park for upper income neighbourhoods, not Mechanicsville. Ditto the Trillium cut through the Preston neighbourhoods.
Note that covering shouldn’t be totally considered a “park” cost, but split between the transportation budget, the park department, and the development fees (where does all that park money go from the new highrises along the LRT?? I dont see new parkland appearing …).
And bonus, when covered, the LRT’s might be able to run in the snow and cold of winter too.
Here’s a rental venue that floats, for weddings, business meetings, parties …
Notice the famed six storey low rise Paris cityscape behind:
Ottawa isn’t hopeless. That’s not my point.
In this era, Ottawa is not an innovator, its a follower.
A fairly slow follower. A late-to-the-game “me too” city.
We need to watch what others innovate, and fast-copy those better ideas that offer good rewards and moderate cost.