Planning exercise (iv)

Whilst walking on Somerset near Hartman’s, I saw workers hoisting railings up the side of a building. The hoisting rope was connected to a roof-mounted winch and arm. The rope brushed these satellite dishes, causing one to pivot a bit, and rock.

This reminded me of a curious phenomenon that relates satellite dishes to “market” and “social” housing politics. 

Here is a social housing building. Typically for Ottawa, it is festooned with satellite dishes. Ditto for the coop seniors apartment building across the street from my house. Or the coop townhouses up the street. Or the ones in Hintonburg. It seems that social housing providers talk about social cooperation, but can’t quite get there when it comes to using community antennae or cable.

I recently saw a townhouse with four satellite dishes. Wow. And I don’t even have any TV.

In the case of the Ottawa Community Housing building shown above, it is an older building, and when it was built probably did not include pre-wiring for satellite services, possibly just basic cable. Nonetheless, there are lots of older buildings around that were subsequently rewired for additional services; many of them run the cables up the exterior of the building behind a shallow metal cap.

In contrast to the social housing with individual dishes, the individually owned units of many condo towers share their antennae and cable cooperatively. Here is the building right next door to the social housing pictured above:

each unit is individual owned, but TV is provided from shared dishes or cable. The OCH building in the background has numerous dishes.

No doubt there are condo high rise buildings somewhere in Ottawa with satellite dishes on the balconies. And possibly some social housing with no satellite dishes on the balconies.

Does anyone else notice this odd dichotomy between social housing/private dishes, and private housing/social (shared) dishes??

3 thoughts on “Planning exercise (iv)

  1. I wonder if this is due to some fear that social housing providers (in other words, the city) might be seen as providing “luxury” items to residents.

  2. Many of those dishes look like those that access FTA (free to air) channels. These are predominately foreign channels from Europe, the Middle East and Africa that are unavailable through cable or Bell/Starchoice.

    I agree that having a shared/social dish/cable would be less of an eyesore but the type of programming some residents want to access is unavailable other than a FTA dish.

  3. I would guess that it’s actually as simple as most condos would very likely have a covenant on the deed or an association rule that either fobids satellite dishes or limits their placement to some place where they can’t be seen. The latter is the case in the townhouse development I live in in Hintonburg. I’m going to guess that the social housing providers don’t generally have that, or the rule is ignored.

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