Tailrace Clubhouse takes shape

The aqueduct that runs through LeBreton Flats leads to a pump house at Fleet Street below the downtown escarpment, very near to (Booth) Pimisi LRT Station.

After powering the water turbines, the discharge runs through the Tailrace — also called Bronson Creek — to the Ottawa River. The tailrace area was developed into a exciting kayak course a few decades ago.  It is essentially a man made obstacle course on the creek. Homes on the Flats have a wonderful view of the downtown, the Ottawa River, and the activities on the Tailrace. This will be the site of the 2017 National Championships.

For years  used shipping containers were parked near the kayak course to store equipment for the Ottawa River Runners, who now term this area Pumphouse.

Their new club house now nears completion. It will have storage space for kayaks and equipment, change rooms, and observation balcony, and washrooms. Here’s a view from Pooley’s pedestrian Bridge:

And up closer, from the observation terrace on the hillside:

Here’s the artists impression, from the same viewpoint, of what it may look like when completed:

And a few more photoshops from the architect, Barry Hobin:

One of the wonders of photoshop and other rendering tools is the ability to accurately portray what something will look like and how it will fit in with its surroundings, as seen from any chosen viewpoint. It makes planning for the rest of us much easier.

Presumably it will be only another month before the grass and replaced and the dense copse of shrubbery will be planted around the back of the clubhouse.

I will be interested in seeing if that treed copse feels safe, and what the roof plane will look like when viewed down from the encircling pathways, as the design has an lot of conspicuous roof.

Back in the 1970’s, when backpacking in Europe, I came across the 1972 Munich Olympics course right in urban Augsburg. This was the first “man made” kayak course, and being right in the city made it wonderfully entertaining. I recall wondering then if Ottawa would ever have the panache and excitement of European cities. Here’s a pic of the Augsburg course from the web:

I don’t imagine in staid Ottawa we will share the German habit of frequenting their urban parks nackt. We aren’t Europe yet.


Tip of the hat to Dan D. who reminded me to check out the construction and provided the link to the web renderings. Thanks for reading.