The latest planning documents for Hintonburg have indentified this slope as needing a staircase and path at the bottom. Alas, the document has not yet been approved. If the Otrain station is relocated to the west side of cut, as proposed in the most recent DOTT plans, pedestrian access should be routed to the south side of Albert (going under the Albert St overpass) rather than the north side as it is for the current Otrain station. .
I note in today’s paper the recent demise of His Tremendousness, Giorgio Carbone, the elected prince of the principality of Seborga – (Bing it!)
What caught my interest was the name of the coin of the realm: in addition to the Euro, they had the Luigino. Hmm.
Given the popularity of Luigi, spokescharacter for Preston Street, who had locals and tourists alike posing for pictures with his sign likeness, and who enjoyed a certain popularity with the light-fingered, perhaps the Preston BIA should mint its own currency, the Luigi. Make it a 25c or dollar coin, use it for change at the restuarants, etc. The seigniorage potential …
The issue of Ottawa Business Journal (OBJ) out this past week has a major story on the development pressures along the Carling-Bayview OTrain corridor, parallel to Preston’s trendy Little Italy.
They interviewed me (tiny bit, amongst more illustrious others) following my postings about developments at the Champagne/Hickory/Carling area. You can read their story at http://www.ottawabusinessjournal.com/295971895949675.php
Last week I attended the Civic Hospital Neighborhood Assoc meeting. First item was the new development by Domicile at the corner of Hickory and Champagne Avenue (shown below). The site is now a one storey industrial building, and is zoned for 4 storey redevelopment.
A month or so ago, I heard Domicile was planning an eight storey condo tower on the site, along with six townhouses facing Hickory. The plan unveiled at the CHNA meeting was for the same six townhouses, but now a 12 storey building. I wondered where the additional height came from: the developer or the city? The proposed tower is significantly higher than the Merion Square project (9 floors, two towers) immediately adjacent, on a much larger site.
I expected there to be a lot of comment on the height of the building, as it backs onto single houses. But there was nary a peep on the issue, despite the developers architect and planners continually opening the door to the issue. Instead, all the commentary was saved for Ron Jacks, the traffic consultant, who did a fine job of dealing with the questions. The 101 condos will generate one car per 12 minutes for rush hour along Sherwood Drive, which aggravated some attendees.
The Domicile site needs rezoning before it can go ahead. Recall that 855 Carling is also up for upzoning; and I hear the former Acquerello site has been sold to Mastercraft-Starwood, currently selling condos on Parkdale north of Scott. Alas, at the rate things are going, all the sites and heights will be determined before the City’s Community Development Plan is re-activated, and all local bargaining power lost. Also lost will be any chance of establishing view planes so each set of residents will have an unobstructed view of Dow’s Lake.
Science Canada had a national short film contest for high school students, on the subject of science.
Ecole Secondaire de la Salle (on Old St Patrick St) is the local french language public high school for the west side action area. Produced for chemistry class, and recorded in a single 75-minute period, this short rap film extols the virtues of science and technology through the illest lyrics you’ve ever heard . It was produced from start-to-finish in less than five days while the students continued attending regular classes.
ES de la Salle won first, second, and fourth prizes in the film contest. You can watch the rap video at this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRS0yPoZHkA . The clever lyrics are, of course, en francais, and are written out on the youtube site (right side). The film is in HD so it was slow to download on my link — download it all, then watch it.
The City is pretty much finished its reconstruction, streetscaping, and traffic calming work along Bayview Avenue near Scott. The picture above is of the recently sodded field between Tom Brown arena and the Bayview/Scott/Albert intersection. The dividing line between the old field (left) and new sod (centre) is obvious.
Notice how pedestrians cut across the field starting right at the end of the steel crash barrier along the road. The barrier effectively discourages many pedestrians from taking even shorter short cuts; as soon as the barrier ends, a few paths appear immediately.
There is a city sidewalk, but it goes around the perimeter of the site, glued to the edge of the road. The city assumes that road geometry = pedestrian needs. That pedestrians have non-road-alignment needs and desires was apparent before the construction (there were paths in the grass for decades!) and the need to pave these to provide a safer walking environment was identified in community planning documents.
Why doesn’t the City pave these paths to meet pedestrian needs? Mostly I think it is a mind-set issue. The City provides roads for the convenience of motorists, and pedestrians are a nusicience add-on only. There may also be a maintenance issue: if the city acknowledges these paths by paving them, it needs to plow them and this requires paths that follow a plow-able geometry. However, by ignoring what are obviously well-used paths, I think the city opens itself up for liability issues in that it is ignoring what it plainly must see before its face. It cannot hide behind the figleaf of deliberate ignorance.
The two new condo towers downtown on Kent Street called the Hudson have their entry keyboard on the outside rather than in the Lobby.
I haven’t noticed this in Ottawa before. It is common in Vancouver, where the climate is milder. Approaching and using this key pad felt cramped and uncomfortable.
It is reality today that so many buildings now have to have their exterior doors locked to prevent people moving into the comfy chairs in the lobby, but this is the first time I have seen one keep people out of the airlock entry. It’s one more step to a more unfriendly, colder city.
A new condo is planned for 1433 Wellington, a half block east of Island Park Drive. It is almost opposite the recent Domicile building at the corner of Picadilly. The site is currently a small strip mall. I think a new mid-rise condo is a big improvement over the strip mall and worthwhile bit of intensification.
The building will have vehicular access from the side facing the Loeb/Metro store.
The building exterior is very much in the same style as the building at 200 Lett Street at the corner of Wellington, the first condo built in the current LeBreton Flats project. While it doesn’t have a glass tower on top of a podium, both are similar heights (six and seven stories), have windows that vary vertically and horizontally in size, shape, and position. Both have decorative horizontal reliefs or cut ins.
It remains to be seen if this building, already in a built-up area, will be better received than the LeBreton building.
The Claridge condo on the Flats is much larger than 1433 Wellington. However, a similar sized and designed building to the one pictured above(same architect, same builder) is planned for right next door in West Wellington (the car audio site), so from the street there will be much more building than looking at “phase 1″ might suggest. The two West Wellington buildings as currently planned will be separated by the 3 storey Bella Bistro restuarant.