West Side Transportation Cornucopia, part vi – Bayview Station overpass

Let’s look at that confusing stretch of road between Bayview Avenue and City Centre Avenue. Legally known as Albert Street, many folks persist in calling it Scott Street (which only runs west of Bayview). It’s a bleak and uninviting bit … Continue reading West Side Transportation Cornucopia, part vi – Bayview Station overpass

1871 Railway turntable uncovered on LeBreton Flats

In addition to a 1871 roundhouse turntable, parts of a 1883 roundhouse have also been uncovered on LeBreton Flats near Bayview Station. The archaeological dig covers some city land where the Trillium OTrain line and Trillium multi-user pathway is located, and … Continue reading 1871 Railway turntable uncovered on LeBreton Flats

Lonely house on the parking lot

The area along the O-Train corridor has undergone lots of changes from its original industrial beginnings. Occasionally, an old building survives. Notice that it has a real slate roof, there are few houses or buildings left in our neighborhood with slate roofs. In this case, it probably was to provide additional fire proofing from the sparks that flew out of the many steam engines in the area. David Jeanes tells me this may have been the home of Ottawa Stair Works. Probably built right after the Great Fire in 1902, the building then faced Somerset Street which was not yet elevated up on the … Continue reading Lonely house on the parking lot

Sim-City model: Bayview-carling CDP

The City has been sporadically doing up a CDP (Community Design Plan) (which is a plan of dubious effectiveness under the Official Plan) for the O-Train corridor running from Bayview Station to Carling Avenue. Residents frequently ascribe its tardiness to a desire on the part of the City to see all the developable land purchased and rezoned before the plan is drawn up. In that way, the city won’t have to continually amend it. The City is committed to having CDPs done for all the stations along the OLRT. Having seen some of the in-progress ones I’d have to say they are better than nothing.  At least they … Continue reading Sim-City model: Bayview-carling CDP

Planning the O-Train bike path

Okay, so it’s not really a “bike path”, the City doesn’t have any of those. We have MUPs, or Multi User Paths, which are shared by cyclists, dog walkers, parents with wailers, grannies with yappers, kids alone,  etc. (It makes an interesting contrast: on roads, cyclists are told to play nicely with cars, buses, and tractor-trailers going 70km; off road, cyclists are sent to play with various pedestrian folks). I’m on the PAC (public advisory committee) for the O-Train path that will eventually run from the Ottawa River pathways south to Dow’s Lake. The City will construct the section from Bayview Station to Somerset (or maybe … Continue reading Planning the O-Train bike path

The Secret West Side

Everyone knows the traditional main streets: West Wellie, Preston, Chinatown, Bank Street … The very success of these streets ensure they attract popular businesses with enough clientele to afford the rents. But where are the retailers that cannot afford main street? Ottawa lacks many low-value retail spaces, where specialty niche businesses, startups, and some just-plain marginal businesses can locate. Gentrification and the revival of main streets are desirable, but have the effect of squeezing out these small firms. So they slip into little-noticed spots unattractive to mainstream, main street retailers. I previously mentioned the hotbed of nifty niche novelty firms on the west side*. … Continue reading The Secret West Side

Rising Action

Steer your footsteps towards the City Centre complex on City Centre Avenue. At the southern end of the ground floor (near the Somerset end) there is a new bakery. A big one. Artisin Bakery has until recently been primarily a wholesale bakery, with about 70 high-end hotels and restaurants as clients. Now, from their new premises at City Centre, they have opened a new retail outlet for breads, cookies, pastries, tarts, cakes, and sandwiches. Kevin Mathieson is the owner. A Winnipegger, he has had his hands in flour forever. He apprenticed with the best in New York, Paris, Monaco, and Zürich. He uses organic grains, … Continue reading Rising Action