Posts Tagged ‘Links

10
Sep
09

Ottawa, a green destination

The Mother Nature Network—which I had not previously heard of—has named Ottawa as their green travel Destination of the Week. It’s an interesting read, discussing as it does all the reasons why they feel that Ottawa is an interesting, environmentally concious city. A few choice excerpts:

The green is easy to see in Canada’s capital. Aerial photos of summertime Ottawa reveal a tree-covered landscape that would seem suburban if it weren’t for the unmistakably urban architecture poking through the foliage. Not even the legendarily frigid Canadian winters are void of natural charms. Waterways used for boating in warmer weather are converted into skating rinks, and outdoor festivities continue year-round, regardless of the ambient temperature. There are more than 60 annual festivals in the Ottawa metro area each year.

Sure, the subtle quaintness of Ottawa might disappoint those who’ve already been seduced by Toronto’s diversity or Montreal’s Euro-American vibe, but the capital city offers one of the most pleasant and user-friendly travel experiences in northern North America.
Ottawa doesn’t often boast about its green features. The city’s breathable air and alternatives for carless commuters speak for themselves, Its green urban landscapes and multitude of outdoor activities complement the natural charms of Canada’s capital city.
I’m always fascinated to read an outsider’s perspective on our city, mostly because we have a bad habit of getting caught up around infighting and petty bickering over urban issues that it can be tough to see the big picture. We’re not without our problems, but it’s worth remembering that your average tourist comes away with a pretty positive image of our city. Granted, a tourist isn’t here long enough to see or understand the problems we do have, but perhaps that says something in of itself.
Sure we spend a lot of time complaining about OC Transpo and debating over our future LRT line, but at the same time, we still manage to have one of the most extensive and best-used transit systems in North America. We worry about bike infrastructure and bike safety, but what we have, again, is much more developed than many cities in the world. And we’re concerned over sprawl, and how to effectively contain our growing population, but without destroying the greenery and charm of many of our urban neighborhoods with excessive density, but again, we’re doing much better at it than places like the American Southwest.
This is not to say that Ottawa is a perfect place, but it is a very good one. And sometimes, we need an outsiders perspective to see just how well-off we really are.
(Thanks to Transit Ottawa for passing along the link)
26
Aug
09

A few links

Hey folks, just a small collection of links to pass along today.

First, when I’m not busy ranting and\or raving about urban issues, I also enjoy a little bit of culture. Which is why I spent this past weekend out at Brittania Park enjoying the Folk Festival; I’ve subsequently written of a review of it for Apartment 613. You can check it out here.

Second, RealGrouchy posted an interesting email exchange last week which revolves around graffiti and street art. It’s a very interesting read, and if you care about issues surrounding street art I suggest you give it a look.

Third, (Cult)ure Magazine put up a piece on the politics surrounding sports in Ottawa-Gatineau, and how City Hall has screwed up a number of times by creating a poor marketplace for professional sports. It’s a good read, especially considering the final version of the Lansdowne Live proposal will be released next Wednesday.

And finally, Archie, Jughead and Dilton come to Ottawa. Need I say more? Part 2 is here, and part 3 is here.

01
May
09

One more link

I have a guest post up over at Apartment 613 on the new transit tunnel. Incidentally, if you’ve never been checked out Apartment 613 before, I’d recommend it. It’s kind of similar to this blog, only approaching Ottawa from an arts and culture perspective rather than my own urbanist perspective.

15
Feb
09

Some links

A few interesting links\reads I’ve found over the past couple of days.

First, a discussion over on Spacing Toronto about the urbanization of Mississauga. We don’t have anything even close to this phenomenon going on in Ottawa right now due to the way the development patterns of this city currently stand, but there’s a chance it could be in our future if we begin setting serious targets about creating a denser city. After all, Westboro is already home to the third-tallest building in Ottawa-Gatineau.

Next, over at Greater Ottawa, David Reevely gives a rundown on how Scotiabank Place came to be built where it is. It’s interesting for me, as someone who was not in Ottawa at the time (nor was I old enough to pay attention to the news, if I was), and in a weird sort of way it almost makes sense. Of course, it’s now even more obvious that the overall plan for the area has been a failure, even though the Senators have managed to do well for themselves. As the debate over whether we should invest in an MLS stadium in Kanata or a revitalized CFL stadium at Lansdowne Park heats back up, it becomes even more important for us to look at what went into the decision to develop out in Kanata in the first place and critically analyze its impact on the city. I think anyone that reads this blog regularly has probably picked up on my opinion by now, and I’m glad that Ottawans seem to be coming out much more in favour of refurbished Frank Clair Stadium rather than a white elephant in the suburbs.

Finally, there’s a new blog over at the Ottawa Citizen called Designing Ottawa by Maria Cook. It looks to be all about urban design within the city, both building interiors and exteriors, as well as our streetscapes and landscapes. There are already a number of interesting posts up about the new Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat building on Sussex and the Sir John Carling Building at the Central Experimental Farm. The latter I find particularly interesting, as she creates a fairly impassioned argument for the building to be saved from demolition and given heritage status. A tough position to take, considering the building is not exactly beautifuly in the conventional sense, but it certainly has its merits.

10
Jan
09

More on transit privatization

Over at Greater Ottawa, David Reevely has written an excellent summary of why privatizing OC Transpo would be a bad idea. It’s very well written, and I strongly recommend you check it out.

As an incidental aside, I’m in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan right now for the Canadian University Press national conference. I took some time to explore the city a bit earlier today, so I’ll probably be writing up my impressions sometime next week.




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This is a blog dedicated to exploring and discussing Ottawa, Canada.

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Email: dmccl033(at)uottawa(dot)ca

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