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danny the dog
Aug 18, 2011, 10:55 PM
I was just wondering what people think of Andrew Cohen's article in today's Citizen. I'm as self-deprecating as the next Ottawan and there is no doubt a lot that should be improved in this city, but this went a bit far. If not for the accuracy of what was written, then the fact that it's only a list of complaints and not even the slightest effort to suggest any way to improve the situation (which is typical of Cohen).

Here is a link to the article in case you didn't see it.

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/travel/trouble+with+Ottawa+Ottawans/5270144/story.html

kwoldtimer
Aug 19, 2011, 12:14 AM
I'm not sure I could do much more than quibble with Cohen, who has voiced his opinion of Ottawa many times before. IMO, Tyler Brule is a pretentious gasbag, but Ottawa is indeed bleak and grey on those dreary days in March and April. Much of what is best about Ottawa is outside of the downtown. It is unfair to compare Ottawa to major world cities, as Cohen does (it's not at all bad compared to Oslo and Winnipeg, which are fairer comparisons). The diplomat arriving here from Canberra or Brasilia (someone should tell Cohen that Rio hasn't been Brazil's capital city for quite some time) would likely be quite pleased with life in Ottawa. Ottawa offers a pleasant, simple, comfortable life to the vast majority of its residents, but the lack of "verve" or complacency or whatever is a constant. Ottawa is not without its artists, intellectuals, hipsters, etc, but they seem to have less impact on life in the city than one would hope. My sense is that, frustration with municipal and other bureaucracies apart, most people are pretty content.

Dado
Aug 19, 2011, 12:25 AM
I both agree and disagree. I think he's seeing a lack of results emanating from citizen action- which I agree with - and concluding a lack of citizen interest - which I disagree with.

There are more "Friends of" groups in Ottawa than I can shake a stick at, and that's just "Friends of" groups. There are plenty of both long-standing and new activist groups of all sorts, and not just the run-of-the-mill local NIMBY but also with city-wide constituencies or interests. Take cycling: there's the long-standing Citizens for Safe Cycling, who back in the 1980s had an impressive record of improving things for cycling (bike parking for new construction, removal of endo grates, getting bike lanes onto major arterials as they were built, painting yellow dots along sensor lines, getting funding for cycling education). That was a high water mark of sorts. More recently there was the Cycling Vision group that pushed for the segregated lane project, but really that took years to push through the bureaucracy. Alex DeVries has set up a site all on location of cycling problems for crying out loud.

What strikes me about Ottawa is both how many such groups there are and simultaneously how ineffective they generally are at the same time. There are far more in Ottawa than in similar-sized Calgary for example, and far more vocal to boot, but it's not like Ottawa is more responsive to its citizens than Calgary. I think both are reflections of the same problem of a bureaucratic mentality ruling the place. There's a proliferation of groups because of the insensitive bureaucratic mentality that runs things, but because the bureaucratic mentality is so insensitive most of these groups are also pretty ineffective since they are just ignored. Given the lack of effectiveness, it's in some sense amazing that so many continue to essentially bang their heads against a brick wall. One would expect to see far more complacency than we actually do.

Uhuniau
Aug 19, 2011, 1:18 AM
There's a bureaucratic mentality, because so many of the people who live and work in the city, and populate the "Friends of This" or "Save the That" groups are bureaucrats.

Rather than worry about things that matter — urban design, urban function, spaces that work instead of taking up space — they worry about rules of order.

m0nkyman
Aug 19, 2011, 1:20 AM
I always get ticked at these kind of articles, and they exist in every city in the world. They ignore what is actually going on, and focus on what hasn't happened.

Look at what is happening in Ottawa right now:

We just finished building a new Convention Centre
We're about to embark on a major new project for the arts: the New Arts court
Landsdowne Live is going to happen, FOL lawsuits notwithstanding
LeBreton Flats is finally getting rebuilt, albeit at a glacial pace
The Museum of Nature just finished a major renovation
We're on the verge of starting the LRT project.
The city archives building has just been built.
Both universities and Algonquin are expanding.

and coming up, we've got a new bridge over the Ottawa to finally get the traffic off King Edward, we've got the air base coming up for a massive redevelopment.

But, yeah, we're not building the city. :rolleyes:

For cripes sake, what do we have to do to impress people? Build a glass dome over the city?

Dado
Aug 19, 2011, 3:38 AM
There's a bureaucratic mentality, because so many of the people who live and work in the city, and populate the "Friends of This" or "Save the That" groups are bureaucrats.

Oh really? I think you need to get out and actually meet some of the people in these groups because surprisingly few of the ones I've met are bureaucrats. A few are former bureaucrats who got out because they didn't like working in the government. Far more have backgrounds in the tech sector, often in quite small companies or are self employed. That's the case with respect to Citizens for Safe Cycling, for example.

Uhuniau
Aug 19, 2011, 4:39 PM
Oh really? I think you need to get out and actually meet some of the people in these groups because surprisingly few of the ones I've met are bureaucrats. A few are former bureaucrats who got out because they didn't like working in the government. Far more have backgrounds in the tech sector, often in quite small companies or are self employed. That's the case with respect to Citizens for Safe Cycling, for example.

I have found the XXXXXXX Community Associations to generally be heavy on crats or retired crats. (The retired ones bring the crat mindset with them, along with a few pens and a stapler.)

Uhuniau
Aug 19, 2011, 4:41 PM
The city archives building was a massively wasted opportunity. It could have been something urban, in conformity with the supposedly urban vision for the Baseline area. Instead, it was more suburban Ottawa public building crap. Total fail.

flar
Aug 19, 2011, 5:22 PM
Ottawa is the Peter Keating of cities.

Harley613
Aug 19, 2011, 5:25 PM
we're definitely moving in the right direction. this city will be so different in 10 years... there is much impetus for positive growth and renewal. the skyline is finally starting to change dramatically for the first time in 30 years. the LRT. the convention centre. new trans-rideau and trans-ottawa bridges. all the things listed already in this thread...fantastic!

ottawa to me is underrated as it is. take a walk from the museum of civilization over the alexandria bridge, go through majors hill park, walk down the steps to the market, explore eat and drink, then continue up the hill to parliament. if that doesn't float your boat, drive 5 minutes to gatineau park for world class outdoor recreation and wilderness. take a walk at hog's back, rideau falls..drive through rockliffe and look at the glorious houses...walk the boardwalk at mer bleu...enjoy the fact that montreal, the adirondacks, and mt. tremblant are all within two hours drive. take pride in our insular economy and friendly people....GAHHHHHHH it's a great city and only getting greater!!!!

kwoldtimer
Aug 19, 2011, 6:34 PM
Ottawa is the Peter Keating of cities.

I might have suggested Caspar Milquetoast. :haha:

acottawa
Aug 19, 2011, 8:43 PM
I think he is generally right - Ottawa loves the mediocre in all things (sports, arts, architecture, food, etc.) and downtown is dismal on the weekend (although there are many vibrant neighbourhoods on Saturday).

I also agree there is some hope on the horizon: light rail, Lansdowne, getting rid of that overpass beside the old train station, etc.

To me the new library fiasco symbolizes the problems of the city. They spent years trying to find a site, set an artificial budget for the land, and then lost interest when one of the landowners didn't want to sell at that price: no alternative site, no expropriation, no attempt to pay a higher price and meanwhile the library, which is really the only public building downtown, remains an embarrassment.

reidjr
Aug 19, 2011, 9:44 PM
I think he is generally right - Ottawa loves the mediocre in all things (sports, arts, architecture, food, etc.) and downtown is dismal on the weekend (although there are many vibrant neighbourhoods on Saturday).

I also agree there is some hope on the horizon: light rail, Lansdowne, getting rid of that overpass beside the old train station, etc.

To me the new library fiasco symbolizes the problems of the city. They spent years trying to find a site, set an artificial budget for the land, and then lost interest when one of the landowners didn't want to sell at that price: no alternative site, no expropriation, no attempt to pay a higher price and meanwhile the library, which is really the only public building downtown, remains an embarrassment.

I would not say all sports,arts,arthitecture,food are medicore sure some is but there is aslo some very good things.As much as i would like a new library i think we have to be logical should we just have a open wallet no some seem to have no issue spending $200 million plus which i think is a bit over the top.Its easy to blame council its easy to blame devlopers but the real blame goes to the citizens you can't have a great city when you have so many aginst devlopement.

acottawa
Aug 20, 2011, 8:09 AM
...As much as i would like a new library i think we have to be logical should we just have a open wallet no some seem to have no issue spending $200 million plus which i think is a bit over the top....

I think it is a fair question to ask whether we need central libraries (or physical libraries at all) in the kindle era, but the point I was trying to make is that city council decided a new library was needed, spent 2 years to find a site and then totally lost interest in the entire project because a landowner wouldn't sell at the estimated price. To me the lack of a decisive decision (close the existing library, renovate the existing library, expropriate the chosen site, choose an alternate site, etc.) more than 5 years into the process is symbolic of the lack of leadership in the city.

flar
Aug 20, 2011, 2:36 PM
Nobody should be asking the question of whether we need physical libraries. Many books do not lend themselves to electronic formats. I'm not going to read picture books to my daughter from an Kindle. There are others that are never going to be digitized, or will be scanned poorly and have a lot of annoying mistakes. Many people like to peruse the shelves. I find most of my books this way.

Almost every public facility in Ottawa is top notch, but the library is a bit weak, collection wise. I think the buildings and service are fine and would rather they spend the money on the collection rather than a fancy new building.

Uhuniau
Aug 20, 2011, 8:30 PM
Almost every public facility in Ottawa is top notch, but the library is a bit weak, collection wise. I think the buildings and service are fine and would rather they spend the money on the collection rather than a fancy new building.

A bit weak?

Try dreadful, and getting worse. And I will never, ever, forgive whoever decided to gut the Main Branch's once-impressive collection of foreign-language textbooks.

waterloowarrior
Aug 20, 2011, 8:42 PM
speaking of libraries
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/british-columbia/the-library-is-not-just-a-book-warehouse-anymore/article2135999/

Dado
Aug 20, 2011, 9:48 PM
I have found the XXXXXXX Community Associations to generally be heavy on crats or retired crats. (The retired ones bring the crat mindset with them, along with a few pens and a stapler.)

Fair enough, and I would tend to agree, but those are not the same groups as those with a city-wide perspective.

Cohen was complaining about a lack of what amounted to citizen involvement and I don't think that fits the facts of an unusually high number of people engaged in groups that try to improve city life.

We wouldn't have an O-Train without such people. We wouldn't have mandatory bike parking at all new developments without such people. We wouldn't have heritage walking tours without such people (can you imagine the NCC or the City organizing such tours?). The arboretum and other parts of the Experimental Farm would not be cared for in quite the same way without such people.

For all the bureaucracy they have to fight and deal with, it's amazing there actually are as many as there are.

Cre47
Aug 21, 2011, 4:42 PM
I would say if it was written in 2008 or something, I would have agreed about 100% with the article. There are some positive things I've noticed the past couple of years, well basically what it is mentionned in the article. But this current council even though with their money-obessession (aka the OC Transpo cuts) has done more positives in their first year then the entire Larry O'Brien term. Still a lot of work to be done. We need a large indoor facility, arts and complex a la Scotiabank downtown or instead at Lebreton. We need a better library then this rotten piece of junk we have right now. And please hurry with the rail.


Nevertheless, you still have this 1970's development type attitude a.k.a sprawl with the likes of Kanata, Barrhaven, Orleans. You still have rotten eyesores, that doesn't seem to be on the verge of going away a.k.a CFB Rockliffe or the Gladstone Ave. area and many more. Then the NIMBYISM.

I would agree on Andrew's article at about 80%.

Uhuniau
Aug 21, 2011, 10:10 PM
Nevertheless, you still have this 1970's development type attitude a.k.a sprawl with the likes of Kanata, Barrhaven, Orleans. You still have rotten eyesores, that doesn't seem to be on the verge a.k.a CFB Rockliffe or the Gladstone Ave. area and many more. Then the NIMBYISM.

The last proposals for Rockliffe were a marginaly cuter suburb. Blech. Lots of fucking green space, though.

S-Man
Aug 22, 2011, 5:40 AM
I'd say i agree on 80%, too.
The previous council was a lesson in stagnation and inactivity. They couldn't agree on what to order for lunch, let alone on how to proceed on any given project.
Planning committee would spend hours and countless delegates for a f***ing three storey building on a narrow lot in Lowertown. Four wasted years. Now, in the past number of months they've approved light rail - and actually adapted theplan instead of scrapping it and starting over...again...and there is more willingness to approve high density. Examples being the Nepean/Gloucester towers of 27 floors each.
Community outrage will remain a constant thing, however - that's a given. As such, we're on he 487th lawsuit over Lansdowne:rolleyes:

But yes, rail can't be built soon enough, same with an east end bridge. The latter issue needs movement, because people's attitudes towards a bridge being built anywhere near their homes won't change. Just do it - it's ridiculous having logging trucks driving through downtown.

Cre47
Aug 22, 2011, 8:33 AM
But yes, rail can't be built soon enough, same with an east end bridge. The latter issue needs movement, because people's attitudes towards a bridge being built anywhere near their homes won't change. Just do it - it's ridiculous having logging trucks driving through downtown.

I'm given a 5-10% chance that the east bridge will be built outside the city limits

Acajack
Aug 22, 2011, 1:42 PM
IMO, Tyler Brule is a pretentious gasbag, but Ottawa is indeed bleak and grey on those dreary days in March and April. .

True, but this is true of almost any cold winter city that has snow on the ground for several months, once the white stuff melts. So basically any city in Canada except Vancouver and Victoria, and many others around the world as well.

Acajack
Aug 22, 2011, 1:50 PM
I read both the Cohen and Brûlé articles. Both make some valid points, although Brûlé's is very mean-spirited and nasty, in addition to being full of inaccuracies. For example, central Ottawa is hardly full of vacant lots (every second one?), empty shops and offices for rent. At least not compared with your average city in the western developed world. I will agree that a lot of central Ottawa retail is unbecoming of the main street(s) - Rideau and Bank -of the capital city of a G8 country, but it is simply not true that a significant portion of commercial space in Ottawa is not occupied.

As for Cohen, he is less nasty and makes some valid points. Although his article is a bit bizarre - he says "Ottawa does this badly and this badly, but it also does this well, and also does this well. But it still sucks."

flar
Aug 22, 2011, 4:46 PM
As for Cohen, he is less nasty and makes some valid points. Although his article is a bit bizarre - he says "Ottawa does this badly and this badly, but it also does this well, and also does this well. But it still sucks."

That's what's hard to explain about Ottawa. There are a lot of good things, and a lot of things done well in Ottawa (trust me, coming from Hamilton) but the overall effect is somehow disappointing. It seems like there should be something more.

Jamaican-Phoenix
Sep 2, 2011, 1:12 AM
Andrew Cohen has another article up:

http://blogs.ottawacitizen.com/2011/09/01/lets-make-ottawa-unique-andrew-cohen/

And it's so full of bad ideas I headdesked.

amanfromnowhere
Sep 2, 2011, 1:36 PM
And it's so full of bad ideas I headdesked.
may be that's why it was already removed... article is "Not Found"

Richard Eade
Sep 2, 2011, 7:28 PM
I expect Cohen's article with his suggestions simply got moved.
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/travel/want+great+city/5325571/story.html

adam-machiavelli
Sep 2, 2011, 8:49 PM
I will respond briefly to his suggestions to demonstrate how little he understands municipal planning in Ottawa and human psychology:

"First, strike a commission on the future of Ottawa. Invite a panel of informed Ottawans to consult the public, hold hearings, commission studies and study good practices everywhere."

We did this already just after amalgamation; it was called Ottawa 20/20. We got lots of great ideas from it. However Larry O'Brien threw them out.

"Second, find a way to build institutions, such as a concert hall and a new central library. Stop dawdling on this. Regina, Halifax and Calgary are the latest cities in Canada committing to new libraries, as are Helsinki, Oslo and Berlin internationally."

You can't just say "find a way" without offering suggestions. Otherwise, you're passing the responsibility off to other people, reinforcing the reasons why there haven't been many new public institutions built recently in Ottawa area.

"Third, re-examine our waterways. Stop thinking of the Rideau Canal as sacrosanct. One reader suggests licensing gondolas, another a water taxi. Why not small waterside cafés? Look differently at the Ottawa River. Create that aboriginal centre on Victoria Island. See what other cities have done with their riverfronts, including Austin and Chattanooga."

The Rideau Canal corridor is protected from development under the UNESCO plan. If you develop its shorelines, the canal will lose its world heritage status. The Ottawa River is a major waterway with unscalable cliffs. Developing those cliffs would be expensive and undermine provincial guidelines protecting river ecosystems from human pollution.

"Fourth, think transportation beyond light-rail. Return intercity-rail to downtown from its suburban redoubt. Extend the O-Train to the airport."

Anyone who knows my writing for Spacing Ottawa would know and hopefully agree that we should plan beyond our current light rail phase and bring intercity rail back to downtown. However, let's not forget that the O-Train is a pilot project. No more resources should be spent on that train which should've been replaced with permanent LRT in 2009.

"Fifth, build national cultural institutions, such as a new science museum and a national portrait gallery. One idea the Conservatives might embrace is creating a place on Wellington Street to display Canada's founding documents, including the British North America Act, now in London."

Building more national museums is a good idea. However we already have a space to potentially display (and properly preserve!) our founding documents at the National Library, which exists and is already on Wellington. However, revering founding documents would not be a wise political move for the Conservatives because it would inspire more criticism that they are "Americanizing" Canada.

"Sixth, rethink the ByWard Market. Cover it and expand it. Invite more vendors, favouring local organic farmers (as they do in the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco) and local artisans selling their own wares, not imports."

I agree with his idea to discourage imported goods from the market. At the same time, Ottawa does not have any spare space in the Byward Market area for more market buildings. Keeping the stalls outside saves energy costs and keeps the area from being overrun by parking lots. By the way, as someone who has been to the Saturday organic market at San Francisco's Ferry Building, I can assure you that the vast majority of stalls are outside.

"Seventh, commit to bicycles. Cycling lanes do not need barriers costing $1 million; a painted line and public education and enforcement will do."

Plenty of studies have shown "a painted line and public education and enforcement" WILL NOT do. Car drivers all think they own the roads and are not afraid to ignore painted lines and most cyclists (and by that I mean anyone who wants to bike) are too afraid of cars to go out and use bikes as a genuine mode of transport. Cycling routes need barriers that cost $1 million dollars because it's cheaper than building roads that cost tens of millions of dollars, and treating cancer from vehicle emissions and obesity from sedentary lifestyles, which costs hundreds of millions of dollars.

"Eighth, demand beauty in public spaces. Make developers build esthetically; don't accept less. (In Lewiston, Maine, parking garages mimic the brick and wrought iron of their old industrial mills). Encourage public art. Bury power lines."

Municipal development approval planners are now including design critiques in their reports to Planning Committee. However, without rules, there's no way for Ottawa to enforce good design. Encouraging public art and burying power lines would be good ideas. However, Cohen has no implementation plan.

"Ninth, reconsider the Sparks Street Mall. It's a failure. Rethink the Green Belt. Is it still useful?"

By "re-think" I assume you mean "get rid of" (speak clearly man!). Any change to Sparks Street should make it more pedestrian-friendly. If allowing vehicular traffic makes it a more inviting space for people, then I'd support that. If adding vehicular traffic makes it less people friendly, then I'd oppose re-opening it to vehicles. I haven't seen any studies with clear conclusions that it would lead to either result. With regards to the Greenbelt, I generally hear support for developing the Greenbelt coming from....wait for it, developers (surprise). The Greenbelt has a lot of ecologically sensitive areas and can still act as a good buffer against additional sprawl. The truth is, Ottawa has A LOT of vacant land still inside the Greenbelt and if the City increased maximum lot coverage rules, we could fit hundreds of thousands more people in the urban area. What we should be doing is expanding the Greenbelt to every rural area in the City of Ottawa beyond the current Greenbelt. That would definitely make commutes from the closest suburb undesirable.

"Think boldly about developing the old Rockcliffe Air Base. And heavens, have the courage to reopen the discussion on Lansdowne Park, the great lost opportunity."

All I'll say about Lansdowne is whatever happens there, it must have a direct connection to rapid transit. Otherwise, every major event will lead to vehicular chaos and more mad Glebites (god help this City).

"Tenth, do compare our city with others. Then ask yourself: Do you want to be a great city, in your own way, or just think you are?"

This is vague and sounds nice but lacks substance so I won't critique.

Jamaican-Phoenix
Sep 2, 2011, 10:35 PM
The bit about the library and concert hall is interesting since he originally claimed that Ottawa should focus on building a world-class database rather than a library. He suggested that "hopefully architectural libraries are on the way out". I wish I were joking.

As for the concert hall, he said "Ottawa already has the NAC".

Uhuniau
Sep 2, 2011, 10:55 PM
Since the O-Train *Wasn't* replaced in 2009, and we are going to be stuck with it for a while longer, I'd say start expanding the damn thing now, starting with improvements to Carleton, extension to Hull, and additional stations at Gladstone and Walkley.

Uhuniau
Sep 2, 2011, 10:57 PM
The sensitive areas of the Greenbelt should be conserved.

The rest should not. They are cornfields that are not distinguishable from the cornfields on the outer edges of Farrhaven and Shittsville that are getting ploughed under for more sprawl.

The Greenbelt is a major failure. Pave the damn thing and build urbs (not suburbs) on the ecologically non-sensititive parts.

adam-machiavelli
Sep 2, 2011, 11:28 PM
The Greenbelt is a reminder that we need to contain sprawl. We have enough land within the urban area inside the Greenbelt to comfortably accommodate hundreds of thousands of new residents. We don't need to pave over any new lands anywhere. Not in the Greenbelt, not in Kanata, not in Munster Hamlet. Not anywhere.

Uhuniau
Sep 2, 2011, 11:54 PM
The Greenbelt is a reminder that we need to contain sprawl. We have enough land within the urban area inside the Greenbelt to comfortably accommodate hundreds of thousands of new residents.

Not in detached or semi-detached houses, we don't.

adam-machiavelli
Sep 3, 2011, 12:13 AM
Yes because everyone wants to live in a detached. ;p

Even if everyone did want to live in a detached house, I've done the calculations and found that if every suburban wide lot inside the Greenbelt was subdivided for another detached or semi-detached house, you could accommodate another quarter million people.

bradnixon
Sep 3, 2011, 3:01 AM
I will respond briefly to his suggestions to demonstrate how little he understands municipal planning in Ottawa and human psychology:

...

"Third, re-examine our waterways. Stop thinking of the Rideau Canal as sacrosanct. One reader suggests licensing gondolas, another a water taxi. Why not small waterside cafés? Look differently at the Ottawa River. Create that aboriginal centre on Victoria Island. See what other cities have done with their riverfronts, including Austin and Chattanooga."

The Rideau Canal corridor is protected from development under the UNESCO plan. If you develop its shorelines, the canal will lose its world heritage status. The Ottawa River is a major waterway with unscalable cliffs. Developing those cliffs would be expensive and undermine provincial guidelines protecting river ecosystems from human pollution.



This is probably the one point he makes that I wholeheartedly agree with. I don't buy that UNESCO prevents us from developing restaurants and cafes along the river. We certainly do need more of them. There have been lots of ideas posted on this forum for how this could be done, especially in the area of the old Union Station/Contemporary Photography museum.

Uhuniau
Sep 3, 2011, 3:04 AM
Yes because everyone wants to live in a detached. ;p

Not everyone, but certainly enough that the demand for new builds can't be met on green- or brown-field sites within the Greenbelt.

Even if everyone did want to live in a detached house, I've done the calculations and found that if every suburban wide lot inside the Greenbelt was subdivided for another detached or semi-detached house, you could accommodate another quarter million people.

Well, then; get right on that subdividing then.

I'm all for it, and it should be both permitted and encouraged, but the natural rate of such subdivision isn't enough to meet the demand for new builds.

Uhuniau
Sep 3, 2011, 3:05 AM
This is probably the one point he makes that I wholeheartedly agree with. I don't buy that UNESCO prevents us from developing restaurants and cafes along the river. We certainly do need more of them. There have been lots of ideas posted on this forum for how this could be done, especially in the area of the old Union Station/Contemporary Photography museum.

I seriously don't, either, and I'd like for someone to point to whatever it is that does prohibit anyone building or painting or farting or burping anywhere near the canal, because it's at the point of sheer stupidity, the list of things that supposedly Can't Be Done because of that stupid UNESCO designation.

adam-machiavelli
Sep 3, 2011, 5:50 AM
Don't mock world engineering heritage. Not every point of interest has to be Disneyfied and built with the single purpose of getting people to spend all their money. I think having some seasonal stalls in a few nodes along the canal and creating a water taxi network are pretty reasonable ideas. However I'm sure many Ottawans would condemn (and rightly so) any effort to turn the canal into another shopping district.

Uhuniau
Sep 3, 2011, 8:26 PM
Don't mock world engineering heritage. Not every point of interest has to be Disneyfied and built with the single purpose of getting people to spend all their money.

Who was suggesting that?

I think having some seasonal stalls in a few nodes along the canal and creating a water taxi network are pretty reasonable ideas. However I'm sure many Ottawans would condemn (and rightly so) any effort to turn the canal into another shopping district.

Ditto?

Next thing, I'll find that I proposed extremifying the canal into perpetual shade.

Uhuniau
Sep 3, 2011, 8:30 PM
Also: I'm not convinced the Rideau Canal is a major world engineering achievement, as heretical as it might be to say that.

It got its UNESCO designation because there were some political problems with some of the other potential Canadian candidates, and because it was a pet project of some of the Ottawa-based PCH mandarins. Nothing more. There were much better Canadian candidates for WH designation whose world-scale importance are much higher than the canal's.

RTWAP
Sep 19, 2011, 8:45 PM
The city archives building was a massively wasted opportunity. It could have been something urban, in conformity with the supposedly urban vision for the Baseline area. Instead, it was more suburban Ottawa public building crap. Total fail.

Actually, I really like the design of that building. For a municipal building in the suburbs of Ottawa it's kind of bold.

Harley613
Sep 19, 2011, 8:50 PM
I find the city archives building to be the ugliest new build in my lifetime....my girlfriend agrees! She even hates driving by it haha.

Uhuniau
Sep 20, 2011, 3:40 AM
Actually, I really like the design of that building. For a municipal building in the suburbs of Ottawa it's kind of bold.

For a municipal building in the suburbs of Ottawa, it's a municipal building in the suburbs of Ottawa.

The city wants builders to build differently, then they should damn well lead by example.