Thursday, March 23, 2017

Prepping Insanity

While I was down at the Ottawa Locks for what I showed you in yesterday's post, I looked up the slope of Parliament Hill and decided to take a shot. 

I also decided to photograph the Bytown Museum here, which was open that day. It originally served as a commissariat during the building of the Canal from 1826-32, and has served in its current role as a local history museum since 1951. I've shown you the interior before.

One more glance from that day of the course.

These are from two later dates, one more bleak than the other, showing progress around the site. The course had coolers set up around and below the runway- these coolers allow the ice to remain frozen in outside temperatures up to 20C. As it turns out, that wasn't needed, since the two nights of the event were very cold. Tomorrow we'll have a look at the first night of Crashed Ice.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Setting A Stage

A reminder to members of City Daily Photo: the theme day for April is Wet.

Back during my Winterlude series, I mentioned Crashed Ice, an event that was held here in Ottawa on the first weekend of March. Today I'm starting a four day series about it. This was the first time this event was held in Ottawa. Red Bull came up with the idea in 2001 as a gimmick of sorts: ice cross downhill skating by hockey players at high speeds. It's taken off since, with a series of these events each winter in various places- often in Quebec City, but also over the years in places around Europe and North America- check the previous events here. This year the final event of the season was here. A course was set up over the Ottawa Locks of the Rideau Canal in the weeks leading up to the event, with a total drop of 35 metres from the top to the finish, and a total length of 375 metres. Nestled right between Parliament Hill and the Chateau Laurier, with a look out to the Ottawa River and Gatineau, it was a good setting for the event. I photographed the process of building the course several times. It was said in an article about the event that when you combine the work crew's hours on setting up, staging, and taking down this whole thing, ten thousand hours would have been spent on it.

These shots, from a few days after the previous ones, date to February 20th, a clear and sunny day. I happened to come up to Parliament Hill, took some shots up there I'll show you in a few days, and took the chance to get a view down to the course below.

Leaving Parliament Hill, I came down towards the Ottawa Locks to get a different point of view, heading along the course. I was surprised by the heavy machinery on the snow, but its purpose made sense the first night of the event- it was smoothing out the surface area so that people could stand up there and watch.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Memorial

These shots are from February, on a day when I was down by the National Arts Centre taking shots for the last update. I looked up from the Canal level to Plaza Bridge, catching this view of Parliament Hill and the National War Memorial.

The Memorial is maintained through the winter- paths are kept clear, though not all of the snow is removed. This includes wheelchair ramps that have been incorporated into the design in the decades following its unveiling. This is so that any veteran can come up to the Memorial and pay their respects, as well as anyone else. The crews handle the work pretty well during winter storms. The Memorial, with its views around of major landmarks, including the Parliamentary precinct, the NAC, and the Chateau Laurier, looks particularly pretty on winter days with blue skies. I have added this post to Tom's Tuesday Treasures.

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Gallery

After returning to Ottawa over the bridge in yesterday's post, I came up to the National Gallery of Canada for some shots around the exterior. On the south side of the building, between it and Major's Hill Park, there is a substantial part of the property that's been landscaped, with trees and bushes growing, as well as a space that can best be described as an amphitheatre. Through winter, this area is quite snowy, but rather photogenic. I was back here last week to have a stroll around the permanent galleries and another look at the Alex Janvier exhibit, which for those of you in the area, closes April 17th.

A view south looks towards the park, with the American embassy and the Connaught Building east of the park.

A view west takes in the familiar view of Parliament Hill, rising beyond the amphitheatre. Looking south from here takes in the aforementioned buildings, as well as the Chateau Laurier.

Heading south along MacKenzie Avenue, I paused for a shot of the snowbanks. Major's Hill Park is beyond them, while the embassy is behind me. I believe somewhere under all that are benches.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Bridge

Back in February, when I went over to Jacques Cartier Park to photograph Winterlude events, I took some shots on the Alexandra Bridge coming back. It starts with this view of Parliament Hill looming over the frozen Ottawa River.

The lines of the bridge always interest me, particularly for framing shots. Nepean Point looms on the other side of the bridge, topped with the statue of the explorer Samuel de Champlain, who first came up the Ottawa River in 1613.

A look back at the Ottawa side of the river takes in the Canadian Museum of History, as well as other views of the river.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Snowy Day

I took these on a particularly wintery day in February, while Winterlude was going on, in streets around Old Ottawa South, the Glebe, and Centretown, including views of the Canal from the Bronson Bridge. The snow pack has gone down since then, as you've seen in shots from my St. Patrick's series, but it's been consistently cold in March thus far. And we got a bunch of it back thanks to that storm earlier this week.