Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Tilting At The Windmills Of My Mind

I'm finishing up shots from Guelph today, and a reminder that tomorrow is a new City Daily Photo Theme Day dealing with the theme Squares. Also, for those of you in North America (I'm not sure if the tradition extends elsewhere in the world, but that's possible), the first Saturday in May at comic book shops is Free Comic Book Day. If you've got a shop in your area, it might be a good photo opportunity this weekend, particularly if people turn up in costume.

Riverside Park stretches along a portion of both sides of the Speed River as it flows through the city. This windmill can be found at the south end of the park, close to the river's edge.

It stands out rather nicely against that sky.

Much of the Speed River in town stays open through the winter, running swiftly enough that ice doesn't form. Ducks and Canada Geese take advantage of the open water.

This footbridge is further along in the park, offering a link over to the west side.

Even in winter, it gets a good deal of pedestrian traffic.

A glance back downstream gives us this view of the river. Sure, it looks cold, but this was in the dead of winter, and after all, cold's a good thing. I will have to photograph this river in warm weather.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Peace And Quiet Within A Church

I wasn't the only person in the sanctuary that day, but the quiet of the place really struck me as I wandered about, taking photographs. I was lucky to have the time; the Church Of Our Lady Immaculate is spending a good part of this year having work done in the interior. In regards to an earlier comment, the location was granted to the Catholic bishop Alexander Macdonnell by the town founder, John Galt. The first church built here burned down, the second was erected in its wake, and the present church was erected as a larger and grander work years later.

The church is in the Gothic Revival style, designed by the Irish Canadian architect Joseph Connolly, who designed churches in Britain, Ireland, and here. Our Lady Immaculate is considered his best work, and has been designated a National Historic Site.

The organ stands at the back of the sanctuary, or the front, depending on your point of view. The main entrance is beneath it.

This view from the nave looks back to the entrance.

Tomorrow I'll be finishing up this winter tour of Guelph, and on the first of the month, we have ourselves a CDP Theme Day. The theme is Squares.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Stained Glass And The Sanctuary

Our Lady Immaculate is filled with stained glass windows depicting Biblical scenes.

This being late December, the altar had a Christmas theme in its decor.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Church Of Our Lady Immaculate

The Church Of Our Lady Immaculate stands atop the highest hill in Guelph. The Catholic church is in the Gothic style, built in the latter half of the 19th Century. It is the third church to stand on the site since the town was founded in the early part of that century, and to this day it still dominates the downtown. There are over a hundred steps from the street below to the entry doors. I took this shot of the Church and the Virgin on my way up one day in December. The building to the right now houses a local history museum.

The front facade and entrance are typical of the architectural style, and meant to impress.

Inside the entrance can be found this crucifix sculpture.

More from inside the sanctuary in the next two days. I will be posting this to Inspired Sunday at some point today. In the meantime, check that page for other places with a religious theme. It's a weekly theme.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Wandering Through Downtown

The Armoury in Guelph is a Gothic Revival structure built in the first decade of the 20th Century. Across Canada at the time, armouries were being built for militia drill halls in towns and cities. This one is still very much used today, and I took this shot at dawn.

Like most cities and towns across the country, Guelph also has a war memorial downtown, honouring the dead of two World Wars, the Korean War, and military service.

I have seen monuments in small villages; if a local died during military service, even a hamlet would erect a cenotaph. The plaques marking the names of deceased soldiers from the area show that many here in Guelph served and died in the World Wars. As memory serves, in Korea, a single local resident was among the Canadian dead of that conflict.

Changing pace, but still downtown. This is a retail complex now called Old Quebec Street. It was once referred to as the Eaton Centre Guelph, invoking the architectural style of the mall in downtown Toronto. Stores inside began to fail over time as new retail was built elsewhere in town, and it might have been tempting to tear the whole thing down. Instead the owners restyled the entire thing.

Now there is retail on the ground floor, offices on the second floor. The retail shops have more of an eclectic feel than before, and the interior has been redesigned to give the shopper more of a street feeling, which, in fact, it once was, before the previous mall was built. The place is also linked to an arena, and it seems to have worked well in giving this part of the downtown a boost.

Take a wild guess where I have no problem stepping into.

I'm finishing off today with a view of downtown Guelph from some high ground. Tomorrow I'll take you inside where this shot was taken from.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Same Spot, Different Days

I can predict at least four different people will be envisioning my being drawn and quartered for featuring lovely, lovely snow at this point in the spring.

Back in December, on three different days, I took shots of this area from the warmth of indoors at my father's retirement home in Guelph, where birds and squirrels come for food throughout the winter. On each occasion, the mood of the weather was different.

This courtyard among the buildings on the property was buried in snow at the time.

The woodlands you see in the background of the first shots are here again, taken from passing by along the road. There was damage in there from the ice storm that passed through some days before.

There's a marsh mixed into those woods, which looks no doubt a good deal different now that it's spring.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Geese Within The Mall

In the Eaton Centre downtown in Toronto, a flock of Canada Geese have been suspended for many years above the various levels of the mall.

These are fibreglass sculptures by the artist Michael Snow, collectively called Flight Stop. 

The geese are life sized.

Another view of Old City Hall in Toronto, taken from the side of the new City Hall (a.k.a. the place where a certain notorious crack smoking drunkard mayor shows up from time to time and acts like a child throwing a tantrum).  Old City Hall is built in the Romanesque Revival style, and dates back to the end of the 19th Century. Its continued use today as a courthouse is a good thing; I like the look of the building, whereas the present modernist City Hall is a product of its time (the Sixties were not a good time for architecture, let's just put it that way).

The carvings around this door caught my eye downtown in Toronto as well. This is the entrance into a branch of the Canadian Imperial Bank Of Commerce. We tend to call it the CIBC, just as we've taken to shortening all bank names in the last twenty years.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Architecture In Toronto

I still happened to have some shots from my trip down to southern Ontario in December and January; I thought I'd spend the remainder of the month getting those out of the way before moving onto other things. Yes, it's odd seeing snow for many of you this time of year, but I'm stretching it out as long as I can, hoping we see snow again in September. August if we're lucky. July if we're really lucky.

These two shots are in the same courtyard near the Royal Ontario Museum; they are buildings on the campus of the University of Toronto.

This is the skating rink at Nathan Phillips Square, in front of City Hall. Skaters were on it in late December when I took this shot. The dramatic looking building beyond it is the Old City Hall, now used for court purposes. Rumour has it, it's haunted.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Cabinet Of Curiousities

The campus library at Carleton has been going through a lot of changes. Two years of renovations have added on extra space and changed things around. There's a display case by the main entrance, which can pose some challenges for shooting pics through glass, particularly with the way the area is lit. For several months, a number of preserved animals were on display here. These are from the collection of Michael Runtz, a naturalist.

Runtz is the kind of professor every student wishes they can get to take a class with. His courses consist of his exceptional photography with his commentary about the animals in question. He makes things interesting and engaging, and he's a good storyteller.

A lot of his work takes him into Algonquin Provincial Park to the west of Ottawa. Aside from his academic work here, he's often to be found giving talks in the Park during the summer, and engaging in wolf howls. If you're interested in his work, his guide books and photobooks can easily be found at Amazon.

Monday, April 21, 2014

On The Alexandria Bridge

The Alexandria is a pleasant stroll (well, not in the rain). Here on the way back into Ottawa, the steel of the bridge offers good ways to frame pics.

Looking at these, it occurs to me that I could have easily used some of these bridge angles for the triangle theme this month.

Nepean Point is here at the Ottawa side of the bridge. I framed the statue of Champlain within the steelwork.

And from around here, I took one more glance back at Gatineau and the Museum in the twilight.

Coming back into Ottawa in the early evening along this bridge is something I never tire of. The lights of the Chateau Laurier and Parliament Hill greet us.