Wednesday, March 11, 2015

This Is Unique Retail?

For a look at Lansdowne while the bulk of construction was underway, check this link.

One of the promises made when OSEG got the rights to demolish, I mean, refurbish Lansdowne Park was that the retail components they would put on the old exhibition grounds would be unique and fresh and vibrant and... blah, blah, blah... cue whatever drivel a Marketing Chimp wrote up for the leadership of the group.

Instead the retail components of all this have turned out to be the same bloody variations on big box architecture that clutter up the suburbs, and what are we seeing in terms of actual stores? The same kind of shops that aren't that hard to find elsewhere. Aside from Whole Foods, we've got a pharmacy, a liquor store, an electronic shop, a couple of banks, restaurants, and other things that are either already in place or soon to open. None of them are "unique" to Ottawa. 

OSEG has had its biggest cheerleader in the form of one of the local newspapers, a tabloid rag that's part of the Sun chain of papers. I have never seen one critical question in that joke of a newspaper about the Lansdowne project. Instead it's been rah-rah this is a wonderful thing on the one hand, and blasting apart anyone who dares to question the almighty glory that is OSEG on the other. In case certain columnists from the Sun ever see this: how much has OSEG paid you to be their personal publicist? Of course, considering the Sun does the exact same thing where Conservative politicians are concerned, why am I not surprised?

Well, I'll say this much: at least the paving stone patterns have some merit.

Edit: a second look at the first photograph shows Abbotsford House, which I featured in this month's theme, visible at the far end.


  1. Yes, the paving looks nice.

    Eventually many of the big boxes sit empty, sometimes for years.

  2. I share your strongly stated values!

    ALOHA from Honolulu

  3. Has it been pedestrianised like they do here

  4. Always more shops, they are running behind the current situation. More and more people buy their things on internet and don't need shops anymore.

  5. As you said it doesn't look too unique at all.

  6. There are many shopping malls like that around here, same shops as everywhere else and nothing unique. There was an individually-owned cozy coffee shop near where I live, but the area has been developed to be a huge retail space and sadly the coffee shop is gone :-( I do love Starbucks but I wish the small shops like that would survive.

  7. Could be anywhere...another faceless,soulless pile of corporation.
    Jane x

  8. This is so, so sad. The only time I venture into stores, or shop, is when I am on holiday in an unfamiliar city. This would not make me want to go near Landsdowne Park ever again.

  9. Ahh this is a shame. I feel like if they're going to redevelop an area they should at least try t do something a bit different,,,

  10. i noticed jack has a store over there on the right ;)

  11. @Linda: there's some method to the patterns, but I can't recall off hand at the moment.

    @Cloudia: it's a real shame that this group has gotten away with doing this.

    @Bill: a lot of it is pedestrian oriented, but cars do access the property- in fact, there's not a whole lot of parking, which presents problems in and of itself.

    @Marianne: that's quite true.

    @Luis: I've seen that style of building in so many places, and this retail aspect of it just infests the place with that style.

    @Tamago: it's the individual places that have real character.

    @Jane and Chris: this, ultimately, is why I dislike this organization so strongly.

    @Hamilton: there are a couple more things in Lansdowne that are worthwhile- I'll be showing them over the next couple of days- but at this point, the negatives outweigh the few positives.

    @Aimee: they swore they would, but their word was worthless.

    @Tanya: yes, there's no shortage of Jack Astor's restaurants around.

  12. I do like the paving. That's unique....

  13. i thought the paving was pretty, too. :)

  14. The trend is for small and local where the clients and customers know the proprietors. Builder beware!


  15. Strip malls become empty faces----patterned brick or no.

  16. Ah, Jack Astor's....we have them, too. :)

  17. So sad, it happens everywhere... Newspapers and all the rest!

  18. You seem a little angry, is not it ?.


  19. I don't fully know the details here but I see the aggressive actions of developers to make money from land that they can get for nothing. they are full of empty promises.

  20. There was (is, still?) a movement in urban planning to bring life to downtown areas with housing and services all in one place. What people need are human scale and personalization. Big box and chain stores don't do it.

  21. They came to the party to late.
    I keep reading that the uber indoor malls are empty becoming a thing of the past and so the "strip type" of shopping areas like above. The way we used to shop 40 years ago is slowly finding the way back in. Neighborhoods not malls.

    cheers, parsnip

  22. It is the plight of cities everywhere it seems...

  23. @Norma: it is different.

    @Tex: I can see myself photographing those patterns again from time to time.

    @Janis: all the builders care about is how much money they can make. They don't give a damn about responsibility to the community.

    @MB: I remember seeing some of the other proposals for this site. They would have been so much better.

    @Linda: it seems they're everywhere.

    @Jose: it is very different from conventional styles.

    @VP: that newspaper chain is a joke- they scream bloody murder about media bias, but they're the most biased media here. They're the FOX News of Canada. Fortunately their television version went under.

    @Tomas: I am. It is a shame what happened here.

    @RedPat: and to make it worse, Lansdowne isn't even emphasized on the place signs, whereas TD Place is overemphasized.

    @Red: they're vermin, as far as I'm concerned.

    @Kay: there is some of that here, but the problem is the developers seem exclusively in the driver's seat where decisions are made.

    @Parsnip: I know some malls up this way have had to do serious re-thinks of what they are.

    @Jen: at least the paving stones please the eye.

    @Ciel: it is.

  24. Advertising hype! And then they wonder why why we don't believe them even when they say something true.

  25. I'm afraid William once you're in a shopping centre you could be anywhere in the world, they are all the same architecturally.

  26. It doesn't look very special and attractive. It could almost have been a part of Drachten, the town where I live.

  27. While reading your post, I was going to compliment the paving stones as being the only nice thing about this. Then I got to the end and saw that you were thinking the same thing as me!

  28. @EG: they managed to create a blight out of this place.

    @Geoff: that's true.

    @Jan: they use the same architect.

    @Lois: the negatives tend to overwhelm the positives.

    @Mari: that's true.

  29. it's all about money and the bottom line......

  30. tell us what you really think (smile) .. local is always best .. but i do like Whole Foods .. sad to hear a park was lost.

  31. The paving stones are indeed attractive.

  32. Newspaper not owned by Rupert Murdoch? ex-Australian.

  33. It seems I'm not the only one with a pet hate project going on I'm my city William :) we'll have to wait and see the finished results on both I guess!

  34. The pattern is nice. Sorta like a quilt.

  35. Bigger, better, faster, higher; same old, same old!

  36. Globalization has some downsides. There aren't so many unique, little shops anymore. Sad.

  37. Wow is this a rant. It's a global smear. Carbon copy of so much large scale development where shops are involved.

  38. @Gill: unfortunately.

    @Denton: there was a chance to do something special with this place, and unfortunately the city just saw dollar signs.

    @Jack: they are, I think. They're based on a First Nations design. At present they're snowed under.

    @Randy: I've slowly come to terms with it. I doubt I'll ever like the retail-restaurant elements.

    @Peter: no, the SUN papers are owned by Post Media here, which until only recently was headed by a vindictive, despicable prick named Godfrey. Someday when he suffers a massive fatal stroke, I'll forego the usual not speaking ill of the dead routine and fall about laughing.

  39. @Grace: I have come to terms with it, but I still wish the city had the vision at the time to do something different with this place. But from the city's point of view, developers matter more than what's right.

    @Whisk: or a First Nations basket.

    @Jennifer: unfortunately.

    @Halcyon: that's true.

    @Gemma: I like ranting.