Thursday, April 30, 2015

Shadows And Light Within A Sanctuary

The sanctuary in Knox Presbyterian Church has a very light feel inside. I showed you the exterior a few days ago in my Two Churches post. The current church was finished in 1932, though the congregation has its roots further back into the 19th Century.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Poppy Love And The Scottish Play

Last week I showed you a couple of items of calligraphy presently hanging in the main branch of the public library, courtesy of the Calligraphy Society of Ottawa. Here are two more. The first really seems to mix visual art and calligraphy.

The second goes for the theatre, inscribing a passage from Shakespeare's Macbeth (or the Scottish Play, as superstitious actors would refer to it). Mounted against a darkly colourful background, the paper stands out well.

Foul Whisp'rings Are Abroad...

What a great line.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Work Does Not Go Slowly

In March I showed you this site in the downtown core across from Dundonald Park. This photo from yesterday shows progress being made, with a frame up in the place of the original store that occupied this place. Spring is starting to show itself slowly in the colour of the grass. When I last featured this park, there was snow on the ground.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Ghosts Of An Old Business

It's been awhile since I photographed this ghost sign downtown. The last time was on a bleak day too. The building remains in place, as does the faded sign, a century ago after his time. Mr. Snider operated a photography studio in this building in the 1890s.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Do You Need Directions?

This can be found along the bike path by the Rideau Canal. The fact that it includes the distance to the Netherlands amuses me.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Calvary Baptist Church

Calvary Baptist Church is south of the downtown core in Ottawa, east of the Rideau Canal. The congregation happens to be marking its one hundredth anniversary this weekend with numerous events. I passed by some days ago and took a couple of shots amid the rain. The church building is the original sanctuary for the congregation, though additions have been made in the century since its founding.

Friday, April 24, 2015

A Dark Centennial

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Armenian genocide by Turkish forces during the First World War. It is an act Turkey continues to refuse to admit was a genocide. This shot from last spring is of the statue Armenia Immortal standing out front at the Armenian embassy. It seems fitting to mark the day. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Gloomy Weather

Wet and disagreeable. The phrase to describe the weather was found in the Lewis & Clark expedition journals while they were encamped near the Oregon coast in the winter of 1805-1806. It is a fitting phrase for the weather here in recent days. Monday was all rain, Tuesday and Wednesday gave us hit and run rainfall.

This shot was taken on Tuesday morning. It is a different angle for Lansdowne Park from what I've shown here before,  taken from the slope above the south side of the Rideau Canal. This gives you a sense of perspective on where the Aberdeen Pavilion stands in relation to the stadium.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Calm Waters

A note today that my partner in crime and good friend Norma has an interview with me at Blogger and Wordpress. Check it out; you'll get a laugh.

Central Park in the Glebe is a ribbon of parkland that stretches across a good part of the neighbourhood. I showed you another portion of it here. East of that part of the park, we have the end of Patterson Creek taken a few days ago. The creek is an inlet linked to the Rideau Canal, and the water levels here are still at a low point. A couple of ducks have this stretch of water to themselves at present.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

In Old 1812

Yesterday saw a bitterly cold bone chilling rain here in Ottawa. I came up to Parliament Hill to take several shots of the newest monument on the Hill. It was cold enough that I decided to leave it at one shot and come back on a more pleasant day.

This is the War of 1812 Monument, the first (and I hope the last) military sculpture on the Hill, commemorating that war of two centuries ago. It is by itself a striking and well rendered monument, but its placement is what I have an issue with- it would be better placed in Confederation Park, where there are several military monuments. Sculptures on the Hill have traditionally been of political figures, but the Harper regime seems hellbent on inflicting its narrow version of history on the country. Yet another reason why the Dark Lord needs to have his worthless hindquarters drummed out of office.

Anyway, political rant over (for now). The monument itself features servicemen and civilians of the war against those Yankees (yes, my American readers, your forefathers... and by the way, our side won), and is set by the East Block, with a view of the National War Memorial across Wellington Street.

Monday, April 20, 2015


The main branch of the public library offers exhibit space each month to artists. This month the Calligraphy Society of Ottawa has several works on display. This first one quotes Scripture often read at weddings.
The second one brought out a big grin in me.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Two Churches

Today I have two churches along Elgin Street. Knox Presbyterian Church appeared here a few days ago in my Senators post, and I've shown you the interior during Doors Open.

A short walk down the street is St. John The Evangelist Anglican Church. I have shown the interior in a previous post here. This weekend the church has opened up its annual art exhibition that runs into early May.

A reminder to City Daily Photo bloggers, the theme for the first of May deals with Revolution.

And for bloggers and readers here in Ontario or planning to visit in the next few months, the Doors Open 2015 event listings are up, with the first event of the season next weekend in Guelph. 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Ominous Skies

This view of the Rideau Canal and the stadium at Lansdowne Park was taken a few days ago from the Bank Street Bridge. The ice has been breaking up through the Canal. Compare this shot to how the ice looked on the last day of skating in March.

It was only in preparing this post that I noticed the Canada geese down on the ice.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Fire By Arsonist

A week ago this morning, residents of the Glebe neighbourhood were waking up to the destruction of several businesses in the area. Late the previous evening, fire broke out in this building, originating in a newly opened coffee shop. It took several hours of work by local fire crews to put the blaze down. Fortunately no one died, with only one injury sustained by someone passing by at the time, hit by glass, and the damage was contained to this structure. Investigators have determined it is a case of arson. When I took this photograph, firefighters and police officers were working the scene beyond the barricade.

The businesses were half franchises and half independent shops. The destruction was significant, and it will take months for a rebuild on this place. One business, a hair salon, had been in business for more than thirty years. Coming through here a week ago, I could smell the scent a long way away. As of yesterday, the smell of smoke and ash still lingered as I passed by.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Revenge Of A Duff

"Huffy Duffy sat on a wall
Huffy Duffy had a great fall
All the PM's lawyers and all the PM's men
Couldn't stop Huffy Duffy from blabbing again."

The main city courthouse is here on Elgin Street, sharing the property where one also finds the Heritage Building and City Hall buildings. Criminal and civil cases are heard in this modern nine story building, and this is the first time I've featured it by itself- it has appeared periodically in other posts at a distance, particularly from the other side. 

In Canada, television cameras are not permitted in courtrooms, so we'll never see the sort of farce that one gets in a so called trial of the century with grandstanding lawyers and a washed up football player accused of double murder infesting the airwaves. Though I imagine the story of the Brothers Ford of Toronto may yet one day involve Rob Ford in an SUV freeway chase with his brother Doug at the wheel, the former mayor smoking crack and screaming at a 911 dispatcher over the phone to tell the police to leave him alone.

Anyway, I digress. There is a trial going on here at present, the trial of a suspended senator, one Mike Duffy, appointed by the Dark Lord to the Senate. He fudged some expenses (particularly some travel expenses and the whole matter of where his primary residence is) and accepted a bribe to cover his expenses. From the former chief of staff of the aforementioned Dark Lord (otherwise known as the Prime Minister). Stephen Harper, the Prime Minister, who happens to be the most paranoid control freak micro manager to ever occupy that office, claims he had no idea this happened. Yeah, right. 

The press media cameras are posted outside the entrance on Laurier Avenue each day. Reporters are inside attending the trial. Anytime anyone related to the trial comes out, the circus of cameramen follow them down the street asking questions. Such is the case below, as I was downtown the other day, photographing a round of this. First Baptist Church and the Lord Elgin Hotel, there on the corner of Elgin and Laurier, bear witness to this circus unfolding regularly through the day.

These two wait for the rest of the circus to come back. Senator Duffy (Puff Duffy to his home boys) may be a pompous blowhard and something of a villain in all this, but there's the feeling that he's been thrown under the bus by the PM, and he might be out for some payback. If by chance the Duff ends up bringing out enough political ammunition to bring down the Prime Minister... well, for once in his life, he'll have done the country a service.

And even if it's not quite enough to destroy the Dark Lord, the trial is still throwing a lot of mud on the control freak (hi, Stevie, am I on your Enemy List yet?). And that's a very good thing.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Cheering Our Team

Fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs might want to wipe their tears with their blue and white handkerchiefs and avoid this.

The NHL playoffs get underway here tonight. At season's start, many experts said that only one Canadian team, the Montreal Canadiens, would make the playoffs. Five of seven teams have made it- Montreal, the Vancouver Canucks, the Calgary Flames, the Winnipeg Jets, and the Ottawa Senators. The Senators had been written off by late January as having two percent chances of making the playoffs. Then something odd happened.

A goaltender was called up from the minor leagues with no NHL play after the team's two regular players were sidelined with injuries. Andrew Hammond went on to start winning games and recording shutouts, as well as tying a goaltender's record going back seventy plus years. The team kept winning. And winning. And winning some more. In the final two months of the season, they became the hottest team in the game. And so it was last weekend that they secured a playoff berth. The city is happy, and Ottawa will be meeting Montreal in the first round. Those final weeks of the season, the team played with heart, fire, spirit, integrity, and character. It's been fun to see it all happen.

Elgin Street south of City Hall is home to a good many restaurants and pubs. It has been tradition here during the playoffs to add the Sens Mile mark to the street signs on Elgin. Such has now been done, including at this intersection (the church behind it is Knox Presbyterian, which I showed you during Doors Open last year).

A Senators flag is hanging in this hair salon down the street. This is typical of many businesses along Elgin Street. The deeper our team goes into the playoffs, the more of this we'll see.

And the team flag is flying outside the Heritage Building at City Hall. I will be back at the City Hall property tomorrow for something rather different... involving a different kind of senator. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Spring On The River

It doesn't quite look like spring in this final pair from the photos I took in Major's Hill Park. This view overlooks the Ottawa River between Ottawa on the left and Gatineau on the right. The Rideau Canal cuts between this promontory (thus the name of the park) and Parliament Hill, and the ice at this part of the river was still in place when I took these shots on the Easter weekend. However, when you look upstream, there's open water on the river. The Chaudière Falls, upstream and out of sight from here, keep a portion of the river open through winter, and that open water is now expanding as spring asserts itself. That is one reason I never walk on this ice even in the dead of winter. About a week ago, a youth from Gatineau died after going through the ice.

Pulling back a bit gives another look at Parliament Hill, particularly letting the Library of Parliament shine in the sunlight. The first of the Canal's locks can be seen below.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Notre Dame Basilica

Looking east in Major's Hill Park, we have this view towards the spires of Notre Dame. The north wing of the American embassy (I tend to think of it as the Fortress) can be seen at the right across the park.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Taxes And A Chateau

The same sort of vignette thing going on today, but in the same area of Major's Hill Park. The Chateau Laurier is on the right. The Connaught Building is on the left. That happens to be the headquarters for Revenue Canada- a reminder that Canadians have a tax deadline this month too (I handled it back in March). Two things you can always count on: death and taxes. As the old saying goes, time's-a-wasting, people!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The National Art Gallery

Taken last weekend in Major's Hill Park, this view of the National Art Gallery shows some of the melting snow. My camera was misbehaving a little, but I like the effect regardless.

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Ministry Of Silly Walks

Someone in the association of shops making up the Sparks Street pedestrian mall has a sense of humour, and an appreciation for Monty Python. I wonder if any of the Pythons know about this.

This signage is in an appropriate spot- one block south of Wellington Street and Parliament Hill. I don't imagine the Dark Lord in the Prime Minister's Office would appreciate the insinuation, but I doubt that paranoid lunatic has ever laughed in his life (hi, Stevie!)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier

Today, April 9th, is a day to remember on both sides of the border. 150 years ago on this date, General Lee surrendered to General Grant at Appomattox, one of the closing chapters of the American Civil War. For Canadians, April 9th, 1917 marked the beginning of the Battle of Vimy Ridge in the First World War. 

It seems appropriate to return to the National War Memorial today. The Tomb of The Unknown Soldier lies at its base, with Parliament Hill in the background. The Canadian soldier interred here fell at Vimy 98 years ago. Starting today, the Ceremonial Guard is due to take up their post at the Memorial through to November.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Views Of The Aberdeen Pavilion

When I took my photos for the theme day this month, I was walking down this pathway at Lansdowne Park from Bank Street. The Aberdeen Pavilion, named for a Governor-General at the time, is at the far end. As I noted back in March, despite the assurances of the brain trust at OSEG, the retail and arena components on either side do intrude on the sightlines of the pavilion, which is original to the site in its days as an exhibition ground.

Getting up closer, though, one can take a picture of the grand place without all that nonsense OSEG has built intruding on the shot. The Aberdeen Pavilion is still a jewel. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Celebrating A Centennial For Billie

Today I'm setting aside photography to mark an occasion. Today is the hundredth anniversary of the birth of the great American jazz singer Billie Holiday. She lived a tumultuous and tragic life, dying much too young. Her voice had a limited range- but she would work wonders with that range. She could make you feel warm inside and break your heart- often within the same song.

To mark the occasion, here are two of her signature songs. The first is a protest song of outrage at lynchings in the American South; pay close attention to the lyrics. The second is a love song.

Happy Birthday, Billie. You were the best.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Missionary Oblates Of Mary Immaculate

St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church can be found at the University of Ottawa. The university has origins as a French Catholic institution, and the church is a landmark throughout the Sandy Hill area. While it's probably not considered part of the campus today, the old stone of the church has history with the university. I passed by some days ago, meaning to go in, but notices on the sidewalk indicated a funeral was being held. I contented myself with this historical plaque beside the church instead.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter Sunday: A Polish Church In Little Italy

I took this shot a few days ago. St. Hyacinth Catholic Church is located in the Little Italy neighbourhood here in Ottawa, a taste of Poland within an Italian influenced area. The parish and building date to the post World War Two area, and on a warm Sunday after services, a passerby can expect to hear Polish conversation out front. This view from the side of the building takes in one facade- and yes, it was snowing the day I took this. What can I say, it was a long winter. I thought it quite appropriate for an Easter Sunday.

Happy Easter to those of you marking the day!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Stained Glass Craftmanship On Easter Weekend

This stained glass window is inside St. Peter's Lutheran Church downtown. I thought it nicely suited for the Easter season.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Standing At The Presbyterian Pulpit On Good Friday

This can be found in St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in the heart of the city. The woodworking and carvings on this pulpit area in the sanctuary are exquisitely done. I thought it appropriate for Good Friday.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

I Must Strongly Recommend You Not Walk Across The Ice

A few days ago, I crossed the Rideau Canal on the Bronson Avenue bridge on a grey, bleak day. Here is where the Rideau Canal widens out into Dow's Lake. The ice might still cover the lake, but if you look at the right, where the Canal is, that's open water breaking up the narrows. That means the ice on the rest of the lake is getting very weak.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

City Daily Photo Theme Day: My Camera Shy Self Portrait

The first of each month is traditionally a theme day for the members of City Daily Photo. For the month of April, the theme is Camera Shy Self Portrait, courtesy of Linda at The View From Squirrel Ridge.  For other interpretations of this particular theme, have a look at this link.

A couple of weeks ago I gave blood at one of the regular clinics here in the city. It was only when I had the needle inside me (and the camera at home) that I realized I'd missed a good take on this theme. However, when I'd previously photographed the process for a previous post, I took several shots, and they were all in archives, so here we have one. Blood donation has never been a problem for me.

I also stopped at Lansdowne Park on Monday, a mostly grey day, though in the later afternoon, the sun did come out briefly, letting my shadow turn up for these two shots. The first one was on my way in, where the paving stones are more standard than deeper in the Park.

I prefer the pattern of the paving stones around the Aberdeen Pavilion, personally, but the sun was stronger in the first shot, defining my shadow better.