Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Random Street Scenes Of A Capital

Some random shots to close out the month today. This angel sculpture stands across from Notre Dame Basilica in the Byward Market.

Along Sparks Street, the old Bank of Montreal building has undergone a refurbishment in recent years. It's now in the hands of the government after the bank moved its main branch to a new office tower a couple of blocks away, and is used as a reception space. I've seen pictures of the interior- I'd love to get inside, but there's no word on public access.

A couple of birds were perched in this small tree in August, singing away as I passed by. Can you see them?

Early one morning I was up in the Hintonburg neighbourhood. I paused to photograph the house, which has appealing architecture. The laneway to the left is common in older neighbourhoods, offering garage space to homes which might not have front driveways. It's also familiar to me, since I walked that laneway many times when I was living in the area.

Heading downtown along Somerset Street, the complex here is one of the city's uglier buildings. City Centre, as it's called, has been something of an eye sore for decades, but the ownership has been revitalizing the place, and it's actually well used, with a number of shops, gyms, businesses, artists, and even a bakery finding quarters here.

Further east on Somerset in Chinatown is the Dalhousie Community Centre, which at one point, from its architecture, would have been a Catholic school.

I'm finishing this post with a shot from late August. The Ceremonial Guard are marching here at the corner of Elgin and Laurier, on their way up to Parliament Hill for the Changing of the Guard ceremony. First Baptist Church lurks in the background.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Crossing The River And The Bridge

A couple of extra shots before leaving the Museum. It is possible to get behind the waterfall alongside the terrace to photograph Parliament Hill. It has been awhile since I've last done so.

Back at the top of the stairs, a look out at the grounds and the Ottawa River before departing.

Heading across the Alexandria Bridge back for Ottawa, I like incorporating the bridge into photographs, framing images of the city beyond.

In this case, that includes framing Nepean Point, and the statue of Champlain.

I finish with a view of a scene I can never get tired of photographing.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Stepping Back Through History

The Museum of History also had an exhibit going on when I last visited on the thirty years leading up to Canadian Confederation in 1867. I didn't notice the no photos sign until after leaving the exhibit (sorry!), but shot a handful of images. This bust matches one I showed a few days ago at Rideau Hall- Lord Elgin, a governor general during that period, and I liked the way the light fell on it.

These two chairs caught my eye, and were a bit of a challenge to photograph, what with refraining from using the flash.

While this last display deals with the issue of the Fenians, the Irish-Americans who in the aftermath of the Civil War launched repeated raids across the border in their efforts to try to hold Canada ransom and force the British out of Ireland.

Back out in the Grand Hall among the totem poles, I came across the place being set up for an evening function. This space is often used for dinners, receptions, and official occasions, something it's rather ideal for.

Upstairs in the entrance hall is this massive crest, which at one point hung in Toronto, at the main post office, where what is now the Air Canada Centre now stands (and where the Toronto Maple Leafs regularly blow the hockey season and break the hearts of their fans over and over and over again). There must have been at least two of these- another one stands in the vicinity of the ACC, as I understand it.

Outside, and along the curatorial wing of the Museum, is a Japanese zen garden.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

In Memory Of The Marathoner

One of the temporary exhibits at the Museum of History at the moment deals with Terry Fox, the Canadian who lost a leg to cancer, and set out on what became the Marathon of Hope, a crossing of Canada from east to west in 1980. Running an average of 42 kilometres (26 miles) each day, he captured the attention of Canadians. His journey ended east of Thunder Bay as the cancer that had taken his leg had returned and spread to his lungs. He died the following year. The exhibition space here is filled with images of the Marathon of Hope, shirts, shoes, and socks Terry wore, both his regular and spare artificial legs, the support van driven during the journey by a friend and Terry's brother, Terry's journal, and examples of the outpouring of support from the public he got during the run and in the months afterwards.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

The End Of The Rideau River

I started this series a couple of weeks back at Green Island, and so conclude it here as well.

The French explorer Samuel de Champlain came up the Ottawa River in 1613. He and his party arrived in the Ottawa area, where waterfalls on the Ontario side caught his eye. Champlain thought they had the look of a curtain- a rideau in French- and so named them that. The waterfalls and the river continue to bear that name. It is actually two falls, winding around Green Island, dropping 9 metres (30 feet) into the Ottawa River, and giving their name to the parkland around it. This is the western branch.

Crossing over the hydro dam above the falls, one gets a good view of the Ottawa River, Gatineau on the far shore, and the outlet of another river on the Quebec side. That is the Gatineau River, which also converges on the Ottawa River in the same vicinity. This area would have been well known for thousands of years among the various First Nations peoples living here.

The eastern branch of the falls are the more extensive of the two.

If you look closely, you might see the duck just above the brink, eating the vegetation growing in the water. The water might be swift, but it's shallow, and the duck has no problem staying in the flow.

The best view of the falls are from the river below, and one will often see boats down there.

These views, taken at different times in the afternoon, are from the eastern platform. It surprises me that it's taken this long for me to come out here and photograph the falls for the blog.

Friday, September 25, 2015

The John McCrae Memorial

The John McCrae Memorial was erected this year in the park on Green Island. It commemorates the Canadian doctor and officer serving in the First World War on the Western Front, the soldier and poet who wrote In Flanders Fields. The sculpture is by the artist Ruth Abernethy.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Monuments At The Park

There are a series of monuments, memorials, and artistic works in Rideau Falls Park on and around Green Island. This pillar features Iznik tiles, from a town in Turkey known for these ceramics. It was a gift from the embassy of Turkey in 2002.

This sculpture, called Reflections, is dedicated to Canadian aid workers, some of whom have paid a steep price for working in international aid with their lives. It was placed here in 2001.

Other monuments here in the park are military monuments. This one honours the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion, a force of volunteers who fought in the Spanish Civil War from 1936-1939.

This monument, on the other hand, is in memory of Canadian, British, and other Commonwealth air force airmen and women who, during the course of the Second World War, lost their lives in this part of the world, serving or training for the war effort. It was unveiled in 1959 by Queen Elizabeth II. 

This last monument is the Artillery Monument. Canadian field gun crews have served and continue to serve in our armed forces.

There is a new monument here, right next to this last monument, that I'll show you tomorrow.