Friday, March 31, 2017

Work At The National Arts Centre

I have been keeping regular track of the work at the National Arts Centre, where a glass enclosure has been added around parts of the building. The project is due to be done in time for Canada Day, and in the meantime, the building continues to be open for music and theatre productions. You can find the last post here.

These shots were taken on Sunday. I approached from the southwest corner of the building. The sculpture of the Canadian jazz legend Oscar Peterson can be found at his piano, with his music playing from the speakers mounted on the wall above.

Heading over to the east side of the building, I headed for one of the entrances. I paused heading down the stairs for this view of the work site. While the glass is in place and a good deal of the work is now indoors, that wall with the grid pattern you see is something that's yet to be done, and there's a similar section on the west side. It might well be that these sections are going to have fresh stucco exteriors installed in the next couple of months. Time's now getting short for the finished project, so we'll see. 

The building was open when I stepped into the lobby- there was a concert on that day geared towards children. This fountain arrangement can be found in the lobby.

This large art installation can be found in a nearby staircase, descending down from the ceiling above.

I wanted a shot of this poster for a concert this past week.

This space is usually the box office area. The box office has been moved over to a space in The Chambers complex across Elgin Street, and the work site in effect starts here.

Back in the lobby area, when one comes in for a concert or performance in one of the NAC spaces, they'll come through here.

This last shot, from the Mackenzie King Bridge, shows the NAC, the Canal, Parliament Hill, and Plaza Bridge. While the ice still is there, I can tell you that further away from here, there are open spots on the Canal, one of which features into the theme day post. It might not look like it, but spring is coming. 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Odds And Ends In The City

A few mixed shots today. This first one is taken downtown, and I took it both for the structure over the parking lot and the building behind it. The structure is part of the ongoing work on the LRT project that will dramatically expand the O-Train network. The expansion is due to be open next year, and a tunnel has been carved beneath the core. This framework seems to be for lowering or raising things up out of the tunnel below, and it's taken up a substantial portion of this lot for some years. The building behind it is the C.D. Howe Building, a government complex named for a cabinet minister in Mackenzie King's day. It's been featured regularly in the Doors Open weekend- the rooftop garden is usually only accessible to the government workers in the building, and is pretty much locked up over the winter.

I passed by a house in Centretown one day, and the staircase caught my eye. These heavy burlap rugs are a common sight on outside staircases here over the winter, giving traction as you enter or leave, a handy thing on what might otherwise be a slippery staircase. The stonework of the foundation around the stairs also caught my eye.

This sign was in the Glebe, outside a restaurant.

And this timely message was at a church in the Glebe. I don't think I've ever photographed this church in full from the outside.

This guy was in a store window down the street, a store that sells glasses.

This final sign is further down the street, outside a bike shop. It was switched for the last shot.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Laurier And The Warriors

I'm finishing this walkabout on Parliament Hill today with two more statues. The first is Wilfred Laurier, the accomplished Liberal Prime Minister from 1896-1911. He stands at the southeast edge of Parliament Hill, with the East Block at his back, and the Chateau Laurier, named in his honour, before him.

This is the most recent monument on Parliament Hill, the War of 1812 Monument. It features several figures clustered together- a Metis artillery crewman, infantry soldier, Canadian militiaman, First Nations scout, Navy sailor, British Army officer, and a nurse. I still think it should have been placed elsewhere- Confederation Park or Green Island, both locations with other military monuments- but the previous federal government had been on a military history binge and had it placed here. It was sculpted by a Toronto artist, Adrienne Alison, and unveiled in November 2014. The sculpture is officially titled Triumph Through Diversity.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Footsteps Of Time

This view looks east from Parliament Hill, with the Canal below, and Major's Hill Park across the gap. Notre Dame and the American embassy can be seen in the background.

On the east side of Centre Block, a statue of Queen Elizabeth II can be found. This is one of two monarchs on the Hill; a statue of Queen Victoria is on the west side, but is currently inaccessible with the work going on over there.

The statue honouring Sir John A. Macdonald, our first Prime Minister and the leader of the Confederation movement, can be found nearby.

William Lyon Mackenzie King stands a short walk away; he was our longest serving Prime Minister serving three tenures in the role (with interruptions for other parties in power) from 1921-48. I would argue that he and Lester Pearson were our greatest Prime Ministers.

These are the Famous Five- the five women were behind the Persons case of 1929, a landmark victory in the struggle for equality for women in Canada. Judge Emily Murphy brought together four Alberta women- Henrietta Muir Edwards, Louise McKinney, Nellie McClung, and Irene Parlby- in a case to have a woman appointed to the Senate. The case went all the way to the British Privy Council at the time, which resulted in the determination that yes, women were indeed persons, and qualified for the job. The sculptures of the five women are arranged here, east of Centre Block. They are larger than life, and people particularly respond to them (to the point where it can be hard to get a photo of them without people around them). The sculpture set was inaugurated in 2000.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Canadians Of History

This statue depicts Alexander Mackenzie, the second prime minister of Canada, and the first Liberal leader to rise to that position.

The cornerstone of Centre Block can be found on the east side of the building.

This rather large monument honours Robert Baldwin and Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine, both considered Fathers of Confederation (though neither lived to see Confederation enacted). They were co-premiers of the province of Canada (today Ontario and Quebec) starting in 1848, and their work bolstered responsible government and the idea of the colonies taking control of their own domestic affairs. This is the work of Walter Allward, whose masterpiece work was the Vimy Ridge memorial.

George Brown was the journalist, politician, and Father of Confederation who strongly believed in responsible government and argued for Confederation. The sculpture incorporates both English and French translations of the scroll to be found at its base.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Parliamentary Stroll

As I mentioned in my first post about Crashed Ice, I took some shots from Parliament Hill over the course. I also took time to get other shots in that day; these and the shots I'll show you in the next three posts are from that day, February 20th. I was surprised to find that day that there was access open to the area behind Centre Block. It had been closed off for a good long while because of the ongoing work around the Hill. Part of that had involved replacement of the wall that rings the top of the Hill back here. So it was a pleasure to see that a good part of the area (though not all of it) has been reopened to public access. I took in a winter view of the Ottawa River and Gatineau from the outlook.

The access came to a close to the west of this statue, where work continues to proceed. This is George-Etienne Cartier, one of our Fathers of Confederation, and a co-premier of the province of Canada during the years leading up to Confederation. It was cast in the shadow of the nearby Library Of Parliament.

The Library is a marvel to look at. It is the sole surviving portion of the original Centre Block, which was destroyed in a fire in 1916. The quick action of a clerk in closing the heavy steel door leading into this part of the building saved the library and its collection. It's a Gothic beauty, inside and out.

Here is another view- the river is wide here, meeting the entrance of the Rideau Canal, which lies below to the right. The view across takes in the National Gallery and Notre Dame Basilica, as well as Major's Hill Park.