Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Grim Reaper And Dead End Cemeteries

Happy Hallowe'en! I missed the annual zombie walk here, which has been my usual way to mark the occasion, so I've been busy photographing other subjects. I'll likely put one or two shots from previous zombie walks up at the Ottawa Daily Photo page on Facebook. This first one is a display in the window of a dry cleaner and tailor shop in the downtown core.

This costume can be found in a comic book shop downtown, as is also the case with the shot that follows it.

These two window displays are from a shop in the Glebe that specializes in greeting cards.

While this one, up the street in the Glebe, is the front window of a hardware store.

This jack o'lantern was outside a house across from the Museum of Nature.

I came across a large Hallowe'en display at City Hall on the weekend; note the large lion sculpture in the background outside that some of you may remember. This animatronic trio started cackling after I took my first shot; it must have been a motion detector. Either that or City Hall is haunted.

Actually, the Heritage Building, which is linked to this newer wing and is therefore part of City Hall... that is haunted.

These decorations were inside an art supply shop downtown.

These last two shots have more of an adults only take to them. This poster was at a club a short walk south of the art store.

And this is one of the storefront windows in Wicked Wanda's, a shop that specializes in fetish items and other adult novelties.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Rideau Hall And Its Autumn Colours

More from Rideau Hall today. This room is in the heart of the manor- the large space actually comprises the original building that was radically altered and expanded on in the decades after the government acquired it. Thomas McKay and his family had lived within these walls; one would wonder what he'd have thought about how much it's changed.

This tree was set up in the room- and decorated for Thanksgiving.

Something else that's in the room is a wooden model of Rideau Hall. Each piece can be removed in turn so that the tour guide can show just how much was added on. To give you an idea of where we are- the original manor is a rectangular low section on the left, tucked behind the grand entry hall and its two adjoining large halls. The long portion and adjoining sections to its right are all private space: guest rooms, working spaces, and the living quarters of the Governor General. So the original manor has been dwarfed over time. These days the building has over 175 rooms and 9500 square metres (102 000 square feet) of space. Numerous other buildings are on the grounds as well.

Here we have the Ballroom. It is a large space, held for official receptions, the swearing in of a new cabinet, receiving ambassadors, and other occasions. A portrait of Queen Elizabeth hangs on the far wall.

On the near wall is a set of paintings by First Nations artists. They include this one by Alex Janvier, whose retrospective exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada I showed you in a couple of series some months back; click here and here for the first posts in those series. For those readers in the greater Toronto area, a smaller version of that exhibition is currently underway at the McMichael Gallery up in Kleinburg into early January. You should go see it.

This stained glass window can be found in this room as well.

Departing out the main entrance, I paused to photograph the fountain, which has been changed significantly from what it was before.

I then headed for the main gate, pausing to photograph fall colours as I went, checking on names of those who'd planted the trees. 

This inukshuk is along the driveway.

One more glance at the grounds, but of course we'll be back here again at some point. If you're ever in the area, you should come and see this place. I will have more fall colours to come, as I've been taking more shots since this day, but it'll be in the latter part of November, after a series on Remembrance Day.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

A Visit To Rideau Hall In The Fall

On Thanksgiving earlier this month, I went up to New Edinburgh to pay a visit to Rideau Hall and take in some of the fall colours on the grounds. Rideau Hall is the official residence of the Governor General, and we have a new one, the former astronaut Julie Payette, sworn in a few weeks ago. The grounds here include many trees planted by visiting dignitaries down through the decades, including royalty and heads of state. Much of the nearly eighty acres of land is open to the public, and also includes of all things a cricket pitch.

There were still roses to be found in the rose garden here.

It was a gloomy day, and the fall colours weren't yet at their peak.

Here is the front of the Hall; the area around the main entrance had been closed off for some time, with the fountain being completely replaced. The manor was first built by a stone mason, Thomas McKay, who lived and prospered here with his family. By the time of Confederation in 1867, the government acquired it for the Governor General, and it has been expanded on ever since, swallowing up the original building.

I decided to take a tour, which the public can do through the year (with hours differing based on time of year, including advance registration during the winter). After coming in, the tour took us past portraits of the spouses of former Governor Generals.

Then the tour came up into the main entry hall, where portraits of Governor Generals from the mid 20th century onwards reside. These portraits start with the first Canadian born Governor General, Vincent Massey, all the way up to the second to last in the post. The last Governor General, David Johnston, having had only recently left the position, has yet to have a formal portrait done. In this view, Romeo LeBlanc, who served in the job from 1994-99, has his portrait beside one of the stained glass windows.

The portraits of Governor Generals (all of whom were British) before Massey can be found in this room, the Tent Room, dominated by a portrait of Queen Victoria. Also here are two sets of plaques naming each Governor General (with coats of arms) and the Governors of New France, as that preceded British control in North America. When this room was first added on, it was in the days of Brits in the post, and they tended to like entertaining in tents (which can't be done in an Ottawa winter), and they also favoured this room as an indoor tennis court. These days it serves as reception space.

This comfortably furnished room is off the Tent Room, with doors leading into that space. The grand piano at the far end was willed to the country by the late classical pianist Glenn Gould.

This view looks out into a part of the grounds not open to the public, the private gardens.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Crisp Air In The National Capital

Large pumpkins can always be counted on to be found in the Byward Market each October. This one weighs nearly a thousand pounds.

This tree was showing off in Centretown.

These I came across while in the area of the War Museum one evening.

I found these ivy leaves changing colours on one of the buildings at the University of Ottawa.

On Thanksgiving weekend, I paid a visit to Laurier House in the Sandy Hill area before the building closed up for the season. This view from the Visitor Center included some fall colours. I will feature another look inside the house down the line.

A short walk away I passed by this home, which houses the Croatian Embassy. 

These I came across in the New Edinburgh area. I was here to see Rideau Hall again, which we'll look at in the next couple of posts.

After visiting the Hall, I headed across the Ottawa River to Gatineau. This boardwalk pathway is on the shoreline on the south side of Jacques Cartier Park. 

This was elsewhere in the park, where I had stopped to take in MosaiCanada again. You can see one of the topiary sculptures- this one about the First Nations perspective on the creation of the world- among the fall colours in the final shot. I will have another series from that after the beginning of November.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Capital Colours In The Autumn

Fall colours here have been late this year; a warm spell in September set things back. I've got several posts with fall colours for now, and more to come in November. This particular tree is in Centretown, and I know it well enough to know it's always one of the first trees in the area to change colours.

Fall decorations were found one evening along Preston Street in Little Italy.

Back in Centretown on another day, this tree was in full fall colour.

These I took in Major's Hill Park, near the Chateau Laurier, one day early in the month.

Coming out of the park, I found more with the Connaught Building in the background.

This display was in the Byward Market.