Thursday, December 31, 2020

Twilight Descends Upon Another Year

I like to end the year with a set of shots of the twilight hour, and such is the case with this New Year's Eve. These first few shots are from the same evening in mid-September. I paid a visit to the Canadian Museum of History over in Gatineau one day, and the sun was setting as I was leaving. I went down to the shoreline of the Ottawa River and photographed across to the landmarks of the Chateau Laurier and Parliament Hill.

My route home took me across the Alexandra Bridge. I looked back towards the Museum.

And then upstream along the river.

The height of the Hill dominates things here. The Supreme Court of Canada can be seen upstream, beyond the Parliamentary blocks.

Reaching the end of the bridge, I photographed it in the dying light of the day.

Then I carried on, pausing to photograph Centre Block framed by this sculpture, called Dialogues.

In Major's Hill Park nearby, I took another shot of the Hill and the river.

And then I looked back towards Gatineau.

This last shot is taken from Plaza Bridge, where the Rideau Canal's locks descend to meet the Ottawa River.

In November, on Remembrance Day, I caught these two shots, a few blocks and a few minutes apart, on my way home.

And in the middle of this month, I went up to Parliament Hill for some shots late in the day, a rare clear day. This is the west side of West Block, bathed in the last light of the evening.

Across from it is a low hill that I haven't been able to get to for several years with the work going on here- though now it is accessible. Two statues are here, and one of them is seen here silhouetted against the dying daylight. This is the statue of Queen Victoria.

From here I went over to Major's Hill Park for my last shot of the year. The sun was just slipping below the horizon, with a low cloud bank to the west. The Library of Parliament looms high above the river, which was starting to develop ice. And if you look down at the river, you might see a speck close to the shore. That's a canoe, with two people rowing with the flow of the water. A pretty cold time of year to be doing that.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

An Evening Skate At Ottawa City Hall

 I crossed from Confederation Park onto the property at Ottawa City Hall during this walk. Lights were arranged on the trees around the property. In the background, one can see the distinctive architecture of the Cartier Square Drill Hall, which neighbours City Hall.

Another neighbour of City Hall is the main provincial courthouse in the city, seen behind this tree.

A Christmas wreath is hanging on the side of City Hall.

Inside, this is one of the Christmas trees.

And outside City Hall is a large skating rink, kept in shape throughout the winter even when the nearby Rideau Canal is done with skaters for the year, or before the fact. There were skaters on the rink.

My final shot is also the last Christmas shot I took for the season, a few nights later. This funeral home is near my place. As I said a few days ago, a bit odd to decorate such a place, and yet it's done.

Tomorrow we close out the year.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Lights In Confederation Park

 Picking up where I left off yesterday, this is the glass tower at the National Arts Centre. When it's lit up, its panels show various videos and still images, revolving around its cultural purpose.

I continued on past the NAC, taking in these lights to the south of the building.

And then I came into Confederation Park. While other nearby areas tend to use traditional coloured lights, this park uses spotlights to shine colours onto trees that are now dormant for the winter. Snow globes with bright white lights hang in some of the trees.

The park is home to several military monuments, the biggest of which is the National Aboriginal Veterans Monument.

The Lord Elgin Hotel stands in the background looking here.

One more shot in the park, and then I headed across the road to City Hall.

Monday, December 28, 2020

Landmarks In The Night

 Here we have a frontal view of the War Memorial.

Turning to the east looks over at the National Arts Centre.

I started walking around, looking at the lights mixing with the Memorial.

Then I crossed the street, taking in a view of the Chateau Laurier at Plaza Bridge over the Canal. Christmas lights can be seen beyond in Major's Hill Park.

Turning around gives a view of the War Memorial.

And returning to the grounds of the Memorial, I took this shot.

Then I came back to the south side of the grounds to take this shot of the NAC, with the glass tower lit up with varying displays.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Confederation Square

Picking up where I left off yesterday, this looks at the Parliamentary block housing the Prime Minister's offices. As it is on the south side of Wellington Street, it therefore has the unusual distinction of being the only Parliamentary block not actually on the Hill itself. 

Another look back at Centre Block.

This building is directly across from Centre Block, also on the south side of Wellington. It used to be the American embassy, but when they moved out, the Canadian government took possession. It is now being transformed into a centre for First Nations, Inuit, and Metis people, at the heart of federal power. The work should probably take two or three more years, and the transformation itself is all internal.

I started heading towards the nearby War Memorial. Pausing here by the prime minister's block, I photographed the wall bathed in light.

The War Memorial is at the very heart of Confederation Square, a wedge shaped area surrounded by landmarks. Christmas lights are lit up this time of year, for a month, between early December and early January.

The Memorial makes itself more clear here. In the background stands the Government Conference Centre, where the Senate is temporarily housed during work on the Hill.

From this spot on the Memorial grounds, the National Arts Centre comes into full view.

This view of the Memorial includes the Chateau Laurier in the background.