Saturday, July 31, 2021

At The Supreme Court Of Canada

 A few days ago I decided to photograph the Supreme Court of Canada. This Art Deco masterpiece is the current headquarters of the Court, designed by Ernest Cormier, and neighbours Parliament Hill. Construction of the building began in 1939, with first cases heard in 1946.

On the grounds is a statue of a prime minister. Louis St. Laurent was a respected lawyer recruited by William Lyon Mackenzie King to serve as a justice minister in his cabinet, and succeeded King as PM. His statue's placement here is appropriate; had he not gone into politics he would have been an ideal fit for the Supreme Court.

The building did not appear open for visitation when I passed by, which may be a Covid thing. I hope to get inside sometime soon again. Two statues flank the stairs leading to the main entrance, both by the sculptor Walter Allward. It was Allward who created the monumental Vimy Ridge Memorial, and both statues bear his style.

Veritas, or Truth, is this one on the west side.

A look up the stairs.

And here we have Justitia, or Justice.

Canadians watching newscast reports featuring a Court case might often see Justice at this angle, with Parliament Hill in the background.

Heading behind the building brings us to an overlook of the Ottawa River below, with Gatineau on the far shore. A look west takes in the Portage Bridge.

A look forward gives us a view of the Alexandra Bridge in the background, with a glimpse of the Museum of History. The island in the river below has some hardy bushes that somehow manage being inundated in the spring. This time of year birds hang out on it.

And a last look for today to the east, with Parliament Hill.

Friday, July 30, 2021

Alongside The Mighty Chaudiere

Continuing on today, here we have views from the main viewing area of the Chaudiere Falls. And here is one of the videos I took during this visit.

I continued a little further on, towards the end of the pathway where I took more shots and the second of these videos of the falls. I have sat before in the chairs up here. The roar of the waterfalls has a lulling effect; on a pleasant day it would be all too easy to fall asleep while sitting.

On my way out I photographed the view upstream. The Ottawa River is wide here. The buildings in the background are at Tunney's Pasture on the Ottawa side of the river. A portion of the old railway bridge I mentioned the other day can be seen as well.

One last shot for this walk. I passed by the War Museum. Across the street is some parkland and I paused to photograph this. I'm guessing it's lavender, but I assume my gardening readers can confirm it readily. In that regard, I'm hopeless.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

The Roar Of The Waterfalls

After my stop at the War Museum, I went onward towards the Chaudiere Bridge as it crosses the Ottawa River to visit the Chaudiere Falls. This is a set of cascades and waterfalls with a total drop of fifteen metres over its length. Backed by a ring dam that diverts some of the flow for hydro use, these falls have been greatly altered. They were effectively cut off from view for a century with industrial uses of the islands around them, but that has changed now and parkland occupies the best viewing areas, while some of the old industrial buildings remain, at least for the moment, as a nod to its complicated past. This first view is from the first viewing platform area. 

A look back from here looks towards the Chaudiere Bridge. The Portage Bridge and Parliament Hill are downstream.

Walking towards the next platform brings us towards this building, seen in the first shot. The stone walls are still up, with a steel frame within, but that's all. I wasn't sure when they started reclaiming this area from its industrial past if this building and its neighbour would be among those brought down, but this appears to be staying. A platform lies between the two buildings.

A look below from here shows the secondary hydro outflow seen in the first shot.

No glass remains in the old building. A look at the far windows shows us the waters framed.

And from this platform, we get a good look at the waterfalls. Champlain first saw this during his 1613 journey up the Ottawa River. First Nations peoples had known this place for thousands of years already.

A look downstream.

And then over at the falls again.

Passing by the second of the old buildings overlooking the falls here, I paused to photograph this sealed doorway. The old stone feels like the building was solidly made.

One last shot today, with a view towards the main viewing area and the wealth of flowers, bushes, and trees growing here. We'll see more tomorrow, including a couple of videos of the falls.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Top Of The War Museum

I proceeded on to the Canadian War Museum during this walk. I wanted to pick up an annual membership that gets me into both this museum and the Museum of History. And I thought I'd take some pictures while here. This is on the river side of the building. The Ottawa River is wide here, just upstream of the Chaudiere Falls, which was my next stop. The bridge in the distance is due for rehabilitation as a pedestrian crossing with a new name. At the moment it is still a former train crossing called the Prince of Wales Bridge.

A look back at the Museum. This place dates to 2005, and has the look of a bunker, which is appropriate given its material. It replaced the original location of the War Museum downtown, and tells the story of Canada's history in warfare, at home and abroad.

I headed back out and to the ramp leading up onto the roof. This passageway is open except in the winter, and appropriately feels like a trench, albeit a shallow one.

A view at the top towards Gatineau. 

Turning to the right from the above shot gives us this view. The Museum is aligned so that part of its architecture- Regeneration Hall- points towards Parliament Hill, seen in the distance here.

The roof also includes a stretch of grasses planted here. I was too late for the poppies, which can be seen in these grasses in June.

Along the edge, this gull was keeping an eye out. The museum's cafe has an outside area directly below here, so he was looking for opportunities.

He trotted past me when he concluded I wasn't in possession of any food.

Two views of the river. The Gatineau Hills are off in the distance.

I headed back, taking one more shot of the roof before I went.

A temporary exhibit presently going on into September. I plan on stopping in sometime in August.

And closing things out, a view of Regeneration Hall and the Lebreton Gallery from street level.