Friday, April 1, 2022

City Daily Photo Theme Day: Symmetry

 The first day of each month is a theme day for members of City Daily Photo, and for April that theme is Symmetry. Check out how other members are interpreting the theme right here.

I am going for symmetry in architecture with this theme, and in particular Art Deco, for which symmetry is an integral part of the style: an imagined line down the centre of an Art Deco building means that both halves are a mirror image of each other. In Ottawa, the best example of Art Deco is the Supreme Court of Canada, which lies downtown west of the Parliament Buildings. I came by on a cold day early in March, photographing first from the street, with bike racks lining the property. I wondered if I could get onto the grounds- the racks were a leftover from the time of the occupation of the downtown core by the trucker "protesters". As it turned out, one driveway onto the property was open at the east side.

The building was constructed starting in 1939 for a new quarters for the Court, and started hearing cases in 1946. A cornerstone was laid by Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother) in 1939, and the architect for the project was Ernest Cormier, who favoured the Art Deco style, with exterior elements mirroring each other. Though the style is different from the Gothic style of the various Parliament blocks, the Court compliments that style well. 

Two flagstaffs out front bear flags. The Canadian flag is always flying on the west one, seen below. The one on the east side, seen above, only bears a flag when the court is in session.

One statue is on the grounds in front of the building. Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent served in that role from 1948-57, and came into politics late in life. A lawyer beforehand, he would have been an ideal Supreme Court justice had he not been drafted into the cabinet of Mackenzie King, his predecessor. He looks eastward towards the Hill, and while he's alone out here, his placement on the grounds of the Court seems appropriate.

Some symmetrical views. Note the two statues, and the large lamp standards flanking the stairs. Even the windows mirror their counterparts on the other side.

The statues are allegorical in nature, and not a mirror image, but close enough in theme. Truth and Justice flank the entrance, and are both works by Walter Allward, whose work also includes the monumental Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France.

One more look from the east side. I really need to get back inside sometime and show you a tour of the place.


  1. Impressive indeed. And yes, I would love to see the inside, too.

  2. Impressive building and sculpture. Looking forward to see how the inside looks like.

  3. I think most styles of architecture rely on a degree of symmetry - an architects trick to halve the work involved in designing a building perhaps!

  4. Great shots of that impressive building.

  5. @Iris: it's a grand interior.

    @Nancy: hopefully in the summer.

    @John: well put.

    @Italiafinlandia: indeed.

    @Francisco: thank you.

    @Jan: thanks.

    @Rosemary: it is.

  6. The Supreme Court building has a grandeur commensurate with the status of the Court in society. Thank goodness our judges are appointed swiftly and with dignity, and are not subject to the awful circus, with its overtones of bigotry and hatred, that takes place south of the border.

  7. Great captures for the theme on so many levels.

  8. ...a beautiful architectural example of symmetry!

  9. Such a fabulous building. A good choice for the theme, William.

  10. This is a handsome building and wonderful representation of the theme!

  11. Good example of art deco to choose.

  12. Architecture is a good source for finding symmetry.

  13. Great examples for the theme!

  14. Thank you for the lovely tour. :-)

  15. @David: our system works well in that regard.

    @Marie: thank you.

    @Tom: very much so.

    @RedPat: thank you.

    @Jeanie: I agree.

    @Red: indeed.

    @Sharon: it is.

    @Bill: thanks.

    @DJan: you're welcome.

  16. The building is a good choice for symmetry. Well done

  17. Buen ejemplo de arquitectura. Muy buenas las distintas perspectivas de tus fotografías.

    Felíz fin de semana.

  18. A fabulous subject William.

  19. Wow! ~ Awesome photos of symmetry in that beautiful building ~

    Wishing you love and laughter in your days,

    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  20. That building is a fine example of symmetry.

  21. Absolutely perfect, and I'm a huge fan of statues, as you've heard me say often here! But it's true, they're great to see and the stories about them priceless too. History lives on and on!

  22. William - I love Art Deco architecture! This is a fine example. I assume the style is continued on the inside as well? Enjoy your weekend!

  23. Well seen! The truck convoy finally left DC and headed west. I don't know how they can afford to waste so much fuel.

  24. @Maywyn: that it is.

    @Ventana: thanks.

    @Jim: thank you.

    @Gemel: I think so.

    @Carol: thanks!

    @Joanne: it is.

    @Anvilcloud: thank you.

    @Magiceye: I thought so.

    @Karen: thanks.

    @Angie: the interior is exquisite.

    @Linda: good riddance to them.

  25. I can definitely see the age of the building, it's very reminiscent of that era, it's very grand.