Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Change From The Winter Into Spring

It's been my habit to take photographs at a given location each winter to show the transition into spring over several months. That spot is Central Park in the Glebe, a park in the north end of the neighbourhood where Bank Street crosses through. Each time I take a shot looking east, and looking west.
These first shots are from mid-December, taken shortly before dawn.

I took these in January.

One evening in late February I passed by again.

Around sunrise in early March, I passed by again.

I came by again early one morning in the first days of April.

What a difference a couple of weeks can make. These were taken in mid-April. The grass was getting green when I passed by late in the day.

Monday, April 29, 2024

Visiting The National War Memorial

Apologies for the late post- I usually doublecheck my posts in advance, and hadn't actually put this one together.

I paid a visit in recent days to the National War Memorial, which occupies the heart of Confederation Square, and is surrounded by landmarks like Parliament Hill, the Chateau Laurier, the National Arts Centre, and The Chambers. I started taking shots along the east side. The plaque in the foreground pays tribute to Nathan Cirillo, the soldier standing at post before the Memorial who was shot and killed by a madman in 2014. 

The Memorial commemorates the Canadian dead of wars and military service. Originally built and dedicated to remember the dead of the First World War, it has since been rededicated to add those of the Second World War, Korea, the Afghan War, and the South African War, along with military service in general. It is sacred ground, which emphasizes mourning, with soldiers passing through an arch, while allegorical figures are perched overhead.

At its base is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a Canadian soldier who fell at the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

Sunday, April 28, 2024

The Paths Of Canadian History

Here we have looks at East Block, which is also being worked on in stages, here and there. Sandblasting is noticeable in sections where the stone looks fresher. This portion along the eastern edge of the Hill would still be waiting on that as the project carries on.

A look through the trees towards the Chateau Laurier, which is on the far side of the Rideau Canal.

Gothic architecture dominates the Hill, and I for one love it.

Another statue for a prime minister, Wilfrid Laurier, is found over here.

Nearby, another monument, commemorating the War of 1812, when Canadian militia, First Nations warriors, and British soldiers fought American invaders for three years. This is the most recent monument on the Hill.

The doors of East Block catch my eye.

And I finish with these shots of Centre Block.


Saturday, April 27, 2024

Architecture And Monuments

 Here along the path we have a good view of the Library of Parliament. In the foreground behind the fence is the statue of John A. Macdonald, the country's first prime minister.

A look out across the river at Gatineau.

Here along the path we also have this old bell, preserved for posterity. This bell was in the original Centre Block, which was destroyed by fire in 1916. 

Plaques in English and French tell its story.

I have dearly missed walking this path with its wonderful views. The National Gallery and Notre Dame can be seen off in the distance.

A detail shot of the Library of Parliament.

We have the first signs of spring on the bushes on the other side of the fence.

Another monument- this to Robert Baldwin and Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine, the co-premiers of the United Canadas, a colonial legislature consisting of what's today Ontario and Quebec, which was in place for a number of years in the first part of the 19th century. Their work towards responsible government paved the path for Canadian Confederation.

A sundial, restored a century ago and on this spot. Parliament Hill was once called Barrack's Hill, and soldiers lived here before Ottawa was selected as the capital. Colonel John By, who led the building of the Rideau Canal, had one erected.

Across the gap, where the Canal itself is, lies Major's Hill Park. A statue of the Colonel himself can be seen there near the cliff's edge.

Multiple signs around the fence go into detail on the ongoing work on the Hill. This one is actually outdated- the West Block was the first section to be rehabilitated, and is now where the House of Commons is sitting. But the process of work is accurate for all of the project.

The slope here is a steep one, with the trees waiting to wake up and leaf out.

Friday, April 26, 2024

Sightings Upon The Pathway

 Continuing where I left off yesterday on the high ground, I took this shot looking across the river towards Gatineau. The rise of the Gatineau Hills can be seen on the horizon, and the Alexandra Bridge crosses the river as well. The Museum of History is on the far shore.

A look back towards Centre Block with its work going on, and East Block beyond that. Pearson and the Queen watch over it all.

I headed down off the high ground to a viewing platform below.

A look to the north, with the pathway running along the top of the Hill. A staircase down to the shore below is, I believe, a complete rebuild, though because of work down at the shoreline at present, the staircase is off limits.

Looking up towards the Queen and the towers of West Block.

The pathway beckoned me on. The structure at right is utilitarian and modern. I'm not sure if it'll be something that will remain after all of the work is done.

A look west from near the stair entrance.

Up here are a series of glass panels mounted onto stone- these make up the Canadian Police and Peace Officers Memorial, honouring those officers who have died in the line of duty.

The last time I was out here, the path was essentially closed off here because of the work. As fate would have it, the path was open all the way around. I close off today with this view of the marvelous Library of Parliament. Linked to the building by a corridor, it is likely being left alone, as it wasn't that many years ago when the Library was undergoing restoration and upgrade work.