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  • UrbSanity: Monumental controversy – Challenging context for memorial - Spacing Ottawa
    on the issue the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada explains The Long Term Vision and Plan LTVP for the Parliamentary Precinct and Judicial Precinct evolved through decades of consultations with leading architects urban designers and landscape architects The statement continues We support the intention for the Capital Plateau and believe it is rooted in enduring ideas about urban design and building a capital city The approved plans for the memorial reportedly disregard the recommendations and advice of the National Capital Commission s Advisory Committee on Planning Design and Realty According to an article published by MacLean s the committee found the site totally inappropriate The inappropriateness of the site is a question of both the surrounding context and scale of the memorial Located on a lot west of Parliament between the Supreme Court of Canada Justice building and the Library and Archives of Canada building the site had been earmarked for a future federal building to complete the judicial triad In terms of scale the proposed monument is nearly equal in size to the War Memorial plaza on Elgin and almost three times the size of the Peacekeeping Memorial on Sussex While the proposed memorial would almost certainly capitalize on the weight of its surroundings and imposing scale a respectful public work should not unduly detract meaning and significance in return In a letter to deputy minister of Public Works Chief Justice McLachlin expresses her concerns Regrettably some of the proposed designs for the memorial could send the wrong message within the judicial precinct unintentionally conveying a sense of bleakness and brutalism that is inconsistent with a space dedicated to the administration of justice The Chief Justice s comments reflect key architectural design considerations scale context and materiality Though it was not the NCC committee s role to select the design members of the committee have also made public comments that they were not in favour of the selected design Their statements echo those of members of the jury whose role it was Shirley Bloomberg a founding partner of KPMB Architects and member of the selection jury has spoken out against the design its technical and economic feasibility and appropriateness to the site Architect Barry Padolsky has also been leading local public awareness on this issue Padolsky has been involved in many local heritage projects including partnering with KPMB on the restoration of the Museum of Nature Padolsky has added to his list of concerns the value of the land The donation of the government land has been announced as a 1 million contribution Padolsky argues that the land is worth significantly more anywhere from 16 30 million according to a private evaluation Last month mayor Jim Watson voiced his concerns over the lack of consultation with the city underlining a common thread among most critics the lack of transparency consultation or meaningful response from the government on this issue Toon Dreessen president of the Ontario Association of Architects adds The irony is that the outcry against this memorial is

    Original URL path: http://spacing.ca/ottawa/2015/03/13/12884/ (2015-11-16)
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  • UrbSanity: Brutal heritage - Spacing Ottawa
    time Building technology advances Styles and taste change When there is discussion of demolishing or renovating a building from the early 1900s we see the public concern with preserving the memory of our past Part of the criticism and dislike of the mid century modern transformation of cities is the reckless destruction and abandon of the past Ottawa s most famous example of course being the razing of Lebreton Flats That oversight of modernism has led to the growing heritage and preservation movements We want our cities to move forward but with respect for the past So why is there such great antipathy towards protecting major important works of modernism It has to be pointed out that many of the reasons thrown around for demolishing or remodelling these buildings echo those that led to the destruction of Victorian building stock we now so desperately cherish out dated falling apart ugly no longer able to meet the demands of modern living expensive to restore and bring up to new standards News reports of the announced demolition of the old Carnegie Library that was replaced by the current main library are eerily similar to the current debates Remember the early 1900s were as far away to the mid century modernists as those modernists are to us now So why do I think brutalism is worth keeping around The National Arts Centre photo by Bust it Away Photography These are great public buildings that celebrate being spaces where people gather Despite criticism of being antisocial buildings that turn their backs on the city the generous stairwells and platforms at the NAC both inside and out place people in relationship with one another and with the city Sometimes in direct contact like random encounters with friends during an intermission Sometimes through sightlines people watching below or magnificent views out into the city They are admittedly hard to relate to from the outside but they are experts at creating relationships from within The social ideals of brutalism is reflected in the fact that libraries and universities were some of the most prolific patrons and greatest examples of brutalist architecture in North America They are also great celebrations of architecture as artform They are sculptural and honest in the way they bear the marks of the geometry through which they were designed and the materials with which they were made Which as a point of interest is where the style got its name from its use of raw concrete or béton brut and not as is usually assumed their brutality Brutalist buildings are imposing and massive They do not shy away from being actors in the scene and dramatic characters at that It would be a shame to draw the glass curtain wall over them all Story Sarah Gelbard via yowLAB This article has been cross published yowLAB is Ottawa s architecture and design ideas lab fostering and supporting collaborations and exchange of ideas in the community Follow them on twitter yow LAB and on Facebook

    Original URL path: http://spacing.ca/ottawa/2015/01/16/auto-draft/ (2015-11-16)
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  • Neighbourhood Walk: Taking a stroll along Uptown Rideau - Spacing Ottawa
    completed in 1966 and faces Augusta Street Under the terms of the agreement between MacDonald Manor and the City of Ottawa the land was the revert to city ownership after 50 years which it did in 2003 The name of MacDonald Manor was removed from the building shortly after the transfer and the building now serves Ottawans of all ages as part of Ottawa Community Housing s portfolio 5 Domicile s Rideau Mews condominium project was completed in 1998 Image July 2014 Constructed in 1871 this home is one of the oldest if not the oldest buildings on Rideau street Long home to the Rideau Flower shop the entire lot was re developed as part of Domicile s 1998 Rideau Mews project I don t have much else to add aside from my own absolute love for a the preservation of a Confederation era home as part of a more recent urban infill project 6 The Parkway Motor Inn was constructed in 1957 Image July 2014 Housing at least of the putatively permanent sort was not the only amenity in shortage following the Second World War With the rise of automobile travel and the dramatically increased funding for road and highway construction more Canadians than ever were taking road trips As a result the shortage of hotels and motels was acutely felt across the country including in Ottawa During the midcentury period Uptown Rideau had become something of the playground of the Bourque Brothers sons of former Ottawa mayor Edouard Bourque In 1956 seeing their opportunity they purchased the homes of two local doctors for 100 000 and set about their plan to make Uptown Rideau more accommodating to the weary traveller Given something of a curious name at least in hindsight it is neither near a parkway Rideau wasn t known as one and it wasn t near the Parkway phone exchange on Carling the Parkway Motor Hotel was constructed in 1956 57 The motel replete with California redwood and a highly contemporary colour scheme was designed by local architect Joseph Dunne Greenspoon Freedlander and Dunne with whom George Bemi was member and the head of their Ottawa division until that year and opened in the spring of 1957 to much acclaim The attached restaurant was named the Tea Wagon and was operated by Morrison Lamothe Bakery 7 The Caisse Populaire Laurier at 450 Rideau was constructed in 1977 Image June 2014 Looking from across the street during the mid 1970s residents of Sandy Hill peered north across Rideau Street and did not like what they saw While they might have agreed at least philosophically with the spirit of urban renewal that their neighbours to the north in Lowertown had experienced they were much less certain that the same things were really appropriate for their own neighbourhood As such when the Caisse Populaire Laurier had developed plans to relocate their branch from Laurier to the south side of Rideau at Chapel it faced some unexpected opposition The brutalist structure

    Original URL path: http://spacing.ca/ottawa/2014/07/15/neighbourhood-walk-taking-stroll-along-uptown-rideau/ (2015-11-16)
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  • The slow and deadly evolution of Toronto's crosswalks - Spacing Toronto
    markings became practically invisible at night or in the rain Pedestrians walked into the street in frustration when drivers refused to yield sometimes with disastrous consequences A year later in an effort to make drivers more aware of crosswalks Metro added advance warning signs and painted large Xs on the roadway It was also around this time the point your way to safety signs appeared Toronto City Council also called for flashing lights that could be controlled from the sidewalk but the idea was rejected Traffic experts said giving pedestrians control over the flow of traffic would lead to more accidents Making the crosswalks more obvious does not make them any safer for pedestrians Cass said Accidents cannot be prevented with traffic signal or control devices he added later There were all kinds of ideas for improving Toronto s crosswalks many of them ridiculous Red flags were handed out at an experimental crossing at Yonge and Gould in the summer of 1960 in the hope that the colours would better catch the attention of drivers Coloured asphalt was tested on the 401 with a view to using it at crossings and other problem areas Best of all in the 1950s cops would drive around berating bad drivers over a loudspeaker from inside an anonymous yellow panel truck You in the convertible and you sir in the two tone sedan don t you think you should allow the little girl to cross She s at a crosswalk she has the right of way Constable Al Keates said on one occasion recorded by the Globe and Mail Despite the high profile fatalities and public criticism it appeared crossings were having a positive effect on the number of accidents Traffic deaths dropped by almost a third in the eight months after they were unveiled and by 1962 the numbers were continuing to trend downward 58 people died in 1961 compared to 85 the year before crosswalks Lights did eventually appear in the form of fixed amber blinkers attached to concrete traffic islands but there was no still no nighttime illuminations six years after the first crosswalks were installed In 1964 Toronto mayor Philip Givens suggested adding rumble strips or some sort of electrical impulse he didn t explain further to warn drivers of approaching crossings in addition to lights Cass who had long opposed lights said it would be hard to select a colour for crosswalks Snow plows used blue ambulances red and traffic lights red yellow and green What about black Givens suggested North York reeve James Service proposed a revolving light Cass warned too many lights might distract drivers but amber eventually won out Following a successful test of overhanging lights on the Danforth in 1966 Metro Toronto began illuminating crosswalks at night but the arrival of pedestrian controlled flashing lights wouldn t come until 1988 when Ontario standardized crosswalks province wide Today it s still not clear whether pedestrian crossings are completely safe Go out onto the street press the

    Original URL path: http://spacing.ca/toronto/2014/11/28/slow-deadly-evolution-torontos-crosswalks/ (2015-11-16)
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  • How Toronto learned to love the patio - Spacing Toronto
    French themed Chateau Briand which opened in July 1960 A so called new style restaurant the Chateau Briand had bizarre appeal according to the Globe and Mail A photo accompanying the opening announcement shows a small outdoor dining area skirted by a low wall and planters stuffed with flowers It is hoped the Chateau Briand will overcome the history of failure experienced by predecessors on the same location the paper wrote It didn t Within three years the Sidewalk Cafe had taken over its location and poached the claim of owning the first patio in Toronto Coverage of the grand opening of the Sidewalk Cafe in the Globe and Mail suggests the restaurant had one of the first pizza ovens and Gaggia espresso machines in the city as well as the first outdoor dining area I have had the calculations for a pizza oven in my head for many years but no one in this country knows how to build so I build said Venetian born owner Dr Pino Riservato He expects to make Gaggia and espresso household words in Canada wrote reporter Mary Jukes Riservato s grand opening was attended by more than a 1 000 people including Italian consul Piero Nuti and his wife The accompanying photograph shows the trio smiling around a table set on the College St sidewalk The happiness would t last The popular business went the same way as the Chateau Briand and was forced to close after just six months due to financial problems involving its owner The patio of the Penny Farthing on Yorkville Ave 26 May 1965 York University Archives Toronto Telegram fonds F0433 ASC00600 Fast forward to the summer of 1963 and Riservato s outdoor coffee concept had been taken up in Yorkville Toronto s counter cultural and hippie heartland Despite dust traffic fumes and unpredictable weather the Toronto outdoor cafe business is enjoying a remarkable boom wrote Ralph Thomas a wide eyed Star reporter In the last three months alone eight new places have opened doubling the number of patios in operation last year Thomas explained how Das Uppenbrau on Yorkville Ave tries terribly hard to be a little cafe in Vienna and the Cafe Francais on Scollard St is so French that unless unless you speak the tongue chances are you won t get what you want The Coffee Mill was packed with beatniks who buy one coffee and stay all night It was the Half Beat on Cumberland St that was first to adopt the patio concept he wrote A small group of tables put outside the cafe proved more popular than those inside and soon others followed suit There were a total of 16 sidewalk cafes in Toronto when the piece was written some boasting more than 1 500 customers a day The largest at the Gaslight on Old York Lane had room for 200 Das Uppenbrau was the smallest with just 20 seats Big or small chic or rough they all merchandise the city air

    Original URL path: http://spacing.ca/toronto/2015/04/29/toronto-learned-love-patio/ (2015-11-16)
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  • Sir John A. Macdonald, drunk and in flames - Spacing Toronto
    Darwin Dickens Churchill Kipling Sir Arthur Conan Doyle The Duke of Wellington T S Eliot W B Yeats Thomas Hardy Michael Faraday Sir Walter Scott the list goes on and on It became one of Macdonald s favourite haunts on his frequent trips to the capital And it was far from the only place where he drank when he was in town The London Conference was being held just a few blocks away at the Westminster Palace Hotel right across the road from Westminster Abbey The delegates spent their days in a big room on the main floor working out the details of the bill that would need to be passed by the British parliament Macdonald as always led the way one British official called him the ruling genius and spokesman By the end of the conference he was a celebrity in England getting recognized on the streets of London At night the delegates would head upstairs to sleep Macdonald whose wife Isabella had died many years earlier after a long battle with illness and an opium addiction had a room all to himself So that s where he was was on a Wednesday night just a couple of weeks before Christmas reading that day s newspapers in bed He d already changed into his old timey pyjamas A candle flickered on the night table beside him And while there is of course no detailed record of just how much Sir John A had been drinking that night it seems very likely that alcohol helped lure him into an early sleep He woke to the smell of his own burning flesh He d passed out while reading the paper and the candle tipped over setting the room ablaze The curtains the sheets and blankets even the pillow beneath his head and the nightshirt he was wearing were all in flames Just months before he became the first Prime Minister of Canada Sir John A Macdonald was on fire Suddenly awake he leapt to his feet tore the blazing curtains from the window and stomped out the flames He ripped the burning blankets from his bed and doused them with water from a jug on his nightstand Then Sir George Étienne Cartier came to his rescue Macdonald and Cartier hadn t always been on the same side During the Rebellions of 1837 Cartier had fought with the rebels in Québec while Macdonald stood guard for the Loyalist militia in Kingston But now Cartier was Macdonald s most important ally bringing Québec into Confederation His room was just next door So as Macdonald s bed and curtains smouldered the two most notable leaders of French and English Canada worked together to make sure the flames were all completely smothered It was only then that Macdonald noticed just how badly he d been hurt His hair his hands and his forehead were all burned but the wound on his shoulder was the worst If it weren t for a thick flannel shirt he

    Original URL path: http://spacing.ca/toronto/2015/01/06/sir-john-macdonald-drunk-flames/ (2015-11-16)
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  • Devin Alfaro, Author at Spacing Montreal
    the classic Montreal duplex common in many early post war inner suburbs These examples are on Rue Ducas Read More Politics A new era for Montreal Quebec relations A month has now passed since the provincial elections and the dust has finally settled The new MNAs have been sworn in and the new Read More Architecture Photo du jour Khanda A Khanda one of the main symbols of Sikhism visible on the gate of the Gurdwara Guru Nanak Darbar in Lasalle Read More Communication Photo du jour Election special Graffiti in a laneway near St Denis and Villeray Read More Headlines Montreal the forgotten election issue Former federal Prime Minister Kim Campbell was once infamously quoted supposedly out of context as saying that an election Read More Communication Montreal s election prospects In the federal election of May 2011 Montreal s political geography was rewritten as the orange wave knocked out long established Read More Architecture Photo du jour Silo 5 The Old Port s Silo 5 out of commission since 1996 Read More Communication Photo du jour Bière d épinette de Chez Nous A wonderfully kitschy gem located on Marie Anne just east of De Lorimier in the east end of the Plateau Unfortunately the Read More History Photo du jour Most beneficient and most glorious reign Detail of a monument to Queen Victoria in Dorchester Square The amount of The Maple Leaf Forever style kitsch in this Read More Culture Photo du jour Dorchester Square Dorchester Square looking towards the north as seen last fall The prominent statue is a monument to Montrealers who fought in the Read More Post navigation Older posts Search Advertisement Spacing Magazine fall 2015 Order issue Subscribe In these stores Popular Posts Jane Jacobs Quebec sovereigntist Le Faubourg à m lasse les origines

    Original URL path: http://spacing.ca/montreal/author/devin/ (2015-11-16)
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  • LORINC: Local communities to help build Metrolinx projects - Spacing Toronto
    on infrastructure to help un or under employed people move into stable jobs President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and indeed many Depression era leaders understood how to use public works to get the unemployed back into the workforce In our own era as I reported in this space last year many U S city regions have incorporated CBAs into the way they deliver large construction projects But apart from the local employment conditions baked into the Regent Park revitalization PDF Toronto has been a CBA free zone Until now Steve Shallhorn chair of the T oronto Community Benefits Network says the group in the past several months has held a series of four engagement recruitment meetings in parts of the city with high unemployment levels Mount Dennis Malvern Flemingdon Park Working with labour and community organizers the TCBN sought to identify candidates for apprenticeship programs that will produce trained workers who can be recruited from hiring halls by the winning consortia At one session held in Etobicoke last fall about 90 Somali Canadians showed up and put their names on lists for the apprenticeship programs which will be supported by the Ministry of Training and Colleges and Universities Shallhorn says all were either unemployed or working in McJobs interestingly only one of the registrants showed up on provincial employment databases indicating that they had not been counted as part of the city s unemployment tally As Shallhorn told me last week They re the population the agencies want to target The Metrolinx CBA will likely specify the proportion of skilled trades workers to be recruited from these expanded apprenticeship programs There will be no extra cost to the consortium or local taxpayers And as Shallhorn points out many contractors are familiar with such requirements from the work they do on large projects on First Nations lands where federal and treaty rules specify local hiring Given that Premier Kathleen Wynne has come out publicly in support of CBAs and that Metrolinx is now executing a huge RFP that incorporates just such a rider it s high time that the City of Toronto the TTC and Toronto Community Housing follow suit with their long term portfolio of capital repairs and expansion projects The City s own ten year capital budget PDF is a staggering 28 7 billion six times the size of the Crosstown contract In fact if Mayor John Tory genuinely wants to move the needle on youth unemployment in Toronto s high needs communities he should push council to adopt a broad policy that requires contractors to sign community benefits agreements on projects above a certain size threshold e g 25 million And if he doesn t want to I d urge another member of council all those Liberals to do it As Shallhorn says I m hoping that the work that has been started at the province can be transferred to the City in short order Tory who has been trying to demonstrate his social bone fides with measures like

    Original URL path: http://spacing.ca/toronto/2015/02/02/lorinc-local-communities-help-build-metrolinx-projects/ (2015-11-16)
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