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In a previous post, I mentioned the Sisters of the Visitation were for sale, and then mysteriously nothing happened. In a discussion with Uniform about why one of the workers was urinating on the sidewalk at the end of the day, I asked whether they were interested. His reply was that the neighbourhood appealed to them, but there are so many challenges with heritage designations.

According to Ken Gray, Ashcroft is the buyer, for more than $10 million. They’ve also bought the building that used to house Billy’s Appliances and another house. Strangely, it’s not in today’s newspaper, only on the Bulldog’s blog. Supposedly Ashcroft is going to start by meeting with the community first.

I’ll definitely be going to share my thoughts. What I’d like to see:

  • buildings, no higher than 4 floors surrounding the original site
  • stone incorporated into the architectural exterior features
  • some green space
  • underground parking for any new buildings
  • more vrtucar spots
  • retail on the ground floor that faces Richmond
  • a nice English pub in the old building … could call it The Convent or The Sacred Sisters, The Nunnery, The Stone Chapel, The Fallen Wall

More thoughts and updates to come.



Started this morning without coffee because we’d run out and forgotten to drop by Bridgehead to pick up more. As a result, we stopped by on our cycle ride home from work.  I stayed out by the bikes while Nosyneighbour went it to buy coffee.

Standing there I noticed that the Linden Tree across the street has a large sub-lease sign in its window and the Cambridge gallery beside it has a new sign on its store front. Riding slowly down Wellington, I also noticed Petit Bill’s patio has been dismantled for the winter — yes the “w” word — and that Irpinia kitchens has its sign up with a note in the window … opening soon.

I also forgot to mention that the DQ/Orange Julius has opened in Westboro, where the Westboro Market existed for a short period of time. I’m sure the DQ won’t have a hard time surviving. Who doesn’t like icecream?

So … no coffee in the morning leads to neighbourhood gossip by the afternoon.

Because we’re both still recuperating from colds, today’s hike was a short one. We’d also walked back from Landsdowne Park last night so didn’t feel the need to go too far.

We started off by Old Chelsea at the bottom of Ridge Road and hiked up to the lookout where the trail turns a sharp right and links up with the Skyline Trail. There and back in and an hour and 10 minutes.

On the way back down we saw lots of leafers. One of them, clearly having started at Penguin and just beginning his first climb, even asked if there was a Tim’s nearby. Buddy, have another donut! But I suppose at least he was making an effort.

So, it was a quick up and down, with not many leaves left on the trees. Fall is definitely upon us.

I’ve been meaning to post about the sales office opening up on Wellington at Carleton, beside the Istanbouli. Rumour has it that CVL bought the property from Tamarack, but is having Theberge Homes build and sell the condo. All the zoning and plans were approved but have since been taken down from the city’s site. Must remember to save the files next time.  The sales office is going in where the Indian Food Centre used to be. It looks like they may be including a model floor plan. The sales office should be open in mid-November. It will be sad to see the Istanbouli go.

Uniform Developments St. George’s Yard continues to progress every day. The model home opens tomorrow (so check back for some pics in the near future).  I wonder if our new neighbours will be as friendly as the existing ones. Or will they see our houses as the “welfare” side of the road, just like the houses on the other side of Byron look down their noses at us.

Update following the open house: Have to say I’m disappointed in the quality of workmanship. If you go to the model home, try to open the corner base cabinet in the kitchen. It’s the one beside the stove. I was curious to see if there was a lazy susan. Guess what? It doesn’t open at all because the stove sticks out too much. There were already scratches on the cabinetry too. The rooms are small, and the dining room is in an odd spot.  And there is no powder room in the basement either.

Glad I’m not the one paying $650K.

It had been closed for “rehabilitation” according to the NCC, so we’d been putting off a hike around one of the best trails to see the fall colours. Given that it was Thanksgiving weekend, an early start was a must, so we set off at 8:30, and were at the start by 9:05.

Three cars had beaten us to the parking lot, so we guessed either the trail still hadn’t reopened or that most people were still lying in bed. The air was really crisp this morning. The frost warning chime came on in the Mini as we approached Meech Lake. Glad we had thought to bring gloves at the last minute. Read the rest of this entry »

Again, another beautiful day for hiking. I wonder whether New Zealand will be this sunny and crisp? It seems a long way off for now. Today was a great day for hiking, and even though we’d left a bit later than planned — and the 148 is still full of potholes we could drive the mini around in — there wasn’t a big crowd when we set off to hike up the falls.

Unlike last weekend, we planned to go a bit farther seeing as our legs were still fresh. We added another 5 km of hiking across the top to have lunch at McKinstry Hut.The falls were much louder on our approach. In fact, we could hear them as soon as we left the parking lot. It seems odd to see that much water this time of year, but it was spectacular so we couldn’t complain. When the falls have that much water you know the trail is going to be wetter and slipperier. And it was. Read the rest of this entry »

Friends and acquaintances know that I’m a huge CFL fan, and support a team coming back to Ottawa. I am convinced that we have a football base, providing the stadium is centrally located. The Roughriders and Renegades survived, even though they had abysmal records, because people were entertained in the stands (be it Mardi Gras bead madness, or watching the leaves change colour).

I’ve been riled up by Nosyneighbour on several occasions, and despite my best efforts to plan ahead on what I would say to the Glebeites who were planning organized attacks to hijack information sessions across the city, I didn’t get into any fisticuffs when we attended the recent one in our neighbourhood.

A few local bloggers have already commented on their bad behaviour, and media is also commenting on how they organized, intimidated and monopolized the consultations. I’m happy that the Orleans session booed the naysayers just like they booed the few people at Tom Brown Arena brave enough to say they support they project (and no, I wasn’t one of the brave ones).

Having attended enough development consultations in our immediate vicinity, I get the sense that developers always start off dreaming big, knowing that they will face opposition. Then they can be seen as compromising when they remove or downgrade contentious points in their plans. My experience has shown that when you offer concrete suggestions to improve a plan, they are often incorporated as suggested. However, when participants constantly criticize and have a NIMBY attitude, the developers just ignore them.

The city manager said something at Monday’s meeting that I believe should be the real focus of debate. Does the city of Ottawa want an open air stadium? Is it a priority now?

Once that decision is made, then a discussion of location and funding can take place. The issue of Landsdowne Park then becomes one of local concern. If the Glebe-ites want a park, let THEM pay for it. And why didn’t the city put the library there instead of buying prime downtown real estate? Grrr ….

Mr. Kirkpatrick also mentioned that a stadium is never going to be revenue neutral. Across North America, public money is either used to build the stadium or to run and maintain it. He also said that the decision to have a stadium goes back to the “public good”. Having a stadium allows Ottawa to bid for major events like FIFA World Cup, the Francophonie Games, Paralympics, maybe even a World Fair. Maybe the Glebe-ites should think beyond the low brow people associated with football, concerts and the Ex, and what else it offer. Why not have open-air opera or theatre? What about an outdoor Senators game? Winterlude skating competitions?

I’ve seen citizens in other areas of the city hold fundraising events to pay for improvements to their neighbourhood parks (e.g. Strathcona). Given the mean income in the Glebe, it shouldn’t be a problem for them to pool their money to have exactly what they want. If they want green space, let them have it, but at THEIR cost not mine. If they aren’t willing to pay for it, there has to be compromise. No stadium? How about two tall apartment buildings for social housing? The tenants wouldn’t need as much parking, wouldn’t require as much transit, and would have access to fresh produce in the Farmer’s Market. Studies have shown that mixing different socio-economic groups is beneficial for all groups. And by having the tall towers, it would allow the remaining space to be green and open. It would also help alleviate the long waiting lists for social housing. Finally, I really wish city councillors would have some vision and show some leadership to get things done in this city.

I’m sure there’ll be more later, but that’s my rant on LL.

Do you ever wonder why when you wish for rain it doesn’t until you get home, but if you were hoping it wouldn’t you get caught in a downpour? That’s what this weekend’s hiking has been.

Today we hiked up to the tower at Luskville falls, explored a bit of Ridge Road, then returned, for a total of about 4.5 km in about 2 hours. The colours were really vibrant, and once again we had blue sky at the top. The hike is really steep and you have to pay attention to stay on the trail. A couple of times on the way up I had to grab rocks to pull myself up. And going down I was sooooo happy to have my poles to help my knees. Read the rest of this entry »

We set off for the Gatineau Park early this morning, despite the pea-soup fog that shielded the hills. By 9:10 a.m. we were setting off from the Chelsea parking lot on Kingsmere Road. From there our hike began at the start of Ridge Road (Trail#1).

The fog was quite thick and I didn’t think to take any pics for until we got to Keogan Lodge, where the sun looked like it might finally burn off the fog.  We stopped there for a snack break then continued up and up, past Huron Lodge to the Champlain lookout. Read the rest of this entry »


October 2009
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