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  #3261  
Old Posted Mar 8, 2021, 4:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Rico Rommheim View Post
The Queen E and the Macdonald expansion were both designed by George Drummond. the chief architect of the CNR at the time.

Over the years I've come to like the old Macdonald expansion. It was a solid piece of mid-century architecture. I'm not crying about it's loss though.
Thanks for the info! I didn't know.

Based on old photographs, it didn't look terrible. It was somewhat removed from the old, so didn't have too much of an impact. The complete demo of the street leading up to it had a bigger negative impact.

Why was it demolished?

EDIT: a far uglier building obscuring the old hotel was built, probably in the 70s.

https://www.google.com/maps/@53.5413...7i13312!8i6656

Last edited by J.OT13; Mar 8, 2021 at 4:50 PM.
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  #3262  
Old Posted Mar 8, 2021, 4:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Rico Rommheim View Post
The Queen E and the Macdonald expansion were both designed by George Drummond. the chief architect of the CNR at the time.

Over the years I've come to like the old Macdonald expansion. It was a solid piece of mid-century architecture. I'm not crying about it's loss though.
It sure would beat the empty space that still exists there to this day...
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  #3263  
Old Posted Mar 8, 2021, 4:32 PM
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I think the street layout and arrangement of the big old federal buildings is just as important as the height restrictions if not more important. Even Metcalfe Street is not lined up with anything in particular.
For me the misalignments of the streets in downtown Ottawa is inexplicable. The idea of the terminating vista is the most common aesthetic trope in every single capital city on the planet. Except Ottawa. Metcalfe street is hilariously tragic.


Screen Shot 2021-03-08 at 11.21.41 AM by Foofoo MacShoe, on Flickr

https://earth.google.com/web/search/...aG1YNWNFY0EQAg

This is all very sloppy and haphazard. I've always wondered what lead to this. A real shame too, because I love the parliament buildings and the old federal buildings lining Wellington.
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  #3264  
Old Posted Mar 8, 2021, 4:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Rico Rommheim View Post
For me the misalignments of the streets in downtown Ottawa is inexplicable. The idea of the terminating vista is the most common aesthetic trope in every single capital city on the planet. Except Ottawa. Metcalfe street is hilariously tragic.


Screen Shot 2021-03-08 at 11.21.41 AM by Foofoo MacShoe, on Flickr

https://earth.google.com/web/search/...aG1YNWNFY0EQAg

This is all very sloppy and haphazard. I've always wondered what lead to this. A real shame too, because I love the parliament buildings and the old federal buildings lining Wellington.
The street grid was established before Ottawa became the capital. The Chrétien Government had a grand boulevard plan down Metcalfe, but it would have resulted in the demolition of dozens of historic buildings, along with large office blocks. That's the tragedy, but also partly what makes Ottawa unique, is the contrast between the old lumber town and the new world capital and how that all played out.

http://nccwatch.org/blunders/metcalfe.htm
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  #3265  
Old Posted Mar 8, 2021, 6:38 PM
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Originally Posted by J.OT13 View Post
The street grid was established before Ottawa became the capital. The Chrétien Government had a grand boulevard plan down Metcalfe, but it would have resulted in the demolition of dozens of historic buildings, along with large office blocks. That's the tragedy, but also partly what makes Ottawa unique, is the contrast between the old lumber town and the new world capital and how that all played out.

http://nccwatch.org/blunders/metcalfe.htm
Wait? Chrétien?

When I think of the Chrétien era, I think about cost cutting and deficit reduction, not executing on grand visionary projects, especially aesthetic ones.

While he probably saved us from being an indebted basket case, the lack of investment in new infrastructure during his administration is one of the reasons we have to spend so much right now to make up for lost time.
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  #3266  
Old Posted Mar 8, 2021, 6:48 PM
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Wait? Chrétien?

When I think of the Chrétien era, I think about cost cutting and deficit reduction, not executing on grand visionary projects, especially aesthetic ones.

While he probably saved us from being an indebted basket case, the lack of investment in new infrastructure during his administration is one of the reasons we have to spend so much right now to make up for lost time.
Chrétien made some massive cuts in the mid-90s to balance the budget, but those cuts yielded results quickly in the form of large surpluses. That's the trick with balancing a budget; make cuts, but don't use those cuts to lower taxes or pet projects to rebrand the Country or Province in your Party's colours.

It was under Chrétien that the new War Museum was built on LeBreton Flats. He also had a National Portrait Gallery proposal at the old U.S. Embassy, though it was killed by the Harper Government (long story on that one).
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  #3268  
Old Posted Mar 8, 2021, 10:19 PM
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^Those are amazing! Sometimes I think I've seen every photo on the internet of the pre-war financial district, but a lot of that was new for me.

Quote:
We lost an awful lot of good stuff to build First Canadian Place. As much as I like FCP's atrium, I don't think it was worth it.

This is unlike what we lost to make way for TD Centre, which was probably worth it.
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  #3269  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2021, 4:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Rico Rommheim View Post
For me the misalignments of the streets in downtown Ottawa is inexplicable. The idea of the terminating vista is the most common aesthetic trope in every single capital city on the planet. Except Ottawa. Metcalfe street is hilariously tragic.


Screen Shot 2021-03-08 at 11.21.41 AM by Foofoo MacShoe, on Flickr

https://earth.google.com/web/search/...aG1YNWNFY0EQAg

This is all very sloppy and haphazard. I've always wondered what lead to this. A real shame too, because I love the parliament buildings and the old federal buildings lining Wellington.
This!
It always bothers me about our capital.
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  #3270  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2021, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by J.OT13 View Post
The street grid was established before Ottawa became the capital. The Chrétien Government had a grand boulevard plan down Metcalfe, but it would have resulted in the demolition of dozens of historic buildings, along with large office blocks. That's the tragedy, but also partly what makes Ottawa unique, is the contrast between the old lumber town and the new world capital and how that all played out.

http://nccwatch.org/blunders/metcalfe.htm
Interesting. So why didn't they just build the centre block 40 metres to the east in the first place?

It annoys me that they didn't but it's not a critical flaw. The Parliament buildings are visually oriented towards the river--it's not even clear why Parliament Hill is called that unless you see it from the river. Zibi, Lebreton Flats, and the tram ring will all make its orientation more obvious. Hungary's Parliament building is similar--one of the grandest I've seen but best appreciated from the river; this is as close as it gets to a framed-in, street-terminating view, and, in all honesty, there are lots of spots around Budapest with more impressive vistas.

https://www.google.com/maps/@47.5073...7i13312!8i6656
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  #3271  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2021, 2:00 PM
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I assume they built it where it is to centre it on the Hill, between the East and West blocks. I don't think they gave it any thought to the street grid of the adjacent lumber town.

I'm not entirely sure, but I think Barrack Hill Cemetery might still have been there when Ottawa was chosen capital and during much of the construction, but the grid plan had already been established (which included moving the cemetery).

This is a plan of ByTown in 1842, 16 years before Ottawa was chosen as capital.


http://www.bytown.net/ and https://www.historicalsocietyottawa....ing-going-gone

This is also supposedly 1842, with the future street grid superimposed on the cemetery.


http://passageshistoriques-heritagep...town/carte-map

Maps continue to show the cemetery up until 1853, with the grid, or part of the grid superimposed. Available maps then seem to skip to 1876, a decade after Parliament was built.

http://passageshistoriques-heritagep...town/carte-map
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  #3272  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2021, 3:25 PM
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Montreal 1968. Still a boom town. Woot.
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  #3273  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2021, 4:54 PM
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Originally Posted by J.OT13 View Post
I assume they built it where it is to centre it on the Hill, between the East and West blocks. I don't think they gave it any thought to the street grid of the adjacent lumber town.

I'm not entirely sure, but I think Barrack Hill Cemetery might still have been there when Ottawa was chosen capital and during much of the construction, but the grid plan had already been established (which included moving the cemetery).

This is a plan of ByTown in 1842, 16 years before Ottawa was chosen as capital.


http://www.bytown.net/ and https://www.historicalsocietyottawa....ing-going-gone

This is also supposedly 1842, with the future street grid superimposed on the cemetery.


http://passageshistoriques-heritagep...town/carte-map

Maps continue to show the cemetery up until 1853, with the grid, or part of the grid superimposed. Available maps then seem to skip to 1876, a decade after Parliament was built.

http://passageshistoriques-heritagep...town/carte-map

Interesting stuff. Thanks for sharing that. I suspect you're right. Shame they didn't think of it back then. Chalk it up to a uniquely Canadian feature of our capitol.
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  #3274  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2021, 8:18 PM
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Originally Posted by J.OT13 View Post
I assume they built it where it is to centre it on the Hill, between the East and West blocks. I don't think they gave it any thought to the street grid of the adjacent lumber town.

I'm not entirely sure, but I think Barrack Hill Cemetery might still have been there when Ottawa was chosen capital and during much of the construction, but the grid plan had already been established (which included moving the cemetery).

This is a plan of ByTown in 1842, 16 years before Ottawa was chosen as capital.


http://www.bytown.net/ and https://www.historicalsocietyottawa....ing-going-gone

This is also supposedly 1842, with the future street grid superimposed on the cemetery.


http://passageshistoriques-heritagep...town/carte-map

Maps continue to show the cemetery up until 1853, with the grid, or part of the grid superimposed. Available maps then seem to skip to 1876, a decade after Parliament was built.

http://passageshistoriques-heritagep...town/carte-map
Great post thanks for sharing. It explains a lot.
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  #3275  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2021, 6:26 PM
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Outstanding Toronto set of bygone years, BTW.
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  #3276  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2021, 6:26 PM
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Back when Toronto's skyline was below that of Cleveland
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  #3277  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2021, 9:38 PM
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A few before/afters via FB...

Most of the rowhouse districts have been through two rounds of renovations - a renovation in the 50s-70s to vinyl and "modern" windows, and a renovation back to the original style since then...

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Last edited by SignalHillHiker; Apr 6, 2021 at 5:04 PM.
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  #3278  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2021, 1:38 AM
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^ Most of the St. John's side by side comparisons are great, and show how little the city has changed. The most rotten parts were cut out of the apple, a good thing, providing some space for redevelopment while leaving the good parts intact.
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  #3279  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2021, 3:37 AM
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Great TO post. I love this one. This is how Ottawa`s centre block should have been placed. Although I admit if it were the case, Ontario would have two cities with almost identical clock towers fronting a terminating vista. It could have been rather confusing.

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  #3280  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2021, 4:53 PM
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Zibi, but how it was in 1922. From Lost Ottawa on Facebook.



How it's going. Similar views last month, from harley613 on Flickr.

Photo_6553750_DJI_150_jpg_4015859_0_2021325114826_photo_original by harley613, on Flickr

Photo_6553616_DJI_16_jpg_4062345_0_202131719450_photo_original by harley613, on Flickr
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