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A letter from a neighbour: Mayor Watson, how ugly is Ottawa?


ollie
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I for one hate it when people from other places come around and start yappin about how terrific everything is where they're from. "I'm from Europe and our architecture is waaaaayyyy better than yours, you should rebuild everything". The guy lived in Switzerland and Germany! Judging from the pictures I've seen of those places, pretty much everywhere else in the world pales in comparison when it comes to architectural design. Sounds to me like the letter writer is just pissy over the building being built in front of his house. Sorry about your luck!

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wow. could you guys be bigger assholes?

it seems the proposed development is in serious contravention to existing bylaws. you may not like his style but the guy has a very valid point.

given the provincial places to grow policy, these sorts of discussions are being had all over ontario and people are legitimately questioning this kind of bigger-is-better approach to development.

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So, let's say he's right about the bylaws and wishes to complain...does he have to condemn the architecture of the entire city?

I recently moved to rural NS from southern Ontario. Let me tell you something - the architecture here sucks in comparison. Do I write long winded letters to the local government telling them so? No. And if I did, I probably wouldn't preface it with, "I moved here from Southern Ontario and I just gotta say...", because people who do that are the assholes. I would write a letter stating that the bylaw is being undermined and as a tax payer I deserve representation.

Does this make me a bigger asshole?

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No backpedalling now mother fuckers!

You bastards come into this lightly populated board that no one reads but us and drop bombs like fucking that and think you're going to get away with it, wow, not on my watch! I'm having trouble typing up this post between the tears and my hands shaking but duty fucking calls and I'm gutting it out.

Shame on both you fuckers.

Dave, I'm knocking you the fuck out on NYE, that is if you've got the balls to show yourself on NYE after this disgusting display.

Hal, I don't know when but I'm laying you out as well.

History's greatest monsters, truly.

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So, let's say he's right about the bylaws and wishes to complain...does he have to condemn the architecture of the entire city?

Fucking Mississauga has better architecture in Ottawa. Our city needs condemning!

I live in this guy's general neighbourhood and the damage infill is doing to the community is out of control. The house across the street from ours will be torn down soon. The one next to us will probably go in a year or two and ugly, utilitarian semi-detached monoliths will go up in place of cottage-style housing on double lots of tree'd land. I mean, it's the whole character of the neighbourhood that attracts people that the developers are killing in their greed to cash in.

In terms of the letter writer's Wikipedia comment, that was just in the context of 3rd party opinion about Ottawa and hardly the crux of his argument. I agree that this letter will do nothing but it's nice to read something that articulates just how fucked up and obviously corrupt our city planning is.

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I'm surprised that you all are going along with the misnomer that there's 'planning' involved at city hall. What's the PLAN? Sure, there's probably a path that the city is taking, but a PLAN it's not. How could it be? I think the 'plan' is to let developers make the choices and direct the design and infrastructure here. Looking at the European model here, aren't many European (continental and otherwise) historic city centers closed off from automotive traffic (saving, of course, delivery trucks and taxis?), creating a sense of something special?

Remember what happened last time Ottawa moved forward with a significant plan? Light rail? The mayor was dethroned and the plan was kyboshed.

City hall seems to be more reactionary than they should be and not at all proactive.

Carleton County: Yes!

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This New Year's Eve will be the best ever!

The point I was alluding to with respect to the Wikipedia article, is that its content is not always reliable. I could have modified the article to say that Ottawa's architecture is the best in the world, and until the article was corrected, the 3rd-party opinion would not be very supportive.

I agree with you Ollie about your neighbourhood's damaging infill.

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Fucking Mississauga has better architecture in Ottawa. Our city needs condemning!

Ha! I find that hard to believe....Mississauga is a soulless wasteland.

I doubt we'll ever get cool architecture this day in age in Canada. Not that I'm an expert on it in way shape or form, but its very noticeable that cheap houses and condos are going up everywhere. Its not an issue specific to Ottawa, unfortunately.

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Ha! I find that hard to believe....Mississauga is a soulless wasteland.

I doubt we'll ever get cool architecture this day in age in Canada. Not that I'm an expert on it in way shape or form, but its very noticeable that cheap houses and condos are going up everywhere. Its not an issue specific to Ottawa, unfortunately.

Hal, have you ever been sober in Ottawa? It doesn't take an expert to see how our buildings pale in comparison to any major city Canadian city, let alone a capital city.

I'm not being facetious in the least when I say that Mississauga has better architecture. We don't have any as cool as this, for example:

absolute-towers-11.jpg

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Holy shit! I had no idea they built anything like that. Guess its been a while since I've been home. Good on them. But to be fair, that's two buildings. All the neighborhoods and houses are your standard subdivisions.

::waits patiently for someone to post pics of an insanely unique neighborhood in Mississauga::

As for Ottawa, I did drive in sober. Thought it had its charm for sure.

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Can I pick some buildings in Ottawa area that are world-class? If we're picking examples of sweet buildings a propos of nothing these top the list. Off the top of my head:

War Museum

National Gallery

Parliament

Chateau Laurier

Museum of Civilisation

USA Embassy (interior)

Aga Khan building

Canada and the World Pavilion

Nepean City Hall

Old City Hall is kind of neat but not in the same category as above.

There is plenty of ugly stuff in Ottawa, but it's very easy (apparently) to forget about the excellent stuff.

And yes, agree that city planning is crap in Ottawa. Zoning and builders need to do much much better. But nothing is going to change. :(

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I like what they did with the Congress Centre....

CongressCenter.jpg

One of issues with Ottawa is a ton of federal money was spent (along with other growth) in the 50's when brutalist architecture was popular, specifically buildings by George E. Bemi, and some are interesting and some just concrete, boring crap.

The other issue is they continue to shit the bed, look at the condo's going up at Lebreton, nothing special, really that's the last big spot to redefine the skyline and they did a great job with the war museum but they should have continued to demand greatness down there. Whatever, like AD said, there's still plenty of great stuff that we take for granted.

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it's funny how so much reaction to the letter seems to be in defense, or not, of what is already in whatever city. a report card, if you will, on the aesthetics of a cityscape.

the issue isn't that so much that, as I see, but where to go from here. and i agree with the letter writer that new development should make every attempt to integrate into an existing space in a positive way. a big tall, profit-driven, tower in a residential neighbourhood is probably the wrong direction to go. that's all.

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