dewline: (public broadcasting)
Some of you regular readers already know of my work with Spacing Ottawa documenting the backstories of the street names of Ottawa. CBC's got an installment of Cross-Country Checkup on Radio One this upcoming Sunday that we will all want to listen to.
dewline: (Default)
Yesterday, there was a bunch of protests against M-103, a motion by Liberal MP Iqra Khalid of Mississauga targeting Islamophobia as a Problem to be studied and solved to whatever degree possible (along with other forms of bigotry) in several cities across Canada.

What brings me continued hope for the future of Canada is that in every case, opposing rallies were organized and fielded in defence of M-103.


Regina and Saskatoon.
Montréal and Ville de Québec.

I haven't heard of the like in Ottawa-Gatineau, and I don't know whether to be hopeful or worried about that. If you know of similar events elsewhere in Canada, I'd be glad of links to the reports.

Again: counter-protests against bigotry? Cause for hope.
dewline: (investigation)

I revisited earlier tonight. It said there that 108 cities were laid waste by those city-killer ships in the first movie. Here's what I scribbled down from that rotating globe/timeline:

The list is under the cut )

I suspect that we have an incomplete list, due as much to my lack of attention as that of the designers of the site. Perhaps more mine than theirs.
dewline: (Sketching)
From the New Yorker: one more reason for me to not fly.

From the New York Times: Detroit by Air. No wonder the Batman v. Superman movie's using Detroit as its Gotham.

From a theory about possible upcoming continuity modifications that might explain why a couple of recent SHIELD-linked stories have flashbacks set in 1968.
dewline: (edutainment)
Rummaging through the Ottawa sections of the Skyscraper Page Forums for topics of interest.

You might want to rummage there too, whether or not your city has a section there. There's some fun to be had by science-fiction-minded architecture and design fandom...
dewline: (Ottawa news)
The new issue showed up in my mail this morning. Sorry that I missed the release party.

The cover only begins to hint at the stuff inside, projects and images, ideas and debates, all about what makes a city - any city - work, and what might make a city work better. If you're reading this entry - not just in the cities named on the cover, but in Ottawa and Regina, Halifax and Victoria, Guelph and Serfaus(across the Atlantic in Austria!)...well, there's a lot of ground to cover.

No, I don't have any material in this one. But you might want to take a good look anyway.

If you do, let them know what caught your attention?

Back to other stuff in a little while...
dewline: (Default)
Something Martha Thomases wrote recently got my attention. It also triggered some renewed thinking that started in these comments I posted in reply:

"Martha, you're reminding me of why I love Ottawa the City.

Ottawa the National Capital is something that like other people across Canada - much like Americans regarding Washington, DC, probably - I view with ambivalence, an emotional range that goes from anger to pride and back again, sometimes within the space of a second or two.

Ottawa the City is its own kind of complicated place, with a history, a mix of cultures, architecture, languages, and a hundred other things all its own. Our suburbs - one of which I currently call home - are becoming no less so than the core neighbourhoods. I take satisfaction from a lot of that, although frustration also creeps into the mix, here as in your New York.

And aspiration to make the place better has returned in recent years. I hope to go into detail elsewhere on that."

This is one of those "elsewheres". Spacing Ottawa continues to be another, so I hope and plan. (You should keep reading that for contributions of other writers and artists as well.)


When I mentioned aspirations of improvement to Martha, there's a few things firmly in mind. Personal survival on the economic level, obviously and selfishly. But you already know about that. Many of you are living that, right along with me, wherever you live.

Looking at Ottawa-Gatineau, there's the environmental concerns. We've had issues with untreated sewage getting into the Ottawa River making problems for people downriver. Both within the city limits and beyond them. I'm sure that it's not making things any easier in places from Cumberland Village all the way to the Bay of St. Lawrence. It may indeed be much diluted by the time it gets to that latter point, but it's still contributing to aggravating a problem that can instead be fixed.

There's the transit infrastructure. Some of you know of some of this already. We almost had the shovels digging up pavement at Waller and Laurier - and elsewhere - to start on building a further extension to our light rail transit component. But the election of a mayor more friendly to the federal government of the moment than to transit needs of Ottawa the City delayed that for four years, and got city hall embroiled in an expensive legal action, settled at no small cost.

It certainly could've been worse. But it could also have been better.

This past month or so, construction teams have finally started digging and blasting and pouring concrete and installing framing steel in several parts of the downtown core to get the ball rolling on a new version of that LRT expansion, called the Confederation Line. An aspiration to restore and expand upon something Ottawa had and discarded over 60 years earlier...finally in the process of being fulfilled.

And hopefully, a more livable city resulting from that. Liveable for everyone, whatever our income levels.

My apologies for reading like a speech-writer. Sometimes, I get into that head-space and there's no use but to go with it for as long as it lasts.
dewline: (Books)
* The once and possibly future Chancellor Martok is now a legitimate politician on Earth.

* Two links of interest to people who like to look at "megaproject"-type technical art. In this case, we're talking about a proposal for mobile cities being discussed in both links:

I don't know that I'd want to see this sort of thing roaming around on Earth, but maybe we might find a use for the idea on Mars or elsewhere in Sol system. I'd imagine that [ profile] kgillen might be wanting a look at this in the wake of his "Iron Metropolitan" project in the pages of Iron Man.
dewline: (Default)
From this morning's hardcopy edition of the Ottawa Citizen, by David Reevely:

A couple of reactions...

1. As I told Reevely on Facebook, having read the article, I'm surprised that the movie-screening rooms at Place de Ville are still intact after two decades, given that so much else of the underground mall there as originally built is now given over to governmental offices and meeting spaces.

2. I see that Diane Deans has reached a similar opinion to mine re: the downtown core and the expected influx of new residents adding to the need for cinema screening rooms. Could there be an impetus sufficient to rescue World Exchange, revive Rideau Centre *and* Place de Ville, and preserve Lansdowne, Mayfair and Bytowne?
dewline: (Default)
Fair warning: this looks to be bandwidth-intensive.

If you're willing to be patient with the load-up, and you're interested in animated mapping exercises, recent NYC history and geography and/or civic politics, this bit of linkage courtesy of the New York Times will repay your patience handsomely.
dewline: (Sketching)
This is where the urbanist and the comics nerd present in many of us may well collide with consequences as yet undecided.

Wondering if any of you had seen this item yet:

It's about four years old as this entry is written, and it seems to have inspired Kieron Gillen's next Iron Man comics story arc, "Iron Metropolitan":

Right now, I'm trading e-mails back and forth with Kieron on the subject. Would it be a safe guess to say that many of us would consider any city we lived in becoming like Mega-City One from Judge Dredd or Transmetropolitan's City a failure mode?
dewline: (Sketching)
So, [ profile] rfmcdpei pointed out this little essay over at re: the San Francisco landscape.

San Franciscans reading this: any opinions on the matter?
dewline: (Sketching)
What's wrong about wanting something like this for the LRT in Ottawa?

Originally posted by [ profile] theirea at Stockholm Metro (Stockholm/ Sweden)

Stockholm Metro is considered one of the most beautiful in the world. Metro in Sweden called Tunnelbana. It consists of 100 stations, 47 of which are underground, and 53 are ground and above ground. It was opened in 1950. Underground station cut into the rocks.

dewline: (Default)
So [ profile] rfmcdpei pointed out this article in the Toronto Star tonight.

Summed up: Toronto's deputy mayor Doug Holyday got into a bit of a scrap with Councillor Adam Vaughan about the suitability of downtown cores as a place to raise families.

Here's what I told Randy:

One of the things I've noticed about Ottawa is that there are still parts of the downtown where people are raising their kids. It may not be a choice I'd make if I were a parent, but there's been arrangements made to make such things reasonably close to safe enough. I like the fact that our city's been making those efforts, however imperfect they may be in fact or perception.

And that's my imperfectly polite response to Holyday's opinion.

And that response stands.
dewline: (Default)
To [ profile] rfmcdpei about your response to Andrew tonight: Because Conrad Black can still influence the behaviour of other people of his income level - not to mention other people he has access to. Despite having given up his citizenship and his subsequent "misadventures" in the Unites States' criminal justice system.

To writers living in headspaces outside of Euro-American(?) cultures: There's a science fiction anthology that you might be interested in writing for.

Via [ profile] terri_osborne's friendlist: An entry from one Chris Walsh on the geography one might imagine for Los Angeles after seeing Blade Runner. Go have a look. Especially, perhaps, if you live there.

Brandon Laraby encourages all Canadians to look at the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. A good idea in its own right at all times, whatever you think of our current political climate.

More as I mull it over, or as you draw my attention to it. Could go either way.
dewline: (Default)
I like this view.
ottawa 8933 by southfacing
ottawa 8933, a photo by southfacing on Flickr.

Photography by Chuck "Southfacing" Clark.

dewline: (SpacingOttawa)
So, I went to this discussion on how to (re)build a better suburb last month. Allegra Newman hosted it, and here's the story with some pix from yours truly.
dewline: (SpacingOttawa)
For my friends scattered across Ottawa, particularly those of us outside the Greenbelt. I think you should have a look at this...

Originally posted by [ profile] spacing_ottawa at Next City Cafe -Seeing the Suburbs

Wednesday May 16th at 7:30pm is your last chance this season to come out and participate in the Next City Cafe.

Pass the word.

Seeing the Suburbs

Wednesday May 16th 7:30pm

Alpha Soul Cafe 1015 Wellington Street West, Hintonburg

What are the misconceptions and realities that are shaping Ottawa's suburbs? What does the future hold?  What are the possibilities?

Join the conversation, share your experiences and ideas.

Contribute on twitter at #nextcity
We will post more info including guests in the next few weeks.

Help Spread the Word! Pass it on (particularly to your friends in the suburbs)

Suburbs courtesy of


dewline: (Default)
On the DEWLine 2.0: Dwight Williams

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