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.