Author Archive

November 17 2014

Nour Aoude Says Farewell to The Grid from Ottawa, Canada

November 17th, 2014Posted by 

Over the last six months, The Grid has become a place to record my ever-evolving understanding of Ottawa’s urban fabric and functions. When I started blogging in May, I had just moved here. This bestowed upon me the advantage of fresh eyes on the city, but also meant that I had to educate myself on […]

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October 20 2014

Ottawa Lacks Downtown Amenities to Stimulate Urban Intensification

October 20th, 2014Posted by 

A few weeks ago, on a sunny September afternoon, I left the fluorescent confines of my Centretown office in Ottawa to indulge in a meditative outdoor lunch in the fresh air and gentle hum of the city. After choosing my food, I scanned the surroundings for the most obvious green space where I could enjoy my meal. […]

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October 09 2014

Bees and Belonging in Ottawa’s Resilient Community Gardens

October 9th, 2014Posted by 

A new grassroots city-building movement is redefining the urban landscape in Ottawa. In neighbourhoods, residents are coming together to create stronger, more resilient communities by growing their own food in urban community gardens. There are currently over 50 community gardens registered with the Community Gardening Network (CGN) of Ottawa. One of these is Urban Shades, a new kid on […]

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September 23 2014

TD Place, Ottawa: Stadium Serves as an Example for Not Building Parking

September 23rd, 2014Posted by 

What is the appropriate number of on-site parking spots for a sports venue with a capacity of 24,000 seats? At TD Place in Ottawa, the answer is: hardly any at all. The newly renovated stadium is located in Lansdowne Park, a forty-acre site in the heart of the Glebe neighbourhood just south of downtown Ottawa. Lansdowne is embedded […]

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September 10 2014

Ottawa, Canada Youth Should be Involved in the Planning Process

September 10th, 2014Posted by 

It is important to have a youthful voice in city planning. I have repeatedly found myself to be the youngest person at planning open-houses and consultations I have attended in Ottawa. By missing these events, youth miss the opportunity to provide input on projects that will affect them greatly, such as the rezoning of a main […]

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September 03 2014

How Canada Failed to Build a Beautiful Capital: An Ottawa Retrospective

September 3rd, 2014Posted by 

I have yet to visit a city that manages, in equal parts, to be as grand and mediocre as Ottawa. Your first glimpse of Parliament Hill in Canada’s capital city is bound to take your breath away. So may the pathways lining the canal and river. But the grandeur of Parliament’s Gothic revival towers, surrounded by Château […]

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August 22 2014

We Have LRT, Now What? Ottawa’s Next Transit Challenge

August 22nd, 2014Posted by 

In 2018, Ottawa’s new light rail transit (LRT), the thirteen station Confederation Line, will go into service. Arriving in Ottawa, I was impressed to see the Canadian city making progress on transit, instead of getting mired in debates about what kind to build and wavering between proposals, as has been the case in Toronto. Ottawa’s success comes in part from […]

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July 30 2014

Ottawa is Suburban: Why Imitate Downtown Development?

July 30th, 2014Posted by 

Canada is a suburban nation, and its suburbs continue to grow. This is the primary conclusion of research conducted at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, which found that 90% of population growth in Canada between 2006 and 2011 was in car-oriented suburbs or commuter towns. This is no different in Ottawa, where the urban core […]

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July 14 2014

Toward Multimodal Transport: Learning from Ottawa’s Suburban Biking Culture

July 14th, 2014Posted by 

Conversations about bike commuting focus mainly on the traditional territories of city downtowns and the urban core. But North American metropolises, like Ottawa, usually consist of many far-flung, suburban subdivisions. Leaving suburbs out of the biking conversation risks turning biking into a privilege of the few who can afford to live in dense, downtown neighbourhoods. […]

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June 27 2014

Ottawa Lacks Safe City Cycling Infrastructure, Focuses on Recreation

June 27th, 2014Posted by 

Stretched over a large area in low-density residential suburbs, Ottawa is not an easy place to plan efficient cycling infrastructure. Indeed, the city’s low-density form means that cycling here often takes particular characteristics, different from more compact Canadian cities like Toronto and Montréal. Depending on what you are looking for, Ottawa’s cycling network is at […]

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June 20 2014

LeBreton Flats Revitalization: Competing Narratives of Canada’s Capital City

June 20th, 2014Posted by 

When it comes to identity, Ottawa, Ontario is still in the questioning phase. As the capital city of Canada, this once-small logging and lumber town must continuously stand up to the responsibility of being a fair, inclusive and even impressive representation of the entire country. Just like every city though, it is the setting for the unfolding lives […]

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June 06 2014

Imagining New Possibilities for Ottawa’s Greenbelt

June 6th, 2014Posted by 

Residents of Ottawa, Ontario are proud of their city’s vast green space, and this is no coincidence. Green space was written into Ottawa’s city plan in a big way in the 1950s, when the National Capital Greenbelt was established to protect the growth boundaries of the sprawling metropolis. But the plan to curb sprawl was thwarted […]

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May 23 2014

Three Challenges to Walkability in Ottawa’s Uptown Rideau Neighbourhood

May 23rd, 2014Posted by 

What goes into making a walkable neighbourhood? In my far-flung suburb of Stittsville, Ontario, even a fifteen minute walk won’t get you to the nearest cup of coffee. Here, in the automobile’s natural habitat, an obvious answer is scale. So I was surprised to learn of a local Jane’s Walk of downtown Ottawa, that even […]

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