Carla was lying in bed early Monday morning reading the news on her iPhone.
“Oh my God!,” the tone of her voice snapped me out of my half sleep.
“What’s wrong?”, I asked.
“Barbara Ann Scott died”.
Carla designed the Barbara Ann Scott Gallery exhibit in city hall that opened in August. In the process we came to appreciate how, as a young skater from Ottawa, this remarkable and gracious woman became such an admired national hero. The exhibit commemorates her achievements and has on display many of the awards and memorabilia she donated to the city, including her 1948 Olympic gold medal.
There is an arena in the west end named in her honour, so for yesterdays ride I headed out that way to find it.
After stopping off at Fabricland, I pedalled down Baseline Road towards the arena. There is a short section of bike lane just beyond Woodroffe, as well as a shared bus/bike lane along another stretch, but for the most part there’s not much room to manoeuvre between the curb and fast moving cars. The purple line on the above map is the route I recommend taking to avoid Baseline.
All hockey parents know how to get to the Barbara Ann Scott Arena, but signage identifying it as such is hard to find. Here it is as seen from the sidewalk along Baseline.
The quiet residential streets surrounding the arena appear to have been developed in the fifties, with lots of big mature trees providing a colourful canopy of Fall leaves – a fine area to bike through at this time of year.
I’ve heard we northerners are more at peace with the cycle of life and its various stages; birth, growth, death, rebirth, because we experience the change of seasons in such strong contrast. Maybe, but the third stage still hurts.