Briarcliffe

The small east-end community of Briarcliffe is attempting to have itself designated as a mid-century architectural heritage site. Read more about it here. Made me think of the fantastic Mid-Century Modernist home depicted in the movie The Incredibles. I had to see what Ottawa architects were thinking at the time, so off I headed to Briarcliffe!

The architects success at designing homes in harmony with their natural surroundings made it a bit of a challenge to distinguish period details, especially since the natural environment has had a good fifty to sixty years to establish itself. However what can be seen of the houses in amongst the trees is wonderful. The community is also great to bike through, winding up-and-down quiet streets.

Mid-Century Modern Homes

Another wonderful portion of todays trip was spent further contemplating the strange Rothwell Heights ghost town described in my earlier post. The mystery of this abandoned land has been resolved. Since the military took off it has been embroiled in a land claim by the Algonquin First Nations. So the narrative may be clearer, but the eeriness of the place remains. However it won’t be long before all that changes, as issues surrounding the Land Claims seem to have been resolved.

Yield to Nothing

Biked back along the river. Try to make out the svelte early morning rowers in the distance.

Down by the River

Further up stream the New Edinburgh Boat Club is a lovely site to see.

New Edinburgh Boat Club

On the way past the GG’s, I paused to take in this landscape installation set into the round-about commemorating the streetcars which once dominated the city landscape. More on that here.

Remembering the Streetcars

West End Triangle

Headed west and found myself in a residential area in the form of a triangular island, defined on three sides by busy traffic arteries: the Queensway, Richmond Road and Pinecrest Road.

It’s streets are laid out in such a way that vehicules are discouraged rushing through in search of short cuts. The area seemed to maintain a sense of quiet self containment. Fortunate circumstance despite the rush of traffic on all sides.

To get there I passed through a rich patch of forest called Frank Ryan Park.

Frank Ryan Park

On my way home along Iris Street behind Ikea I happened upon this front yard filled with eclectic sculptures.

Nasty Little Beetle

When I dropped my sister off at her place on Kingston Avenue a couple of nights ago, we noticed a little tree sitting on her front yard, it’s base all wrapped up in burlap. It completely took her by surprise. We then noticed similar little trees on all the front yards along the street. I decided to bike by yesterday and see what had transpired. Sure enough they have all since been planted where they had been dropped.

Big Tree, Little Tree

She subsequently discovered from a neighbour that the city was going to cut down all the tall ash trees lining the street because of the invasive Emerald Ash Borer Beetle which was in the process of killing ash trees throughout the city. Amazing the devastation the little vermin is capable wreaking.

A Scary Section of Sussex Drive

On my way home from Vanier, an area of town layer out in a network of twisting and turning streets I very much enjoy exploring, I cut through New Edinburgh to get to Sussex Drive. I was spurred on by this great story posted by an enthusiastic visitor to the Capital. It wasn’t clear in his post whether he had found a bike path along Sussex to take him to Rideau Falls. I have always found this section very treacherous to ride along, a fear heightened by the senseless death of Melanie Harris, killed by a city bus on this stretch of road. So, with fingers crossed, I checked it out. Hélas, there still aren’t any bike lanes heading west beyond King Edward HOWEVER I had heard that the NCC is in the planning stages of modifying the road to include two bike lanes. Heritage Ottawa isn’t keen on the need to tear down two old buildings (see below) to accommodate the changes proposed. Here is a link describing the planned changes.

Cows

Passing through the Experimental Farm on my way to cover some streets in the Parkwood Hills neighbourhood I happened upon a group of cows waiting anxiously at the field gate. As I was taking their picture two farm workers came down and opened the gate towards the barn. The cows hustled through. Their udders looked really full.

Udderly Adorable
Hot air ballon as seen on the way back through the Arboretum.

Hunt Club Woods, Estate & Chase

This morning I pedalled through the grounds of the original Ottawa Hunt Club.

With names like Paul Anka Drive and Rich Little Street (which I still have to check out), I’m guessing the area was developed in the 60’s and 70’s. This interesting roof detail was quite prevalent along Plante Drive. They remind me of pill box fur hats also popular in the 60’s.

Interesting Lids

turning down Finch street I came upon this old log building, surrounded by these row houses.

Old & New

Here is it’s story.

In other news, a blue heron scared the bejeezles out of me when it took off as I passed right beside him along the bike path in the arboretum on my way to Hunt Club Woods, Estate & Chase. Glorious elegant birds they are.

Tweed

There are a few streets in the Alta Vista neighbourhood I still haven’t travelled down, so this morning I set off in that direction, destination Tweed Avenue.


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This is Tweed Avenue……………………………………………………… and this is tweed.

Tweed

Tweed is a rough unfinished woven wool – solid, hardy, not too risky. As a result of it’s rough weave, small variances occur, contributing in part to it’s endearing character. Same thing with Tweed Avenue, or rather this part of Alta Vista in general. Take, for example, the front yard on Colson Avenue shown below, completely covered in potted plants.

Colson Ave

Or this skate/bike sculpture on the roof of a mini mall.

Bike Sculpture

All of the streets I biked along in this area are shaded by hearty trees, which stand proudly in front of detached single family homes.

Tree canopy

Pleasant Park Road is different. For whatever reasons, perhaps because it is more of an arterial road, or maybe because the yards extend further back, it appears to be a more coveted street adress, as indicated by newer monster homes like this.

PINK !

All in all, a comfy part of town.