The Elphin is an iconic 1960s apartment building in Ottawa. The building had all the amenities of the day, including a darkroom for camera enthusiasts. The Elphin with its namesake elf and look retains a charm lost by the modern glass towers nearby.
A lot of old homes in my neighbourhood have wrought iron fences with flowers peaking through the gaps. The grass is always greener…
On a road trip last summer, we stopped in a small town to take a break and look around. We saw this abandoned factory just before we drove into the town centre. These forlorn looking buildings just ask to be photographed. The building in the second photo might have had an occupant, as a lace curtain hung in the bottom window.
With most of us homebound, it struck me how much kids used to enjoy playing with toys like these. They just needed a bit of space and imagination. Nothing fancy, no screens in sight. I took the photo at a fair last year. I didn’t adjust the colour, the toys are a bit garish but that was part of their attraction.
I used to walk past this yard quite frequently. Although not exactly in my neighbourhood, certainly close enough in normal times. I like the wall art on the old brick wall that borders the garden. A bit of the old and new. I hope to return sometime this summer.
It’s fun to wander down some of the laneways in town. They often run several city blocks. I sometimes catch a glimpse of a garden, back stoop or garage and there’s always plenty of sun and greenery. The dogs in the backyards are friendly too, they rarely bark as I pass by.
Far from any green space, we stopped to photograph this downy woodpecker on a busy street. The management of the office tower had just planted trees outside and the bird decided to investigate. Office workers rushed by and no one else seemed to notice the downy at work.
Looking out the window, in an older section of Montreal, you can see a mix of low rise and taller buildings surrounded by a lot of greenery. Towards the back and centre of the frame, a nine story mural of Leonard Cohen, caught my attention. The mural is one of two in Montreal commemorating the life of Leonard Cohen; Montreal born, singer-songwriter, poet and author who died in 2016.
This building once housed a tavern built in 1909, it’s now a fine restaurant. Over a side door, it has retained a sign from a time when women required an escort to enter a bar. Another find on a walk through the city.
A toy shop in Montreal. Walking along a street with not a chain store in sight, I stopped to admire the window and smiled as I took the photograph.
The Chateau Laurier, an iconic hotel in Ottawa’s Parliament district was built in the Gothic Revival style between 1909 and 1912. It was commissioned by the Grand Trunk Railway and designated a national historic site in 1980. In the first photo you see it reflected in the window of the Senate of Canada (the former Union Station). The second photo provides a view of the hotel taken from a park just behind it.
Tall buildings and architectural features aren’t my usual photo subjects. But it’s nice to try new things with my photography which are as much a part of my environment as the woods I love to walk. The sky peering through the towers is still a nod to nature.
The powerful base of The Old Union Station, (now the Senate of Canada), a building I walk by often is impressive for its form and detail.
As I was leaving a store, this sight greeted me across the street. This lot was pretty relaxed but I still was impressed at the way the dog walker handled all the dogs at once.
I grew up with a West Highland Terrier and can never resist stopping to have a look at one or take a photo if my camera is handy.
This building, an example of the Gothic Revival Style, was the former Ottawa Teachers’ College. It is now part of the Ottawa City Hall Complex. It’s an eclectic mix of styles that reminds us of our past.
I think the black and white photo complements the building’s style but I’ve included the colour version as well.
If cats could bark, this one would have. He watched us intently as we stopped to photograph the house. He was as much a fixture of the house as its very solid looking foundation.
These photos were taken on a recent walk through town. Both scenes were colourful given the fall colours but I thought the weathered fence and old house in the second photo were at their best in black and white.
Like most urban centres, Ottawa is going through a transformation. The old wooden house is flush against a modern apartment unit. The new structure is not a high-rise like some buildings going up and is quite attractive but it changes the feel of the neighbourhood and with it raises the question of what we’re losing as a result.
I’ve photographed this park before. I went back again, this time with a wider lens. I think the slightly off-balanced aspect, makes the photo a little unsettling and more interesting.
There is a lot of wall art in Ottawa on both commercial and residential buildings. I came across this piece on a recent walk and liked the whimsy of it. As I’ve written before, you never know what you’re going to come across when you’re out and about. Some days can be pretty rewarding.
Recent photos from a walk in town. It’s been very hot lately and the mosquitoes are biting, so we’ve been taking some city walks. You’re never far from some shade and a cold drink and no shortage of things to photograph if you keep your eyes open.
The old Chrysler was parked on the grass at a local festival. It wasn’t in great condition and I wished it had been looked after better but it was still a handsome car. If you look carefully you can see some reflections from the surrounding trees on its body.
I liked this solitary bike leaning up against the fire escape of the old house. I kept walking around on the sidewalk until I got it and the house at an interesting angle. As much as I like the colour in the photo, I think the black and white version is better suited to the image.
More scenes close to home. The cool weather persists. Our local birding areas are closed due to flood conditions or are difficult to navigate. With interesting neighbourhoods to walk through there is no shortage of photo opportunities. Even a humble dandelion can make for a decent subject😊.
What first caught my attention was Bob Marley’s portrait in the window. But stepping back I liked the appearance of the whole house; the pitch of the roof, the contrast of colour and construction material and the green of the spruce tree. More going on here than at first glance.
I didn’t have to travel far to see this Easter Island statue. In fact it was the first of several replicas I saw in this downtown neighbourhood. I had to smile when I saw it peering over the grass as I approached the house.
A few blocks from the Parliament Buildings and steel office towers are neighbourhoods like this one. We spend a lot of time exploring these streets; walking, shopping, trying out new places to eat and taking photographs. New places open up all the time but the atmosphere of these streets doesn’t change too much. Something to appreciate.
Circumstances have limited my chances for photography this spring but I did take these scenes mid April. I liked the colours and textures in the scene and the bit of new growth pushing through the hardscrabble soil. The weather is still quite cold and many parts of the country are experiencing severe flooding, so our favourite reserve close to the water is inaccessible.
This pre-school in our downtown neighbourhood has a welcoming mural and is bordered by a small garden maintained by the local business community. The garden contains native plants and attracts a variety of insects all summer long. City and nature photography, all within a few metres of each other.
Walking down a city laneway I wasn’t expecting to see this tin man on someone’s back stoop and stopped to take a picture. It seemed rather out of place and yet where wouldn’t it be. The art cube was one of several photographs I took last spring of similar art work. I think it’s probably disguising some city maintenance work, an attractive idea and use of artistic talent.
Late Fall. The playground is silent, the trees are bare, too cold for the kids and the birds! Most of the colour comes from man-made materials, until the temperature dips and the sun comes out. Then there is no bluer a sky or a white so brilliant as the new snow. These are the colours of Winter.
Two street scenes that couldn’t be more different. Both were taken in Montreal last summer, when we walked the city from east to west and back. I spotted Mary Poppins as we approached a crosswalk. It was an unusual location for this character and I imagine the artist had fun with that. The second photo was taken several blocks away in a quiet residential area and is an example of the fine stone homes that continue to line many of Montreal’s streets.
Like many large cities, it’s the small neighbourhoods that make the city feel like home. At street level, past the glass and steel and high-rises. One such neighbourhood is a short distance from where I live. I like the mix of residential and commercial properties, often side by side. A little gritty, a little eclectic. A pleasure to walk in and always something to photograph.
This part of the street has an interesting blend of old and new styles of architecture. I like the contrast in the lines, angles and materials of the two buildings. Different yet complementary, injecting some vibrancy into an otherwise ordinary city block. The young tree adds a bit more interest to the scene.
Montreal’s Metro or subway was built for Expo ’67, The 1967 International and Universal Exposition which the city hosted marking Canada’s centenary. Over the years the system has been expanded and is a quick and efficient way to get around town. As we descended into the station a train had just pulled in and so was my interest, attracted by the lines and colours and shadows. I rather like it in black and white as well. Something different for a change.
Walking along in the Ottawa market area, a crowd was gathered around a very small convertible. As we approached we could see why. This wonderful Great Dane sat calmly in the front seat waiting for his owner to finish his shopping. The dog was riding in style on this pleasant November day. Once the snow arrives he’ll have to hit the pavement again, being way too big to fit in this tiny car.
The cat was a perfect advertisement for this animal groomer. It sat so still that at first I wasn’t certain if it was a figurine or real. It was staring straight ahead and ignored me completely as I set up the shot, a very cooperative subject. As the weather cools off and many birds head south I plan to do more street photography. I get to practice using my Fuji and there’s always a warm coffee shop close by!
This building, The Aberdeen Pavilion, was the central hall of the Central Canada Exhibition, that took place in Ottawa, Canada every August between 1888-2010 with the exception of World War II. What began mainly as an agricultural fair expanded over the years to include a midway. The land around the Pavilion has been redeveloped in recent years and the fair no longer takes place but this beautiful building, designated a heritage site, is still enjoyed by the public and houses other events throughout the year. I took the photo on a sunny day this summer but I think it lends itself to black and white.
When I first saw the scene above I thought I was looking at a mural and not live trees. I think the natural and man made elements complement each other very well here. I liked the shapes, colour and lighting and most of all the feeling of surprise and delight the scene initially evoked.
In the second photo, the wonderful shape and colour of the railing also inspired the title of this post.
A storefront in an older section of town captures the mood of the street. Nothing slick here just a nod to the past. The old brick facade and the reflection of the modern building provide additional interest.
When I get out early enough I often catch the passing parade of people walking their pets. Usually dogs, sometimes a cat or two , and even the occasional ferret. When they’re not being walked you often see them waiting for their owners to return as is the case in these photographs. Dogs tend to look alert and baleful, while cats look rather cool and collected.