~1900
2014
Marie Street around 1900 in Ottawa
Laurier Avenue in Ottawa in front of the Confederation Park in 2014
Title: Untitled. Reference number: No reference number provided.
We gave it a
-5
Regression in the urban fabric. Increase in car traffic.
Visitors's vote
-2.9
92 votes
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  • -5
  • -3
  • 0
  • +3
  • +5
better
now
better
before

This comparison is a good example of regression in Ottawa’s urban planning – where a fairly tight urban fabric has been replaced by a more sterile environment. Maria Street, renamed Laurier Avenue, was widened from 3 to 5 lanes and parking on its sides was made illegal, probably to increase traffic flow. Other elements which disappeared are the streetcar rails, as streetcars were the main transportation means for Ottawans around 1900.

Roxborough Apartments, which were located at the corner of Maria Street and Elgin Street, were demolished to make room for Confederation Park, which unfortunately fails to be a great public space. With its North side (Mackenzie-King Bridge) and its East side (Rideau Canal) failing to connect the park to the rest of the city and its relative distance from residential buildings could explain the why the park fails to bring together city dwellers outside rare episodes where the park hosts special events in which case the park becomes a destination on its own.

For more about great public spaces, watch the Public Space" target="_blank">Amanda Burden TED talk.

11 FEB
2015
Bob Mercier
There were no model Ts in 1900. I believe that the archival picture is from the early 1920s.
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