Visiting nearby Canada means looking at a mirror-version of the United States, reflected across the border. Like looking in a mirror, everything is still recognizable. Up is still up. Down is still down. But the brands and the metric units and the nationalism is different. Does looking in the reflection of Ottawa in the Shaw Centre reverse the transformation?
An added bonus: this is technically a self-portrait, with my tiny self down in the foreground.
Is there any sight more quintessentially Canadian than folks politely queuing for BeaverTails in sub-zero temperatures?
Standing on the thick ice of the Rideau Canal in the winter, in the same place where I could be underwater in the summer and in view of the Capital, makes for quite the juxtaposition.
Spring may be here, but it was still 7ºF when I awoke this morning. Thinking back to the coldest I’ve ever been (and the appropriately Canadian/ninja response), this image seemed appropriate to convey the feeling of “spring” in the north.
The Canadian Capital has this charming, European flair to it in the winter. Between the stone walls, steep hills, and canal locks (not to mention the bridge), I’m left waiting for a sophisticated spy thriller to begin.
Continuing on the Ottawa theme, today’s image is much farther to the other end of the “clean——dirt” spectrum than my last. There’s something about the grimy copper colors of the bridge, the salty road, and the slushy sidewalk that speak to an alternate-reality, Judge-Dredd-esque, cyberpunky Canada.
Visiting Ottawa often means a visit to the surreal and somewhat overwhelming Château Laurier. The outside of the hotel, I’ve noted previously, is pretty impressive; the interior doesn’t disappoint, either. For all the polished-floor touches and deep wood paneling, I find the most charming (and perhaps old-school Canadian) feature of the scene is the portrait of Winston Churchill.
We went to Ottawa’s Winterlude festival, saw the ice carvings and skating on the canal (more to come)—but mostly, we froze solid.
Wandering around Ottawa’s Parliament Hill, I kept waiting to find a security checkpoint and guards with assault rifles; I guess I never got far enough before I had to swing back to my chemistry conference. The combination of Gothic architecture with the modern buildings of Ottawa’s skyline, and with the tiny technotouches of modern security systems, made for a delightful combination. This is our science-fiction present, I suppose.
The heart of Ottawa clusters Neo-Gothic architecture around Parliament Hill and the canal. Whether hosting a Lupin-III-esque heist or serving as the perfect setting for a James-Bondian escape scene, it’s hard to shake the imagined adventures of speed boats and thugs on motorcycles negotiating the steps of the lock system
The Ottawa Convention Centre’s fantastical facade of fenestration is a lovely example of the way a pattern of triangles can be assembled to form all sorts of other surfaces with complicated geometries. From the standpoint of symmetry and group theory, it’s quite elegant; from the standpoint of a passer-by on the street, it seems a bit sinister.
The Fairmont Château Laurier dominates downtown Ottawa; the effect is only exaggerated by the distorted effect of this multi-shot panorama. The people and buses and even the capital seem normal, but as it rises, the structure becomes increasingly Hogwartsian.