Newly refurbished Museum of Natural History after several years of reconstruction and modernization, just three blocks from my home in central Ottawa. 30 years ago the Museum underwent a massive operation of pumping cement into the ground to stabilize the foundations due to poor ground conditions which have plagued the building for much of its life.
Originally constructed as a memorial to Queen Victoria, this building served as the temporary Parliament of Canada in 1917 when the real buildings were burnt to the ground. Several years ago it served the same function as the movie set for a film on Canada’s October Crisis of the early 1970’s. Really interesting to see the building surrounded by tanks and period military vehicles!!!
The body of Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier was exposed to the public here as part of the state funeral following his death in 1919. No doubt it is his ghost that is regularly reported up on the fourth floor by the late night cleaning staff!!
Today the building is a spectacular world class museum. A must see for all visitors to the nation’s capital (just not at night!!).
Pretoria Bridge at dusk. This photo results from about 20 attempts last summer at the exact moment of “l’heure bleu” to find the ideal conditions for a multi-shot exposure which was then dredged from deep within the depths of the digital darkroom using the very latest software techniques. Say what you will of the composition, I lay down the gauntlet to other photographers to match its technical excellence.
The hydraulic lift bridge at Pretoria Avenue over the historic Rideau Canal is today a major traffic artery in central Ottawa.
The Rideau Canal, a monumental early 19th-century construction covering 202 km of the Rideau and Cataraqui rivers from Ottawa south to Kingston Harbour on Lake Ontario, was built primarily for strategic military purposes at a time when Great Britain and the United States vied for control of the region. The site, one of the first canals to be designed specifically for steam-powered vessels, also features an ensemble of fortifications. It is the best-preserved example of a slackwater canal in North America, demonstrating the use of this European technology on a large scale. It is the only canal dating from the great North American canal-building era of the early 19th century to remain operational along its original line with most of its structures intact. Over two thousand workers died during its construction (mostly from cholera).
Two years ago, UNESCO declared the Rideau Canal a World Heritage Site.
Museum of Natural History by night. It would come as a surprise to most modern Ottawans that the original edifice had a massive crenelated tower. Due to the afore-mentioned subsidence issues, this tower collapsed shortly after construction. The spectacular glass structure that now surmounts the main entrance is an ativistic reference to the original architectural design.
Museum of Natural History in High Dynamic Range photography.
Original Dominion Observatory. From such primitive beginnings, who could have foreseen that Canada would be the third nation to place a satellite in orbit.
Ottawa, the capital of winter, in all its splendor during a winter fireworks display.
National War Memorial, Confederation Square, Ottawa.
Zen Garden, Museum of Civilization
Parliament Hill as seen from across the Ottawa River.