Monday, November 30, 2009

Slippery Slope of Pedestrian Desires

Pedestrians climb over the significant height of the steel barrier to leave the sidewalk and climb down the slope along Albert Street at Tom Brown arena. At the foot of the slope, they cross the soccer field or parking lots at a diagonal, heading towards West Wellington or Bayview/Bayswater.

The worn out slope is quite wide, indicating the volume of pedestrian desire is so large is might be termed pedestrian lust.

The "landing zone" on the slope is almost a foot lower than the sidewalk, worn down by all the users. [Notice the curious shaddow of the man - it seems upsidedown! Must be a trick of the Hintonburg Sun Angle apparent only on select days]

The latest planning documents for Hintonburg have indentified this slope as needing a staircase and path at the bottom. Alas, the document has not yet been approved. If the Otrain station is relocated to the west side of cut, as proposed in the most recent DOTT plans, pedestrian access should be routed to the south side of Albert (going under the Albert St overpass) rather than the north side as it is for the current Otrain station. .

The Luigi

I note in today's paper the recent demise of His Tremendousness, Giorgio Carbone, the elected prince of the principality of Seborga -- (Bing it!)

What caught my interest was the name of the coin of the realm: in addition to the Euro, they had the Luigino. Hmm.

Given the popularity of Luigi, spokescharacter for Preston Street, who had locals and tourists alike posing for pictures with his sign likeness, and who enjoyed a certain popularity with the light-fingered, perhaps the Preston BIA should mint its own currency, the Luigi. Make it a 25c or dollar coin, use it for change at the restuarants, etc. The seigniorage potential ...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Condo mania on OTrain corridor

The issue of Ottawa Business Journal (OBJ) out this past week has a major story on the development pressures along the Carling-Bayview OTrain corridor, parallel to Preston's trendy Little Italy.

They interviewed me (tiny bit, amongst more illustrious others) following my postings about developments at the Champagne/Hickory/Carling area. You can read their story at

Last week I attended the Civic Hospital Neighborhood Assoc meeting. First item was the new development by Domicile at the corner of Hickory and Champagne Avenue (shown below). The site is now a one storey industrial building, and is zoned for 4 storey redevelopment.

A month or so ago, I heard Domicile was planning an eight storey condo tower on the site, along with six townhouses facing Hickory. The plan unveiled at the CHNA meeting was for the same six townhouses, but now a 12 storey building. I wondered where the additional height came from: the developer or the city? The proposed tower is significantly higher than the Merion Square project (9 floors, two towers) immediately adjacent, on a much larger site.

I expected there to be a lot of comment on the height of the building, as it backs onto single houses. But there was nary a peep on the issue, despite the developers architect and planners continually opening the door to the issue. Instead, all the commentary was saved for Ron Jacks, the traffic consultant, who did a fine job of dealing with the questions. The 101 condos will generate one car per 12 minutes for rush hour along Sherwood Drive, which aggravated some attendees.

 The Domicile site needs rezoning before it can go ahead. Recall that 855 Carling is also up for upzoning; and I hear the former Acquerello site has been sold to Mastercraft-Starwood, currently selling condos on Parkdale north of Scott. Alas, at the rate things are going, all the sites and heights will be determined before the City's Community Development Plan is re-activated, and all local bargaining power lost. Also lost will be any chance of establishing view planes so each set of residents will have an unobstructed view of Dow's Lake.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Science Canada awards national prize to local school

Science Canada had a national short film contest for high school students, on the subject of science.

Ecole Secondaire de la Salle (on Old St Patrick St) is the local french language public high school for the west side action area.  Produced for chemistry class, and recorded in a single 75-minute period, this short rap film extols the virtues of science and technology through the illest lyrics you've ever heard . It was produced from start-to-finish in less than five days while the students continued attending regular classes.

ES de la Salle won first, second, and fourth prizes in the film contest. You can watch the rap video at this link: . The clever lyrics are, of course, en francais, and are written out on the youtube site (right side). The film is in HD so it was slow to download on my link -- download it all, then watch it.

Pedestrian desires ignored

The City is pretty much finished its reconstruction, streetscaping, and traffic calming work along Bayview Avenue near Scott. The picture above is of the recently sodded field between Tom Brown arena and the Bayview/Scott/Albert intersection. The dividing line between the old field (left) and new sod (centre) is obvious.

Notice how pedestrians cut across the field starting right at the end of the steel crash barrier along the road. The barrier effectively discourages many pedestrians from taking even shorter short cuts; as soon as the barrier ends, a few paths appear immediately.

There is a city sidewalk, but it goes around the perimeter of the site, glued to the edge of the road. The city assumes that road geometry = pedestrian needs. That pedestrians have non-road-alignment needs and desires was apparent before the construction (there were paths in the grass for decades!) and the need to pave these to provide a safer walking environment was identified in community planning documents.

Why doesn't the City pave these paths to meet pedestrian needs? Mostly I think it is a mind-set issue. The City provides roads for the convenience of motorists, and pedestrians are a nusicience add-on only. There may also be a maintenance issue: if the city acknowledges these paths by paving them, it needs to plow them and this requires paths that follow a plow-able geometry. However, by ignoring what are obviously well-used paths, I think the city opens itself up for liability issues in that it is ignoring what it plainly must see before its face. It cannot hide behind the figleaf of deliberate ignorance.

No lobby for the homeless

The two new condo towers downtown on Kent Street called the Hudson have their entry keyboard on the outside rather than in the Lobby.

I haven't noticed this in Ottawa before. It is common in Vancouver, where the climate is milder. Approaching and using this key pad felt cramped and uncomfortable.

It is reality today that so many buildings now have to have their exterior doors locked to prevent people moving into the comfy chairs in the lobby, but this is the first time I have seen one keep people out of the airlock entry. It's one more step to a more unfriendly, colder city.

Friday, November 27, 2009

West Wellington Condo Mania

A new condo is planned for 1433 Wellington, a half block east of Island Park Drive. It is almost opposite the recent Domicile building at the corner of Picadilly. The site is currently a small strip mall. I think a new mid-rise condo is a big improvement over the strip mall and worthwhile bit of intensification.

The building will have vehicular access from the side facing the Loeb/Metro store.

The building exterior is very much in the same style as the building at 200 Lett Street at the corner of Wellington, the first condo built in the current LeBreton Flats project. While it doesn't have a glass tower on top of a podium, both are similar heights (six and seven stories), have windows that vary vertically and horizontally in size, shape, and position. Both have decorative horizontal reliefs or cut ins.

It remains to be seen if this building, already in a built-up area, will be better received than the LeBreton building.

The Claridge condo on the Flats is much larger than 1433 Wellington. However, a similar sized and designed building to the one pictured above(same architect, same builder) is planned for right next door in West Wellington (the car audio site), so from the street there will be much more building than looking at "phase 1" might suggest. The two West Wellington buildings as currently planned will be separated by the 3 storey Bella Bistro restuarant.

The two new West Wellington buildings,plus the nearby 101 Richmond Road condo now under construction on the west side of Island Park, are all of a similar architectural style that will set the tone for the neighborhood. Recall too that Ashcroft, builder of 101, now owns the convent grounds across the street and will likely be wanting to build more, similar condo buildings.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Gourmet Take Out

Whilst walking along Preston Street on a new sidewalk (and not climbing over gravel and around holes) I spotted this gourmand partaking of pigeon delight in Ploufe Park. The concrete in the foreground is the planter wall that separates the sidewalk from the playing field. So, the bird is about 12' from me. I poked my camera through the chain link fence to become paparazzi to the eagle-eyed.  The bird stopped eating, eyed me suspiciously for several moments, before flying off with the carcas.

A similar predator frequented my backyard last winter, importing pigeon delicacies to consume by the hibernating rose bush.

I anticipated a bloody mess when the snow melted, but found nothing. I checked out the above falcon/hawk's dining table after its departure and found the only tip left behind was some fluff (already blow'in away) and a pink morsel of pigeon claw. Waste not...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Shaving Religiously

Any introductory book or course on advertising will bring up the original Burma shave campaign. A series of signs along the road has to be read in sequence to get the whole message or advertisement.

I thought this was somewhat similar, in front of St Andrew's Church in downtown Ottawa. If Celtic Prayers don't do it ... there are Prayers for Peace ... and then Scottish Tea, plus two other signs that don't match.

LeBreton Flats condo grows

Claridge is busy building the second tower / second half of the first building at 200 Lett Street on LeBreton Flats. Now that the garage levels are in, the swiming pool cast, and the ground floor poured, the remaining floors will pour quickly, maybe one floor per week.

The new building will be a seven storey podium of yellow brick, with a tower on the east side going to 14 floors, with an exterior of yellow brick and glass (same glass as first tower, but second tower will read as mostly brick).

The architecture or style of this building is spreading. Two new condos on West Wellington near Island Park are similar style to the LeBreton podiums.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

No permits necessary

There are some interesting comments on the recents posts about the lack of building permits for projects on Preston Street.

Above is the latest "stop work" order, posted on premises that are already occupied and in business.  It makes THREE of these in the same block and half of Preston Street. 

pedicabs / trikes

Seen parked in store window of new condo tower on Rideau Street.

And in front of GCTC on West Wellington.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Lyon Street townhouse repairs underway

This row of  stacked townhouses on Lyon Street at Gloucester were damaged by fire last June. After months of no action, repairs are now underway.

Chinatown Mystery

This info from Capital Crime Writers about a workshop being held in Chinatown at Sushi 88, between Bronson and Cambridge.

**Next Sunday's workshop has limited enrollment, so if you are interested get your tickets soon!

The The Dusty Owl Workshop Series Presents Bare Bones of Mystery Writing with Barbara Fradkin

Sunday 29 November 2009

1pm to 4pm

Sushi 88

690 Somerset Street West, Ottawa

$15 -- tickets available at Sushi 88!

For more information:

This informal, interactive workshop will examine the enduring power of the mystery novel, in all its guises. There are four magical ingredients of writing crime fiction that thrills, provokes and inspires the reader — good writing, vivid characters, exciting plot and perfect setting. Examples and exercises for each will be discussed, as well as tips on how to create engaging sleuths and credible villains, how to develop tension, conflict and pacing, and how to interweave subplots, plant clues and sprinkle red herrings. Questions about markets and publishers will also be addressed.

Barbara Fradkin is the author of the award-winning detective series featuring the quixotic, exasperating Ottawa Police Inspector Michael Green, whose passion for justice and love of the hunt often interfere with family, friends and police protocol. There are currently seven novels in the series, including the newly released This Thing of Darkness, as well as Honour Among Men and Fifth Son, both of which won Arthur Ellis Best Novel Awards from Crime Writers of Canada. She has also been nominated four times for the Arthur Ellis Award for her dark, compelling short stores, which haunt numerous magazines and anthologies such as the Ladies Killing Circle series.

Tree will thrive ...

One of the noticeable aspects of the Preston street landscaping project is how aggressive the landscape architect was in sticking in trees and shrubs (she was responding to some pretty intense lobbying by the BIA and residents for more greenery).

There are a number of tiny planters like this in the area. Barely four feet square, I wondered how well a tree would thrive in such a small well of space. It should thrive, though, due to the protection of the curb from foot traffic that pounds down the earth, and protection from snow plow damage. But mostly its success will be due to something completely unseen ... structural earth, which will be the subject of the next blog.

Structural Earth

I have dismayed to see the material trees and shrubs are planted in during the reconstruction of Wellington and Preston Streets. How do they expect trees to grow in paving base?

I looked closer, and noticed that the gravel is actually very "dirty". It is a scientific mixture of gravel, clay, and water-holding chemical 'modules'.

Here is a close up of the material, called structural earth:

Below is a picture of a bus stop bulb out on Preston Street into which a tree or shrubs will be planted. It is excavated 3.5 ft down and lined in landscaping fabric to contain the dirty gravel.

It is packed down hard with a vibrating plate. It looks and walks on just like regular paving base. Concrete sidewalk can be poured on it, interlocking pavers laid on it, it is strong enough for cars to park on it.

But once trees are planted into it, the roots take off in all directions, creating a generous root spread that will foster longer tree growth.

The reason the stuff works is that the gravel pieces are carefully sized to form a 3dimensional honeycomb grid of rocks with spaces between. The inbetween bits are filled with clay, which is the nutrient dirt for the tree and clay holds moisture well. Then the water-holding plastic stuff expands up to 500x to hold moisture the trees roots will use up. (Similar pellets are available at the Home Show and some suppliers for householder user either as the entire plant media or to mix in with potted plants).

There is lots more info at this link, be sure to read all the links including the two PDFs to get a complete picture of this amazing stuff. I especially like the bits in the PDF about using the soil to "repair" or "save" crowded trees already planted, by expanding their root room:  

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Preston Infill

This infill on Preston is rapidly being enclosed for winter completion. The window pattern is pleasing. There are two storefronts on the ground floor and six apartments above. The top floor is stepped back from the lower floors, which reduces the building bulk. It doesn't look like the flat roof on the second floor will be balconies/terraces, though, which seems a missed opportunity.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Garland Bike Lane

West Wellington, like Preston, has been reconstructed to be two lanes of traffic, plus parking bays. There is no marked bike path but the traffic lane is supposed to be so wide it can accomodate cyclists and motorists compatibly. The lane width is rather cosy for cyclists and the No 2 OC Transpo bus or the many trucks in the area. And there are door prizes to be won.

Cyclists are also being directed to marked bike routes parallel to West Wellington along two-way Armstrong street. It remains to be seen what amenities cyclists will get along Armstrong (other than big signs) in return for being directed off the main shopping and destination street. (Safety is presumably the big payoff as Armstrong has much less traffic or on-street parking).

To get to the eastern part of Armstrong, the most logical route utilizes Garland Street, which joins the multi-pronged dog-legged intersection of West Wellington/Somerset/Garland near Somerset Square (a triangular park in the intersection) where the old Nieghborhood Services store used to be. Garland is two way north of Armstrong, but it appears it will be one way from the intersection to Armstrong. This means a counter-flow cycling lane is required for the short block. The south end (near the big intersection) is shown above. The parked truck belongs to active construction crews on the site -- the lane is not yet open.

The second two pictures show the intersection at Armstrong, the other end of the short bike lane. Note the cyclist going the "wrong way" down a one-way street, he also rode right through the red light without pause. In this very short half block there is a driveway entrance to the parking lot on the right, which might pose a danger to cyclists if motorists are not expecting a counter-flow lane. However, there a large law office on the other side of the street to file injury claims.

 In any case, the bizarre intersection at Wellington/Somerset which is being converted to a signalized dog-leg turn in the road, plus the orphaned section of West Wellington [is Wellington forever doomed to be cut up into smaller and smaller segments?] plus the two-way meeting one-way sections of Garland at Armstrong should keep motorists on the edge and alert.

Glad tidings

This sign has appeared at 792 Gladstone, right at the back of St Anthony's Church. The house formerly was a holistic health clinic or something, now it is a violin maker. Very nice sign.

Infill on Gladstone between Booth and LeBreton. Two story residential above one storey commercial. This is certainly the right type of infill for a small lot.

Mini Garden in Chinatown

This brick planter replaces a rickety wooden one at the corner of Upper Lorne Place and Somerset Street in Chinatown. It is simple, inexpensive, attractive. The Chinatown / Somerset landscape could use more such pocket gardens to soften the landscape and generally improve the look of the area, which tends to look a bit bedraggled, especially with the number of vacant storefronts.

Late season landscaping

The continuing warm weather has created quality time for laying interlocking sidewalks and planting new trees along Preston Street. This section of Little Italy is near the Pub Italia, at the south end of the street.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Who Needs a Building Permit?

Another stop work order on a renovation on Preston Street. The upstairs has been gutted, new firewalls built, wiring and plumbing ... who would have thought a permit was necessary?

I gather the old Paradise water garden store will become an Indian grocery store.

Do renovators just try to do things without a permit to "beat the cost" of buying a permit? Or is to avoid the "rules" that might be in place (like zoning, permitted uses, FSI, etc) by hoping an as-built will get the go ahead that might not be possible for an application made in advance? Or is it that the City's building permit process is so slow that rennovators/builder'stennants cannot afford to wait for so long to get their permits?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Paying for Water Etc.

Ken Gray over at The Bulldog blog cites the following from a Conference Board study:  "Water charges based on the value of property-or any other fixed measure that is not directly related to water consumption-cannot provide consumers with clear price signals," said Len Coad, Director, Environment, Energy and Technology. "A cultural shift is required in how we manage our water system. Instead of relying on the tax base and allowing users to pay a below-cost price, those who use the service should pay the full cost of water, including capital expenditures."

I agree fully. The genius of our society is the marketplace, where prices are set and goods and services supplied to those who buy them, rather than according to political fiat. Governments are too often in the habit of taking over a market, screwing up the pricing to meet some social / political goal, making themselves a monopoly and then generating "rent" (excess prices paid to the owner or inefficient distribution including rent to labour). As "water bills" become sources of general revenue, they lose their value as price signals.

Piling on is another risk. That's when your supplier claims to charge you for the service but adds on other services that are unrelated. When the City rebuilt the playing fields at Pouffe Park a few years ago, they seeded the fields and kept soccer teams off them for one or two years for the grass to establish. Sod was prohibitively expensive, the City claimed. Then the Preston reconstruction came along, and the fields had to be lowered 3' to serve as emergency storm water storage areas. They were excavated, and then sodded (an operation detailed in earlier posts to this blog). Why was sod affordable second time around? Because, I hear, it was paid for by your water bills and not the City's general revenue. Scrutinized expenditure is more frugal than unscrutinized expenditure.

And what of the curbs, bulbouts, fancy paving and plantings of streetscaping efforts along Preston, West Wellington, Bayview, Albert, and Richmond roads? Are they just "restoring" the surface as part of a sewer and water project? Obviously they are significant upgrades. Is the City is fobbing off urban expenditures from the general taxpayer city budget to the water users?

Here are some illustrations of the restoration occuring after water works are done:

Prior to recent water works, this part of Breezehill North was narrow, had no curb, no sidewalk

Slidell Street where it meets the Ottawa River Commuter Expresway. Prior to water main replacement, it had no curbs or landscaping.

Bayview north of Scott used to have a partial sidewalk on the west side, now the street is rebuilt to a higher standard.

I like the new landscaping and streetscaping being done on these projects. I like the traffic calming, the bulb outs, the new streetlights, the tree planting, the snuck-in bits of bike path. But how many things are being snuck in that are harder to notice, like wider turning radii at corners to handle larger trucks on inner-city streets? Or intersection "improvements" that facilitate car travel at rush hours? What sort of stuff is being slipped into water projects in other neighborhoods, good or bad? I'd rather see the water bills pay for water infrastructure rebuilding and restoration to the existing standards, and "upgrades" charged to the appropriate  City budget.

Paving Preston

Just when it seemed Preston Street would never be paved, asphalt arrived. After months of seeing Hintonburg and other neighborhoods get their asphalt, the stuff is going down in Little Italy. The central section -- from Plouffe Park to the Qway -- is now paved. The two ends -- the Carling end, and the Albert Street end -- will be paved by the end of next week.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lansdowne Live - More sole sourcing?

I note with interest that the City has given the go-ahead to the Lansdowne Live proposal with certain conditions, one being that there be a design review or something headed up by George Dark. He is a consultant. He is not cheap.

Was the review contract put up for tender? Or is it sole sourcing? Will all the opponents of sole sourcing Lansdowne Live take to the streets to complain about sole sourcing the process to "improve" the urban design?

Of course, maybe it's not sole sourcing at all...

Driving school children

Grade school in Orleans with large circular driveway at the front for dropping off the kids.

I am astounded when I (occasionally) go to Orleans or the western suburbs and see new primary schools with huge driveways/waiting queues just for parents to drop off their kids.

Back when my kid went to St Mary school I was on the PAC. The safety issue of children walking to school came up repeatedly. I thought most concerns totally unreal. I did not realize back then that most of the kids never walked anywhere and had no "common sense" for using sidewalks or crossing the street. The were chauffered everywhere by car. Kids caught the school bus 300' from the school, waiting a half hour in the freezing cold of winter rather than walking because it was too cold to walk (and these kids had no major intersections to cross). How dumb! (Being car-free our kids had a lot of street sense and sense of direction).
Parents wanted more crossing guards or a policeman in front of the school to stop speeders / dangerous drivers / make the dangerous crossing safer for their precious offspring. So a group of us parents spent two mornings watching cars in front of the school. Something like 75% of the traffic on the street was either teachers driving to the school or parents dropping of their kids. Since there were only 8 classrooms, not many cars were driven by staff.

We watched in astonishment as cars rushed the stop sign, barely slowing down, just to drop off precious at the door. Cars double parked. Cars queued up through the instersection just to drop off junior right at the door, not 40' up the sidewalk! In short, any danger to kids was caused by the parents themselves.

This finding was not well received. My suggestion that we make the entire block around the school a no-stopping zone / no passenger drop-off zone, so kids would have to walk the last block to school and thus be on quiet, almost car-free streets, was considered lunacy.

Then I found this blog that shows Holland is making the zones around schools into no drop off zones in order to promote child safety and health. I was born 20 years too early, or in the wrong country.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Erotica, Objectification -- Thoughts on Preston Street

Worker gives final dressing to a piece of new sidewalk on Preston.

A few months ago I read a 1980's book by Camile Paglia. In it, she thought construction workers would never stop whistling or hooting at passing females. In Camile's mind, this was good; feminists who objected to this behaviour were bad/deluded.

This year I have noticed how well trained construction workers along Preston have been. They are polite and helpful to pedestrians, especially the elderly. They stop moving big intimidating pieces of equipment when we approach. They do not hoot nor holler at women or school girls in kilts. They make construction sites passable.

I was walking along the gravel bed that will someday be a sidewalk, about 30' behind a very fashionably dressed woman (skirt, heels, a real "looker") when a parked car beside her flashed its lights and tooted its horn. A few seconds later, the next car in the row did the same. I watched more closely, and as the woman approached the next pickup truck it too "tooted" and batted its eyes. I glanced back, and there was a cluster of workers, hands in pockets, enjoying the scenery. Expression via remote control.

Was Camile right? The less subtle behaviour has been replaced by new expressions. The 80's (and 90's)  was full of crude political correctness and behavioural modification attempts. Awareness of women-as-object has forever shaped my consciousness and how I perceive what I read or see. We are shaped by the environment we mature in. (And it is of course an ongoing process).

I recently read two books by West Wellington author Sharon Page. These are best selling books (they are available in the Library too) in the fast-growing "women's erotica" category: romances with sex. Lots of it. Graphic. They contain the usual themes previously lamented by feminists in the previous generation's criticism of male-oriented "porn": bondage, coercion, exhibitionism, first time, reluctance, teacher-pupil, etc, but with much of the focus directed at male anatomy and functions. The romance element adds a good veneer of respectibility, so they don't feel "dirty" .

So who wins? Camile wanted construction men to notice women, and they still do. The "noticing" is more refined. Do female construction workers ogle male pedestrians and cyclists? -- I never noticed. Fem-lib wanted objectification of women ended, and we've come a long way, baby.  And now best-sellers celebrate men as sex objects. Romance glues it all together.

Monday, November 16, 2009

They Tried ...

There is a traffic detour around the sewer control station being reconstructed on Booth Street immediately north of Albert. The four lanes are very narrow and the traffic persists in moving too fast. This week, safety no doubt improved immeasurably with the addition of a yellow sign in each direction showing a car beside a bike. Does this mean "no passing" or "share the lane"? In either case, the temp lanes are so narrow no one can pass a cyclist in the same lane.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Preston Street infill

Infill housing on Preston Street gets its exterior skin on. The ground floor will be retail units.

Writing Wrongs in Ottawa

Paul Dewar, MP, gives the welcoming remarks to the weekend conference of crime writers and wannabe's held at the OPL.

The CBC's Alan Neal read the exerpts from Rick Mofina's newest book "Vengeance Road". For some reason, he selected paragraphs dealing with reporter proceedure. If I ever write a book, I'd get Alan Neal to read it aloud - what an excellent reader!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Gates of Lemieux Island re-installed

The access road to Lemieux Island water plant has been badly torn up for the construction of the high pressure water mains to the Island. Finally, the road is reappearing, although as you can see from a careful examination of the photo the new road is relocated to the left. During the construction, the ornate gates -- which look like they belong to Her Highness the GG instead of here -- were removed and this shows the eastern side gate and pailings reinstalled.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The City taketh away ...

Just a block down Albert Street from the new tree planting at the parking lots, the City has removed a dozen trees from their City Living housing projects. These trees were in front of the project at the corner of Albert and Booth, and Albert and Rochester (the trees were removed on the Rochester street side) and the corner of Albert and Preston.

As shown in the pictures, these were mature trees, planted about 25 years ago when the housing projects were built. The housing is now undergoing "renewal" by recladding the stucco with artificial wood; and removing the brick sound barrier walls to be replaced by plain pressure-treated plywood panels.

The above picture shows the CCOC housing that separates the two City Living projects. It's trees (and brick sound wall) have not been removed. They are large maples, providing sound and dust abatement for the housing units.