Ottawa redefines its downtown.
By Frank Edgerton Martin
Canadians like to say that Ottawa, their national capital,
is located well north of the American border because Queen Victoria feared an
invasion from the United States. Indeed, Canadian kids still learn in school
that their ancestors defeated the United States when it invaded in the War of
1812. Today, the colossus to the south is perceived much more in terms of trade
and popular culture, and Canadians take pride in their differences, both as a
collection of languages and cultures and as a social democracy.
Canadian cities are also visibly different from their
sprawling American cousins. Even though financially pressed, Vancouver,
Toronto, and Montreal are living demonstrations of multimodal transit and the
relatively dense development that it fosters. As the national capital, Ottawa
is a surprisingly contradictory city: The gothic-style architecture of
Parliament Hill is in the middle of what had been an industrial milling and
shipping town before confederation. It is the home to Canadian federalism,
yetmore than most of the country’s other citiesit is crisscrossed with
arterials, truck routes, and a surprising lack of public open space in its
…To read the entire article, subscribe to LAM!
| Annual Meeting
Product Profiles & Directory