Chaudière Island in Pictures

Still life
Still life.

In January 2015, I had an opportunity to visit the Domtar and Hydro Ottawa sites on Chaudière Island in the Ottawa River between downtown Ottawa and downtown Gatineau. As you all likely know, the site will undergo a complete metamorphoses, starting soon.

The property is closed for the public as it is still a working Hydro Ottawa site so I thought it was really cool to see it, before it will be completely transformed over the next twenty years.

In a way, although it was cold, I was happy to see it in winter. It really adds to the atmosphere of an industrial site from a bygone era. The lack of colour and the abundance of snow give the images more of a dramatic touch.

I actually converted a few pics to gray scale, but then I realised it isn’t really necessary, as it is grey enough as it is. Plus, it now shows that faded industrial green metal paint and a bit of reddish stone here and there.

In a way, it is nearly unbelievable that there is so much space so close to the Parliamentary Precinct. Here are sixteen photos in low resolution so that they load faster.

Industral wasteland
Industrial wasteland with Plan de Portage in Gatineau in the background.
View over the Chaudiere Falls.
View over the Chaudiere Falls. They are so much more impressive than I ever thought.
A thing
A thing.
a canal
A canal.
Wooden beams were (are?) used to lower or raise the water in front of the dam.
Wooden beams were (are?) used to lower or raise the water in front of the dam.
The system that lowers the beams into place.
The system that lowers the beams into place.
Another still life
Another still life.
Former stables. These buildings will stay, and be upgraded for restaurants etc.
Former stables. These buildings will stay, and will be upgraded for restaurants etc.
beams
Heavy beams carry the structure. That’s Barry Hobin in the back.
A close up of the beams. When I lived in a 18th century gin warehouse back in Holland, I had these beams in my living room.
A close up of the beams. When I lived in a 18th century gin warehouse back in Holland, I had these beams in my living room.
The staircase leading to the top floor of the building.
The staircase leading to the top floor of the building.
Note the wooden floor is laid out in a diagonal pattern. Not sure why they bothered, perhaps for structural reasons?
Note the wooden floor is laid out in a diagonal pattern. Not sure why they bothered, perhaps for structural reasons?
View from the roof of the building that faces the war museum across the water.
View from the roof of the building that faces the war museum across the water. This open space will be covered creating an all seasons patio.
A view from the roof towards the War museum across the water. ON the left downtown Ottawa on the right Tunney's Pasture's government buildings.
A view from the roof towards the War museum across the water. On the left, downtown Ottawa; on the right Tunney’s Pasture’s government buildings. This is a panorama picture, hence the curved canal. In reality it is straight.
The building along the road to Gatineau.
The building along the road to Gatineau.

The whole place gave me a bit of a Stalinist Gulag Archipel feeling (although I have never been there). One needs a lot of imagination to think that in a few years, people will be living and cycling and walking and shopping and eating here.

Anyway, for now, it is a photographers dream and I hope that our local photographers had a chance to take some great shots here before the big change. A few years ago, I was Sweden. We stumbled upon a place called Norrköping. They have a very similar project with industrial buildings along the water. It looks like they were able to restore a lot more buildings though. With very nice results. You can read that blog post here.

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One thought on “Chaudière Island in Pictures

  1. You caught my interest with the question about diagonal flooring. Most places I searched spoke about the design benefits, whereas in this industrial type setting a more practical reason is likely. I found two.

    The first talks about removing the need for additional subfloor layers (though they wouldn’ thave used plywood for a sub-floor when this was built… in fact, it’s possible that this WAS the subfloor):

    “On most floors with a plywood subfloor, the plywood runs perpendicular to the joist direction. To ensure stability, flooring installers recommend running the flooring perpendicular to the joists, but this means the floor boards will run in the same direction as the plywood and raises the possibility of the joints between boards matching up with the plywood seams. When this happens, the nails don’t hold the boards securely and they end up being spongy or squeaking. You can avoid this by laying an extra layer of plywood, but a less expensive option is to run the boards diagonally.” From: http://www.ehow.com/info_7981569_pros-cons-diagonal-wood-flooring.html

    and this page talks about how it helps avoid the “dutchmen”, though obviously it didn’t in your case 😉

    “1. A diagonal installation is perfect for a room that isn’t entirely square, and to be truthful, most rooms are not square. Why? A diagonal installation also helps avoid the “dutchmen” – a thiner strip of flooring required to finish out a room when the dimensions are not an exact multiple of the floor board width.

    “2. Wood flooring is normally installed perpendicular to the floor joists that run below the subfloor as this gives the floor added stability. However, if running your floor in that perpendicular direction isn’t visually desirable, a diagonal installation makes for a beautiful alternative.” From http://www.tandgflooring.com/diagonal-hardwood-floors/

    Additional factors may have been that both lumber and labour would have been more available.

    Like

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