Photo Essay #18: The Cars of Little Italy

Being a native Montrealer, I find Ottawa's Little Italy somewhat underwhelming. It's the littlest and least Italian Little Italy I think I've ever seen!

Little Italy in Ottawa is loosely defined as Preston Street, from Carling in the south to Somerset in the north, with the surrounding blocks pulled in for good measure. It's a working-class neighbourhood that is undergoing transformation. Like all good 21st-century transformations, that means genrification. The modest, hundred-year-old single family homes are giving way to condos, or being torn down and replaced with dwellings that the traditional residents could never afford.

I spent 8 Saturday afternoons in a row in Little Italy this fall and got to know the area. One thing that struck me was the relative lack of people. There are cars everywhere, and the accoutrements that go with them: dealerships, garages and parking lots.

Cars of Little Italy 2/5
Cars of Little Italy 4/5
Cars of Little Italy 3/5
Cars of Little Italy 5/5

A natural capital

As soon as you leave the ceremonial areas of Ottawa (think: Parliament Hill, the Supreme Court etc.) and get away from the other obvious touristy areas (ByWard Market, The Canadian Museum of *.*, etc.) it's VERY easy to forget you're in the national capital of a G7 country.

Ottawa is easily one of the most modest capital cities you'll ever come across, and it's one that's very much in touch with nature and outdoor living. We are the second-coldest capital city in the world, which means when summer comes, we enjoy it. We do everything we can to extract the most out of summer, and depending where you look, it can be easy to forget you're smack in the center of a city!

The tulip mania continues

The first Saturday of the 65th annual Canadian Tulip Festival was a little gray and rainy. That didn't stop people from coming out and checking out the action (so to speak) at Commissioner's Park just beside Dow's Lake.

Many of the bulbs are in full bloom, but some—notably the Canada 150—still have a ways to go.

Click on an image to see it full-size.

All shot with my X-T1 and 16mm f/1.4 combo.

Major's Hill Park

Nestled between the National Gallery and the Château Laurier, the US Embassy and the Rideau Canal, lies Ottawa's Major's Hill Park.

Major’s Hill Park is the Capital’s first park, and has been a green space since 1826, when the building of the Rideau Canal began. In 1867, fireworks and bonfires in the park marked the Capital’s first Canada Day celebrations. It was formally established as a park in 1875.

For Canada's 150th birthday celebrations (ongoing throughout 2017), over 200,000 selectively bred  Maple Leaf tulip bulbs were planted throughout the capital region. They haven't opened yet...

Look out below.

Waiting for the day to start

Major's Hill Park provides some very scenic views of Parliament and the Rideau Canal, since it sits up high. Take a look at the bike path below the Library of Parliament... if anything this underscores the wisdom of building on high ground.

I guess they're not shooting film