Watson Balharrie Critiques (part of) the National Capital Plan

Ottawa architect Watson Balharrie had opinions about the National Capital Plan’s vision for architecture in Ottawa. Images: (left) Ottawa Citizen, February 19, 1946, 12; (right) Community Planning Review, 2, no. 2 (May 1952).

Although it was indisputably popular among many of Ottawa’s citizens, the National Capital Plan was not without its detractors. Both the concept and implementation of the Green Belt, for example, were a problem for many and the plan was sometimes used by locals to oppose necessary infrastructure projects. Criticisms of the Plan were not limited to their urban planning aspects. As it would turn out, even the fairly basic prescriptions for architecture raised a few hackles.

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Second City, Second Metro: John H. McDonald Calls For a Separate National Capital Region

McDonald called for a National Capital Region to be pried from the hands of those in Quebec City and in Toronto. Image: By DPenner1 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=58019866. 

I’m sure that, if you’ve been following along with these entries from the Jones Commission that I’ve been transcribing, you’ve likely found that they’ve been, in the main, stunningly repetitive in what they have stated. If so, you’re hardly the only one. Reporters charged with following the testimonies offered up at the Commission noticed too, and were perhaps a little bored with the assignment.

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Second City, Second Metro: North Gower Sees Greater Role for Carleton County

Although the rural Township of North Gower had a list of things that needed improvement, an expanded role for the County government was envisioned. Image: Hellmut W. Schade / National Capital Commission / Library and Archives Canada RG 34 R1181 Acc. 1986-004 NPC Box 302 Item 5066298.

The Township of North Gower, which in 1965 remained chiefly rural in nature, knew that growth was inevitable and had already implemented some planning functions.

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Blog: Apartment Vacancy Rate in Ottawa-Hull (1964-1977)

Adapted from Statistics Canada S232-245

The above graph, adapted from Statistics Canada S232-245, applies to apartment of six units or more. I’ve noted before that the early 1960s saw unprecedented build-out in apartments in Ottawa and competition was fierce. We’re by-and-large used to rates nowadays being somewhere between 0.5 and 2.5%, but at its peak in the Ottawa-Hull CMA, it had reached 9.1%. I will be doing more with this sort of information later but figured it would be nice to share.

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