Views: Bell’s Corners (1980)

Robertson Road in 1980. Image: City of Ottawa Archives, CA025336.
Robertson Road in 1980. Image: City of Ottawa Archives, CA025336.

I first encountered the above image of Bell’s Corners1I categorically refuse to leave the apostrophe out. in Bruce Elliott’s The City Beyond (1991). Although I don’t count many on my team of consummate fans of crass commercialism in the public realm, I’m willing to stand out and say that I’ve always been a fan of this sort of suburban view. In my mind’s eye, this sort of “messy” collection of signage is the suburban visual-equivalent of the ideal dense and walkable neighbourhoods that I cherish most deeply.

Not quite as exciting today. Image: Google Maps, July 2016.
Not quite as exciting today. Image: Google Maps, July 2016.

The view today? Though is may be much less distracting to those driving down Robertson Road, it’s much less visually interesting to me. Outside of the visual differences, the 1980 photograph contains a number of businesses that have also disappeared from the landscape. For example, Consumer’s Distributing and Loeb’s Pinto convenience stores. The Bel Air Motel, Midas, and McDonald’s remain, however.

Notes   [ + ]

1. I categorically refuse to leave the apostrophe out.