Tag Archives: Bytowne Cinema

Eye Spy: The Human Scale Free Screening at The ByTowne

Well worth the walk – Thursday, January 29th, The Human Scale will be screened FREE at the ByTowne Cinema on Rideau St. This film is one not to be missed by anyone who wants their neighbourhood and Ward to be the very best it can be. This movie is nothing short of informative, interesting and this screening will be followed by an expert panel discussion and Q&A.

the human scaleThe Human Scale examines how public spaces are used and designed – a particularly relevant discussion in Ottawa at the moment with the City’s desire to increase core density. The documentary poses the question of how city’s would look and work if they were designed for humans rather than for traffic. Exercises are performed whereby spaces are reclaimed; cars which allow personal property to occupy huge swaths of public space are displaced to accommodate individuals. In particular Time Square re-imagined provokes the shockingly obvious realisation in locals that there is indeed no “Square” at this world famous landmark!

the_human_scaleDanish Architect and Professor Jan Gehl who has inspired city planning in Copenhagen for 40 years argues that cities must be built to encourage human interaction, inclusion and intimacy.

Let’s hope this international movement inspires Ottawa to recognise the importance of incorporating the required space for cyclists, pedestrians and infrastructures that encourage human interaction alongside traffic planning to create a more attractive, vibrant and liveable Capital city.

ByTowne Cinema,
Thursday January 29th 6:30pm: doors open 6PM
Free: on a first-come basis

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Weekend RoundUp: Play, Books, Players and More

Image Courtesy Prix Rideau Awards

Image Courtesy Prix Rideau Awards

The event of the week has got to be the Prix Rideau Awards celebrating Ottawa’s artistic excellence and it is happening Sunday in the heart of Sandy Hill at All Saints’ Church. If you haven’t got your tickets yet you should!

Thursday evening is the vernissage for Perspectives the life’s-work of Ottawa artist Gerald Trottier at the Ottawa Art Gallery. The largest donation of work the Art Gallery has ever received the diversity is testimony to the vast range of Trottier’s styles and subjects. Trottier’s work documents not only the times in which he painted, 1940’s-90’s, but also internal every-man struggles and truths. If you can’t make the opening then see this free exhibit of an Ottawa artists whose work not only travelled internationally but also features in the National Gallery while it is here locally at our very own Ottawa Art Gallery. Perspectives  vernissage 5:30PM

The spring edition of the Ottawa International Writers Fest also kicks off tonight at Knox Presbyterian Church on Elgin with speakers and the House of Anansi Poetry Bash that promises to be a fun and provocative affair.

Head over to Hooch to discuss the art or books over a top bourbon cocktail. You won’t believe you’re on Rideau St once you take your seat amid the unique salvage-stylish design which is less Southern Comfort and more urban comfort than we expected. Staff was knowledgeable, friendly and the kitchen is open super late so stay, have a few then eat some more.

Friday take a walk on theatre’s wilder side with tickets to the delightful “The Anger in Ernest & Ernestine” at the Backpacker’s Hostel on York St. It is the weirdest theatre venue we’ve ever experienced (and we’ve done a few including outdoors in a park and one in a refurbished public toilet!) but the talent far outshines the cramped venue by a hundred watts. 8PM 20$

Down Elgin way it’s our favourite monthly at the Museum of Nature with the return of Nature Nocturne. April’s edition “Courtship and Colour” feature BPM Dance Troupe performing a reggeathon & giving a crash course in Dancehall. Feeling Hot Hot Hot!. 8PM 20$

Saturday there are a ton of great events at the Ottawa International Writers Fest throughout Central and Sandy Hill Ottawa. Check out their full listing and enjoy one or many of their wonderful thoughtful and fun events.

Saturday & Sunday are the final two days for PoutineFest on the Spark Street Mall. Admission is free and you can eat a-la-carte or purchase a 25$ PoutinePass that gets you 5 8oz poutines. Choice is vast so loosen them belts and enjoy.

All day Sunday Elgin street is closed to traffic for the annual Sens Mile street party. There is a chilli competition involving 10 restos and 10$bucks gets you a taste of each competitor. Live music and DJ’s throughout.

Sunday at 2PM is the closing performance of “The Anger in Ernest & Ernestine

There is no better time than a Sunday afternoon for a classic movie. Enter the Bytowne Cinema with “Singin’ in the Rain” at 4:20. Cue the rain, cue the nostalgia.

Sunday night the Ottawa stars come out to shine at the Prix Rideau Awards which celebrate, encourage and promote French, English and (my fave) bilingual theatre and the artists involved. The gala event will be at All Saint’s Church Bate Hall with doors at 6PM and gala starts at 7PM.

Eye Spy: Rideau St CDP Open House TODAY – Make your voice heard

Rideau St CollageToday from 3-8PM at the Rideau St Library (377 Rideau) is the Open House for the Rideau St re-design.  Cllr Fleury’s office explains this is a pop-in Open House to inform the public of  aspects of the 2005 Community Design Plan (CDP) that are to be reviewed and revised in the next edition “to provide clear direction for future development.” Read more on the reasons for reopening the CDP and the items  affected (e.g., Building height, traffic management, etc) here.

pedestrianproject reading paperToday is the first opportunity for the community to get their vision across for this stretch of Rideau St that runs from King Edward to the Cummings Bridge.  The whole Ward is affected by this section of Rideau. A “destination” visionary design rather than one that simply supports short-term developer gains could bolster the desirability of the whole area from Montreal Road by creating a shopping corridor to the Market generating a diversity of clients allowing businesses to flourish.

The 2005 CDP limited height to 6 stories so an important aspect to review will be if this height limitation is preserved as sunlight is an important aspect to any shopping district- witness the demise of  Spark Street’s dark corridor or the lack of patios and foot fall on Queen & Slater at the weekend.

Equally it would be nice to see if there is any room for mini-parks to encourage residents to gather or street furniture to take a break.

Jermyn st street gardenRideau st  affects the entire Ward – if it becomes a dark speedy wind tunnel of high-rises it will forever cut off Vanier from Lowertown/SandyHill and the Byward Market bringing down the tone of each and every neighbourhood in Ward 12. If however Rideau is designed with a strong vision in mind- and I for one see it as a strolling, shopping, low-rise patio-friendly destination that draws visitors and residents alike – it has the location and bordering neighbourhoods to become a true destination with shopping, a cinema, great history and restaurants all a joined up in a walkable distance. Upper Rideau is without a doubt the vital link between Ward 12 neighbours from Vanier through the shops on Cumberland, Dalhousie and the Market.

Hopefully  today’s open house is a step in ensuring a traditional low-rise strolling- and-shopping,district that reinforces our Ward as a desirable, liveable destination that all of Ottawa deserves.

 

Weekend Roundup: Musical March

“March” over to the NAC”s 4th stage tonight to take in the Latin stylings of Claudia Salguero and her new production Claudia Salguero – IDILIO showcasing an array of the singer’s favourite Latin love songs performed in Spanish. Salguero will donate part of the proceedings to Columbia’s Child Aid Foundation and will be supported by her musical ensemble including local Saxophonist Jasmin Lalande.

Equally on Thursday is Aganetha Dyck’s Honeybee Alterations at the Ottawa School of Art. Dyck will give a 2PM lecture on the inspiration and techniques in her works while the vernissage is from 5-8pm.

Friday night is Salguero’s last performance or you can take it down a notch and check out great Craft beer’s and live music. The Lunenburg pub hosts it’s Beerfest Friday with Toques & Suits bringing the tunes. Meanwhile over at Cafe Alt catch HSY, The Beverleys and Blue Angel.

Friday, Saturday,  Sunday and through to March 16th it is DiverCine Film Festival at the Bytowne Cinema featuring 12 films from 10 French-speaking countries. Get your daily fill of fantastic francophone movies from Canada, Senegal, France, Tunisia, Haiti, Switzerland, Belgium and beyond.

Saturday is International Women’s Day so celebrate yourself, your partner, your sister, your colleague, your daughter, your mother, you name it.

Saturday night take in the experimental sounds of Fryquency at Mugshots. As always it’s a pay-what-you-can event in the old jail bar on Nicholas featuring Doomsquad, You’ll never get to Heaven, JFM and F Hood.  9PM

Sunday it’s over to the Ottawa Art Gallery for Creative SundaysHands-on art making activities for kids. 1-3PM FREE

Eye Spy: Serious Words on Revitalising our Hood

Tomorrow is the cut-off for letters to the City Planning department on a proposal from Dharma Development that wishes to more than double the height allowed on Upper Rideau Street.

bytownerideau1.pngI want a strolling, shopping corridor so I wrote this to City Planning. I want businesses like the Bytowne, Auntie Loos, Rideau Bakery and All Books. I want them supported by foot-fall and I want more of their ilk. Strongly worded? Yes but if we don’t advocate for our neighbourhood who will?
—–

Re: File Number D02-02-13-0129 – Zoning By-law Amendment Proposal, 541-545 Rideau Street

I am writing to you today to oppose the proposal to rezone 541-545 Rideau Street. The proposal brought by Dharma Developments violates current zoning restrictions and goes directly against the City’s stated aim to create a Traditional Mainstreet (TM) on Upper Rideau.  The City spent taxpayer money developing the Upper Rideau Design Plan in 2005 with the communities’ involvement to identify the best approach to creating the best possible Street. To allow rezoning is wasteful of taxpayers’ money and disrespectful of the Ward’s wishes.

The City planning has stated that their “hands are tied” in respect to high-rise developments as they were zoned for height and the City must respect the owners rights. This was a response from City planning when asked why we can’t spot-rezone for lower height –it is always and only greater capacity the City bows to. Let the City have their hands tied and be respectful citizen and property owners rights in areas zoned for low-rise development.  The City must have an equal obligation towards respecting the investments of property buyers that purchased in areas zoned as low-rise. Let’s finally start respecting investments equally be they by corporation or individual.

To be completely clear a TM means buildings should be no higher than 19meters – ideal for light thus encouraging strolling and patios which are two much needed developments on Upper Rideau.  The Dharma Development proposal wants to more than double the zoned height restriction and tear-down 541 Rideau a building noted as “of Heritage Interest”.  The last thing residents of the Upper Rideau want – and that the City as a whole should encourage – is the transformation of beautiful old neighbourhoods in to an extension of the wind-tunnel dark shadowed portion of Rideau Street between King Edward and Cumberland.

That these old neighbourhoods have been neglected is no excuse for irresponsible development.  One need only look to the transformation of Bank St in Old Ottawa South to see the flourishing benefits of listening to Community input.

I want to see new developments on Upper Rideau that enhance the liveability of the street.  Developments must encourage quality businesses catering to and are supported by the neighbourhood.  Currently Upper Rideau St is not a “destination” it is a cut-through for car drivers.  Building light-blocking high-rises will reinforce this. If the City is sincere in its stated plan then it needs to respect the Upper Rideau St Design and, as this plan states, adhere to the zoning of 19ft height that allows no more than between 6-9 stories; as opposed to the 16stories the current proposal request.  The Upper Rideau Street plan was adopted 8 years ago – let’s enforce it today.

Developing Upper Rideau Street properly can – given the diversity & density of the surrounding neighbourhoods including Sandy Hill, Lowertown, Vanier & the Byward Market –create a natural shopping and strolling corridor between Vanier and Byward. Doing this will strengthen the quality of businesses, the desirability of all four neighbourhoods and create a vibrant shopping street to rival any seen in Old Ottawa South or Wellington West.

It is time for the City to get serious about the commitment to transform Upper Rideau – talk and planning sessions and whitepapers are nothing other than a waste of taxpayer money if they are not implemented.

——

Please feel free to copy this letter and email it with your own message to Douglas.james@ottawa.ca
Letters on this proposal are due by end of day 17 February 2014

Mr. Douglas James
Planning and Growth Management Department
City of Ottawa
110 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, ON, K10 1J1

Eye Spy: Weekend Images & Replays

One and Only frametasticSandy Hill had it all on its doorstep this weekend: capoiera, craft shows and screenings galore. The great thing is if you missed some of these events you can still catch them locally.

We couldn’t get in to the full house première screening at the Mayfair last Thursday but it’s the Bytowne Cinema to the rescue with The Human Scale on the calendar for 3 nights this week 19-21st.

Our Man framtasticThe Bytowne hosted an incredible sold-out screening of “Our Man in Tehran” followed by a Q&A panel Sunday night with former PM Joe Clark, former Canadian Ambassador to Iran Ken Taylor and film-makers Drew Taylor & Larry Weinstein. It’s on again tonight at 6:25 for those that missed out.  If you’ve seen Argo and plan to see this the accurate story of the Iranian hostage crisis rescue beware this Spoiler Alert: This time around the Right Honourable Clark does not end up on the cutting room floor. 

Weekend RoundUp: Crafts, Screenings & the real “Argo”

A HOT ticket item Sunday at the Bytowne and two wonderful weekend Christmas shopping opportunities in Sandy Hill but first….

the_human_scaleThursday University of Ottawa Farmer’s Market is at the 1st Floor of the University Centre until 4pm. Then head over to the Mayfair Cinema on Bank St for the premier of The Human Scale. Anyone interested in vibrant urban living will enjoy this free screening hosted by the Royal Danish Embassy.

Friday choose your most comfortable waistband and stroll over for the first of the 3-day  Poutine Fest on Spark Streets Mall. Go on foot and you’ve an excuse for a few extra temptations!

Everybody know this is nowhereFriday night SAW Video (67 Nicholas) is screening a series of videos by acclaimed Kuwaiti-born Palestinian artist Basma Alsharif.  Everybody Know this is Nowhere explores via 4 brief films the geopolitical landscape of the middle-east touching on universal themes of self-identity and the significance of home.

Saturday and Sunday it’s our events of the weekend! Sandy Hill has not one but TWO local markets. What a creative and artistic bunch of locals. On Saturday from 11-3 All Saints Church (317 Chapel) hosts the Snowflake Bazaar with attic treasures, vintage goods, home baked goods and refreshments.

Sunday is Sandy Hill’s One & Only Art and Craft Show at the Community Centre (250 Somerset St. E) from 10:00am-4pm.

cropped-bytownerideau.pngSunday 6:20pm Our Man in Tehran – documentary chronicling the facts behind Hollywood’s Argo – is screening at the Bytowne Cinema.  The movie will be followed by a talk & Q&A with Canada’s former Ambassador to Iran Ken Taylor and ex Prime Minister Joe Clark and the film makers. Advance tickets on sale at the Bytowne box-office daily from 4pm so head down to reserve your seat.