Springtime at Irishtown Nature Park in Moncton

Irishtown Nature Park is one of the largest nature parks in Canada.

It’s home to over 2,200 acres of forest and a large lake. There are trails that criss-cross the park. Some are paved, while others are made for hikes that wind through the forest.

There are five hiking trails in total. My favourite was the John Howard trail, which weaves through forests and along the lakeshore for over 2 kilometers.

Some of the forested areas feature trees that have grown to be quite tall. I often had to remind myself to stop and look up, to appreciate just how high the trees went up.

You can also look down, where you’ll find lots of fresh growth at this time of year.

 

As you can see, there are lots of trails to explore.

If you’re passing through the Moncton region, a visit to Irishtown Nature Park is a great way to spend your afternoon.

Beechwood Cemetery in the Fall

Ottawa’s Beechwood Cemetery is one of Canada’s most prestigious and historic cemeteries. Designated as a National Historic site, it is open to visitors, who can stroll through the meticulously maintained grounds. It is the final resting place for over 75,000 Canadians including many important figures in Ottawa’s development during its early years as Canada’s Capital. There are also sections dedicated to the RCMP and Canada’s Military. Former Prime Minister, Sir Robert Borden also lies at Beechwood.

During autumn, the leaves on the century old trees change colour, making for some wonderful scenery within the city. Walking through the cemetery and reading the plaques that chronicle the accomplishments of the people buried there is inspiring. The legacies left behind by those who now rest at Beechwood invites reflection on one’s own life.

Here are some of my favourite scenes from the cemetery.

The RCMP Cemetery
The RCMP Cemetery

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A Sherman Tank at the Military Cemetery
A Sherman Tank at the Military Cemetery

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Throughout the cemetery there are plaques like this one, highlighting important historical figures.
Throughout the cemetery there are plaques like this one, highlighting important historical figures.

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I also enjoyed seeing a memorial to the freedom fighters of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. Hungary is a country that I’ve spent a great deal of time in. I know a lot about its history and culture. Glad to see one of its most tragic moments is recognized here in Ottawa.

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Right now, the leaves on the trees are changing colours. Red, Orange and Yellow colours are found throughout the cemetery.

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The Abandoned Embassy of Syria in Ottawa

The abandoned embassy of Syria in Ottawa has seen better days.

While the arrival of Syrian refugees is grabbing headlines, on a quiet street in downtown Ottawa, the building that was once home to Syria’s diplomatic presence in Canada, now stands deserted and in disrepair.

The coat of arms mounted at the entrance of the consular section is covered in rust.

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The front porch is boarded up and appears to be rotting. There are two office chairs rolling around on the deck. MacLaine_Syrian_Embassy_Ottawa_Porch_Cartier

The Syrian flag, threadbare and dirty, from years of wear and tear, hangs atop the flag pole in the front yard.

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There is garbage all over the property which is located at 46 Cartier street, a block from City Hall. The structure was designated a heritage building in 1994. There is plaque on the exterior which reads the following:

This fine example of the houses constructed for Centretown’s affluent residents was built for retired merchant Newell Bath. The elaborate chimneys, porches and gables clearly identify the building with the Queen Anne Revival Style.

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Syrian officials were booted from the embassy in May 2012, when Canada joined the US, UK and several other European states in the decision to expel Syrian embassies and consulates as well as staff.

It’s a shame to see a heritage property in the city’s core left so neglected.

395 Wellington Street: The Library and Archives Building

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395 Wellington Street

This site is turning into a photography blog. That’s OK.

For a long time, I had been meaning to get a picture of this building, the Library and Archives building at 395 Wellington.

I’ve spent a lot of time inside this building, the west end of the building boasts a movie theatre where the Canadian Film Institute (my old job) hosts the majority of its foreign film festivals. I’ve heard some complaints about the look of the structure, but I love it, especially at night.

It reminds me of buildings that you see in East Berlin, the formerly communist part of the city. I’m not an architect, so I don’t know if that’s an accurate assessment, but that’s what it feels like to me. I tried finding more information online about when the building was built and by who, but couldn’t find anything. If you know anything, please post a comment.

In front of the building, there’s a great piece of art that’s featured in cities around the world, Lea Vivot’s The Secret Bench of Knowledge. Read more about its installation in 1989 by clicking‚ here.

The Secret Bench of Knowledge by Lea Vivot.
The Secret Bench of Knowledge by Lea Vivot.

An underrated building, it doesn’t get the same level of fanfare that some of its neighbours on Wellington Street do, but it’s one of my favourites nonetheless.