Framing The Peace Tower

It can be sometimes difficult to find new ways to capture the Peace Tower. I walk by it every day, there are only so many angles you can shoot it from. I took this shot from Victoria Island, looking through the old Willson Carbide Mill, built in 1899.

I like this photo because I think it provides a good example of how to a good crop can enhance an image. The original photo, below, is not very interesting. But once I cropped it (considerably), while being mindful of the framing in composition, we come away with a much more intriguing photo.

Aggressively cropping an image is one of my favourite hacks for Instagram. With a DSLR and the small screen size of Instagram devices, you can get capture some neat shots from a great distance.

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.


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.


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.



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.