Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Row of heritage homes may be coming down

A row of six homes on Oxford Street just west of Wharncliffe Road look like they may be nearing the end of their lives. The first two homes are boarded up on the first floor and the windows are broken on the second floor.

I will miss these homes. If I were a developer, I'd spiffy up all six, complete with the stained glass in the front windows, and then I'd erect a low-rise behind. I might even add to the row with more homes in the same style. The entire block appears threatened.

It would make for some dense housing, excellent for the university students who choose to live in the neighbourhood. Yet, it would help the street retain its older, residential feel. And this row of homes is, I believe, unique in London. It will be a shame to lose them.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Reg Cooper Square: a failed placemaking attempt

I find this shocking. This is a picture of Reg Cooper Square located behind the London City Hall. The black structure jutting out from white wall of the City Hall is the council chamber.

Reg Cooper Square was going to be a wonderful people place. It was an attempt at placemaking. There was a fountain and attractive tiled planters along with benches. The fountain sat dry for years and today has been filled with dirt in order to support greenery. The tiled planters are gone, replaced by some standard planters but only standard planters. There are no plants inside.

Weeds grow between the large concrete pavers. When a pad was damaged, a small slab of concrete was poured to fill the hole.

If this is what London calls placemaking, it is all too sad.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A fawn with its mother

A nursing fawn with its doe in the cemetery where it was born just hours earlier. This event is not surprising as a large number of white-tailed deer call London Ontario's Woodland Cemetery home. The usually timid animals are easily sighted as they are becoming almost tame. Although the cemetery people are trying to dissuade people from feeding the deer, the request is widely ignored. as a number of bucks have been seen in the cemetery as well as a good number of does, the birth of the fawn was not unexpected.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Magnolia trees in London, Ontario, in bloom

The magnolia trees in London, Ontario, are now in full bloom. Last year the flowers lasted all of about one day before a frost struck and put an end to the displays. This year, despite the super cold winter, the blooms have escaped being hit a second year in a row by a killer frost.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

London Children's Museum

My one granddaughter, Fiona, 4, loves the Children's Museum in London. The other day she insisted that we visit the museum immediately after school. She drove an Inuit dogsled, standing at the blackboard she taught in an old school classroom, she made like an ant crawling about in a hollowed out tree. She did a painting using a balloon instead of a brush to apply the paint. She was one busy little girl. The museum it so popular that it is looking to into a larger facility, possibly closer to the downtown. My graddaughter, and lots of other kids in town, will give such a move two thumbs up.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Spring is here. Potholes are growing everywhere.

The winter was tough -- much colder than usual and far more snow. Now that winter is fading, the cold is easing and the snow melting, potholes are appearing everywhere. The problem is so severe and so wide spread that it is a nationwide story.

These holes in the pavement are wide, long and deep. On the good side, the large sizes make many of these monster hard to miss. On the bad side, hit one at full tilt and a tire can be blown or a rim destroyed.

In London, Ontario, the city is busy filling the holes with a cold, asphalt mix but the cold nights is making the patches pop free.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Neighbourhood kids to the rescue

Winter is back and so are the neighbourhood kids. It is common knowledge on our little court in Byron, a suburb on the southwest edge of London, Ontario, that I have a heart condition. When it snows, it pours kids -- at least at my home. They show up en masse with shovels and scoops and even a snow blower. My drive and walkway are soon clear. Gotta love 'em.