Ottawa: Change over Time

Ottawa Past & Present is a website that explores changes in Ottawa over time, using modern and heritage photographs to illustrate change in specific locations.  The website presents each comparison with a sliding bar that shifts between the old and the new on superimposed photos taken from a similar vantage point, making it easy to see what has been gained and what has been lost at each location. 

A map provides guidance in locating the sites under consideration.  The website provides a rating by the authors on how much the changes have improved the neighbourhood and/or the city overall, but it also lets visitors rate the comparison, and provides an average on visitor ratings. 

The website is not strictly about heritage preservation, but rather what goes down the drain when those older buildings are demolished and streets are denatured. The RBC building on Sparks Street is a good example. Could it be that Sparks Street has lost a chunk of its soul when dozens of shops and restaurants privately owned were replaced by a larger monolithic block?

Visit the Ottawa Past & Present website.

Links to the photo comparison examples:  
      NW Corner Rideau & Chapel Sts
      View from the Peace Tower

For the latest updates, follow on Twitter @pastottawa.

About the walk leader

Our perspective is to promote intensification and discourage sprawl.  We are not against tall buildings, but we have a lot to say about bad design.  Showing Ottawa as it was back then, when its growth was more or less organic and less "imposed," is key to grasping the errors of the past and preventing them from happening again.

The website is no longer updated, but the content is informative nevertheless.

Guide:

Ottawa Past & Present

Gallery
"Before" & "After" re-development at Rideau & Chapel Sts. Current twenty-two storey apartment building at 160 Chapel (Chapel & Rideau Sts.) Previous residential buildings at the northwest corner of Chapel & Rideau Sts. View from the Peace Tower, 1910 vs. 2013.