LeBreton Towers


in Daily updates, Oxford, Photo essays

For the whole time I have been living in the LeBreton Flats area, these towers have been under construction. They are out in an open patch of land, with the War Museum in one corner and open fields in most of it. Apparently, the land used to be contaminated, but has had the soil carted off and been re-designated for development. Along with residential structures, another national museum is promised on one of the many billboards that keep getting knocked over and smashed by the wind.

One tower is already finished and has some people living in it, though it is far from full. A second is just a skeletal frame of steel and concrete.

Thankfully for wandering photographers, the fencing around the site is far from complete. Likewise, the level of surveillance. Indeed, someone bolder than I could probably have their run of the semi-constructed tower, if they wanted.

A bit of the ways up Booth Street, there is another significant project ongoing. This one part of the much-touted ‘Economic action plan.’ Between the two, the area north of Chinatown has been in a fairly dynamic state lately.

People are already living in the first tower. Probably, those with apartments facing towards downtown have made the safer choice. While there is a creek and a park off in that direction, the view the other way remains unknown until the plans for the whole area are sorted out.

To me, it seems a bit curious to light the whole site up so elaborately at a time when nobody is working.

The towers are mostly glass and concrete, like most of the high structures in the area. At the top, the first one has a pretty elaborate looking penthouse with balconies, but it seems to be uninhabited still.

The gray rectangular block in the corner here is Canada’s National Archives.

The new towers do seem more attractive than the giant concrete waffles that were put up in previous decades. That said, the nicest housing in this area probably consists of converted two-story brick houses. The condition varies a lot, and they are often poorly insulated (foolish in this climate), but at least they make you more connected with your neighbourhood than living in a big filing cabinet.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Pearl March 22, 2010 at 2:25 pm

living in a filing cabinet. that’s offbeat and apt.

Milan March 22, 2010 at 2:38 pm

I can’t claim to be the originator of the description. In Fight Club, the narrator says: “Home was a condo on the fifteenth floor of a filing cabinet for widows and young professionals.”

Matt March 22, 2010 at 3:52 pm

I enjoy these photo essays you’ve done. Keep em coming.

Milan March 22, 2010 at 3:58 pm

Thanks. I should get a huge heap of photos over the Easter long weekend. I am visiting Montreal with a rented 10-22mm lens.

alena March 23, 2010 at 12:13 am

I also really enjoy these photo journals. The 5th photo from the bottom is my favorite. I really like the sharpness of it and the good definition. The one with the crane is good too. It looks like a magic wand waving over the building.

Antonia March 23, 2010 at 12:54 pm

The lighting is usually (and especially where they are saving money by not having overnight watchment) to discourage opportunists stealing plant and stripping out fittings etc.

Antonia March 23, 2010 at 12:55 pm

watchment, that is.

I like the angled crane shot in particular.

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