Posts tagged ‘Urban Fountain’

UW Architecture Students Vision a New Downtown Galt

A redesigned Old Galt Post Office/Fiddlers Green could showcase an open-air terrace and a cascading waterfall running into the Grand River.

A redesigned Old Galt Post Office/Fiddler's Green could showcase an open-air terrace and a cascading waterfall running into the Grand River.

A group of architecture students had to look no further than their school’s front door to find ideas for urban revitalization and design. The goal was to take a holistic approach that would revitalize a mid-sized city. Their laboratory became downtown Galt and to get the ball rolling the students sat down with members of Cambridge council in a brainstorming workshop.

One of the better concepts was to take the old Galt Post Office (formerly Fiddler’s Green) on Water Street South and breath new life into it. Students Elmutaz Elrabaa, Peter Graham and Christy Hempel decided that an addition at the rear of the building should be scrapped in favour of open-air terraces that step down to the river’s edge. Incorporated into those terraces is a cascading waterfall.

Another cheap fix is an experiment the students undertook themselves. They purchased a number of pink plastic Muskoka chairs and placed them on the concrete landing at the river’s edge beneath the Main Street bridge.

Re-developing the riverbank also pops up in two other student proposals. One would introduce a flood resistant boardwalk, planters and benches along the floodwalls, while another would reintroduce the former streetcar bridge across the river behind Barnacle Bill’s Restaurant to connect the proposed Drayton Theatre site with Water Street. A third idea would create a cantilevered walkway extending the Living Levee walkway from the former Galt Library building to the Main Street bridge.

The students have also suggested some changes on Main Street. The first would lighten and brighten the alley connecting the Dickson Street parking lot to Main Street by suspending Christmas trees from wires over the walkway. Further up at Ainslie Street, students have larger, but no less simple plans.

At the former Shoppers Drug Mart building, students would tear away the steel cladding that has hidden the upper portion of the building for years to reveal its original art deco design. Meanwhile, Lederer said Scotia Bank would have its “tired ‘70s look” updated by adding a green wall to the corner pillar.

The vision could soon lead to an extended partnership between Cambridge and the University of Waterloo.

The university’s expertise is also being called to review a series of new city master plans for economic development, arts and culture, heritage, and parks and recreation created over the last year.

Many of the plans make similar recommendations and now the city, with help from the university, may look at ways to combine some of the proposals for implementation over the next fewyears.

Congratulations from one urban designer to future architecture professionals!



October 5, 2009 at 9:53 am 3 comments

Waterloo’s New Urban Square

A new public square in uptown Waterloo may be bustling with community events almost every weekend this summer. During the week, the square will be a place where people stop for lunch, meet friends, or sip coffee on their breaks. The new square at Waterloo Town Square should be finished mid-May, and it will be officially opened on May 30.

Waterloo Square

The $2.8-million project, on King Street at Willis Way running north to the railroad tracks, will feature six honey locust trees about 15 feet high, surrounded by tall grasses, shrubs, and perennials such as hostas and day lilies. A concrete staircase leads to the front entrance of The Shops at Waterloo Town Square, with steps in an upper terrace for seating. The main area will hold bistro-like tables and chairs, as well as benches. The square will also feature a large abstract bell created by sculptor Royden Rabinowitch. He will be in Waterloo on June 5 to officially unveil the bell.

(Click to enlarge)

Betty Ann Keller, manager of cultural development for the city, said a budget hasn’t been set up for programming at the square. Money will be used from existing recreational budgets. “Our goal in 2009 is to make it work,” she said. This summer, a concert series will be held in the uptown square from late June to August, featuring folk, rock and jazz. Other events include lunch-hour guitar lessons and ballroom dancing lessons in the evening. Summer weekends will include Opera Kitchener’s Cinderella, some of the acts of the Waterloo Jazz Festival and Uptown Country.

The city still hopes to raise $800,000 – $300,000 for the rink and $500,000 for the water wall – from the community and private sector businesses to help complete the wall and rink.


Now playing: Dead Meadow – Either Way
via FoxyTunes

May 14, 2009 at 4:38 pm Leave a comment

The Civic District Master Plan – Kitchener

The district, which is roughly bordered by Weber, Queen, Ellen and Frederick Streets is home to four of the city’s most important cultural institutions. But the spaces between those buildings, with the exception of a small park featuring a memorial to firefighters, are filled with parked cars during the day and empty stretches of asphalt over night. It could one day be part of a bustling urban space with cafes, benches, pedestrian walkways, parks, squares, an amphitheater – a district for the arts.

Local cultural institutions want to see this area transformed into a district showcasing public art exhibitions, theatre and music. There’s room for a university campus, walkways connecting the library to the Centre in the Square and lush landscaping.

If the Civic District Master Plan ever gets implemented it will bring more residents downtown and help lure creative class workers to the area with a cutting edge arts district.

Late next summer, construction will begin on a 400-space underground parking garage. It will be located behind the main library. Some of the surface parking will disappear and a public square will be built. Shortly after that, work begins on a 25,000-square-foot addition to the main library and a complete renovation of the existing building.

Now playing: The Radio Faces – I’m So Lucky
via FoxyTunes

May 14, 2009 at 4:02 pm 1 comment

London’s Newest Attraction- Test Run – Lit up at Night

Here is the article posted along with a video of London’s newest Attraction.. The Blackburn Memorial Fountain..


  • “It was hard for contractors testing the new Blackburn Memorial Fountain at the Forks of the Thames yesterday to keep it a secret as water shot 30 metres into the air.It was a treat for drivers and people walking by — many of whom stopped and watched the tests.Landscape architect Ron Koudys says the tests are going well and the fountain meets all expectations.The tests were delayed a bit by flooding last week.

    The fountain could be completed as early as next week.”  AM980

    Fountain at Forks of Thames (VIDEO)…t.aspx?id=3721

When I first heard about this from Ron Koudys himself I was a bit skeptical as I didn’t believe that this could actually something that people would want to visit.. especially when I found out it was to spew Thames River water 100Feet into the air! – However tonite, around 7:00pm, I was driving through downtown on my way home and while going down Dundas toward the river I noticed an illuminated stream of water high in the air, so i had to see it for myself. Seeing as it was the night for a sold out Knights game(I don’t think that it was a coincidence that they were testing the fountain at night on the night that a crowd of 10,000 people were at the JLC, most probably saw it on their way to the game, I’m sure this was a ploy to get some hype) there was definitely no parking to be found on the Downtown side of the river. I drove all the way around and got to see the fountain from every angle; Dundas street+ the Dundas Street Bridge ,the York street bridge, the Wharncliffe street bridge, and I also walked right up to it.  Honestly my first words were “Wow, this thing is pretty neat!” I took some snaps and wanted to share so here they are..


Apparently they will be able to change the colour of the lights for different occasions as well as add music in the future.

Personally, now that I’ve seen it myself, I think that this is a positive addition to Forks of the Thames and Downtown London. It will be a place to take friends and relatives when they come visit, and another attempt to put London on the map. From everything I’ve been hearing the concerts at the JLC get a lot of out of towners who come in, with this attraction beeing in close proximity I’m sure it will be something people will visit!  I bet they will find an innovative way to include the fountain in the fireworks display at the Forks for Canada Day, now that would be something! 

A good place to view the fountain, when it will be fully operational in the spring, would be the On The Fork restaurant or the Community Gallery in Museum London.

January 9, 2009 at 10:51 pm Leave a comment

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