Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Is the National Capital Commission removing the Equestrian Park from the Greenbelt?

  According to a federal law called "The National Capital Act" (1985), the National Capital Commission has the power to give away, sell, lease or transfer any property that is owned by the Crown corporation.
     During the mid 1990's, the NCC planned to remove the Greenbelt Riding School and the Conroy Pit from the Greenbelt.(See: "NCC Revises Master Plan for Greenbelt" by Heather Burke-March 1996.)
     A foundation connected to high-tech entrepreneur Terry Matthews is leasing the 269-acre National Capital Equestrian Park and the 200-acre former Ottawa Municipal Campground, from the NCC.
     According to the document "Submission - 1996 Greenbelt Master Plan Amendment - 401 and 411 Corkstown Road Ottawa- (January 23, 2013):
for 401 Corkstown Road:

  • a major renewal and expansion of the equestrian facility,
  • the addition of seven full and nine mini sized sports fields as a new complimentary use to the equestrian centre.
for 411 Corkstown Road:
  • renewal and addition to the municipal campground site including the Forest School Canada components of the Wesley Clover Foundation Greenbelt Stables Outdoor Recreation and Learning Centre Proposal.
If the City of Ottawa refuses to rezone the properties (from GR - Greenbelt Rural Zone to Commercial), the NCC could appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board.
The Conroy Pit (110 ha.) is an abandoned sand pit, with recreational integration and development potential. (See: "NCC - Greenbelt Master Plan Background"- 1996 -pdf Page 4.)
A real estate company is building two residential developments on Conroy Road in Ottawa:
Hunt Club Estates - located at Conroy and Johnston roads.
Hunt Club Flats - 72 condo units at 3249 Conroy Road.
Thanks to the apathetic or otherwise distracted people of Ottawa, the NCC will eventually sell/ privatize the following properties:
  1. Lands east of Conroy Road and south of Hunt Club.
  2. Isolated parcel bounded by Highway 416, Richmond and Baseline Roads.
  3. Site at southwest corner of West Hunt Club and Woodroffe Avenue.
  4. Isolated parcel on west side of 417; open field with scattered shrubs and small trees.
  5. The study team was also requested to consider a fifth parcel for other uses, that consists of the lands located at the southeast corner of Carling and Moodie, extending south from Carling to Highway 417 and west from Moodie Drive to the Greenbelt boundary bordering the Crystal Bay Community." (See: "Greenbelt Master Plan Review-Phase 1-Step C-Land Use Concept - January 2012". Page 17 and Page 21.)
 A federal government committee was critical of NCC real estate transactions, and made several recommendations, including:
We recommend that the National Capital Commission develop a meaningful public consultation process which would apply to either the disposal or change of use of property held by the Commission.

We recommend that the Treasury Board rescind its 1991 Real Asset Management Funding Strategy as it relates to the National Capital Commission and that monies received by the Commission for the sale of surplus assets be directed to the Consolidated Revenue Fund as these were assets held for all Canadians.
(See: "The Standing Senate Committee on National Finance - Nineteenth Report"; Chairman Lowell Murray, June 13, 2003.)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Vintage political campaign buttons.

Interesting YouTube videos

1.    Zeppelin Bar - During the summer of 1984, my sister performed at the Churchill Arms Motel, located at  Churchill Avenue and Carling Avenue in Ottawa. She is a talented country-rock singer, guitarist and songwriter. Her song list included: "Help Me Make It Through The Night" by Sammi Smith; "Take Me Home, Country Roads" by John Denver;" Stumblin In" by Suzi Quatro; "Stagger Lee" by Lloyd Price; "People Are Strange" by the Doors"; "Seven Year Ache" by Roseanne Cash and "Your Cheatin' Heart" by Ray Charles and Hank Williams.
My sister Nancy Shaw at the Churchill Arms Motel.
Led Zeppelin were the headliners at an April 14, 1970 concert in Ottawa. The group was booked at an upscale hotel, either the Chateau Laurier or the Skyline. However, Led Zeppelin and their crew allegedly spent time at the "small, dingy" Churchill Arms. Before the motel was demolished, the bar was sold to someone who was remodeling his basement.
2..   Snow Music: "Color/Dance" by George Winston-A drive through the Central Experimental Farm.
3.    MARVIN GAYE & TAMMI TERRELL - "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" - the video was taped at Expo '67.
4.    CBC Archives: John Lennon and Yoko Ono meet Trudeau.
5.    Princess Diana in Ottawa, Canada - I was there, see the photos I took of Princess Diana, which are posted on my November 2012 blog.
6.    Tower falling after plane crashes into it - The tower was owned by the CBC.
7.    Movin' In (From Montreal by Train) - by Stompin Tom Connors (from 1973.) -  The Canadian National Railway was "The People's Railway" before it was privatized; now CN Rail is "North America's Railroad". American Bill Gates owns 12% of CN Rail, valued at $4.7 billion dollars.
8.     We become our own wolves - Music provided by Canadian independent artist Rae Spoon. Corrections Canada shut down the Isabel McNeil half-way house for women in Kingston, Ontario, which is across the street from Kingston Penitentiary.
9.    GARDENCITY LANDS by SAFEDRIVERMAN - is a rap song about land that was owned by the Canadian Coast Guard in Richmond, British Columbia.
10.   This Land is Your Land "Canada" by The Travellers - "This Land: The Travellers Centennial Album" (1967) features songs that were composed by American and Canadian writers:
     Early Morning Rain by Gordon Lightfoot.
     This Land is Your Land by Woody Guthrie.
     What Did You Learn in School  by Tom Paxton.
     Where Have the Buffalo Gone by Buffy Sainte-Marie.
11. 140+ Year Old Limestone Buildings in Stonewall- (Manitoba) - many of Kingston, Ontario's endangered landmarks were constructed with limestone--the Kingston Penitentiary, Prison for Women and the Rockwood Lunatic Asylum.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Parc Downsview Park is saving Canada's military and aviation history.

Parc Downsview Park, a federal Crown corporation, was proud of Downsview Park's history, and the cluster of historic aviation buildings that inhabit that space:
     "De Havilland Aircraft of Canada began operations in Downsview in 1929. With the onset of the Second World War, de Havilland manufactured aircraft for the RCAF and British Commonwealth Air Training Plan."
     INTO SPACE - In 1960, de Havilland's guided missile engineers and scientists constructed and tested Canada's first space aircraft, the Alouette 1 satellite, and developed its unique STEM antenna." (From: Our History/Downsview Park.)
The Billy Bishop Airport Terminal, a National Historic Site of Canada, was recently transferred from the Toronto City Airport to Downsview Park, near the aviation buildings:
The Billy Bishop Airport Terminal Building.
Parc Downsview Park made every attempt to save the vintage buildings and re purpose them:
                                                        THE PARK
     "The Cultural Commons is a 9.1 hectare (22.5 acre) area containing a number of small historic aviation buildings. These will be renovated and complemented with new infill buildings to create a pedestrian-scale village setting. Outdoor courtyards and public squares may feature the display of aircraft and a sequence of interpretive areas will describe the rich history of Downsview and its origins as a centre of aviation manufacturing and design innovation." (From: "Sustainable Community Development Guideline - Downsview Park - December 2007" Page 15.)
The City of Toronto is trying to save the built heritage at Downsview. Most of the Parc Downsview Park buildings are still standing, while the DND Buildings are being demolished; Buildings 55 and 58 are gone, and the 25 acre William Baker Park (former military housing) will be converted into a 3,200 unit private residential complex. (This document is from the "Downsview Area Secondary Plan - Heritage Building Conservation Review -E.R.A. Architects Inc." page 15.)

A 1969 image of the de Havilland Building, from "Canadian Armed Forces Review", a magazine created and edited by my father George Shaw.

In 2007,Parc Downsview Park owned 23 buildings. According to the Directory of Federal Real Property, the Crown corporation now owns 13 buildings.


  1.  Plant 3 - 35 Carl Hall Road.
  2. Building 100 - 70 Canuck Avenue.
  3. Fire Hall - 10 Carl Hall Road.
  4. Central Heating Plant #1 - 15 Carl Hall Road.
  5. Supply Depot #1 - 40 Carl Hall Road.
  6. Old fire hall - 55 Carl Hall Road.
  7. Cultural Commons - 60 Carl Hall Road, Bldg. 38/39.
  8. Plant 1 - 65 Carl Hall Road. (Note: Plant 1 is the de Havilland Aircraft Building, the former home of the Canadian Air and Space Museum, and a former Recognized Federal Heritage Building, see document below- savecfbrockcliffe.)
  9. Plant 2 - 75 Carl Hall Road.
  10. Sports Pavillion - 79 Carl Hall Road.
  11. Veterinary hospital and industrial space - 60 Carl Hall Road - Units 4-5.
  12. Park Maintenance Shop - 60 Carl Hall Road, Unit 3.
  13. Helicopter Hangar - 60 Carl Hall Road, Unit 1.
De Havilland buildings 1, 55, 58 and 2 were designated "Recognized Federal Heritage Buildings" by the Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office of Canada.

The Federal Heritage Building Review Office of Canada conducted a study of all the buildings at Parc Downsview Park. FHBRO wanted to see the eighteen buildings, on the above list, preserved. (Document mailed to A. Shaw by FHBRO.)

Buildings 38, 39 and 41, which are included on the list of heritage buildings at Downsview Park that should be preserved, see the above list.
Building 55, a former aircraft maintenance hangar, was demolished in March of 2010.



Friday, January 11, 2013

The National Capital Commission's "moratorium on land sales" is a polite fiction.

     Since the year 1995, the National Capital Commission can dispose of property worth more than $200,000 provided it is listed in the NCC  Annual Five Year Corporate Plan submitted to the Treasury Board of Canada.
    According to the "Summary of the Corporate Plan, 2011-2012 to 2015-2016":
                                      Mandate Review - (Page 8)
"A mandate review of the NCC was completed in December 2006, and resulting changes to the National Capital Act are pending. In the interim, the NCC will maintain a moratorium on the disposal of surplus lands, except for non-contentious sales to other public entities, and it will seek separate Treasury Board of Canada authority for all disposals exceeding $2 million." (Emphasis mine - savecfbrockcliffe).

Page 19 of the document reiterates the point that the National Capital Commission currently has the power to sell property to other levels of government:
                                Real Property Acquisitions and Disposals
"Potential property disposals for 2011-2012 are limited to transactions with other levels of government."

The term other levels of government applies to the City of Ottawa; the Ontario government's Ontario Realty Corporation/Infrastructure Ontario; and Crown corporations including the Canada Lands Company.
The Canada Lands Company was created to dispose of Government of Canada property; therefore, if the National Capital Commission transfers land to the CLC, the property will immediately be privatized, and eventually sold. All CLC properties are non-federal owned. The term other public entities could also refer to foreign governments such as China and India. New Zealand is becoming a food colony of the Government of China, according to the April 26, 2012 Internet article "China buys New Zealand - The Federalist"---  The Road to Serfdom. In 1985, Agriculture Canada owned more than one million acres of land, see "The Nielsen Report" by former Deputy Prime Minister of Canada Erick Nielsen.
The National Capital Commission could rake in billions of dollars from the sale of Greenbelt land to public entities and other levels of government. The former Greenbelt Research Farm in Nepean, bordered by West Hunt Club Road, Woodroffe Avenue, Greenbank Road and Fallowfiled Road, encompassed 2,965 acres of land. The City of Ottawa bought several acres of the property for the Fallowfield Park and Ride in 2001;  and the Crown corporation Via Rail built a train station on AAFC/NCC land.

In 1961, the National Capital Commission expropriated land from a Gloucester farmer, for the Greenbelt, and the family was paid $110,000 dollars. In 1998, the land was severed from the Greenbelt and sold to an Ontario numbered company for $6,702,000 (over $6 million); see "Woodburn Estate v. National Capital Commission" (2001). Court documents state that the National Capital Commission abandoned the purpose for which the land was expropriated (Greenbelt), declared the land surplus, obtained rezoning and sold the property at a huge profit.
The NCC is permitted to keep the profits from land sales: "The proceeds from the sale or lease of these lands would be used to fund and strengthen the remaining Greenbelt land and/or to add other contributing lands."
The NCC will own a 25 acre parcel at the northwest corner of CFB Rockcliffe in Ottawa, and promised to build a museum on the site. However, most of the LeBreton Flats are being redeveloped for condominiums, so I will not hold my breath waiting  for a memorial, museum or an art gallery to be constructed at Rockcliffe.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Colour slides that were purchased from the USSR Pavilion at Expo '67. The first three photos show the interior of Yasnaya Polyana, "Bright Glade", the home of Leo Tolstoy.

Yasnaya Polyana near the Voronka River.

The Ostankino Palace in Moscow, a Neoclassical building.

The Hermitage State Museum in Leningrad, USSR; now Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Rideau Centre shopping mall in Ottawa was Crown property.

This document is from a book called"1984-1985 Federal Property Profiles - National  Capital Region", which  can be found in "The Ottawa Room" at the Main Ottawa Public Library at Metcalfe Street and Laurier Avenue.
A February 26, 1975 Ottawa Citizen article about  the  proposed construction of the Rideau Centre .

Monday, January 7, 2013

The National Capital Commission is planning to sell more Greenbelt land.

The Korean War Veterans Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial, both located in Washington,   D.C, are sacred places in America, untouchable; no one would dare build condos, townhouses or parking lots near the sites.
The Greenbelt that surrounds Ottawa is also a sacred place, a living memorial, in perpetuity, to the Canadian soldiers who died during World War 1 and World War 11. The following, personal photographs were taken at the Bergen-op-Zoom Canadian War Cemetery in the Netherlands, where one of my maternal uncle's is buried. My other maternal uncle is buried at the at the Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery in Normandy, France.

 Jacques Greber, a French landscape architect and urban designer who created the Greenbelt, probably never imagined that parts of this memorial would be sold to housing corporations.

I do not object to this land being  leased for the benefit of ordinary citizens - for outdoor or indoor recreational activities (toboggan hills; pavilions; golf courses; tennis courts; marinas/boat clubs); tourist venues such as restaurants; horse ranches; a hospital,  high school, college or university; a sports complex; farms, orchards; a federal government Experimental Farm or the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.....
 What I VEHEMENTLY object to is the privatization of the Greenbelt.

The  National Capital Act gives the NCC the power to dismantle the Greenbelt, to sell it off.  The Master Plan details what may be in store for the corn fields, trees, lakes and ponds that inhabit this landscape; allegedly, these are are only concepts, ideas---. However, the German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel once stated  that potentiality precedes actuality:
    GREENBELT MASTER PLAN, CONSULTATION REPORT -  Phase 1 - Step C - Land Use Concept - Prepared for the National Capital Commission  January 2012:

  • The potential removal of Greenbelt designation from the Nepean Sportsplex.
  • Potential removal of Greenbelt designation from the Eagleson Park and Ride.
  • Potential removal of Greenbelt designation from the airport lands.
  • Possible disposal of Parcel 1, an idle agricultural field, bounded by Highway 416, Richmond and Baseline Roads.
  • Possible sale of Parcel 2, the site at the southwest corner of West Hunt Club Road and Woodroffe Avenue, with buildings. (Note: I thought Agriculture Canada owned that land, which is close to where I live in Arlington Woods. See a 1970's map of Parcel 2, below.))
  • Possible sale of Parcel 3, the lands east of Conroy Road and south of Hunt Club with small trees. (Note: I just looked on Google Maps--- is the NCC thinking of selling that entire, massive bloc of vacant land? The Conroy Pit, a popular off-leash dog park, is close to Parcel 3; I live in Arlington Woods in Nepean;  the Bruce Pit is a fantastic off-leash dog park.
  • Possible sale of Parcel 4, an isolated parcel on the west side of Highway 417, which is a mixture of idle field and small trees.
 (Below)  A 1970's map of Parcel 2, which the National Capital Commission is thinking of selling, most likely to residential builders. "As of March 31, 1998, the Greenbelt Research Farm, which covers 1,200 hectares of land bordered by Hunt Club Road, Woodroffe Avenue, Fallowfield Road and Greenbank Road, ceased to function as an Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Research Centre. This was announced in the 1995 Federal Budget." (From: National Capital Region Greenbelt.) This entire bloc of  land must be worth billions of dollars, but the National Capital Commission does not have to deposit the proceeds of any sale into the Canadian treasury, the Consolidated Revenue Fund; instead, the NCC  will keep the money in order to buy more properties for the NCC. Also, as an arms-length Crown corporation, the National Capital Commission can sell this property to whomever it pleases.
Parcel Number 2 may be sold to developers or perhaps to a foreign government (China, India and Saudi Arabia are buying up land in New Zealand and Africa to grow food and bio-fuel for the citizens of China, India and Saudi Arabia.)
City of Ottawa zoning change signs will be planted on the grounds; trees and bushes will be cut down; all the buildings will be demolished, the wetlands will be drained, and countless wild animals will lose their habitat.
Agriculture and Agri-food Canada transferred this property to the National Capital Commission.. As of March 31, 1998, the Greenbelt Research Farm encompassed 1,200 hectares, or 2,965 acres of land. (This map is from Library and Archives Canada on Wellington Street in Ottawa.)
Bill Teron, "The Father of Kanata" and a former head of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, wants to see a million people live in on Greenbelt land: "It's a gorgeous place, but very seldom do you see people within it. Here, a million people could connect." 
A few years ago, Bill Teron told the Ottawa Citizen newspaper that part of the Central Experimental Farm should be sold for housing. Ninety-one acres of land have already been annexed from The Farm---in 1987 or 1988, the Clyde/Merivale lands were privatized, and a new community called Central Park was created.

The Governor-General of Canada should have the power to exclude "sacred or remembrance lands", "historically significant", and "ecologically sensitive" federal lands from residential and resource development.
 . In Canada, federal Crown land is designated as belonging to Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Archival documents and images from "The House Detective", a television program created and hosted by George Shaw.

Closing credits for " House Detective", which was televised  from  1962 until 1963.
TELEVIEWS by Bob Gardiner - Digging in
     There is one potentially interesting bloc of local programming on CJOH around noon hour on Sunday: Sunday Venture, an inspirational program of sorts, Civil Service Closeup and House Detective carry the station through from around 11 a.m. to "football time". Mahalia Jackson is one of the features of Sunday Venture but unfortunately about the time she's offering her musical praises, I'm doing the same thing from a pew down the street. The similarity ends there since, happily for all within earshot, I'm drowned out by the rest of the congregation. Under this schedule, the CS show is also lost to me.
     But House Detective I did catch, and as far as I can see it's just a sort of photo co-op, animated. The show's host, George Shaw, had a brief discussion with Mayor Oscar Perrier on the new status of Eastview and its effect on real estate. This was sound enough. But this was sandwiched between real-estate sales pitches which took the viewer haphazardly throughout the viewing area. There was no unifying factor in the program beyond the fact that every house shown had a roof and a list price. Anything you saw or heard about them you can read in the classified and display pages of any newspaper. There was very little to excite you on the show.
     There could be. People like looking at floor plans of homes and at the latest domestic style architecture. But not while their sales resistance is being assaulted. If Shaw can convince his collaborators - the real-estate firms in town - to relegate their sales pitches to their proper place - the commercial spot - he'd have a respectable television program.
     Then he should demand the freedom to examine styling, construction techniques and other related subjects with objectivity and candour. This way, he could become a real help to the sort of guy who's taken a large chunk of his life to salt away $2,000 to $3,000 for a down payment on his own house.
     Until then the show should drop that line about being a "service to the public."
(Note: See a 1962 picture of Peter Jennings interviewing Mahalia Jackson at CJOH - Google: "Photos: Looking back on CTV Ottawa's past 50 years -" ---savecfbrockcliffe.)

My sister Nancy Shaw in front of the TV while  "House  Detective " was on.

Nancy Shaw in front of TV.