All posts by Andrea Cordonier

Shooting the Domtar Lands – Part 2

Another glorious day working outside, this time photographing a series of attached buildings beginning on the corner of Rue Eddy & Boulevard Alexandre-Tache. The mostly stone buildings are encased in high chain link fencing, held tight by cross-wires and reinforced by steel posts and beams endeavouring to keep all the bits together. Bill worked the overview from across the street and I shot details, dancing with the thousand or so cyclists who apologized, ducked and rode around me and my tripod on the sidewalk cycling path.

Today’s theme was texture and patina, the kind of patina you pay thousands of dollars for on new pieces of furniture masquerading as DIY Brooklyn Boho. Changes in texture marked the transition in buildings, in age, in style, in charm factor.

I saw curly emerald paint swaths, flaking, embossed tin tiles vertically installed on building fronts, metal fascia and eaves and dormers one after another still plumb, level and square, fragile, dangling clapboard stripped by countless days of sun, rain, snow, and wind, creeping nature, fractured glass panes, warped window screens, stone window sills with crumbling peaks of sand in the corners, folds of unsuitable stone installed in a place where it doesn’t belong.

On the very northwest corner at the end of the building series, I discovered the prize at the bottom of the Cracker Jack box: a carved stone plaque reading The E.B. Eddy Co. 1892 and below, a ghostly stone arch, now infilled but boasting the visible remains of carriage door hardware. Easy to miss with its subtle change in stone type and colour and the plaque placed so far above eye level. I only noticed because I was looking through my ‘camera eye.’

Cataloguing these buildings I fully appreciate they are the real deal: They are history made manifest, irreplaceable, invaluable and the backbone of Ottawa’s post-contact built history. New buildings can be gorgeous and satisfying in their own way, but they aren’t this.

Further reading:

Everything Changes: Shooting the Domtar Lands

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Jane’s Walk Burritt’s Rapids 2015 – Day 1

Being Canadian, I have to lead with the weather: How on earth did we luck out getting the warmest most perfect day of the year so far?

It provided an excellent backdrop for Day 1 of Jane’s Walk Burritt’s Rapids. In another few hours we’ll launch Day 2 with Jane’s Yoga with the Locals, Jane’s Worship with the Locals, and the family-friendly walk/talk/workshop Disappearing Habitat: Killing the Goose That Laid the Golden Egg with John McKenzie at his own natural history museum at 720 River Rd, Burritt’s Rapids (Kemptville). All three events begin at 9:00am.

Between 8:30am and 9:00am I will be a guest of Mary Ito on CBC’s Fresh Air, airing right across Ontario, to talk about Jane’s Walk Burritt’s Rapids and the importance of these kinds of events to community. Tune in on your local CBC station.

More paddling, more gardening talk, more Burritt’s Rapids day lilies for sale, more history, more Doors Open and a noon potluck on deck for today. Check out the full listings here.

We hope you will come out and join us!

Here’s a peek at yesterday’s festivities from local photographer K. Kerr (all rights his):

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Jane Jacobs
This is Jane Jacobs.

It’s here! It’s here! Jane’s Walk weekend is upon us and the Jane’s Walk Burritt’s Rapids Community Festival launches at 9:00am this morning with a Jane’s Run with the Locals.

The festival runs Saturday and Sunday from 9:00am until 4:30pm. Pack your lunch, sunscreen, water, walking shoes and curiosity and come #BeLikeJane. The best parking is along Donnelly Drive, in front of the church. If you can find the Community Hall (23 Grenville St.) you can find everything!

Click here for local schedule listings and details.

Click here for the Jane’s Walk Ottawa master listings.

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If I were a kid at Jane’s Walk Burritt’s Rapids…

Please note the change: The car collection will only be in the village on Saturday

….this is what I would do:

1.  Attend the family-friendly Jane’s Walk ‘n Talk called: Disappearing Habitat: Killing the Goose That Laid the Golden Egg.  John McKenzie has a natural history museum in his workshop and there’s lots to see and touch (Sunday)

2.  Take a paddle up the Rideau Canal in a 16-passenger Voyageur Canoe complete with costumed guides (Saturday/Sunday)

3.  Pack a lunch and picnic by the river (Saturday) or picnic/potluck (Sunday)

4.  Hunt around the village to find the ten objects on the scavenger list and claim my prize at the Community Hall (Saturday/Sunday) 

Click here for the Scavenger Hunt page

5.  Hike to the Stoney Steps (Nope! I won’t spoil the surprise) (anytime)

6.  Check out David Watson’s European sportscar collection, which is way nicer than my family van (Saturday)

7.  Walk to Other David’s Open Lab and see what cool science projects are happening (Sunday) – appropriate for older kids

8.  Explore the Tip-to-Tip Trail (I’m on an island!) (anytime)

9.  Say ‘hi’ to the horses at Lone Wolf Farm (anytime)

10.  See how many species of birds and animals I can spot; see if I can find Turtle Rock on the way to the Lock Station (anytime)

11.  Take a reading break in the library at the old Lockmaster’s House (Saturday)

12.  Go to church with my family (Sunday)

13.  Play in the park behind the hall, on the swings down by the beach, and goof around with my new friends (anytime)

If I were a kid I’d be playing to my heart’s content!

If I were a kid....
If I were a kid….

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Wild Turkeys Make Good Potluck Dishes

As part of the village-wide “Jane’s Walk” festival, we’re having a community potluck this Sunday, May 3rd from noon to 1:30pm at the Burritt’s Rapids Community Hall.

Call Paul/Joanne at (613) 859-9116 to register # of attendees and dish (savoury/sweet)


John told me he’d be at the blind before 5:00am, so I wasn’t surprised to wake at five-thirty and not see his truck in the driveway.

He said he likes to be in place early for the magic of that moment before sunrise, for the sound of the turkeys waking up and rolling, one by one, out of the trees and onto the ground with a heavy swoosh and a muddled gobble. He’s been hunting turkeys since the late 80’s, yet he never gets over that sound. It’s primal, he says. It makes the hair on his neck stand on end.

Although there is a fall turkey hunt, he says the spring hunt is where it’s at. The Toms are hot to trot, the ladies are checking out the plumage and it’s hard to predict what will happen from one moment to the next. Between his scrawny, but colourful, Jake decoy, a single fabric Hen, and his patient, persuasive turkey call, John works his mojo and is home in time for breakfast, bird in hand.

I watch for his return knowing there’ll be a window of opportunity to photograph his prize before he heads off on his quad to prepare the bird. This bird has a particular raison d’être: It is bound for the potluck table this Sunday afternoon at the Burritt’s Rapids Community Hall.

John’s so hip he doesn’t know how hip he is. “Local food” is today’s mantra in a market full of imports and this is about as local as it gets. But growing or catching your own food is hardly new; all the fuss leaves some local farmers and hunters scratching their heads. When you grow up rural, hunting and farming is the norm not a trend. It’s what supports many families and creates an enduring connection to, and respect for, the land.

A spring turkey tag costs $31.45 making it comparably priced to a store-bought pre-packaged turkey. But looking at it from a cost comparison, while interesting, misses the point: Hunting is about tradition, sport, skill development, the environment, friends and family and doing more than pushing your shopping cart around the supermarket.

It’s an adventure and that’s how life should be.


The prolific return of the eastern wild turkey is a success story.  The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) offers some background:

Since the reintroduction of the eastern wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) in the 1980’s, OFAH has remained a keystone partner in one of the most successful wildlife recovery stories in Ontario. Wild turkeys were extirpated (locally extinct) from Ontario for nearly a century due to habitat loss and unregulated market hunting. Thanks to hunters and other conservationists who pressed for their return, efforts to restore wild turkeys to most of their former range in Ontario have been extremely successful. As a result, an important part of Ontario’s biodiversity has been restored while still providing regulated hunting opportunities over the years.1

Wild Turkeys Burritt's Rapids
In my own backyard I saw the bushes shaking and this is why: An unexpected Mamma and her nine babies eating Red Osier Dogwood berries off my bushes.


If you’re interested in hunting, trapping and the environment check out our Jane’s Walk “Disappearing Habitat: Killing the Goose That Laid the Golden Egg” with John McKenzie, Sunday at 9:00am, 720 River Rd. Burritt’s Rapids.

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