Ottawa trip 2017:
In 2017, Canada turned 150 years old. When I was in Ottawa back in 2015, I saw a poster advertising the fact Canada would be turning 150 in 2017. I decided to come for Canada Day 2017.
Since it would be popular, I made reservations back in February of 2017. Even then the hotels were sold out or super expensive so I booked on airbnb.com like I did when I went to San Francisco.
In March, I got a new job at Home Depot which could have posed a risk. Fortunately, I managed to get the days I wanted off.
My plan was to ride VIA train #52 to Ottawa and spend three nights including Canada Day there. After Canada Day, I would take train #45 back home. The trip unfolded as follows.
June 29, 2017:
My mom drove me to Langstaff GO station. I bought a ticket for the next GO train. I had just less than 20 minutes before the train arrived. I photographed the train when it pulled in.
I boarded the cab car and we soon departed. A CN freight train passed just as we departed. However, we had to stop short of the York subdivision because a westbound CN intermodel train was crossing in front of us. I photographed the train's mid train locomotive.
While we were waiting for the train, someone activated the emergency alarm in another coach. We started moving and were held up at Old Cummer while the medical emergency was sorted out. We were eventually underway. Our next stop was quick and we were underway.
We got to Union station at 8:55 am. However, we couldn't get off because the train crew overshot the area. We sat for several minutes before we backed up a coach length. I got off the train. I had less than 20 minutes before my VIA train departed. Fortunately, I was able to make it and joined the long line for train #52. I was glad VIA had assigned seating on this train! However, it's true: Bad things happen in sets of three.
Boarding soon commenced. I was seated in LRC coach #3312; a rebuilt coach. I had a window seat on the left hand side of the train. This coach was in the standard rebuilt LRC coach livery while the coach in front was wrapped for Canada's 150th. I noticed the coach layout had been changed with several seats facing backwards. Fortunately, I had a forward facing seat. The train left on time.
I filmed the equipment that would be today's train #64 to Montreal. A few minutes later we I filmed Greenwood subway yard as we passed.
We were running combined with train #62 to Montreal. We slowed down as we passed through Rouge Hill. A westbound VIA train passed, but I was unable to film it.
West of Oshawa, we passed the sight of a future GO Transit yard and maintenance shop. I've heard an F59PH and a cab car have been testing clearances in the yard. We stopped in Oshawa a few minutes later.
A westbound CN freight passed. We stopped at Cobourg a few minutes later. VIA Train #61 passed on the opposite side of the train so I was unable to film it. We departed Cobourg. Another westbound VIA passed east of Cobourg.
It was raining out. We passed through Trenton Junction non stop. A westbound CN auto rack train passed. A westbound VIA train passed, but I was unable to film it.
The train passed through Nappanee non stop. We passed through Belleville and later stopped at Kingston. We departed 11 minutes late. Train #63 was in the station. I filmed it as we departed.
We passed VIA train #45 and another westbound VIA train but I was unable to film them. I bought lunch.
We stopped west of Brockville to separate trains #62 and #52. An eastbound CN freight passed while we were stopped. We were soon underway again and stopped at Brockville.
Awhile later, we passed through Smith Falls. Even though #52 isn't scheduled to stop there, we paused to let a westbound VIA train pass. It had two P42s wrapped for Canada's 150th bracketing several LRC coaches. I worked on this trip report some more.
On the outskirts of Fallowfield, I saw a carnival set up. We stopped at Fallowfield a few minutes later.
We were soon approaching Ottawa. I readied my stuff in preparation to get off.
Ottawa is building a “traditional” electric light rail line called the Confederation Line. The existing O-Train is the Trillium Line. I could see the right of way well under construction from the train. However, the line isn't scheduled to open until next year.
Meanwhile train #52 arrived into Ottawa 15 minutes late. I got off and photographed the train.
As you can see, this LRC coach is wrapped for Canada’s 150th.
I went downstairs through the pedestrian tunnel and into the station. I noticed that the new LRT line is replacing the Transitway that formerly served the train station. I boarded a route #61 bus and rode to the St. Laurent terminal. I transferred to the route #14 bus. When the bus departed the terminal, I saw the Chimo Hotel was now a Holiday Inn. When I was a kid and my family came to Ottawa, we stayed at the Chimo. I noticed the last few times including my 2015 trip to Ottawa the hotel was still the Chimo.
I got off the bus but I had some trouble finding the place. After texting the home owner, I realized I had gone the right way the first time, but had turned around. I made it to where I was staying.
I was staying with a woman named Lynne. She wasn't my first choice as I had booked a place in February when I booked my train tickets. However in late April then abruptly canceled my reservation. They did refund my money though. However, I had been scrambling for a few weeks until mid May when I found Lynne's place on airbnb.com.
After I found my room, I went online for a little while. After some time, I headed out. I caught a bus back to St. Laurent and transferred to route #95. I was going to try to ride some STO Classics and/or hopefully fishbowl #7901.
I rode to the Rideau Center and at one point, I got stuck in bus traffic! When I eventually got there, I went through the mall and found an STO stop. On the way, I photographed part of a poster for the new Confederation line.
I waited for a few STO buses but only Nova LFS buses; both articulated and 40 foot versions came. I didn't see any Classics. I eventually boarded an articulated Nova LFS on route #59. I rode to the terminal I hung out at during my last trip to the Ottawa area. Just as I got there, I saw a Nova Classic pulling out. I decided to stay.
STO Nova Classic #9420 pulled up. I photographed it but didn't go for a ride.
I then photographed some more buses including Classic #9519.
Eventually, STO Classic #9136 pulled up. I photographed it before I went to get on.
#9136 is one of about 10 Classics STO purchased from Calgary. #9136 was number 5106 in Calgary. When I was at SAIT, it would have been based at Anderson garage in the south end of the city. I rode #9136 several blocks before I got off and filmed it pulling away.
I then caught a Nova LFS back to the terminal. Once there I photographed a few more buses.
Classic #9138 showed up. #9138 is another ex Calgary Transit Classic. I photographed it before I got on.
#9138 is former Calgary Transit #5051. It was based out of Spring Gardens bus garage when I was at SAIT. I rode #9138 a few stops before I got off and filmed the bus pulling away.
I then rode a Nova LFS back to the terminal. I boarded an OC Transpo bus back into Ottawa. I rode downtown and transferred to the route #97. The #97 still serves the Hurdman bus terminal which has been reconfigured to allow for an LRT station on the Confederation line. South of Hurdman, the Transitway remains intact. I rode to Greensboro and got off. I photographed a couple OC Transpo buses before I went to the Trillium line.
I filmed the train when it arrived. I got on and rode to Bayview station; the north end of the Trillium line. I got off and photographed the train.
I then caught a bus back to St. Laurent. I went inside the Mall and had dinner at the food court just before it closed. I got on a route #7 bus and rode a few stops. I got off and went into a grocery store and bought some cereal and some milk. I then caught a route #14 bus and headed back to where I was staying.
June 30, 2017:
I got up shortly after 8:30 am and had breakfast. I got dressed and headed out. It was raining a little bit. I bought an OC Transpo day pass and rode a bus to St. Laurent. I was going to try to visit the Museum of Science and Technology which I visited back in 2009 and I was unable to visit due to the museum being closed. I saw on an OC Transpo route map that the museum was to reopen this year, but when I got there, it still was closed. I photographed former CN 4-8-4 #6200 on display in front of the museum.
I then saw an Ontario Northland highway coach sitting on the street. Ontario Northland doesn't have any coach routes serving Ottawa so it must have been a charter. I photographed the bus.
I went to a McDonald's for lunch. After lunch I rode to Blair Transitway station which is the east end of the Confederation Line. I had heard that some LRVs which have been delivered had been tested on the east end of the line. However, I didn't see any. I took some photos and visited a nearby mall.
I then decided to go to Gatineau and try to ride some more Classics and hopefully fishbowl #7901. I took the #95 to the Rideau Center and looked around there for a few minutes before I went to catch an STO bus. There were some roads that were closed in anticipation of the festivities for Canada Day. I eventually found a stop and boarded an articulated Nova LFS on route #59 back to the terminal I was at the day before. By then it was raining again.
When I got there, I photographed some buses including an STO Nova Classic.
STO Classic #9225 showed up. #9225 is ex Calgary Transit #5072 and I had ridden that bus in 2015 the last time I was here. I photographed it before I got on.
I rode a short distance and filmed the bus pulling away. I caught a Nova LFS back to the terminal.
Once I was back there, I waited around until original STO Classic #9117 showed up. I photographed it before I got on.
I rode a medium distance before I got off and filmed the bus pulling away. STO Classic #9131 came. I got on and rode back to the terminal. #9131 is ex Calgary #5034. I rode #9131 when I was in Ottawa back in 2015.
I got off at the terminal and photographed #9131 and filmed it pulling away.
A few minutes later, three Classics showed up at once: Nova Classic #9421, MCI Classic #9134 which is ex Calgary Transit #5006, and original STO MCI Classic #9108. I photographed the buses before I got on #9134.
I rode #9134 for a few minutes before I got off and photographed the bus.
I then got on #9108 and continued riding down the road. At one point, I photographed Classic #9134 from #9108.
I rode #9108 to the park and ride lot where I had ridden Classic #9225 to back in 2015. I filmed #9108 pulling away.
Classic #9134 was in the loop there. I photographed it as it waited to make a left turn back onto the street to continue its journey.
I filmed #9134 pulling away. I waited for a bus to take me back to the terminal. However, the bus that came ended up going to Tunney’s Pasture which will be the western end of the Confederation LRT line. I caught an OC Transpo bus back downtown. I then took an STO articulated LFS on route #59 into Hull and got off. Eventually, Classic #9131 came back and I photographed it before I got on.
I rode #9131 back to the terminal and photographed it again.
I filmed #9131 pulling away and waited for another Classic. STO Nova Classic #9421 showed up. #9421 is still in the older STO livery. I photographed it before I got on.
I then rode a distance and got off and filmed #9421 pulling away. I caught a Nova LFS back to the terminal. After I got there, Classic #9519 showed up. I photographed it before I got on.
I noticed #9519’s interior was different from #9421. I rode #9519 for a few minutes before I got off and filmed the bus pulling away.
I caught a Nova LFS back to the terminal. I saw Classic #9424 there. I photographed it before I got on.
#9424 ended up going on a different route than all previous Classics I had ridden. However, I wasn’t too concerned. I rode it to STO’s own dedicated bus lanes and got off. I filmed #9424 pulling away.
I waited around. I saw one of STO’s newest buses; articulated LFS hybrid #1710 was going to go on the bus lanes so I decided to ride it since I had never been on a hybrid LFS articulated bus before. I photographed it before I got on.
I rode #1710 several stops on the private bus lanes. These lanes run parallel to an abandoned railway spur. At one point, the two lanes merged into one across a railroad bridge. The tracks were still in place, but there were traffic lights at either end of the bridge to prevent collisions with buses.
I got off #1710 and photographed it.
I filmed #1710 pulling away. I wandered around the area for a few minutes before I got on a 40 foot LFS and rode further in the direction on the private bus lanes to a station where several STO routes converge hoping to see more Classics and/or fishbowl #7901. However, after a few minutes it didn’t seem likely. I photographed a Nova LFS wrapped for a local radio station before I caught a bus back into Ottawa.
Once I was in downtown Ottawa. I decided to go to Nepean which is on the west side of Ottawa. I saw STO Classic #9108 in Ottawa and photographed it.
I boarded an OC Transpo D60LF on route #94 and rode to the Baseline station on the Transitway. West of Tunney’s Pasture, the Transitway remained intact for buses. At Baseline, I got off and with the intention to transfer to the route #88. While waiting for the #88 bus, I photographed another D60LF.
The route #88 bus came and I got on. I had a destination in mind. There was a strip mall in the area which had one of only two remaining Zellers stores in existence.
For those who don’t know about Zellers, they were owned by HBC which also owns the Hudson’s Bay Company. Zellers was a large retailer similar to Wal Mart. In 2013, most Zellers locations were bought by Target. Unfortunately, due to poor management decisions, Target in Canada flopped and all stores were closed two years later.
The reason this Zellers and the other location in the West end of Toronto weren’t included in the takeover was because their employees were unionized. It was kind of ironic Zellers outlasted the company that took over most of its stores.
No, I haven’t traveled back in time! Zellers still exists!
I went inside Zellers. This Zellers and the Toronto location are more like an outlet store and not like the Zellers locations before Target took them over. I had been to the Toronto location back in 2016. I heard the Ottawa location sold videos but upon getting there, I found it wasn’t so.
I overheard another customer saying that they were surprised Zellers was still around so I told them of the Toronto location and why they still exist.
After looking around, I left without buying anything because there was nothing there I really wanted. After leaving the store, I took one last picture from the parking lot.
I walked to a nearby Harvey’s and had dinner. After dinner I made my way back to Lynne’s house. I went online and eventually called it a night.
Click here for the Canada Day celebrations and my trip home: Canada Day