Glebe parking garage a wonder

Robertson, Doug Glebe Garage Dec 2015 Liz IMG_4862
The new Glebe Parking Garage has energy efficient features and public art.
Photo: liz mckeen

By Liz McKeen with information from Doug Robertson

The new parking garage at 170 Second Avenue in the Glebe is now open.

Its design, described by Councillor Chernushenko as a “mobility hub,” features space for 141 motor vehicles – nearly three times the capacity of the parking lot it replaced – and covered bike parking, two electric vehicle charging stations and a bike repair station with (free) air. It has been certified with Green Garages certification for environmentally friendly preferred parking. Solar panels on the roof will generate electricity to power the garage and also to feed into the grid to generate revenue for the City. A dynamic energy display will indicate when energy is being used or generated. Heated entrances will reduce the need for snow clearing, and there is ample natural light and special energy-efficient lighting.

The bottom two levels are reserved for short-term parking up to two hours.

The unique feature of this garage is its original art, created by Glebe artist Christopher Griffin. He has been creating murals and sculptures for many years. His images of birds, fish and animals are inspired by ancient artworks found on cave walls. Other local examples of his creations include the raccoons at the Glebe Community Centre and peregrine falcons on the Bronson underpass.

Funds for this public art project were allocated from the construction of the garage. The commission budget included all costs required to design, fabricate and install the artwork.  The City of Ottawa initiated a public art competition for the Glebe Parking Garage in 2013. Thirteen proposals were received and reviewed by a peer assessment committee. The public was invited to review and submit comments about five shortlisted proposals in November 2014. The art selection committee chose Christopher Griffin’s proposal based on evaluation criteria that included artistic excellence, experience of the artist, integration of the artwork with the building design and comments received during the public consultation process.

His art has been installed on each floor of the garage. He created the drawings by hand, etching the images directly into wet concrete. Each drawing represents the wildlife that can be found in the bodies of water that surround the Glebe: Dow’s Lake, Brown’s Inlet, Patterson’s Creek and the Rideau Canal. Griffin has transformed structural elements and has given them new interest and meaning by adding designs to interior walls and columns. The artist would like to thank the Museum of Nature for assistance in providing research on local wildlife species.

Robertson, Doug Glebe Garage Dec 2015  Bird
Local artist Christopher Griffin’s concrete etching on the Glebe Garage
Photo: Courtesy of City of Ottawa

Where is it?

The Glebe Garage is located between Second and Third avenues behind the businesses on Bank Street.

When did it open?

The first, second and third floors opened on October 31, and the remainder opened in November. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held November 25.

Why was it built? What demand is it expected to fill?

The Glebe Garage was built in response to concerns raised by the community about the need for additional parking for local businesses and to help ease congestion due to the redevelopment of Lansdowne Park. Council directed staff in June 2010 to commence an RFP process for “new parking spots” at the 170 Second Ave site and approved construction of the garage in April 2013. The garage will provide a supply of affordable, secure, accessible, convenient and apealing public parking consistent with the Municipal Parking Management Strategy that provides short-term parking services that support local businesses, institutions and tourism.

How many spaces?

There are 146 spots in the garage including two electric-vehicle charging stations and accessible and motorcycle parking. Bicycle parking is also available.

How much did it cost to build?

The overall budget was $9.5 million.

How much does parking cost?

Parking fees are $1.25 per half hour every day between 8 a.m. and midnight, with a daily maximum of $14 on levels three and four. There is a two-hour maximum time limit on levels one and two. Parking is free between midnight and 8 a.m.

Whose art graces the building?

Christopher Griffin created the concrete etchings and concrete birds on the roof.

Large Glebe Garage
City workers put up artist Christopher Griffin’s concrete sculptures at dusk.
Photo: Lorrie Loewen
Glebe Garage opening
Ribbon-cutting at the opening of the Glebe Garage on November 25. From left: Andrew Peck (Glebe BIA), Doug Robertson, Councillor David Chernushenko, Christopher Griffin (artist), Bob Brocklebank, Mayor Jim Watson, Rebecca McKeen (McKeen Metro), Jim McKeen, Gilbert Russell (Brio)
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