Ottawa residents are used to little fix-it projects: pothole filling, tree trimming, sewer line repairs…but if you’ve been commuting in Ottawa recently, you may have wondered if the delays were a little longer than usual. No, you’re not imagining it. J-Wat has been bitten by the renovation bug.
“Serendipity, I call it, ” the Mayor said from his stately home, which is also undergoing an extensive makeover. “I was thumbing through the mail while watching one of those really inspiring home improvement shows. It was getting to the end of the program where they do the big reveal, and the people are crying and hugging and it’s all so beautiful. I looked down at the envelope in my hands and there it was: coupons! A book of coupons offering enormous savings for things I never imagined could be discounted, like public works projects! I mean, who knew you could get a 2-for-1 deal on linear feet of blasting for our new downtown light-rail transit tunnel? Or 2-for-1 concrete pouring for Lansdowne? The coupons expired at the end of the month, so I just went for it—the whole book.”
Watson offered his apologies for the temporary inconvenience in navigating around the various construction projects, promising it would all be worth it. The makeover, he says, is in expert hands.
Barnabus Stinson, Special Project Manager for Ottawa ReVision, has informally dubbed the initiative “Ottawa-some”.
“True story: the Mayor came to me with this vision and of course I told him, ‘Challenge accepted,'” Stinson revealed. “Any project he asked about, I’ve got a guy for that. Yeah, there were a few nags on City Council that needed to get their heads out their asses to understand the greatness of it all, but we’re rolling now. I’ve got a media guy to do before and after montages for the various projects. J-Wat will be showing them at the ribbon cutting ceremonies, so suit up. We’ll watch, we’ll hug, we’ll cry. It will be legen—wait for it, waiting, waiting, keep waiting, worth waiting for, I promise—dary.”