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The following examples are some of the projects that our team has worked on

2016 feb 061
Atlas Rocket - Science and Tech Museum

Original Article –


Rocket down: Science and Tech museum lowers a landmark

While the rocket has been taken down, there remains some hope for its future.

Citizen columnist and local history buff Andrew King been working to find a new home for the 59-year-old attraction, which he says is similar to the rocket that carried John Glenn into orbit in 1962.

King been in touch with a science centre in Tennessee called Discovery Park of America, which has expressed some tentative interest in taking the rocket.

That remains contingent on many factors, not least of which would be permission from the U.S. Air Force, and a plan to move an antique rocket that isn’t as strong as it used to be.

Hawker Typhoon - Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Original Article –

2016 feb 061

The Hawker Typhoon: One of a kind

This airplane is coming to the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in time for D-Day.
This airplane is coming to the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in time for D-Day. ROYAL AIR FORCE MUSEUM

Between 1941 and ’45, slightly more than 3,300 Typhoons — the plane that Doug Gordon flew on D-Day — were manufactured by Hawker Aircraft. Seventy years later, only one complete aircraft of its kind remains. The Typhoon Mk. IB MN235 was originally given to the United States Air Force for evaluation, and eventually stored with the Smithsonian Institute. It was returned to the Royal Air Force Museum in London in 1967, and was the centrepiece of the museum’s 50th-anniversary D-Day display in 1994. It will be on display at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum for at least the next two years.

The Typhoon, or Tiffy, as it was commonly referred to, was a single-engine, single-seat fighter bomber. Each bomber carried two 500-pound bombs — eventually increased to 1,000-pounders — while the rocket fighters carried four 60-pound rockets under each wing. It had a top speed of 412 mph, although that increased to 525 mph in dives.

The first time I took off, I went off the runway and into a field. It was a bit of a screwup.

The premier Typhoon ace during the Second World War was Group Captain John Robert Baldwin, who shot down 15 planes while piloting a Typhoon. Overall, 246 enemy aircraft were destroyed by Typhoon pilots during the war.

Yet it was not without numerous problems throughout the war, including carbon monoxide seepage into the cockpit on earlier models, and limited visibility, especially on takeoff and landing.

“It was a miserable aircraft,” recalls Gordon, who served as a Flying Officer with the City of Ottawa 440 Squadron and flew 99 missions in 1944, most of them, including two into France on D-Day, in Typhoons. “Every aircraft that you gave the throttle to would have a tendency to swing to the left on takeoff, so what you did was give it right rudder. It was no big problem; it wasn’t really vicious.

“But the Typhoon rotated in the opposite direction, and if you pushed on the pedal to offset the rudder, it wasn’t enough. You had to drive it (at an angle) to offset. The first time I took off, I went off the runway and into a field. It was a bit of a screwup.”

Nishga Girl - Canadian Museum of History
Original Article –


By  Martina Perry – The Northern View

The Canadian Museum of Civilization decided the Nishga Girl has a place in Canadian history.

Following public outcry over the museum’s plans to remove the Nishga Girl from the Canada Hall, representatives from the Canadian Museum of Civilization met with stakeholders who donated and transported the boat.

Mark O’Neill, president and CEO of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, and Chantal Schryer, the museum’s vice-president of public affairs, met with boat donator and Nisga’a Chief Harry Nyce, his wife Deanna and Ken Noma, president of the National Association of Japanese Canadians, in Winnipeg on July 8.

O’Neill said the meeting was very constructive.

“We concluded together after consulting and talking it out that the Nishga Girl can have a home and present a very important history in the future Canadian Museum of History,” he said.

“This particular boat has taken on a far greater meaning, and far greater symbolism than perhaps people here at the museum thought.”

The Nyce’s donated the 8.3-metre wooden gillnetter to the Canadian Museum of Civilization in 1998 to represent the West Coast fishing industry. Nyce fished on the waters of the West Coast with the Nishga girl from 1968 to 1990.

When Nyce was informed the museum was giving his old boat away he was disappointed.

“I couldn’t find any words,” he said.

“I knew in the back of my mind that we weren’t going to let this happen.”

The Nishga Girl was built by Jack Tasaka, a Japanese-Canadian boat builder who lived in Port Edward. The National Association of Japanese Canadians raised money to have the boat transported to the Canadian Museum of Civilization in the late 90s.

Noma told the Ottawa Citizen the decision to give away the Nishga Girl was an insult, and was upset the organization wasn’t consulted prior to the decision.

Following last week’s meeting, both Nyce and Noma are happy the Nishga Girl will remain at the museum. Nyce said he was pleased with the tone of the gathering.

“[Museum representatives] were very respectful at the meeting. They apologized many times for the mistake,” said Nyce, who wore full hereditary chief regalia to the affair.

The Nishga Girl will continue to represent the role the salmon industry had in the development of the West Coast.

The boat will also tell the stories of the Nisga’a and Japanese-Canadian communities and how they helped each other in difficult episodes of history.

The Canadian Museum of Civilization announced its intentions to remove the boat from the Canada Hall in June, stating it wouldn’t fit into the museum after its redevelopment into the Canadian Museum of History expected to be completed in 2017. The museum planned to donate the Nishga Girl to the North Pacific Cannery Historical Site in Port Edward.

Yap stone - Bank of Canada

The Bank of Canada’s move, and what it means for a fabled underground vault

As the BOC prepares for a massive relocation, rumours of its gold reserves still swirl

The Sept. 3, 1964, issue of Town Topics, a weekly newspaper in Princeton, N.J., and still a going concern, contains one of the very few accounts you will ever read of how the managers of a bank plan to relocate operations. Helpfully entitled “How to move a bank,” the story goes into some detail, explaining that, over the coming Labour Day weekend, the Princeton Bank and Trust Company would move from 12 Nassau St. to 76 Nassau St., a distance of some three city blocks. “And moving a bank, as you might well guess, makes the job of moving from one house to another seem as nothing,” the reporter writes. “Particularly since there can’t be any carefree strolling down Nassau Street by bank employees carrying wads of bills and securities.”

In the case of the Princeton Bank and Trust Company, which in 1963 handled average daily deposits of more than $40 million, the task of planning the move fell to Cornelius Arnett, assistant treasurer: “One look at the bulk of his logistics folder is testimony enough of the almost split-second planning he has set up to get the bank, its goods and chattels and its 60-plus employees from here to there, all in the space of a long weekend,” the paper notes. Much of the heavy lifting would come in the form of 1,500 safe-deposit boxes, each fitted with steel doors and bronze hinges, with a collective weight of 40,000 lb.—cargo destined for a new vault manufactured by the Mosler Safe Co., the company responsible for building the vaults at Fort Knox.

Evidently, the move in Princeton went off without a hitch—the next edition of Town Topics ran a picture of Mr. and Mrs. Gregory Guroff, the first couple to open accounts at the new location. But for anyone who stumbles across it, the Town Topics article provides not a few insights into how the Bank of Canada is handling the logistical and security challenges associated with its relocation to temporary lodgings this year.

The move has been in the works for some time. The bank’s current headquarters, updated in the late 1970s when architect Arthur Erickson slipped the original 1938 neo-classical stone structure into a modern building complete with wings of polished glass, has descended into decrepitude and badly needs revamping. “It’s getting long in the tooth in a number of the mechanical and electrical systems that support the facility,” says Dale Fleck, chief architect of the bank’s relocation. Last September, the Bank of Canada signed a lease for almost 350,000 sq. feet of space—equivalent to 4½ standard soccer fields—at Plaza 234, an office tower on Laurier Avenue in downtown Ottawa that’s about a 10-minute walk from what has been the bank’s address since 1938: 234 Wellington St., spitting distance from Parliament Hill and, as it happens, the locus of some pretty thrilling Canadian history.

Unlike the folks in Princeton, the Bank of Canada doesn’t like to discuss the details of its move, which began recently with the removal of such precious Bank of Canada holdings as the massive, three-tonne Yap stone, which has been on display in an atrium inside its building since the 1970s. A peculiarly weighty form of currency from the South Pacific—“it’s not really pocket change—maybe the closest we could come to it is a hundred-dollar bill,” explains Raewyn Passmore, assistant curator of the National Currency Collection, part of the Bank of Canada—the Yap stone had to be hauled away by crane.

Puzzle Parking
Original Article –

CTV Ottawa
Published Monday, June 8, 2015 4:55PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, June 8, 2015 7:06PM EDT
Usually one looks for the solution to a puzzle.

In this case the puzzle is the solution.

A new condominium development in Ottawa includes the city’s first puzzle parking system. The Eddy on Wellington Street West sits atop a two-level garage like no other in town. It contains a system of fully-automated, sliding platforms that take the vehicles and slide them into compact parking spaces.

Puzzle parking

Moving platforms are used to park cars in Ottawa’s first puzzle parking garage, June 8, 2015

“The easiest way to compare it is everybody remembers the sliding puzzle game. And we puzzle cars back to an entrance,” says Kamiel Koot, Director of 5BY2 Parking – the European company that built the system.

Puzzle parking is relatively common in Europe. But this is just the second system in all of Canada.

The big advantage to puzzle parking is that it takes up much less space than a conventional parking garage. Koot says that, depending on the configuration, it can accommodate 2 to 3 times more vehicles. The Eddy can park 47 vehicles on just two parking levels.

Developers decided to use puzzle parking for The Eddy because the building sits on an irregular, triangle-shaped lot. “So we had to get creative to use the space that we did have and also accommodate the number of parking units that we wanted to,” says Chantal Smith of Windmill Developments.

For residents, it offers the convenience of valet parking without the valet. They simply drive into a single garage, park on the platform, exit the vehicle and, with the push of a button, it disappears underground. “It goes down. It gets moved. And you can watch on the screen where it is at what point, says new resident Astrid Ahlgren. “And then to bring it up again we simply key in our fob and we watch the car come up. It’s terrific.”

It’s a first for Ottawa, but won’t be the last. The same company is planning a bigger puzzle parking system for the new Zibi development at Chaudière Falls.

Paper writing has been around for centuries.