Ottawa’s recent heat wave has finally coaxed people outside. Patios seem to be filled at all hours of the day, and our streets have a bustle to them that is largely absent in this city for nine months out of the year. From our office in Chinatown we see the transition from winter to summer quite rapidly, but this summer, along with the excitement that the sun brings, we are also feeling the loss of some of our neighbours.
Last October a fire took out a block of buildings that included our friends at the Daily Grind, Shiraz Market, Middle East Bakery and A Dark Cloud Tattoo Parlour. With the loss of a restaurant/music venue, one of our favourite places to buy snacks, and our favourite samosas in the city, a void has been left, both in the cultural fabric of Chinatown and in the ground itself.
It is difficult for a neighbourhood to bounce back after something like this. It takes a lot of time and money to be able to open a new location for a business (fortunately Shiraz Market has returned to a new spot on Somerset) or rebuild a section of a city block. In order to try and bring some activity back to the corner of Somerset and Percy, Jackpine has partnered with Atelier Ruderal to design a platform to encourage local involvement in a community space.
It is called Percy Station.
The idea for Percy Station came from the City of Ottawa’s Streetside Spots project which aims to repurpose on-street parking in order to contribute to a vibrant and livable community. After having our submission accepted we applied for, and received a grant from Awesome Ottawa, which gives $1000, no string attached, to one project a month that will make Ottawa more awesome. With this support, and contributions from several partners, we created Percy Station, a modular structure that thrives on rotating programming and functions as a shared community space.
Percy Station will feature rotating pop-up shops, a bike tune up station and space for people to gather. It feels like the type of thing that should be happening in our neighbourhood to help add some vibrancy back into the street.
The project aims to initiate conversations on urban development and invite local artistic talent to Somerset Street. Jackpine and Atelier Ruderal designed Percy Station with the intent of it being an transitional opportunity for cultural programming. According to team members Louisa Ji, Monique St. Pierre, John McClelland, Liam Mooney and Lee-Michael Pronko, “Percy Station’s proximity to an undeveloped site creates a personal connection to these issues for visitors, adding incentive for self-organized conversations on improving our urban landscape.”
Percystation.com, designed and developed by Jackpine, is also a key component of the project. Once we had the name and the design, we needed to raise awareness about the new neighbour on Somerset St. We gave the website a modern yet approachable look with an alternating colour scheme and responsive logo design that changes as you scroll.
Jackpine always looks for ways to give back to the community, and we are thrilled to be part of this amazing project in our own neighbourhood. We would love for you to support and join us along with the team from Atelier Ruderal, the Somerset BIA and Councillor for Somerset Ward Catherine McKenney on Saturday, June 25 for the opening day of Percy Station.
For further information click on the image below: