Wednesday, July 27, 2011

OC Stations: Carling

When you're commuting day in and day out, it's easy to forget or ignore or simply not think about the stations to which you travel. They are often reduced to a name or a "point A" along your trip home or to work. Through this hyper-familiarity, the unique features of each of the stations get lost.

This week, I want to pause at some of the OC Transpo stations (in no particular order) and really highlight what makes them unique and interesting. Perhaps next time you're out and about, you will also slow down and enjoy these features that you may otherwise not even notice.

Carling Station

Carling Station only serves the O-Train. It's a tiny, but important stop, as it opens up to a number of Ottawa attractions like Dow's Lake, Commissioner's Park, Little Italy, and Dow Honda. If you ever want to paddle boat, skate, see tulips, or buy a car (but not because you can't stand OC Transpo, right?), this is the place to go - it even says as much when you walk down those shallow steps:


In fact, that's pretty much all you see when you reach the platform. It's slightly below grade, so you don't see much - at first. After a second glance, maybe you'll notice how beautiful the area is.


A quick look up or to the right, you'll see a vast sky, vegetation, and rock - it's hard to believe that it's right in the middle of a busy part of the city. In the fall season, the oranges, yellows, and browns are a sure sight - probably one of the best views you'll have waiting for, well, the O-Train.


Look around even more and you'll discover a marsh- like environment. Undisturbed grasses grow tall in a quiet everlasting puddle. This probably means mosquitoes - but the nearby birds (there are many here) aren't complaining. Can you spot the duck?


Is that a snail's shell up on those rocks?


Rain water flows down the cliffs. The colour of the rock is incredible! Is it sulphur? As the weather cools and the water (and later, melting snow) drips down, massive icicles form, and eventually cover the wall with undulating layers of ice. If OC Transpo was feeling festive, they could string along some LED lights in the fall that would light up the ice wall come winter and really give people something to stare at for that quick one-minute stop between Bayview and Carleton.


Did you know? The O-Train passes under Dow's Lake after stopping at Carling station, before Carleton. The operator honks a horn just before entering the tunnel, probably to warn any brave explorers...

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