a city of neighbourhoods

Christopher Ryan, photographed in Minto Park, Centretown.

Today was incredibly cold, but we still braved the bitter minus 20’s to photograph self-proclaimed history nerd Christopher Ryan. I first noticed Chris on Instagram with his sensitive and understated portraits of lovely old buildings and homes in Ottawa (mostly Centretown). I was drawn to his imagery because his photographs seemed to gently pay homage to the overlooked yet important mid-century architecture of Ottawa. What I discovered today was that Chris’ love for heritage architecture and urban history goes way beyond photography – he also writes an extensive and insightful blog called The Margins of History which celebrates Ottawa’s rich urban history.

© dwayne brown studio  – the  loveOttawa  project

© dwayne brown studio – the loveOttawa project

When I asked Chris if he had any favourite Ottawa cafés or restaurants, his first and quick reply was the Ministry of Coffee on Elgin – it’s where he does most of his writing he said! (this really is such a cool and friendly little café) – He’s also been known to tip a pint or two at The Sir John A Pub and grab tacos from El Camino’s take-out window. Now considering how Chris is such a passionate neighbourhood guy, I wasn’t surprised when I asked him where he’d take guests visiting from out of town and his reply was to take them to some of his favorite Ottawa neighbourhoods (one being Manor Park in the east end of Ottawa)!

It truly was a treat to meet Chris and to learn so much about his passion for Ottawa’s rich urban history. You can see some of Chris Ryan’s Centretown photography on his Instagram feed: @chrisarrrrr,  or follow him on twitter: @chrisarrrrr and read his blog: www.historynerd.ca

Thanks Chris for bundling up and braving the cold! :)