Sod Fest: A Picture For The Ages


This is the picture that Ottawa has been eagerly awaiting.

Sod Fest … the picnic on the bridge … the Alexandra Bridge. And frighteningly enough with summer arriving quickly, the picnic is only exactly three weeks away from today … Monday.

Too bad the Sod Fest wasn’t being run on the Prince of Wales Bridge. City officials could have used the faulty field turf at Minto Field and turned the POW span into a permanent picnic pavilion. A perpetual tribute to the 2017 celebration.

Or …

Saved the money from the picnic and put it into a fund to run light rail across the Prince of Wales Bridge.

Now let’s see … staff says it would cost between $20 million to $40 million to make the span a LRT link. If you divide that cost between the two cities and the three senior levels of government, why you divide by five and the project might cost Ottawa taxpayers as little as $4 million. With 100-per-cent overruns (as has been the city’s wont), the bridge project is still a steal at $8 million. You heard it here first.

In contrast, Ottawa 2017 said last year that as much as $70 million could be spent on this year’s civic-national celebration and related activities. Glad to see the city has its priorities in order.

Wouldn’t a POW transit line have been a wonderful legacy project commemorating Canada’s 150th anniversary?

You know, Mayor Jim Watson could cut a ribbon and put a plaque on the transit bridge with his name on it. In fact, if it hurried the development of the span, we could call it the Jim Watson Bridge just to get His Worship excited.

Still … we’ll always have the artist representation of Sod Fest in the years to come.



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12 thoughts on “Sod Fest: A Picture For The Ages

  1. I want to know what happens if you haven’t finished your picnic when your time is up. Will they forcibly remove you and your family?

      1. Seats, seats – you mean there are seats too. Oh, Ottawa, such extravagance for a century-and-a-half quasi milestone party. Maybe, that is a stoner party requirement ’cause somebody must have been doing a doobbie when this idea came up.

        When we use to take our kids on a picnic, we sat on the grass.

        Guess you need seats if you are dressing up to go to this picnic. The dressing up part seems to be a requirement per PR video of the two mayors meeting out there on the expanse.

        Chaz :)

        1. Chaz, I was trying to tie the Voter’s question to the quasi-fraudulent policies of many of the members of the airline industry.

          1. Ron,
            Which ever way one looks at this, everything about it, from sod to official bread – somebody deserves to get a kick in the seat of the pants.


      2. Ron, there are multiple sittings so you essentially get the use of the plot during a specific time slot. From the August 2016 press release: “Tickets for a picnic area on the bridge are $40 (plus tax and service charges) and can accommodate a maximum of four people. Seatings will take place at 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6:30 pm and will run for 1.5 hours each.”

    1. Yep, you get thrown off the side of the bridge and the next sucker gets to keep your picnic basket.
      Chaz :)

  2. Is there a Plan B in case of rain?
    Is the need to sod the bridge a comment on the quality of the grass on the Experimental Farm, in rural Ottawa, i.e. not good enough for 2017?
    Beyond the planting of 150 trees in many cities (a good thing), disappointing on a national/provincial/municipal level that no landmark project has been created.
    The lack of imagination is a disgrace.

    1. Fed-Up:

      Yes indeed but a legacy project means only one ribbon-cutting.

      Development is measured by ribbon-cutting-per-million-dollars-spent.



      1. Ken,
        My disappointment extends beyond the city.
        Perhaps to liven things up, since that seems to be the theme, local politicians should have a diving off the bridge competition. Now that might be worth attending.

          1. Chaz,
            Type of dive at discretion of participant but marks given for level of difficulty. No guts, no glory.
            What prize to give?


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