The Museum of Science and Technology closed in September 2014 after maintenance workers discovered asbestos, serious problems with the roof, and high levels of airborne mould. Currently, plans are underway to complete extensive renovations, expected to cost in the range of $80 million. However, a new discovery has got local scientists very excited: the museum has been hosting a brand new species of mould.
Sixteen months after this original discovery, researchers have completed their analysis of the strains of mould recovered from the building, including a new species which could change plans for the museum. An application has been submitted to cancel renovations and instead simply preserve the area to study the large culture of Aspergillus scitecharus.
“We’re talking about a freaking bakery here,” says Fazil Hassan, Professor of Microbiology at Carleton University, “let’s not pretend it was a museum in the first place. When the best exhibit in the museum is a ‘crazy kitchen’, you need to reconsider your priorities. Just give the space to us and it’ll immediately have more to do with science than ever before.”
Harsh words from a passionate scientist.
The City of Ottawa and the National Capital Commission (NCC) have finalized plans to rebury the Rideau Canal in central Ottawa, between Mooney’s Bay and the Ottawa River.
The waterway is undergoing its annual transition into the world’s largest skating rink, and was designated a National Historic Site, which required countless hoops to jump through before finalizing its reburial.
“We’re excited that we could get this done in time for St. Patrick’s Day,” says NCC representative Janice McDowell, “it will mean the world to the descendants of the Irish labourers who were used and abused nearly two hundred years ago.” Some are less excited, including local business owners whose business rely on the tourist attraction, particularly during the winter.
McDowell isn’t concerned, “What’s the big deal here? It was meant in case of war with the States but we never used for that reason, so let’s build a road, a park, a rail, anything else really. We could even build a large skating rink and still save money. Besides, what else are we supposed to do with all the dirt we’re digging up from the LRT tunnel?”
As for the Irish descendants, are they as excited as McDowell? “Yeah, this really isn’t something we care about, but good for Ottawa…I guess,” said local resident Brian Finnegan.
As light-rail construction continues on the O-Train Confederation Line, construction workers have made a miraculous discovery.
Deep underground below the new LRT tunnels, is a complete, perfectly preserved subway system. A network of rails exist below the city, missing only functional locomotives to transport passengers. Technicians are unable to indicate at this time whether the locomotives and cars can be restored.
The subway was found by construction worker Gerry Picci, who was working near the future Lyon Station. “Me and the boys were getting some eating lunch when I thought I’d give the guys a good laugh. Laughing is good for you, y’know? I grabbed the jackhammer and did my best Wile E Coyote impression. I must have gone too far and the ground fell through.” Hours after the discovery, municipal workers were able to map out part of the system, which is believed to extend as far as Carp and Rockland.
Local public servant, Leigh-Anne Sprague, was astonished, “I just can’t believe it! I always heard there were secret underground tunnels, but why wouldn’t someone explore this before taking on this project?” Her grandmother, Glenda, blames former mayor Larry O’Brien, “He knew all along, he must have. I told my Harold that O’Brien was up to something when he cancelled the LRT plans!”
Mr. O’Brien could not be contacted for comment.