No Tax Breaks for Porsche
Councillor McKenney and I have released a joint statement calling on City Council to reject the proposed tax break for a Porsche dealership in Vanier. Montreal Road is one of the most important streets in our city. It runs through the heart of a historically diverse, strong-knit community that has long been economically disadvantaged. The Community Improvement Plan is an opportunity to reverse this. It is not meant to give a Porsche dealership a tax break.
Trickle-down economics thinking that supports a $2.9m tax break to a Porsche dealership will not advantage the residents of Vanier or the city at large, nor will it spur the economic activity that small businesses need today.
Add your name to Councillor McKenney and I’s call on City Council to vote against the recommendation to provide a tax break to a Porsche dealership.
Service Line Warranties of Canada Motion Passes
Last month, we mentioned that we would be bringing a motion to address the issues surrounding the recent communications sent out about the Service Line Warranties of Canada Program (SLWC). The communications were sent out by a third-party company, but used the City of Ottawa logo, making it appear like an official notification from the city.
The motion addressed the issue by instructing staff to review this issue thoroughly, highlight the various options residents may have available with respect to protection for private water and sewer services, and clarifies the implications of the city’s arrangement with SLWC. It also specifies that any further communications from SLWC be provided to council with a review and comment period. Lastly, the motion directs staff to undertake a review of the SLWC program launch and report back to council on lessons learned.
We are happy to say that this month, city council passed our motion, and we hope that this will improve future communications from the city and any third-party partners.
You can check out some of the news coverage here: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/councillors-slam-sewer-mail-city-logo-1.6029476.
Ernesto Falbo, Founder of Ernesto’s Barbershop
This month, we are said to learn of the passing of Ernesto Falbo on May 10, after a courageous battle with cancer.
Ernesto founded Ernesto’s Barbershop in the Glebe in the early 1970s. Located at 887 Bank Street, next to Irene’s, his barbershop has been a neighbourhood institution for a half a century.
Ernesto was a barber to many Glebe residents and people from across the city, as well as celebrities and all of the sports teams at Lansdowne park.
His family tells us that Ernesto’s Barber Shop continues to live on with a new owner and the name Ernesto’s Barber Shop.
Ernesto leaves behind his wife and three children. He will truly be missed by all in the Glebe community and City of Ottawa.
Reducing Light Pollution at Lansdowne Park
Recently, the decorative lighting in Aberdeen Plaza had been on all night. Light pollution is a concern for residents and wildlife, so we spoke with staff at Lansdowne about the lights.
The lights over the Plaza were fist installed in fall of 2018 and had not been a concern in the past, because they were properly controlled by an automatic timer. Back in April, when the additional Christmas lights were taken down, the timer control was inadvertently set to keep the lights on all night. The lights have now been unplugged while work continues in the plaza.
Once all the construction is complete, the lights will be turned back on and the timer will be set to turn them off between 11 pm and 6 am. Staff will also adjust and inspect the timer seasonally, to make sure it is working properly.
Thanks to the residents who noticed the situation, so that we could get it addressed by staff.
Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP)—Playground Funding Update
With funding from the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, the city will replace the junior play structure and play equipment, and create an accessible pathway at Brantwood Park in 2026.
Long-Term Care Survey
On May 6th, I attended a thought-provoking conversation on the future of Long Term Care hosted by Councillor McKenney; we heard that the current system is not working and new and emerging models of care, such as the “Butterfly” model, can provide the dramatic shift we need in our care homes.
Councillor McKenney wants to hear from you on how the City of Ottawa can be a leader in providing compassionate care for our seniors. Please fill out their survey here and share with others. With your support, we can transform senior care in Ottawa. The survey will be open until May 27th.
Bank Street Canal Bridge Rehabilitation
Concrete repair works under the Bank Street Canal Bridge will start on May 25, 2021. The repair works are limited to arches 4 and 6 and are expected to be completed in August. This will conclude the planned concrete repair works under the bridge as part of this project.
Traffic Management on the Queen Elizabeth Drive will be similar to that of last year (lane reduction with alternating traffic on Queen Elizabeth Dr. under arch 4 outside of the afternoon peak hours). Pedestrian traffic will be maintained through the NCC pathway and Queen Elizabeth Dr. at all times during the construction.
Information for this project can be found at ottawa.ca/BankStreetBridge.
Carleton University Construction
During this term of council, we have been working with city staff and Carleton University to make improvements to Carleton’s proposed changes to the Bronson and Sunnyside intersection. Initially, the plan was to simply expand the intersection, without doing anything to address the safety concerns of residents.
After much collaboration, city staff have developed much improved designs that will incorporate proper protection for pedestrians and bicyclists. We are very happy about what we were able to achieve with this project.
This month, Carleton has begun construction work for the intersection.
We have also been informed recently that the university will be expanding their P7 parking lot and putting in a roundabout. This work has also begun.
Rideau Canal Walls
Parks Canada would like to inform the public that the concrete stairs at the National Capital Commission Kiosk that lead to the Rideau Canal Eastern Pathway from Colonel By Drive at Concord Street North will be temporarily closed starting on May 4th for modifications to the stairs and the handrail.
The north lane of the Rideau Canal Eastern Pathway at Concord Street North will be closed while this work is being completed. Northbound pedestrian and cyclist traffic are directed to utilize the south lane on the Rideau Canal Eastern Pathway at Concord Street North to bypass the construction. Minor vehicle traffic disruptions on Colonel By Drive may be expected as contractors move equipment to and from the site. Please follow signage and exercise caution in the area.
This infrastructure work is part of the Government of Canada’s Federal Infrastructure Investment program. Parks Canada is leading this important infrastructure work to ensure safe, high-quality experiences for visitors by improving heritage, visitor, waterway, and highway assets located within national historic sites, national parks, and national marine conservation areas.
For questions or concerns, or to receive email updates regarding this project, please contact us at [email protected]. For news about this or other infrastructure projects in your area, please visit our website at https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/lhn-nhs/on/rideau/visit/infrastructure/ottawa.
Lighting Along Colonel By and Queen Elizabeth
For the past few years, we have had issues with the street lights along Colonel By Drive and Queen Elizabeth Drive being burned out. While some lights have been fixed, others are still dark. The problem goes beyond replacing the bulbs.
Since 1991, the city has had an agreement with the NCC to maintain the lighting on each side of the canal, but now the issue goes beyond simple maintenance.
The lighting system was first installed approximately 50 years ago, and it is coming to the end of its lifespan. The NCC is currently looking into what options there are to replace it. There are a few issues we are seeing with the current lights.
First, many of the globes around the light fixtures are collecting rainwater. This causes the bulbs to blow, and they continue to fill, they will damage the light fixtures. Staff have continued to change these bulbs and fixing what they can, but it is a consistent issue. Staff are making weekly trips to the various NCC driveways and parkways that we maintain.
When the fixtures fail, the NCC provides the city with replacements, but it is difficult for the NCC to keep up with the demand.
As well, there is an issue with the underground plant. The electrical splicing was done below grade, which is no longer standard industry practice. When staff need to fix an underground splice, it requires the use of a vacuum truck to go into the ground, make the fix and then seal it up. Unfortunately, these fixes tend not hold, and there is often a subsequent failure a little further along the line.
There have been some temporary lighting implemented from Bank to Torrington along Queen Elizabeth, but there are concerns with this, as it requires overhead wiring which is an aesthetic concern and, more importantly, a safety concern, as there is a risk of cables and posts toppling over in heavy winds.
Staff continue to do as much maintenance as possible, but the city is still working on a permanent solution with the NCC.
LRT Stage 2 South Extension
Stage 2 South Extension construction activities are progressing. Want to know what’s expected in 2021? Check out the O-Train South Extension Spring Update: ottawa.ca/en/planning-development-and-construction/major-projects/stage-2-light-rail-transit-project/project-updates#o-train-south-extension-spring-2021-update
Ellwood Diamond Bridge Dismantling Work
As part of the Stage 2 O-Train South Extension project, work is progressing on the Ellwood Diamond rail bridge, which will allow VIA Rail trains to pass below the Trillium Line. Traffic impacts are expected during the work.
The rail bridge over the SE Transitway is being dismantled and demolished to make way for a new rail bridge which will allow VIA Rail trains to pass below the Trillium Line safely and efficiently.
Work is planned from May 31 to June 25; for more details, please check the maps and schedule provided below. This schedule is subject to change.
To allow work to progress on construction of the new Ellwood Diamond rail bridge, the demolition of the existing bridge must be completed.
The Ottawa Hospital Completes Next Stage of Planning for New Civic Development
The Ottawa Hospital is one step closer to opening one of the largest and most advanced hospitals in Canada that will serve Ottawa, Eastern Ontario, Western Quebec, and parts of Nunavut.
Earlier this spring, the hospital submitted stage 2 of the Capital Planning Process for its new Civic development to the Ontario Ministry of Health. As part of this submission, the hospital is now pleased to share with the public the proposed design of the cutting-edge new campus that will be situated near Dow’s Lake at the foot of Ottawa’s Rideau Canal.
The new Civic development, slated to open in 2028, will be a state-of-the-art facility, home to the most advanced trauma centre, one of the most innovative neuroscience research programs in the world and will have some of the most advanced digital technology to enable medical personnel to provide patients with the most effective new treatments and services.
Find out more about the new Civic development by visiting: newcivicdevelopment.ca.
Printing, Chromebooks and Wifi from Ottawa Public Library
As of Monday, May 10, library cardholders can borrow a chromebook to use outside of the library for a three-hour period, submit printing requests online, and access stronger wifi from outside library branches.
A Chromebook can be booked with a library card here: http://libonline.ottawa.ca
More information about borrowing a chromebook and accessing library WiFi can be found on our website, here: Chromebooks | Ottawa Public Library (biblioottawalibrary.ca)
Printing requests can be submitted from our website under Make a Booking > Print Request Form. The first ten pages of printing are free!
Aging Well Together at the Library: Wellness Fridays
Ottawa Public Library is delighted to announce the launch of Aging Well Together at the Library: Wellness Fridays programs, offered by the Library in partnership with City of Ottawa and funded by the City of Ottawa Older Adult Plan.
The Wellness Fridays programs are free. They start this June for Seniors Month and will continue through December! Programs are held on Zoom on Friday mornings, every week in English and twice a month in French.
Registration is already open for June classes: Zen Drawing and Doodling, Sketching Nature, and Dessin de la nature (in French).
July workshops will be announced in a few weeks!
To register, you need an Ottawa Public Library card, free to Ottawa residents. You can get a temporary card online or call InfoService 613-580-2940.
School-Aged Emergency Childcare (ECC)
Effective April 19, the Ministry of Education announced that Emergency Child Care (ECC) would be implemented for a third time to support the families of eligible front-line essential workers during the closure of schools across the province. The Ministry of Education has published the broadest eligibility list to date for this program that is free-of-charge to eligible families of school aged-children. Children’s Services as the Consolidated Municipal Service Manager for childcare and early years, is overseeing the local coordination and planning in Ottawa.
Families who require ECC can visit ottawa.ca/childcare to review the list of eligible workers and sites offering ECC.
Transportation options to COVID-19 vaccination clinics are still available with Ottawa Community Transportation. Residents can request transportation, and at least 48 hours’ notice to the scheduled appointment is required. This initiative for seniors is funded through the City’s Older Adult Plan, through the 2021 funding allocation process that took place early in the year.
- Para Transpo users can book a ride to vaccination clinics through the COVID-19 Vaccination Trip Reservation telephone line at 613-842-3600.
- Residents who need transportation supports to vaccination clinics can request a ride to and from the clinic through the Ottawa Community Transportation website.
- For residents who require transportation but do not have online access, they can contact 211 for assistance.
Portable Toilets in Capital Ward
In response to our request, the city has set up a portable toilet by St. Giles Presbyterian Church at Bank and First Avenue earlier this month. We know that with so many businesses and buildings closed these days, there is an acute need for public washrooms, and we’re happy to be able get this portable toilet back this year.
Another portable toilet will be in the ward at Linda Thom Park. It will be onsite June 1 to September 1. The major user of site, Ottawa SUP, is working with Ottawa Toilet Rentals to make it happen.
The Ottawa Food Bank and the Network of Food Programs Accept Fresh Produce
If you grow produce, have a community garden nearby or know someone with a green thumb who grew a little extra, please consider donating these fresh and local goods to the Ottawa Food Bank or your local community food bank.
Fresh and nutritious fruits and vegetables are an essential part of everyone’s health and wellbeing. With the help of their own eight-acre farm, approximately 46% of the food the Ottawa Food Bank distributes is fresh – but the community can always accept and needs more.
If you’d like to donate directly to the community food bank closest to you, please use the Ottawa Food Bank’s look-up tool (www.ottawafoodbank.ca/get-help) to find where they are located. Otherwise, you’re welcome to take your fresh produce directly to the Ottawa Food Bank at 1317 Michael Street, Monday to Friday between the hours of 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Thank you for helping keep our community healthy.
What do you do if a tree has been removed illegally?
If you see a tree being cut down, there are several ways to check if a tree permit has been issued:
- Check if there is a development sign on the property. If there is an active planning application for the property, there will be a large sign with information about the proposal. Call the City’s Planner identified on the sign and ask if tree removal has been approved.
- Check if there is a distinctive tree permit posted on the property and/or on the tree. The by-law requires that all distinctive tree permits are posted on the property for 7 days prior to removal and 7 days following the removal. Notice of the permit must also be posted on the tree itself for 7 days prior to removal.
- Call 3-1-1 and ask if a tree permit has been issued for the address
If you determine that a tree permit has not been issued for a tree removal or if it is unclear if a permit has been issued, please phone 3-1-1 and indicate the address of the tree removal. A service request will be sent out to the City Forestry Inspector for the area and they will visit the site to investigate.
If you have, or believe that you have, witnessed an illegal tree cutting, please note down any pertinent information related to the removal to provide to the city’s Forestry team if requested.
City’s Summer Aquatic eGuides now online
The City’s 2021 Summer Aquatic eGuides are now online at ottawa.ca/recreation. Registration for the COVID-modified aquatic program offerings starts on Wednesday, June 2 at 9 pm.
Start dates for summer aquatic programs are dependent upon current COVID-19 restrictions being relaxed sufficiently to allow swimming and pool activities. It is important, however, to proceed with aquatics registration to allow enough lead time to help residents, especially parents and guardians, to plan for the summer months.
Registration is easy. Explore the eGuides to select your aquatic program and follow these simple steps:
- Go to ottawa.ca and browse the summer recreation eGuides or visit JoinOttawa to find a course.
- Click the relevant barcode – it will take you to the course page, with details about the number of spaces available, fees and dates.
- Add the class to your cart and then proceed through the checkout. We’ll email you your receipt.
If you’re registered for a spring aquatic program, please note that due to the extension of the Stay-at-Home order, that all spring aquatic programs have now been cancelled. Staff are in the process of withdrawing and refunding clients. Participants registered in spring aquatic certification programs will be contacted by staff beginning May 26 to review re-scheduling options.
City swimming memberships will continue to be extended for the duration of the provincial Stay-at-Home order, which was recently extended to June 2.