LRT Update and the Need for a Judicial Inquiry
Last week, an LRT train derailed through Tremblay Station and into Capital Ward. This was shortly after another train had derailed just six weeks prior because of a broken axle and nine other trains were removed for inspections. The train that derailed last week was one of those nine that had just been inspected. This continues a long history of problems for our new rail system, procured as a public-private-partnership—from door problems to wheels to systems that had trouble working during the winter cold, the summer heat or when there’s dirt and debris.
It’s been a significant problem for transit riders and the public with LRT Stage 1 and Stage 2 representing the top debts in the city. Please listen to my interview with Alan Neal on the state of transit in Ottawa.
Since the initial guesses at the problem by city officials, the Transportation Safety Board took over the investigation and found that the train actually travelled quite a distance—including through a station—while partially derailed. We’re incredibly lucky that no one was hurt.
Investigations and revelations continue. We now know that, as a cost-saving measure, heat sensors were not implemented on our train cars. This led to wheels overheating and melting partially, without a warning to the driver as to the degree of the problem of the train.
The city is now looking to bring in an independent expert to conduct a safety review, after their original choice for this work was a company that participated in the LRT stage one project.
Through all of this, the city has not been forthcoming with information. Councillors are informed by local reporters, rather than city staff. Calls for public hearings are shut down by the mayor and city management. There is no transparency and no accountability.
A city safety review isn’t enough. This is why I support Councillor Catherine McKenney’s motion for a judicial inquiry into LRT and how it relates to good municipal governance. You can read the motion here, and write to council members to tell them to support it at the October 13 council meeting.
Official Plan Committee Meeting
The joint committee meeting to consider the final report for the new Official Plan (OP) will happen on October 14, 2021, with the final plan going to council on Wednesday, October 27.
If you wish to speak at the committee meeting, you can email Marc Desjardins at [email protected].
Fourth Ave Safe School Zone
As part of the Safe School Zones project, we have been working with the community and Safer Roads Ottawa to make permanent safety improvements to the block of Fourth Avenue between Mutchmor and Corpus Christi.
The city has now released proposed designs that feature two speed humps and a raised crosswalk between Mutchmor and the schoolyard behind Corpus Christi. These measures should make it much safer for kids walking and biking to school, as well for anyone using the schoolyard.
The city is currently conducting an online consultation. You can review the designs and fill out the survey here.
Sidewalk, Paths and Shared Space Etiquette
We’re seeing more people outside on our sidewalks and multi-use paths, these days, and we thought we’d thought we’d remind people to be considerate to other users. Bikes and scooters should be kept off sidewalks, and multi-use paths—like the pathways along the canal or the active transportation lanes on the Bank Street Bridge—can be used by all but please keep to the right and don’t go too fast.
School Bus Drivers Needed
The Ottawa Student Transportation Authority's Operators are experiencing a severe bus driver shortage. They have been working hard to provide alternate transportation solutions for students as new drivers are recruited and trained.
If you think you might like to become a bus driver, you can learn more and apply online.
Pretoria Avenue Consultation
Pretoria Avenue is having its sewers replaced and, as part of this project, the city is looking to make improvements to the overall design of the street. In the past, residents have contacted us, concerned about the speed of traffic along Pretoria. In accordance with current city policy, the street is being re-designed to a 30 km/h standard.
The city has posted the proposed designs online and is seeking residents’ feedback.
Stay Informed, Get Involved with Draft Budget 2022 Survey
With the tabling of Draft Budget 2022 coming up this November, the City of Ottawa’s Draft Budget 2022 information and survey is now live on engage.ottawa.ca. This is your opportunity to learn more about the budget process and give your ideas and opinions for consideration in this budget, through a survey or direct message through the webpage.
Watch the 770-774 Bronson Avenue Public Consultation
Last week, we hosted a public consultation on the proposed 26-storey development at Bronson and Carling. If you missed it, you can watch it here, and let us know what you think.
Re-Scheduled: Greystone Phase III Consultation
We will now be hosting a public consultation on October 13 (previously scheduled for September 30) from 7:00 to 8:30pm to discuss phase III of the Greystone development Site Plan Control Application. You can register for the consultation here.
The proposed development is comprised of two seven-storey residential buildings with a total of 260 units, a private courtyard area with an elevated footbridge connection to the river, and an underground garage with a total of 266 vehicular spaces and 260 bicycle parking spaces. The meeting will provide a chance to review a number of questions that have been raised by the community, including traffic circulation, unit count and public space. Detailed documentation for phase III is available on the city’s devapps website.
The annual Panda Game returns on Saturday, October 2, at noon at Lansdowne Park. The Panda Game is a regular season football game between the Carleton University Ravens and the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees.
Carleton is sensitive to the impact of the Panda Game on surrounding neighbourhoods. Carleton works closely each year with businesses, city services and community members to minimize disruption.
In the days leading up to Panda, students will go door-to-door in neighbouring communities, distributing pamphlets with details about the game to highlight the university’s commitment to a safe and fun event.
With COVID-19 restrictions in place, there is a reduced spectator capacity for this year’s event. Mandatory vaccination is also required for TD Place events. In order to be permitted entry into this event fans must have been administered their second vaccination on or before September 8. Masks are also mandatory while inside the perimeter of TD Place for all individuals, including open-air spaces.
Student volunteers will also conduct a post-Panda cleanup in Old Ottawa South and the Glebe. They will cover the area from Bank and Grove to Bank and Fifth.
Should you have any questions comments or concerns, please contact [email protected].
The City of Ottawa is preparing to renew aging infrastructure and revitalize the right of way in the northern section of Old Ottawa East as part of the overall Greenfield Avenue, Main Street, Hawthorne Avenue et al. reconstruction project.
This work is being conducted to replace aging combined sewers with separate storm and sanitary sewers, replace sections of older watermains, and reconstruct the roadways, including the implementation of complete street features for the betterment of all road users in your community.
The Greenfield Avenue, Main Street, Hawthorne Avenue et al. reconstruction project is a multi-year project, with advanced construction work commencing in late summer 2021. In 2022, extensive underground and road construction work will occur, with expected completion in 2024, pending budget approvals. Once approvals are in place, the project team will communicate in advance of any updates to the schedule. Currently, the design work for this portion of the project is underway.
The work in 2021 will include the following distinct locations identified within the larger project area, along with preparatory road, sewer and watermain work:
- Main Street and Colonel By Drive intersection: Full signalization of the intersection including cycling connections and a future east-west cycling facility in the subsequent phase of the construction project;
- Colonel By Drive from Hawthorne Avenue to north of Highway 417: Installation of a storm sewer with trench reinstatement;
- Main Street, from Greenfield Avenue to Echo Drive: Watermain, storm sewer and sanitary sewer replacement with temporary reinstatement of the area. Full reconstruction will occur in the subsequent phase of construction;
- Echo Drive at Main Street: Watermain, sanitary sewer, and storm sewer installation with temporary road reinstatement;
- Lees Avenue from Greenfield Avenue to the Ottawa Light Rapid Transit (OLRT) pathway: Construction of a multi-use pathway, pending approval;
- Hawthorne Avenue, from Main Street to Colonel By Drive: Relocation of gas main.
A construction notice regarding upcoming road closures has been mailed to residents in the affected area and can be viewed on the project website at ottawa.ca/gmhreconstruction.
New Business Alert!
There’s a new café that's coming to Capital Ward as one of the pop-up opportunities at Lansdowne. The café is run by Paula Naponse, who is Ojibwe, She wants to create a café and gathering space for Indigenous artisans to sell their work (including her own from her clothing and goods company called Ondarez). The café will be in the former co-working space called Lauft.
Paula’s story is inspiring and emotional. She sat down with Ottawa Tourism recently to talk about her life and her work; you can watch her story here.
Rideau River MUP Detour
With LRT work connecting Carleton University and Vincent Massy Park continuing, the Rideau River Eastern Pathway needs to be closed to ensure the safety of pedestrians and cyclists The closure will begin October 4 and will continue through mid-April 2022. Access to Vincent Massey Park will be maintained from the north, with a “soft closure” at the perimeter of the park. A complete closure will be implemented at the work site, by the rail bridge between the park and the university.
Signage has been installed to notify users of the path. They will be directed to a protected detour in the curb lane on Riverside Drive.
We apologize for the inconvenience, but we look forward to the new footbridge that will connect the park and the university.
Orangeville Queensway Noise Barrier
Recently, the province removed the existing noise barriers along the eastbound lanes of the Queensway between Rochester and Bronson. This is part of the Queensway bridge replacement project that is underway. We know this is a disruption for residents, but the Ministry of Transportation has informed us that the noise barriers are expected to be replaced this fall.
Have your say on the new Windsor Park Fieldhouse Designs!
OSCA’s Windsor Park Fieldhouse Working Group wants your feedback on three design options it has developed to replace the existing building. All three designs can be viewed in the consultation document here.
You can use the questionnaire, available at the end of the consultation document, to send in your feedback. Feedback will be accepted until Friday, November 12.
Please also join us for an in-person community meeting on the design options at the Fieldhouse building in Windsor Park on Monday, October 4, between 4:30 pm and 6:00 pm. City COVID-19 protocols will be observed. See you there!
OAP Bench Initiative
As part of the 2021 Older Adult Plan (OAP) Bench Initiative, we’re happy to announce that a new bench is planned for Bélanger Avenue between Clementine Boulevard and Bank Street.
This is one way to make our city and our neighbourhood healthier, more walkable and equitable. It’s important for everyone to feel they can get outside, but many residents aren’t able to travel long distances without the opportunity to sit down. This OAP program makes the city a little more accessible and equitable.
Energy Efficiency Day
On October 6, we are recognizing Energy Efficiency Day. On this day, we celebrate Canadians who provide, promote and value energy efficiency—making more comfortable homes, healthier schools, and more resilient and prosperous communities.
When we celebrate energy efficiency, we're celebrating people. There are more than 436,000 Canadians who work in the energy efficiency sector, and together, we're helping Canadians fight global climate change, while creating jobs and boosting economic development.
City Tree Planting
Forestry Services’ fall tree planting program is scheduled to begin next week and will run, weather permitting, until mid-November. This includes tree planting in parks, at city facilities, and along streets.
There are 70 locations in Capital Ward that will see new trees, and where a tree planting is scheduled on city property adjacent to a residence, individual notifications will be provided to the resident in advance of planting. Residents should also expect to see utility locate flags and paint on the ground prior to planting.
Bridge-to-Bridge Reforestation Group
As part of the fall tree planting season, the Bridge-to-Bridge Reforestation Group will planting 42 trees along Bronson between the bridges! Tree planting will occur this Saturday, October 2, starting at 9:00 am at the corner of Bronson and Sunnyside.
The provincial proof of vaccination requirements took effect on September 22, 2021. Vaccinated individuals are able to log into the provincial portal to download and or print an electronic COVID-19 vaccine receipt.
Residents who require assistance with their vaccination receipts and are unable to access them online at https://covid19.ontariohealth.ca/ are recommended to contact the Provincial Vaccine Booking Line at 1-833-943-3900.
How to access vaccination certificates
Individuals will need the following to log into the provincial portal:
- A green photo health (OHIP) card (numbers from the front and back of the card, expired cards will be accepted)
- Date of birth
- Postal code that is associated with health card
Access the portal to download the PDF electronic receipt.
- Red and white health card: call the Provincial Vaccine Booking line at 1-833-943-3900. You will be emailed a copy of the vaccine receipt after your request.
- Individuals who do not have a health card but were immunized in Ontario and need proof of vaccination can call 613-691-5505 and listen to the options.
- Individuals who do not have access to a computer and printer can drop into any of our Neighbourhood Vaccination Hubs where an OPH staff can help to download and print your vaccination receipt.
Residents who received a COVID-19 vaccine through a Federal program while in the province of Ontario (for example military or embassy vaccination clinic) can ensure their vaccination is recorded in Ontario by completing the Ontario COVID-19 Vaccine Form for Federal Programs.
Individuals vaccinated at Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team
Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is aware that some individuals who received a COVID-19 vaccine at Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team in Ottawa have not had their vaccination information entered into the provincial COVAX system.
We are aware that Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team provided clients with a paper vaccination receipt that has all the necessary information for it to be valid proof when shown alongside identification that includes a person’s name and date of birth. If people have lost their receipt, they are encouraged to contact Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team who will be happy to print another copy for them.
OPH reminds businesses and residents that, as per Province of Ontario regulations, signed proof of vaccination from an Indigenous health care provider is considered valid.
What can be shown as proof of vaccination
Individuals aged 12 and over, unless otherwise exempted, can provide either a paper or digital copy of their vaccination receipt that demonstrates they are fully vaccinated. It must include their name, date of vaccination and product name (brand of vaccine) at the time of vaccination. A vaccination receipt includes any of the following:
- An Ontario vaccination receipt from a vaccine clinic when you received your dose (paper copy)
- A vaccination receipt signed by an Indigenous Health Provider
- An Ontario Ministry of Health vaccination receipt received by email following your appointment (digital or printed paper copy)
- Downloaded vaccination receiptfrom Ontario’s provincial booking portal or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900 (digital or printed paper copy)
- A vaccination receipt from another jurisdiction that shows the holder is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
You must also validate that the vaccine receipt is yours by providing identification issued by an institution or public body that includes your name and date of birth.
Indoor City Recreation Centres and Cultural Facilities will Require Proof of Vaccination
Starting on Wednesday, September 22, proof of full COVID-19 vaccination will be required for those 12 and older to enter city recreation and cultural facilities, with some exceptions identified below.
Upon entering a recreation centre, swimming pool, arena, or theatre venue, a person must have an electronic or hard copy of their vaccination receipt confirming two doses received at least 14 days prior, and a piece of valid identification, such as:
- Driver’s licence
- Health Card
- Birth certificate
Without a proof of vaccination, a person cannot access indoor recreational or cultural activities, including:
- Lane and public swims
- Fitness classes—including Aquafit
- Weight/Cardio drop-ins
- Instructional cooking, music or art classes
- Adult sports or drop-in activities
- Theatre or studio performance or cinema
- Rented spaces
Adults who accompany children or youth into a facility for activities—including but not limited to swimming lessons or Learn-to-Skate activities—require proof they have been fully vaccinated.
Residents are reminded to arrive a few minutes earlier before the scheduled session or activity. All COVID-related protocols remain in place—including reservations, capacity limits, masking and physical distancing.
- Organized sports for youth between the ages of 12 and 17, including on ice sports, sport leagues, badminton, table tennis, tennis, ball hockey, martial arts, dance, basketball, swimming lessons, aquatic certification courses or volleyball. However, this youth age group will require proof of vaccination for recreational swims, use of a cardio and weight room or attending an activity or sporting event as a spectator.
- Religious ceremonies, funeral services or wedding ceremonies hosted in city facilities (This does not include any social gatherings occurring before or after these events)
- Brief entry to use the washroom, pick up a participant, seek information or make a payment.
Other city facilities and in-person services do not require proof of vaccination. These services and facilities include:
- Service Ottawa Client Service Centres
- Building Code Services
- Museums and art galleries
- Ottawa Public Library branches—with possible exceptions for meeting and program rooms
- Transit—including transit stations
- Employment and Social Services and Rent Supplement Program Offices
- Business Licensing Centre
- Provincial Offence Act Court