Capital Ward Bulletin: A safer Billing’s Bridge and Bank Street, and ways to get involved in your community!

A safer Billing’s Bridge and Bank Street!

This week, city council approved the addition of protected intersections at Riverside Drive and Riverdale Avenue and a safer Billing's Bridge with added bike lanes. The design will include three motor vehicle lanes, including dedicated right turn lanes at each end of the bridge. This project will be completed along with the Bank Street renewal, all the way to Walkley Road and will complement the improvements we made to the Bank Street Canal Bridge last term of council. By combining the work on the bridge with the larger Bank Street re-construction project, we are saving money with efficiencies and limiting construction-related disruptions.  

Coming from Old Ottawa South, there will be bike lanes added to Bank Street between the bridge and Chesley Avenue for better connectivity with Cameron Avenue. These will connect to bike lanes, wider sidewalks and safer vehicle travel lanes all the way to Walkley Road.

This is a significant safety improvement for our communities and for the city. From 2015 to 2019 this area of the Billings Bridge and Riverside saw almost 300 traffic collisions, many of them exceptionally serious. In 2013, a resident tragically lost her life. 

In the coming years, this area will see more development, with towers being built on either side of Bank at Riverside. With more people coming into the area, it is imperative that we make Bank Street safer so that people may travel easily and comfortably between Heron Park and Alta Vista, and Old Ottawa South to the Glebe.

We first called for improvements to this bridge years ago and we have worked continuously with staff to come to a solution. When Alta Vista Ward Councillor Marty Carr was elected last year, she joined in the call for a safer bridge. 

Residents have been calling for these improvements, too and showed up during public consultations. Now that the plan is approved by council, staff will begin working on the detailed designs for the bridge. During this process, we will be seeking proper separation for drivers, pedestrians and bikes, so that everyone on the bridge feels safe. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this outcome.

Old Ottawa South bus lane

Alongside the improvements to the Billings Bridge, the city also instituted a new bus-only lane on Bank northbound in the afternoon peak period. Bicyclists will also be permitted to use this lane. During this time, there will be no parking on the east side of Bank.

Originally, the city intended to have the bus-only lane be in effect between 2:00 and 6:30 pm, Monday to Friday. This caused much concern from residents and businesses. We reviewed the data about when buses were most impacted, and worked with the mayor and council to pass a motion to reduce the timeframe for the bus-only lane to 2:30 to 4:30 pm, when data showed the problem was the worst. This change should minimize the effect to small businesses and the community.

We worked closely with residents, businesses and city staff to come to this compromise, balancing the needs of transit riders, the local community and businesses, and we appreciate everyone’s effort to come to this solution.

Percy overpass replacement

The Ministry of Transportation has informed us that the replacement of the Queensway overpass at Percy will be occur on the weekend of September 28. We are waiting for confirmation on when the Percy underpass will re-open, but we expect it to occur soon after the construction is complete.

This has been a significant inconvenience for residents, especially as many children use this underpass as the only safe route to school. We will keep working with the province to get the underpass opened quickly, and we will keep you updated as we get more information.

Lansdowne 2.0 update

For the past couple of years, we have been talking about Lansdowne 2.0, the proposal to re-develop Lansdowne Park. Currently, city staff are working on a final report and recommendations, and, soon, city council will have to make a decision on this project.

Here are some important dates regarding the report and decision:

  • During the week of September 25, city councillors will begin receiving briefings on the city’s report;
  • The final report will be made public on Tuesday October 3;
  • The Urban Design Review Panel will review the proposal on Friday October 6;
  • A joint Finance and Corporate Services, and Planning Committees meeting will be held on Wednesday October 18 to review and vote on the report; and
  • City council will review and vote on the report on Wednesday October 25.

Our office still has significant concerns about the proposal, and we are pressing staff to make significant improvements. You can learn more about our view on the proposal at www.betterlansdowne.ca.

Brantwood Park—basketball court update

The community has been pushing for years to upgrade the basketball courts at Brantwood Park, which are cracked, unmarked, and often collect standing water when it rains. While the nearby courts at Springhurst park are popular with teenagers and packed in the evening, the Brantwood courts provide a space for less experienced and/or younger players to practice their shots. Our office was told in 2019 that these courts were slated for lifecycle replacement in 2022, however in 2022 they were assessed to be in fair condition. The need for renewal of assets in the city greatly outweighs the available budget to renew and over the last four years, costs of construction have almost doubled while the budget envelope has stayed the same.

While our office continues to push for a full renewal of the courts, we used cash in lieu funds to have lines painted last week. The city also regraded the area around the courts, removing sod and seeding grass in order to address the issue of mud ponding in the courts during wet weather and to expand the court’s surface from encroaching grass. We are hopeful that these upgrades will provide a better experience for players, and will be meeting on site with staff later this month to assess the long-term prognosis for a full court replacement. The Brantwood Park court was originally built in the 1980’s, and when it is replaced, the grade difference from the sidewalk to the basketball court will require a ramp and pathway for accessibility.

Hawthorne Avenue temporary closure

As part of the Greenfield-Main-Hawthorne reconstruction, Hawthorne Avenue will be closed between Main Street and Colonel By Drive for the following weekends:

  • Friday, 22 September at 7:00 pm to Monday, 25 September at 6:00 am
  • Friday, 13 October at 7:00 pm to Monday, 16 October at 6:00 am

An additional weekend closure will likely be necessary, but a firm date has not been set.

Signage will be put up directing people along the planned detour route.

Call to Raise the Affordable Housing Budget

Horizon Ottawa is calling on city council to raise its capital budget for affordable housing. If you would like to see more funding for affordable housing, consider signing their petition.

Transit rally: We're done waiting!

Join Free Transit Ottawa, Ottawa Transit Riders, Horizon Ottawa and Ecology Ottawa for a Rally to Fix Public Transit. You can RSVP here.

Come Try Ringette!

The City of Ottawa Ringette Association is hosting a free Come Try Ringette Saturday September 16 11:30 to 1:00 pm at the Carleton Ice House.

This event is open to participants of all skill levels, ages 5 to 15, they take to the ice at noon!

What do you need for Come Try Ringette? Skates, helmet, winter mitts or gloves. Other protective equipment is nice to have, softens the blow if they fall, but not necessary. Participants are led through various games and activities.

You can register at cometryringette.rampinteractive.com.

Abbotsford House Gala

The Glebe entre is hosting a gala to raise funds for Abbotsford House, to support the community programs and services they offer to seniors living in the community. The gala, with this year's theme being Mystic Carnivale, will be held on Thursday October 12 at 6:00 pm at the Horticulture Building at Lansdowne.

For tickets, visit glebecentre.ca/mysticcarnivale.

Walk for Food Security on Oct 1!

The Walk For The Centre is returning in 2023 for its eighth year. They will be walking together for food security in central Ottawa. They will again welcome friends, families and teams at City Hall for a traditional walk, rain or shine along the Rideau Canal. As always, 100 percent of net proceeds go to the Centretown Community Food Centre. Plan to join them on October 1, 1:30 to 4:00 pm.

In 2022, they raised over $36,00!

Schedule:

Sunday, October 1 at Jean Pigott Room, City Hall

  • 1:00 PM Registration and Music
  • 2:00 PM Opening Ceremony
  • 2:20 PM Walk Begins

You can sign up or donate here.

Your Capital Ward

Photo by Steve West

If you have a photo you’d like to share in an upcoming bulletin, please send it to [email protected], with the subject line Your Capital Ward. Please give us your name for attribution…or tell us if you’d rather not have your name shared.

Volunteer Ottawa

Volunteer Ottawa is holding its Fall Volunteer Expo on Friday, September 22, 2023.  This is a free, in-person event where you can speak with representatives from over 30 local charities and not‑for‑profits to find opportunities to volunteer for a good cause, meet great people and learn something new. 

What: Fall Volunteer Expo
When: Friday, September 22, 2023, from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Where: Rideau Hub Cafeteria (former Rideau High School), 815 St. Laurent Blvd., Ottawa
Cost:  Free
Parking:  Free
Transit: Route #7 stops in front of the building

School bus drivers needed

Being a school bus driver is satisfying part-time employment that fits your work-life balance. It's a great job for stay-at-home parents, retired grandparents, and newcomers looking to enter the workforce. Free training is available.

Find out more at www.driveyellow.ca

Be part of the community - Become a Crossing Guard!

Join the Ottawa Safety Council’s (OSC) dedicated, community-minded team of Adult Crossing Guards!

Great reasons to join the OSC’s crossing guard team:

  • Make a real difference in your own community!
  • Get to know your neighbours
  • Help local families
  • Become a trusted face in your neck of the woods
  • Enjoy supplementary income and perks

Being a Crossing Guard provides a meaningful employment opportunity that puts a smile on everyone’s face.

Interested in learning more? Get all the details on becoming a crossing guard from our website at www.Crossing-Guard.ca contact Ella at [email protected]

Make school zones safer and help kids get exercise with a walking routine! 

Start this school year on the right foot!

Set a healthy routine with your family this school year! Walking, scooting, and cycling to school is a great way to start the day.    

The 2022 ParticipACTION Report Card shows that only 28% of kids in Canada (5-17 years) are meeting national physical activity guidelines. The Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines recommend 60 minutes of moderate activity per day and 1-2 hours of light activity per day for children aged 5-17. These targets can be achieved by including walking, cycling, or scooting to school in your family’s routine.  

If you live too far away from school, or your schedule makes it challenging to walk the whole way, consider parking a block away from the school and walking. Even walking 5 minutes to school reduces congestion around the drop-off area, improves school zone safety, and promotes physical activity. You can find the Walk-A-Block map for OCDSB and OCSB schools here, and at these links for CECCE and CEPEO.  

Walk to school when you can—it will make a world of difference! 

Find more resources about school active transportation at EnviroCentre and the Ottawa Student Transportation Authority.  

Library back to full fall hours

With fall around the corner and new routines about to begin, hours at Ottawa Public Library (OPL) will return to full fall levels at all of its 33 branches starting Tuesday, September 5, 2023. Some OPL branches will offer improved and expanded hours in order to meet the wide-ranging needs of a diverse clientele with various schedules. Current hours are posted at branch entrances and under hours and location page on the OPL website. 

Notably, the Library will continue its increased weekend hours that were introduced last year. Full-day service is offered on Saturdays and Sundays at ten branches and InfoService online call centre. The first fall Sunday will be September 10.   

OPL understands the importance of accommodating the diverse schedules of clients and ensuring access to in-person library resources seven days a week – in addition to its 24/7 virtual services. With this return to a full complement of open hours, the Library reaffirms its commitment to serving as an essential hub for learning, creativity, and community engagement. 

The branch in Ward 17 is Sunnyside.   

Coming soon this fall at Ottawa Public Library:

  • OPL will open seven (7) branches on National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Saturday, September 30 from 10 am to 5 pm and invite members of the public to learn more about the history and lasting effects of Canada’s residential school system, and how each of us might help reconciliation.  
  • In October, Library Month, OPL will highlight the library's role as a cornerstone of our democratic society — showcasing our commitment to intellectual freedom and promoting information literacy for all. A panel of top authors on Monday, October 2 will tackle the meaty topics of intellectual freedom, censorship and banned books.   

Further information and details will soon be available on the OPL website. Residents can call InfoService  at 613 580-2940 or email [email protected]. BiblioOttawaLibrary.ca is available around the clock for virtual browsing of our catalogue, varied digital resources and a wide range of virtual programs on OPL’s YouTube channel.  

Open houses to help get you zoned in on the new Zoning By-law

The city has a new Official Plan and now a new Zoning By-law is needed to implement that Plan.

The Official Plan sets out directions for how to manage growth and change in neighbourhoods and how the City will respond to issues such as climate change and affordable housing. The new Zoning By-law will help implement these directions by providing rules for what can be built on every property in Ottawa.

The Zoning By-law sets out rules for:

  • How tall buildings can be
  • Where different types of housing and businesses are permitted
  • How much soft landscaping and space for trees is required
  • Where parking spaces can be located

Open houses

They have scheduled in-person open houses this September to help you learn what zoning means, understand how the new Zoning By-law is related to the Official Plan, and receive a high-level overview of key zoning topics:

  • September 20 – City Hall (Jean Pigott Place): 5:30 to 7:30 pm
  • September 23 – Ray Friel Recreation Complex: 2:30 to 5:00 pm

A virtual open house will be hosted at the end of September. Stay tuned for more details.
You can find more information about the new Zoning By-law and the Official Plan, and recent Provincial changes to the Planning Act, at engage.ottawa.ca.

Want to learn even more?

Read the discussion paper and complete the survey about Form and Function. This paper examines how to ensure that all of the essential functions on residential lots can be accommodated, including waste storage, bicycle parking, space for trees and outdoor amenity areas. Making rules for neighbourhoods involves finding a balance among all these different things so that the quality and quantity of housing we need can be achieved.

This is just the latest in a series of discussion papers about key issues, including:

  • Climate change, resiliency and public health
  • Neighbourhood character
  • Rural zones
  • Equity, diversion and inclusion
  • How zoning can regulate trees

The comments received from all surveys will inform the development of the first draft of the new Zoning By-law in early 2024.

The Capital Funding Program is now open to applications

The Community Funding Capital Funding stream is now open for applications.

Capital funding is intended for small capital improvements to City owned, agency owned, or long-term leased properties.

Funding will be provided in collaboration with social service agencies on a cost-sharing basis. Funding must be matched (at least 50%) by the agency or another funder. 

The 2023 Capital Funding will be prioritizing projects which address the needs of food security.

For more information, please visit Ottawa.ca.

  • Deadline for application: Tuesday October 10, 2023, at 4:00 pm 
  • Funding available: $200,000
  • Maximum funding per agency: $50,000
  • Applicants are advised of the results: Within 30 business days after the deadline for application

All applications will be assessed through an allocation process. An applicant’s success in obtaining funding depends on the allocation committee’s final evaluation and the funding available in the envelope.

Firefighters will be knocking on your door. Be alarmed!

As part of the fall Wake Up! program, firefighters from Ottawa Fire Services will visit homes across the city to ensure smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are present and working.

Ontario’s Fire Code requires that homes have a working smoke alarm on each floor and outside each sleeping area. Carbon monoxide alarms are also required outside sleeping areas if the home has an attached garage, a wood stove or a fuel-fired appliance.

From Monday, September 11 to Monday, September 18, uniformed firefighters will:

  • Visit select residential areas between 6 and 8 pm on weekdays and 2 and 4 pm on weekends.
  • Offer to inspect and test alarms.
  • Install smoke alarms and provide new batteries.
  • Share information on fire safety and home escape planning.
  • Leave fire safety information in the mailbox if no one is home.

This is a courtesy call only and all services are provided to residents for free. Residents are not obligated to provide firefighters access to their home.

To learn what is involved in a firefighter home visit, watch the Wake Up! video. Visit ottawa.ca/fire for more information on smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

Saved by the Beep

Missed the firefighters when they visited? Join thousands of households across Ontario in testing their alarms as part of Test Your Smoke Alarm Day on Thursday, September 28. Here’s how you can promote fire safety in your household:

  • Test your alarms once per month.
  • Replace the alarms’ batteries once per year.
  • Install new alarms once every 10 years (or as instructed by the manufacturer).
  • Review your fire safety habits and escape plan with your household regularly.

Smoke alarms don't last forever. Learn more about smoke alarm safety and how your household could be saved by the beep on savedbythebeep.ca.

Heritage Grant Program for Building Restoration City of Ottawa

The Heritage Grant Program for Building Restoration has changed its application period. Applications for 2024 projects will be accepted from October 9 to December 8, 2023.

A heritage grant of up to $10,000 for small-scale buildings, and up to $25,000 for large-scale buildings is available on a matching basis to assist owners of heritage buildings designated under Part IV or Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act for restoration work. An owner can apply for grant funding once every two years. The grant program is based on availability of funding which is approved by City Council as part of the annual budget.

Detailed information about the program is available in the Program Guidelines.

Applications for 2024 projects will be accepted from October 9 to December 8, 2023. You should first discuss your proposal with staff in Heritage Services of the Planning, Real Estate and Economic Development Department. Staff will be able to assist you in determining the information required to process your application. Applications should be submitted to Heritage Services, Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development Department. A heritage planner will contact the applicant if further information is required.

Application forms are available online: Heritage Grant ApplicationOpens

Contact:

Taylor Quibell, Heritage Planner
Planning, Real Estate and Economic Development Department
City of Ottawa
613-580-2424 ext. 74708
Email: [email protected]

OC Transpo fall service

OC Transpo fall service began Sunday, August 27, with adjustments for service reliability, seasonal ridership, and construction, as well as the return of school service. Before heading out, use the Travel Planner on octranspo.com to plan your trip.

Service adjustment highlights

  • The Shuttle Express service that began on August 15 will continue to operate during peak periods as an alternative to O-Train Line 1. Shuttle Express, also known as E1, operates every 10 minutes, providing service from Tunney's Pasture and Blair stations to Downtown in the morning, and from Downtown to Tunney's Pasture and Blair stations in the afternoon.
  • Line 2: Frequency of Line 2 replacement buses serving Carleton University will be increased to accommodate the seasonal return of higher ridership. Additional trips will operate at major class times where needed to increase capacity.
  • Route 7: On weekdays, a new trip will be added in the evening from Carleton University to Rideau Station, to increase capacity and better accommodate current ridership levels.
  • Route 51: On weekdays, westbound morning trips will be adjusted to follow the regular routing via Lincoln Heights instead of remaining on Croydon Avenue.
  • Route 61: On weekends, select trips will be extended between Terry Fox Station and CARDELREC Recreation Complex Goulbourn on Shea Road to improve transit connectivity to employment areas near Stittsville Main Street.
  • Route 74: Will be extended from Nepean Woods Station to Riverview Station.
  • Route 75: On weekdays, one trip northbound in the morning and one trip southbound in the afternoon will be extended between Barrhaven Centre Station and Cambrian (Minto Recreation Complex) to better accommodate current ridership levels.
  • Route 88: On weekdays, new trips will be added between Baseline and Hurdman Stations, to increase capacity and better accommodate current ridership levels.
  • The last day for summer weekend service to the following destinations will be Labour Day, Monday, September 4:
    • Route 25 to the Canada Aviation and Space Museum
    • Route 139 to Petrie Island
    • Route 185 to the Canada Agriculture Museum

Minor service adjustments or seasonal changes are being made to Routes 18, 25, 56, 57, and 198. Visit octranspo.com for full details.

Work on Ottawa roads this fall may lead to service delays and detours on some routes. Up-to-date information on affected bus routes and stop can be found on OC Transpo’s Alerts page

School service

  • School trips and school routes in the 600-series will resume. 
  • School service is being increased at the following schools in consultation with school boards and their student transportation agencies and based on observed ridership levels:
    • Cedarview Middle School – New school Routes 682 and 683 will be introduced to provide service for students in the Barrhaven, Jockvale, and Half Moon Bay neighbourhoods.
    • St. Joseph High School – New school Routes 677 and 679 will be introduced to provide service for students in the Old Barrhaven / Barrhaven West area.
  • Other changes to school service have been made based on observed ridership levels and in consultation with school boards and their student transportation agencies. Full details will be available at octranspo.com

For more information on fall transit service and schedules, visit octranspo.com or call 613-560-5000. For trip planning assistance, use OC Transpo’s Travel Planner or use the Transit app. Customers can also connect with OC Transpo through FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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