The weather has been hot in Capital Ward these past couple of weeks, and things are heating up at City Hall, too, with a loaded City Council agenda for this Wednesday that will be dealing with several major items. You can stream City Council meetings live here. There will be much to report back after this Wednesday, but there are also several things to report since our last bulletin.
Ottawa to Enter Stage 3 Re-Opening
The Province has just announced that the Ottawa region will enter stage 3 of Ontario's re-opening as of 12:01 AM, Friday, July 17th. The limit on indoor gatherings is now extended to 50 people and outdoor gatherings will increase to 100 people. Physical distancing remains a requirement for everyone that are not from the same household or part of the same 10-person bubble. More business will be allowed to re-open, including:
- Bar and restaurants can reopen for indoor dining
- Gyms, personal care services can open
- Movie theatres (50 person max per facility, not including staff)
Some business will remain closed, however, including but not limited to: amusement parks, private karaoke bars, banquet halls, buffet services.
Playgrounds and recreation facilities can now re-open, and all childcare centers can open with 15-child max capacity (as of July 27th). See the government press release here, and a detailed list of what is able to re-open here.
Heron Road Bicycling Facilities
Starting in July, the city will begin work on the next phase of new pedestrian and bicycling facilities on Heron Road. Located on Heron Road between Clover Street and 40 metres east of Gilles Street, the work will include implementing segregated bicycling facilities as well as protected intersections. These measures should provide added safety for all road users—bicyclists, pedestrians and motorists.
Work should be completed by the end of the year. Information for the project can be found at ottawa.ca/heronroad.
Central Park West Updates
As residents know, there has been a lot of work done on Central Park West in the past year. The city needed to address problems with water drainage to avoid the significant flooding we’ve experienced in the past few years.
As the work in the park wraps up, a lot of seeding has been done to bring back grass in the park. As some people have noticed, the recently seeded areas are not in an acceptable state. The city has informed the contractor carrying out this work that the seeded areas are not acceptable and that they will need to re-seed the area.
The contractor has assured the city that they will do this work. The project schedule anticipates that the turf will be fully-established in the Fall. It is likely that the contractor will wait until early fall to over seed the poorly germinated areas, as hot summer weather is not conducive to seed germination.
Fencing is also being installed to protect the areas and promote seed germination. The park entrances and pathways will be open to the public. Signage will be posted at the entrances and on the fencing along the protected seeded areas to explain why the areas are fenced off and asking park users to keep their dogs on leash while on the pathways.
Bank Street Canal Bridge Repairs
Repairs to the underside of the Bank Street Canal Bridge are beginning this month and will run until November. This is part of planned maintenance. The treatments we have implemented on top of the bridge (shared paths on the outer curb lanes for people who walk, bike or roll with the two inner lanes remaining for vehicle traffic) will continue.
As you may have read in the last newsletter, we’re currently seeking feedback on making improvements to the design of the bridge. Consultation is ongoing on re-designing the bridge so that it could have three motor-vehicle lanes and multi-use paths on either side. This would go to Transportation Committee in the Fall (likely September) and if approved, these changes would be implemented next summer.
You can get the details and see the diagrams on our website. Please let us know what you think!
Automated Speed Enforcement
The City of Ottawa will issue speeding tickets through the Automated Speed Enforcement program beginning Monday, July 13.
Since December 2019, signs have been posted in designated community safety zones warning drivers that speed cameras are coming soon. New signs will warn motorists when speed cameras are in use.
Vehicles that speed could have their picture taken. The registered owner would receive a ticket in the mail about 30 days later, showing their vehicle, license plate and the location, time of day and recorded speed. Drivers will not receive demerit points for tickets issued through the program.
The City has four cameras – two fixed and two mobile – that will rotate through eight community safety zones. Those zones are also home to 11 schools. The cameras are intended to help reduce speeding and make the roads safer for children and other vulnerable road users.
Update on Ottawa’s E-Scooter Pilot
The earliest date e-scooters could be operational in Ottawa is July 17, 2020. The total fleet is 600 vehicles. Providers will have an opportunity to apply to expand their fleet size and deployment area on or after September 10 after demonstrating compliance with the City’s requirements during the first 60 days of the pilot. The pilot runs until October 31.
The providers have identified our ward as part of their initial launch area. See the combined initial launch area below, noting that e-scooters would be geofenced to not operate and not be parked on NCC pathways, Parliament Hill, Sparks Street, the William Street Mall and roads with a posted speed limit over 50 km/h. The deployment area is where e-scooters will be parked. It is possible to ride e-scooters outside of the deployment zone.
For any other information, please refer to ottawa.ca/escooters as staff will be updating the site throughout the pilot.
Masks Now Mandatory in Enclosed Public Spaces
The City of Ottawa has announced that as of Tuesday, July 7 at 12:01am, masks are mandatory in enclosed public spaces. Learn more about the new regulations including a list of included enclosed public spaces and identified exemptions, and instructions for business owners, operators and employers. Also reference Ottawa Public Health’s workplace guidance and resources and more information about masks.
More information on the directive for Ottawa, including a FAQ, can be found here.
Local Business Spotlight
Irene’s Pub & Restaurant
Since 1985, Irene’s has been a fixture in the Glebe, providing food, drinks and live music. Not much is the same these days, but you can still count on Irene’s for good food and a good time. Right now, they are serving up cold drinks and comfort pub fare on their sunny patio Wednesday - Sunday from 12:00-10:00pm. They offer takeout daily until 9pm with delivery available through Love Local and UberEATS. Every weekend we have a feature band play live from the stage and pump it onto the patio while livestreaming it to our Facebook Group.
885 Bank Street (between Regent and Clarey)
Sula Wok family owned restaurant located at 184 Main Street in Old Ottawa East offers a pan Asian menu including many vegan and gluten friendly options. We have something for everyone who loves Asian food including Rice Bowls, Noodle Bowls, Asian Tacos and Dumplings
With summer upon us our cold treats section includes Fruit Paletas (vegan and gluten free), Gelato Bombs (dairy) and Oat & Mill scooped vegan ice cream. And last but not least Sula Wok has recently introduced Suzy Q Doughnuts to satisfy the community's sweet tooth. Follow them on social media for all the details.
Phone ahead for the quickest service or walk up and order at our front door outside booth.
184 Main St (just north of Hazel St.)
Service Returning to Sunnyside Library in August
The Sunnyside Branch of the Ottawa Public Library will begin serving residents again on August 10. The returns and holds contactless service will be available. For more information, please check the library’s website at biblioottawalibrary.ca.
More from the Library—Book a One-on-One Consultation with Information Experts at OPL
The library is excited to announce Library 1:1, a new service that can help you find what you are looking for with individualized help from one of OPL’s dedicated librarians or information experts. OPL staff will provide a 30-minute tutorial or consultation to assist you in navigating the vast collections and resources available through OPL, so that you can get the most out of your Library.
Library 1:1 is designed to meet the diverse needs and interests of Library customers and equip them to benefit more than ever from OPL.
The one-on-one 30-minute consultations, by phone or video chat, can be booked now on the following topics:
- Computer tutorial: Lean computer, Internet, and email basics
- Ebook/Audiobook tutorial: Learn how to borrow eBooks and eAudiobooks
- Bibliocommons tutorial: Learn how to use the OPL catalogue
- Readers Advisory: Get some great book suggestions
- Research: Get assistance with your research
- Online Resources: Discover and explore any of OPL’s online databases
To book an appointment, fill out the Library 1:1 request form with your choice of topic and your preferred date and times. Library staff will follow up with you to confirm.
Order of Ottawa and the Brian Kilrea Award
Do you know someone who has made an exceptional contribution to life in Ottawa? Or maybe an amateur coach who exemplifies leadership and commitment? If you do, please consider nominating them for the Order of Ottawa or the Brian Kilrea Award for Excellence in Coaching.
The deadline for nominations is September 11 and the awards ceremony is planned for November 19. More information and the online nomination form for these awards can be found on Ottawa.ca/orderofottawa.
Splash Pads and Wading Pools!
It’s been hot, and people are looking for ways to be outside while also keeping cool. As of last month, all splash pads in the city were opened (Glebe Memorial Splash Pad needs some repairs, but staff expect to open it this month).
And as of last week, the city started opening wading pools, with the remainder opening this week. Windsor Park and Heron Park opened July 6, and Sylvia Holden Park and Brantwood Park open July 13.
You can check out the times and openings of a pool near you at the city’s website.
Public washrooms have been hard to come by during the pandemic. The city has been installing some porta-potties, including in Capital Ward.
Washrooms accompanying the parks with swimming and splashpads should be opening shortly. Just recently we advocated for the opening of the Lansdowne washrooms after receiving complaints. The Aberdeen Pavilion washrooms will now be accessible from 12pm-8pm on weekdays and from 9am to 8pm on weekends. They will ensure proper sanitizing protocols are respected.
The eGuide for Swimming Lessons is Now Online
The eGuide for the COVID-modified swimming lessons is now online, ahead of the registration that takes place on Monday, July 13 at 9:00 pm. Weekly sessions begin Monday, July 20.
The City’s reformatted Learn to Swim Program incorporates COVID-19 prevention measures. Swimming instructors will maintain physical distancing from participants and a parent or guardian must accompany their child in the pool for the following levels:
- Private lessons – pre-school to Swim Kids 4
- Pre-school to Swim Kids 1 to 4 – low-ratio classes
- Inclusive Swim Kids 1 and 2
Classes for all levels will be 30 minutes long to allow for cleaning and physical distancing between participants entering and leaving the facility. This also provides sufficient time for cleaning and disinfecting common areas.
The number of participants in each class will be reduced to allow for proper physical distancing. It is also important to note that aquafitness, regular-ratio classes, Power Swim and lifesaving and leadership classes are not being reoffered during this phase of reopening.
Registration is easy. Explore the eGuide to select swimming lessons for your child, and follow these simple steps:
- Go to Ottawa.ca/recreation and click on spring and summer 2020 recreation programs.
- Click the relevant barcode – it will take you to Join.ottawa.ca and the course page, with details about the number of spaces available, fees and dates.
- Log in to your existing CLASS account or create an account in advance to save time if you’re a new user. We will email you your receipt.
The swim schedule for pools that have reopened is posted online at ottawa.ca. Currently, residents can call the facility directly to book a same-day, hour-long swim. Capacity at each swimming session has been significantly reduced to support physical distancing. The swim-time reservations will soon be available through a new online booking tool. Stay tuned for more information.
Rat Control Measures
Recently our office and staff from Ottawa Public Health and Bylaw Services did a site visit in the Glebe to check out an increase of rat-related complaints. Rat activity can be spurred by construction, but the most effective means of control is making the environment inhospitable by removing any food, water, or shelter. Cleaning up and getting rid of clutter is an effective way to prevent rats. Ottawa Public Health has circulated this step by step guide with more detailed information. You can always call 311 or log your rat complaint with the online system. In persistent cases, the city will bait sewers. While they present no acute public health risk if they remain outdoors, rats are still by and large unwelcome guests.
Impact of COVID-19 on Women, Girls, and Gender-Diverse People
CAWI (City for all Women Initiative) has initiated a short online survey to collect lived experiences from women and gender-diverse people from different communities across Ottawa, to better understand how they are dealing with challenges posed by COVID19. Please share this form widely in your communities. PLEASE NOTE this survey is anonymous.
If you would like to fill this form through the telephone instead, please contact: (613) 294-3799
Police Reform and Anti-Black Racism
Recently our office joined calls to reallocate funding to proven methods, i.e. to reconsider the use of taxpayers' dollars to militarize local law enforcement and use the money instead for front line mental health response teams and other services that benefit the community. You can listen to an interview I recently did with CBC here where I further explain my views on this issue. Our office has also set up a modest educational resource page on anti-Black racism for interested residents.
Last month, Councillor King and I requested that city staff provide council with options for a public engagement process on the subject of police reform in Ottawa. Staff have responded to our inquiry by advising against city-led public engagement on this subject, stating that the City of Ottawa has limited direct oversight of police services in Ottawa, and should therefore leave these matters to the Ottawa Police Services Board. We disagree with this analysis as the city funds police services in Ottawa, and its council is the representative body for Ottawans (whose taxes the city uses to fund police services). City Council still indirectly oversees the police board. Further, City Council can also offer advice and recommendations to their police boards, as Toronto City Council just did (including passing a motion with several reforms), and we see no reason as to why such matters cannot be informed by the people we represent through a public engagement exercise.
That said, I believe that city council ought to have more direct control over the police services we provide, as this would ensure greater transparency and strengthen public trust by making debate and efforts more publicly informed and scrutinized. To that end, I will be seconding a motion at city council that seeks to have council call on the province to restore oversight powers to the city and develop alternative models of non-police led community safety responses to 911 calls which do not involve weapons or violence, which already exists and is successful elsewhere.
Windsor Park Dock
Repairs were required to the Windsor Park dock, so it was removed this past weekend since it was not safe for it to remain on site in its condition. The welder was contacted and made the necessary repairs. The dock is now back in place and ready for use.
Community Workshop on 15-Minute Communities
Synapcity is hosting a workshop titled “Reimagining Your Neighbourhood” that will take a deep dive into the 15-minute neighbourhood. The workshop offers a deeper understanding of the City of Ottawa’s Official Plan and intensification. From the event description:
You will gain a deeper understanding of the City of Ottawa’s Official Plan and intensification, and will learn to connect and empathize with different lived experiences in your neighbourhood. We will share, exchange, and reflect on what “15-minutes” can look and feel like for different people, communities, and neighbourhoods. The workshop will also help you get a better understanding of your own neighbourhood and access tools to conduct neighbourhood and community assessments.
Join Synapcity on Wednesday, July 22nd, from 6:30PM – 8:00PM on Zoom. Please register here by Tuesday, July 21st. Upon registration, you will receive a link and additional details.