Civic Hospital Update
Earlier this summer, our office released our concerns about the proposed development of the new Civic Hospital Campus. Years ago, the location in the Experimental Farm next to Dow’s Lake was chosen as the site of the campus, even though Tunney’s Pasture was identified as the optimal location.
We have three primary concerns about the current development plan for the Civic Hospital:
- The paving of cherished and declining greenspace in the core, the destruction of more than 500 trees, and the lack of a plan to provide enough replacement for that lost tree canopy;
- The building of a four-storey parking garage on Queen Juliana Park, when all parking should be underground, as originally promised by the Hospital;
- The lack of a robust, forward-looking transportation plan. The current plan may lead to serious traffic congestion and parking issues in the neighbouring communities.
The city should not rubber stamp this development at this location until the Hospital provides a modern, thoughtful design proposal that eschews last-century thinking.
Originally, the development proposal was to go before the Planning Committee in September. That has now been changed, and we expect to go to the committee in October. It is at this stage that residents will have the chance to speak directly to members of the Planning Committee.
The proposal must also be approved by the National Capital Commission. They are also expected to review the plan in October.
We will keep residents up-to-date as this proposal continues through the planning approval process.
Civic Hospital Town Hall
And with all these concerns about the proposed Civic Hospital development, we are joining Ottawa Centre MPP Joel Harden for a Town Hall on the issue. Please join us virtually on Wednesday September 1 at 7:00 pm to discuss the current proposal and what we can do as a community to make sure our concerns are addressed.
Please RSVP by going to JoelHarden.ca/townhall and you will be sent an invitation to the Zoom meeting.
You can also review the petition calling on the federal and provincial governments to stop the proposed development and conduct a public inquiry into the selection of the Experimental Farm as the location for the new Civic.
New Official Plan Updates
The joint committee meeting to consider the final report for the new Official Plan (OP) has been moved from September to October 14, 2021, with the final plan going to Council on Wednesday, October 27. In addition, there will be a Public Open House on Wednesday, September 29.
This change is due in a large part to your advocacy, and it gives more time for community members to present and prepare delegations. The proposed revisions to the OP are posted in track changes on the city’s project webpage as they become available, with the final revised draft to come later this month. The city is also planning to hold a public Open House on the OP on Wednesday, September 29, with details to be posted on the website.
The provincial comments on the draft OP released in July raise major questions with respect to including Tewin lands within the expanded urban boundary. They note that the inclusion of the Tewin land does not appear to align with the city’s goal of 15-minute communities and proximity to rapid transit, and is overly reliant on the construction of new highways. Our office fought against the expansion of the urban boundary, and for a more transparent and inclusive consultation process on the Tewin lands decision that also respected the city’s climate change objectives.
For more information on the provincial comments to the draft OP see:
Signalization of Main Street and Colonel By Drive
We have been working with the community to bring a full signalized intersection to Colonel By and Main Street. We’re happy to announce that we have been able to secure federal funding for the project and have had it added to the scope of the upcoming Greenfield-Main-Hawthorne re-construction project.
A signalized intersection will provide pedestrians and cyclists with a safe way to connect between Old Ottawa East and the Rideau Canal Eastern Pathway in Capital Ward. This work is subject to approval from Parks Canada and the National Capital Commission.
Springhurst Park Update
This spring and summer, important improvements have been made to Springhurst Park. We’re happy to announce that this month, the new play structure was completed and is now being enjoyed by kids in Old Ottawa East.
Springhurst Park is a popular and important park in our community, and I’m glad that we could help get these improvements completed this year.
I stopped by with my five-year-old recently and snapped some photos.
Stay tuned for a community celebration and barbeque at the new park installations!
Raised Crosswalks in Old Ottawa South
With all the road work happening around Bellwood, Belmont, Willard and Fairbairn, we are happy to confirm that there will be raised crosswalks implemented at the following intersections:
- Riverdale and Belmont (North-South)
- Bellwood and Belmont (entire intersection)
- Fairbairn and Belmont (East-West)
- Willard and Belmont (East-West)
- Bank and Belmont (North-South)
- Willard and Sunnyside (East-West)
Raised crosswalks provide greater ease, comfort and safety for pedestrians. They also help keep puddles, slush and ice out of crosswalks, a concern in winter months. These measures will help to calm and slow down traffic, making the neighbourhood more enjoyable and safer for everyone.
Fixing “Lake O’Connor”
At our office’s request, city staff have dug up and rectified the long-standing flooding issues that would occur at the catch basin at O’Connor and Glebe Avenue. This has been a longstanding problem in the area, but we’re glad to say that the new drainage has eliminated the extended pooling we used see after rainfall at this location.
Bronson Avenue Off-Ramp Re-Design
The Ministry of Transportation (MTO) is beginning work on mid-town Queensway bridge replacements. As part of this project, the MTO has re-designed the eastbound off-ramp at Bronson Avenue. The off-ramp is now closed and we expect it to remain closed until June 2022.
This off-ramp has posed a significant safety risk for all road users, especially pedestrians. Working with city staff, we have tried to get the MTO to make safety improvements to the intersection of the ramp and Bronson. Sadly, the MTO has refused.
In fact, after re-construction, the MTO will make the intersection wider and more dangerous for vulnerable road users. We have made suggestions to increase safety without inhibiting motor vehicles—such as implementing truck aprons that will help slow traffic, while also providing space transport trucks to make wide turns. We will continue to push for such safety improvements.
Should you have questions or comments on the Bronson off-ramp, please feel free to contact the MTO representative working on this project, Ken Rogers, at [email protected].
Road Closure—Orangeville Street
As part of the work for the upcoming mid-town Queensway bridge replacements, the Ministry of Transportation requires the use of Orangeville between Rochester and Booth, and between Booth and Lebreton. As a result, the street has been closed on these two blocks (Rochester, Booth and Lebreton will remain open).
This is a large, lengthy project, and, unfortunately, Orangeville will be closed until November 2025. Detour signage will be in place throughout the duration of the closure.
Riverside and Bank Approval, and Remaining Issues
In July, the Planning Committee approved a 26-storey high-rise at the corner of Bank Street and Riverside Drive. While the east side of that intersection is in Alta Vista Ward, the development will have significant impacts on Capital Ward, as well as the ongoing re-development of Bank Street into a dynamic, livable Main Street.
There is also a development proposal on the horizon on the west side of that intersection, where a proposal for two high-rises (26 and 31 storeys) is being developed. While density and the development of vacant lots is good for the city, we have to make sure that development is done thoughtfully, with proper consideration in the public interest, zoning regulations and city infrastructure.
As it stands, the area of Bank Street and Riverside Drive is not conducive to walkability or livability. The upcoming re-design of Bank Street will be a significant improvement, but without more changes, Riverside Drive at Bank remains a dangerous intersection.
With more people living just north of the Rideau River, making safety improvements to the Billings Bridge is an absolute necessity. As this process continues, we will be working with staff to review protected bicycle lanes on the bridge and on measures to prioritize transit service along the Bank Street corridor.
As work continues on these projects, we will seek input from residents on what you want to see in your city.
Old Ottawa South Future Homes Program
Old Ottawa South has been chosen to participate in the Ottawa Future Home Pilot Project. It was chosen based on a combination of factors, including age and type of homes, community demographics, and community engagement.
Future Homes Ottawa is a community collaboration, led by EnviroCentre and the Ottawa Energy Collective, to mobilize community engagement and participation in the kind of deep energy retrofits required to improve our homes and transform our neighbourhoods into the low-emissions, resilient, climate-proofed communities of the future.
In Old Ottawa South there is a high proportion of older, inefficient homes that would benefit from energy retrofits, combined with a highly-engaged community with a strong interest in climate action and conservation. Essentially, residents in Old Ottawa South can benefit significantly from home energy efficiency improvements.
The recent approval of the Better Homes Loan Program means that Ottawa residents will soon be able to access zero-interest financing to support home retrofit projects that reduce the emissions from their homes while increasing home comfort and energy efficiency, and saving money on utility bills. This initiative will help Ottawa take some much-needed steps to reduce our climate impact while also improving the resilience of our homes.
EnviroCentre, a local environmental not-for-profit organization with over 20 years experience in home energy efficiency, is coming on board to help.
Development at 115 Echo
Development has begun at 115 Echo Drive, at the corner of Echo and Main. As part of this work, Main is closed to vehicle traffic at Echo
Overall the project is planned for approximately 20 months. The majority of noise generating activities are expected to end in the late summer/early fall of 2022. There will be construction noise throughout this entire period.
The city will be installing No Construction Vehicle signage on Concord at Greenfield and Harvey at Main for 2021. Alternative routing/signage to be discussed for 2022.
This work will occur simultaneously as the implementation of the pedestrian crossing at Main and Colonel By, as well as the upcoming work on Main and Greenfield. Those projects will not be affected by this development. Staff will monitor traffic flow throughout.
REDBLACKS Games Starting Again
The Ottawa REDBLACKS return to Lansdowne Park this Saturday, August 28, hosting the B.C. Lions for their first home game since November 2019. The stadium won’t be at capacity, with attendance capped at 15 000. Nonetheless, this will be the first large crowd back to Lansdowne since the pandemic.
The city will be running extra bus service, and on-street parking restrictions will be implemented. In addition, the active transportation lanes on the Bank Street Canal Bridge will be removed. The lanes will be re-instated soon after the extra bus service has ended. We have also asked that the lanes be swept afterwards.
Transportation and parking can be a challenge when the REDBLACKS are playing. This limited-capacity game will allow the city and residents to re-acclimate to game days.
University Bus Service and Bus Passes this Fall
We have an update on the U-Pass program for the 2021-2022 academic year. There are small nuances in how each school is responding to online learning for their U-Pass distribution. The following is their approach for the fall term:
- Algonquin: U-Pass cards are being distributed to all full-time students as normal. Students designated by the college as participating in any remote learning may opt-out of the U-Pass program. Returning students who opted out of the U-Pass for the Fall 2020, Winter 2021 or Spring 2021 term will automatically be opted out for the Fall 2021 term, but these students can choose to opt-in again.
- Carleton: U-Pass cards are being distributed to all full-time students as normal. Students studying exclusively online are able to opt-out of the program.
- uOttawa and St. Paul’s: U-Pass cards are being distributed only to full-time students that are taking at least one in-person course. Students studying exclusively virtually can opt-in.
Saving the Bellwood Boulder
This summer, construction workers on Bellwood unearthed an enormous boulder. Called a “glacial erratic”, the boulder had been in its spot for 10 000 or 15 000 years or longer. It weighs upwards of 15 tonnes, and it’s quite a sight to see.
Immediately, residents from across the community and across the city were drawn to it. People took selfies with it; kids climbed it; and multiple news stories about it appeared.
And one thing was clear: we needed to save the Bellwood Boulder.
We’re happy to say that it has made its way to Windsor Park behind the bus shelter on Riverdale where we can all enjoy it…maybe even for another 15 000 years!
Single-Use Plastics at City Facilities
Single-use plastics cause a lot of unnecessary waste in our landfills. Since the beginning of this term, we have been working with city staff to eliminate the sale of bottled water at city facilities, and switching to the use of water fountains and water bottle-filling stations.
We are happy to announce that the city is currently in the process of reviewing existing contracts for single-use plastics at city facilities. The sale of cold beverages in most city facilities, through both vending machines and concession counter sales, has been subject to the terms and conditions of a contract with Coca Cola. Staff have engaged in conversation with Coca Cola, and they have committed to remove all plastic bottled water products from city facilities by the beginning of 2022.
Conversations are ongoing with other vendors and concession stands for the voluntary elimination of bottled water as existing stocks are depleted. The city is also exploring a restrictive clause for plastic water bottles in any future rental or service agreements with third-parties.
The Kidney Walk is the cornerstone of The Kidney Foundation of Canada’s fundraising efforts. On Sunday, September 26, participants will chart their own path and walk in their own neighbourhood.
This year’s walk allows you to participate no matter where you live. Participants typically walk 5km, but any distance that you are comfortable with will do! Register as an individual or as part of a team today! You choose whether you walk alone or with your family, and depending on physical distancing guidelines, you might even choose to walk with your team!
Register here: https://kidney.akaraisin.com/ui/onwalk21
Household Hazardous Waste Depots
We are pleased to provide the dates and locations for the remaining Household Hazardous Waste Depots in 2021. The upcoming HHW events will be one-day depots opened between the hours of 8:00 am and 4:00 pm:
- Sunday September 12: Tunney’s Pasture
- Sunday September 26: Trail Road Waste Facility (4475 Trail Road)
- Sunday October 24: Westbrook Snow Dump (200 Westbrook Road)
- Dimanche 24 octobre : Dépôt de neige de Westbrook (200, chemin Westbrook)
Have Your Say on Three Different Curbside Garbage Collection Options
More than half of what we throw in the garbage could be recycled or composted and the Trail Road landfill is filling up fast. We need to do better, and that means rethinking how we collect garbage at the curb. As a community, we can divert more waste from the landfill, reduce emissions that contribute to climate change and turn more waste into new products and resources.
The City of Ottawa is engaging on options for the Solid Waste Master Plan, and curbside garbage collection is up first. Between now and September 12, we want your input on three options to divert more garbage:
- Partial pay-as-you throw: Households would be allowed to place a set number of garbage items out for collection. Households with more than this limit would purchase garbage tags for each additional item. Recycling, organics, and leaf and yard waste would still be picked up without any tags and with no limits.
- Reduced item limits: Households would set out a reduced number of garbage items for collection. Anything above the limit would not be collected.
- Clear garbage bags with recycling and organics bans: Households would set out their garbage in clear bags. Recyclables and organic waste would not be permitted in the garbage.
Visit ottawa.ca/wasteplan to have your say and be part of the solution. You can share your thoughts by completing a survey or participating in one of our online workshops.
Feedback from this engagement series will be used to help select a new curbside garbage collection option for Ottawa. It will also feed into the ongoing development of the Solid Waste Master Plan – a guide for how garbage, recycling and household organics will be managed for the next 30 years.
The next Solid Waste Master Plan engagement series will take place in the fall, when you will be asked to share your thoughts on a wide range of options, such as more ideas to encourage diversion of waste from landfill, ways to reduce and reuse, improving waste collection in multi-residential buildings and parks, better management of food and organics, and much more. Your feedback will help create a waste management system we can all feel good about – one that serves your needs while working towards a zero waste Ottawa to protect the environment for future generations.
Council will consider a recommended option for curbside garbage collection in the first quarter of 2022, and the draft Solid Waste Master Plan in the second quarter.