Thank You to Our Outdoor Rink Volunteers!
It’s been a challenging winter, but through all the stress of the pandemic and the occupation, it has been great to have access to outdoor activity spaces, especially our local outdoor rinks. I want to say a big Thank You! to all the volunteers who spend hours maintaining these rinks for us. You make winter much more fun.
I’d like to make special mention of the Brewer Oval, maintained by volunteer Mike Rivet. Two of our recent Olympians—Isabelle Weidemann and Ivanie Blondin—trained on that oval. Congrats to all!
Good news! Staff are preparing Brewer swimming pool to reopen on Monday, March 21.
There is a shortage of lifeguards, instructors and customer service staff. Swim sessions and program options will be offered based on staffing availability. Programs and drop-in swims will be added as more staff is hired.
If anyone is interested in working at Brewer Pool, please email the Program Coordinator: Russell Norgaard, [email protected].
Due to staffing issues, the Ottawa Public Library has reduced hours at all branches. By reducing hours across Ottawa, all branches have been able to be kept open. OPL has been able to make some new hires, but staffing is not yet high enough to expand hours. They expect to resume regular hours and begin offering in-person programs sometime this spring.
Skateboarding Drop-In at Lansdowne
The Skateboarding Drop-in at Lansdowne Park happens weekly in the Aberdeen Pavilion on Tuesday evenings. There are three 60-minute sessions each evening: 4:30 pm, 6:00 pm and 7:30 pm. Although the focus is on youth, the program is open to everyone—skaters have ranged from age ten to 55!
Participants can reserve a spot online, or come to the site to participate as a walk-in. During March Break, there will be additional sessions at 1:30 pm and 3:00 pm on March 15. The program runs until April 12.
The response has been overwhelmingly positive. The program is very popular, with 140-150 people attending every Tuesday. It’s great that kids (and adults!) have a safe, welcoming space to skateboard throughout the winter.
This is a pilot program, and it’s currently free. Staff will be considering fees in the future to cover the costs of the program, but they will remain cautious about creating barriers for participants.
Heron Park Community Building Consultation
We need your thoughts to help shape the new Heron Park Community Building. Join us Thursday, March 24 to hear ideas and share what you'd like to see in the new community building. Click here to register.
NEW DATE: 1400 Bank Street Consultation
On Wednesday March 29 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm, we are hosting a consultation on a proposed mixed-use apartment building for the corner of Bank Street and Belanger Avenue that seeks to amend the current zoning and the Official Plan (via the Bank Street South Secondary Plan). Click here for more information or to register.
Wondering about the status of infrastructure work in Capital Ward? You can download the complete list of project updates here [PDF].
Place Lycée and Frobisher Lane Resurfacing
Ottawa’s roadway rehabilitation program is a cost-effective approach to maximizing the lifecycle of our streets until more extensive work (such as sewer or utilities) is needed.
The work for 2022 on Lycée and Frobisher involves milling the existing asphalt pavement and resurfacing with new pavement. Crews will review damaged sidewalk panels that pose a safety or mobility issue and will replace the concrete where needed. This should be completed during July and August.
Celebrating Ottawa's School Bus Drivers
A new video created by EnviroCentre and the Ottawa Student Transportation Authority highlights the positive impacts that school bus drivers bring to our communities. Yes, they get our children to school safely, but did you know they also help keep our air clean and reduce traffic?
This 2-minute video collects incredible facts in a fun and engaging format. Learn how many cars every bus driver helps take off the road, how much GHG they avert and how they help to build a sense of community. There are so many reasons to thank our school bus drivers!
Eugene Forsey Park Upgrades
We are pleased to have pushed for upgrades at Eugene Forsey Park this year. These include improving the basketball court and putting in much-needed garbage and waste receptacles. Constructions costs for all city projects are coming in higher than anticipated. Thankfully, we can use some of the ward’s Cash-in-lieu-of-parkland funds to help cover the costs.
New Trees for Glebe Collegiate
Last year, Glebe Collegiate applied to the city’s Schoolyard Tree Planting Grant Program. The city has recently announced that the grant application has been approved and seven trees will be planted at the school this spring!
Electric Vehicle Charging Station
The EV charging station in the Glebe parking garage has been broken for some time, now. Supply chain issues have prevented staff from getting replacement parts. Instead, the city will be replacing the charger. Installation will occur this week.
Housing Support Fundraiser for Carleton Students
The Carleton University Students' Association's Unified Support Centre has launched a fundraising campaign to pilot an accessible, no-questions-asked, same-evening intake housing support service exclusively for Carleton students this fall. The service is being developed for students who have no safe place to stay, with the goal of providing transitional shelter and support while longer-term solutions are identified.
Please consider supporting this worthy program through their FutureFunder campaign!
Finding the Mother Tree
The Southminster Community Forum has announced its inaugural event: a public talk and discussion with author Dr. Suzanne Simard on the urgent need to rethink our relationship with the natural world.
Saturday March 26, 2022, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Southminster United Church 15 Aylmer Avenue at Bank Street
Book signing at 9:00 pm after the talk. Books will be available for purchase onsite from Octopus Books.
Tickets on sale at Eventbrite, $27.54 in-person, $16.93 virtual.
Your Capital Ward Photo
Photo by Jo Patterson
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.
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 https://www.ottawasafetycouncil.ca/employment-opportunities/ or contact Stephanie at [email protected]
Wellness Week for Newcomers
Ottawa Public Health is hosting several special events in partnership with their mental health partners. Here are the series of upcoming events for newcomers:
- Understanding ADHD
March 11 at 12:00 pm
- Safe Relationships & Getting Help
March 14 at 12:00 pm
- Understanding Health Services in Ottawa
March 17 at 12:00 pm
- Trauma & PTSD (Support, Help & Understanding)
March 18 at 12:00 pm
For more information on the Wellness Week for Newcomers and to register, please email [email protected].
Working Towards Recovery: Workplace Health and Wellness Guide
OPH acknowledges and understands that public health measures and provincial restrictions have affected individuals and the business community in many ways. Workplaces have had to adapt to various work models—with some employees working on-site, some working from home and planning for an eventual return to work in-person, while some workplaces have had to close due to restrictions. OPH has developed the Working Towards Recovery: Workplace Health and Wellness Guide to help support the mental health and wellness of employers and employees in the workplace.
This guide was developed to help support the mental health and wellness of both employers and employees in the workplace. The strategies and tips in this guide will be helpful to workplaces providing services virtually and workplaces providing in-person services and activities. It has been shared with some partners from Ottawa’s business community and will be shared and promoted more broadly in the days and weeks ahead.
OPH is implementing several pilot Wellness Hubs in the locations of the neighbourhood vaccination hubs. This pilot will begin at the end of March and will support residents’ questions on mental health and substance use health, provide tips and resources on wellness, and connect residents to social services through the Community and Social Services Department’s (CSSD) Employee and Social Services teams. These pilot hubs will operate in partnership with AccessMHA, Counselling Connect and 1Call1Click, and OPH team members will support residents with system navigation into services at these locations.
Patio Innovation Program
For the past two years, the city has relaxed regulations in support of outdoor dining and vending in the right of way to help local businesses recover from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Transportation Committee approved continuing that Patio Innovation Program in 2022. Measures include temporarily closing sections of roads for patio expansions and physical distancing, removing capacity restrictions for café seating, permitting pop-up retail vending in the right of way, and setting a closing time of 2 am for all patios and café seating. These measures would be extended to the end of 2022. Staff would review and report back before the 2023 patio season on the potential for permanent amendments to the relevant by-laws.
Committee Approves Tax on Vacant Residences
The city’s Finance and Economic Development Committee today approved a residential vacant unit tax to be charged on non-principal residences left vacant for more than 184 days in a year. Requiring owners to pay one per cent of the assessed value of such units is meant to encourage them to occupy, sell or rent their properties to help increase housing supply in Ottawa.
About 330,000 residential property owners across Ottawa would need to make an annual declaration of vacancy between January 1 and mid-March or be charged a $250 late declaration fee. The tax would be added to the final property tax bill each year, and net revenues from the tax would fund affordable housing. It is anticipated to generate about $6.6 million per year.
If approved by Council, the city would need to seek provincial approval to designate Ottawa to levy the tax. The tax would be implemented in 2022, with the first annual declaration and billing starting in 2023.
Short-term Rental Zoning Appeal and Regulations—Update
In April 2021, council passed both a zoning by-law amendment and a new permitting by-law to allow for and regulate the short-term rental (STR) of principal residential dwelling units across the city, excepting certain zones where bed and breakfasts are already prohibited, as well as permissions for dedicated short-term rentals (aka Cottage Rentals) in certain rural zones. These by-laws were approved as a pilot project for a three-year period, which is the maximum allowable period for a temporary zoning by-law.
The permitting by-law was passed under the Municipal Act (2001) and is not subject to appeal, however the approval stipulated that both by-laws come into effect concurrently. The zoning by-law is passed under the Planning Act and is subject to appeal. The zoning by-law amendments were appealed on the basis of the following:
- The by-laws unlawfully extinguish non-conforming rights. The appeal suggests that non-principal residences providing accommodation on a short-term basis at the date of enactment may continue to do so.
- It is alleged that a zoning by-law cannot regulate land use based on duration of stay (a short-term rental is defined as transient accommodation for a period of less than thirty consecutive nights).
- It is alleged that the by-laws do not constitute good land use planning. The appeal states that there is no nexus between good land use planning and a requirement that only principal residences may offer short-term rental accommodation.
Implementation of the regulatory regime for short-term rentals has therefore been awaiting resolution of this appeal.
The subject appeal hearing (file no. OLT-21-001012) was heard on January 10, 13 and 14, 2022. During the hearing, the appellant refined their appeal to focus on the following issues:
- STRs without a principal residence (“PR”) requirement (known as “dedicated” STRs), should be allowed in mixed-use zones that permit both hotels and dwellings;
- The regulatory regime for STRs unlawfully restricts Legal Non-Conforming (LNC) rights for existing dedicated STRs;
- In the alternative to the above issues, four specific properties identified in evidence should be recognized as Legal Non-Conforming (LNC) uses and therefore lawful under the Zoning By-Law Amendments; and
- Section 2(5) of Zoning By-Law 106, which attempts to regulate the appearance and adverse effects of STRs, is not a proper zoning requirement and should be deleted.
During the hearing, Staff requested that the Tribunal revise the end date of the temporary zoning by-law in order to allow an effective full three-year trial period starting on the date of the Tribunal’s decision.
A decision was issued on January 24th, 2022, which upheld the STR zoning amendments with a housekeeping amendment respecting the spelling of the word ‘principal’ in the by-law. No exceptions were given to any property.
The requested amendment to the repeal date of the temporary by-law was not granted, therefore an extension of the temporary by-law will need to be passed by Council in the future to allow for a full three-year trial period.
Timing and Implementation
Both the STR permit by-law and the STR zoning amendments are now in force.
Applications for STR and Cottage Rental host permits are now being processed by By-law and Regulatory Services, as are registrations of STR platforms and property managers. Information about the application process and regulations can be found at: https://ottawa.ca/en/business/permits-and-licenses/short-term-rentals
Prospective hosts will be encouraged to apply for their permits as soon as possible. Enforcement of the new STR permit regime and regulations will commence on April 1, 2022, to allow hosts opportunity to come into compliance.
Cleaning the Capital 2022 Spring Campaign
Spring is in the air and the annual Cleaning the Capital Spring Campaign will proceed with registration starting March 15th.
With the gradual easing of COVID-19 restrictions, we are planning a more traditional campaign and will continue to reinforce public health and safety measures as these evolve. Participants can register their cleanup projects by using the online registration form available at ottawa.ca/clean or by calling 3-1-1. The registration form populates an interactive map, showing which locations have been chosen for cleanup projects. Cleanup kits, which include garbage bags and gloves, will be made available for pick-up by registrants at one of seven City of Ottawa facilities across the city.
Key spring campaign dates:
March 15: Registration opens
April 15 to May 31: Cleaning the Capital spring campaign
April 22: Earth Day 2022
April 30: Registration closes
June 15: Deadline to submit cleanup reports online
This year marks the 29th year that the Cleaning the Capital program has been leveraging corporate sponsorship and resident engagement to keep our city clean and green. Cleaning the Capital program staff have delivered atypical campaigns throughout the global pandemic; regardless, nearly 11,000 participants registered 1,150 projects in 2021. Thanks to our city’s dedicated volunteers, as well as your ongoing support and program promotion in your wards and across our city, we look forward to even more successful campaigns in 2022.
Have Your Say on How We Manage Garbage, Recycling and Food Waste
Ottawa’s vision is to be a zero-waste city. And yet, more than half of what we throw in the garbage could be recycled or composted. We need a plan that can stand up to challenges such as climate change and a landfill that is filling up fast.
From previous engagement with the public on the Solid Waste Master Plan, we know that residents want progressive, collective, and innovative action. We learned about people’s creative ideas for the city to explore as part of the planning process. We have analysed that input and now we are asking for feedback on a short list of options for the plan. We also want to know how far, how fast, and at what cost you would like the City to move towards a zero-waste future.
The options explore themes such as
- Green bin use in multi-residential properties
- How we manage garbage and recycling in parks
- New and creative ways to reduce and reuse (such as repair cafes, lending libraries, community swaps and food waste reduction initiatives)
- How to improve our recycling programs
- The role of technology and innovation
- Turning waste into renewable energy
- Financial considerations
- New promotion and education initiatives
Visit ottawa.ca/wasteplan to have your say. You can share your thoughts by completing a survey or participating in one of our online workshops. You can also learn more by participating in a virtual information session.
If you don’t have access to a computer, call 613-580-2424 ext. 25550 to complete the survey by phone.
Feedback from this engagement series will help to develop the Solid Waste Master Plan—a guide for how garbage, recycling, and household organics will be managed for the next 30 years.
Your feedback will help create a waste management system we can all feel good about—one that serves your needs while protecting the environment for future generations.
The draft Waste Plan was expected in Q2 2022. However, potential changes in waste management policy at the federal and provincial level could have a significant impact on the Waste Plan. To allow for a fuller accounting of these factors, the draft plan is expected in early 2023, with the final Waste Plan to be tabled at Council in Q2 2023.