This Saturday, September 30, marks the third National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a day where Canadians reflect upon the experiences and history of First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities in Canada. It is a day to acknowledge, reflect, and learn about the injustices they faced through the residential school system and the ways it continues to affect Indigenous Peoples in Canada.
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation falls on the same day as Orange Shirt Day, which honours the story of Phyllis Webstad, a former residential school student who had her orange shirt her grandmother gifted to her taken away on her first day at residential school.
The orange shirt has become a symbol of commemoration of the experiences of Indigenous children who were removed from their families to attend residential schools where their language and culture were repressed, and many children endured physical, emotional or sexual abuse. Whether you’re attending an event or taking some time to learn on your own, you are encouraged to wear an orange shirt on September 30 to help spread awareness.
The City of Ottawa honours intergenerational survivors, their families and communities who have been, and continue to be, impacted by the Residential School System. In recognition of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, the flags at all city facilities will be lowered to half-mast from sunrise on Saturday, September 30 until sunrise on Sunday, October 1. At City Hall, the Survivors Flag will also be flown at half-mast from sunrise on September 30 until sunrise on October 1, in front of the Heritage Building and on Marion Dewar Plaza.
During this same time, the Heritage Building and the OTTAWA sign on the ByWard Market will be illuminated in orange.
To learn more, please visit the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.
Some city services will operate on different schedules on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
Lansdowne 2.0 Update
The final city proposal for Lansdowne 2.0 will be released publicly on Tuesday. Our office has offered suggestions to improve the proposal since its inception.
We want to see the third tower—the one closest to the Heritage Aberdeen Pavilion—removed, fewer parking stalls, and truly-affordable housing included with the proposal, above the bare minimum we would expect of a private developer. We want enhancements to the public realm and greenspace. And we want a real transportation plan to address current and future traffic congestion.
As the proposal currently stands, improvements must be made.
At this week’s council meeting, I was able to question staff about the process and timeline for council’s decision-making on Lansdowne 2.0. The Auditor General is set to conduct an Agile Audit of the plan, and I was able to get assurances from staff that there will be further decision-making points at which time council can change course, based on the Auditor General’s findings.
This is an important step for transparency and good governance.
Originally, the city intended to bring the proposal to a joint Planning and Finance Committee meeting on October 18, and then to council on October 25.
Wisely, council changed the timeline. We now expect to have a joint committee meeting on or around November 3, with council then making a final decision shortly thereafter. This will give councillors and residents more time to reflect on the proposal and offer improvements.
We will keep residents updated as these dates are confirmed.
Percy underpass update
The long-awaited Queensway bridge replacement had been scheduled for this weekend. Unfortunately, it has been delayed, indefinitely. The Ministry of Transportation’s contractor is still working out technical engineering problems with the bridge replacement. Unfortunately, at this time we have not been given any further information.
We have no timeline on the bridge work. The only promise we have heard from the MTO regarding the underpass is that it will be open in time for winter.
This isn’t good enough.
We know that the closure of Percy and Chamberlain has caused significant traffic issues through the neighbourhood, especially on streets like Glendale, Renfrew and Powell. There is too much cut-through traffic and it is going too fast.
We have been pushing for improvements to the detour and for better traffic calming elements from both city staff and from the MTO. In collaboration with Somerset Councillor Ariel Troster and our MPP Joel Harden, we will be meeting with the city and MTO soon to press the need to get this work done and, importantly, end the detour and restore the safety of our streets.
Pretoria Bridge closure
The Pretoria Bridge will be closed from Colonel By Drive to Queen Elizabeth Drive on Sunday, October 15, from 6:00 am to 2:00 pm as part of the re-construction project for Hawthorne Avenue.
Reviewing the provincial expansion of the urban boundary
This week, I was joined by 11 councillors, calling on the Ontario Auditor General and Integrity Commissioner to review the province’s expensive decision to expand Ottawa’s urban boundary. You can read our open letter here. You can also listen to my interview on Ottawa Morning about this on Wednesday.
In addition, we were able to pass a motion at council calling on the new Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to conduct his own review, as well.
This decision was made in secrecy. Ottawans need to know why it was made.
The 2023 Panda Game will be Sunday October 1 at 12:00 PM at TD Place—expect congestion in and around TD Place throughout the morning and afternoon. OC Transpo services will be free for Panda Game ticket holders three hours before and after the event—expect transit delays throughout the morning and afternoon. There will be increased security, police, and safety responder presence around TD Place and related areas.
There will be a post-Panda Game event held at uOttawa at 8:00 PM.
City crews will be out after the game to begin clean-up. On Monday, Carleton student volunteers will be collecting debris in the area of Bank from Grove to Fifth.
You can find more information at carleton.ca/studentaffairs/panda.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Carleton University at [email protected].
Book Launch for Shawna’s Outreach—Helping our unhoused nieghbours
Shawna Thobodeau has teamed with local author Amanda Sterczyk on a new book, Shawna's Outreach: When we each give a little, a lot gets done, telling the story of how the grassroots initiative, Shawna's Outreach, helps unhoused Ottawa residents. Everyone involved in producing this book is donating their time and services, so that all royalties can directly benefit Shawna's Outreach.
This month, Shawna and Amanda will be hosting a book launch at Morning Owl Coffeehouse + Parlour.
Tuesday, October 17
12:30 pm to 2:30 pm
Morning Owl Coffeehouse + Parlour, 229 Armstrong St, Ottawa
The book is available for a minimum $10 donation to Shawn’s Outreach, payable by cash, cheque, or e-transfer. Learn more here.
Water Rangers water testing
Last week, I visited with the Water Rangers, as they help scientists collect data on our local waterways. Water Rangers provide water quality testkits, an open-data platform to manage data and specially designed resources so that anyone can get help out.
New chairs and tables at Lansdowne Park
At our request, the city is acquiring more tables and chairs for Aberdeen Square, and we expect to see them installed by the end of October. The new seating will help make Lansdowne a more welcoming space where you can sit, relax and enjoy the day with friends and family. We are happy to see this happen and thank city staff for their work.
Westboro Academy building at Brewer Park to be demolished
The city plans to demolish the former Westboro Academy Building at 200 Brewer Way due to its deteriorated state. Construction will start in Fall of 2023 and will be completed in Spring 2024. There's a large magnolia tree in the building's courtyard, and there's concern that its survival might be threatened by abrupt changes to the microclimate post-demolition.
After consulting an arborist and City forestry experts, the city intends to shield the tree from wind stress using fencing that will be gradually removed over the course of three years in order to help the tree adapt. Dust and traffic controls, managed by the city, will be in place during construction to avoid disruptions to the pool, arena, and park amenities.
The project includes the abatement of hazardous/designated substances including asbestos containing materials. Construction fencing and access gates will be installed around the work area. A new electrical kiosk is proposed to be installed for the parking lot lighting as well as to provide multiple exterior electrical outlets for the community garden. In addition, a water supply running from Brewer Pool to the community garden area is being reviewed, to be installed in spring of 2024.
Your Capital Ward
Photo by Deborah Kryhul
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.
Age-Friendly Housing Community Conversations
Join The Council on Aging of Ottawa! Older adults are the fastest-growing age group in Ottawa. Many older adults will have different housing needs as they age, especially the need for affordable and accessible options due to changing health and lifestyle.
- What are your biggest housing challenges?
- Have you thought of other age-friendly housing options?
- What home and community care supports do you need to allow you to age safely and comfortably in the community?
- What should be done to prepare older adults to meet their future housing needs?
Churchill Seniors Centre
345 Richmond Rd.
Wednesday, October 11
1:30 to 3:00 PM
John G Mlacak Community Centre
Kanata Seniors Centre
2500 Campeau Dr.
Wednesday, October 18
10:30 AM to 12:00 PM
5550 Ann St.
Thursday, November 2
10:30 AM to 12:00 PM
Montfort Renaissance (Centre de services Guigues)
159 Murray Street
Monday, November 20
10:30 AM to 12:00 PM
Throw it away? No Way! A repair café at City Hall
In celebration of Circular Economy Month, Ottawa Tool Library will host a next Repair Café in collaboration with the City of Ottawa!
Repair Cafés aim to reduce landfill waste by fixing items, teaching new skills, and building community! OTL’s fixers and menders will be sharing their knowledge and skills around fixing everything from darning socks to re-wiring kettles.
Saturday, October 14
Jean Piggot Hall at City Hall
10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Old Home Workshop
Heritage Ottawa has announced their new introductory Old Home Workshop. The workshop was developed in response to the many owners of older homes in the city who contact Heritage Ottawa with how-to questions about maintaining and repairing historic buildings. It is designed for homeowners, history enthusiasts, and anyone interested in learning more about the maintenance and preservation of historic homes.
Workshop Title: "Who Can Help me with this Old House?"
October 14, 2023
Time: 9:00am to 4:30pm
Location: Bayview Yards Innovation Centre, 7 Bayview Station Rd, or join via Zoom
Information and registration: heritageottawa.org/heritage-ottawa-workshops
Get your property Rain Ready and you could win a custom designed and installed rain garden of your own
Installing a rain garden is just one of several ways you can slow down and control the rate of water runoff that leaves your property and ends up in the Ottawa River. From now, until October 20, you can enter to win a rain garden of your own through this simple contest with Rain Ready Ottawa.
To be eligible to Win a Rain Garden, visit ottawa.ca/rain and complete an application form. You’ll have to do some work, like share a photo online about how rainwater is managed on your property right now, but that’s the only price to pay towards having a chance to win a customized rain garden designed and installed at your property.
But wait, there are two prizes! The second prize is a custom landscape design for your property.
To be eligible for either prize you must live in one of the priority or secondary areas identified as significant to the health of the Ottawa River. Residents of the priority areas are also eligible for funding year-round for rainwater management projects.
Rain Ready Ottawa is a pilot program that encourages and supports residents to take action on their property to reduce the harmful impacts of rainwater runoff. When rain falls on buildings, streets and parking lots, it moves quickly into storm sewers that drain straight into our streams and rivers, picking up pollutants along the way. This can cause problems like:
- Poor water quality in creeks and rivers
- Increased risks of flooding and erosion
- Habitat degradation
- Beach closures
The city is working to reduce the impact of both combined sewage overflows and storm water on the Ottawa River. Projects that homeowners can install on their properties to limit the impact of rainfall on their home and to help us achieve our goals include:
- Downspout redirections and extensions
- Rain barrels
- Rain gardens
- Soakaway pits
- Permeable pavement
Get involved in Draft Budget 2024!
You will have several opportunities in the coming weeks to inform the city’s draft budget for 2024. Resident feedback is integral to the development of the City’s budget. It’s your city and your budget), so have your say!
Visit the Engage Ottawa Budget 2024 page today to complete a survey so we can first hear from you on your budget priorities. The survey will close at the end of October and the results will be posted on Engage Ottawa.
Important dates and information:
- October to November 2023: Councillor-led budget consultations take place to receive input from residents. Exact dates for consultations will be communicated by Councillors, posted on ottawa.ca, Engage Ottawa and social media.
- Wednesday, November 8: Draft Budget 2024 is tabled at Ottawa City Council. In addition to this Council meeting, the three boards listed below hold their own meetings to table their respective budgets.
- November to December 2023: Residents can submit questions to city staff through Engage Ottawa.
- Wednesday, December 6: Draft Budget 2024 is considered for adoption at Ottawa City Council.
- Every year, the City of Ottawa produces a municipal budget. One of the city’s most important documents, the budget is the blueprint that defines how money is received (revenue) and spent (expenses). There are two building blocks to the draft budget:
- The operating budget funds city programs and services that residents rely on every day.
- The capital budget pays for the rehabilitation of current infrastructure and assets under the city’s control or to invest in growth of our city.
- The draft budget is broken down by Committee, department and service areas as described in the Table of City Services and Standing Committee reporting structure. With direction from Council, the budget is drafted and tabled for review by each Standing Committee and adopted by Council. Aside from the draft budget considered by Committees, there are three boards who make recommendations to Council regarding their draft budgets:
- Ottawa Police Services Board
- Ottawa Board of Health
- Ottawa Public Library Board
- Draft Budget 2024 supports Council’s commitment to fund ongoing operational needs. The draft budget is respectful of taxpayer dollars, continuing to invest prudently in Ottawa’s future to build a resilient, affordable and connected city.
- For more information about the city’s budget, visit the Budget, finance and corporate planning page.
E-mail campaign to demand better transit
Community organizations have launched an e-mail campaign directed towards councillors and Mayor Sutcliffe outlining six demands in the next budget among them: opposing any cuts or fare hikes, making transit free for low-income people and those on ODSP and OW, involving riders directly in conversations around route planning and several others.