We’re halfway through September now, and the activity at City Hall is back in full swing...virtually. We have a lot of important meetings coming up, public consultations on developments in Dow’s Lake and Old Ottawa East, and other community updates.
West Coast Video Update
After twelve years of having a vacant building on our traditional main street in Old Ottawa South, we’re happy to report that a demolition permit has been issued for the building at 1123-1125 Bank Street—the old West Coast Video building. We have been working since 2018 with the city to remove incentives for vacant buildings which sit empty for too long. We’ve also been working with the building ownership to highlight the benefits of this potential outcome.
At this time, we have worked out that grass would take its place with boulders on the periphery (so no one parks there). Over time, we expect an application to come forward either by the current owners or should the building be sold. It would be ideal to see a mixed use building here with business on the bottom. We are anticipating that fencing will go up near the end of October with demolition to take place shortly after that. We asked for pest control to take place in the building prior to demolition (this is being done).
770-774 Bronson Public Consultation
There is a new proposal with the city for a development at the southwest corner of Bronson and Carling. This will cover three property parcels—770 Bronson, 774 Bronson and 557 Cambridge Street South—creating an L-shape in the northeast corner of the Dow’s Lake community across from Glebe Collegiate.
Right now, the proposal is for a 26-storey tower. It would have 73 student apartments and 153 standard apartments, along with ground floor amenities.
Currently, the lots are zoned for six to twelve storeys, and previous development proposals were not going to exceed 15 storeys. So a 26-storey building would require a significant change to the zoning.
Aside from the issues pertaining to height, there are also concerns about traffic flow, parking and how the building will integrate with potential changes that should be coming to Carling and Bronson in the next five to ten years.
We will be hosting a public consultation on Wednesday September 22 from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm. To attend, please register at https://www.shawnmenard.ca/bronsonconsultation.
You can also submit comments directly to the city through the city’s devapps website.
New Official Plan Meetings
The joint committee meeting to consider the final report for the new Official Plan (OP) will happen on October 14, 2021, with the final plan going to council on Wednesday, October 27.
This change is due in a large part to your advocacy, and it gives a bit 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.
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 are concerned about the loss of greenspace, the loss of mature trees, the amount of parking and the poor transportation planning that has gone into the current proposal…and we know a lot of you have the same concerns. We’ve received your emails and we’ve seen you at multiple demonstrations.
If this development is to go ahead, we need to make sure that these issues are properly addressed. So far, they haven’t been.
We expect the proposal to go to Planning Committee in October, though this could change. Residents will be invited to participate in the Planning Committee—to raise concerns and questions, and to speak in favour or against the development.
Planning Committee Meeting
On Friday October 1 at 9:00 am, there will be a joint meeting of the Planning Committee and the Built Heritage Sub-Committee to review the heritage considerations and the Master Site Plan Control. Immediately after this meeting, the Planning Committee will meet to make recommendations to city council on the approval of the development proposal.
To speak at the meeting, please contact Éric Pelot at [email protected].
We will make the staff report available on our website when it is released in the coming days.
After going through the city approval process, the development will also have to be approved by the National Capital Commission. The NCC will be meeting Tuesday October 5. If you are interested in speaking at the meeting, you can email the NCC at [email protected], or call (613) 239-5000 or 1 (800) 465-1867 (toll-free).
You can also watch the live webcast on YouTube.
Greystone Phase III Consultation
We will be hosting a public consultation on September 30th from 7-8:30pm to discuss phase III of the Greystone development Site Plan Control Application. You can register for the consultation here.
The proposed development is comprised of two seven-storey residential buildings with a total of 260 units, a private courtyard area with an elevated footbridge connection to the river, and an underground garage with a total of 266 vehicular spaces and 260 bicycle parking spaces. The meeting will provide a chance to review a number of questions that have been raised by the community, including traffic circulation, unit count, and public space. Detailed documentation for phase III is available on the city’s devapps website.
Board of Health Meeting
This Monday, the Board of Health will be meeting. This is an important meeting, as there will be a report on opioid use, harm reduction and mental health, as well as updates on the city’s pandemic response and support for schools through COVID-19.
You can find the agenda here.
If you wish to speak at the meeting, please contact Diane Blais at [email protected].
Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan
On Monday September 27 at 9:30 am, there will be a joint meeting of the Community and Protective Services Committee (CPSC) and Planning Committee to discuss the city’s Parks and Recreation Master Plan. The agenda will be posted here next week.
If you wish to speak at the meeting, please contact Carole Legault at [email protected].
Support Free Transit for OW and ODSP Recipients
Social assistance recipients should not have to pay for public transit. Free Transit Ottawa and 63 other organizations across the city have written a letter to the mayor and city council asking that social assistance recipients receive free transit passes. You can sign on to the letter to voice your support for an accessible city for all. You can read the letter and add your name here.
Emergency Food Centre Fundraiser
Centretown Churches Social Action Committee (CCSAC) will again be hosting a virtual Walk for the Centre this year.
The economic consequences of the COVID shutdown continue to be hard for many of our neighbours in Central Ottawa. You are invited to walk virtually with CCSAC this year to support food security in Central Ottawa and raise funds for the Centretown Emergency Food Centre. The Centre has operated throughout the pandemic, serving clients three days a week.
Virtual Walk for the Centre runs from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm on Sunday, October 3. You can do a solo 2- or 4-kilometer stroll, a family hike on your favourite trail, or a walk on your treadmill at home!
The CCSAC allows you to sponsor an individual or a team, or sign up to walk. More details here.
Psychology Mental Health Day, Carleton University
In recognition of World Mental Health Day, this year, the Department of Psychology at Carleton University will partner with the Mental Health and Well-being Research and Training Hub (MeWeRTH) to host, “Psychology Mental Health Day, 2021” virtually on Thursday October 7 from 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm.
The speakers will include Elizabeth Manley, former Olympic skater—her talk is entitled, “Resiliency…getting through uncertain times”, as well as Dr. Lara Aknin, from Simon Fraser University; her talk is entitled, “Mental health and well-being during the first year of covid-19”.
The event will be virtual. All are welcome. The registration link can be found here: https://carleton.ca/psychology/psychology-mental-health-day/
Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
Two new electric vehicle charging stations are coming to Capital Ward, one at 186 Main Street and the other Hurdman Station. As we continue our fight against climate change, making electric vehicles easier to use will help us wean off of fossil fuels.
These stations are expected to be installed in the fall, and they should be fully operational by the end of 2021 or early 2022.
Ain’t No Party Like a Springhurst Party!
We had a great time at the community party at Springhurst Park last weekend. It was great to join with residents as they enjoyed the new play structure and amenities at the park. We’ve said it a lot, but this really is an important bit of greenspace in the neighbourhood, and I’m glad we could work with the community and the city to make these improvements.
Glebe BIA Looking for a New Executive Director
The Glebe BIA is hiring a new executive director. If you want to help support local businesses and have ideas about changes you want to see locally along Bank Street, I suggest you apply!
You can find more information here.
Blasting at 275 Carling
There’s a new development going up at 275 Carling in the Glebe Annex. It’s a 16-storey retirement residence, and the community will be experiencing some disruption from construction in the coming years.
Blasting was set to begin this week and continue until early 2022. There will be up to ten blasts per day, and whistles will warn residents right before them. When you hear five short whistles, that means there is one minute until a blast. Three short whistles tells you the blast is imminent. Finally, there will be one long whistle once the blast is clear.
Overall, construction is scheduled to last for two-and-a-half years. We will be working with the city and the developer to try to mitigate the disruption as much as possible.
Brewer Swimming Pool Update
Since the start of the pandemic, the Brewer Arena and the Brewer Swimming Pool have been closed while the arena is used as a COVID-19 testing centre. With the possibility of a fourth wave of the pandemic occurring, the arena will continue to be used for testing for the foreseeable future. As well, pools and recreation facilities staff continue to be deployed to other roles to support the city’s pandemic response. These two factors affect the city’s ability to re-open recreation facilities.
The pool at Brewer has re-opened for limited use by clubs. They access the pool through the backdoor, so as not to mix with those attending the testing centre.
While a re-opening for the general public is not yet possible, the city conducts bi-weekly reviews of our pandemic response and staffing levels to reassess the opening of recreational facilities.
We will keep the community updated about the re-opening of the Brewer pool.
The annual Panda Game between Carleton University and the University of Ottawa will be returning to Lansdowne Park on Saturday October 2 at 12:00 pm. This is a fun tradition between the schools, but it can also cause issues with traffic, public intoxication and noise in the neighbourhoods on either side of the stadium.
We have reached out to Carleton to find out what they are doing to mitigate the effect on Old Ottawa South and the Glebe. They have sent us their mitigation strategy, which includes a door-knocker campaign, pre-event communications with students, a shuttle service, community outreach, community clean-up and more.
RedBlacks Transportation Update
We’ve now had two RedBlacks games back at Lansdowne Park. We know that there have been some concerns about parking issues and traffic restrictions. We have been informed of a number of trouble spots for illegal parking, and we have contacted By-Law Services to better monitor these locations on gamedays.
There was also some confusion about a new No-Left-Turns sign posted at Bank and Sunnyside that prohibited people from turning left from Bank (southbound) onto Sunnyside. This turn prohibition is only in place during and after games to deter drivers from cutting through the neighbourhood.