Capital Ward Bulletin: News About Parks, COVID Updates and More

Patterson Creek Update

The National Capital Commission is beginning work on renovations to Patterson Creek Park near the pavilion. The work will include new flooring, upgraded washrooms, automatic push-button doors in the pavilion, and landscaping work around the pavilion to create a patio/terrace seating area to be used when the bistro will be in operation.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the NCC’s client services at 613-239-5000 or [email protected]

Environmental Drilling at Windsor Park

The Environmental Remediation Unit has retained an environmental consultant to complete a Phase Two Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) in Windsor Park. The Phase Two ESA is being completed to gather soil and groundwater data in the vicinity of the proposed new field house, while other boreholes will be advanced throughout the park to gather additional data on overall site conditions. The tentative field schedule is:

  • June 4 (Friday): Utility locates
  • June 7 to 8 (Monday to Tuesday): Drilling and monitoring well installation
  • June 10 to 11 (Thursday to Friday): Well development and surveying
  • June 16 to 17 (Wednesday to Thursday): Groundwater sampling

Ottawa Moves Towards an All Electric Bus Fleet

The Canadian Infrastructure Bank (CIB) and the City of Ottawa have announced an agreement in principle, which would see the CIB invest up to $400 million, supporting OC Transpo’s adoption of 450 zero-emission buses (ZEBs) by 2027. This is the CIB’s second ZEB investment commitment with a large municipality and supports the largest conversion of public transit vehicles in Canada to date.

The electrification of vehicles is a key initiative to help the City's goal of reducing GHG emissions in City operations by 100 percent by 2040 and demonstrates the City’s commitment to lead by example. Each battery-electric bus will provide a savings of 35,000 litres of fuel every year, which is the annual consumption of a conventional diesel-powered bus.

This is an issue we have been pushing since we came into office. We have worked closely with Somerset Councillor Catherine McKenney and collaborated with city staff to get more and more electric vehicles, and we are very happy to see all of this hard work pay off.

We will be reviewing the financial elements of this deal to ensure this is the right one for Ottawa.

Upgrades to the Sidewalk at Bank and Fifth

Improvements are anticipated this month to address accessibility concerns along the sidewalk on the south side of Fifth Avenue between Bank and Monk Street (adjacent to the new building with Score Pizza at the corner).

The utility box that currently blocks the path of the sidewalk will be moved over to the landscaping area. In addition, the sidewalk adjacent to the Score Pizza patio will be widened to meet accessibility standards.

At the intersection of Fifth and Monk, the sidewalk will be flared out where there is currently landscaping so that it aligns with the crosswalk.

It is unfortunate that this work must be done after the re-construction of the sidewalk, but we are happy that the improvements will be made. We thank the community for their patience, and we thank the property owner and Score Pizza for their cooperation through this. 

Canadian Girls Baseball

Canadian Girls Baseball serves to deliver baseball programming to girls across Canada aged 4-16. Baseball is more than a sport. It’s an opportunity for girls to learn teamwork, empathy, build confidence, leadership skills and more. Getting girls in the game gives them a brighter future.

They have a girls baseball program coming up this summer in Ottawa! The program runs from Saturday July 10 to Saturday August 28. The program duration is seven weeks and includes seven sessions that take place each Saturday morning. All playing levels are welcome, including girls who are new to the game of baseball. They offer pricing accommodation for those who might need financial assistance. For more information, visit their website: www.canadiangirlsbaseball.com/copy-of-programs.

Smyth Road Bicycling Safety Improvements—Public Engagement Session

We invite you to review and provide comments on the Smyth Road Cycling Safety Improvements and Neighbourhood Bike Modifications project on www.ottawa.ca/smythcyclingimprovements by June 23, 2021. Information can be submited by email or by phone to the contact below.

A virtual public information session is also being held on June 16, 2021 at 6:30 pm. If you wish to participate, please click here for registration details.

Making Space on Bank Street

As we enter the second summer of the pandemic, the city has altered guidelines to allow for greater use of public space by businesses and residents. This includes finding creative ways to provide outdoor patio and vendor space, while still making sure that people walking, biking and driving down the street can access their communities.

We know that several businesses along Bank Street will be taking advantage of the city’s outdoor space to better serve residents, and we are working with them and with city staff to create a safe outdoor environment that gives sufficient space to everyone. I encourage residents to enjoy these options safely outdoors as patio's open on Friday 'Between the Bridges' in Old Ottawa South and in the Glebe.

We are also working with staff on a number of traffic calming measures throughout the ward to help people when they go outside, walking or using active transportation. We’ll keep working with residents, community associations and local businesses to create better outdoor spaces we can use this summer.

The New Civic Hospital—the City Needs to Hear from You
The development of the new Civic Hospital Campus at Dow’s Lake is a significant project for both our city and our ward, and it’s important that the city hears from residents to make sure we get the development right. You can make comments until June 18 at the city’s website: https://devapps.ottawa.ca/en/applications/D07-12-21-0059/details

These projects are exciting. There is potential to create something that serves our healthcare needs that is also transformative for our city. There are a number of positive aspects to the development, but there are still some significant concerns. The city should be seriously considering moving the LRT stop to the north side of Carling so that it can be integrated with the hospital. We need to make sure that there is sufficient connectivity to our active transportation network, as this is an important route for people walking and biking in our city. And then there is the issue of traffic and parking. There is good reason to worry that the development will duplicate the errors of last-century development, focusing on driving and ignoring the fact that many people are only able to access important civic services by transit. Lastly, the development will take down a large number of mature trees and impact wildlife habitat, and we want to mitigate this wherever possible.

We are also concerned that there has been insufficient consultation with the public. Concerns have been raised by various stakeholders that their perspectives are not being considered.

We hope that this will change, and if you are able to provide your feedback, it will help ensure that the public is listened to.

Vehicles for Hire in Ottawa: Smarter Transportation Planning for a Better City

Advocating for better regulation of ride sharing services was a key plank of our 2018 election platform, and we have taken every opportunity thus far to do just that. Today we release a robust position paper on the future of Vehicles for Hire (VFH) in Ottawa.

In March of 2019, our office backed a motion directing the city to renegotiate a higher ‘accessibility surcharge’ from Ottawa Private Transportation Companies (PTCs), like Uber and Lyft.  Unlike for traditional taxi companies, the city allows PTCs to pay their way out of providing accessible service to Ottawa residents via an ‘accessibility surcharge’. This paltry sum, 7-cents per ride, pales in comparison to other jurisdictions (e.g. it is $2.75 USD in New York City). Our own city-solicited report from KPMG on this subject in 2016 advised asking for 30-cents—a still paltry sum we fell well short of.

As we outline in our position paper, we believe that PTCs should be subject to the same accessibility requirements as traditional taxis in Ottawa. However, if the city is going to continue accepting this surcharge in lieu of accessible service, we believe that it should at the very least be asking for more. The March 2019 motion passed, and city staff were directed to negotiate a higher amount.

Two years later, the city has come back to Council and advised that the rate was negotiated to be only 3-cents higher for a total of 10-cents. The 3-cents is, in real terms, only 2-cents when one factors in the inflation from 2016 to 2021. This increase, however, was apparently implemented a year ago (in July of 2020), but council was advised only recently (June 8th, 2021). In any event, this miniscule increase is a slap in the face to accessible taxi drivers, to persons living with disabilities, and ultimately to all Ottawa residents. This recent failure to stand up to these massive American corporations, in even a small way such as this, only serves to further emphasize the need for Ottawa to take seriously the recommendations in our position paper, and the critical review of the current situation underpinning them.

Read the full position paper here.

Jerk On Wheels

Some of you may be aware of the recent situation with one Capital Ward business, namely Jerk on Wheels, a food truck that was servicing the sound end of Old Ottawa South on Bank St. Many constituents were angered to hear that this business was forced to leave due to the veto power of the Tim Horton's and Dairy Queen restaurants close by, and would like to see the business return.

We'd also like to see Jerk on Wheels return to Capital Ward, and are working with city staff to identify possible solutions with a location that is either more than 46 meters away from an another food vendor, or within 46 meters of vendors willing to support the presence of this business.

West Coast Video

The two-storey building at 1123-1125 Bank Street has now sat vacant and boarded up for 12 years. It was gutted by fire in 2009 and has been a challenge ever since, a significant concern for us in Old Ottawa South and for small businesses on Bank Street. There has been regular graffiti on the building, bylaw complaints about garbage left out, leaks, animals, and other issues.

Many of you will recall that dealing with this building, and derelict buildings more broadly in Ottawa, was a major campaign issue during the 2018 election. Since then we have held roundtables with community, worked directly with the property management, and have been working with City staff to ensure that existing regulation is enforced on the West Coast Video site, and have also been pushing for further reforms that would make the long-term cost of doing nothing with vacant and derelict buildings--dragging down traditional mainstreets—untenable for derelict building owners going forward.

Through working with City staff, we have a bylaw review of the regulation of derelict buildings ongoing and we expect a report back in 2022. Previous reforms have not gone far enough, and we are pushing for the City to review and consult on the possible implementation of a permit system (similar to the one that exists in Winnipeg) that will see property owners pay an increasingly large sum of money to the City the longer that they allow these properties to lay dormant.

We recently brought a motion to the last meeting of City Council that we received unanimous support for to allow the demolition of the building and would expedite the process.

We are working with the building owner to see this through and to allow for a temporary small park to take its place with grass and soft features, sitting area etc. We are hopeful that this will proceed this summer, and that this will be a crucial step in seeing the property redeveloped on our historic traditional mainstreet.

Temporary Bike Lanes on Carling

It’s taken a lot of work, but we’re going to see temporary bike lanes on Carling Avenue this month. The bike lanes will run from Sherwood Avenue to Cambridge Street (eastbound) and to Bronson (westbound). In the coming weeks, staff will be using traffic cones to convert the curb lanes to bike lanes. This is a project we worked on with councillors Catherine McKenney and Jeff Leiper. The project will be funded through our ward traffic calming budgets.

We’ve been hearing from residents for years about the need for proper bike lanes on Carling. This summer and fall, we’ll finally have some. They’ll offer a great connection between our ward, Little Italy and places beyond. We can’t wait to get on them, and we know many of you will enjoy them, too.

 Vacant Unit Tax

At the last meeting of Council, development of a Vacant Unit Tax was given the green light. Recent studies have estimated that there are many residential units in Ottawa sitting vacant; meanwhile there are thousands of Ottawans who are either unhoused, underhoused, or otherwise precariously housed. We have people without houses and houses without people. A 1% vacancy tax is one way to help put two and two together. Rents and land values continue to go up in Ottawa, and that is in part driven by speculative pressures on the real estate market. A Vacant Unit Tax is one significant step in the right direction: it can disincentivize speculative behaviour while at the same time generating some revenue for the city that can be used to fund affordable non-market housing options. 

There is a cost to the city in leaving these properties vacant, this should help Ottawa lead the way with another tool to assist affordability. 

Vax Aide Launches

If you or someone you know needs help booking a COVID-19 vaccination appointment, or if you need a ride to your appointment, Vax Aide can help.

A collaboration between the City of Ottawa, 211, Ottawa Public Health and Volunteer Ottawa, Vax Aide will

  • Use volunteer administrators to book vaccine appointments for the vulnerable, particularly now as second doses are in
  • Use a newly created vetted volunteer driver pool, to drive the vulnerable to their appointments
  • Coordinate with 211 to ensure over 65 and under 65 are covered for transportation

To contact Vax Aide:

Call or Text: 613-869-8221
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.vaxaide.ca

Second dose appointment options are available for adults 70-plus and more

The Province of Ontario has announced second dose COVID-19 vaccine booking options that affect adults age 70 and older (born in 1951 or earlier) and some younger Ottawa residents.

Age 70 and Older

Residents age 70 and older who do not have a second dose appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, or who wish to reschedule their existing booking for an earlier date, can do so, starting Monday, June 7 at 8 am, in the provincial booking system.

Individuals who received their first dose of Pfizer or Moderna on or before April 18, 2021, are also be eligible to schedule an appointment through the provincial booking system to receive their second dose beginning on Monday at 8 am.  

Residents can visit Ontario.ca/bookvaccine to access the provincial booking system or call the provincial vaccine booking line at 1-833-943-3900 between 8 am and 8 pm, seven days a week. Only book or call if you are eligible.

There are currently limited appointments in June at community clinics for the shortened interval due to limited vaccine supply. Residents in this group may instead choose to book their second dose through a local pharmacy as of today.

If your first dose was AstraZeneca, you may choose to receive Pfizer of Moderna instead. Visit Ontario.ca for more information.

COVID-19 Vaccination Pop-Up Clinic for Riverview Park

The city is planning for a pop-up clinic for the Riverview neighbourhood on Saturday June 12 and Sunday June 13 from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm at Hillcrest High School.

More information can be found at the city’s website.

Give Feedback on First-Ever Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan

The city wants to hear your feedback on our draft report document for the city’s first-ever combined Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan (PRFMP), in support of the new Official Plan (OP). Visit engage.ottawa.ca to see our preliminary recommendations and provide your feedback between now and June 17 by completing a survey or by attending one of four online sessions.

If you are new to this plan or need a refresher, the Engage Ottawa page has frequently asked questions, as well as a highlights of the plan. This will provide participants with some great context before taking part in the survey.

To participate, complete the online survey on the Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan page on Engage.Ottawa.ca or register for one of the following virtual bilingual consultation sessions: 

All sessions, including the presentation and discussion, will be offered in English and French. Upon registration, registrants will indicate their preferred language and they will receive a link for either the English or French session.

The June 8 session will be co-hosted by Ottawa Sport Council and will focus on sports fields and the wide range of outdoor and indoor sports courts and amenities and the needs of sport clubs and organizations.

If you require a disability related accommodation to fully participate in this event, please contact 613-580-2424 ext. 25192 mailto:[email protected]. For deaf community members, our facilitators can engage using Canada Video Relay Service (link is external) or via the chat within the meeting.

Shared Electric Kick Scooters are Rolling onto Ottawa Streets  

Following the selection of three shared e-scooter providers (Bird Canada, Lime and Neuron), e-scooters will start to roll out on Ottawa streets today to support essential travel needs. The service will operate until November 30, 2021.

E-scooters can be found within the designated deployment area shown in the brown area below. This year’s pilot includes an increase in the number of shared e-scooters to 1,200 in an expanded central deployment area. 

The 2021 pilot includes additional safety and accessibility features and is focused on reducing sidewalk riding and improper parking through a variety of mitigation measures and innovations deployed by the providers. Such innovations include:

  • An automatic alert that tells providers if an e-scooter has remained tipped for a period of time so providers can check on the e-scooter.
  • Different technologies to detect and prevent sidewalk riding.
  • Technology that emits a constant sound, alerting pedestrians of the presence of an approaching e-scooter.
  • Incentives for good parking behaviour.
  • Some additional designated parking locations for e-scooters.

Shared e-scooter providers have committed to respond to misparked e-scooters within one hour. Residents can report misparked e-scooters and other concerns in the following ways:

  • Call the provider directly. Each e-scooter has an English and French sticker on it with the company’s contact information. Bird Canada can be contacted at 1-866-205-2442, Lime can be contacted at 1-888-546-3345, and Neuron can be contacted at 1-866-995-8770.
  • Report misparked e-scooters in community mode through each of the providers’ app (company ride app required).
  • Call 3-1-1 or email [email protected]   

To assist with reporting, each e-scooter has a printed number on it to identify and locate the e-scooter in question.

E-scooters can operate on the City’s multi-use pathways, cycling facilities like cycletracks and bike lanes, and on roads. They are prohibited on National Capital Commission pathways and in the City of Gatineau. Visit ottawa.ca for the full list of regulations and COVID-19 safety guidance.

Bank Street Mural

This week, the city’s Planning Committee will look at a proposal for a six-storey mural on the side of a 17-storey Ottawa Community Housing apartment on Bank Street, just south of Riverside Drive. The mural requires an exemption to the Permanent Signs on Private Property By-law so that it could be installed above the ninth storey. Otherwise, the by-law would require it to be located on the first or second storey. 

The mural by artist Claudia Salguero features a sunflower, the Algonquin drum, the Golden Ratio mathematical sequence, and the Ursa Major and Ursa Minor constellations.

Lansdowne Park Updates

There are a number of exciting things going on at Lansdowne Park, and as the COVID-19 restrictions ease, we’ll have more and more chances to enjoy them!

Belgium Mural

The outgoing ambassador from Belgium is providing a gift to the city in the form of a mural that will be installed on the lower part of the east side wall of the Cineplex (the alley from Holmwood to Plaza). The proposed dimensions are 3m x 5m. There will be no painting on building; aluminum panels will be installed. The mural will be in place for five years

Moving Surfaces

The art programming within Moving Surfaces went out to tender. Moving Surfaces is the installation at the top of the hill by the great lawn, with lighting that can be programmed to project over the hill and the lawn.

Andrew O’Malley was the successful artist. He has created a new programming for the art structure that has already been activated.

Beyond Van Gogh

Beyond Van Gogh, an immersive art installation, will be coming to Aberdeen Pavilion this summer. Provincial COVID-19 guidelines will determine the start date. The installation will continue throughout the summer and into September.

Air Conditioning in the Horticulture Building 

An AC unit has been installed in Horticulture. This will allow for smaller types of events to host comfortably (including a COVID-19 vaccination centre). This is Phase One of the project. In the future, additional AC units will be installed to better serve larger events in the building. 

Trees in Aberdeen Square

The tree replacement project has been completed. All work was done successfully, and the Ottawa Farmers’ Market is able to return to their usual location in the park.

Fireworks

Lansdowne staff and security have been dealing with the issue of residents lighting fireworks in the park. Monitoring will continue to address future incidents as they arise.

2021 Household Hazardous Waste Depots Update

The first event will take place at the Conroy Snow Dump (3100 Conroy Road), from June 22 to 26, from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. In order to avoid large crowds and manage traffic flow, the following procedures will be in place:

  • Upon arrival, residents will be directed into a queue where they will wait their turn to park in a designated area. All vehicles will be spaced accordingly, and residents will be required to remain in their vehicle at all times.
  • Residents arriving on bicycles are permitted to drop-off materials, and they must follow the instructions provided by staff on site.
  • The depot will accept household hazardous waste only. No electronic waste will be accepted.
    • Residents can bring electronic waste to the Trail Road Landfill Facility at no cost or can contact a participating Take it Back! member to arrange for proper disposal.
  • Due to operating restrictions, bins, totes, gas cans, etc. will not be emptied and returned to the resident.

The last vehicle will be emptied at 4:00 pm. If the site is experiencing long line-ups, residents may not be able to drop off their material that day.

Staff are anticipating being able to provide a two-day event at Tunney’s Pasture. Exact dates are still to be determined. 

City Will Reopen Some In-Person Counter Services on June 7

With Ontario transitioning from the Stay-at-Home Order to its three-step reopening plan, the city has resumed many of its in-person counter services.

Even with the lifting of the Stay-at-Home Order and increased vaccinations, everyone needs to remain vigilant in practising COVID-protective measures and protocols, including – maintaining two metres distance from people outside your household, wearing a mask in indoor public spaces or outdoors when maintaining physical distancing is difficult, and staying home when not feeling well.

Service Ottawa—Client Service Centres and Building Code Services             

  • City Hall and Ben Franklin Place (101 Centrepointe Drive) Client Service Centres and Building Code Services counters will be open by appointment only. Visit ca for the list of in-person service offerings.
  • Residents must make an appointment for the Client Service Centre by using the online booking tool on ca. Residents without internet access can reserve a time by calling 3-1-1 and choose option six for the Client Service Centre. Requests for same-day appointments will be subject to availability.
  • Building Code Services will also continue to support application submissions by courier, curbside, email and electronically at [email protected].

Employment and Social Services and Rent Supplement Program Offices

  • Limited counter and document drop-off services will be available at all four centres – 370 Catherine Street, Mary Pitt Centre (second floor west, 100 Constellation Drive), 2020 Walkley Road, and 2339 Ogilvie Road, weekdays from 9 am to 3 pm. For all other services, staff will provide both telephone and email support from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
  • The Rent Supplement Program, located at the Mary Pitt Centre (second floor west, 100 Constellation Drive) will also have limited counter and document drop-off services available from 9 am to 3 pm on weekdays. Staff will continue to provide telephone and email support on weekdays from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

Business Licensing Centre

The Business Licensing Centre at 735 Industrial Avenue will continue operations on Monday, June 7 by offering the following in-person services, by appointment:

  • Business licenses (all categories)
  • Pet registration

To make an appointment, email [email protected] / [email protected] or by calling 613-580-2424, extension 12735.

City Archives

The City’s Central Archives at the James K. Bartleman Centre, located at 100 Tallwood Drive, will resume in-person appointments for residents wishing to visit the Reference Room, starting Tuesday, June 8. Clients may make reservations for that week beginning Wednesday, June 2 by emailing [email protected] or by phoning 613-580-2857.

Provincial Offence Act Court

Court services counters located at 100 Constellation Drive and 110 Laurier Avenue West will reopen for selected services by appointment only. No walk-ins will be accepted. Clients are reminded to visit our counters only if necessary, as all of our in-person services can be accessed online at www.ottawa.ca/poa.

As a result of court proceedings being heard remotely until further notice, there will be no justice of the peace at any of the locations. If you received a summons to appear in court, do not attend court in-person. Your matter will be held remotely at the date and time noted on your summons. Please refer to the conference details listed at www.ottawa.ca/poa.

Defendants will receive a notice of a new court date by mail to the address on file with the court (please note that changing your address with MTO/Service Ontario does not update your address with the court office). For any changes, please contact us at 613-580-2400 (TTY 613-580-2401) and press option three, Monday to Friday, 8 am to 5 pm.

Ottawa Public Library Branches

The Ottawa Public Library currently has 31 branches open that will continue to offer curbside service. Please consult BiblioOttawaLibrary.ca for the latest service updates. Access to digital resources and requests for library items can be made via the Ottawa Public Library website.

For more information on City programs and services, visit ottawa.ca or call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401). You can also connect with us through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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  • Jonathan McLeod
    published this page in News & Updates 2021-06-10 17:11:08 -0400

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