Bronson Avenue tower, Westboro side-street apartment closer to reality

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Ottawa's planning committee approves 2nd try at developing corner of Bronson and Carling

Coun. David Chernushenko did not object to the two new buildings on Bronson and Carling avenues that were approved by the city's planning committee on Tuesday. (Andrew Foote/CBC)

By Andrew Foote, CBC News

Plans for a large building at the intersection of Bronson and Carling Avenues passed through the city's planning committee with little opposition Tuesday morning, while approving a smaller building on a Westboro side street brought a bigger backlash.

Members of the committee approved a proposal for a 12-storey off-campus residence targeted at university students on the corner where interest in a previous condo development fizzled under a different owner, according to the area's councillor David Chernushenko.

Chernushenko said it will be more like a hotel than the stereotypes of "parties, frat houses, problems, problems, problems," that some people hold about student housing.

He said he's on board with city staff who said most of its underground parking should be dedicated to bicycles, with only 38 parking spots for residents and visitors to put their vehicles.

Questions about parking spaces

"If we can't build rental housing with very minimal parking in this location, where can we?" he said during the meeting.

"It's on Bronson Avenue with the number four bus route, for mobile students it's not that far from a rail station [and] although I don't recommend cycling up Bronson all you have to do is deke out the back and [go] down onto Queen Elizabeth Drive."

Some residents have said that's not enough parking. Though they heard the city staff response that students don't own vehicles as much as the general population, some residents at the meeting wondered what would happen if the general population started moving in.

A proposal for a different 15-storey building next door was approved after being scaled down to just six stories.

Chernushenko said opposition to the proposals were "extremely minimal" because the developers worked with the community.

But he said the city will have to look into more buses because, once complete, these two buildings and another proposal there that's "likely coming very soon" could bring 800 to 1,000 new residents on the corner.

Ottawa planning committee OKs Bronson Avenue student housing tower

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City planning committee has approved Textbook Suites' proposal to build 172 bachelor, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments for university students at 774 Bronson Ave., just south of Carling Avenue.

Matthew Pearson, Ottawa Citizen

Students who want to live off campus will soon have another option — a 12-storey, purpose-built private student residence on Bronson Avenue, about a kilometre north of Carleton University.

The planning committee on Tuesday approved Textbook Suites' proposal to build 172 bachelor, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments for university students at 774 Bronson Ave., just south of Carling Avenue.

The 3,549-square-metre lot has frontage on both Bronson and Cambridge Street South. Plans call for the west side of the building off Cambridge to incorporate setbacks at the fifth, eighth, 10th and 12th storeys to concentrate the density on the Bronson side.

There will be a total of 38 parking spaces, including 21 for visitors. While that number may seem low for the number of units, the committee was assured parking studies undertaken by Textbook for student residences the company has built at other universities shows that the proposed parking should be sufficient.

There will also be ample bike parking and the building is on multiple bus routes.

If the city can't approve building rental units at this location with little parking, argued Capital Coun. David Chernushenko, then where could it?

Speaking on behalf of Textbook Suites, Carl Furney of the planning and design firm FoTenn noted the lack of parking hasn't been an issue at similar purpose-built student developments in Ottawa. A building at 45 Mann Ave., for example, has 49 parking spaces, but only five have been spoken for by students living there.

Meanwhile, Ashcroft's Capital Hall condominiums, a 28-storey tower in Little Italy, has no parking whatsoever for residents.

Textbook's latest proposal comes less than a year after council approved its plan to build 275 units for students in two 26-storey towers at 256 Rideau St. and 211 Besserer St.

The planning committee also approved development of a site immediately to the north, at 770 Bronson Ave., where a former automobile repair garage will be replaced with a six-storey building.

Elsewhere, against the wishes of Kitchissippi Coun. Jeff Leiper and several neighbours, the committee approved the development of a four-storey low-rise apartment building at 404 Eden Ave.

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2017 Councillor's Cup

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Saturday, January 28
9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Windsor Park Rink (1 Windsor Ave., east of Riverdale and south of Belmont)

Forget Canada's 150th — the annual Capital Ward hockey showdown is celebrating its 10th anniversary!

Once again, the Ottawa South Moose, Heron Park Hackers, Old Ottawa East Hosers and Glebe Goal-Getters will battle for glory. This year, the Ottawa South Moose have the home ice advantage in Windsor Park.

The Councillor's Cup is a friendly tournament that brings together teams from four neighbourhoods, with Councillor David Chernushenko risking both body and reputation as the referee.

The tournament is not so much a cutthroat competition as a celebration of hockey and community. Anyone 16 or older is welcome to play, and everyone is welcome to watch. There's a a "gender-balanced bench" policy, i.e. two females and two males on the ice at all times, so we particularly encourage women to sign up.

Interested players are welcome to contact the councillor's office so we can refer you to your community's team captain.

9:00 am Start Lace up, warm up, meet your teammates, stare down the competition, shake hands
9:30 am Game 1

Old Ottawa South Moose vs. Old Ottawa East Hosers 

9:55 am Game 2

Glebe Goal-Getters vs. Heron Park Hackers

10:20 am Game 3

Old Ottawa South Moose vs. Glebe Goal-Getters

10:45 am Game 4 Heron Park Hackers vs. Old Ottawa East Hosers
11:10 am Game 5 Old Ottawa South Moose vs. Heron Park Hackers
11:35 pm Game 6

Old Ottawa East Hosers vs. Glebe Goal-Getters

12:00 pm Cup Final The two teams with most game points*
play each other for the Capital Ward Cup

* win = 2 points, tie = 1, loss = 0

Rules and Regulations

  1. The format is four-on-four with no goalies.
  2. A team must have two female and two male players on the ice at all times.
  3. Games consist of two 7-minute periods, with a switch of sides at halftime.
  4. Councillor to referee each game.
  5. Each team is guaranteed three games.
  6. All players must be 16 years of age or over.
  7. All players must wear hockey helmets. Additional equipment is encouraged.
  8. No goalie equipment or goalie sticks are permitted.
  9. Penalties will be called for rule infractions. A minor penalty will result in a caution by the game official; in addition, the offending team will lose possession of the puck. A major penalty will result in the ejection of the offender(s) from the game.
  10. Raising the puck is not allowed (minor penalty).
  11. Body checking and slapshots are definitely not allowed and will result in a major penalty.
  12. Any player who abuses game officials will incur the same penalty.
  13. Should the puck leave the ice surface, the last team to touch it loses possession.
  14. Goals must be scored within approx. 3 meters of the net.
  15. In the event two teams tie in game points for second place, the team with the highest number of total goals will play for the cup.
  16. Have fun and be a good sport! Nobody remembers the highest scorer. Everybody remembers the jerk!

Baseline Road rapid transit corridor travelling towards opposition

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Marjorie Shaver-Jones is opposed to the City of Ottawa's plan to put bus stations on medians in the middle of Baseline Road as part of a plan for a new rapid transit corridor.

 Marjorie Shaver-Jones is opposed to the City of Ottawa's plan to put bus stations on medians in the middle of Baseline Road as part of a plan for a new rapid transit corridor. (Chloé Fedio/CBC)

13.8-kilometre transit corridor requires the partial expropriation of more than 200 properties

By Chloé Fedio, CBC News

The City of Ottawa's $160-million plans for a new rapid transit corridor between Billings Bridge and Bayshore Station could face hordes of opposition at an upcoming committee meeting over concerns of installing bus-only lanes in the middle of Baseline Road.

The proposed 13.8-kilometre Baseline Road Rapid Transit Corridor also requires the partial expropriation of more than 200 residential and commercial properties, as well as the complete acquisition of up to 15 properties, to maintain two lanes of traffic on each side of the road, and include segregated bike lanes for cyclists and sidewalks for pedestrians. 

Marjorie Shaver-Jones, the head of the Copeland Park Community Association, has helped collect feedback from hundreds of people in her three-building condo complex, including a petition with some 500 signatures opposing various elements of the city's plan.

A sticking point is the city's plan to place bus stops at medians instead of curbside pickup.

'We think that the dollars can be spent much more wisely to create a much more user-friendly bus system.' - Marjorie Shaver-Jones, Copeland Park Community Association

The condos at 1465, 1485 and 1505 Baseline Road have a total of 1,800 units.

"The current proposed project isn't the best the city can offer and we'd like something better," she said.

"We think that the dollars can be spent much more wisely to create a much more user-friendly bus system that is an improvement on Baseline Road."

Feedback so far has already yielded a key change to the proposal: a signal to allow eastbound vehicles to turn left through the transit corridor for access to the condo complex.

But Shaver-Jones is concerned the planning and environmental assessment study on the project will be rubber-stamped by the Transportation Committee at its February 1 meeting.

The federal government has already pegged $6 million for the design of the transit corridor.

"We're worried it's a done deal," Shaver-Jones said.