|Happy 2018! It’s a new year, but already feeling a lot like the last one. First up? A rezoning application for 99 Bank St. (a.k.a. Fifth Avenue Court or Fifth + Bank) that requests a building height beyond what Bank's Traditional Mainstreet designation and the neighbourhood character support. Will this be the year the City's Planning staff and Council advance more appropriate and compatible intensification?
The Old Ottawa East Hosers, in green, conquered the Old Ottawa East Moose, in blue, in the final game of the 2017 Councillor's Cup, refereed by Councillor David Chernushenko, at centre. Photo by John Dance.
Councillor's Cup hockey tournament cancelled
Unfortunately, the warm and possibly rainy forecast, along with personal illness, have forced the cancellation of Capital Ward's annual hockey showdown that was scheduled for Saturday, January 27 at Brantwood Park. Please accept my apologies.
Monday, January 29, 7 p.m.
Guest speaker John Morgan will discuss the life and times his great-great-grandfather, Alexander Mackenzie, Canada's second prime minister (1873–1878). Mackenzie, a stonemason born in Scotland, was known as a hard-working, honorable man who fought passionately for equality, democracy, the rule of law, and honesty in government. The Supreme Court of Canada and the Auditor General’s office were created during his tenure, and the groundwork for Canada’s modern electoral system was laid. The 1874 Dominion Elections Act created laws for the secret ballot, and the removal of property-ownership qualifications for candidates seeking election to the House of Commons, among other reforms.
Morgan, a native of Ottawa, is retired from the Office of the Comptroller General of Canada.
Wednesday, January 31, 7 – 9 p.m.
The Ottawa Hospital is hosting a public information session to present an update on plans for the new regional trauma and acute care centre at the former site of the Sir John Carling building next to Dow's Lake.
Find out more about planned hospital services and see the draft architectural concept, which will demonstrate the landscape influences that inform how the buildings could be placed on the site. The session will also provide an update on a Community Engagement Group that will work closely with the hospital’s Board of Governors on range of issues such as access, parking, greenspace and design.
Public engagement so far has included a third-party report on engagement and a series of community feedback sessions. To read a summary of feedback and ideas shared to date, including common themes and highlights, click here.
To provide input before January 31, please visit greatertogether.ca/engage to share your ideas.
TACT Architecture Inc.
Comment on the Fifth + Bank redevelopment
For those who haven’t heard yet, an application for a zoning by-law amendment has been submitted for the redevelopment of Fifth + Bank, the old Fifth Avenue Court. The proposed design is for an eight-storey condominium, plus mechanical penthouse, set back from the heritage row along Bank St. between Fourth and Fifth Aves. The application, including architectural drawings and technical details, is available on the City of Ottawa's Development Applications website.
At this point in the process, the applicant presents its case and community members have an opportunity to make their voice heard, both to the developer and the City Planner.
My personal concerns about this initial proposal include the height exceeding the current Traditional Mainstreet zoning for this block, and the potential this has to further canyonize Bank St. by setting yet another a height precedent.
The timeframe to comment directly to the City on this application has been extended to February 14.
You still have until Wednesday, January 31 to share your ideas for the revitalization of the Sparks Street Pedestrian Mall.
Take a few minutes to answer 10 questions about how the Sparks Street Mall functions, its heritage aspects, themes, programming, public amenities and transportation access.
Visit ottawa.ca/sparksstreetplan for more information about the Sparks Street Public Realm Plan project.
The City also wants to hear from you about Ottawa’s future as a liveable city for its Ottawa Next: Beyond 2036 study.
What will Ottawa be like when two to three million people call it home? Can you imagine how everyone will get around, where they will live or work, and how climate and new technologies may change the way we do things? How can the City plan to prosper in the future while being ready to respond to unknown changes?
Contribute to the City's planning study by answering this questionnaire about what livability means to you. Please note this a new and improved version of the original questionnaire that began circulating last week.
As work continues on the not-yet-officially-named Canal Footbridge (see below), it’s time to think about the public art component. The City of Ottawa has put out a call for individual artists or teams to help design two benches, one for each side of the bridge.
Visit ottawa.ca to find out how to submit an expression of interest by Monday, February 26 at 4 p.m.. You — or someone you know — just might be the best person to design a new public art piece for Capital Ward.
Speaking of the bridge, there's still time to submit suggestions for naming it. Already, people are calling it the Canal Footbridge, the Fifth Avenue Bridge, Clegg Footbridge, Rideau Crossing. We need to decide on a permanent name soon and avoid the fate of the Corktown Bridge, which is much better known as the Somerset Bridge because the official name came long after the bridge was open.
Visit capitalward.ca/bridgename to learn more about the process for finding a name, and complete the online form to submit your own suggestions for names that honour local historical events, people or places, or outstanding individuals of the community. The deadline for name submissions is Thursday, March 1.
The Province has released a framework for Inclusionary Zoning and is now awaiting comment from municipalities across Ontario. Inclusionary Zoning is a planning tool that will allow municipalities to insist that developers include, in pre-defined zones within their boundaries, a percentage of affordable units in new multi-unit residential developments. This approach would help address the very real need for and increasing lack of affordable housing.
City of Ottawa staff have raised a series of initial concerns, and I share these in particular:
To see how Ottawa is currently addressing the issue of housing and homelessness, consider taking some time to view the City’s current 10-year plan.
The Province has released a framework for Inclusionary Zoning and is now awaiting comment from municipalities across Ontario. Inclusionary Zoning is the regulated requirement to include a certain number of affordable units in all new multi-unit residential developments across the city, in order to address the very real need for and increasing lack of affordable housing. (This isn’t exactly right – Inclusionary Zoning would allow the City the option of requiring developers, in certain pre-defined locations as set out by the City, to include a percentage of units at an affordable rate. The legislation does not insist that Municipalities implement nor does it insist the where or when. All it does is insist on the how, as noted in the concern below. Perhaps the section could instead read:
Combined Sewage Storage Tunnel update
If you're wondering what's happening with construction of the Combined Sewage Storage Tunnel (CSST) — or maybe just wondering what's been going on at the corner of Kent St. and Chamberlain Ave. — the City of Ottawa put together some interesting facts (see below) about this enormous and enormously important project to protect the Ottawa River from sewage overflows.
By the way, those silos at Kent and Chamberlain, site of one of the tunnel shafts, hold grout to seal the seams of the concrete tunnel. And to those who have asked if the worksite will eventually be converted into usable land, for example as a commercial property, the answer is no because the cost of building a permanent retaining wall for wall for the 417 is too expensive.
The City of Ottawa's ReCollect Collection Calendar mobile app, like the online ReCollect calendar, is a great way to keep track of your collection day and the type of material scheduled for collection.
In addition to sending you reminders, the app also provides a quick reference to check what goes into the blue, black and green bins, plus tips and notifications of events like Household Hazardous Waste Depots.
The City wants the public's input on how it should allocate more than $450,000 in the Vehicle-for-Hire Accessibility Fund.
The City must use the fund, which is generated by voluntary surcharges from private transportation companies, to promote and foster accessible transportation for persons who have physical disabilities and that require the use of a mobility device.