You may have heard by now about the 27-bedroom sixplex currently under construction at 177 Hopewell Avenue in Old Ottawa South. Like you, I am appalled that this project has managed to find its way through the system despite various processes in place at the City that are meant to ensure appropriate development.
I have already met with City staff and will be meeting with senior City managers shortly to review what went wrong in this case and to determine how we can collectively do better.
Doing better as a city means being able to hold developers and their teams to account when projects are misrepresented. Better tools and processes are essential to effectively defend our existing zoning by-laws and our neighbourhoods against bait-and-switch tactics that amount to over-development by stealth. I am working to make sure these measures are put in place.
I would like to express my gratitude to those who have contacted my office, and especially to the neighbours of the Hopewell property, for their vigilance and the dedication they have demonstrated in protecting their neighbourhood and, ultimately, Ottawa as a whole.
Canal crossing construction well underway
Construction of the new pedestrian and cycling bridge between Fifth Avenue and Clegg Street is now well underway, which means some noise and traffic disruptions on both sides of the Rideau Canal.
On November 3 and 6, Fourth Avenue will be limited to local traffic between Queen Elizabeth Drive and O'Connor Street, and access to Queen Elizabeth from Fourth will be blocked as crews excavate and cap the existing water main. The City Drinking Water Services will advise residents if any disruption of water service is required.
Meanwhile, pile driving operations are starting on the west side of the canal, and will move later this month to the east side. During this phase of the work, residents can expect intermittent pounding sounds and controlled vibration between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays. The piling operations should be completed by December 15.
The area's transformation into a construction site is jarring, but rest assured that as many trees as possible have been relocated, and the lily pond and other landscaping features will be fully restored when the bridge is completed in 2019.
Monday, November 27, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
The City of Ottawa has initiated a functional design study for separated cycling facilities in the Heron Road corridor between Data Centre Road and Bank Street. The plans also show potential connections between Heron Road and nearby pathways and transit stops.
You are invited to review the designs, to provide your comments and to direct questions to City staff, either at an open house on November 27, or online at ottawa.ca/HeronWestCycling between November 23 and December 4.
The functional design will be refined based on comments received from the public, and the detailed design will be carried out in early 2018. The project is not currently funded for construction, and so no date for implementation can be provided at this time.
Complete the feedback questionnaire or email your questions/comments by Monday, December 4, to the project manager:
Paul Clarke, P.Eng.
A year after the O’Connor Street Bikeway opened, the City of Ottawa is conducting a survey on cyclists’ experiences using the 2-km route connecting Laurier and Fifth Aves. with a combination of protected two-way bike lanes, painted bike lanes and shared use lanes.
Information gathered from this survey will be used to guide future transportation planning of the cycling network.
The survey is available until Thursday, November 30 at ottawa.ca/oconnorbikeway.
Parks Canada has announced that part of the Rideau Canal running through Capital Ward is now listed in the official Federal Contaminated Sites Inventory.
The designation comes after sediment from the canal bed between Bronson Avenue and the Ottawa Locks downtown was tested earlier this year, during work to repair the canal walls. Final testing showed traces of heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which have been linked to cancer. However, the levels of contaminates do not exceed the safety factors established by the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment's Water Quality Guidelines.
Because the contaminated sediment is trapped below the canal bed, it presents a low risk to human health as long as people avoid direct contact with it. Boating, paddling, skating and recreational use of the canal pathways are not affected.
The discovery of contaminated sediment is not unexpected, given that section of the canal's urban location and past industrial use, including a paint factory, trains tracks on both sides, and steam-powered boats carrying industrial goods.
Parks Canada, the federal department in charge of the canal, says it will explore potential mitigation or remediation measures for the contaminated area of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Wednesday, November 29, 7 p.m.
Guest speaker Paul Litt, historian at Carleton University and an expert public history, cultural policy, Canadian nationalism and the 1960s, will lecture on the 15th Prime Minister of Canada, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, who served from 1968 to 1979 and again from 1980 to 1984.
Litt is the author of Trudeaumania (UBC Press, 2016), which looks at Trudeau's meteoric rise to power and the phenomenon of "Trudeaumania", the heady combination of youth, image and celebrity sizzle that captured Canadian politics in the late '60s and early '70s.
For the 2017–2018 flu season, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is again providing free access to the flu vaccine through physicians’ offices, pharmacies and community clinics, as well as targeted outreach to vulnerable populations.
Because young children have the highest rate of serious illness and death from flu, OPH will also offer vaccinations by appointment for children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years and their families. To book an appointment at 100 Constellation Drive or 255 Centrum Drive, call the Ottawa Public Health Information Line at 613-580-6744 (TTY: 613-580-9656).
The City of Ottawa has launched the ReCollect Collection Calendar mobile app, which, like the online ReCollect calendar, provides you with reminders of your collection day and the type of material scheduled for collection.
It 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 OSFund awards grants to a variety of environmental projects or programs, with primary consideration given to projects and programs that:
The OSFund is a philanthropic fund of the Community Foundation of Ottawa to support community projects and organizations that foster an environmentally sustainable society in the City of Ottawa.
For details, visit the OSFund page at envirocentre.ca.
With cold weather on the way, it's a good time to share information on financial assistance programs offered through Hydro Ottawa to help customers who are having difficulty paying their electricity bills:
The Ontario Electricity Support Program provides ongoing, long-term financial support to low-income households, who may be eligible for monthly on-bill credit of between $45 and $75. To receive the OESP credit, you must apply to the program at OntarioElectricitySupport.ca or call 1-855-831-8151.
The Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) provides emergency relief of up to $600 to help low-income customers manage their energy costs and avoid having their service disconnected. To apply, visit your local social service agency partner, which you can find through the Community Information Centre of Ottawa
The Save on Energy Home Assistance Program (HAP) helps eligible homeowners, tenants and social and/or assisted housing providers improve the efficiency of their homes. The program includes an in-home energy assessment, and free installation of energy-savings measures such as LED bulbs, power bars, low-flow showerheads and programmable thermostats. Some customers may be eligible for new energy-efficient refrigerators, air conditioners and other electrical appliances. For more information, visit hydroottawa.com/HAP.
For more information on these and other programs, download the brochure at hydroottawa.com.