There's never a dull moment in Ottawa, least of all during Canada's sesquicentennial year. Read on for upcoming events, consultations and opportunities to provide input on the evolution of our transportation system and our parks, and energy retrofits for older homes.
In the "good news" ledger, those who qualify can now apply for the low-income EquiPass. On the "bad news" side, Ottawa, like other Canadian cities, is in the midst of an opioid crisis. I encourage you to take advantage of the public health resources available to help protect you and your loved ones.
Today marks International Francophonie Day, a day to celebrate and highlight the diversity and richness of the French language and Francophone culture here in our city.
Ottawa's own Francophone community is comprised of more than 140,000 people who enrich the city's cultural landscape. To commemorate this important day, the City will recognize the celebrated voice of Ottawa's Francophone news scene, Mr. Michel Picard, by presenting him with the Key to the City, Ottawa's highest honour.
On Friday, March 24, the City will continue the celebrations with our Francophone community at the 11th Annual Francophone Rendezvous in Jean Pigott Place at City Hall, bringing together residents and community leaders to honour a great local purveyor of French-language arts and culture, the francophone theatre centre La Nouvelle Scène Gilles Desjardins.
Thursday, March 23, 7 – 9 p.m.
How would you like to see Brewer Park in Old Ottawa South transformed?
Budget 2017 allocated $100,000 to study the long-term renewal of Brewer Park, which has the potential to be substantially redesigned to make better use of the space, by consolidating roads and parking to create more space for fields, arena(s), outdoor rinks/oval, a pool and maybe even a gym.
Road User Fees: Key to sustainable urban transportation
Tuesday, March 28, 6:30 – 9 p.m.
The Healthy Transportation Coalition and community partners are hosting a talk on the topic of user fees for city and provincial roads as a means of funding improved public transit options and covering spiralling road maintenance costs.
In Toronto, City Council proposed tolls on two major municipal highways, but the idea was vetoed by the province. But with other Canadian cities, including Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal and Vancouver, discussing similar ideas, and a wealth of international experience to draw on, there is no reason why Ottawa cannot move in this same direction.
This event is supported by the Ecofiscal Commission, The Council on Aging of Ottawa, Healthy Active Living and Obesity (HALO) Research Institute, Healthy Transportation Coalition, and Sandy Hill Community Health Centre.
Free admission, but registration is required. For more information, visit healthytransportationcoalition.nationbuilder.com.
Tuesday, March 28, 7 p.m.
In this first of a series of talks to celebrate Canada's prime ministers, Dr. Richard Clippingdale will help us better understand the life and times of Sir Wilfrid Laurier.
Clippingdale is the former Director of Canadian Studies at Carleton University, where he remains as an adjunct professor.
Presented by the Old Ottawa East Community Association (OOECA). Additional information and reading suggestions at ottawaeast.ca.
Wednesday, March 29, 7 – 9 p.m.
The City of Ottawa is hosting a public information session on road renewal in the northwest portion of Old Ottawa South, where the existing watermain, sanitary sewer and road infrastructure has reached the end of its useful life and is in need of replacement/upgrading.This open house is an opportunity to review the design, ask questions and provide comment on the proposed works.
The project area is predominantly bounded by Bronson Pl. to the west, Colonel By Dr. to the north, Seneca St. to the east and Sunnyside Ave. to the south. A three-block section along Seneca St. extends south to Grove Ave., and captures a section of Glen Ave. and Grove Ave. near the Brewer Arena.
The affected streets are:
An additional public information session to show the final detailed design is expected next fall. Construction is expected to start in Spring 2018, with completion by Fall 2019.
For more information about this project, please visit ottawa.ca.
Tuesday, April 18, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Presented by NU, Ottawa's new zero waste grocery store (opening this summer), in partnership with Councillors David Chernushenko, Catherine McKenney, Jeff Leiper, Matthieu Fleury and Tobi Nussbaum, EnviroCentre and ÉcoLead.
Tickets $7, available at evenbrite.ca.
Old Home Earth Day
Saturday, April 22, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
The GCA Environment Committee is hosting a day of exhibits and workshops to inform residents of older homes about how they can conserve energy, reduce carbon emissions, and live more sustainably.
The free event will offer information on:
The City of Ottawa recently held an open house to share the Recommended Functional Design Plan for Transit Priority Measures along Carling Ave. from Lincoln Fields to Bronson Ave. The plan is comprised of low-cost and easily implementable measures for the interim.
The recommended design includes:
Download the open house display boards and project plans here.
For more information on this project, visit ottawa.ca.
Rideau River Western Pathway update
Construction is expected to begin this summer on the Rideau River Western Pathway between Onslow Cres. and the University of Ottawa. The pathway will create a new active transportation corridor providing better access to St. Paul’s University, the University of Ottawa and the future Lees Light Rail Transit (LRT) Station. It also will directly link to a number of other existing and planned multiuse pathways along and across the river, enhancing the ability of residents to travel by foot and bicycle.
Although the pathway will terminate at Onslow Cres., the cycling route will continue to Main St. and the McIlraith Bridge by means of route signing and cycling-friendly pavement markings using local streets parallel to the shoreline. Pathway users will be able to continue as far as Bank St. using a combination of informal and existing paved pathways along the shoreline.
The new pathway will include the following features:
Work is scheduled to begin in June or July, for completion in the fall. Any necessary clearing will be done before April 15, and turtle fencing will be installed before May 1.
For more information on this project, visit ottawa.ca.
Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is working with municipal and community partners, including all first responder services, to address the issue of opioid abuse, including the recent fentanyl crisis, counterfeit prescription medications and local teen overdoses.
Visit StopOverdoseOttawa.ca to learn about the risks of using fentanyl and counterfeit medications, the signs and symptoms of an overdose, information on local treatment resources, information for parents, and more.
It also provides information on naloxone kits, which contain a medication that can temporarily reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. These are available free at many Ontario pharmacies, where parents can pick one up and learn how to use it.
An overdose is a medical emergency. If you suspect or witness an overdose, you should call 9-1-1, even if naloxone has been administered.
According to OPH, one quarter of high school students say it would be easy to get prescription pain pills without a prescription, and 13% of Grades 7 to 12 students had used prescription opioids non-medically in the past year. Two-thirds of them got these drugs from home.
The EquiPass is priced at $57 per month, a 50 per cent discount from the adult monthly pass, and will be available for use starting April 1. It is available to individuals and families whose income is below the low-income threshold, which is set by the Government of Canada.
For more information and to apply, visit octranspo.ca.