Office of Councillor Jeff Leiper, Kitchissippi Ward, Ottawa | (613) 580-2485  |
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1 and 19 Sir John A. MacDonald Parkway - Official Plan Amendment and Zoning By-law Amendment + Open House Webinar

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The City of Ottawa has received Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendment applications to permit offices and diplomatic missions to allow the development of embassies. This application amends the Official Plan.

The subject lands are located south of the Sir John A. MacDonald Parkway, between Slidell Street to the east and Forward Avenue to the west. Burnside Avenue is located to the south of the subject lands. The Embassy of Indonesia is located on the adjacent lot to the west. The Ottawa River is located to the north beyond the Parkway and federal park land. The City’s Innovation Centre at Bayview Yards is located to the east of the subject site. To the south, the Mechanicsville neighbourhood includes a mix of mainly residential uses. The site is irregular in shape and approximately 3.7 hectares in size. On-site vegetation includes grass and trees but there is no programmed recreational space.

The National Capital Commission proposes to amend the Scott Street Secondary Plan and Zoning Bylaw 2008-250 to enable future development of embassies. The development of embassies aligns with the “Capital Function” of the lands as defined in federal land use plans and as contemplated by the Scott Street Community Design Plan. The concept plan shows six potential buildings and an approximate 3,600 square metre federal park. An amendment to the Scott Street Secondary Plan is required to add a site-specific exception to allow diplomatic missions and office uses within the Open Space designation. The Zoning By-law Amendment seeks to add “diplomatic mission” and “office” as site-specific permitted uses within both the R5B and O1L zones.

The NCC for years has planned an embassy district here, which was captured in both the Scott Street CDP as well as in federal master planning processes. However, in the intervening years City Council has declared a housing emergency and made clear its desire that publicly owned lands should be used for housing. While the City and NCC's plans have for several years anticipated the kind of development now being proposed, Jeff believes we have an opportunity to take a pause and consider whether this is the right use for this valuable parcel so close to the best transportation infrastructure in the city.

Full details of the application can be found on DevApps: Official Plan Amendment + Zoning By-Law Amendment.

We are hosting a pre-application open house with the community to discuss this proposed idea further.

Wednesday, February 10 at 7:00pm

Please click the link below to join the webinar:

Password: 946427

During the open house webinar, the applicant and their team will run through the proposed development in more detail, and we will take questions from those watching. In order to join, you just need to download Zoom and click the link provided. You will then be prompted to use the password and sign in with your name and e-mail address.

We will be recording the webinar and posted it online afterwards for anyone who is unable to attend on February 10. As was noted in our newsletter, we’ve received a number of requests for an extension to the comment deadline and Jeff notes that he’ll be advocating for lots of time to become familiar with the project and provide feedback to the City. The commenting "deadlines" for these complex proposals are driven by the application timing and are statutory; they have little real relevance to the community process that will continue all the way until the actual vote. Feedback will be taken after the open house.

Please consider sending us feedback on the proposed development via and / or as well as to the lead planner on the file, Allison at  

Posted January 7, 2021