Office of Councillor Jeff Leiper, Kitchissippi Ward, Ottawa | (613) 580-2485  |
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Ottawa Community Housing buys Oak street lands

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I was thrilled today to be part of a major announcement with respect to affordable housing and the use of the Oak Street complex. This afternoon, Ottawa Community Housing has announced that it has purchased the 7.26 acres of vacant land north of Gladstone between the O-Train and Preston Street for $7 million from the federal government – less than market price. The land will be used to build a new mixed use development that will include mixed income housing, retail, commercial and green spaces. Further, it will be the permanent home for a new French public school board elementary school.

You can read an overview here.

This is not in our ward, but it will be a very positive addition to Kitchissippi being just across the tracks. The new Gladstone station at that location will be key to knitting together Hintonburg and Little Italy.

Acquisition of the land is just the first step, and there are multiple details still to be worked out. The mix of public and private development is still to be determined, as well as such considerations as building heights and green space.

Some direction has already been set out in the work that was done for the Gladstone Station Community Design Plan. That planning has been on hold, and will need to be resumed. My commitment is to ensure that Kitchissippi residents have every opportunity to participate in the consultation and help shape this future community (which has been dubbed “Gladstone Village”).

I am excited by the potential that this acquisition creates. Municipalities around North America have learned some hard lessons about how to build affordable housing. Gladstone Village will deliberately be an inclusive community, with a variety of housing types catering to all residents. It will be transit-focused. It will have new green space.

The conversation will also likely need to be cognizant that there are further federal lands just to the north of this parcel (extending to Somerset) that could well become part of the discussion in future.

Viewed through multiple lenses – progressive urban development, affordable housing, education, this is an exciting announcement. I’m looking forward to having more discussions about it with you, working closely with Somerset councillor Catherine McKenney in the coming months.

Posted May 24, 2017