Good morning, Kitchissippi.
Again this morning I don't have a lot to add to what you've already likely read elsewhere with respect to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Province has announced that it is accelerating its re-opening plans by moving to stage 3 on July 16. You can read more about what will be allowed to open then here.
Vaccination efforts continue to make impressive progress. As of Friday, 81% of Ottawa residents 12+ had their first dose, and 49% of the same residents have a second. That will almost certainly cross the 50% mark at some point this weekend if it hasn't already. Track the City's progress here.
If you do not yet have a first dose, you can now walk in without an appointment to any of the City's community (mass vaccination) or pop-up clinics to get that. If you haven't had your first dose, and want any help to figure out where and when you can get that, please call or write my office; we'd be happy to point you in the right direction.
Find all the latest news about the pandemic, including special statements by Dr. Vera Etches and other officials here, and sign up for the vaccination newsletter offered by the City here.
Pop-up office hours
We're hosting virtual pop-up office hours on Tuesday, July 13 from 1-3 pm. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for the link to join me appointment-free for a one-on-one chat about whatever's on your mind. As pandemic-related restrictions loosen, we're looking ahead to resuming those in-person in the next few months. Zoom hasn't been the same.
Committee of Adjustment July 21
The Committee of Adjustment hearing for July 21 is now online. Get the details of the applications here. In our ward:
- At 484 Roosevelt, the owner is seeking to subdivide the property into two separate parcels of land, demolish the existing dwelling and construct two, two-storey detached dwellings with attached garages. They're seeking several variances, including to be allowed to have the garages, for the projection by the steps into the front year, for the interior side-yard set back and for the distance of the rear wall from the front lot line.
- At 52 Garland, the owner is seeking to demolish the existing building and construct a four-storey, mixed use building with one ground floor of retail space and 12 residential units. They're seeking front- and rear-yard setback variances.
- At 296 Atlantis, the owner is seeking a subdivision in order to create separate ownerships for each half of a proposed two-storey semi. They are seeking lot area and lot width variances.
- At 660 Cole, the owner is seeking to sub-divide to create separate ownerships for each half of the semi under construction.
- At 289 Sherwood, the owners are seeking to demolish the existing one-storey sunroom in order to construct a two-storey addition on the east side and across the rear of the building. They're seeking a variance to be allowed a reduced easterly side-yard setback of 2.6m whereas 3m is required.
54-60 Bayswater re-zoning open house July 20
A zoning by-law amendment has been filed for 54-60 Bayswater to permit the development of a six-storey mid-rise. We're hosting an open house to give the developer a chance to answer questions about the project on July 20. Get the full details of that here.
Gladstone/Loretta site plan open house July 13
The owners at Gladstone/Loretta proposing a multi-tower development and adaptive re-use of the Standard Bread building there have submitted a site plan to accompany their application for a re-zoning. I'm hosting an open house to review that on July 13; see more details here. I don't see anything surprising in that plan, but it's been a while since we last looked at this development, and a refresher seems in order.
Opioid crisis: stop the harm
At our Council meeting last week, Councillor Catherine McKenney and I brought a notice of motion calling on City Council to petition the federal government for a pan-Canadian overdose action plan including decriminalization and safe supply considerations. The motion will be voted on at our meeting July 21. Read more about that here.
Also at our Council meeting last week, Councillor McKenney and I brought a formal enquiry requesting staff take a look at the best practices in other jurisdictions around the regulation of fireworks. Their findings would be brought to a future meeting of the Community and Protective Services Committee. We've framed that enquiry as groundwork should Council determine that it wants to move forward with stricter regulations. Both of us, and councillors right across the city, received multiple reports of disruptive backyard fireworks use leading up to and since July 1, as well as media reports of
sharply escalated use this year. If you continue to hear fireworks near you, please report those by calling 3-1-1. Those reports will help make the case for stricter regulation.
William Commanda (Prince of Wales) bridge funding
At the same Council meeting, a motion that was brought by the Mayor and I passed that sees City funding approved to convert the Prince of Wales bridge to active transportation use, as well as re-naming it the Elder William Commanda bridge. We're just waiting word on the confirmation of federal funding to get the work underway.
Springsteen's Burnin' Train first listen
Bruce Springsteen's Letter to You landed in October but I've only in the past week had a chance to give it a proper spin. Critics have gone out of their way to laud the first E-Street album since High Hopes, but relatively little ink has been spilled to praise standout track Burnin' Train. Boss fans left hungry by the 1992 Human Touch/Lucky Town have waited almost 30 years for a track that fulfills what should have been the promise of that album. Train is that track. Ronnie Aiello's production is wall-of-sound perfect and the song explodes from the blocks
driven hard, fast and unrelenting by Max Weinberg and Garry Tallent's craft-defining percussion and bass. The E-Street touch could have propelled a track such as Roll of the Dice into the canon, but Burnin' Train succeeds on the same sax-free ground. At 1:54 a classic E-Street track would have featured a skull-shaking horn blast by either of the Clemons, but Train instead ascends with the first of two Bruce solos, including a near-reckless 55-second outro that leaves listeners gasping. The songwriting will count among the best of his Catholic imagination songs. His protaganist's assertion to the ever-present question that we are alive even on
our way to hell so long as we are connected by blood, by sex and by rock and roll will startle few fans, and deserves to make him some new ones. The common wisdom is that the new tour will feature Train as its opener. I cannot wait. Hear the track here.
At City Hall
There are no agendas online for meetings of committees or Council other than the aforementioned Committee of Adjustment as Council takes its customary summer break from committee work. I'll have the agenda for the July 21 Council meeting in the newsletter when that's available.
In the office, my staff are beginning to take summer vacations with their families. My own summer vacation will be for a few weeks beginning at the very end of July.
Our email list and website software are becoming a bit creaky, and I'll be spending some time over the course of the next couple of weeks to migrate those to a new platform, starting with the newsletter. Watch for a new format in the coming weeks.
I've very much enjoyed a few visits to the Night Market at the Parkdale Market. It's been re-charging to see everyone again. Perennial Hintonburg favourite Hintonburger is now open in a pop-up spot there, and I've been able to work with the Market and City to close Armstrong from Hamilton to Parkdale to create some breathing room and additonal vendor space. The Night Market brings some non-traditional market offerings every Wednesday evening this summer from 4-8 pm. Learn more here.