Find all the latest news about the pandemic, including special statements by Dr. Etches and other officials here.
At our next City Council meeting, on February 24, we'll get an update on vaccination efforts. Those efforts are still slow while vaccine supplies are low. Long-term care home residents have now received their second doses and retirement homes are well underway. Some front-line health care professionals are now receiving their first doses and I'm pleased to see that vaccinations have now begun for seniors over 70 who are Indigenous through centres such as Wabano. Ottawa
Public Health is collaborating with family doctors to ensure broad rollout in the coming months and honing its plans for mobile and clinic delivery.
You can read the latest on the Province's vaccination plan including its priorities here.
At our meeting, I hope we'll get some insight on progress on the Provincial online registration tool still under development. We're getting more notes with questions about how, for example, residents who are eligible for a vaccine will know it's their turn or make appointments. While vaccine supplies are still very low today, that's still a pressing question and I hear how the uncertainty is contributing to mounting mental health challenges for everyone.
Pop-up office hours February 22
I'll be hosting Zoom pop-up office hours on Monday, February 22 from 9-11 am. Pop-up hours are a chance to drop by with no appointment and chat one-on-one about whatever's on your mind. Drop my office an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for the link to join.
Committee of Adjustment March 3 hearing
There are several Kitchissippi applications before the Committee of Adjustment at its March 3 meeting. Find the details of those here.
At 215 and 217 Dovercourt, the owners are seeking a sub-division to create separate ownerships for each of the existing semis.
At 549 Hilson, the owners are also seeking a sub-division to create separate ownership for each of the semis now under construction.
At 519 Windermere, the owners are proposing to demolish the existing building to build a new two-storey single-detached dwelling. They're seeking a variance to permit a reduced rear yard setback of 7.63 metres or 25% of the lot depth, whereas the by-law requires a minimum rear yard setback of 8.54 metres or 28% of the lot depth.
At 134 Forward the owner wants to demolish the existing dwelling and to subdivide the property into two separate parcels of land. It is proposed to construct two long semi-detached dwellings, with a secondary dwelling unit in each semi-detached dwelling, with one long semi-detached dwelling on each newly created parcel. They’re seeking variances for lot width and area.
At 51 Garrison the owner wants to demolish the existing detached garage and to subdivide his property into two separate parcels of land. He is proposing to construct a two-storey detached dwelling on the northerly part of the property. It is also proposed to construct a full second floor onto the existing dwelling and to construct a detached one car garage behind the existing dwelling with a driveway entering off Rockhurst Road. Variances are being sought for lot width and area, as well as some setbacks.
Besides these, the Committee will also continue adjourned hearings on 182/184 Clare, 116 Bayswater, 443/445 Dawson and 304 Lanark. I'm keeping an eye out for the February 17 decisions.
SJAM/Burnside "embassy row" proposal
Last week I missed including my most recent blog post opposing the proposal by the NCC to build an "embassy row" on the parcel of land between Burnside and the SJAM in Mechanicsville. You can find that here. The February 8 open house recording is now online, and you can find that here.
166 Huron library application made
As I noted last week, the Jewish Youth Library (JYL) has applied for the re-zoning it would need to run its operations from the heritage home at 166 Huron Avenue. The details of that and comment mechanism are now available here.
Petition for permanent vehicle restrictions on Byron
Last summer, I worked with the City to restrict through-traffic on Byron between Redwood and Golden. We received a petition asking for permanent measures, and I'm seeking your feedback. Please read more here. I've already seen a lot of social media discussion this morning, but please be sure to email me once you've read and considered the post as well since we're only capturing email notes.
Community Safety and Well-Being Plan consultation
On March 3, I'm hosting an online consultation for Kitchissippi residents to learn more about the City's Community Safety and Well-Being Plan. Read more about that here.
Intensification and the Official Plan
The City's draft Official Plan raises numerous questions about the shape of intensification in mature neighbourhoods like Kitchissippi. While the new Westboro infill rules (see City Council below) and the new zoning for R4 neighbourhoods like Hintonburg and Mechanicsville telegraph the approaches that might be taken, there are outstanding questions about what the Official Plan might mean for neighbourhoods like McKellar Park and other streets in the ward zoned for single-detached homes only, and how the inclusion of a street like Sherbourne as a minor collector might lead to changes. I've posted a
lengthy look at regeneration and the draft Official Plan here that I hope folks will take 15 minutes to read this weekend.
Prince of Wales bridge environmental assessment
The project to convert the Prince of Wales bridge to pedestrian, cycling and recreational use including cross-country skiing is moving quickly. Starting Monday, residents will be able to participate in an online consultation on the design through March 8. Visit the project website here that will be updated with that consultation information on February 22.
Climate change and the Official Plan
The City is hosting a presentation and Q&A on February 23 exploring how the new Official Plan will address climate change. Get more information and register here.
NCC forest strategy consultations
The National Capital Commission is holding consultations on its forest strategy, which includes Hampton Park. Take a moment to peruse the consultation materials and provide your feedback before March 3 here.
Coyotes in Kitchissippi
I've gotten some notes and seen some social media posts about coyote sightings in Kitchissippi. Coyotes aren't rare in the city, but I know folks have questions. A couple of years ago my colleague Riley Brockington posted an excellent concise list of links and information that's well worth perusing. Visit that here.
Tom Brown fundraising at GTExpress
Drop by the GTExpress on Wellington in the next couple of days to make a contribution to their fundraising efforts on behalf of our neighbours using the Tom Brown respite centre. Everyone who contributes will get a chance to win a sweet outdoor lounge chair; they'll draw once they've reached $2500.
Groomer Dave needs a new snowmobile
It's time for the SJAM Winter Trail crew to get a new snowmobile so they can keep grooming, and they've launched a crowdfunding campaign that really needs our help. There's lots of great rewards for participating - take a look here!
At City Hall
The City Council meeting on Wednesday is a big one. As noted above, we'll get an update on the City's vaccination efforts. We'll also likely pass the new Westboro infill zoning that permits denser housing on the edges of the community and on corner lots, but reins in the size and height of infills in the interior of the community. Note that since I posted my original blog on the topic in Octorber, we were successful at removing Dovercourt as a major road in the plan that's now moving forward. I supported that at Planning
Committee. For a broader look at how that zoning fits with the direction of our new Official Plan (and I believe it's critical to look at this in the broader context), see my post above about intensification.
The 1705 Carling re-zoning to allow a 22-storey tower that I also supported will also be considered, as will adding fourth units into the Ravenhill/Byron properties. The Chateau Laurier extension that I opposed at Planning Committee will also be debated.
Council will also consider a number of new incentives for residents of some neighbourhoods to better manage stormwater on their properties - including Westboro, McKellar Park and Westboro Beach residents in the Pinecrest Creek corridor. These include site visits, incentives for permeable paving, rain barrels and more. I'm hoping to have a blog post up soon that concisely sets out the new incentives. I'm supportive of the measures, but believe that we will likely need to do more to manage stormwater run-off from properties in the coming years as infill results in a loss of permeable ground and rain storms continue to become
We'll also vote on a motion being brought by Councillors Kavanagh and McKenney to oppose plans by Canadian Nuclear Laboratories to build a near-surface disposal facility for nuclear waste near Chalk River. I intend to support that motion.
See the full Council agenda here.
On Thursday, Planning Committee will consider a couple of Kitchissippi-related items on its agenda. First, we'll debate the new Corso Italia secondary plan that will guide development around the new Corso Italia (formerly Gladstone) O-Train station. This has been a years-long consultation and I expect that it will pass. It allows, as expected, tall buildings along the spine of the O-Train, and sets out the plan for the Gladstone Village lands just on the other side of the tracks where Ottawa Community Housing is building a new mixed-use, mixed-rent community with a variety of
partners. Finally for our ward, we'll vote on extending the temporary parking lot permission for 991 Carling. The Civic Hospital Neighbourhood Association, my office and the owner worked extensively on mitigating traffic impacts from that three years ago, and I'm generally happy that it will continue to work well until such time as it can be developed with a community use by owner Ottawa Ismaili Jamatkhana.
View the full Planning Committee agenda here.
Joint FEDCO/Community and Protective Services Committee
On Tuesday, March 2, a special meeting of the Finance and Economic Development Committee and Community and Protective Services Committee will be held to consider the 10-year Housing and Homelessness plan refresh including financial investments. I'm pleased to see that the Committee will be considering an increase to tax-funded capital by $1 million per year to $6 million for affordable housing by 2030. This will help restore some of the capital funding lost when previous Councils' annual spending was cut to make up for operational cost downloads from the Province. Much of the
housing plan remains aspirational conditional on help from the federal and provincial governments, but it's a start.
The Committee will also consider a motion by Councillors Fleury and McKenney to re-house residents in the Tabor apartments and cease the City's arrangement with that landlord.
View the full agenda and reports here.
Finance and Economic Development Committee
On March 2, the Finance and Economic Development Committee meets with a workaday agenda of administrative items. The key exception is a report on the acquisition of 1010 Somerset by the City, largely for parkland to support the development of the OCH lands to the south (see Corso Italia secondary plan itme above). My thanks go to City staff for the work they've done over the course of a couple of years to negotiate this complicated acquisition from the feds. While I'm confident that Council will support this, it will move forward as a test in my mind for the City's commitment to support intensification
with new recreational space and infrastructure.
To read the full report and agenda, see here.
City staff and partners working at the Tom Brown arena thank everyone who supported the use of the respite centre as a temporary emergency shelter recently including neighbours who have been so generous and empathetic. I'll add my thanks to theirs. The respite centre continues to operate providing a warm place to hang out during the day, showers, meals and services.