Last night, we reached a milestone of 50% of the population 18+ vaccinated in Ottawa. That's a big deal and cause for celebration. Besides essential (those who cannot work from home) and those at risk due to medical conditions, residents who are 40+ can currently book appointments using the provincial registration system. At some point this coming week, it's expected that that age threshold will be reduced to 30+. Stay tuned to credible media like CTV, CBC and the Citizen and other broadcasters to find out when that will happen, or get signed up
for the City's vaccination newsletter below.
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.
Enjoy the sunshine today, Kitchissippi!
Pop-up office hours May 20
I've got a hold in my calendar for Thursday, May 20 from 1-3 pm for our next pop-up hours. Send me an email for the link to join us one-on-one with no appointment during those hours to chat about whatever's on your mind.
Committee of Adjustment May 19
The Committee of Adjustment will hear two applications in our ward on May 19, in addition to the resumption of one adjourned hearing. Find the details of those here.
At 17 (19) Gwynne, a conditional permission to sub-divide the property lapsed after a year, and the owners are re-applying.
At 42 Young, the owners are seeking to sub-divide the property where there is an existing semi-detached.
The application at 51 Garrison will resume, adjourned from March 3. The owner is seeking to sub-divide the parcelIt is proposed to demolish the existing detached garage and to construct a two-storey detached dwelling on the northerly part of the property. Two driveways entering off Rockhurst Road and a detached two car garage are proposed to be constructed between the two dwellings along the shared property line. It is also proposed to construct a full second floor on the existing dwelling. The owner is seeking a number of variances for lot width and area as well as
I've also received the outcomes from the May 5 hearing. At 508 Roosevelt, the variances and severance were approved while at 81 Pinhey the applications were adjourned to the June 2 meeting.
May 18 active transportation open house
On the evening of May 18 Councillors Brockington, Kavanagh and I, along with College Ward, will be hosting an open house looking at the upcoming Active Transportation plan that is part of the Transportation Master Plan/Official Plan process. It's an opportunity to talk about sidewalks and cycling links. See more details here.
Opening Byron to pedestrians
In my previous posts about a potential Byron pedestrian opening this year, I noted that while I'm not seeking a permanent re-configuration, I would be seeking one more season of measures during the pandemic and to assist the Ottawa Farmers Market that is back on Byron. To that end, at some point before next weekend, the City will be creating more pedestrian space on Byron by removing one lane and making it a one-way eastbound street between Redwood to Golden. Parking will be removed from the stretch, and there will be measures to reduce cut-through on Golden and Fraser. As usual, I'll keep an eye on it
and we have some flexibility to make tweaks as we go.
We've scheduled a ward forum for the evening of May 31. It'll be an opportunity to get neighbourhood updates, participate in a Q&A/open forum, and hear from our special guest Ian Douglas who is a water quality engineer at the City who will be speaking to how Ottawa protects its water supply. Get more details on that here.
New Planning Primer elective: development charges (May 26)
The City offers a series of workshops called the Planning Primer to help residents navigate land-use planning regulation. They've added a new elective about which I'm quite excited covering development charges, probably one of the least-understood mechanisms but most important sources of revenue to support growth (see the item on the Parks and Recreation Master Plan below). Register for the first of these to be held virtually on May 26 here.
Feds to fund Wavell/Richmond crossing
Through the federal government's Covid-19 Resilience stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, I'm pleased to say that we've finally found a way to fund a pedestrian crossing of Richmond at Wavell. Construction details will follow, but I know this has a been a longstanding ask in the community. See more details on the funding here.
LRT noise material installation this weekend
I have not had a chance to go take a look, but installation of the additional noise absorption material in the LRT trench that they have been testing in one small stretch for a few months was to have continued this weekend, with the potential depending on weather that it might be continue to next weekend. The City has been arranging testing of that and we'll see what the outcome of that is. The current noise level is unacceptable, and I hope that the material will help.
Join my Run For Women team!
I'm really pleased to join the annual Run For Women 5k/10k event, this year as a team captain. Consider joining my 5k run/walk team, WalkABitRunABit, here or making a donation. The proceeds will go directly to The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre's women's mental health program that is doing such critical work across the city right here in our ward. The event, of course, is virtual and participants will take part any time between July 4-11.
Dovercourt Recreation Association AGM and board recruitment
With the ongoing pandemic and lockdowns, the Dovercourt Recreation Association (DRA) has moved its annual general meeting to September 28, 2021. As a member-based association, note that DRA continues to welcome new members and is currently inviting anyone interested to join their Board of Directors to send a note to Executive Director John Rapp (firstname.lastname@example.org). Visit here for more information.
Walkable Ottawa workshops
A grassroots organizaton called Walkable Ottawa has been doing some significant work looking at how to ensure our neighbourhoods are complete as the intensification thrust continues. The next will be on June 2 when they offer a workshop Growing Community Step by Step. They'll explore how walkable communities might change our social interaction and understanding of community. Get all the info on this and upcoming sessions here.
Home energy audits webinar May 27
How can you make your home more energy efficient and help fight climate change at the same time? Getting a home energy audit is a great place to start. It will help
you understand how your home uses energy and identify retrofits opportunities to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions. Join us to learn more about the process and how you can make your home more comfortable, environmentally friendly and cost-effective. Register now to secure your spot
Eco-Hack-A-City: accelerating the transition to electric vehicles
In Ottawa, the transportation sector produces almost half of greenhouse gas emissions. Transitioning to electric vehicles is one of the biggest actions we can take to achieve zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. It will also benefit Ottawa’s health by improving air quality, lowering particulates and decreasing noise pollution. This public panel discussion
will explore the opportunities available for Ottawa to support the local electrification of cars and identify opportunities for deploying strategic charging infrastructure. Register here for the event being held on the evening of June 2.
At City Hall
We've had to turn on an automatic reply to emails in the office indicating we will likely be several days to even a week before we're able to reply to many notes. We're watching the in-box, of course, for urgent items, but realistically we're unable to respond quickly and substantively to everything coming in right now. Some of my staff continue to try to keep a business-as-usual workload which is a challenge with the schools closed and the kids at home. For routine matters, please consider calling 3-1-1 or reporting issues online. Keep track of the service request number that you receive, and if you
don't see a resolution, we're happy to escalate that.
The Environment Committee meets on May 17 to receive an update on the green bin program as well as the City's response to the controversy over the sewer line warranty program. View the full agenda here.
Community and Protective Services Committee
The Community and Protective Services Committee meets on May 20. Besides the paramedics' annual report, there is also a series of administrative tweaks to the parks by-law that our community associations and event organizers may wish to review for potential impacts (I'll dig into that later tonight to do the same) and a new definition of "drone". The big-ticket item will be the preliminary draft of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan. Intensification of the type that has been occuring and that will likely continue under the new Official Plan has multiple impacts, not least of which is
increasing stress on our parks and recreation facilities to support higher populations. The report inventories existing levels of service and sets out high-level policies. I am still making my way through it, but it is critical reading for our community groups, and I welcome feedback on it as I determine my own approaches to the document as it moves toward Council approval. View the committee documents here.