Office of Councillor Jeff Leiper, Kitchissippi Ward, Ottawa | (613) 580-2485  |
Responsive image

Corner store zoning

You are here

For over a year, now, the City has been studying a potential new zoning by-law amendment that would grandfather existing stores in residential neighbourhoods such as corner stores, laundromats and cafes. The study has also identified sites that could be re-zoned to allow such uses where they don't currently exist.

Planners are now seeking a final round of comment due February 6, in time to finalize the rules and make a decision at Planning Committee in mid-April.

Generally, I'm in favour of letting existing stores continue. The new rules would change those locations from residential zoning to one that would be primarily residential, but allow a narrow range of small-scale commercial uses. Corner stores are an institution in many of our neighbourhoods, and I generally favour letting them continue to operate. Often, they are not zoned for commerical use; the new rules would permit them to operate.

But, I have heard from at least one Kitchissippi community association that some of the proposed re-zonings would allow commercial uses where those aren't already currently operating – and where they don’t necessarily make sense. The general understanding was that the zoning changes were meant to regularize existing conditions and possibly add a few locations where commercial uses would be obviously appropriate. However, some of the proposed rezonings may be going well beyond that.

Given some early concerns that should be easily addressed if caught in time, I hope that the planning committees of our community associations, as well as residents generally will take some time to look at the proposals. My office is available to answer questions and concerns. Full information is available at

Posted January 7, 2015
Image from the City of Ottawa report
Jeff is seeking input on a few changes to small-scale commercial zoning rules - which are meant to "grandfather" existing stores in residential neighbourhoods such as corner stores, laundromats and cafes.