Office of Councillor Jeff Leiper, Kitchissippi Ward, Ottawa | (613) 580-2485  |
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"Embassy row" appeal settled

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Council today passed a motion to resolve the outstanding appeal over the refusal to allow the National Capital Commission to build embassies in the open space north of Burnside in Mechanicsville. The settlement, which is between the City, the NCC and the Mechanicsville Community Association will allow those embassies to be built, but with some key wins for the community for which we pressed when the application first moved forward.

According to the settlement:

  1. Diplomatic missions are a permitted land use;
  2. No more than five lots shall be created;
  3. No more than five principal buildings are to be constructed;
  4. Parking is encouraged to be underground, parking at grade is to be sensitively screened, and if parking is above grade than it is to be integrated into the principal building and shall not be visible;
  5. The lands to be redesignated as Neighbourhood and rezoned as Minor Institutional shall be revised to be only the lands to the west of a northerly projection of the eastern edge of Stonehurst Avenue ;
  6. A sidewalk shall be constructed on the north side of Burnside Avenue from Hinchey Avenue to Slidell Street and an active transportation connection on the northwest side of Slidell Street from Burnside Street to Sir John A Macdonald Parkway at the time of the construction of the first embassy;
  7. A pedestrian corridor will be provided to the north of the Riverton Apartments between Forward Avenue and Hinchey Avenue; and
  8. A holding zone shall be imposed that shall only be lifted in accordance with the requirements with respect to transportation impact assessment criteria in Document 3 in the staff report as revised by Council on February 9, 2022.

Condition 5 is an important one, securing a larger open space on the east side of the property as parkland than the NCC originally proposed: it will now be the size required in the secondary plan for the area. The construction of an active transportation link from Burnside to the parkway on the west side of Slidell is also a key win and achieves a longstanding request by the community and my office.

I know some in the community will be disappointed, but I support the compromise and consider the question of embassies in this parcel now settled. I look forward to working with the Mechanicsville Community Association on the finer details of these embassies as those are proposed.


Posted March 22, 2023