Montreal Road Revitalization Project
Montreal Road is an important main street, used by many of us daily. For those of you who don’t know, Montreal Road will be up for reconstruction in 2019, with minor utility work to take place in 2018. The construction is driven by a major water main replacement on Montreal Road between North River Road and St. Laurent Boulevard. We are taking this opportunity to revitalize the infrastructure of the corridor and improve the aesthetics of the street.
We started our consultation process back in June 2016, and we have now formed a working group. The group includes members of the VCA, QVBIA, Citizens for Safe Cycling, accessibility, pedestrian and transit advocates, as well as block captains. The block captains will act as liaisons conveying discussions and issues presented at the working group meetings to other community residents and businesses. We are pleased with the number of interested community members who are eager to participate; Vanier’s interests are well-represented.
The goal of the group is to obtain input on specific issues during the project design process. Discussion topics will include, but are not limited to: street furniture, proposed cycling facilities, hydro pole impacts, bus shelters locations, public spaces, intersection design, construction staging/impacts, and public art.
We had our first introductory meeting on February 13th, 2018. Please note that the working group meetings are in addition to three upcoming Public Open Houses, with the first one scheduled for 6 pm on April 24th at Centre Pauline Charron.
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In other exciting news, the City of Ottawa is considering a Community Improvement Plan (CIP) for Montreal Road (North River Road to Aviation Parkway). CIPs are a municipal tool used to stimulate urban renewal, business growth and commercial vitality in an area. Should the Montreal Road CIP be approved, financial incentives would be used as a means to encourage Montreal Road property owners to expand and make improvements to their properties. The goal would be to give Montreal Road a more “traditional main street” appearance. A preliminary meeting is tentatively scheduled in April for all property owners.
CSST – Protecting our River
The Combined Sewage Storage Tunnel (CSST) is one of the most important projects of the Ottawa River Action Plan, the City of Ottawa’s roadmap to protect the Ottawa River.
Like a lot of cities, downtown Ottawa has a historic combined sewer system, which uses the same infrastructure to convey both sewage and rainwater to our treatment facilities. During heavy rain, this system can become overwhelmed and instead flow, untreated, into the Ottawa River. These “combined sewer overflows” are wastewater combined with rainwater – pretty much anything that washes off our streets.
The CSST, with a capacity of about 18 Olympic-sized swimming pools, will greatly reduce combined sewer overflows into the Ottawa River during significant rainfalls. In addition to reducing overflows, the CSST aims to reduce the risk of basement flooding in several low-lying areas in the City’s core. Further, it will help future-proof our The project includes the construction of a north-south tunnel and an east-west tunnel.
You may have noticed the CSST work that is currently underway at the eastern edge of Confederation Park (“Site 3A”). Workers are constructing the Rideau Canal Interceptor (RCI) Diversion Chamber which, once operational in 2020, will divert combined sewer overflows from the RCI into the CSST instead of the Ottawa River. This construction is scheduled to take place between March 2018 and January 2019, with final landscaping in the spring of 2019.
Later this year, CSST construction will also start in Sandy Hill. A large underground access shaft will be constructed on Cumberland at Wilbrod to allow access for future inspections of the east-west tunnelStay tuned for details on a public information session regarding this work. For more on the project please visit www.ottawa.ca/csst.
New Rideau Sports Centre
The former Rideau Tennis Club has now become a multi-sport and recreation facility called the Rideau Sports Centre. The 106-year-old facility is located at the end of Donald, right next to the Adawe crossing.
Now this centre not only provides tennis but also volleyball, basketball, futsal (indoor soccer), yoga and swimming. They also have a gym, a community room that can be rented out for events, and a beautiful restaurant open to everyone. The best part is that you don’t need a membership to enjoy this amazing facility. We’re very fortunate to have this new recreation facility so close to us. I’d encourage you to check it out for yourself.
Spring Neighbourhood Clean-up
Every spring and fall members of the community get together to make Ottawa greener. Gather your family, neighbours, colleagues, school or association and participate in cleaning up the winter debris in our area (Lowertown, Sandy Hill, and Vanier). Last year alone, 75,547 volunteers collected 60,437 kg of litter during 1,259 cleanup events throughout Ottawa.
The Spring Cleaning the Capital campaign takes place from April 15 to May 15, and registration is already open. Capital Cleanup Weekend is April 27 – April 29 this year. For more information about the GLAD Capital Cleanup Weekend or to register your event please visit: www.ottawa.ca/clean.
Cleaning the Capital is a great way for neighbours, family and friends to work together. We take pride in having a beautiful community, and clean-up events like this one make a real difference. Thank you to all the volunteers who help clean up our streets and parks each year. Let us know about your upcoming clean-up events; our team would love to join you.
GoGiYa Korean BBQ
Ottawa’s newest Korean BBQ restaurant has arrived on Rideau Street at a time when our community was looking for this exact type of positive change. GoGiYa opens on the heals of the recent closure of Mingle Room, which was a less than desirable business operating outside of the permitted use for this particular location.
January 28th, 2018 was the grand opening for the restaurant which serves “Kal-Bi” and “Sam-Keup-Sal” in addition to the finest Korean BBQ typically offered at all you can eat restaurants.
GoGiYa is open for lunch between 11:30am and 3pm; dinner is between 5pm and 9pm. Please note that they are closed on Tuesdays.
Located at 470 Rideau Street, just outside of the ByWard Market and bordering both the Lowertown and Sandy Hill communities, GoGiYa is within walking distance for many. We welcome this new business to our neighbourhood and are eager to try their kimchi.
R4 Study Coming to Committee
We began this journey in 2011 with the Interim Control Bylaw in order to stop conversions as a permitted zoning tool. We then expanded the work with the Infill 1, Infill 2, and the Sandy Hill Heritage Study to name a few. After seven different zoning reports for Sandy Hill (all with the same objective of protecting the character of our mature neighborhood) we are weeks away from the council review of the R4 zoning study.
The “rooming house style” rental market is an undesirable built form that creates maximum revenue for the investors, but leaves our community with an “end of life building style”. Many undesirable situations arise from rooming houses such as minimal amenity spaces, poor living conditions, and improper garbage management strategies. If the investors were in it for the long run they would stay away from rooming houses and would look to build proper low-rise apartments.
The Interim Control Bylaw, which has blocked further bunkhouses from proceeding has been in place since July 2017. You’ll be interested to know that City staff have divided the R4 report efforts into two sections. This means that major amendments will come forward this spring, including restricting the number of bedrooms in a dwelling unit to a maximum of four bedrooms per unit in a multi-unit building.
At the time of the report review, the Interim Control Bylaw will be extended for another year to complete the second section of the zoning changes. Reviewing the Development Charges By-Law to consider how rates may be changed to favour family-style apartment units and capture costs associated with density will be at the core of these efforts. For further details, please visit www.ottawa.ca and type “R4”.
The bunkhouse issue has extended passed Sandy Hill and is now found in many neighbourhoods in our city including Vanier, Old Ottawa South, Hintonburg, and Overbrook.
We are very confident that the R4 zoning review is addressing the root of the problem, once and for all.