City unveils 2020 Budget: What that means for Lowertown, Sandy Hill and Vanier


The city unveiled its 2020 Draft Budget on Nov. 6.

For Lowertown, Sandy Hill and Vanier, this budget includes several ward investments I am pleased to see.

It is too early to discuss the nitty-gritty of the budget, as the next month we will be in review, but there are some highlights I would like to share as 2020 Ward investments.

As part of the $49-million renewal project for Montreal Road, there is $13 million allocated for integrated road, sewer and water work along Montreal Road between North River Road and St. Laurent Boulevard – fully funding this major infrastructure project.

There is also funding of $910,000 for structural renewal of St. Patrick Bridge and $700,000 to resurface roads in the ward as well as $570,000 for streetscaping on Rideau and William streets.

For Parks and facilities, Ward 12 will see $1.7 million on renewal projects. Such projects include

$150,000 to resurface tennis courts at Bordeleau Park, $58,000 to replace a roof at Centre D’Accueil Champlain, $84,000 to replace doors at Garry J. Armstrong Long Term Care Centre, $245,000 to repair Genest Outdoor Pool, $100,000 to replace the wading pool deck at Optimiste Park, $72,000 for repairs to soffits and retail units at the Byward Parking Garage and funding for a gazebo at Strathcona Park.

Based on our recent Ward 12 budget consultation, as well as #budgetspeak, I am pleased to say there is funding for housing as well as additional funding for snow clearing – both something many residents have highlighted as a need.

For the city, OC Transpo is proposing a $7.5 million investment for bus service, with an additional 19 new buses in service and $2 million to provide increased Para Transpo service. A fare freeze is also being proposed for the EquiPass, Community Pass and Access Pass.

There is also funding to hire 14 full-time paramedic staff and associated vehicles to address the needs in the city.

Some big-picture requests I would like to see that are not necessarily spelled out in this budget I will be exploring in the next few weeks.

  • Housing funding – The budget allocates $15 million for housing; this is not enough. I would like to see double this number to match what the city spends on sheltering people in motels and shelters this previous year – $30 million.
  • ByWard Market Public Realm Plan
  • Downtown Truck Tunnel Environmental Assessment and National Capital Commission review
  • Mental Health/ additions, city support – My office has had multiple meetings over the course of the year regarding community concerns about those suffering from mental health and addictions and lack of services
  • A Recreation Sports Facility in the core – There is a need for a proper downtown recreation/sport facility

Additional budget requests I have highlighted leading up to this budget are:

  • At-risk youth funding – programming, services, after school programming specifically
  • Rats – Bait money and project funding
  • CCTV for Byward Market and Rideau Street – money needed for a pilot project and engagement
  • STO Downtown Moves – and King Edward traffic calming
  • Tungasuvvingat Inuit – an Inuit-specific, provincial service provider offering more than 20 front-line programs and services – the organization requires funding dollars for housing.

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