Community Update Winter 2018

LRT Stations Update For Our Community 

The LRT is going full steam ahead and is still on track for 2018. We are one of the lucky communities that will most benefit from the transit investment due to the proximity of the stations to us.  We’d like to take this opportunity to update you on the construction of the nearest stations to us (UOttawa, Rideau and Lees).

For Rideau Station, the concrete lining of the tunnel is almost complete, and concrete pours for the east and west upper concourse are complete. As you can see, from this recent picture, construction of the station platform is well underway. Once the LRT opens, Rideau street (between Sussex and Dalhousie) will undergo streetscaping improvements similar to those east of Dalhousie along Rideau. 

At UOttawa station, the structure of the station is complete. Expect to see the architectural finishes appear starting in February. The final ‘S’ shaped multi-use pathway configuration is in place. Still to come is a staircase for pedestrians to use on the southern side of the ramp, as well as additional work for the underpass. Tracks have been installed here and train testing is ongoing.

The Lees Station building structure is substantially complete. Train testing is ongoing here as well. There is still electrical work to come at each of these stations, including overhead wiring work. Over the next several months you should see the finishing touches being added to our stations, including lighting and signage. 

Post-LRT, you can also expect improvements to the Nicholas/ Laurier intersection, and the reopening of the 417 Lees On ramp. Other meaningful changes in our community will include a safer crossing of Colonel By Drive, and a multi-use pathway running along the LRT corridor between Hurdman Station and Laurier Avenue East.

We wait with great anticipation for our first LRT ride. As you see the train testing, I invite you to share your pictures with us. Ottawa is #readyforRAIL.

Cathcart and Rose Park

Over the past few months we have seen two projects come to fruition in our community. Residents of Lowertown can now exercise outside with the outdoor fitness equipment that was installed in Rose Park. This equipment has pull up bars, parallel and low-bars, a bench, and you’re not far from the trail in Bordeleau Park if you want to get some cardio in. Once the weather gets warmer, this will be the perfect place to exercise and get some fresh air. 

Last year, several residents expressed concerns regarding the interaction of off-leash dogs and children in the playground area at Cathcart Park. Without picking one side over the other, the community and our office came up with a compromise that received overwhelming support. We now have a lightning shaped fence that goes across the park from Cathcart to Bolton. We also took this opportunity to improve the park by adding more lightning, benches, garbage receptacles, trees and shrubs. This process was a great example of how we can come together to improve outdoor spaces for all. So bring your children and your dogs to the new and improved Cathcart Park.

Local Athletes Headed to South Korea 

Support our local athletes competing with Team Canada at the Winter Olympics in Pyeong Chang. 

Follow these 14 Olympians, starting February 9th, as they compete for gold. Our local Olympians for 2018 include: Dustin Cook (Alpine Skiing), Seyi Smith (Bobsleigh), Lisa Weagle (Curling), Joanne Courtney (Curling), Emma Miskew (Curling), Rachel Homan (Curling), John Morris (Curling), Geneviève Lacasse (Ice Hockey), Eric O’Dell (Ice Hockey), Derek Roy (Ice Hockey) Mimi Rahneva (Skeleton), Ivanie Blondin (Speed Skating), Vincent De Haitre (Speed Skating), and Isabelle Weidemann (Speed Skating). 

Our Paralympians will compete beginning March 9, 2018.  Please support Ben Delaney from the sledge hockey team. He won bronze in Sochi and is now going for gold. 

We’re so proud of our community, and our amateur athletes who grew up competing on our rinks, hills and in Gatineau Park.  These athletes are more local than you think because Derek Roy learned to skate in Vanier, and Lisa Weagle lives near Rideau Street. 

The Rideau Centre will be hosting several free Official Viewing Lounges within their building during the Olympics. For the complete competition schedule please visit: 


Montreal Road Revitatlization

For those of you who haven’t heard, Montreal Road will be undergoing a water main and sewer repair project in 2019. As part of the public engagement process we are forming a working group with members from the VCA, QVBIA, Citizens for Safe Cycling, accessibility, pedestrian and transit advocates, as well as the general public with the purpose of obtaining input on specific issues during the project design process.  The working group is composed of volunteer Block Captains who act as an information conduit conveying discussions and issues presented at the working group meetings to other community residents and businesses. They are also tasked with providing input on design. Discussion topics will include but are not limited to: proposed cycling facilities, hydro pole impacts, bus shelters, landscaping/ greenscaping, intersection design, construction staging/impacts and public art. Please note that the working group meetings are in addition to the monthly VCA and BIA meetings, as well as the three Public Open Houses, which will be scheduled in the coming months. For a more extensive summary of this project please visit

Roast Cafe – a Labour of Love 

Antonio (Tony) DiMillo recently opened Roast Cafe in November 2017. A true entrepreneur, he designed the cafe himself right down to laying the floor, and pouring his own counter tops. The cafe has an Italian flavour as the home-made sandwiches and the fresh smell of Lavazza coffee fills the room. 

The Cafe is located at 323 Somerset Street East and is open week days from 8:30 am to 7 pm and weekends from 11 am to 6 pm. With the proximity to the Adawe crossing and Strathcona Park, Roast Cafe is sure to be a hot spot for commuters, and families. There is also free wifi on site for people who are looking to get some work done while enjoying a dirty chai latte. 

Tony mentioned that the menu will be expanding this spring/summer with the sale of fresh pastas, new salads, and tramezzini (snack sandwiches). We invite you to check out Roast Cafe and support our local businesses.

York St Plaza in ByWard Market

As of November 7th, we were excited to welcome a new public space into the ByWard Market. The York Street Plaza, now occupies a portion of the western parking block, near the American Embassy. The plaza includes movable Muskoka chairs, lights, a power supply, and planters. 

The iconic OTTAWA sign has a new permanent home at the York Street Plaza. Due to the sign’s popularity, the businesses community requested that it stay permanently in the ByWard Market. We are pleased that the OTTAWA sign will serve as one of the legacies of the Ottawa 2017 celebrations.

This new flexible space will be used for creative programming by community groups and the Business Improvement Association. It will also serve as an appealing gathering place for visitors to our City’s gem, the ByWard Market.

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