GCA update March 2024




John Crump
President Glebe Community Association

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Coffee and climate literacy


Would you pass a Carbon Literacy Challenge?

I was pretty sure I would. No problem. Since one of the major sources of global greenhouse gas emissions is travel and having just retired from a career that had me on more airplanes than I can count, I was pretty sure I knew my personal contribution to the climate crisis. At least that’s what I thought as I settled into my seat at the Glebe Community Centre on a recent Saturday morning session on “Reducing Your Carbon Footprint.”

This was the second in a series of Coffee Houses on Sustainability coordinated by the GCA Environment Committee, funded by the Community Environment Project Grant Program and CAFES Ottawa and sponsored by Bridgehead, McKeen Metro, Starbucks, Wild Oat, Happy Goat and Second Cup.

The hundred or so attendees took an online survey to figure out personal carbon footprints. Our personal carbon footprints include not only transportation but home energy use, food and waste. So, while I was ready for my travel to be high, I was astounded to see that my biggest impact was in the food category. We don’t each much meat, but even a little bit was enough to shoot my numbers to the roof. It takes a lot of energy, water, etc., to grow one cow (or sheep) and get its meat to your table. It was an important lesson.

The next event on Greenspace and Water takes place Sunday, March 24 from 9:30 to 11:30 at the Glebe Community Centre. Bring your own cup. Registration for these free events is via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/cc/coffee-houses-on-sustainability-2828129.


Community safety

A small group including the co-chairs of the GCA’s Health, Housing and Social Services Committee, the councillor’s office and Glebe businesses continues to work on community safety issues, including holding a community safety forum in May and posting resources and contacts on the GCA website for whom to contact should someone be in distress (https://glebeca.ca/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/Community-Safety-Poster-Final.pdf, and on page 12). Ottawa Public Health has also been in touch and is organizing a meeting with the GCA, GNAG, BIA and the councillor’s office in mid-March to talk about mental health issues, addictions and substance use being encountered in the community and to identify resources to help. This will be an opportunity to focus on issues specific to the Glebe community and how they might be addressed.



The GCA board passed two transportation-related motions at its February meeting. The first was to adopt the Glebe Active Transportation Study Action Plan prepared by a consulting firm as a framework for future planning and consultation. The study took place last year and focussed on opportunities to improve active transportation – walking, biking, and other non-motorized forms of travel. Momentum Transport Consultancy brought its international experience to the project and coordinated public input, including a public survey, a community open house, a stakeholders’ consultation and neighbourhood walkabouts to create a menu of options for future consideration. You can read the study on the GCA web site at https://glebeca.ca/active-transportation-study/.

One of the strangest experiences during the early days of the pandemic was crossing Bronson Avenue and not seeing any traffic. It was surreal, and it didn’t last. Concerns about traffic safety on this major arterial route are long standing. Local residents have long lobbied the city to make improvements in traffic flow, especially at the dangerous intersection of Bronson and Carling where Glebe Collegiate students cross in large numbers. Therefore, the board was happy to support Councillor Shawn Menard’s efforts to have the city install traffic calming measures, including permanent photo radar and red-light cameras, on Bronson.


Street front office space?

A recent proposal asking the city to allow office use in units facing the street at 617-625 Bank Street led to some discussion. In general, there are concerns that permitting this kind of use would change the nature of Bank which is zoned “Traditional Mainstreet” to allow uses that are intended to ensure active street fronts and encourage pedestrian traffic and a vibrant streetscape. Given that the city is currently undertaking a Comprehensive Zoning By-law Review, with a first draft expected this month and final approval slated for the end of 2025, the GCA will write the city to oppose spot rezoning at this time and defer the proposal until after the bylaw review.


Wanted: Communications lead

Do you want to help the GCA get the word out to our community? The GCA board is looking for a new communications lead to take over from Janna Rinaldi who has had to step down (thanks, Janna, for all your efforts). If you are interested, drop a note to gca@glebeca.ca.

The next Glebe Community Association board meeting takes place online Tuesday, March 26 at 7 p.m. Everyone is welcome.

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