GCA in full swing!

Laura Smith
President Glebe Community Association

The days are getting cooler and shorter, and things are back in full swing at the Glebe Community Association. We have already had several things on the go this fall.

Federal election and Ottawa Centre debate
We were pleased to work with neighbouring community associations – from Carlington, Carleton Heights, Centretown, Dalhousie, Dow’s Lake, Glebe Annex, Hintonburg, Old Ottawa East and Old Ottawa South – to organize a debate in September with some of the federal election candidates in Ottawa Centre. More than 350 community members registered to hear candidates answer questions from the community associations and from those who tuned in that evening. We covered a broad range of issues, with a particular focus on some that are important to Ottawa Centre, including affordable housing, the Ottawa Hospital development and the effect of the pandemic on local businesses. Moderator Lucy van Oldenbarneveld facilitated a great discussion between the candidates, and we are very thankful for her willingness to donate her time and talent to this event.
You can watch a recording of the debate at www.facebook.com/GlebeCA.
Thanks to those in our community who ran in the election, and congratulations to Yasir Naqvi on being our next Member of Parliament. We look forward to working with you!

Back to business…
After our break from meeting over the summer, we had a full agenda for our monthly board meeting in September. Here are some of the things we discussed.

Commenting on the Official Plan
The GCA board decided to submit additional comments to the City of Ottawa regarding the draft Official Plan. Our first submission earlier this year prioritized the environment, parks and greenspace, housing and equity issues. Following the September board meeting, some of the additional requests we will make include asking:

  • That the City remove the subjective language in the draft to minimize conflict over developments in future;
  • That existing building heights on neighbourhood streets be retained;
  • That modelling be provided to support local plans, community improvement plans and new zoning bylaws.

We also voiced our support for the People’s Official Plan’s one-page responses to the Official Plan; it was developed by a broad coalition of stakeholders. These documents focus on climate change and housing and include topics like greenspace for all, transparent and accountable reporting, food security, fairness and inclusivity. You can see these position papers here: www.ottawaclimatesolutions.net/copy-of-home.

Proposed development at 770/774 Bronson Avenue
The board also discussed a proposed development at Bronson and Carling. Katasa Group and Fotenn Planning and Design are proposing to combine three lots on the southwest corner of that intersection into one to develop a 26-storey building with 328 units and 174 parking spaces (for more on this, see pages 1 and 2).
The GCA supports development that is respectful of neighbourhoods and commensurate with investment in transit and neighbourhood infrastructure and amenities. We also recognize the need to intensify in a manner that actively addresses the City’s declared climate change and housing emergencies.

The GCA and the Dow’s Lake Residents Association are concerned that the proposal goes beyond the height limits allowed under current zoning and includes very few amenities and green spaces. Given the number of units, the development could also increase traffic congestion and have negative safety impacts for pedestrians and cyclists, including those who attend Glebe Collegiate. There also may be negative impacts because of the development’s proximity to the Hydro substation on the northeast corner of Bronson and Carling; the building is a designated building under the Ontario Heritage Act. Given all these considerations, the GCA board decided to submit comments to the City of Ottawa to oppose the proposed development.

Fourth Avenue schools traffic calming
Finally, the board passed a motion to respond to the City’s consultation regarding the Fourth Avenue Schools Traffic Calming Plan. The consultation was still open when our September meeting took place, so we voted to submit our comments barring significant negative feedback heard during that consultation. Board members at the meeting, residents of Fourth Avenue and parents of students at Mutchmor and Corpus Christi schools were supportive of the suggested options as ways to increase the safety of vulnerable children and to reduce vehicle speeds on the street.

Put your empties to work!
Our work with Operation Come Home’s Bottleworks program continues. Your next opportunities to donate your empty bottles and cans to support at-risk youth in Ottawa are October 16 and November 20. See you then in the Kunstadt parking lot!

Our next meeting
If you’re interested in hearing more about what we’re up to these days, please join us on the fourth Tuesday of each month at our board meetings. Our next meeting will be October 26. Please email Janet, the board secretary (secretary@glebeca.ca) if you’re interested in attending.

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