I have had the pleasure over the past few weeks of speaking with a few Carleton journalism students. As part of an assignment, they wanted to discuss adjustments that the Glebe Community Association had made in light of public health restrictions. As I reflected on how we’ve adapted our work – meetings by video conference, a virtual Great Glebe Garage Sale and virtual membership drive last year – I was pleasantly reminded of all the ways we have continued to advocate for a liveable, sustainable and diverse urban neighbourhood despite current challenges.
Our committees in particular have so much on the go. You can read reports of their work in our monthly board meeting agendas on our website (glebeca.ca). January reports included:
- the Lansdowne Committee’s work on supporting the Community Pop-Up Art Gallery and engaging with OSEG about the renewal of Aberdeen Square;
- the Transportation Committee’s discussions about safety on Bronson and the need for sound barriers along the 417; and
- the Environment Committee’s work on everything from trees to anti-idling to zero-waste.
- Here are some of the items that were on the agenda at our January board meeting.
Councillor Shawn Menard attends almost all our meetings to provide an update on what’s happening at City Hall and to answer questions. In January, Menard reported that the new Tree Protection Bylaw is in effect, and he thanked members of the GCA for their work on this. He also provided an update on plans for COVID-19 vaccines in Ottawa and upcoming work at the Bank Street bridge.
We were also pleased to welcome LA Palamar, a community relations director with Amica. She spoke about her role and plans for Amica the Glebe.
In planning news…
In November, the city released a new draft Official Plan ( engage.ottawa.ca/the-new-official-plan). The GCA is putting together our comments and will meet during the week of February 15 to discuss. You are very welcome to attend and participate.
There has been an application to develop a 16-storey building on Chamberlain, between Bank and Lyon. This height goes beyond the limits specified in the Bank Street Height and Character Study that we and the city have been developing over the past few years. There will be a community consultation during the week of February 15, and we would encourage you to attend.
We will provide more details about both of these meetings via our email newsletter once they have been confirmed. (You can sign up for our newsletter here: glebeca.ca)
You may remember some changes to Aberdeen Square that were proposed last fall. We have suggested that the plans be revised to include, among other things, more seating, more shade and thriving trees. OSEG and Lac Leamy Casino are considering these ideas.
The Community Pop-Up Art Gallery at Lansdowne was a wonderful success in December. We are working with OSEG and the artists to re open when the province has lifted the stay-at-home order, possibly in March and April. The Pop-Up Gallery is accepting applications from artists from the Glebe, Glebe Annex, Dow’s Lake, Old Ottawa South and Old Ottawa East who have a connection to the Glebe. Organizers are seeking high-quality, original artwork from painters, potters, sculptors or photographers, either established or emerging. The deadline for applications is February 20. For information and an application form please contact email@example.com.
Discussions about our neighbourhood
The board discussed two topics that were brought to our attention recently – the number of cannabis store applications in the neighbourhood and a proposal from the Centretown Community Association that the Queen Elizabeth Driveway be closed to traffic and opened to active transportation (pedestrians, cyclists, etc.) permanently. We had good discussions on both of these, and two GCA committees (Health, Housing and Social Services and Transportation, respectively) will continue to consider them.
Fire on Powell Avenue
On December 20, there was fire at a Powell Avenue home. A neighbour, Cassandra Church, collected in-kind donations for the residents and started a GoFundMe campaign that has already raised more than $13,000. The GCA board voted to make a donation to the campaign, and we will continue to be in touch with Church and with councillor Menard to see if there will be other ways to support our neighbours in future. If you would like to make a donation, visit gofundme.com and search for Watford House.
Working with Operation Come Home, we had some great bottle-donation days at Kunstadt last year. The January pick up day was cancelled due to the provincial state of emergency, but we’re hopeful that Operation Come Home will be back in action on February 27. Save your empties to support local youth.
Our next board meeting is February 23 at 7 p.m., and you are welcome to join us. Please send a note to the board secretary, Sheryl (firstname.lastname@example.org), to receive the information to participate over Zoom.