I am not a winter person, I confess. As the days get darker and colder, I can already feel the gravitational pull of a sofa with cozy blankets and a book. I know I’m not alone in this. But despite my own tendencies toward hibernation, there are tons of stuff happening in the Glebe right now. It is inspiring to see, on an almost daily basis, neighbours getting involved and working together to improve our community, despite the increasingly cold weather! Here are some of the things we talked about at our October meeting.
Community Consultation about Aberdeen Square at Lansdowne
On October 19, the GCA, Old Ottawa South Community Association, Old Ottawa East Community Association and Councillor Shawn Menard hosted a consultation about plans put forward by the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG) for Aberdeen Square at Lansdowne Park. Following input from the very well-attended community consultation we hosted a year ago, as well as from a survey done by the City of Ottawa, OSEG and the city are looking to make the space one that draws people in. Over 50 members of our community tuned in to hear the OSEG and the city present their proposal. The plan includes increased seating and flexible infrastructure that can be turned into a stage for performances.
A variety of comments have been raised, including the importance of the farmers’ market, heritage considerations, meaningful community engagement and the need to assess potential noise, light and traffic levels. The GCA would also like community groups to be able to use the redesigned space at no cost.
The plethora of comments and questions shows how much our community cares about Lansdowne Park. We welcome the willingness on the part of OSEG and the city to consider adjustments based on the feedback, and we look forward to continuing to work with our neighbouring community associations, Councillor Menard and OSEG on enhancing Aberdeen Square.
At our board meeting in October, the GCA proposed several items for city council to consider as part of the upcoming municipal budget, including:
- Moving forward with the planned renewal of the Aberdeen Pavilion, which includes urgent repairs to the roof, structural components and building envelope.
- Implementing both phases of the tree protection by-law, in particular extending protection to urban-centre trees of 30 cm diameter and up.
- Implementing the Energy Evolution Strategy and considering climate in all city operations.
- Supporting affordable housing near rapid transit stations and an inclusionary zoning by-law (in line with work being done by the Healthy Transportation Coalition).
- Increasing the number of public washrooms and identifying public washrooms already available (in line with work being done by the GottaGo Campaign).
We understand that this is a challenging year for our city due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but we are hopeful that council will be able to move forward in these important areas next year.
The school board has decided not to have the rink at Mutchmor this year to protect the health of students and staff. We know there is support in our community for the rink. The GCA respects the school board’s decision to forgo the rink for public-health reasons, and we are committed to working with community stakeholders to have it back when circumstances permit.
Noise from Highway 417
Those living close to the Queensway have complained about increased noise from the highway during recent construction in that area. At our October meeting, we supported installing noise barriers as soon as possible and asked the city and province to consider creating well-designed green spaces along Chamberlain to mitigate noise and environmental pollution.
Height and Character Study
The City of Ottawa hosted a public open house on October 29 to present its final recommendations for the Bank Street Height and Character Study. You can see the recommendations at www.ottawa.ca/bankstreetstudy. These have come after much engagement and dialogue.
To give residents and business owners a clearer sense of what is being proposed, Richard Corbeil, a member of the GCA’s planning committee, built a scale model of Bank Street that incorporates the city’s draft recommendations. The GCA is very grateful to Richard for the countless hours he dedicated to creating the model and to the planning committee for hosting a “pop up space” in late October so people could stop by to see the model and ask questions.
The GCA will consider the recommendations at our November meeting.
Interested in hearing more
about what we’re up to?
Our monthly board meetings are held the fourth Tuesday of the month, at 7 p.m., and you are welcome to attend. Our next virtual meeting will be on November 24. If you’d like to join us, please email the board secretary, Sheryl, at firstname.lastname@example.org.