Glebe Community Association, your community steward

Laura Smith
President Glebe Community Association

One silver lining to our socially distanced world during the past year is bigger crowds for meetings and consultations online. While I miss gathering face-to-face as a community, hosting events online has made them more accessible to more people in our community. We often have more visitors join us for board meetings than when we met in person at the Glebe Community Centre, and some people have told me they have attended more consultations this year because they could participate from the comfort of their own home.

February and March have been particularly busy when it comes to consultations.

The Glebe was well represented at an information session about the draft Official Plan that Councillor Shawn Menard held for Capital Ward residents on February 11. We heard a presentation about the proposal and posed questions to city representatives. The GCA board met on March 2 to consider our comments. More to come on this.

On February 17, Menard held a public consultation about a zoning bylaw amendment requested to accommodate a new development at 30-48 Chamberlain Avenue. The amendment would permit the construction of a 16-storey, mixed-use building.

The GCA discussed the proposed development at our February meeting. It is in the area covered by the Bank Street Height and Character Study, a product of two years of significant consultation and collaboration between the City of Ottawa and the community. This study shows that the community supports intensification in this area. We appreciate the degree to which the proponent of the application reached out to the community, but we are disappointed that this proposal goes far beyond the height limit proposed in the Bank Street Height and Character Study. We are also concerned about increased traffic congestion in the area and how it would affect students walking to Glashan Public School. Increase in traffic as well as entrances and exits on Chamberlain must be done with special care, given the property’s proximity to the crossing area, high speeds and multiple traffic lanes.

We passed a motion to object to the application and to encourage the city to accelerate plans to rework Chamberlain to make it more pedestrian and bike friendly and better able to absorb future intensification.

This is key to ensuring livability and walkability. We also encourage the city to explore opportunities for affordable housing on this property and on other large plots in the neighbourhood.

We also considered our preliminary comments on a development application for 178-200 Isabella Street We agreed to ask the city to give more attention to how the building will interface with the street and to the massing and articulation of the building to reduce the visual impacts. We also asked that sufficient room be provided to support high canopy trees in future and that a “green screen” be considered to reduce the noise from vehicles.

Looking ahead…

In 2019, the National Capital Commission proposed an outdoor bistro at Patterson Creek as part of a pilot project. The GCA expressed its disappointment at the lack of community consultation on this initiative. The NCC has revised its plans and held a consultation on March 11. You can provide online comments about the proposal until March 25. Check out our website for more information.

At our February meeting, we also agreed to co-sponsor an event on March 31 where Kate Raworth will discuss “doughnut economics,” living within our planet’s means and how Ottawa might engage with this thinking. More information about the approach is here: Check our website for more details about the event.

The GCA and the Glebe BIA decided to cancel the 2021 Great Glebe Garage Sale due to ongoing public health measures. It is unlikely that large community gatherings will be possible this spring. This is an important event for neighbours and local businesses, for the environment and for charities that raise funds through the event. This is particularly true for the Ottawa Food Bank, which has been a priority for donations from sale proceeds since the event started in 1986. Please consider donating to the Ottawa Food Bank through its website.

If you want to see what we’re all about, you are welcome to join us for our monthly Zoom board meetings on the fourth Tuesday of the month. Our next meeting will be on March 23 at 7 p.m. Please send an email to the board secretary Sheryl ( if you would like to attend.

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