Shaping the future of Bank Street

The Bank Street Height & Character Study will hold an Open House on June 20 at 6:30 p.m. at the Glebe Community Centre. Come and help shape the future of Bank Street in the Glebe. Photo: Liz McKeen

By Carolyn Mackenzie

“Glebe Community Association supports six storeys on Bank Street.” Well, not quite – although that was the headline of an “unauthorised” poster advertising a Glebe Community Association (GCA) meeting at the end of April to discuss building height, massing and character issues along Bank Street in the Glebe.

The Bank Street Height & Character Study, which the City of Ottawa kicked off with an open house in February, intends “to ensure that clear policy and zoning frameworks are in place to manage growth and redevelopment on Bank Street from the Queensway all the way south to Wilton Cresent.” The result will be area-specific policies and updated bylaws that should be able to be relied upon with greater certainty for future development.

The GCA wrote to the city to provide preliminary input to the study after more than two and half hours of vigorous discussion and debate in April. On the issue of height, our feedback was that the following building heights may be appropriate:

Village zone: A maximum height of four storeys between Holmwood and Pretoria Avenue (the core of the Glebe “village”), and

Transition zone: A maximum height of six storeys north of Pretoria Avenue and south of Holmwood Avenue in the current TM (Traditional Mainstreet) zone.

The GCA also made it clear that these building heights must be considered in conjunction with a number of recommendations made about building transitions and should be supported by appropriate planning studies including sun shading, which was raised by many as a concern. Full comments can be found on the GCA website at

The city will be hosting an Open House on June 20, 6:30 – 9 p.m. at the Glebe Community Centre, when they will present draft recommendations for the height and character study.

What do you think? What sort of buildings do you think we need on Bank Street?

Carolyn Mackenzie chairs the Glebe Community Association’s Planning Committee.

Please share your views and help shape Bank Street:
Come to the June 20 OPEN HOUSE (6:30 p.m., Glebe Community Centre) to provide feedback on the draft recommendations.
Email the city’s lead planner at with your comments.

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