September 27, 2018: Rosemount Library Consultations; Community participation encouraged.

September 27, 2018: Rosemount Library Consultations;
Community participation encouraged.

By Josh Nutt, Chair R.E.A.D..

Rosemount branch is undergoing revitalization and community input is key to the success of the project. There will be three main opportunities for the public to share their thoughts:

1. Have your say:
Complete the OPL preliminary online survey at tinyurl.com/ycebkth4 .

This survey will help the library and architects understand how visitors use Rosemount and understand visitors’ opinions regarding heritage, architecture, layout, accessibility, technology, size, and the overall use and function of the building.

2. OPEN HOUSE:
Attend the Open House on Wednesday, October 3rd from 6 to 8 pm. The Open House will take place at the Rosemount branch, 18 Rosemount Ave.

At the Open House, the public can meet with the architectural team (+VG) leading the revitalization to learn more about the project scope and potential options for the building layout and design. Come share your thoughts and ideas. The Open House is a drop-in format.

Can’t make it to the Open House? For anyone who can’t make it to the Open House, a version of the presented materials as well as options to provide feedback will be available online. Please check the OPL website, tinyurl.com/yb5ervul on October 4, 2018.

3. INPUT ON DESIGN:
Provide the Library with input on the design concept beginning in December 2018. This second round of consultations will build on the results of the Open House. Check out the OPL’s website in December for more details.

And of course you can always contact your local City Councillor for Kitchissippi Ward #15.

Advertisements

August 30, 2018: Letter to the Editor: Carlingwood Mall Rebuild; Letters to Newswest.

August 30, 2018: Letter to the Editor: Carlingwood Mall Rebuild;
Letters to Newswest.

By Pat Parker.

Carlingwood Mall is in the news with the recent announcement that the former Sears store is slated for demolition. We were living in McKellar Park when Carlingwood was built. I grew up and grew older with all its various renditions.

I think the Sears location would be perfect now, for affordable, seniors’ apartments. The first two floors could be retail and business, then floors 3 and up could be apartments.

Carlingwood includes a grocery, pharmacy, a walk-in clinic, barber, hair salon, restaurant, and every service seniors would need – in a covered, carpeted environment that is already seniors friendly and well-appreciated.

Underground parking for residents would be available. We seniors who are not snow-birds need a place like this to endure our winters, maybe even a theater on the second floor using escalators from the main floor? I think it would be wonderful for seniors and for business and, believe it or not, we seniors CAN revitalize an area.

I have posted this idea to social media where it quickly received many encouraging responses and suggestions as to further opportunities offered by the upcoming renovations planned for the Carlingwood Mall.

 

Web-extra (July 26, 2018): City Planning for What?; Important Points Ignored by Council in 65 Storey Decision.

Web-extra (July 26, 2018): City Planning for What?;
Important Points Ignored by Council in 65 Storey Decision.

By Cheryl Parrott.

The application for the tallest building in Ottawa was passed by Planning Committee July 10, 2018 and then fast-tracked to City Council the next day. It easily passed despite community opposition on many issues and opposition by both ward Councillor McKenney and Councillor Leiper.

The Trinity Development at 900 Albert St will have 3 towers – 65, 56 and 27 storeys and will be located on the very small piece of property just north of City Centre at the intersection of the new LRT line and the O-Train. It will have 1,232 residential rental units, 11,926 square meters of retail as well as 18,332 square meters of office space

The issues that all delegations except the proponents identified:

  • This development ignores the Bayview Community Design Plan (CDP) which called for a maximum of 30 storeys. This plan was passed in 2013 and clearly took into account the proximity to the new Light Rail (LRT). This application more than doubles the height and clearly means all the community volunteer time spent on the CDP means nothing. The ink is barely dry when those decision are overturned. Community volunteers are now questioning the point of dedicating many, many volunteer hours to CDPs and the City spending $100,000 when they seem to provide no guarantees for future development.
  • Too many vehicle parking spaces. There will be about 1153 parking spaces provided for a transit oriented development directly across from a major transit station. The transportation study predicts that 75% of those visiting the retail businesses will come by car – so only 25% by foot, biking, bus or rail. It also predicts close to an additional 700 cars in the peak hour in the afternoons and on Saturdays being added to an already congested Albert/Scott St.
  • Affordable units. The City has a policy that 25% of units are to be affordable based on CMHC guidelines. The proponents could not provide information on how the affordability will be managed and maintained over the life of the building.
  • The relationship of the building to the existing community. The south side of the building that faces the Dalhousie neighbourhood will contain a large area for the loading docks for the retail businesses. A pedestrian/biking pathway to connect to the multi-use pathway alongside the O-Train will be isolated at the farthest edge of the property past the loading docks. Albert St. is a fairly hostile environment with traffic and a lot of wind on top of the bridge – not a likely place to chat with new neighbours. The west side of the buildings facing Hintonburg is just stark tall walls with no articulation. Throughout several meetings both communities have asked for changes so that this building does not turn its back on the existing neighbourhoods and community members have chances to interact. Few changes have been made.

All community members were disheartened that after 3 hours of presentations and questions nothing changed.

[Ed: if you have insights or concerns about this development, (like does the builder have the right experience to build the extra 35 storeys on the highest tower, what is the effect on emergency or other services called to a situation in a tower twice as high as other towers in Ottawa, etc.) then please send them in to our editor soon so we can include them in our pre-election coverage of important issues for the Mayor and Councillors candidates.]

July 26, 2018: Letter to the Editor: The Other Side of the Story; Letters to Newswest.

July 26, 2018: Letter to the Editor: The Other Side of the Story;

Letters to Newswest.

By Alma Cowa.

~May 16, 2018.
Once again [Newswest] has printed a report from R.E.A.D. about the short comings of Rosemount library. There is really nothing new in this report from previous submissions from R.E.A.D. other than to say that the library is getting a $2 million renovation which is ‘merely a Band-Aid solution’.

I have used Rosemount since 1990 and have always found it a welcoming space. Over the years much has changed from computers to self check out and after hours drop boxes. I am at the library most weeks and have never found it over-crowded with no where to sit not even on Saturdays or in the evenings.

The library board plans to replace the main branch sometime in the future at a cost of $168 million on land already owned by the City of Ottawa, just a short trip from Rosemount.

A replacement library in one of the many high rise buildings going up in Kitchissippi would be a nightmare. I can not think of anywhere else close to Rosemount that would provide enough space that R.E.A.D. thinks is necessary. Land in the area is very expensive and unless park space is used not readily available in close proximity to the current building.

Why not wait and see what $2 million can achieve and be pleasantly surprised. The library may not be big but it is small.

[Ed: the print edition has on the same page the last submission from R.E.A.D. which appears in this on-line archive as a web-extra for the previous June 28th issue.]

Web-extra (July 12, 2018): Tree Action Now; New Website Brings Together Local Greenspace Interests.

Web-extra (July 12, 2018): Tree Action Now;
New Website Brings Together Local Greenspace Interests.

By Debra Huron.

This new website [ https://yowelection2018.wixsite.com/trees ], sponsored by Community Associations for Environmental Sustainability (CAFES), BIG TREES of Kitchissippi, the Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital and Ecology Ottawa, offers you a chance to take 3 strategic actions:

  1. Use the Lost Trees of Ottawa site to map trees lost to natural or human causes, and share a photograph or personal memory of the lost tree. Also, share the map with your neighbours, friends and community groups in person, by email and on social media.
  2. If you agree with our recommendations to Amend the Bylaw, please call or write city politicians and staff to say so. To date, 22 Community Associations, the University of Ottawa Biology Department and 7 environmental NGOS have signed on. During the next term of Council changes to the bylaw will come to a vote. The more politicians hear the voices of citizens like you, the more likely they are to agree that these recommendations are crucial.
  3. Ottawa is blessed with many active neighbourhood and virtual communities. Join one or more to contribute to the debate on why the loss Ottawa’s urban forest has reached crisis proportions, and should be high on the municipal election agenda. When is election day? October 22, 2018 .

Please feel free to share the website and the map for Lost Trees of Ottawa with your friends, neighbours, community associations and enviro group…and on social media, websites and by word of mouth.

from: Debra Huron and…

Daniel Buckles,
Co-Chair, Environment Committee,
Champlain Park Community Association,
https://urbanforestgreenspaces.wordpress.com/ .

Animator
Champlain Oaks project,
http://www.champlainoaks.com .

Big Trees of Kitchissippi,
https://bigtreeskitch.wixsite.com/trees .

Web-extra (June 28, 2018): Imagining a Greener Hintonburg; Ottawa’s first community sustainability plan.

Web-extra (June 28, 2018): Imagining a Greener Hintonburg;
Ottawa’s first community sustainability plan.

By Carol Paschal, Hintonburg resident.

Kermit the frog once proclaimed, “It’s not easy being green.” One might wonder if this applies to Hintonburg. Well, let’s take a look. Long-time residents know that Hintonburg has had a history of re-using, repairing and repurposing long before it was fashionable.

The pawn shops and second-hand shops are gone, along with the appliance recycling store, but there are still an impressive number of shops who continue to carry on this tradition. JR Perry Electronics and the Audio Video Centre are two long-time Hintonburg businesses that come to mind, along with newer ones such as Maker House Co. (locally handcrafted items) and Nu Grocery (zero waste grocery store).

Hintonburg is known as a very walkable neighbourhood. The steady stream of people along Wellington St. West, and the constant bumping into neighbours, attests to the fact that it’s more than possible to get by without a car while doing errands.

The local bus routes are quite convenient and the advent of the LRT will further improve getting around. Residents and businesses alike have taken steps to improve cycling safety through bike-specific signage and infrastructure such as bicycle parking. The neighbourhood is lucky to have two large parks (Parkdale Park and Hintonburg Park), as well as many “pocket parks” and a farmers’ market. So why imagine a greener Hintonburg.

As a neighbourhood in transition, Hintonburg is undergoing significant changes, many of which have a negative impact on the environment. The number of demolitions and renovations is striking. Some of the recently built (or underway) infill developments and renovations have contributed to problems such as fewer trees, less public green space, more cars and traffic, more garbage and — although it is against City by-laws — paving over front yards for parking.

Walk down any street in Hintonburg and you will see dumpsters filled not only with construction debris but also other materials that could be repurposed (e.g., wood and metal) or recycled (e.g., cardboard and paper).
.
Knowing all this, it would be easy to throw up one’s hands and ask, “What’s the use?” But, as it turns out, there were 40 people who didn’t feel that way and recently came together to discuss ways to make Hintonburg a greener place to live and work.

Through a project of the Ottawa Biosphere Eco-City (OBEC), this group created Ottawa’s first community sustainability plan based on 10 themes including transportation, energy, design, food, waste and recreation. Simply put, sustainability means using the resources that we need for a good life but leaving enough for others, including future generations, to have a good life too.

Ideas ranged from simple things like using LED lights and buying local food to more ambitious projects like creating affordable housing. The next step is to put the plan into action. You can help by downloading the sustainability plan, choosing any project that interests you (including ideas that are not in the plan) and then reporting on what you are doing. I think Kermit would approve.
For further details, check out: tinyurl.com/y9g7vb4.
[ http://obec-evbo.ca/hintonburg-community-sustainability-plan .
june-28-2018_we_transportation_group
Photo Caption: The manager from the local GT Express Store (second from left) on Wellington West joins in with the Transportation Group

june-28-2018_we_habitat_discussion
Photo Caption: The Habitat group in discussion.

june-28-2018_we_energy_group
Photo Caption:The energy group in discussion.

May 24, 2018: When is the best time to plant a tree?; The upside of casting shade.

May 24, 2018: When is the best time to plant a tree?;
The upside of casting shade.

By Cheryl Parrott, Hintonburg resident.

There is a Chinese proverb that says, “No shade tree? Blame not the sun, but yourself.”

The once very shady Bayview Friendship Park is today less shady than it used to be. A particularly strong storm on May 4th uprooted one large tree which broke the top off of the tree next to it.

The fallen tree destroyed the steps in the pathway leading from Hilda to Bayview, as well as wiping out part of the park’s fence. At this writing, it is too early to tell if the kids’ play structure is damaged since the downed tree has completely engulfed that structure.

The April 16th ice storm resulted in another tree coming down in the park, and with it, branches of 2 other trees had split and later, had to be removed. One of the play structures was also damaged in that storm. In all, this park has suffered a great deal of storm damage over the past winter.

Over the last seven years eight trees have been lost in the Bayview Friendship Park alone. Several other parks have suffered similar set backs.

McCormick Park has suffered a similar fate and has lost a lot of trees through storms and also as a result selective cutting to reduce the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer. Several trees have been replanted in McCormick Park but it will take many years before they can provide any significant shade.

Many parents have talked about how ideal Bayview and McCormick Parks were as playgrounds precisely because of the shade on the playground structure for a good part of the day. Now, some of the best and most-used area parks will have the play structures subject to direct sunlight for most of the day.

In an era where community growth demands more intense infill, often at the expense of existing trees and foliage, it seems like this would be a good time to plant more trees so that in the future, the parks will return to providing some shade, other environmental benefits beyond cleaner air, and new nesting opportunities for birds and smaller urban wildlife.

It is worth noting that in Paris, France, every tree in the city has an individual number. A department in charge of taking care of all of Paris’ urban trees has been managing the city’s greenery for decades. This includes having added a cement support for an Acacia, the oldest tree in Paris, on the banks of the Seine, just a two minute walk from Notre Dame Cathedral.

Although Ottawa is only about one tenth the size of Paris, and has been established as an urban centre for much less time, it is still well worth our trouble to keep a watchful eye on our city’s greenery and to take steps to protect, and replace when necessary, our constantly threatened urban forest. We would do well to remember another ancient wisdom which says, “The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now.”

may-24-2018_pg23
Photo Caption: Uprooted tree beside the wood fench it crushed. Photo by Tim Thibeault.

bayviewPk_IMG_1870_1024x410
Photo Caption: Bayview Friendship Park in 2012.
[ED: to see more of Bayview Friendship Park as it was 6-years ago, go to the parks page in newswest.org]