Is Intensification A Sound Investment?

Whether we like it or not, the city is growing. The question is, what is the most efficient and seamless method for that growth? The City of Ottawa seems to believe that the answer lies in the intensification of our existing neighbourhoods.

Intensification is meant to limit urban sprawl by encouraging more new development within existing urban areas. Whether positive or negative, we have begun to see this plan at work in our neighbourhood. The first phase was erected in the multi-unit residential infill at Encore Private, abutting the Villa Marconi property on Farlane Blvd. as seen below.

Encore Homes Image

At last month’s FHACA Annual General Meeting, we heard a presentation by local resident Terrence Lonergan on the challenges our neighbourhood may face as a result of the City of Ottawa’s Residential Low-rise Infill and AM Densification policies. If you attended the meeting and wanted a closer look at the presentation, or if you missed the meeting but still wanted to be part of the discussion, we are including the presentation notes here.

This first link shows the slide presentation made by Terrence: Intensification Slide Presentation Sept 2014 AGM

This second link offers a background on Ottawa’s Infill policy and its implementation thus far. although dated May 2014, few, if any changes have been made, and the document remains relevant: Ottawa Low-Rise Infill – A Primer

Similar smaller infill initiatives have also begun to creep into other parts of our neighbourhood. At the moment, streets such as Trillium Ave are targets for property-splitting because they contain large lots with single, or smaller two-story homes. The first project at the North end of Trillium Ave is nearly complete, and the image below shows how different the neighbourhood can look after such a project is complete.

A similar second property-splitting project is about to begin on Trillium Ave, just a few doors down from the first. The Committee of Adjustment will be holding a public hearing to apply for consent to move forward with the proposed plan on Wednesday, November 5, at 6:30pm at Ben Franklin Place, The Chamber, Main Floor, 101 Centrepointe Dr., so if you wish, this is your opportunity to make your voice heard.

11 Trillium Ave Development

And here are images of the proposed lot severance, followed by computer sketches of the proposed homes.

11 Trillium Ave Lot Image11 Trillium Ave Image

Undoubtedly, these types of projects have a profound impact on the look and feel of our well-established neighbourhood, but only time will tell what the impact will truly be. Surely, this will not be the last you read about property-splitting and infill on this website, as we plan to keep you up to date on this topic. But in the meantime, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the benefits and risks of this ongoing neighbourhood redevelopment in the comments below.


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Can We Save Our Community Rink?


It is mid-October, turkey carving is done, and we find ourselves thinking not of cottaging, but of hockey. With that said, we at the Community Association Board have begun planning for the upcoming skating season, and our community rink. But after last winter’s fantastic skating season we were left with a problem in the form of a $2565.00 operating loss. As a result, the Board is asking for your views on the options available to reduce the risk of continued deficits caused by the rink.

We hope that last year’s weather was just an anomaly, but with the threat of another long and uninterrupted season ahead, and with the increase to minimum wage this year, the future of our popular winter community gathering place suddenly finds itself in potential jeopardy.

Each year, the city sets minimum guidelines for the hours per week that Ottawa’s community rinks can operate at 31 hours. Due to the popularity of our rink, we have opened our rink for 41 hours each week. The city also provides each of its 250 community rinks with a $4200.00 subsidy, which we spend on pre-season rink preparation and flooding, wages for rink supervision during open hours, and daily maintenance (flooding, cleaning, gas, machine maintenance). Some rinks operate solely on a volunteer basis, but we have found a mutual benefit for the Association and the local youth that we contract our maintenance services to. The agreement ensures that the community rink is consistently well maintained, and our local youth gain employment and work experience.


Or, Please e-mail your comments/suggestions to  by October 31, to assist the FHACA Board in considering this issue at its next meeting on Nov 3.

For a detailed analysis of our rink’s operation and financial status please click on Doug’s Rink Analysis.

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2014 AGM Recap

AGM clip art

On September 29, neighbourhood residents packed Fisher Heights Community Place for the Fisher Heights and Area Community Association (FHACA) AGM. Meeting items included: the Community’s year in review; words from the two candidates for Ward 9 Councillor; a review of the Association’s annual budget; the financial status of our community rink; and the renewal of FHACA’s status as a non-profit corporation and amendments to its bylaws.

Of particular interest was a presentation about details of City plans for intensification in our community. A recap of the discussion and accompanying presentation notes will be posted to the website early next week, so please check back then.


Association President Bob McCaw began the preceding with a brief review of FHACA accomplishments from the past year; most notably our successful new Bicycle Rodeo event, and lobbying the City to build a new play structure in Eleanor Park – which is now being installed.

Financial Report

Treasurer Doug Yonson presented the financial report. At present, there is a comfortable cash balance of $25,400, however the operation of the skating rink incurred a deficit of nearly $2,600.  There will be a follow-up post discussing the rink status in more detail, and we would like to hear your opinions on how to make the rink more financially stable.

Association Status & Bylaws Updated

A discussion on the renewal of the Association’s status as a not-profit corporation, and legislated adjustments to its bylaws were also discussed and voted on. Members voted in favor of maintaining the non-profit status, and bylaw adjustments, while keeping as close as possible to the current mode of operation. The updated bylaws can be found here.

Community Boundaries

Community Association boundaries were also reconfirmed as being limited to residents living between Fisher Ave and Merivale Rd, and between Baseline Rd and Meadowlands Dr.

Board Elections

Board elections also took place during the meeting, and though two Board members did not stand for re-election, two new residents put their names forward for the Board – Joel Laforest and Shane Francescut. Voters unanimously agreed that Joel and Shane will join the six continuing Directors for the 2014-15 year. For a full list of your Directors, please visit the Contact page here.

Not returning with the Board this year are Val Ryan and Andy Pedersen. Val has made a cherished contribution to the Association as Membership Registrar for five years, and has been active in the community for many years before that. Andy has played the key role in developing the Association website over the past two years, and the Board will miss his many talents and his willingness to pitch in to help in many areas.

Ward 9 Councillor Candidate Appearance

The two candidates for Ward 9 Councillor in the upcoming civic election, Keith Egli and Cristian Lambiri spoke briefly and answered questions from residents. The appearance was not meant to be an open debate, so if you missed this year’s AGM, you can join Mr. Egli and Mr. Lambiri at a two-hour event sponsored by all of the community Associations from Ward 9:

Candidates Debate – Ward 9 Councillor
Sunday, Oct. 19  –  7 pm to 9 pm
Tanglewood Community Centre, 30 Woodfield Drive

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Candidates Debate – Ward 9 Councillor

Sunday, Oct. 19,  7 pm

Tanglewood Community Centre,  30 Woodfield Drive

The two candidates for City Council in Knoxdale-Merivale Ward – incumbant Keith Egli and challenger Christian Lambiri – will speak and answer audience questions at this 2-hour event sponsored by the Community Associations in the ward, including FHACA.

Woodfield Drive runs west off Merivale Road, between the railway underpass and the entrance to Canadian Tire. The Tanglewood Community Centre is located about 400 meters west of Merivale.

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Your Ward 9 Municipal Candidate List


The 2014 municipal elections are fast approaching. The date, if you aren’t yet aware, is Monday, October 27, and as is often the case, our ballot cards will be filled with more names than we thought we’d see. The familiar names will be those nominated for Mayor and Ward Council, but the lesser known names are often the ones running for coveted School Board Trustee positions.

In an effort to help make voting night a little easier, we have compiled a list of candidates specifically nominated for positions in our Ward – Knoxdale-Merivale.

Finally, if you are unable to attend the all-candidates debate, CBC News has asked Mr. Egli and Mr. Lambiri to each give a one minute elevator pitch on why they are best suited to represent our Ward, that you can find here; and the Ottawa Citizen recently published an extensive question-answer article with the candidates, that you can find here.

Ward 9 Councillor

Name Contact Information
Keith Egli
Tel.:(613) 890-8949
Christian Lambiri
Tel.:(613) 265-1369

School Board Trustees

English Public – OCDSB – Ottawa-Carleton District School Board – Zone 3

Name Contact Information
Donna Blackburn
Tel.:(613) 884-6084
Kimberly Bouffard
Tel.:(613) 302-5292
Ashok Kumar Kalra
Tel.:(613) 617-5159
Chi Siu
Tel.:(613) 863-8801

English Catholic – OCSB – Ottawa Catholic School Board – Zone 6

Name Contact Information
Andrew Beattie
Tel.:(613) 857-2353
Elaine McMahon
Julia Muggeridge
Tel.:(613) 700-4391

French Catholic – CECCE – Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est

Name Contact Information
Chad Mariage
Tel.:(613) 297-8072

French Public – CEPEO – Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario

Name Contact Information
Mohamed Habaneh Egeh
Tel.:(613) 769-7755
Myriam Hebabi
Jean-Paul Lafond Tel.:(613) 749-2511
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New Bylaws to be Adopted at AGM

Because of changes to the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act, FHACA is required to update its incorporation and make some amendments to its Bylaws.  The Board has approved a new consolidated bylaw for the Association, which will be voted on at the Annual General Meeting on September 29.

The proposed new Bylaw #1 (2014) is Continue reading

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Help save Gilbey Park from the ravages of dog-strangling vine

dog strangling vine

Dog-strangling vine. Photo by Ken Towle.

Residents are encouraged to gather in Gilbey Park near Beaver Ridge at 9am on Saturday, Sept. 27, to help cut back the dog-strangling vine growing rapidly in the area.

On the morning of Saturday, Sept. 20, a number of the residents began a concerted effort to clear out the plant, which is among the most unwanted plant species in Ontario. If left unchecked, it could kill young trees and native vegetation in the park.

For more info, check

Although the residents worked hard on Sept. 20, there is still much to do. It is important that we try to cut back and destroy as much as we possibly can this fall as there are literally thousands of seed pods ready to spread their bounty over the area. It will be an ongoing struggle to contain this pest but if nothing is done we will eventually be sorry as it will totally overrun the forested area of our unique park.

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