Road reconstruction nears end, on schedule

Nothing beats the fresh smell of a new layer of asphalt!

The major reconstruction this year of several streets in the community is on schedule and has faced no unforeseen issues, writes the city’s supervising engineer, Kevin Gibbs (Kevin.Gibbs@ottawa.ca). “The project is currently on track to meet the project timelines,” he writes. “We do not anticipate any major unforeseen problems at this time.”

The work involved replacing 50-plus-year-old trunk sewers (sanitary and storm) and watermains along parts of Hilliard, Farlane and Wallford Way. The project began last year, with similar work occurring on parts of Deer Park, Millbrook and Hilliard.

The last phase of the 2020 work, the final paving of the three streets, was recently completed, and landscaping on those streets was completed earlier this summer.

“The bulk of the remaining underground and road work will be completed this fall, including any remaining concrete sidewalk work, with construction operations winding down after the end of November 2021.”

The rebuilt 2021 streets will receive an initial paving this fall, but the final asphalt, and landscaping, will be carried out in 2022. “Those activities are expected to resume in May and wrap up in June, based on the contractor’s current schedule, although some work could extend until the end of July. These construction operations are generally of shorter duration and less disruptive than the underground construction work was this year.”

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FHACA looking for new building manager

Who doesn’t want to manage this gorgeous building with an inverted roof?

After years of stellar and dedicated service, Mary Beth Pion is retiring as the rentals manager for Fisher Heights Community Place, and we need to replace her. (It won’t be easy!!)

The duties involve addressing queries and rental requests sent to the e-mail account, touring the building with first-time renters only, completing the rental contract face-to-face, maintaining the building rental calendar on the association website, and completing a monthly rental summary sheet.

The job does NOT involve ANY elements related to maintaining the building, such as cleaning, repairs and the like.

An honorarium of $250 a month is paid. This is VERY part-time work, and is suitable for someone with a flexible schedule who enjoys people and would like to contribute to their community. There are no keys involved in this job – the building operates entirely by digital passcodes, which you assign on the contract.

Please e-mail FHACA.BuildingRentals@gmail.com to apply or for more information.

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Many sponsored clubs resume activities

Several of the association’s sponsored clubs have resumed meeting at Fisher Heights Community Place. In each case, abiding by city and provincial rules, all participants must have proof of double vaccination, plus they must sanitize hands upon entering and certify that they do not have any COVID symptoms. Masks are mandatory at all times in the building except when eating.

Monday evening yoga partners used the Fisher Heights park during COVID-19 times

Bridge Club meets Tuesdays 1 pm to 3:30 and Thursdays 7 pm to 9. Contact Louise Sweeney at 613-274-2618

The Morning Yoga Partners have been meeting on Zoom Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9:00 am throughout the pandemic. We use CDs and online material to provide a variety of yoga activities. The current participants have made the decision not to return to the Community Building until the current restrictions are fully lifted and we are more comfortable with the situation. We welcome anyone who would like to join us on Zoom, whether you are a beginner or veteran. Contact Lyn McCaw at 613-224-1682.

After practicing yoga outdoors beside the community building this past summer, Monday Evening Yoga has returned indoors, 7:30 pm to 8:30. We bring our own yoga mats and follow videos from our collection of yoga DVDs. Please contact Karen Gordon at 613-274-7505 for details or to be placed on our waitlist, as we are currently at full capacity.

The Fisher Heights Arts & Crafts Circle has resumed its regular meetings with a celebration of our 10th anniversary as a circle of friends and neighbours. We warmly welcome new participants. If you enjoy gardening, painting, knitting, photography, cooking or other such pastimes and pleasures that you’d like to share with others, please join us for coffee and cookies and informal chat anytime from 10-12 on Monday mornings at the community building. If you have any questions, please contact Don Black at 613-712-0123 or DBlack@ncf.ca.

The Pre-School Playgroup (for children 0 to 4), which was meeting most Fridays from 9:45 am to 11:00, is on hiatus while a new co-ordinator is found, as Staci Diguer’s child has aged out. The role means mostly just being the contact person for the group. For more information, or to volunteer to take over, please call Staci at 613-884-7822 or Sdig008@gmail.com. The members keep in touch by its Facebook page.

And an update from the Community Walking Club: It is still going strong, but with the continuing construction on Wallford Way, the temporary starting location is 13 Eleanor Drive. When the construction on Wallford is finished, the starting location will resume at 19 Wallford Way. Start time on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays remains at 8:30 am with departure at 8:35. For more information and to confirm an outing, contact Julie Hill at 613-226-4995 or bijoux3664@gmail.com.

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Fisher Heights Community Place reopens, with rules

Fisher Heights Community Place is open but email in advance as we don’t have a reception desk

As Ontario eased its COVID rules in the fall, your board decided it was appropriate to cautiously re-open our community building, Fisher Heights Community Place, to our sponsored groups and for community activities and private rentals. Of course, everything will be in flux if the COVID rules are again tightened.

But for now, here are the rules relating to the use of the building:

• There are no capacity limits other than those imposed by the Ontario Fire Marshal.

• Social distancing is recommended, but is not required.

• The program contact, or the private renter, or delegate, MUST confirm that each participant 12 or older has been double-vaccinated at least 14 days prior, and shows acceptable ID. An exception is for documented medical exemptions (certification required). No-one can enter the building if they have neither proof of vaccination NOR proof of medical exemption.

• All participants are required to acknowledge that they have completed the COVID Screening Tool (two laminated copies are on the table at the building entrance) and confirm that they have answered “NO” to all the screening questions. The program contact, or the private renter, or delegate, must facilitate this process. Anyone who does not pass screening is not permitted to enter the business or organization and should be advised that they should self-isolate, ideally at home, and call their health care provider or Telehealth Ontario (1-866-797-0000) to get advice or an assessment, including if they need a COVID-19 test.

• In addition, the program contact, or renter, must ensure that all participants are listed on a COVID Screening log (a binder also on the entrance table) to allow for contact tracing, and they must retain this log for a period of one month from the date the rental space is last used. The contact or renter may be required to disclose this log at the request of Ottawa Public Health for purposes for preventing the spread of COVID-19.

• All participants under 2 years of age (or under 5 if they refuse) must wear a mask except when engaged in physical activity or eating. Exception: no one is required to provide proof of exemption from mask-wearing, nor can anyone be turned away if unable to wear a mask.

• At the end of the activity / event, the contact or renter is expected to do simple re-sanitizing of door knobs, tables, light switches, washroom faucets and knobs – any items that were possibly touched during the activity / event.

These rules MAY sound onerous, but they are the rules that businesses and organizations have been following for some time now. They should not be a challenge if the building is being used for a family event, for example.

For inquiries or to make a booking, please e-mail FHACA.BuildingRentals@gmail.com.

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New board for Fisher Heights & Area Community Association + new FHACA newsletter coming soon

Last night, the members of FHACA chose a new board for the 2021-2022 season. We would like to thank the board members who stepped down for the valuable work for the community, as difficult as it was in the last year. We are fortunate to have Corey Peabody step up to the plate as a board member. She has worked very hard to understand the Ottawa Official Plan and to explain it to the rest of us in the past year.

Members voting in the new board (selection)

This is our new board:

Isabelle LaVert- Chiasson, Suzanne Buan, Maria Pluviati, Corey Peabody, Steven Coté, Tony Sroka, Doug Yonson, Hans Moor. We typically divide roles (president, treasurer etc) at the first board meeting.

We hope to ramp up our activities again, but it all depends on how COVID develops. In several European countries semi lock down rules are back after the virus started to spread again when rules where loosened. The overarching theme in organising events is obviously our health. So nothing is carved in stone, but we will attempt to organise events again.

We cannot do this without you, the 5000 residents of the community of Fisher Heights. It is impossible to ask 8 board members to organise events, monitor the city’s movements in planning, keep developers in check and answer questions from the public. So we expect the members to chip in time, else we cannot continue our ambitious agenda. We would love to see you take on one event a year either as a coordinator or in a support role. Send us an email at info.FHACA@gmail.com

Note: a new newsletter (on paper and in PDF) with tons of updates will arrive soon in your physical and electronic mailbox.

I thought the meeting went very well yesterday” – Larry B.

“Such a good AGM and very informative.  Thanks to all your Exec for making it possible” – Margaret M.

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Fisher Heights AGM 2021

The FHACA AGM will take place on November 15, 2021 from 7:30 pm until 9 pm

The AGM will take place on Zoom. We will keep it short as basically the Association has been dormant for the last year. Yet, we have to approve the financials (in very good shape) and vote for a new board.

If you would like to participate, please sign up through this on line form. You will receive a notification of the login requirements as well as the documents for the meeting closer to the date.

If you like to join the board, let us know. We expect that about ten meetings of 90 minutes per year, as well as taking on one or two tasks to organise an event with some volunteers. Note: becoming a board members requires commitment. We expect you to be in the board meetings at least 8 out of the 10 times. We will likely meet on Tuesday evenings after dinner.

Sign up for the AGM here.

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COVID-19 Community building update August 2021

Main Hall

As per August 2021 our building at 31 Sutton Place can be used, but in a very limited fashion. We have three rooms, but the reality is that only one can be used, our main room.

Here are the sizes of the rooms. The main room and the board room can be connected, making space for a total of maximum 15 (12 +3) people for a quiet type event, and 10 (8 + 2) when there is dancing/food/beverage involved. The change room is not connected with the other rooms. There are a total of three doors in the outside perimeter of the building allowing for ‘one way traffic’ if needed.

Dimensions of our rooms

Main Room: about 875 ft2  – 12 people. If a program or rental includes dancing/food/beverage, the max occupancy is 8

Board Room: about 200 ft2  – 3 people.  If a program or rental includes dancing/food/beverage, the max occupancy is 2

Change Room: about 400 ft2  – 5 people If a program or rental includes dancing/food/beverage, the max occupancy is 4

Obviously, hand washing, social distancing and masks are still required until further notice. Yoga Partners on Monday evening takes place outside on the north side patio as long as the temperatures allow.

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Some news updates – July 2021

It has been a while since we were in touch with you. Here are some updates from the Fisher Heights & Area Community Association.

If someone forwarded this email to you, make sure you get on our email list. You can sign up on our homepage and add your email address in the field in the top right corner.

Merivale Lands

An artist impression of the Merivale Triangle to be developed

If you did not have the opportunity to listen in at the ZOOM meeting about the plans for the Merivale Lands that Claridge wants to develop, you can find the presentations back here. The plans are not approved yet, so nothing is carved in stone. Roughly 2000 units could be built over the next ten years.

Part 1: 26.Apr.2021 _ Public Information Session _ 1500 Merivale Road.pdf – Google Drive

Part 2: 9426_PRESENTATION_FINALE.pdf – Google Drive

Nepean Night market

There’s a NEW market in town; The Nepean Night Market will run every Sunday night from 5-9pm, in the Mr. Lube parking lot at Merivale and Baseline! Join in for some live music, good food, and a whole lot of fun while supporting local businesses! For more information, contact ottawacraftshows@gmail.com. The first one was already a big success with vendors selling out and food vendors doing brisk business apparently. A bit more on it here: https://showwiz.ca/show/nepean-night-market/all/

New Civic Hospital

The FHACA board has sent a letter to Councillor Egli addressing several concerns we have around the traffic safety and congestion that may occur when the hospital parking garage for 2500 cars will be built. (starting next year!) Although we are far enough away for immediate issues, we might likely find ourselves stuck in traffic or in unsafe situations on a bicycle with a likely increase of traffic on Prince of Wales. We also asked to look into the helicopter flights over our heads and what the impact in the future might be.

Yoga

Monday night yoga partners are now doing their yoga in the park at our community building. We are closely monitoring the city’s guidelines so that we can eventually move into our building again. Check in with info.FHACA@gmail.com if you would like to know more about our community yoga. There are also day time yoga classes, but they are on line (Zoom) until further notice.

Finances

Doug, our treasurer, has closed the books for the book year and we are in good financial shape, thanks to frugal financial management. Details to come at the next AGM, hopefully in the fall in person again.

New butcher on the block

Board member Jayne learned there will be a new butcher on Merivale Rd, where Swan’s Garage used to be (next to the Fish Market). We are happy to see yet another specialised retailer coming to Fisher Heights (although the vegans/vegetarians among us are probably less pleased 🙂

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Draft Official Plan might effect Fisher Heights too

If you want to read more on retrofitting suburban development, this is a great book (available at the library)

Fisher Heights residents Corey Peabody dove head first into the official plan and sent us some feedback. Note this is a combination of cut and paste from several on line documents as well as some of her own comments crafted into a beautiful webpage :-). It is not like we will become the next Hintonburg (coffee roasters anyone?), but times they are achanging.

What is the Official Plan & why is it important?

The new Official Plan, once approved, will be the City’s primary planning document to guide growth and redevelopment in Ottawa for at least the next 25 years. The draft new OP must be based on the requirements of the Province’s Planning Act and the Provincial Policy Statement. The new OP will also inform other City master plans to ensure that services such as water, roads, parks, green space and transit are available to support the new development.

Where can I find the documents?

The main portal for this is here https://engage.ottawa.ca/ and the document library is here 

I would like to warn you – the Draft Official Plan document is 263 pages long and one of the most impenetrable and difficult to understand documents I have ever dealt with.

Where are we in the consultation process?

Individual Feedback

The first draft was released on November 20 2020. The city is asking for feedback by February 17 2021. Because the draft document is so complex, the city has thoughtfully provided no less than 21 one-pagers and feedback forms on subjects of interest. They can be found here. While the one-pagers are definitely very helpful briefs, the problem with the bite-size info and sending comments on those is that you get the feeling that you are missing the real show. But do comment! 

Community Feedback

For well over a year, a group of community organizations, including CAFES, Ecology Ottawa, City for All Women (CAWI), Greenspace Alliance, Healthy Transportation Coalition and Just Food, have been meeting under the label People’s Official Plan (POP) both at a convener level and at a residents’ level through organizing large consultative workshops. The first was at the Bayswater Innovation Centre, the second at Nepean Sportsplex and most recently on Dec 12 2020 we met in a well attended on-line workshop looking at the Draft OP and 15-minute neighbourhoods.

Residents have until Feb 17, 2021 to comment on 21 one-page summaries on specifics sections of the OP, such as Housing, Employment, Parks, Water Resources and Climate Change, to name a few.

If you want to say more than what’s on the feedback forms, you can also email these Ottawa staff: charmaine.forgie@ottawa.ca; Alain.Miguelez@ottawa.ca

Three reasons I think this is more important than ever

Intensification

Intensification is the emphasis of the new OP. And there is very little land being taken in along the edges of the City for new urban expansion (as seen in newspaper articles the past two days). So intensification will have to happen from within.

Transit corridor – evolving neighbourhood

We live in an area that is bordered by Baseline Road that is going to become a major transit (bus) corridor. Our neighbourhood has been classified as “evolving” in the new OP which means “expected to gently evolve from a suburban to a more urban form of buildings and site layouts”. We are also nearby to the triangle lands behind Loblaws (which extend to Myers Motors land beside St. Augustine’s Church) which are classed as “transforming” lands which means “areas expected to undergo significant development”.

Rezoning

I took the City’s “Planning Primer” course yesterday evening (that is offered for free by the City) and discovered that some older neighbourhoods that are currently zoned R1, that are near transit lines (that’s two ticks for our neighbourhood) could be re-zoned to become R4 neighbourhoods that would allow three storey, six-living-unit buildings on certain parcels of land (likely street corners). This is how the City could meet its intensification targets, by providing additional housing space near major transit corridors but at the expense of established R1 neighbourhoods.

The Zoning by-law will also be re-written. (So could this be an opportunity to voice our concern about allowing commercial cube trucks to be stored in driveways? (I digress….)

I realize that many of these decisions may have already been made, but I think it is important to be informed as to what is happening or could happen in your neighbourhood. And while (apparently) change is good, knowing it is coming is better than being surprised by it!

Corey Peabody

This is the web location of all the OP documents; the one page summaries are here as well as a feedback form for each:

https://engage.ottawa.ca/the-new-official-plan

And this is the link to all the documents library:

https://engage.ottawa.ca/the-new-official-plan/widgets/36458/documents

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Winter Maintenance Quality Standards Review

The City is reviewing the Standards, with a focus on sidewalks and pathways, reducing rutting on residential roads, roads next to schools with no sidewalks and roads with bus stops. Residents will have the opportunity to provide feedback on their priorities as we update the Standards.

An example of a well maintained pathway in Ottawa
Continue reading
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