Local Restaurant Business Open for Take Out and Deliveries

Photo by Joseph Gonzalez on Unsplash

But how? Many stores are closed but many of our restaurants have turned to take out and/or third party delivery services. Ottawa is switching between red and orange alert codes: sometimes dine in is allowed, sometimes not.

Continue reading
Posted in Community, News

Neighbours Helping Neighbours

Time and again officials have been telling us that we don’t need to worry about food supply. But eventually, we need to go out and get some food or perhaps medication. Living in one of Canada’s electoral districts with a high average age, we will have elderly in our community who prefer to avoid all contact for the next few weeks.

Continue reading
Posted in Community, News

Ward Size Review On Its Way

As you know, our city is divided in 23 wards. Every ward is represented by a ward councillor, in our case Keith Egli. However, as our population grows, some wards have many more residents then others: West-Carleton ward has less then 26,000 residents, Barrhaven has over 61,000 residents, making the Barrhaven voice count less. Our ward 9 has just under 40,000 residents, which is in the middle of the pack.

Consultations are coming up. Here is a link to the process and a list with dates for the open houses. The closest for us is:

Tuesday, March 10 – 7:30 to 9:30 pm
Ben Franklin Place, Atrium Half Chamber End and The Chamber, 101 Centrepointe Drive

If you would like to take the survey, start here.

Posted in Development Issues, News

Recap Winter Carnival Fisher Heights & Area

We thought we share some of the photos of our annual winter carnival. Lots of people came to the carnival. We had perfect conditions, with snow and pleasant temperatures. The horses are always a big hit, even adults admit they love to go for a ride!

The fire pit kept everyone warm and tasty, as did the hot chocolate served in the community building. Several games kept us entertained and many of the kids enjoyed the crafts inside the building.

Thanks everyone for supporting this great event and we are already looking forward to next year. Here are some of the photos we took.

Posted in Events | 1 Comment

Open House – sewer and water main replacement works

Looking for a walk in the neighbourhood?

On Wednesday February 5, the city organises another open house at our community centre at 31 Sutton Place from 6 until 8 pm. Make sure to check out the details.

Posted in Development Issues | Leave a comment

Dymon warehouse plan rejected by Ottawa Council

As a result of Coun. Egli’s principled arguments, together with his strategic lobbying of council colleagues and the voluminous support of area residents, Council today (Wed Jan 29) defeated by an unexpectedly large 17 – 5 vote a proposal to allow Dymon to build a storage warehouse at the corner of Baseline and Clyde.

Storage company Dymon is looking to build a 12th facility in Ottawa, this time on Clyde Avenue. (Fotenn for Dymon)
Storage company Dymon is looking to build a 12th facility in Ottawa, this time on Clyde Avenue. (Fotenn for Dymon)

Proposal not dead

This does NOT mean the proposal is dead. It means that should Dymon still wish to proceed, it must appeal this decision to a provincial arbiter, formerly known as the Ontario Municipal Board. Because the council decision meant it was rejecting the recommendation by the city’s planning department in favour of the proposal, the city will have an uphill battle to uphold the council vote.

More information on these next possible steps at the end of this article.

Of the 23 councillors plus mayor, two (Deans and Chiarelli) were absent due to health issues. All other councillors voted to reject the proposal, except for Harder, Tierney, Moffatt, Darouze and El-Chantiry.

The first three also endorsed the proposal at the planning committee; Hubley supported the proposal at planning committee but rejected it at council. The proposal had been approved at the planning committee by a vote of 4-3 (Lieper, Brockington and Gower opposed) with three members absent. (Coun. Egli is not a member of this committee, so although he was able to speak freely at that meeting, he did not have a vote.)

Unusual rejection

It is unusual for a planning committee decision to be rejected by the full council. But the arguments advanced by Coun. Egli, your Fisher Heights Community Association board (and two other adjacent community association boards), several members of the local business community and more than 50 individually written e-mails to Coun Egli from our community, supporting his position, served the councillor well in his winning widespread support from councillors.

The vote for the Dymon proposal on Clyde near Merivale-Baseline

Mayor on board

His success in winning the support of Mayor Watson was a turning point, for six other councillors, who tend to follow the Mayor’s lead on issues that do not directly involve their wards, all voted to reject. Without those seven votes, the proposal would have been approved.

Merivale Road a lost cause?

In his speech to Council, Coun Egli first recognized four members of the community association board who were in attendance. He then said a warehouse would “sterilize” the tip of the vacant Merivale Triangle lands by blocking more appropriate uses for the land in the future. A warehouse is not now allowed on the property, and to do so would result in a “fundamental change in the zoning and the character of the area.” Council would be saying, he said, that Merivale Road “is a lost cause. Merivale Road is NOT a lost cause.” This refers to longstanding and widespread opinion that Merivale Road (and Clyde Avenue) in this area is a lifestyle disaster – dedicated to vehicles, highly unfriendly to pedestrians and cyclists, with wide swaths of asphalt, limited green space, and vastly underused in its capacity for housing.

At planning committee he said that he, and area residents, wanted “people to occupy the site, not people’s stuff.” At the council meeting he said residents did not approve use of the site as “condos of clutter.”

The Merivale Triangle super imposed on Cole Harbour in Vancouver: space for intensification! (Google Maps)

Warehouse would contradict the city’s stated intents

He quoted from two e-mails he received: one pointed out that the city plans a significant bus and cycling corridor along Baseline and Heron Roads in the next decade. As this property is adjacent to Baseline, and the city specifically encourages housing intensification of land usage along transit corridors, a warehouse would contradict the city’s stated intents. The writer said that any action to make Merivale “less dreadful” was welcome, and a warehouse was not the right step.

The other said the proposal must be rejected because decisions on this property will “set the pace” for “the type of community we want in that area,” that these decisions will be a “turning point.”

Harder reliable supporter of the development industry

Harder, who through her consistent voting record over her 20 years as a councillor has become a reliable supporter of the development industry, asked the city planner to explain the department’s support of the project, particularly the claim by opponents that the site was a “gateway” property and hence needed far more inclusive usage. In response to her leading questions, Douglas James stated that the Dymon sites on Carling at the Queensway, Carling west of Lincoln Fields, and Bank Street in South Keys were equally gateway sites, although his only rationale for the Queensway site was that it was a prominent building.

City planner blithely ignores arguments

One main argument by opponents of the project was that these other Dymon sites, and one on Greenbank Road near Hunt Club, were in fact significantly less important than the Baseline/Clyde property in setting good land use precedents for the city and in enforcing the intensification goals of the city. So it was discouraging to hear a senior city planner blithely ignore such arguments.

The next move is up to Dymon. As mentioned above, it can seek to continue with its plan by appealing the council decision to the provincial tribunal. The city’s senior planning lawyer said it is very difficult for a city to successfully defend rejection of a proposal if its own planning staff has endorsed it. If Dymon won at this level, it could proceed with its building.

“Giving back to the community”

Another option open to Dymon is to listen in good faith to the arguments presented in opposition, analyze them in conjunction with its corporate culture and community mindedness, and decide if it was in the best interests of the city of Ottawa to proceed.

In this regard, it is instructive to read Dymon’s website, which has a section devoted to “Charity and Community.” It begins “Dymon gives back,” and outlines the large number of charities, not for profits and fundraising events it supports in the Ottawa area. It also matches employee donations on a 1:1 basis and pays for registration fees or minimum personal donations required for employees to participate in fund-raising events.

Further, it outlines a longer-term goal of creating a Dymon Foundation, a “major corporate philanthropy goal” to “contribute 50 per cent of Dymon’s value creation over time back the community.” This could be done by a variety of means including building low-rent housing, it says.” This goal of pouring resources back into our community is what drives everything Dymon does as a company,” it says.

Given those laudable goals, one would think that Dymon should be open to arguments that a practical way it can “give back” to the community is by finding a less critical site for its warehouse and selling this land to a buyer who is committed to more constructive development there.

Posted in Development Issues | 2 Comments

Vote on Dymon Storage to take place Wednesday January 29

Many residents have never attended a meeting of Ottawa Council, despite the major impact the city of Ottawa has on our lives. It is an activity that should be on anyone’s bucket list, and the Council meeting this coming Wednesday Jan. 29 provides an excellent reason to watch your Council in action.

Strong concerns and opposition

This is because the Council will decide on the immediate fate of the Dymon proposal for a storage warehouse at the corner of Clyde and Baseline. Our ward councillor, Keith Egli, has expressed concerns about the project, and your community association, and two neighbouring community associations, have all expressed their strong opposition.

The proposal was barely approved, by one vote, at the Planning Committee. We hope that city council has a different opinion and will vote against a storage space on an arterial main street.

No public participation

There is no public participation at Council meetings – that occurs at the Committee level – but a visible presence at the Council meeting will show to councillors the firm resolve of the community.

Difficult to predict

The meeting begins at 10 am, Wed Jan. 29, at the Council Chamber at City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave. W. Unfortunately, it is difficult to predict the time this issue will be dealt with because the Mayor will first be presenting his 2020 “State of the City Address”, and there may also first be discussion over the city’s climate change master plan.

It seems likely – but not guaranteed – that the Dymon application will not be addressed before 11 a.m., but it could also be much later, especially if the meeting breaks for lunch before.

Loud orange and red shirt

Despite these caveats, residents who have a flexible schedule Wednesday are invited to attend the meeting, arriving a few minutes before 11:00, say, and watch our local democracy in action. Residents will try to sit together, although that may not be possible if the audience is large.

Doug Yonson will be at the meeting from its beginning, and will be wearing a loud orange and red shirt so that you can identify him. E-mail Doug at yonny@alumni.uwaterloo.ca if you have any questions. If you wish to carpool, please contact Jayne Belanger at jayne.belanger1957@gmail.com

Posted in Development Issues | Leave a comment

2020 Fisher Heights Skating Rink Opening Times

Last Thursday, Kaitlyn was shovelling snow from the rink.

The maintenance crew of our rink has been working hard to prepare the skating rink behind the Fisher Heights Community Centre at 31 Sutton Place. You can find the opening times below in the schedule for 2020. There is limited parking space, so try to leave the car at home.

Posted in Community | Leave a comment

FHACA disagrees with city planners on Dymon storage on Clyde

As you may have heard in the news, community associations such as FHACA have been trying to stop the construction of a storage facility on Clyde Ave near Baseline.

Housing instead

We strongly believe that the so called Merivale Triangle should be developed for housing. It is a large piece of land on an arterial main street, which could potentially house thousands of people if developed properly. With the future bus rapid transit corridor on Baseline planned, dense housing near rapid transit would be very much welcomed by us, as it brings much needed housing for residents, increases the tax base and may diminish the demand for personal motorised vehicles as the BRT connects with Line 2 of our LRT system at Mooney’s Bay station. A storage facility on rapid transport corridor is not a very efficient use of the scarce space in our ward.

What is next: Vote at City council

Planning committee however voted in favour for the building. The next step is a vote at city council in January. We hope we can still garner some support to stop this building from being build.

More on the storage wars on the CBC website: Dymon on Clyde and an earlier article on this issue on our website can be found here.

Posted in Development Issues | 1 Comment

Rental Accommodations Study – Mise à jour concernant l’Étude sur les logements locatifs

La version française suit

Please be advised that the third consultation for the Rental Accommodations Study is now active.

English: https://engage.ottawa.ca/rental-accommodations-study

These surveys will close on October 18.

If you have questions about the Rental Accommodations Study, please contact me at the information provided below.

Veuillez noter que la troisième consultation pour l’étude sur les logements locatifs est maintenant disponible en ligne.

Français: https://participons.ottawa.ca/etude-sur-les-logements-locatifs

Ce sondage sera disponible jusqu’au 18 octobre.

Si vous avez des questions à propos de l’Étude sur les logements locatifs, vous pouvez communiquer avec moi, aux coordonnées ci-après.

SIncerely, Cordialement,

Jerrod Riley
By-law Review Specialist | Spécialiste, Examen des règlements municipaux
Emergency and Protective Services / Services de protection et d’urgence
Tel / tél. : 613-580-2424, ext. / poste 13580

Posted in Development Issues | Leave a comment