April 22 Newsletter 2022

April 22, 2022 newsletter from Rawlson King, City Councillor for Rideau-Rockcliffe.

There are several upcoming changes this spring that residents can make note of. As the warmer weather permits more construction activities to take place, the Montreal Road revitalization project will be resuming. This means that beginning on April 24, Montreal Road will be reduced to a single westbound lane from St. Laurent Boulevard to Vanier Parkway until approximately mid-September 2022. Additionally, Spring means schedule changes for OC Transpo. Details on schedule changes, LRT stage 2 construction, and the resumption of Rack & Roll are noted in this newsletter. 

Two planning issues might interest you include the secondary plan for Manor Park and the site plan application for 99 Beechwood. Although I voted against the secondary plan at Council on April 13, I do support the memorandum of understanding, enabling the creation of a community benefits agreement. My expanded comments on the secondary plan can be found in the first item in this newsletter. Further, the site plan for 99 Beechwood will go before Planning Committee in May. Delegated authority has been withdrawn in to hold a larger policy discussion surrounding efforts the City needs to make to ensure proposed developments on traditional main streets offer commercial space on the ground floor and facing the street. 

Secondary Plan for Manor Park 

In April, Council approved a new secondary plan to guide proposed development in Manor Park. The plan sets area-specific policies, land-use designations and maximum building heights for lands that will eventually house about 3,800 residential units along with commercial and park space. The applicant plans to redevelop about 13 hectares of property over several decades, which would add nearly 10,000 square metres of commercial space and more than 16,000 square metres of park space. I opposed the planning application since I shared the concerns of most community members, after extensive consultation, who noted it would dramatically alter Manor Park through its inappropriate scale and scope and impacts on transportation and existing green space. The secondary plan however will only take effect after the applicant signs a memorandum of understanding committing them to not displace any residents living in the 650 townhouses that exist on the site. Also, after strong advocacy by my office, the memorandum of understanding will also support the creation of a community benefits agreement. A community benefits agreement will allow residents and community organizations to work with the applicant to address a broad range of community needs over the lifetime of the redevelopment, which will provide safeguards to ensure that residents share in the development benefits. While I opposed the secondary plan at Council, I support the memorandum of understanding which will enable the creation of the community benefits agreement. A working group of residents has been created and has begun cursory work on an agreement framework.  You can read more comments concerning my opposition to the plan here: https://www.rideau-rockcliffe.ca/statement_on_manor_park_secondary_plan 

Site Plan Application for 99 Beechwood 

On May 12, a site plan application for 99 Beechwood is scheduled to be considered by the Planning Committee. While the applicant did compromise and introduce a “live/work” suites concept for the proposed development, I share community concern that the concept is not backed by detailed research concerning its potential to successfully animate the streetscape. It is my preference to have full-fledged commercial space on the entire ground floor facing the street. The current zoning however does not require ground floor commercial on this property.  The zoning by-law also does not have any tools for the city to compel the Applicant to build commercial space. Despite this challenge, I have maintained withdrawal of delegated authority on this site plan application and wanted this matter brought before the Committee because there is a need to have a larger policy discussion concerning what tools the City can employ to insist that proposed developments in a traditional main street setting offer commercial space on the ground floor and facing the street.  You can learn more about my perspective here: https://www.rideau-rockcliffe.ca/site_plan_application_for_99_beechwood 

Montreal Road closures to begin April 24 

Beginning on Sunday, April 24, Montreal Road will be reduced to a single westbound lane from St. Laurent Boulevard to Vanier Parkway until approximately mid-September 2022. These lane closures are needed to complete the Montreal Road revitalization project. 

Workers will continue to replace aging underground infrastructure, including watermain, sections of sanitary sewer, storm sewer and the roadway. Construction of surface features will also continue this year, including concrete sidewalks, cycle tracks and landscaping. 

Traffic detour 

Eastbound traffic, including cyclists, will be detoured to McArthur Avenue via North River Road and Vanier Parkway, connecting to St. Laurent Boulevard. Visit ottawa.ca for more information. 

Transit detour 

OC Transpo routes will be modified as illustrated in the graphic below. Some segments of Montreal Road will have two-way traffic predominantly for the use of buses. Visit OCTranspo.com for more information. 

Parking and local access 

On-street parking will be prohibited along Montreal Road between Vanier Parkway and St. Laurent Boulevard. Various side street closures will also be required. Access to and from existing driveways will be maintained along Montreal Road in the westbound direction only. Montreal Road between North River Road and Vanier Parkway will continue to operate as a two-way road, but with some parking restrictions as work progresses. 

Pedestrians  

Pedestrian crossings will be maintained around the work and signed detours will be in place. Pedestrian access to local businesses and private properties will also be maintained. Montreal Road businesses remain open during construction. 

Stay informed 

Project background 

The Montreal Road project budget is $64 million and includes the following improvements: 

  • Burial of 900 metres of overhead hydro lines 
  • Construction of two kilometres of new road, cycle tracks, curbs, sidewalks, watermain, storm and sanitary sewer 
  • Installation of Rogers and Bell utilities, streetlights, 11 signalized intersections and overlay of Vanier Parkway between Montreal Road and McArthur Avenue 
  • Implementation of the Vanier and Montreal Road Public Art Plan, as well as three public areas (Dupuis Street, Emond Street and Bradley Avenue) 
  • Improved transit accommodations, including bus shelter and benches 
  • Significant landscaping and streetscaping improvements, including more than 80 additional trees, approximately 1,800 shrubs, 6,000 square metres of paver stones and 11,000 square metres of concrete sidewalk 

OC Transpo spring schedules and Stage 2 construction changes start on April 24 

Starting Sunday, April 24, OC Transpo will leap into spring by implementing service adjustments for Stage 2 O-Train construction, service improvements to new areas and schedule changes. The Rack & Roll program will also be reinstated in full this spring with bike racks available on all buses. Customers are encouraged to visit octranspo.com and use the Travel Planner or call 613-560-5000 to see if their regular trips are affected by upcoming changes and construction this spring. 

Stage 2 O-Train construction 

  • The Transitway will permanently close between Pinecrest and Bayshore Stations for construction of the Stage 2 O-Train extension to Moodie Station. Bayshore and Pinecrest Stations will remain open with adjustments to some stops and platforms. 
  • Westbound, all bus routes will be detoured to travel along Highway 417 from Pinecrest Road to Bayshore Drive. Routes that currently serve Pinecrest and Bayshore Stations will continue to serve those stations.  
  • When the Highway 417 westbound off-ramp at Pinecrest re-opens on May 8, westbound Routes 63, 64, 66, 67, 406, 454 and westbound Connexion routes will serve Pinecrest Station. 
  • Eastbound, routes will be detoured to follow one of two patterns: 
    • Routes 61, 62, 303, and 660 will maintain direct connections to Bayshore and Pinecrest Stations, travelling on Highway 417 between Holly Acres Road and Greenbank Road.  
    • Routes 63, 64, 66, 67 and eastbound Connexion routes will bypass Pinecrest and Bayshore Stations and instead serve bus stops on Holly Acres Road and the eastbound Highway 417 on-ramp at Greenbank Road respectively.  
  • At Bayshore Station, the Transitway platforms and pedestrian overpass to the mall will be closed for construction. Access to the mall will be made at street level through the parking garage next to the station. Signage will be posted to help direct customers. 
  • To accommodate ongoing Stage 2 construction, Blair Station Bus Stop E will permanently close, and routes will be reassigned to serve nearby Stop D.   

Service adjustments 

  • Schedule adjustments will be made on many routes to match seasonal ridership, improve reliability, or better meet the travel needs of customers. Customers should check octranspo.com or call 613-560-5000 for route schedules. 
  • Some school trips will be adjusted to better align with current school travel needs. Details will be communicated directly to the school authorities and will also be made available on octranspo.com.  
  • Night Route N39 will be adjusted to serve Hurdman Station, improving connections with other late night and overnight routes. 

Seasonal Construction  

  • Routes 10 and 16: Customers should expect increased travel times due to reconstruction work on Albert Street, Queen Street, Slater Street and Bronson Avenue. 
  • Routes 15, 20, 615 and 616: Service will once again be detoured due to ongoing construction related to the Montréal Road Revitalization project. Detours will be slightly modified compared to the detours last year. 

Clean-up at Riverside Memorial Park 

On Saturday, April 30, join your neighbours for a spring cleanup at Riverside Memorial Park in Overbrook. The cleanup will take place from 9:00 am to 12:00pm with a rain date scheduled for May 1 at the same time. In addition to the park clean-up, burlap kits will be available for participants to help prepare trees against Lymantria dispar dispar (LDD) moths. 

The Gloucester Historical Society Presents “One Hundred Years of Overbrook Memories” 

On Sunday, May 1 join the Gloucester Historical Society at the Overbrook Community Centre to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Overbrook Police Village in 1922. The event will start at 2:00pm and will include a live presentation by Dave Scanlon, on his stepfather, Don McDiarmid, who was the Canadian Men’s Tennis Champion during the 1940s and who played out of the Rideau Tennis Club. This will be followed by a video interview of Gladys Wicker, on her memories of growing up in Overbrook in the 1930s and 1940s. 

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