Committee approves zoning for University of Ottawa’s Advanced Medical Research Centre

A graphic with Ottawa City Hall is in the background. A vertical grey stripe and a horizontal yellow stripe are in the foreground with " Planning and Housing Committee update" in the centre.

The Planning and Housing Committee today approved a zoning amendment to facilitate development of a six-storey, state-of-the-art medical research facility on Smyth Road(link is external), near the Ottawa Hospital General Campus.

The University of Ottawa facility would be part of the larger Ottawa Health Science Complex, replacing part of an existing surface parking lot. The amendment would retain the current Major Institutional zoning and is only sought to provide relief from the requirement to have a three-metre landscaped area along the property line. Ring Road and its sidewalks cross that line, making it impossible to landscape, but tree planting and landscaping are proposed between Ring Road, the new parking lot and the proposed building.

The Committee also approved a zoning amendment to facilitate development of a six-storey mixed-use building southwest of Preston and Larch streets(link is external) in Little Italy. The new building would have 30 residential dwelling units and two ground-floor commercial units. The amendment would retain a Traditional Mainstreet zoning and is mainly needed to permit a height increase in line with the secondary plan for the area and some revised setbacks from lot lines. No vehicle parking is proposed due to the site’s proximity to Corso Italia O-Train Line 2 Station, and the building would have 30 bike spaces for residents.

The Committee also approved a zoning amendment to facilitate a development of townhomes on the north side of Maple Grove Road(link is external) in Stittsville. The development would have six townhouse blocks with approximately 38 units in total. The amendment would change the zoning from Development Reserve to Residential Third Density to allow a mix of residential buildings, including townhomes. The amendment also includes minimal reductions to setbacks and lot width, which would still allow space for tree planting, in line with the policies of the Official Plan.

The Committee approved updated O-Train Proximity Study Guidelines(link is external) to guide development adjacent to or integrated with the O-Train. This update reflects existing and planned transit infrastructure, and replaces the previous guidelines adopted in 2013, more than five years before revenue service started on the Confederation Line.

The City’s Official Plan encourages transit-oriented development near rapid transit and the updated guidelines will help achieve that objective in a way that protects rail transit infrastructure from impacts and conflicts. The guidelines are critical to ensuring developers understand the scope and process of completing a proximity study. In addition, the new guidelines include changes to simplify requirements, better explain the regulatory differences between the Confederation and Trillium lines, clarify proximity study levels and update information on technical requirements, timelines and fees.

If Council approves, the land-use permissions that the Committee recommended today will help put applicants in a position to build 68 new dwellings in Ottawa. To help address the housing challenge, Council committed to providing home builders enough opportunities to build 151,000 quality market homes by 2031. Visit for a graphic showing quarterly progress towards Ottawa’s housing pledge targets.

Recommendations from today’s meeting will rise to Council on Wednesday, May 29.

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