Committee hears of progress on residential development approvals, housing pledge

The Planning and Housing Committee heard today that, in the first quarter of 2023 alone, the City granted permissions and approvals for almost 7,000 dwellings across Ottawa and issued almost 3,200 residential building permits. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) estimates there are now almost 15,000 dwellings under construction across Ottawa for the same period.

This information was included in a quarterly update on the number of housing units the City approves through development applications and the number of building permits it issues. A graphic showing this data is available at

Earlier this year, as part of a municipal housing pledge to the Province, Council committed to meeting Ottawa’s part of the housing challenge. The City is committed to providing home builders enough opportunities to build 151,000 quality market homes over the next ten years, provided such construction is supported by external housing-market factors. This translates to the need for about 15,100 building permits every year.

In line with these opportunities for home builders, the Committee also approved several Official Plan and zoning amendments today, allowing for significant new residential development in Ottawa’s central communities.

The Committee approved zoning for two high-rise apartment towers and a public park northwest of Carling and Parkdale avenues. A 16-storey tower and a 27-storey tower would add 410 dwellings to the Civic Hospital neighbourhood. A new public park would be located on the northern portion of the site, facing Parkdale Avenue. The City’s Official Plan envisions high-rise buildings up to 40 storeys at locations such as this, and the buildings were designed with a low-rise base and gradual changes in height and massing to ensure the development is at least 20 metres from the nearest residential property.

The Committee approved Official Plan and zoning amendments to facilitate a nine-story building with 118 rental units northeast of Rochester and Balsam streets. The amendments would increase permitted height from four to nine storeys, consistent with the goal of higher density near transit stations and in areas that contribute to 15-minute neighbourhoods.

Another zoning amendment for a nine-storey building promises 104 dwellings northwest of Richmond Road and Tweedsmuir Avenue in Westboro. The site would be rezoned from Residential Fourth Density to Traditional Mainstreet and permitted height would increase from 15 to 32 metres. The applicant plans to improve public areas on Tweedsmuir with new trees and planting beds.

The Committee approved a zoning amendment to facilitate a 64-unit, six-storey building in Vanier, northwest of McArthur Avenue and Belisle Street. The amendment would allow for exceptions from several zoning provisions, and the proposal would also involve a new sidewalk and tree plantings along Belisle Street.

Recommendations from today’s meeting will rise to Council on Wednesday, August 23.

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