December 2, 2022 newsletter from Rawlson King, City Councillor for Rideau-Rockcliffe.
A Message from Councillor King
Light Rail Inquiry Report
While I am still digesting and absorbing the final report from the Ottawa Light Rail Transit Commission, I agree with Justice Hourigan's assessment that the people of Ottawa deserve better. His judicial inquiry has made more than 100 recommendations which will all require careful consideration. I agree with Mayor Sutcliffe that City staff should be directed by Council to develop an action plan to implement key recommendations from the LRT Inquiry final report that will lead to consistent and reliable service. Council needs to ensure that there is increased monitoring and appropriate oversight by independent entities to guarantee to the public the safety and reliability of the system. We will also need to ensure that Council engages in rigorous review of the City's management and oversight of the system. This can only be achieved through transparent and regular reporting to Council related to system performance, testing, and modifications. All information and data must be relayed in a timely manner to Council so that we can enhance transparency and accountability. This information must include all contractual agreements and modifications. All such information must be subject to Council review.
The public interest must come first and I believe this report is a first step towards placing the public interest concerning light rail at the forefront. Our focus has to be towards the future and ensuring the mistakes of the past are not repeated. We hear the need to improve the City’s relationship with the consortium but also think it’s important that RTG meets its obligations and corrects the deficits the Commissioner has identified in his report and those identified in the other third party reviews. My next step is to undertake a deep analysis of the findings and recommendations in order to inform a future action plan.
Rideau Winter Trail
I’m pleased that this week Ottawa-Vanier MPP Lucille Collard announced that the Rideau Winter Trail is the recipient of a $54,900 Ontario Trillium Foundation grant. The grant will be used to acquire the capital equipment and tools needed to support and maintain the Trail. This investment will ensure that the trail is accessible and sustainable for many years to come.
The 12-kilometre trail connects Overbrook, Vanier and Hurdman Bridge between Donald Street and Bank Street and provides free access to winter activities such as snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, fat biking and walking along the Rideau River. Incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in 2020, the entire length of the trail is entirely managed by a dedicated group of community volunteers. I have been pleased to serve on the Rideau Winter Trail Board of Directors since the organization’s inception. The longer term goal is to extend the Trail to Mooney’s Bay, but this will depend on community support and continued funding. You can learn more about the Rideau Winter Trail and provide a donation at: linktr.ee/RideauWinterTrail
Councillor King in the Community
Christmas Cheer Breakfast
I joined my colleagues, Councillors George Darouze, Wilson Lo, Tim Tierney, Theresa Kavanagh, Catherine Kitts and Laura Dudas, on Dec. 2 for the annual Christmas Cheer Breakfast at the Shaw Centre to support 20 Ottawa charities.
I had an amazing time supporting Partage Vanier at the Snowflake Breakfast on Dec. 2, and am happy that many breakfast boxes were purchased at the 17th annual Vanier Community Services Centre’s event to support the Partage Vanier food bank. Many of the boxes will be distributed throughout the community, including 150 boxes to seniors in Ottawa Community Housing residences.
World Multicultural Festival
I was pleased to join Mayor Mark Sutcliffe along with MP Yasir Naqvi, MP Marie-France Lalonde, Councillor Catherine Kitts, Councillor Laura Dudas and MPP Joel Harden on Nov. 27 to celebrate the start of the 2022 World Multicultural Festival at Lansdowne Park.
FIFA World Cup Viewing Party
Councillor Stéphanie Plante and I joined His Excellency Vice Skacic, the Croatian Ambassador to Canada, for a FIFA World Cup viewing party to watch the Canada vs. Croatia game at the Rideau Sports Centre on Nov. 27.
Rideau-Rockcliffe News, Events and Engagement Opportunities
My office has been advised that the City's park maintenance staff is closing access points to the Rockcliffe Pond for the winter, in particular, the stairs to the water access points. Signage and fencing are being installed to alert the public to the seasonal closures and to stay off the ice due to unsafe conditions. The following link provides important ice safety information: Ice Safety - Ottawa Police Service
Noise Exemption Application - 525 Coventry Road
The City of Ottawa has received a request for a noise exemption permit from Aecon Utilities for construction-related work related to an existing gas service near 525 Coventry Road, which is a non-residential area. The application is for Dec. 5 to 16 from 10 pm to 7 am. The company estimates it will only require seven of these nights. No Sunday work is anticipated. Advanced notification to affected businesses and residents would be required.
Noise Exemption Application - 78 Beechwood Avenue
The City of Ottawa has received a request for an extension to a noise exemption permit originally granted to Aecon Utilities for Nov. 11 and 12 related to the installation of commercial building gas in front of 78 Beechwood Avenue. The City has received a request to extend the noise exemption permit for two additional nights to allow the contractor to complete the work. The request is for Dec. 6, from 10 pm to 7 am, and Dec. 3, from 10 pm to 9 am. Prior to the work, the company would again notify impacted area residents, businesses and the Vanier BIA.
In the New Year, I will be hosting in-person monthly Rideau-Rockcliffe Roundtables in Ward 13 neighbourhoods during which local residents can discuss City-related matters with me and my staff. To kick these off, I am hosting a ward-wide meet-and-greet at the Rideau-Rockcliffe Entrepreneurship Hub, 815 St. Laurent Boulevard, in the Incubator13 Room 124 on Dec. 15 from 12 to 3 pm. Advance registration is appreciated. Please sign up here.
400 Coventry Road Development Application - Public Consultation Dec. 20
The City has received an application for:
- an Official Plan Amendment (to the Secondary Plan, concerning permitted height for one of the towers)
- zoning by-law amendment (to permit appropriate density and lot coverage for transit-oriented development)
- proposed redevelopment of 400 Coventry Road (the southwest corner with Belfast, backing onto Highway 417), which currently has a one-storey industrial building and attached three-storey office building, with extensive surface parking and materials storage areas.
A virtual public consultation meeting about this proposal is scheduled for Dec. 20 at 6:30 pm on Zoom. Click here to register. The development applications can be reviewed on the City’s DevApps website.
- Speakers Program with Andrew Cohen: Dec. 7, 8 pm, at the Community Hall, 380 Springfield Road
- Rockcliffe Park Rebel Readers - New Monthly kids’ book club for ages 9 to 12. First meeting is Dec. 8, 4 to 5 pm featuring The Kickabog by J.K. Rowling. Bring your book suggestions.
- Children’s Holiday Party: Dec. 11, 2 to 4 pm, at the Community Hall, 380 Springfield Road. Featuring sleigh rides, outdoor activities, holiday traditions, crafts and treats. No registration required. Free admission. Donations to the Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre food bank are appreciated. Details:
- Tree Lighting and Carol Sing: Dec. 14 at 6 pm, behind the Community Hall, 380 Springfield Road. The Elmwood Junior School Choir and the Salvation Army Ottawa Citadel Brass Band will perform. Hot chocolate will be served.
Holiday Night Market in Manor Park
For the first time in Manor Park, Manor Park Community Council and Beechwood Market are teaming up to bring you a festive evening of fun, local shopping, socializing, vendors and plenty more on Dec. 3 from 5 to 9 pm at 1805 Gaspe Ave. in Manor Park! Get your holiday shopping finished and breathe easy knowing you've supported small local businesses in your community this year. Details: manorpark.ca/community-events and beechwoodmarket.ca. RSVP on Facebook
- 20+ local vendors
- Handmade gifts
- Mulled wine and craft beer
- Local food and beverage
- Outdoor bonfires & s'mores kits
Lindenlea Community Association
The Lindenlea Community Association is hosting its annual sleigh ride and chili dinner on Dec. 4. The sleigh rides begin at 4:30 pm at Lindenlea Park. The chili dinner will be offered in two sittings. Outdoor tables will be set up. For details, please visit www.lindenlea.ca or email [email protected].
Santa is Coming to Overbrook
The Overbrook Community Centre, in collaboration with Ottawa Community Housing and the Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre, will offer a no-cost photo opportunity with Santa! Dec. 10, 11 am to 2 pm, at 33 Quill Street.
Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre
The Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre, at 815 St. Laurent Blvd., has a number of ongoing classes and activities, as well as a food bank.
- Seniors yoga, Tai-Chi, art therapy, cards and games and computer literacy workshops. Sign up by calling Charles at 613-745-0073, ext. 146.
- The Ottawa Good Food Box offers the opportunity to purchase non-customized boxes of fresh produce at set prices. There is a selection of 5 to 7 boxes to choose from, ranging in price from $10 to $25, with both conventional and organic options. Customers can purchase their boxes from the online store. Orders can be picked up at 815 St. Laurent Blvd., and home delivery is available for seniors and people with mobility challenges. www.OttawaGoodFoodBox.ca For assistance with placing an order, call 613-745-0073, ext. 122.
Rideau Sports Centre - Tennis Party
You are invited to the 2022 Rideau Sports Centre’s Tennis Party on Dec. 11 at 6:15 pm in the Tennis Dome. This year’s party will feature an Exhibition Match between two Elite players who are currently playing NCAA Division 1 tennis in the USA. These two incredible athletes will battle on the RSC Centre Court and will demonstrate exceptional skills gathered in their international careers. A reception will be held in the Bridge Restaurant (on site) after the exhibition with delicious appetizers and drinks. This is a fabulous opportunity for all tennis players to get to know each other and celebrate a fantastic year. Tickets are $25 per person and include the exhibition match, appetizers, and one drink. To purchase tickets, please call 613-749-6126 or stop by in person at 1 Donald Street. Details: rideausportscentre.com/events
Montreal Road Project Updates
Work is scheduled to wrap up along Montreal Road over the next two weeks (November 28 to December 9), with the following remaining tasks:
- North River Road – The speed humps along North River Road that were scheduled for construction this week have been postponed until spring 2023. Over the winter, the City will be reviewing the design standards for speed humps and any updates will be incorporated into the North River Road design with a spring 2023 construction. The “no exit” sign and other parking regulation signs will be installed this week.
- Lafontaine/Montreal Road intersection – Concrete work at the intersection has been completed. Asphalt cycle track work and demarcation tile installation will be completed over the next two weeks.
- Lafontaine to St. Laurent Boulevard – Crews are continuing installation of demarcation tiles over the next two weeks as well as driveway reinstatements. Some sections of concrete sidewalk are still curing and will be opened this week. Work at the Montreal Road/St. Laurent intersection will be completed this week.
- Side street and intersection work – The three intersections that remain closed (St-Anne, Olmstead North, Granville, Mona and de L’Église) will be finished and cleaned up by the first week of December.
Cycle track snow clearing will only occur along the completed section of the cycle track specifically from Vanier Parkway to Begin Street (eastbound) and Park Street (westbound). The section of cycle track east of Begin/Park Street to St. Laurent is incomplete and requires installation of the following key safety and operational features to be considered open:
- Green thermoplastic/MMA paint at all intersections and major driveways marking conflict zones between cyclists and motorists
- Regulator signage and pavement markings along the cycle track and at intersections
- Bike signal heads at intersections controlling the movement of cyclists
The above features will be implemented in spring 2023, allowing for the entire segment of cycle track between Vanier Parkway and St. Laurent to be open and winter maintained for years to come. Details: ottawa.ca/montrealroad
City of Ottawa News, Events, Meetings and Engagement Opportunities
Mayor's Christmas Celebration - POSTPONED
The Mayor’s 20th Annual Christmas Celebration, scheduled for Dec. 3, will be postponed to Saturday, Dec. 10, due to forecasted high winds. Environment Canada has issued a weather advisory for winds gusting up to 70 and 80 km/h.
OC Transpo/Loblaws Christmas Food Drive
The 38th annual OC Transpo/Loblaws Christmas Food Drive is taking place Dec. 3, from 10 am until 5 pm, at participating Loblaws, Real Canadian Superstore, Your Independent Grocer and No Frills stores across Ottawa. Look for the big OC Transpo bus parked. Online donations are welcome. For more info or to donate online visit: OC Transpo / Loblaw Christmas Food Drive 2022 - Ottawa Food Bank
Winter 2023 recreation and arts programs now online on new registration platform
The City’s Winter 2023 recreation and cultural programming and activities are now online in its new format as part of the transition to the new online registration platform. Registration is Dec. 5 at 9 pm for all aquatic activities and Dec. 7 at 9 pm for all other programs and activities. Check out the site ahead of the registration dates by visiting register.ottawa.ca. If you have an active membership (fitness, swimming, sport, etc.) or participate in the Ottawa Hand in Hand financial assistance program, your account has been automatically transferred. You can follow the online instructions to retrieve a new password. Everyone else is asked to create a new account. Enter your email address, create a password and provide the necessary information – such as name, address, contact number and family members.
The new platform allows you to easily browse our selections and sort by activity, age, time and location. By selecting the heart beside the activity and program, you can bookmark your favourite options by creating a wish list for easier retrieval on registration day. Remember, while the platform allows greater capacity for more people to complete transactions at the same time, spaces in popular programs – like swimming – will still be snapped up quickly. The new registration system will continue to evolve and improve. Your comments and ideas are welcomed as we continue our path forward to enhance your customer experience and keep you and your family active and engaged.
Join the City’s Committees and Boards
The City is recruiting residents with diverse backgrounds to provide their voices and unique perspectives on many of its committees and boards. These volunteer positions are opportunities for residents to make a difference in their community by providing their experiences, expertise, knowledge and professionalism.
Positions are available on the following committees and boards:
- Ottawa Board of Health
- Ottawa Police Services Board
- Ottawa Public Library Board *
- Committee of Adjustment
- Built Heritage Sub-Committee
- Property Standards and License Appeals Committee
- Shaw Centre – Board of Directors
- Mohr’s Landing / Quyon Port Authority
- Ottawa Community Lands Development Corporation Board of Directors
- Rideau Valley Conservation Authority *
- South Nation Conservation Authority *
- Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority *
- Accessibility Advisory Committee
- Para Transpo Eligibility Appeals Panel
The above list may change, because it is subject to the Term of Council Governance review, provincial direction, and/or Nominating Committee process. Who is eligible? You must be a resident of the City of Ottawa, at least 18 years of age or older, and not an employee of the City of Ottawa. Additional eligibility requirements may apply for specific committees and boards.
How to apply: Use the online form available at ottawa.ca/committees. Alternate application formats are available upon request.
*Applications for the Ottawa Public Library Board and Conservation Authorities must be submitted by Jan. 3, 2023 at 4:30 pm. Applications for all other committees and boards must be submitted by Jan. 23, 2023 at 4:30 pm.
In-person information session: Open house on Dec. 12 from 6 to 8 pm at Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Main Lobby.
Virtual information session: Question and answer session in Zoom on Dec. 19 at 6 pm. Registration is required.
For more information or to submit your application, visit the Join a committee or board page. You can also email [email protected] or call 613-580-2424, ext. 28136 for more information.
Ottawa Public Health News
Neighbourhood Health & Wellness Hubs
OPH Neighbourhood Health & Wellness Hubs are made for the community, in the community. Residents can access health, mental health, community and social services at certain Hub locations, including immunizations needed for school, COVID-19 vaccination, mental health support, dental screening, Parenting in Ottawa drop-ins, as well as employment and social services. Residents can also still visit a hub to speak with a Public Health Nurse about their health questions and concerns. To learn more about the hubs, consult OPH's Neighbourhood Health and Wellness Hub web page.
COVID-19 Booster Information
Vaccination is the most effective way you can protect yourself and your loved ones from the most serious effects of COVID-19. Read more about why and when you should get a booster dose: Ontario.ca/COVIDbooster
Emergency Services News
Ottawa Police Service
Festive RIDE Season Returns
This holiday season, the Ottawa Police Service is stepping up its RIDE (Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere) programs and reminding drivers to celebrate responsibly. Click here for details.
Ottawa Police seeing increase in brazen daylight vehicle thefts
The Ottawa Police Service is advising residents to be vigilant in light of an emerging trend of daylight-hour vehicle thefts. Police are seeing a surge in Ottawa where vehicles are being stolen from parking lots of grocery stores, recreation and sporting venues and shopping malls during daylight hours. Click here for more information.
Join the Ottawa Police Youth Advisory Committee
Are you under 24 and interested in sharing ideas and working with the police to build a safer Ottawa? If so, consider joining the Ottawa Police Youth Advisory Committee! Apply by Dec. 6, 2022!
City of Ottawa Committee and Council Updates
City Council News - Nov. 30, 2022
- Council appointed the City’s Chief Financial Officer, Wendy Stephanson, as its Interim City Manager, after Steve Kanellakos announced he would be stepping down as City Manager effective Monday, November 28.
- The 2022-2026 Governance Review report was tabled. The report recommends the Committee structure for the 2022-2026 Term of Council and includes amendments to various policies, by-laws and procedures. Council will consider and adopt the report at its next meeting, on Wednesday, December 7.
- City Council meets on Dec. 7 at 10 am.
- Ottawa Public Library Board meets on Dec. 13 at 5 pm.
- City Council meets on Dec. 14 at 10 am.
- Ottawa Police Services Board meets on Dec. 19 at 4 pm.
For a list of upcoming Committee and Council meetings and to access the meeting agendas, please click here. Watch or listen to meetings in progress or access the video or audio of past meetings on YouTube or on the City’s agendas and minutes web portal. Regular City Council meetings are also broadcast live on RogersTV Cable 22 and live streamed on the RogersTV website.
Rawlson King, City Councillor for Rideau-Rockcliffe