June 23, 2023 newsletter from Rawlson King, City Councillor for Rideau-Rockcliffe.
A Message from Councillor King
I was pleased to work with Councillor Laura Dudas and community groups, including For Our Kids/Parents for the Planet Ottawa Gatineau, to successfully advance amendments to the Use and Care of Roads By-law, approved by the City’s Transportation Committee this week that would provide residents and community groups more opportunities to undertake gardening projects and install free library boxes within the City’s right of way.
The right of way includes the travelled portion of a roadway as well as the sidewalk and boulevard area just beyond it. The current by-law is restrictive, to ensure the City retains control over considerations like grading, drainage, access to underground utilities and maintenance activities like plowing. The amended rules would retain that control but offer greater flexibility for residents so that they can legally exercise stewardship over the right of way.
Allowing residential gardening within the right of way contributes to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly community by promoting diverse vegetation and naturalization, which has positive environmental impacts and enhances climate resiliency.
The amended by-law would permit specified gardening activities within the right of way directly abutting a residential property, reflecting a trend away from grass and toward more naturalized areas. No permit would be required, but the amended by-law would prohibit use of hard landscaping materials, like stones and pavers, and prohibit consumable plants like herbs or vegetables, as well as noxious weeds or invasive species. The by-law would permit hand digging only, limit plant height to 0.75 metres, require sidewalks and roadways remain unobstructed, and set a minimum distance from infrastructure, boulevard trees and bus stops.
Implementing the non-permit option for residential gardening has few implications on staff resources. There is no need to process permits, resulting in time and cost savings for the city. This allows staff to allocate their resources more efficiently to other important task. The proposed amendments also align with municipal best practices observed elsewhere in Canada. Many municipalities that allow gardening projects within the right of way do not require a permit. By following these practices, the City of Ottawa can adopt an approach that is consistent with other jurisdictions.
In working with Councillor Laine Johnson, the Committee moved additional amendments to strengthen controls against planting invasive species when residents undertake gardening in the right of way. City staff also committed to work with both Ottawa Public Health and Ontario Public Health to review the safety implications of harvesting food in the right of way.
Free library boxes would also be permitted within a right of way that is both on a local road and directly abutting a residential property, to help promote literacy, increase a sense of community and diversify access to reading materials. No permit would be required, but residents would need to submit a signed letter of acknowledgement to the City before putting up a free library box, to ensure the guidelines and regulations are reviewed before installation. Permanent foundations would be prohibited, and libraries would need to be between 0.9 and 1.1 metres in height and kept in good repair.
The amendments would also allow retailers to sell merchandise on the sidewalk. This is similar to what was permitted on a temporary basis during the pandemic, to help mitigate limits on indoor capacity. Limited retail display and vending would be permitted within the right of way in commercially zoned areas in both the urban area and in serviced villages, provided a two-metre pedestrian clearway is maintained. No permit would be needed, but operators would have to submit a signed letter of acknowledgement to the City, and there would be limits on the size, duration and location of such activities.
I am pleased with the 20 months of collaborative work undertaken by my office, the community and other Members of Council to introduce this new policy direction. Overall, the proposed amendments to the Use and Care of Roads By-law offer benefits such as increased resident engagement, a streamlined process, and alignment with our goal for climate resiliency. The amendments are also designed to reduce the number of complaints to the City’s By-law and Enforcement Service concerning community gardening.
Your Councillor in the Community
Congratulations for 10 amazing years of Welcoming Ottawa Week. Happy to see College Councillor Laine Johnson during one of many events during this special week. To learn more, please click here.
I attended the Ottawa Sports & Social Club's incredible 20th anniversary celebration at the Rideau Sports Centre on June 17. The event included softball, beach and court volleyball, basketball, and dodgeball tournaments, as well as trivia, a barbecue and music. Congratulations on this milestone anniversary.
On June 17, my Rideau-Rockcliffe Ward 13 team and I participated in a block party on Bernard Street, hosted by Ottawa Community Housing. Many community partners were on hand to share information, resources and treats for the day, including Ottawa Public Library, Ottawa Public Health, Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre, Recovery Care and Respect RX. The barbecue was well attended and I enjoyed engaging with residents. Our Slow Down For Us signs were a popular draw.
I was proud to present a proclamation to community groups on behalf of Mayor Mark Sutcliffe at a Social Planning Council of Ottawa roundtable on June 16 focused on reimagining community development post COVID-19.
I was pleased to join Councillors Laura Dudas, Wilson Lo, Marty Carr and Stéphanie Plante during the Canada Multiculturalism Day celebration on Parliament Hill on June 17.
The Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre is providing some great programming for vulnerable and low income seniors in our ward. They have been gifted some tickets to the theater in July and August and are looking for donations to help pay for transportation to the event. Help a group of low-income Ottawa senior women enjoy two days at the theatre. Dozens of seniors are already registered; most have never been to the theatre as they can't afford tickets. They are really excited but cannot afford a monthly bus pass or bus tickets to travel to downtown. Bus rentals for the two trips total $1,000. Every donation over $25 will receive a tax receipt. You can send an auto-deposit e-transfer to the Classic Theatre Festival Seniors' Bus Fund at [email protected] or donate via the company's Save-a-Seat portal. You can also donate via www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/m/90292.
The following work is planned for the next 2 weeks:
- Montreal Road (Marier Avenue to St. Laurent Boulevard) – Maintenance hole iron adjustments are being completed along the corridor in preparation for final paving, tentatively scheduled for mid-July.
- Dupuis Street and Marier Avenue – The three-sided triangular sign at Le Carrée has been installed, power hookups are being coordinated. The flag pole installation and reinstatement of the bike repair station at Marier Avenue will be completed this week.
- McArthur Avenue/Vanier Parkway intersection and McArthur Avenue/St. Laurent Boulevard intersection – Paving and the majority of line painting has been completed.
- Greensway Avenue multi-use path – Grading and basecourse placement for the Greensway Avenue to Vanier Parkway pathway connection is ongoing.
- Landscaping at various locations – Installation of pavers and delineator tiles is occurring through out Montreal Road. Other work includes concrete repairs, asphalt key grinding at side streets and planter installations.
- Montreal Road / North River Road – Work on the north side of the intersection is being scheduled. Work includes the closure of the westerly entrance on Montreal Road for the Shell gas station and the relocation of the bus stop.
Why: The sidewalk is in need of renewal due to overall physical condition and substandard width.
When: Construction will start late June 2023 and be completed by the end of July 2023.
Where: Den Haag Drive from Carson’s Road to 200m east of Carson’s Road (north side and partial south side).
Who: The City of Ottawa has retained the contractor, D Squared Construction Ltd., to complete the work
The construction is within the City’s right of way. Residents and businesses can expect construction traffic and activity along Den Haag Drive. The road will remain open to traffic. Accesses from Den Haag Drive to the adjacent commercial and industrial property at 400 Den Haag Drive may be individually closed during construction, however, an alternate access will remain open. Pedestrian and cyclist access will be maintained along Den Haag Drive at all times during construction. Access to all existing bus stops in/near the work zone will be maintained at all times during construction. For more information, please click here.
Road Rehabilitation Works in Rideau-Rockcliffe - May to September
As part of the City of Ottawa’s annual infrastructure maintenance cycle, road resurfacing will occur in the following locations.
Please note that our office has requested that, if possible, water trucks conduct more frequent pass-throughs in road construction zones to help manage dust levels. Construction crews will also monitor work zones for increased dust. We thank everyone for your patience and understanding while this important work is completed. If there are concerns, please contact the appropriate City Project Manager.
- Clarke Avenue from St. Laurent Boulevard to Claude Street - May 25 to early July
- Donald Street from Vera Street to Alesther Street - May 25 to early September
Crichton Street from Dufferin Road to Beechwood Avenue and from Charles Street to Keefer Street - This work was expected to start the week of May 29 and completion is anticipated by summer 2023.
- Springfield Road from Beechwood Avenue (OR 44) to Maple Lane - Work was anticipated to begin the week of May 29. Completion is expected by summer 2023.
- McArthur Avenue from Lafontaine Avenue to St. Laurent Boulevard - July 10 to October
- And in nearby Ward 12:
The roads will remain open to traffic with lane closures expected. Traffic control personnel will direct traffic. The City has retained contractor R.W. Tomlinson to complete the work.
Sip and Shop Monthly Market in Manor Park - June 24
Chief Pinesi Day is held annually on July 1 in New Edinburgh to celebrate the Algonquin Anishinaabe history of the area. It is an opportunity for learning and reconciliation. Click here for the current full schedule of activities: Chief Pinesi Day – 1 July 2023 – Full Program. Signups for the Land Tours and Medicine Paddle activities will begin soon. Chief Pinesi Day is organized by the Kichi Sibi Trails group in partnership with the Crichton Community Council and the New Edinburgh Community Alliance.
Fireworks in New Edinburgh Park - July 1
Finish your July 1 celebrations in New Edinburgh Park with a neighbourhood-scale fireworks display close to home. (Alternatively you could head off to LeBreton Flats to celebrate with 50,000 of your closest friends.) Wear your red and white. Wave a flag. Bring a blanket, bug repellant and a beverage. Please view the show from the grass slope between the Fieldhouse and the playing field. The fireworks will be launched, starting at 9:30 pm from the gravel second base area of the infield. This event may be postponed or cancelled due to inclement weather. For details, please click here.
City of Ottawa News, Events, Meetings and Engagement Opportunities
Human Rights Internet’s Small Grants Competition
Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, regardless of race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, or any other status. We believe small grass-roots actions can lead to meaningful positive changes in communities. HRI’s Small Grants support initiatives of any kind that help promote or protect any human right. You may apply for a Small Grant at any time. The next review of applications is scheduled to take place on July 15, 2023. A link to the application form can be found at www.hri.ca. The maximum amount you may apply for is $2,500.
Who can apply?
- Individuals, community associations, schools, or not-for-profit organizations (no applications from commercial enterprises or political parties).
- Applications must be from Canada (funding is for initiatives in Canada only)
For more information on eligibility requirements and other application information, visit the organizations website.
They have awarded grants to over 50 non-profits, community associations, schools, and individuals over the past five years. You can see a sample of these on their website as well.
How to get the most out of your Canada Day in the City of Ottawa
National Canada Day celebrations
On July 1, enjoy the shows and activities taking place at LeBreton Flats Park in the heart of Ottawa-Gatineau. The Government of Canada has a full list of programing for Canada Day celebrations between 9 am and 10:30 pm at LeBreton Flats Park and activities elsewhere in Ottawa-Gatineau.
No-Charge transit service on Canada Day
OC Transpo is the best way to travel to Canada Day events across the city, with free service all day on O-Train Line 1, buses and Para Transpo. OC Transpo will have extra service running throughout the day and into the evening. Para Transpo service will run until 3 am, with last trips booked for 2 am.
Fireworks regulations and safety
The City reminds residents about the by-law regulations around Canada Day fireworks – including no discharging on public properties, age requirements and maintaining safe operating distances. Over the past few years, the City has received public complaints and emergency calls about fireworks, including discharging fireworks in parks and debris left behind, firework-related grass fires and displays posing danger to residents and property. So, before the fuse is lit, here are some things to know in advance:
- The sale of consumer fireworks is prohibited in Ottawa, except on Canada Day and the seven business days leading up to it.
Firecrackers prohibited in Ottawa and Ontario
- Under the provincial law and the City’s fireworks by-law, the sale and use of firecrackers are strictly prohibited.
Location and age requirement for discharging fireworks
- Fireworks displays must be directly supervised by an adult, 18 years and older, and must take place on private property – with permission from the property owner. Even on private properties, fireworks cannot be discharged if it poses danger to other individuals and properties. This will include any property nearby other homes, apartments, roadways, sidewalks and public spaces.
No discharging fireworks on City parks and sports fields
- Discharging fireworks is not allowed on City property – which includes all parks, sports fields and beaches.
School properties and sports fields are out of bounds too
- The four local school boards – Ottawa Catholic School Board, Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, Le Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est and Conseil des écoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario – do not allow discharging fireworks on all school premises, including all track and sports field areas.
Summer storms: Be aware, be prepared.
The lazy days of summer are finally approaching. But summer weather conditions, like heat and humidity, can create potential severe storms. As the weather can be unpredictable, it is always important to stay updated and prepared at home or on the road. Learn more by clicking here.
After School Registration
If you need part-time after school care, the City of Ottawa has got you covered! We are now offering daily registration options for our after-school activity club for the upcoming school year. The daily registration option is only offered at select recreation centres and is based on availability. For more information go to the After School page on the City's website. You can book these daily spots at register.ottawa.ca.
The Order of Ottawa and Brian Kilrea Award for Excellence in Coaching - Nomination Period Open
The City is now accepting nominations for the 2023 Order of Ottawa and the Brian Kilrea Award for Excellence in Coaching. You can complete nominations for both awards either online or by downloading a nomination form from Ottawa.ca/orderofottawa. The submission deadline is Friday, September 8 at 11:59 pm. Nominations will be considered every year for five consecutive years from the date of submission.
Activities at City Hall and Lansdowne
Lots of activities are happening this summer! Ottawa City Hall and Lansdowne Park will be jumping with many free community events! Check out our June activities. Don't see your favourites on the list? Stay tuned, more events to come in July and August! Click here for details.
Y Mind- Free Mental Health Program for Youth
The YMCA National Capital Region hosts Y Mind, a free 7-week program that offers support for those who are experiencing mild to moderate anxiety or stress. Participants learn evidence-based coping skills based on Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), mindfulness, self-compassion, and connect with peers who are experiencing similar thoughts and feelings. Cohorts are catered to either teens (13-17 years old) or youth (18-30 years old). Programs are offered online and in-person and there is no cost to participate. The next session for 18 to 30 year olds begins in July 2023. The next in-person session for the teen program begins in September 2023. More information can be found at: Mental Wellness Programs | YMCA of the National Capital Region
Lansdown 2.0 - Coffee chats every Wednesday
Join City of Ottawa staff for a virtual chat with the Director of Lansdowne 2.0. Ask questions and share your thoughts about this important project. Coffee chats take place every Wednesday from noon to 1 pm, starting June 14. Register here.
The City of Ottawa’s Trees and Forests Outreach and Engagement Strategy – Request for Input
The City is in the process of developing a dedicated Trees and Forests Outreach and Engagement Strategy, as directed by the Council-approved Urban Forest Management Plan (UFMP). We are requesting your input through a survey available on Engage Ottawa, which will be live for the month of June 2023. This is an opportunity to provide valuable information that will help shape this strategy and allow you to better support Forestry-related initiatives that matter the most to you and your community. The strategy will highlight new and existing outreach and engagement initiatives as well as the development of communication, education, and action plans to support these activities. The request for input survey is open to all Ottawa residents, community groups, community associations, private organizations, and private businesses. Visit https://engage.ottawa.ca/forestry-strategy to learn more about the UFMP, the recommendation guiding the City’s Trees and Forest Outreach and Engagement Strategy and access the request for input survey.
Cultural Funding Framework Review - Survey
The City of Ottawa wants to hear from you! Interested in arts, heritage and culture in Ottawa? Let us know how the City can better support culture. Visit Engage Ottawa for more information and to fill out the survey.
For meeting agendas, please visit ottawa.ca/agendas or call 3-1-1.
For information on how to participate in individual meetings, please consult the specific meeting’s agenda at ottawa.ca/agendas.
To watch the meetings on Youtube, please click here.
- Ottawa Police Services Board - June 26 at 4 pm
- Community Services Committee - June 27 at 12 pm
- City Council - June 28 at 10 am
- Transit Commission - June 29 at 9:30 am
For recent Council and Committee news, please click here.