May 29, 2020 newsletter from Rawlson King, City Councillor for Rideau-Rockcliffe.
Urban Boundary Update
On Wednesday, City Council voted on its growth management strategy, which unfortunately approved expansion of Ottawa’s urban boundary. I voted against expansion.
Greenfield development might be easier, but increasing urban sprawl is terrible for Ottawa’s ecological and financial health. Intensifying the lands within the urban boundary will require more infill development. I believe that the amount of undeveloped areas within our urban lands can accommodate the additional 195,000 homes Ottawa needs. If we grow through more infill, our Ward will see more construction, but I believe that if that occurs Rideau-Rockcliffe must have more infrastructure improvements, including additional sidewalks, cycling paths, watermain and sewer and recreation facilities that would be needed to accommodate more healthy, active and walkable neighbourhoods. I am also confident that a large proportion of projected growth can be accommodated in our Ward through both transit-oriented development and redevelopment of Ottawa Community Housing properties that are nearing end of life.
In case you missed it, a policy paper outlining my position is available at: https://www.rideau-rockcliffe.ca/urban_boundary
Overbrook and Vanier Virtual Town Hall
Join me, Councillor Fleury, MP Mona Fortier, MPP Lucille Collard, and Overbrook and Vanier Community Associations in a virtual town hall as we address COVID-19 issues, and local concerns. Register here to participate on June 1 at 7:30 pm.
City of Ottawa Re-Opening Update
As the City continues the gradual re-opening of businesses, services and public spaces, Ottawa Public Health would like to remind the public that the vast majority of the population remains susceptible to the COVID-19 virus.
Ottawa Public Health has developed an infographic to provide additional guidance to the public. This infographic illustrates the level of risk associated with various activities.
BEAT THE HEAT!
When both temperature and humidity are high, it can be hard for our bodies to keep cool and not overheat. Extreme heat events can cause heat-related illnesses and in some cases, even death. Environment and Climate Change Canada issues heat warnings based on a forecast of:
- Daytime temperature of 31ºC or higher and nighttime temperature not cooler than 20ºC for at least two days, or
- Humidex of 40 C for at least two days
Heat warnings mean extra precautions need to be taken by everyone. Some of the usual ways we cool off may not be available this summer because of measures put in place to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. It will be important to think ahead and plan for ways to stay cool and keep in touch with others who may not be able to stay cool, especially during a heat warning.
People at risk of getting sick from the heat include:
- older adults
- those who work or exercise outdoors
- those with pre-existing health conditions
- people experiencing homelessness
- people without access to air conditioning
Protect Yourself and Help Others during Hot Weather
- Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol and caffeine
- Avoid heavy outdoor activity
- Wear a hat, light and loose-fitting clothing, sunscreen and sunglasses when outside
- Cool off in an air-conditioned space when available
- Cool off in the shade or at a park or greenspace. See Ottawa.ca/parks for locations.
- Use a fan and mist your skin with water
- Take cool baths and showers as often as needed or soak hands and/or feet in cool water
- Breastfeed according to your child’s cues and drink plenty of water if you are breastfeeding. See our Parenting in Ottawa website for more info on keeping children safe during hot weather
- Keep your home cool by closing blinds and curtains on any windows facing the sun
- Open windows at night once the outdoor air is cooler than the indoor air; close windows in the morning before hotter air comes in
- Use fans at night to help exhaust warm indoor air and bring in cool outdoor air
- Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist if you are taking medications as some can make it harder to control body temperature.
- Stay connected with people in your community who have a difficult time coping with hot weather and those who live alone. Check on them regularly.
Hot weather concerns and face masks:
Wearing a mask is important to decrease transmission of COVID-19 in any indoor setting where it may be difficult to maintain at least two-metre distancing or the room or corridor is small. Wearing a mask may not be necessary outdoors (where higher temperatures may be more of a concern) if distances can be maintained.
Masks do become more uncomfortable in hot temperatures, but they will still work. The general public should plan outdoor outings for the coolest times of the day and take breaks in the shade or a cool environment if they are finding a face mask uncomfortable in the heat.
For people undertaking physical exertion in heat, a mask can make the effort more difficult. Decreasing intensity/volume of work, more frequent rests, and more cooling breaks may be necessary. Discuss your health needs with your employer.
CSST Construction Update
Construction activity is expected to resume at the intersection of Queen Victoria Street and River Lane on or about June 15 in support of the Combined Sewage Storage Tunnel (CSST) project, on which construction is currently underway in several locations across the city.
This is the final phase of construction at this location, and will involve the following: excavation around the underground chamber access; removal of the temporary underground sewer connection; construction of an interior chamber wall; installation of interior ladders and railings; installation of new curbs and sidewalks; final road asphalt and landscaping.
Work will take place on Queen Victoria Street, at River Lane, known as CSST Site 5C. Reinstatement and landscaping will include the adjacent properties affected by construction
The final phase of construction is expected to begin on or about June 15, 2020, and landscaping is expected to be complete by the end of August.
Throughout the duration of this work, Queen Victoria Street will be closed to vehicular traffic at River Lane. River Lane will be closed to vehicular traffic at Queen Victoria Street, and will be converted to two-way traffic from Union Street to Queen Victoria Street and from Keefer Street to Queen Victoria Street. Pedestrian and cyclist connectivity will be maintained during construction.
The Contractor is required to ensure residents’/owners’ access to their properties, though there may be brief delays in accessing your driveway due to certain construction activities.
Montreal Road – Montreal Road is reduced to one lane in each direction between Olmstead Street and Marier Avenue until the end of August for the Montreal Road revitalization project. The following intersections are closed:
- Marier Avenue at Montreal Road
- Olmstead Street at Montreal Road
Vanier Parkway – Vanier Parkway will be reduced to one lane in each direction between Presland Road and Donald Street from Friday, May 29 at 7 pm to Monday, June 1 at 6 am to replace a storm sewer and watermain. The sidewalk on the east side of Vanier Parkway between Presland Road and Donald Street will be closed. Pedestrians can use the sidewalk on the west side of Vanier Parkway.