October 29, 2021 newsletter from Rawlson King, City Councillor for Rideau-Rockcliffe.
This week there has been quite a bit of activity at the City. First, the City is working to develop a Municipal Poverty Reduction Strategy and a Food Security Policy. I have developed a position paper on poverty reduction that residents may be interested in reading. On Wednesday, Council approved the New Official Plan in addition to the new Central Library. With the approval of the New Official Plan, it can now make its way to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing for review. The approval of the new Central Library means that awarding the main construction contract can move ahead this fall. In line with the recently announced easing of Provincial regulations, the City lifted capacity limits for its drop-in recreation and cultural programs.
Many residents may be eager for updates on the Blasdell Avenue bridge which was removed by the NCC this past summer over health and safety concerns. NCC has now confirmed that the bridge is scheduled to be installed in spring 2022. Residents may also be interested in an upcoming webinar on November 16 on the topic of heat pumps. More info on the webinar and instructions on how to sign up can be found in this newsletter. Finally, the Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre has started its holiday program – Lending Hand. The program is intended to help families and single individuals over the holidays by allowing them to register for gift cards.
City to Develop a Municipal Poverty Reduction Strategy and a Food Security Policy
Councillor Rawlson King is pleased to announce that his advocacy efforts along with community efforts will lead to the ultimate adoption of a Municipal Poverty Reduction Strategy and a Food Security Policy at the City of Ottawa.
The Poverty Reduction Strategy and Food Security Policy will be part of the efforts surrounding the Community Safety and Well-Being Plan.
Official Plan Approved
Initiated in 2019 and having undergone extensive public consultation, the draft New Official Plan was tabled at the Joint Planning and Agricultural and Rural Affairs Committee on October 14th. After hearing from over 80 delegations and engaging in a detailed discussion, the Joint Committee recommended approval to City Council, I was pleased to introduce several motions to revise the draft new Official Plan: https://www.rideau-rockcliffe.ca/official_plan_amendments
Council voted to approve the New Official Plan on October 27th, 2021. I was happy to work with Councillor Kavanagh on a motion during the Council meeting to reassess how the tree canopy is calculated by City staff. The motion was eventually incorporated into a Direction to Staff.
The plan is now going to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing for review.
Now that the New Official Plan is moving towards implementation, staff efforts in education and awareness around the policies of the New Official Plan will continue.
There was an unprecedented level of engagement in the development of the plan. There will also be extensive engagement with residents throughout the Zoning By-Law project, where residents will be able to participate more in the neighbourhood level of zoning review. Stay tuned for upcoming education and awareness activities on the New Official Plan on the project website.
New Central Library Approved
In 2018 City Council approved a budget of $193 million for the facility. This included $104 million for the Ottawa Public Library portion, $71 million for the Library and Archives Canada Portion and $18 million for a City-run underground parking facility.
Through a competitive tender process, PCL Canada submitted the lowest bid to construct the facility. The bid price has resulted in higher construction costs for all partners, and the Committee approved funding authority of $28 million for the Ottawa Public Library portion, $36 million for the City portion and $10 million for the parking facility. Library and Archives Canada has secured the additional funds for their portion.
Council voted to approve the Ottawa Public Library on October 27th, 2021. With approvals, the Project Team will move ahead with awarding the main construction contract and preparing for the start of construction later this fall. Project updates will continue with all stakeholders.
City lifts capacity limits for its drop-in recreation and cultural programs
Starting yesterday, the City is increased capacity limits for its recreation and cultural drop-in activities to reflect the recently announced easing of Provincial regulations. This will give residents more opportunities to get out for a swim, skate, participate in a sporting activity, exercise in a cardio and weight room, and visit a museum or cultural centre.
Residents should note that capacity for most activities will return to pre-pandemic levels, subject to staff availability. The current reservation system will remain in place to provide clients with the opportunity to secure a spot at a preferred time and to make the check-in process faster and easier. Those without a reservation will be admitted when capacity limits allow and will be required to provide their contact tracing information during the onsite registration and screening.
While the capacity limits have been eased, other COVID-safety protocols remain in place for a safe and enjoyable environment:
- Proof of full vaccination and identification – paper or digital certification for adults 18 and over
- Proof of full vaccination and identification for youth aged 12 to 17, who are using fitness rooms or participating in drop-in activities
- Masks are still required at recreational facilities when not taking part in a physical activity
Full fire-code capacity levels will also be permitted for hall, pool and arena rentals, with the exception of events with dancing which remain at 25 per cent capacity.
The City is pleased to welcome all residents back as we approach late fall and winter activities. Now, you and your family can stay active for your physical and mental health.
Update: Blasdell Bridge
Many residents have contacted my office with their concerns surrounding the removal of a small pedestrian bridge at the end of Blasdell Avenue. While the jurisdiction of this land is with the NCC, my office has continued to seek updates to keep residents informed.
This week, NCC confirmed that the bridge is scheduled to be installed in spring 2022. Although I know that many residents, myself included, were hoping to have the bridge installed before the winter, delays in deliveries and shortages of material have caused the installation timeline to be pushed back.
Despite this small setback, NCC is committed to installing a new bridge at the end of Blasdell Avenue and they have stated that they will update the community as the project progresses. NCC is currently in the planning phase for the project and they continue to be cognizant of the community’s use of the area as an access point.
Webinar on Heat Pumps
Tuesday, November 16
6 pm to 8pm
What is a heat pump and why are they important? Join SMARTNet Alliance and the City of Ottawa as we commemorate the launch of the Better Homes Ottawa website and delve deep into a renewable technology that everyone is talking about: heat pumps. Find out what you need to consider before installing one and how when combined with air conditioning they can be a wiser choice than natural gas furnaces.
RRCRC Presents Lending Hand
The Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre presents its holiday program - Lending Hand where families and single individuals in the ward can register for gift cards to help them over the Holidays. Please note, the Centre is already accepting calls for registration, and it is first come, first served.
Montreal Road Revitalization
Please find below a two-week update (Monday, October 25 to Friday, November 5) for the Montreal Road Revitalization project. The work activities planned for the next two weeks will include:
- Vanier Parkway/Montreal Road intersection – Construction of concrete curb in the southwest quadrant of the intersection has been delayed and is now scheduled for early next week weather permitting. Once the curb is constructed and reinstatement behind the curb is complete, the east-west crosswalk will be reopened. One more short-term closure of the crosswalk will be required when crews pour concrete sidewalk in the quadrant scheduled for mid November.
- North River Road to Vanier Parkway – The sidewalk on both the north and south side of Montreal Road is complete, except for sections near hydro poles and at the North River Road/Montreal Road intersection. Installation of new streetlight poles on the south side of Montreal Road is now complete with pedestrian lights to follow. After the streetlights and pedestrian lights are connected and energized, removal of the existing hydro poles will start late this fall. The North River Road/Montreal Road intersection will be completed next year.
- Vanier Parkway to Marier Avenue – The north side concrete curb, base asphalt, sidewalk, and the asphalt cycle track are complete for this section. The curb, sidewalk, cycle track and tree cell installation on the south side is now complete. Paving of the second lift of asphalt between Vanier Parkway and Olmstead South is complete. The paver stone work is completed at Emond with the exception of some areas around maintenance holes. Landscaping will follow next year. Temporary streetlight pole removal has started and will continue over the next several weeks as new streetlights are energized.
- Marier Avenue to Lafontaine Avenue – The sidewalk is now complete on the north side of Montreal Road from Marier Avenue to Bradley Avenue. Concrete crews work has been delayed and will resume later this week on the south side, including the section between Altha to Marier. Paver stone work is completed at Bradley Avenue with the exception of a small area at the north end. Remaining concrete pattern and landscaping at the Bradley plaza will be completed next year.
- Lafontaine Avenue to de l’Église Street – The north side of Montreal Road between Lafontaine Avenue and Cantin Street has been paved. The south side of Montreal Road from Ducharme Boulevard to de L’Eglise Street has been paved. Concrete sidewalk on the north side from Granville to Cantin is scheduled to start next week. Road construction, including base lift paving between Cantin and to de L’Église, is scheduled to start late this week and continue to the end of next week. Water service connections to buildings between Cantin and de L’Église are scheduled for next week (notifications have been sent out).
- De l’Église Street to St. Laurent Boulevard – Outstanding work for this section includes catch basin connections (to be completed in the next two weeks) and temporary road paving for winter conditions.
- Continued traffic impacts and road closures – Montreal Road is reduced to one westbound lane from Vanier Parkway to St. Laurent Boulevard. All streets are closed between Vanier Parkway and St. Laurent Boulevard, except for Olmstead Street, Marier Avenue, Granville Street/Lafontaine Avenue and Cantin Street. Over the winter months Montreal Road will be reopened to two lanes (one eastbound and one westbound lane) between Vanier Parkway and St Laurent with side street openings. Details will be provided in the coming weeks. Traffic calming flex posts installed along Lafontaine Avenue, Deschamps Boulevard and Montfort Street, which are part of the current vehicle and bus detour route, will be removed next month in preparation for the winter snow clearing.
- Month-long construction outlook – Underground work between Vanier Parkway and St. Laurent Boulevard is now complete with the exception of some minor electrical work. Interlock buffer and construction of concrete collars around tree cells will continue into November. The curbs, sidewalk, cycle track and road paving are now complete between Vanier Parkway and Marier. Over the next 4 weeks, concrete work will be wrapping up and the focus will be finishing as much sidewalk as possible. Gravel surface areas will be paved with temporary asphalt to allow for snow removal and pedestrian use during the winter. Work on North River Road over the next month will involve paving of the MUP currently on a gravel surface. Both Emond Street and Bradley Ave paver stone work is almost complete. Curb in the south west quadrant of the Vanier Parkway/Montreal Road intersection will be completed in the next two weeks, allowing for opening of the east-west crosswalk. Installation of pavers along the cycle track edges and other hard landscaping continues over the next month. Preparation for winter conditions will be starting in November.
- Hydro update – Hydro Ottawa removed their overhead power line between North River Road and Vanier Parkway on the weekend of July 17. Installation of new streetlight poles on the south side of Montreal Road is complete with pedestrian lights to follow. After the streetlights and pedestrian lights are connected and energized, removal of the existing hydro poles will start late this fall.