October 2019 newsletter from Rawlson King, City Councillor for Rideau-Rockcliffe.
Beechfest was a wonderful event, which allowed me to say hello to many neighbours before the start of the busy autumn season. Beechwood Avenue’s annual fall festival featured some of the best food in Ottawa, along with incredible children’s programming and a celebration of Vanier’s 50th anniversary. I was happy to serve 1,000 cobs of corn with my colleagues Rideau-Vanier Councillor Mathieu Fleury and Ottawa-Vanier MP Mona Fortier to festival goers. It was also fun to attend the New Edinburgh’s neighbourhood garage sale, where the Crichton Community Council collected donations towards improving neighbourhood programs.
I’ve also very happy to report that the tunnel boring machine arrived at LeBreton Flats in September, marking the completion of the “big dig” of the Combined Sewage Storage Tunnel, designed to reduce waste water overflow in the Ottawa River. The next steps will include the restoration of Stanley Park in New Edinburgh! We will be working hard over the next year to restore and beautify this crown jewel of a park!
CITY HALL UPDATES
As an important asset in our Ward, I believe it is vital that City identify and pursue new opportunities to increase the usage and viability of Ottawa Stadium on Coventry Road. That is why I was happy to support Deputy Mayor Laura Dudas’s successful motion in September, which called for staff to work with Council and all relevant stakeholders to find opportunities to increase public and community usage of the stadium beyond baseball, to attract a more diverse mix of sport and community use. I am also content that the motion works to protect taxpayers by ensuring that any new baseball ownership group has the capacity to cover prior arrears of the previous team owner.
With the successful launch of the Confederation Line, we now have an opportunity to explore making the stadium a destination beyond its 50-day baseball season. Additionally, the arrival of LRT also provides a unique, once-in-a-generation opportunity to locate affordable housing on the adjacent site, along with other mixed-use amenities, as the province has provided the tools to pursue inclusionary zoning around major transit stations. Consequently, I introduced a direction to City Staff to commence a community vision process and consultation starting next year focused on the use of the stadium and the potential land use of the approximately 19-acre site.
Other news that has been emerging out of City Hall concerning another Councillor has also be disconcerting. As a Councillor who has a staff comprised solely of women, I believe that many of allegations that we’ve read about concerning sexual misconduct has been deeply troubling, and, if found to be true, do not demonstrate behaviour befitting a City Councillor. While I would acknowledge that we have a process here at the City to deal with these allegations, my hope is that we will hear the outcomes of the Integrity Commissioner’s investigation very soon. Depending on the outcome, I would look to applying the highest levels of sanctions possible and would seek a thorough examination of whether the sanctions available are enough, given the severity of these claims.
I also was sorry to hear news about my fellow colleague Diane Deans’s cancer diagnosis. If you are able, please consider donating to Ovarian Cancer Canada. Ovarian cancer is one of the least funded of all cancers and 2,800 Canadian women will be newly diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year. You can donate here.
Bus Routes Changing
On Sunday, October 6, OC Transpo’s bus service will transform to align with O-Train Line 1. These are the biggest OC Transpo changes in Ottawa’s history. Check out octranspo.com/en and use the travel planner to see how your route will change. OC Transpo staff are available to help at key locations across the city.
Five things you should know:
- This is a #ReallyBigServiceChange, so use the travel planner.
- O-Train Line 1 will replace most buses through downtown, meaning many customers will connect at one of the three major transfer stations: Tunney’s Pasture, Hurdman and Blair.
- Most areas of the city will see changes to bus service, especially Kanata North, Bridlewood, Bells Corners, west Ottawa, downtown, Alta Vista and Orléans. Many routes will be adjusted to align with Line 1, and in many cases, route numbers and schedules will change.
- Service is changing to major destinations, including Gatineau, hospitals, universities and colleges. Visit Ottawa Destinations in the Plan Your Trip section to download a new printable guide.
- OC Transpo staff will be at stations across the city to help.
Additionally, OC Transpo is hosting a series of free familiarization tours for anyone who wants to know more about Line 1 or the new route changes. Just find the right tour and time for you and register online.
National Capital Region’s New Tree Canopy Study
The NCC, City of Ottawa and Ville de Gatineau have jointly released the very first region-wide mapping analysis of the tree canopy in collaboration with the University of Vermont Spatial Analysis Laboratory. Some highlights of their findings are
- Seventy-four percent (74 percent) of NCC lands are covered by tree canopy, a result that reflects the number of parks and protected areas under NCC’s management. Gatineau Park and the Greenbelt contribute over 35,000 hectares of tree canopy.
- Ottawa’s urban area has 31 percent of its land covered by tree canopy; this includes the inner urban area bounded by the Greenbelt, as well as the suburban areas beyond the Greenbelt.
- Gatineau’s urban area, which includes farms and green spaces, has 45 percent of its land covered by tree canopy.
Protecting the Urban Tree Canopy was part of my campaign platform, and I am excited to see the quality and extend of this research. Check out the full assessment here.
Rental Accommodations Study
The Rental Accommodations Study was approved by City Council as a component of the 2018 budget, prompted by concerns over property standards, availability of student housing, and a rise in short term rental accommodation, among other issues.
The third and final round of Consultations for the Rental Accommodations Study will begin on October 4. An online survey will be available between October 4 and October 18.
I encourage everyone interested to read the available reports and complete the survey, as these responses will inform staff recommendations to Council in November. The aim of this study is to create a regulatory framework that best serves the needs of residents and the local economy.
10-Year Housing and Homelessness Plan
The City of Ottawa released Our Ten Year Plan: A Home for Everyone 2014-2024 in 2014. The plan is being reviewed and updated, in consultation with Ottawa residents. This review allows cities to revise their plans so that they remain responsive to the changing needs of residents and the housing environment.
The Engage Ottawa site for the 10-Year Housing and Homelessness Plan review has been launched. I would invite everyone to take this opportunity to give feedback on housing initiatives you care about. You can register for the site to stay updated on the progress of the 10-Year Plan review, or complete a short survey.
Rowan and Avery Parkinson receive the Mayor’s City Builder Award
I had the pleasure of presenting the Mayor’s City Builder Award, alongside Mayor Jim Watson, to Rowan Parkinson and Avery Parkinson at City Council on September 25th, in recognition of their charitable contributions in Ottawa and beyond.
Sisters Rowan and Avery, aged 12 and 14 respectively, are Elmwood School students who are on a mission to make Ottawa a better place. Following their grandfather’s Parkinson’s disease diagnosis, Rowan, who is now in grade nine, committed to raising awareness and funds for research into the disease. Avery, now in grade six, was moved by the homelessness she witnessed in Ottawa. She began making hundreds of sandwiches for the residents of Shepherds of Good Hope and the Ottawa Mission.
Their idea to start a non-profit organization, called the MapleWishes Foundation, was born out of acts of empathy and generosity. MapleWishes’ motto is “Inspiring one another to leave positive and enduring footsteps in our wake.” Through their foundation, the girls fundraise, volunteer and motivate their peers to support eleven charitable causes in the Ottawa area.
Rowan and Avery have committed to raise $50,000 for the Parkinson Research Consortium at the Ottawa Hospital.
The Mayor’s City Builder Award is a civic honour created to recognize an individual, group or organization that, through outstanding volunteerism or exemplary action, has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to making our city a better place today and for the future.
Manor Park Public School
The proposed parking changes at Manor Park Public School are a complex issue, and I understand that the community, both local residents and school parents, are deeply invested in the outcome of this conversation. As of this newsletter, no application for site plan control for this project has been officially submitted to the City, but it is important to note that as the school board privately owns the property in question, the municipality’s influence in this circumstance is limited.
Although my role in this circumstance is limited to that of advocate and facilitator, our office is being as proactive as possible to bring all parties to the table in order to find an equitable solution. I believe it is possible to prioritize the protection of community greenspace while still safely supporting the students, staff, and parents at Manor Park. I have strongly recommended to the school board that they work with the community to find a creative, mutually satisfactory solution.
Helping Customers Lower Their Electricity Costs
Funded by the Government of Ontario, The AffordAbility Fund provides free energy-saving upgrades to residential customers to help them improve their home’s energy efficiency and reduce their electricity costs.
The program is intended to help customers who are not eligible for other low-income conservation programs, but are unable to make energy-efficient improvements without financial assistance.
Three levels of support are available. A calculator is available online at AffordAbilityFund.org for customers to determine the level of eligibility they may qualify for.
If you are interested, you can call 1-855-494-FUND (3863) or visit AffordAbilityFund.org to apply. If you are a customer of other Ontario utilities, such as Hydro One, you will also have access to the program through your local utility. Access to more information is available through the above phone number and website.
October Pop-Up Office
We will be holding our October Pop-up Office at the last Beechwood Market of the season! Come by on October 26th between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. and share your thoughts with the Ward 13 team. No appointment necessary.
JoAnne Fleming recently spoke at MacKay United Church after the Climate Strike held in Ottawa on September 27. JoAnne is a spokesperson for thoughtful, positive change. She has taught Environmental Concerns, Pollution Economics and Environmental Horticulture at community colleges. She established her own business as a Landscape Architect in Northern Ontario and is a passionate speaker about environmental issues to business and community groups. During her talk she shared 10 Ways to Be Greener, Healthier & Happier which include:
- Deepening your Nature Connection
Recognize everything is made from materials created by Nature and modified by humans.
- Rethinking Convenience
How often do you say, 'It is more convenient if l..' and think of the real long-term impact.
- Rethinking Cheap
Low quality creates more garbage and higher costs because you must replace more often.
- Remembering Less is More
Buy fewer but better-quality clothes, gadgets, technology, appliances and replace less often.
- Reducing Plastic
Carry your own reusable beverage bottles, cutlery, produce bags & shopping bags.
Check to determine the toxicity of cleaning and personal care products.
- Eat local & seasonal, with a focus on plants, and less red meat/dairy.
- Alternatives to Shopping
Make a list of fun activities you enjoy and choose them instead of shopping.
- Less Technology
Schedule time-out from tech. Only replace when devices no longer work, not when the next model is available.
- Being kind to one another as we're ALL on this planet together!
November 5, 6 p.m.
BudgetSpeak is happening once more! Hosted by the Urban Councillors, this is your chance to provide input to Ottawa’s budget by letting your Councillors know what is important to you, when they deliberate on the budget. Jean Pigott Place at City Hall (110 Laurier Ave West).
Overbrook Garage Sale
An event to raise funds for the Community Association. Residents are welcome to donate items to the Association which will be sold at the Community Centre’s Annual Sale. Check our social media for more updates!
Halloween Costume Swap
October 19, 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.
This Halloween, reduce your eco-footprint and don’t drain your wallet, join us to swap your old, gently used costumes! Drop off your clean, gently used Halloween Costumes starting September 3 – October 17 at the Manor Park Community Centre. All sizes accepted. All costumes accepted. Remaining or unclaimed items will be brought to Value Village. To obtain your entrance voucher, drop your clean, gently used costumes off at the Manor Park Community Centre at 100 Thornwood Road, Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 4:00pm. Presenting the voucher will allow you entrance to the swap on October 19, 2019 from 12:00 to 2:00pm.
Free Community Meals
October 9, 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., and October 24, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Enjoy delicious healthy meals for free at the Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre. 225 Donald Street.
Federal Election Candidates Debate
October 16, 7 p.m.
The Beacon Hill Community Association is hosting a debate in anticipation of the upcoming federal election. Colonel By Cafetorium, 2381 Oglivie Rd. Check out this link if you’d like to submit a question for the candidates.
Rockcliffe Park Public School Book Fair
The annual used Book Fair at Rockcliffe Park Public School returns. Browse through thousands of good quality used books from fiction to history, children’s, teen, graphic novels, vinyl, magazines and games.
Book Fair hours are:
Friday Nov. 1, 10am-9pm
Saturday Nov. 2, 10am-6pm
Sunday, Nov. 3, 11am-5pm
Visit https://rockcliffeparkbookfair.com for details and to learn how to volunteer.
Rockcliffe Park Speaker Series
Barry Padolsky Architect, Heritage and Urban Design Professional - The Chateau Laurier: The Sorry Saga So Far
October 9, 8 p.m.
Well-known Ottawa architect and heritage advocate Barry Padolsky will tell us about the many angles and players that make up the intensely divisive saga of the Larco addition to the iconic Chateau Laurier Hotel. What went wrong and why? What lies ahead? Can the system be changed to better protect Canada’s and Ottawa’s heritage?
Dr. Thierry Mesana, MD, PhD Head of the Ottawa Heart Institute - The Heart Institute in the Twenty-First Century
October 30, 8 p.m.
Dr. Mesana, President and CEO of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and Emeritus Professor at the University of Ottawa, will describe the unique model of the Heart Institute, the evolving landscape of cardiac diseases, and also address the pressures and challenges on cardiac care and research, and healthcare in general.
380-A Springfield Road
Beechwood Cemetery Tours
Every Wednesday night in October, 6:45 p.m.
Join Mel Adams and Beechwood Cemetery for a series of exclusive Torchlight Tours of the historical grounds of one of Ottawa’s most historic cemeteries. These first ever-dusk tours will lead you through centuries of our shared history. Beechwood National Memorial Building, 280 Beechwood Avenue.
Check out the website to see the tour topics and to register: https://landing.beechwoodottawa.ca/beechwood-rebel-torchlight-tour
The library is starting a weekly bilingual Storytime program at the Overbrook Community Centre!
Every Thursday afternoon from October 3, to November 14, 1:30 p.m.
Habitat for Humanity/Wateridge Affordable Housing Information Session
Affordable homeownership is within your reach when you partner with Habitat for Humanity Greater Ottawa! Habitat for Humanity Greater Ottawa is n ow accepting applications for their new 2020 development. Join them at one of their Homeownership Information Sessions on:
Thursday October 24th, 2019 (7:00 pm – 8:00 PM)
Richlieu-Vanier Community Centre, 300 Des Peres-Blancs Ave, Ottawa, ON K1L 7L5
Tuesday October 29th, 2019 from (7:00 pm – 8:00 PM)
East Gate Alliance Church, 550 Codd’s Road, Ottawa, ON, K1K 2G8
To attend one of these events, please visit https://habitatgo.ca/own-a-home/and click on the RSVP link to reserve your spot.
Rawlson King, City Councillor for Rideau-Rockcliffe