Thank you to the Central Park Community Association Board of Directors. I look forward to working with the newly-elected Board members.
Thank you also to all residents who work with my office on important community issues, and to our volunteers who play a large role in ensuring that everyone enjoys the benefits that Central Park has to offer.
River Ward Recipe Round Up: Christmas Cookies – Holiday Goodies
It is always wonderful to share great recipes, especially during the holidays. I am excited to present the first River Ward Recipe Round Up: Christmas Cookies – Holiday Goodies.
Please send me your favourite Christmas cookie or holiday goodie recipe by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 4, 2012. On Friday, December 7, 2012, I will announce two random winning recipes at my Annual Christmas Lights Tour for River Ward Seniors. The two winners will receive a special prize and will be recognized on my website and in an upcoming column. We will bake the two winning recipes at a senior’s event in December.
More details to come….
Baseline Road Transit Intensive Corridor – Second Open House
The Planning and Environmental Assessment Study process for the proposed Baseline Road Transit Intensive Corridor continues to move forward. The City’s Transportation Master Plan identifies Baseline Road as a future Transit Intensive Corridor between Richmond Road and Prince of Wales Drive and this study considers alternative options and designs for transit improvements and alignment of the transit corridor within this area. Implementation of the study’s recommendations will provide for all-day, dedicated, continuous and exclusive transit facilities for use by buses along the Baseline Road corridor.
The first Open House for this study took place on April 26, 2012, and provided information on the project need and justification, the existing socio-economic and natural environment within the study area and the identification of alternative corridor alignments.
I invite you to join me at a second Open House to learn about the details for each alignment option, the evaluation process for the alternative alignments and the design concept options for the placement of bus and bicycle lanes along the corridor.
Date: November 20, 2012
Time: 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.
Place: Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive Council Chambers
If you have any questions about this project, or if you would like to provide me with your feedback directly, please feel free to contact my office.
Baseline Road Sewer Replacement Project
Work to replace the sewers, along a section of Baseline Road, west of Merivale Road, began on October 9, 2012. The sewers are located under the eastbound lanes of Baseline Road and provide a sanitary outlet to various commercial and government buildings in the area.
Construction consisted of work to replace 160 metres of 225mm sanitary sewer along Baseline Road and did not include full right-of-way reconstruction or the replacement of any storm or watermain pipes. To lessen the impact on traffic, work took place overnight from 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. The pipe replacement is now complete and staff are working to finalize the paving of the roadway. Final steps include returning the lighting system to its pre-construction conditions and reinstatement of the landscaping on the boulevard. This work is expected to be complete by the end of November 2012.
Community Safety in Central Park
I continue to work closely with our community, City of Ottawa staff and the Ottawa Police to address the serious issue of graffiti vandalism on our streets. During the fall of 2012, City of Ottawa staff conducted proactive sweeps to look for graffiti in Central Park and to remove it promptly. I also requested and received increased by-law and police presence in an effort to deter vandals from committing this crime.
Make the Right Call
Thank you to residents who continue to make the right call in reporting graffiti and other suspicious activity in our neighbourhood. Please take note of the following numbers:
|911||Life-Threatening Emergency or Crime in Progress|
|613-236-1222 ext. 7300||Call centre: To report theft, property damage, missing person or stolen vehicle.|
|613-236-1222||Community Police Centres and all other enquiries|
|3-1-1 or ottawa.ca||To report graffiti on public property (parks, roads, street signs, utility boxes, newspaper boxes or Canada Post boxes) or private property (residential, businesses, industrial)|
￼Collaboration with Our Chief of Police
On October 17, 2012, I spent time in Central Park with the Chief of the Ottawa Police Service, Chief Charles Bordeleau. I also requested additional proactive enforcement of traffic concerns and other suspicious behaviour in the Central Park area.
Heron Road Bridge Rehabilitation
The Heron Road Bridge reopened on October 11, 2012 ahead of schedule and on budget. Rehabilitation of the Heron Road Bridge began in February 2011 and work on the North Bridge was completed in December 2011. Construction on the South Bridge started in March 2012 and was scheduled to be completed in November 2012. Work continues on the widening of Heron Road in both directions just east of the bridge.
The Heron Road Bridge Rehabilitation is a $15 million construction project which rehabilitated the bearings, expansion joints and pavement of the bridge, and also included waterproofing, barrier replacement, sidewalk widening and rebuilding of the bridge approaches.
Carlington Heights Pump Station Upgrade
The City of Ottawa will soon initiate the Environmental Assessment (EA) and Functional Design Study for an upgrade to the Carlington Heights Pump Station. These upgrades are needed to improve the reliability of the water supply to one-third of Ottawa’s central distribution system and to provide additional capacity for future urban growth.
The study will include the identification and evaluation of alternatives for the new infrastructure, the selection of a preferred alternative and the functional design of this alternative. You will have an opportunity to provide comments throughout the EA process. I will provide further information on the timeline for this study as it becomes available.
New SmartCentres Construction
In March 2012, construction began on the new 4-story, 100,000 square foot, mixed-use office and retail tower at the SmartCentre development on Clyde Avenue north of Baseline Road. The Laurentian Place tower will contain 85,000 square feet of office space, designed to Silver LEED standard and occupied primarily by Stantec Engineering Consulting. There will be approximately 13,500 square feet of retail space on the ground floor.
Construction of the Laurentian Place tower continues to progress on schedule, and the building’s grand opening is expected to take place in the spring of 2013.
Merivale Road Development
On November 23, 2011, the zoning application for the new development on the west side of Merivale Road was unanimously approved by City Council. This approval established a consistent Arterial Mainstreet designation in the development area, which runs between Central Park Drive South and the shopping plaza near Central Park Drive North.
The development is focused on the creation of a new focal point for the Central Park community. The site will incorporate a mix of uses, including residential units, retail and commercial space, along with open space, landscaping and pedestrian-cycling pathways. An internal road through the site is framed by seven buildings on either side of the street, ranging in height from 11 meters to 81 meters. The majority of parking for the site will be accommodated in underground parking facilities.
Before construction can begin, an application for Site Plan Control must be approved by the City’s Planning Department. City staff and the developer are currently working to finalize these details. I will provide you with updates as they become available.
Public Skating Winter Schedules
The winter schedule for the City of Ottawa’s public skating programs is underway. River Ward residents can enjoy recreational skating at the J. Alph Dulude Arena and Jim Durrell Recreation Complex. Each session lasts for 50 minutes.
J. Alph Dulude Arena
- Public Skating: Thursdays at 6:00 p.m., Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. and Sundays at 3:00 p.m.
- Family Skating: Saturdays at 1:00 p.m. and Sundays at 3:00 p.m.
Jim Durrell Recreation Complex
- Public Skating: Mondays at 4:30 p.m., Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 4:30 p.m.
- Family Skating: Mondays at 9:30 a.m. and Sundays at 3:30 p.m.
Additional programs such as Adult Skating, 50+ Skating and Pick-Up Hockey are also available at these locations. Please note that special schedules are in place during the holiday periods. Find a public skating schedule that works for you online at ottawa.ca, or by calling the Public Skating Automated Information Line at 613-580-2666.
Airport Parkway Pedestrian/Cycling Bridge and Sawmill Creek Pathway
Sawmill Creek Constructed Wetlands: An Urban Jewel
As a rookie City Councillor, one of the first projects I sunk my teeth into was the building of the Sawmill Creek Constructed Wetlands, which officially opened in September 2007. This innovative stormwater management facility is over 2 km long and serves a catchment area of 1,418 hectares. It is designed to collect and treat stormwater runoff from three main sources: Sawmill Creek, Cahill Creek and the Plante Drive storm sewer, before it flows into the Rideau River.
This area is home to 1000’s of aquatic and terrestrial plants, trees and shrubs and various fauna. It also houses an important component of the north-south pedestrian and cycling network.
As part of the initial wetlands construction, I worked closely with City staff to make certain that service roads in the area were accessible to pedestrians and cyclists. I also ensured that design work to create an accessible pathway was completed.
In September 2010, thanks to contributions from the Federal and Provincial governments, the final link to the pedestrian/cycling network surrounding the wetlands was officially opened. This safe and accessible pathway system now fully connects Hunt Club Road and Walkley Road.
This year, the Draft 2013 Budget proposes to further connect this network from Walkley Road to Brookfield Road. Thank you to Mayor Jim Watson and staff for their support in adding this important piece of infrastructure to our pedestrian and cycling network, which runs beside the Airport Parkway.
Airport Parkway: Busy and Important North-South Connection
The Airport Parkway is a vital north-south link in Canada’s Capital for residents and our visitors. To address safety concerns raised by drivers and cyclists, in 2007, I worked with traffic engineers to install streetlights between Brookfield Road and Hunt Club Road. A “micro-surfacing” upgrade was also applied to the surface of the Parkway to provide improved skid resistance.
My office also works closely with the Ottawa Police Service to address safety issues. As recently as October 17, 2012, Chief Charles Bordeleau and I conducted an on-site review of this area and noted the importance of proactive police enforcement. This is especially vital near the construction site of the pedestrian/cycling bridge.
Airport Parkway Pedestrian and Cycling Bridge: An Accessible & Safe Crossing
For many years, residents have highlighted the need for a safe connection from the Hunt Club community to the east side of the Airport Parkway. In 2009, I was pleased to deliver funding for the Environmental Assessment for this connection. One year later, in 2010, City Council approved funding for the design and construction of the new bridge. Construction began during the summer of 2011.
In November 2011, the City identified concerns about the quality of the concrete forming the main tower of the Airport Parkway Pedestrian/Cycling Bridge. Throughout the winter of 2011/2012, my office worked with City of Ottawa Infrastructure Services staff and Legal staff to oversee work undertaken by the contractor to determine the cause of the deficiencies on this important pedestrian connection. A thorough review indicated that the best solution to address the concrete deficiency was to tear down and rebuild the main tower of the bridge at the cost of the contractor.
Demolition of the main tower began on May 2, 2012 and was completed on May 23, 2012. During the demolition process, City staff closely monitored traffic in the construction zone and provided intensive “Zero Tolerance” enforcement along the Airport Parkway.
During this time, other activities have taken place on site, including the pouring of concrete in the west abutment, installation of lightweight fill in the west approach, and grading on the pathway and adjacent landscaping areas. During the summer of 2012, construction crews completed the railway underpass structure and the east and west bridge approaches, installed light poles and fixtures along the pathway approaches, began landscaping activities throughout the site and installed a chain link fence along the east pathway approach between the Sawmill Creek culvert crossing and the OC Transpo Transitway.
On September 27 and 28, 2012, the concrete for the lower portion of the main tower was successfully poured. Erection of falsework for the upper portion of the tower is currently underway. The west span deck was successfully poured on October 4, 2012 and the contractor is working on the forming for the west span parapet wall. The paving of the pathways at both ends of the project was completed on October 18, 2012 and construction of the door and glazing installation at the South Keys Station is underway. Next steps include constructing the main bridge deck that spans the Airport Parkway and all other miscellaneous construction activities. Final landscaping will be completed in 2013.
This fall and winter, there will be periods of time when traffic on the Airport Parkway will be heavily impacted when the contractor builds the formwork crossing the parkway and when the concrete for the bridge deck is poured. The timing of this work will be communicated by public service announcements and through social media. You can also visit my website at MariaMcRae.ca, sign-up for my e-newsletter, or follow me on Twitter @CouncillorMcRae for updates on this project.
I continue to closely monitor progress on this project to ensure that this connection is safe and is built to the highest quality standards. Thank you for your patience during construction.
Over the past year, I attended many events in our community, including neighbourhood BBQs, festivals and special celebrations. Thank you to those neighbours who extended a kind invitation to your events. I would also like to acknowledge and thank the many residents who took the time to attend events I hosted this year. I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to meet with you during these occasions.
Recycling and Waste Collection Changes
In early 2011, City Council approved changes to the City’s waste collection contract, resulting in savings of millions of dollars of taxpayer funds per year. The new contract will also help extend the life of our Trail Road landfill and will reduce the number of trucks on our streets.
The new solid waste collection schedule began during the week of Monday, October 29, 2012. Solid waste materials are now collected as follows:
- Recycling: Blue and black box materials, such as paper, cans, plastic, bottles, etc.: Weekly Pickup
- Green Bin: Organics, such as tables scraps, etc.: Weekly Pickup
- Residual Waste: Non-recyclables such as packaging, etc.: Bi-Weekly Pickup
City Council tabled its 2013 Budget on October 24, 2012. As a result of the changes to the waste collection contract, the solid waste user fee for a single family household will decrease to $82 per year in 2013.
In mid-September, you should have received your new Waste Collection Calendar in the mail. Your new calendar can also be accessed online at ottawa.ca. A new feature of the calendar allows you to sign-up for weekly telephone, e-mail or Twitter reminders regarding your upcoming collection day and identifying the materials being collected that week. You can set the method and timing of the notification to suit your needs. Sign up for this reminder online at ottawa.ca or by calling 3-1-1.
If you live in Central Park, your old solid waste collection day was Thursday. Your new solid waste collection day is Monday. You should have received a personalized letter in the mail confirming your new collection day.
Residents requiring collection of diapers and incontinence products during weeks without scheduled garbage collection can register for the City’s Special Considerations waste program. To register, please visit ottawa.ca or call 3-1-1 or 613-580-2400.
Stepping Up the Battle Against the Emerald Ash Borer
On Monday, September 24, 2012, Mayor Jim Watson joined me on a beautiful street in Riverside Park, on Southmore Drive East, to provide an update about the City’s fight to protect Ottawa’s tree canopy from the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). This invasive beetle has a devastating impact on Ash trees, which make up 25% of the City’s tree canopy. The sustainability of our urban and rural forest infrastructure relies heavily on the replacement of trees removed because of the borer and to that end, Forestry Services continues to inter-plant and replace Ash trees in infested locations.
New Trees – Sustaining Our Canopy
In the spring of 2012, 1,267 new trees of various species were planted along streets and in parks where a large percentage of Ash trees are present. This fall, using some of the additional $1 million of funding approved by Council on July 11, 2012, the City will plant an additional 2,700 trees, for a total of 3,967 new tree plantings in 2012. The planting program will minimize the impact on our forest cover and these new trees will have additional time to establish themselves prior to the removal of dying Ash trees.
If the City’s right-of-way near your property is selected for inter-planting, you will receive a written notification in advance of planting. The City will also install a small compostable sign on the lawn to mark the approximate location of the new tree.
Tree Injections – A New Tool for This Fight
Tree injections using TreeAzin have formed part of the City’s EAB strategy since its inception in 2008 and Forestry Services continues to evaluate and add Ash trees to the injection program every year. This summer, the City partnered with industry researchers to trial a new injection product.
Confidor, approved by Health Canada, is being used on a trial basis on a small number of trees in Ottawa. This trial program will allow researchers to assess the effectiveness of this insecticide and the injection system on Ash trees in Ontario. This product is used in EAB programs in the United States, and Ottawa is one of two municipalities in Canada to investigate its use as part of our EAB strategy.
Wood Handling and Disposal – The City Has a New Partner
This summer, through a Request for Proposal process, the City selected a qualified vendor to sort and process Ash wood materials into marketable products. The successful bidder, Ottawa Cedar Lumber, is a family owned and operated company in the forestry business that operates a sawmill facility in the east end of the City. Ash trees will be transported directly to the sawmill for processing into materials such as fuel pellets, etc. This will reduce the number of times that the City has to handle the wood material. In addition, by moving the wood directly to a processing site, we are minimizing the risk of spreading the EAB by shortening the time required for processing.
Tree Removal – Operations Resume
Ash tree removal operations resumed during the week of September 24, 2012. If you have an Ash tree scheduled for removal, you will receive a notification letter one week prior to work taking place. Work will generally take place between 7:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., weather permitting.
Winter Overnight Parking Regulations
The City of Ottawa’s winter overnight parking regulations are now in effect and will last until April 1, 2013. When a snowfall of 7 cm or more is forecast by Environment Canada, parking is prohibited on all Ottawa streets between 1:00 and 7:00 a.m. This includes any forecast for a range of snow that includes 7 cm, such as a snowfall forecast of 5 to 10 cm. Vehicles parked on the street when a restriction is in effect will be ticketed, even if it does not snow. Also keep an eye out for temporary “no parking, snow removal” signs on city streets, even when no snow is forecast.
You can sign up to receive e-mail or Twitter notifications of overnight parking restrictions at ottawa.ca. After signing up, you will receive an e-mail or Twitter alert via @ottawacity every time a winter overnight parking restriction goes into effect or is lifted. You can also find out if an overnight parking restriction is in effect by calling 3-1-1 or by tuning in to local media.
Upcoming River Ward Flu Clinics
Wednesday, December 5- 3:30 to 8:30 p.m.
St. Pius X Catholic High School (1481 Fisher Avenue)
Wednesday, December 12 – 3:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Jim Durrell Recreation Centre (1265 Walkley Road)
Snow Go and Snow Go Assist Programs
Snow and freezing rain during Ottawa’s winters can present us with challenges when it comes to keeping our private driveways and walkways clean and safe.
The Snow Go Program helps seniors and persons with disabilities find reliable and affordable snow removal services to clear snow from private driveways and walkways. Once matched up with snow removal help, residents are responsible for making payments directly to the individual or contractor. The Snow Go Assist Program provides financial assistance to eligible low-income seniors or persons with disabilities to assist with their snow removal costs. Approved participants may be reimbursed up to 50 per cent of the cost of snow clearing per event, to a seasonal maximum of $250.
For more information on either of these programs, please call my office at 613-580-2486.
Ottawa’s Light Rail Transit Project Receives Consortia Submissions
On September 10, 2012, the City of Ottawa received submissions from three industry teams to design, build, finance and maintain the Ottawa Light Rail Transit (OLRT) Project. Proposals were submitted by: Ottawa Transit Partners (led by Vinci Concessions), Rideau Transit Group (led by ACS Infrastructure Canada) and Rideau Transit Partners (led by Bouygues Travaux Publics).
Each of these teams was prequalified to submit proposals after an initial Request for Qualifications was completed in October 2011. Collectively, these firms have successfully built over $100 billion in light rail projects and 2,000 kilometres of tunnels in cities around the globe.
The City of Ottawa and Infrastructure Ontario will evaluate these submissions, and will recommend a Preferred Proponent along with their design, cost and schedule to City Council for approval by the end of 2012. Construction of the ORLT Project is anticipated to begin in early 2013 and the system is expected to enter full revenue service in the spring of 2018. For more information about the OLRT Project, please visit ottawalightrail.ca.
Winter Equipment Operators Begin Driver Training
To prepare for winter operations, the City of Ottawa began training drivers in the on-street operation of snow clearing equipment on September 24, 2012. Winter equipment driver training starts in the classroom with instruction on roadway safety, equipment orientation, operating principles and operation of attachments. Trainees then move to supervised closed-course practice at City facilities and parking lots. Training concludes with on-street practical experience; again with an instructor supervising at all times.
On-street training will run until early December 2012. This portion of the training takes place close to the City of Ottawa Public Works yards located near the communities of Orléans, rural Cumberland, Kanata, Stittsville, Bells Corners and Manotick. All winter operations equipment used for training will display driver training signs on the rear and both sides of the vehicle.
Final Endorsement of Lansdowne Redevelopment
On October 10, 2012, City Council approved the reports and legal agreements to finalize the partnership with the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG) and move forward with building the new Lansdowne. With Council’s approval of all of the final legal conditions and budget, the City can start the bulk of the construction work at Lansdowne.
The City also announced as part of the report that the contract to complete the construction works was awarded to Pomerleau Inc., an industry leader in the construction of commercial, residential and public buildings. Work to be carried out by Pomerleau Inc. includes building a new underground parking garage, renovating the stadium and building the new south side stands, installing site servicing and providing overall site management.
In May 2012, Council approved some preparation activities at Lansdowne, including soil remediation, demolishing the Coliseum Building and stabilizing and relocating the Horticulture Building. This work is on track to be complete by the end of 2012. Work at the Horticulture Building is on schedule to be finished in March 2013.
With current activities progressing well, the project remains on target to see the stadium complete from the 2014 CFL season and the remainder of the development work finished by the summer of 2015. For further information on this project, please visit ottawa.ca.
Safer Roads Ottawa Program
During the month of November, the Selective Traffic Enforcement Program will focus on drivers making unsafe lane changes and those failing to completely stop at sign-controlled intersections.
Unsafe lane changes caused 5,471 reportable collisions from 2007-2011, resulting in four deaths and 639 injuries. From 2007-2011, 3,405 collisions at stop sign-controlled intersections resulted in five deaths and 1,075 injuries.