LRT OPEN HOUSES
Watch for a open house events in June and November for updates on plans to extend light rail transit west past Moodie Drive towards Kanata and Stittsville. Kanata North Councillor Marianne Wilkinson shared the news in a newsletter update: “An evaluation of alternative corridors and selection of a preferred corridor and station locations will be discussed… on the technically preferred plan, which will go to Transportation Committee and Council for approval in March 2018. Construction of this section cannot occur until after the LRT reaches Moodie in 2023 and a funding source is obtained.”Continue reading →
(EDITOR’S NOTE: It was a year ago this week that I joined several community members at a Planning Committee meeting at Ottawa City Hall to oppose Richcraft’s proposal to move the Bradley-Craig barn to Munster. Unfortunately we were not successful, and now Richcraft has until January 2018 to complete the move. Since last January, I’ve heard from a lot of people with stories, memories and questions about the farm. Here’s an interesting story about the tiny house that’s on the west side of the barn. I’m sharing this letter anonymously at the request of the writer, out of respect for her family’s privacy. -GG.)
I love that you invited photographers to the Bradley–Craig property to take pictures of the barn and farmhouse. The pictures are beautiful. I hate the idea of the barn moving away, and of the little house likely being torn down (I can’t see them moving it). It is outrageous that developers get way with so much. Just so that they can build other bunch of cookie-cutter houses, no doubt.
Let’s take out the crystal ball and look ahead at what 2017 may have in store for Stittsville…
CANADIAN TIRE CENTRE
Earlier this year we should hear from the Ottawa Senators about what they have in mind for Canadian Tire Centre once the Sens leave for Lebreton Flats. Last year, team owner Eugene Melnykteased that the development would be an “entertainment-driven” transformation. Whatever it is, any change will have a major impact on Stittsville and Kanata for jobs, transportation and economic development. Continue reading →
(Above: Barn at the Bradley-Craig farm. Photo by Steve Garecke.)
There was bad news and there was good news for heritage buildings in Stittsville in 2016.
First, the bad. In January, I took part in a multi-hour marathon in front of Planning Committee at City Hall where residents and community groups tried to convince councillors to stop the demolition and relocation of theBradley-Craig barnto Munster. The debate was so long that councillors ordered in pizza, and one fell asleep. In the end, the committee and City Council voted to allow the barn’s owner, Richcraft, to dismantle the building piece-by-piece and move it to Saunders Farm. A new development, probably big box stores or a strip mall, will be built in its place. Continue reading →
(PHOTO: Bradley-Craig barn, March 2016. Photo by Barry Gray.)
Eldon Craig farmed at the Bradley-Craig farm on Hazeldean Road with his wife Norma for 58 years. He passed away at the Granite Ridge Care Community last week. Here’s an obituary that appeared in the Ottawa Citizen today.
“IN LESS THAN 24 HOURS IT WAS GONE,” wrote reporter Debbie Lawes in the Kanata Standard on Wednesday, June 8, 1988, a week after a wrecking crew tore down Hodgins House at the corner of Hazeldean Road and Terry Fox, to make way for a shopping plaza.
It was an unexpected and bitter end to a two-year effort by local residents to save the historic building, a stone mansion built in 1881 by William T. Hodgins, a Member of Parliament from 1891-1900 and one of the most influential landowners in the area in his day.
Here’s the story of the house, and how the community tried – and failed – to save it.
PETITION AGAINST GOULBOURN STREET NAME CHANGE City Council received a petition today from 43 residents on Goulbourn Street, asking the city to either keep the street name the same or re-name it “Old Goulbourn Way”. Continue reading →
The only heritage-designed building on Stittsville Main Street is up for sale.
The brick building that’s home to Hudson Insurance at 1510 Stittsville Main Street is listed for $1.4-million. It’s also home to Robin’s Nail Salon and Studio Esthetics.
“Iconic Heritage mixed use Building in the heart of Stittsville. This all brick building with wrap around porch features a mix of office, retail, and residential units. The extra deep 464 foot lot allows for the possibility to expand the building in the future. Plenty of on site parking,” according to the real estate listing. Continue reading →
EDITOR’S NOTE: Here’s part of a blog post from Rideau-Rockliffe Councillor Tobi Nussbaum about the Bradley-Craig barn, after council approved demolition/relocation to Munster. He was one of three councillors to vote against the plan.
I consider the outcome a disappointing loss for the built heritage of our growing City… By moving the barn, Richcraft is missing an opportunity to repurpose it into something exciting and valuable, from both a financial and community perspective…
There are fewer sites designated as heritage in the suburban and rural areas, which further increases the unique value these buildings can lend to redevelopments. A re-imagined and repurposed Bradley/Craig barn could have made this into a landmark destination. There are many examples – both within our own region and internationally – of creative adaptive re-uses of barns… Richcraft acknowledged it did not actively consider such ideas, something Council should have required before permission to dismantle and move the barn was granted…
In light of the homogeny of much of the new retail and commercial plazas sprouting from the very fields where farmers once toiled, the importance – and the opportunity – of protecting outstanding examples of our rural heritage becomes that much greater. Today, Ottawa irrevocably lost a piece of its history in time and place…
PHOTO: Construction equipment in front of the Bradley-Craig barn. Photo by Dan Pak.
The citizens of Ottawa spend considerable time and money defining the type of community we want to live in through things like the official plan, zoning by-laws, heritage designations and green space conservation strategies. Yet often developers spend just as much time and money to justify projects which contravene the City’s plan.
We often hear developers complain about how long it takes and how expensive it is to get anything done. But often this is because they are using expensive experts to prepare a rationale to be exempt from the controls set out by the City. Recently there have been several prime examples of this in the Stittsville area.
First is the Bradley-Craig barn. The City gave the farmstead (farmhouse and barn) heritage designation to protect it as prime example of the early agricultural history in the region. The developer who didn’t want it, asked to dismantle and move it. Although staff and the Built Heritage Sub-Committee voted against the request to move the barn, the Planning Committee and Council voted in favour of the developer.
Second is the clearing of 6279 Fernbank Road. The site is one of the last large nature area providing a home and refuge for wildlife. Through the “Protocol for Wildlife Protection during Construction” the City defines a number of best [ractices to minimize the impact on wildlife during construction. Regarding removal of trees and wetlands, it states that clearing should not take place in the winter (mid-October through March to protect overwintering wildlife). Yet contrary to the City’s own definition best practices they gave the developer a permit to remove trees this winter, starting February 1.
Third is the approval for the expansion of the landfill on Carp Road at the 417. Throughout the long approval process the City repeatedly prepared reports and passed motions listing environmental and community impacts. There were also concerns that more landfill capacity might impact long term waste reduction strategies. In this case the developer went above the authority of the City using the Provincial environmental assessment process. Since the province has little skin in the game it was easier for the developer to get approval and thus pressure the City to comply with rezoning and site plan approval.
So it seems that no matter what measures the City and the community put in place to direct development in a healthy way that leads to a city we want to live, work and play in, developers manage to get approval to develop a City that gives them the best bottom line.
ECOLE PAUL-DESMARAIS OPENS MONDAY: It’s been a busy week of preparation at Stittsville’s new French Catholic high school. Students toured the school this week (photo above) to find their new lockers and get ready for the first full school day on Monday. (The official opening will be on Thursday, February 4.) Continue reading →
I think the fight to retain the barn in place was worth the effort and forced serious consideration of agricultural heritage. To me one of the most important lessons learned was that we must work to persuade councillors and the general public that agricultural landscapes are worthy recipients of heritage designations – not just an individual building but a landscape that expresses the history of our rural roots.
A growing number of citizens and local organizations are voicing their concerns that the landmark Bradley-Craig Farmstead – a designated heritage property – should remain intact at its original location on Hazeldean Road. Continue reading →
EDITOR’S NOTE: I’m part of a group called Friends of the Bradley-Craig Farm. We’ve been meeting since November to try to save the landmark red barn on Hazeldean Road from demolition.
The group includes people from all over Ottawa, including a descendant of the Bradley family. We have sought advice from architects, planning professionals and heritage experts. We have support from a number of local organizations including the Stittsville Village Association, Heritage Ottawa and the Ottawa Farmers’ Market. Continue reading →
KANATA DOG PARK UPDATE
Last fall we reported on a proposed fenced dog park in Kanata at Insmill Park near Terry Fox Drive. Here’s an update from Kanata North Councillor Marianne Wilkinson: “Thank you to everyone who provided feedback about the proposed fenced dog area for Insmill Park. I will be meeting with City staff later this month to review your concerns and to consider alternative locations. The NCC has been approached about a dog park on their lands and I hope to have more information on that soon.”Continue reading →
Does suburban commercial development always have to be so bland? Why do builders tend to bulldoze everything and start from scratch? What if we applied a bit of vision and imagination to our commercial areas?
Richcraft has applied for a demolition permit so that they can dismantle the big red barn at the Bradley-Craig Farm on Hazeldean Road, and move it to Munster to be re-assembled at Saunders Farm. (The city’s Built Heritage Sub-Committee has already voted against the plan, and the Planning Committee is set to debate the issue on Tuesday, January 26.) Continue reading →