Tag Archives: notebook

NOTEBOOK: We’re the guinea pigs for building better suburbs

The City of Ottawa sent out a press release earlier this week about progress on a long-term project called “Building Better and Smarter Suburbs”. (You can read the full press release below.)

Suburbs are changing, and the city’s policies, bylaws and planning/design guidelines need to be updated to adapt to the evolving environment. The Building Better and Smarter Suburbs project contains a series of strategies covering all sorts of issues. Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Owners want to axe Palladium Autopark capacity limit

Oh the irony.

A planning consultant says that a luxury auto dealership planned for Palladium Drive will be pedestrian friendly.

I’ll admit, a lot of the information contained in the Proposed Zoning By-Law Amendment Planning Rationale for 2499 Palladium Drive, 2500 Palladium Drive and 675 Autopark Private is over my head, but I know enough to read these documents with a certain degree of skepticism.

Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Congestion pricing, cell phone tower, patio season

CONGESTION PRICING BACK ON THE RADAR
Looks like the debate over “congestion pricing” might be coming to City Hall in the near future. That’s the idea of using financial incentives (or disincentives) to decrease car use and increase transit ridership, particularly from the suburbs of Ottawa into the downtown core.

The four downtown councillors – Chernushenko, Leiper, McKenney and Nussbaum – commissioned a study that was presented at a symposium last week.

The study looks at the potential effects of four pricing models: highway tolls, “cordon” charges (a toll to enter downtown), parking rate changes and a gas tax increase. The authors conclude that raising the cost of parking downtown would be the most cost-effective tool: “The report concludes that while a cordon charge to enter the Ottawa central area could be more effective at accomplishing the stated objectives, the implementation costs given today’s technology would make it impractical. Tolling the highways was evaluated to be less effective given the possibility of leakage onto parallel arterial roads and the inability to address north-south traffic. The study notes important jurisdictional and other challenges regarding the feasibility of raising the gas tax and concludes that focussing on parking charges would be more useful in addressing congestion and increasing transit ridership. Although high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes were not examined in detail, the report suggests their feasibility could increase in light of provincial highway expansion plans.

“Managing congestion using pricing tools is increasingly recognized by cities worldwide as a way to increase transit ridership, lower greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality and address commuting frustration” says Chernushenko. “Our goal in commissioning this research and analysis from CPCS is to contribute to an ongoing conversation about how to best to encourage sustainable transportation and support our significant investment in LRT. This is a very important discussion for Ottawa to have.”

There are no immediate plans to move forward on any recommendations in the study, but it’s a debate that Stittsville commuters will want to keep an eye on in the months to come.

You can read the report here…

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CELL TOWER PROPOSED FOR IBER
Via Councillor Qadri: “Shared Network Canada (SNC) is proposing a 50m tri-pole communication tower to be constructed at 145 Iber Rd. The tower will be used to offer space to multiple cellular carriers to enhance and support their networks. A small fenced area with a walk-in cabinet will be constructed at the base of the installation. A public meeting will be held at the Main Hall of the Goulbourn Recreational Complex (1500 Shea Rd) on Wednesday, April 12th to help answer resident questions and concerns regarding the project.” There’s more info about the meeting here…

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590 HAZELDEAN ROAD ZONING
On April 11, the City’s planning committee will be considering a zoning bylaw amendment for 590 Hazeldean Road.  Currently zoned as agricultural land, the proposed change would allow for a residential development with parks, a school and commercial areas.  The initial consultation for the zoning change happened way back in late 2013 / early 2014, but the item is only now coming in front of councillors.

The staff report prepared for the meeting describes the land as “vacant”, but that’s not really accurate. The word suggests empty, worthless land.  In this case it’s quite the opposite. Until a few years ago it was home to an active farm, and the Bradley-Craig heritage house and barn are still standing along Hazeldean Road.  (The barn is supposed to be relocated soon to Saunders Farm.)

You can read the background documents here…

SIGNS OF SPRING


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NOTEBOOK: LRT open houses, pedestrian safety upgrades, more

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


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NOTEBOOK: Development notes, O’Leary in Kanata, music in Stittsville

UPDATE ON HAZELDEAN CAR DEALERSHIP
There’s a revised site plan online for the proposed car dealership at 5835 Hazeldean Road. The property is currently a gravel lot for the Canadian Auto Mall, with a temporary sales trailer on site. Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: New restaurant on Stittsville Main, OC Transpo suburb service, more

Stittsville Main Street is getting a new restaurant this spring. Kevin Conway and his partner Allison Pearce plan to open a 30-seat restaurant called Jack Ketch at 1536 Stittsville Main Street. Most recently, the building was home to Brown Bear Daycare.

Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Business closures, Wiebe in India, Slide fee waived

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first.

END OF THE LINE FOR TWO LOCAL BUSINESSES
Blumenstudio, the florist/cafe that opened in August, has moved out of their space at the front of Capital Cabinetry on Stittsville Main. Owner Kat Kosk says it was a “business decision” to close. There weren’t enough customers at the store and she didn’t want to keep putting a strain on her existing Parkdale Avenue shop. Blumenstudio opened in August of 2016, and was supposed to share the space with a custom bike shop, but that never happened. Paul Idone, who owns Capital Cabinetry, says he plans to turn the space vacated by Blumenstudio into a showroom for his woodworking business, scheduled to open by the end of this month.

Cactus at blumenstudio
Cacti at blumenstudio

Fresco Bistro has shut down their Hazeldean Road restaurant. They first opened in Stittsville back in the fall of 2012. Their original Elgin Street location closes for good at 10pm tonight. “For us, [closing] was just about a stimulus for some change, and maybe get ourselves into a more profitable situation, in a different location, and under different circumstances,” owner Jim Bickford told CBC about their Elgin Street closure. “Rent’s gone up considerably, utilities are through the roof. I mean Hydro Ottawa is obscene at this time, I think, personally. But … those aren’t necessarily the determining factors in our decision, they’re just part of the decision.”

Fresco Bistro on Hazeldean Road in Stittsville
Fresco Bistro on Hazeldean Road in Stittsville

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OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO
After a pre-Christmas tour that that took her to three Canadian Army bases in Greece, Kuwait, and Ukraine, Stittsville Olympian Erica Wiebe is spending the month in Mumbia, India wrestling in the Indian Professional Wrestling League. She’s been posting some great photos from her travels to Instagram and Twitter.

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HELPING KIDS STRETCH THEIR ALLOWANCE DOLLARS
I don’t remember this as part of the city budget deliberations, but earlier this week Councillor Shad Qadri announced that the Goulbourn Rec Centre would be waiving (ha ha) the extra $1.25 fee to use the water slide.

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TWEET TWEET TWEET

…plus one pic from Instagram…

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(Got a story tip? Email us at feedback@stittsvillecentral.ca)


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NOTEBOOK: Stories we’re watching in 2017

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 Melnyk teased 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


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NOTEBOOK: A small step to better protect our forests from development

One of my biggest complaints about suburban development is how builders often take a “bulldoze and build” approach, stripping away long-standing forests and natural areas. While there are some restrictions to prevent this, there aren’t always enough measures in the City’s policy toolkit to provide the necessary protection.

So I was really encouraged this week to see City Council unanimously approve a change to the Official Plan that should do more to proactively protect “significant woodlots” in the urban area.  Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Stocking Project launch, Brummell’s retiring, more

(PHOTO: Volunteers Crystal Smalldon (aka Mother Elf) and Natasha Sidwell (aka Baby Elf) at the grand opening launch of The Stocking Project on Thursday night.)

STOCKING PROJECT LAUNCH
I dropped by Hazeldean Mall earlier this evening for the official launch of The Stocking Project. Volunteers are aiming to deliver 1,000 stockings to deserving individuals in Stittsville, Kanata and Carp.

They’ve taken over a 2,000-square foot space at the mall across from The Source, where they’ll be accepting donations and then sorting and packing the stockings. Organizer Crystal Smalldon (aka Mother Elf) says the response so far has been incredible, with 200 volunteers helping out and enough gifts already to fill about 200 stockings — that’s all thanks to word of mouth, email and Facebook posts over the past couple of weeks.

You can drop off donations at the mall during regular business hours.  To get involved as a volunteer, or for more information visit their Facebook page.

Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Thanks to firefighters, art at Gaia Java, wild turkeys, more

A THANK YOU TO STATION 81 FIREFIGHTERS
Stephanie Poff
sent us a letter thanking volunteer firefighters for their activities here in Stittsville on Halloween: “I just wanted to share my support for the volunteer station in Stittsville, they were out last night with music playing handing out candy.”

Firefighters from Station 81 cruised the streets blasting the Ghostbusters theme song on October 31. Photo by Erika Adams Mozota.
Firefighters from Station 81 cruised the streets blasting the Ghostbusters theme song on October 31. Photo by Erika Adams Mozota.

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WENDY RUSSELL’S ART AT GAIA JAVA
A couple of weekends ago I ran into Kanata artist Wendy Russell hanging some of her new paintings at Gaia Java. Her work will be on display until the end of this week and it’s definitely worth checking out. You can also see her work at The Gift of Art in the Mlacak Centre on November 19 & 20 in Kanata.
You can also see some of her work soon at Värdera Café.
(Photos via Wendy Russell)

Wendy Russell's art at Gaia Java Wendy Russell's art at Gaia Java Wendy Russell's art at Gaia Java

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NEW IMAGING CLINIC
Stittsville Medical Imaging Centre, a new x-ray and radiology clinic, is open in the medical building at 1601 Stittsville Main. It’s a nice complement to the DynaCare laboratory in the same complex that opened earlier this year. Services include ultrasound, obstetric and vascular ultrasound and x-ray diagnostics, with walk-in appointments available. They’re online at www.stittsvilleimaging.ca

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TWEET TWEET


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NOTEBOOK: Marijuana dispensary cited for zoning violation

(Photo: Inside Magna Terra on Iber Road. Supplied photo.)

The Ottawa Citizen reports that the Magna Terra marijuana dispensary in Stittsville has received a notice of a zoning violation from the City of Ottawa.

“Two dispensaries have received notices of zoning violations for operating ‘retail stores’ in industrial zones. City inspectors are also investigating the take-out window in a boarded-up pot shop to see if the operation violates the building code, ” writes Jacquie Miller in Saturday’s Citizen. Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: 9RunRun attendance boost, Jinkinson re-zoning, Kungfu lunches

9RUNRUN ATTENDANCE BOOST
The final fundraising tally for last week’s 9RunRun won’t be available until November but the attendance numbers are encouraging. Organizer Brenda Tirrell says that combined, the three races had about 1700 registrants, up by about 400 from last year’s race. Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: How the City is paying for a gazebo at Village Square Park

“There is an exciting project coming to Village Square Park that I am pleased to share with everyone. A new gazebo will soon call the park its home.”
Councillor Shad Qadri’s newsletter, September 30

Map showing the location of the gazebo at the east end of Village Square Park.
Map showing the location of the gazebo at the east end of Village Square Park.

Councillor Shad Qadri recently revealed details about a gazebo being built at Village Square Park, at the corner of Stittsville Main and Abbott. The plan is to build a 16’x16′ raised stage at the east end of the park with electrical hook-ups, for use as a community performance space. The structure is already under construction and could be completed as early as November 1. Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Live music at Quitters, Huntmar’s truck problem

MORE MUSIC AT QUITTERS

I was at Quitters on Saturday night for trivia and two notable things happened.

For one, my team won. That’s a first. Congrats to J, Lorrie and Greg, aka the smart people on my team.

Second, Quizmaster Rick announced that Quitters will be launching some new programming this fall, including a live music series featuring Kathleen Edwards and other musicians.  Watch for details soon.

Photo by Katie Shapiro
Photo by Katie Shapiro

Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Revised site plan approved for Stittsville Walk

(FILE PHOTO: Unfinished “Stittsville Walk” condos, March 6, 2016.)

“I suppose the best one can say is that it is no worse than the original proposal.”

That’s the reaction I received today from a long-time Stittsville resident who’s been following the progress — or lack thereof — of the Stittsville Walk condo development at 1491 Stittsville Main Street.  The project has been stalled since late 2013, and only one of the six blocks was ever built.  It remains unoccupied. Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Landfill proposal could mean even more downtown trucks

A number of people have asked me this summer about the status of the Carp Road landfill expansion, or as Waste Management (WM) would prefer us to call it, the West Carleton Environmental Centre (WCEC).  

The only development is that last month, Waste Management asked the Ontario Ministry of the Environment for permission to import construction and demolition waste (known as “C&D”) from Gatineau to the current Carp Road facility.  You can read the application here…

The idea is to take the waste material and recover any recyclable materials before shipping the rest to a landfill.  Ross Wallace, a spokesperson for Waste Management, tells me that they want to be on a level playing field with other waste and recycling businesses that are allowed to take C&D waste from Western Quebec.

This brings to mind two concerns:

1) Truck traffic.  Every load of garbage coming from Gatineau to Carp Road will be crossing bridges over the Ottawa River and using downtown streets. The timing of this proposal is ironic given that City Councillors are currently reviewing a $2-billion tunnel plan to reduce the number of trucks that cut through the core and choke up King Edward Avenue.

2) Waste transfer and jurisdictions. When WM first applied to expand the current landfill, it committed to serve Ottawa and close western neighbours like Lanark County.  Opening the door – even slightly – to garbage from Quebec is worrisome.  It contradicts the business model proposed by WM in the approved Environmental Assessment and Environmental Compliance Approval, where only Ontario waste was considered.

Environmentalists and waste industry watchers have been saying for a while now that increasing capacity at Ontario landfills (like the one on Carp Road) would lead to importing waste from farther and farther away. Do we really want our City to be the destination for garbage from other provinces or even the United States?

As Lando said in the Empire Strikes Back, “This deal is getting worse all the time!” The expanded landfill is going to look way different from what WM first described when they started the approval process: we’re hearing there’s no recreational land until the landfill is closed, recycling capability will be drastically reduced, and now they’re asking to expand the collection boundaries.

Residents can comment on WM’s application until October 3, either online or by mail.  Here’s how to get in touch.

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The next update to watch for is what’s happening with the Host Municipal Responsibility Agreement (HMRA). That’s the legal agreement between WM and the City that sets terms and conditions for the landfill’s operation. The company has been negotiating with the City’s lawyers, and at some point the agreement will need council approval. It’s not clear how (or even if) the public will be able to give any input.


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NOTEBOOK: Farmers’ market in the works; Fireworks on August 27

Lots of news out of tonight’s Stittsville Village Association (SVA) monthly meeting, including plans to bring a farmers’ market to Village Square Park next spring.

Sue Bird owns the old log building next to the park, and has been spearheading the efforts to start up a market along with help from a number of volunteers. Last weekend  she launched a petition to demonstrate community support that now has over 300 signatures. Continue reading


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