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…

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.

We’ll also learn more about a development proposal across the street from the arena at 195 Huntmar. The first draft, released in October, called for homes, apartment buildings, businesses, and an outdoor park / sports fields. We’ll likely see the next version of the plan in the first half of this year, with changes made as a result of feedback from the public and city planners.

Kanata-Carleton MP Karen McCrimmon told the Kanata Kourier-Standard last month that she thinks light rail will be extended to Kanata by by the early to mid-2020s.  That’s considerably ahead of schedule, which would see light rail to Eagleson by 2031.  A study is  currently in progress that will recommend just how far into Kanata it comes – will it extend past Eagleson, reaching all the way to Canadian Tire Centre and Tanger Outlets?

On a smaller scale, how will commuters be affected by the new OC Transpo schedule that starts on January 7? Express routes will be gone, replaced by “connexion” routes. A lot of bus riders I’ve talked to are pessimistic, and think that their commute will be longer and/or more crowded with the new changes.

The clock is ticking for Richcraft to get their plan together for dismantling and relocating the Bradley-Craig barn from Hazeldean Road to Saunders Farm in Munster. In January 2016, City Council gave approval to de-designate the heritage building and move it, but one of the conditions was that the barn had to be rebuilt at Saunders Farm by the end of January 2018.  That likely means the relocation have to happen by the fall of this year, before winter arrives again.  In the meantime, both the barn and the house still maintain their heritage designation.

Besides Jennifer McGahan’s renovation of 1425 Stittsville Main, there are at least two more projects that will bring new life to the street. There are plans for a new upscale restaurant at the yellow building next to the municipal parking lot that used to be home to Brown Bear Day Care, and the Ottawa Farmers’ Market plans to start a weekly market at Village Square Park in the spring. We also may see a new development proposal from the owners of the Revera retirement complex. Last year they tore down three older homes on land immediately south of their current building, possibly with plans for expansion in mind.  Then there’s the retirement home planned for Wildpine Court. That project has been held up over environmental concerns (first an endangered turtle, then some issues around stormwater management), but shovels could hit the ground this year.

Construction is already underway for Hazeldean Gardens, a large retirement complex on the old flea market lands at Hazeldean and Stittsville Main. The five-storey building will become the tallest in Stittsville, and bring at least a couple hundred new seniors to the area once all the phases are built. The developers say that the building will include tributes to Stittsville’s history, including the old flea market and the railway that used to cross through town on what’s now the Trans Canada Trail.

Major residential developments already underway or about to start include Stittsville South, Potter’s Key, Fernbank and Fairwinds/Poole Creek Village. These neighbourhoods will add hundreds of new families to our rapidly-growing community.

Waste Management and the City of Ottawa have been negotiating a Host Municipal Responsibility Agreement (HMRA) for over a year now, covering issues such as community compensation, odour management, groundwater safety, and traffic. A signed agreement would be the final approval that Waste Management needs to open the landfill expansion on Carp Road, just north of the Queensway. The agreement could be presented to the the city’s environment committee and City Council this year.

The new Goodlife Fitness on Carp Road opens on January 10. I’m looking forward to the opening, only so that people will stop asking on Facebook when it opens!


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