The RPCA Planning and Development Committee meets regularly to discuss community development and intensification issues, traffic levels and congestion, cycling and pedestrian access and city-wide environmental issues. The committee also liaises with other community associations on issues of common interest.
New members & volunteers needed
We are currently seeking new members for the committee. If you want to help make Riverview Park a better place to live by influencing development, please contact Kris Nanda.
PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT ISSUES
Official Plan (OP)/Transportation Master Plan (TMP) Secondary Plan
The City of Ottawa’s new Official Plan to cover the period until 2046 was approved by Ottawa Council on October 27, 2021. The next phase of planning exercise will see consultations on the Transportation Master Plan and Secondary Plan, expected to begin in 2022.
The RPCA Board plans to reiterate concerns raised in the Official Plan consultations. These themes include support for 15- minute neighbourhood concept (with increased walkability) an appropriate balance between intensification and maintenance of greenspace, the tree canopy and existing residential zoning and neighbourhood character. The Board will continue to call to remove the remaining links of the Alta Vista Transportation Corridor (from Conroy to the Hospital Link and from the Link across the Rideau River to Nicholas Street) and for implementation of planning principles consistent with Council’s 2019 decision to recognize a Climate Emergency..
Alta Vista Transportation Corridor (AVTC) Expansion
The RPCA and several other community organizations continue to oppose retention of the remaining links of the AVTC in the Official Plan on several reasons, including concerns they would only encourage additional vehicle traffic and increased Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. Riverview Park’s two councillors have taken opposing positions on whether the AVTC should remain in the Official Plan. While Councillor Menard has been actively pushing to remove the AVTC from the OP, Councillor Cloutier has maintained that it should be kept in the Official Plan and the Transportation Master Plan (TMP) and that any comments on the Corridor should be provided in the context of reviewing the TMP (due to be finalized in 2023). Mayor Watson recently tweeted that he opposed running the AVTC link to downtown through the Springhurst Park greenspace in Old Ottawa East.
Proposed St. Laurent mixed-used high-rise development (1740, 1754, 1760 St. Laurent)
The City of Ottawa has received an application for a new mixed-use development on the eastern edge of Riverview Park. This development would replace the Petro Canada, and the St. Hubert and 168 Sushi restaurants on St. Laurent Blvd. Further details about this St. Laurent mixed-use development application are available here.
The development would consist of four high-rise (12-15 storey) apartment buildings at 1740, 1754 and 1760 St; Laurent Boulevard. The site is approximately 100 metres south of Industrial Avenue.
The parcel on St. Laurent is directly east of the Everest Private development (across Russell Road from the Perley-Rideau Veterans complex), where two additional eight-storey apartment buildings are already planned. Under the new proposal, the Everest Private road would be extended east to St. Laurent and a new signalized intersection.
Concerns have been raised about the height of the proposed high-rises and the traffic impacts of introducing nearly 1000 additional vehicles (based on the total number of new parking spaces envisioned for the Everest Private and St. Laurent complexes) and adequacy of public transit. Public consultations have not yet been scheduled.
New residential complex (700 Coronation Boulevard)
An information session was held by Councillor Cloutier on February 24 for local residents regarding a recent application for construction of a 4-storey, 35-unit residential building to the west of the existing apartment building at 700 Coronation Blvd. The development would consist of studio apartments along with one and two bedroom units. It would also include an underground parking garage with 41 spaces, 7 at -grade parking spaces and 34 bicycle parking spaces – all for use for use by new and existing residents.
Residents at the information session raised concerns about proximity of the new building to the rear lot line and privacy. There was discussion about retaining more trees along the western boundary of the property near Botsford and building a higher fence. The development is slated to go to Planning Committee in April or May.
Condominium Conversion for 1489 Weyburn (Between Coronation and Chadburn)
Byron Rental Properties has received approval from the City in Fall 2020 to convert the existing 10 building apartment complex at 1489 Weyburn into 10 separate vacant land condominium units. The proposal would see condominium contain the six apartment units that currently exist in it, and individual apartment units could not be sold individually. No construction or changes to the existing property is being contemplated at this time. As this article went to press there was no firm timeline for the conversion to take place.
Trainyards High-rise Residential Development (Steamline Street)
The construction date for the first phase of a high-rise rental apartment complex along Steamline Street, across from the Post Office building on Sanford Fleming, is still on hold. This project features two 20-storey buildings and 400 units. However, the developer Controlex recently advised that the project is still with the City Planning Department awaiting final approval. Discussions are continuing regarding the greenspace/ mini-park details for the site.
Proposed ‘mixed-use community hub’ near Via Rail and Tremblay LRT Stations.
The comment period has closed on the mixed-use project announced in 2020 for a five acre industrial site off Tremblay Road, directly just east of the Via Rail terminal and approximately 250 metres from the Tremblay LRT station. The plan calls for the 1.98 hectare parcel site at 25 Pickering Place (also known as 1330 Avenue K) to be developed into a “mixed-use, high-density community hub” with new public and private streets that will include rental apartment high-rises, retail space, parkland and possibly a hotel.
The proposal is in keeping with Transit Oriented Development (TOD) given its density and proximity to the LRT. While located north of the VIA tracks and outside the Riverview Park boundaries, RPCA Board representatives provided comments on the proposal. They noted that the complex and its TOD implications could give further impetus for the City to appropriately leverage construction of the proposed pedestrian overpass across the Via tracks, between Tremblay LRT and the Trainyards.
Proposed Apartments for 355 and 374 Everest Private (across from Perley Health Centre)
In 2019, an application was submitted to erect two eight-storey apartment buildings at 355 and 374 Everest Private (between Russell Road and St. Laurent Blvd.) which would add another 293 units and 354 parking spaces to the existing complex. Concerns were raised by the RCPA and others about greater congestion on Russell Road and insufficient pedestrian crossings. The review of the proponent’s resubmission was completed in Spring 2020. No further information is available on proposed construction timeframe for the project.
Federal Complex and Proposed Residential Development at 530/599 Tremblay Road
In Spring 2020, Public Services and Procurement Canada put out the call for qualified bidders to submit proposals to redevelop part of its 26-acre property on Tremblay Rd, just west of St. Laurent Blvd and directly south of the St. Laurent Shopping Centre and Highway 417. The proposed project would include a 1.6-million-square-foot office complex that would house approximately 8000 federal employees along with some residential units, parks and shops. The municipal comment period is currently in progress
Proposed High-Rises at Bank and Riverside
In Fall 2020, the City received a request for an Official Plan Amendment and Zoning By-Law Amendment for 1335 and 1339 Bank Street. The two properties are located on the east side of Bank Street at Riverside Drive, which were previously occupied by an auto repair shop, and Harvey’s fast-food restaurant. The proposed amendments would permit he development of a 26-storey (86 metre) high mixed-use building, which may include residential units, limited service hotel units, and ground floor retail. The proposal also includes 172 vehicle parking spaces and 269 bicycle parking spaces. Concerns have been raised about the traffic dynamics of integrating the traffic flow of these vehicles with an already busy intersection.
An application for another Official Plan Amendment and Zoning By-Law Amendment was also recently received for a separate high-rise development immediately across the street, at 1330-1346 Bank Street/2211 Riverside Drive. The applicant is seeking permission for the future development of a 31-storey mixed use building as well as a 34-storey high-rise apartment dwelling. Parking is to be located primarily below grade and a parkette is proposed near the Bank Street and Riverside Drive North intersection. A Site Plan Control application has not yet been submitted and the design details remain conceptual in nature. The target date is May 13, 2021 for the City’s Planning Committee to consider the Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendment applications for this site.
Trainyards Developments/Industrial Avenue Issues
In late November 2020, the new, larger Farm Boy Store opened, at the far northeast of the Trainyards Parcel backing onto Belfast Road. RPCA Board representative had emphasized the need for better pedestrian and cyclist connectivity through the Train Yards so customers could safely walk or cycle instead of driving.
Concerns have been raised about the lack of a direct exit onto Belfast Road and the increase in traffic congestion that has resulted near the exit by Bulk Barn, as well as the need for better signed crosswalks. The property management has indicated that they would be making some modifications to access routes to relieve congestion.
Ottawa Medispa (aesthetic services, laser hair removal, etc.) is expected to open in July in the former Great Hobbies space at 140 Train Yard Drive and Leclair Décor (LD Shoppe) is expanding its store size. A new tenant has yet to be announced for the previous Farm Boy site adjacent to the LCBO.
Elmvale Acres Shopping Centre Redevelopment
RioCan. is redeveloping the property at Elmvale Acres Shopping Centre located at 1910 St. Laurent Boulevard. Phase one construction of a new rental residential building at the corner of Smyth and Othello is nearing completion.
Elmvale Acres Shopping Centre is an integral part of our community and will remain open to the public for the entirety of the construction period. RioCan has pledged that they will continue to work closely with the tenants for all construction coordination to ensure minimal disruption to both the shopping centre tenants and its visitors.
Phase 1 development will include the following roadway changes on Othello, between Hamlet and Smyth:
- The addition of a 3.5m wide northbound right-turn lane on Othello, between Hamlet and Smyth;
- Site egress at the Hamlet/Othello intersection to operate as a right-out only. All inbound traffic movements at this intersection to be permitted.
- A 2.0m wide sidewalk on the east side from the site driveway north to Smyth;
- A 1.8 to 2.0m, wide sidewalk on the west side of Othello from Hamlet north to Smyth;
- A pedestrian crossover (PXO) on the south leg of Othello at Hamlet;
- A pedestrian crosswalk on the west leg of Hamlet at Othello;
- A bulb-out at the southwest corner of the Othello/Side Driveway/ Hamlet intersection; and
- A raised intersection.
Details of the full scope of the redevelopment are available in the Elmvale Acres secondary plan
Walkley and Conroy Fulfillment Centre
The RPCA and others had voiced concerns about the traffic implications of the proposal to build a new Amazon-style “fulfillment centre” (3 warehouse buildings) at the Southeast corner of Walkley Road and Conroy Road, on the site of the former JDS Uniphase / Goodlife fitness building. There were also questions about inconsistencies with the City’s efforts to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and its impact on the Alta Vista ward. In early November 2021, the City’s Planning Committee approved the proposal by a 7-3 vote (Councillors Cloutier and Menard voted against the project).
Active Transportation projects
Cycling – Smyth Road Cycling Safety Improvements Project
The City is undertaking the design work for cycling improvements at Smyth Road and Riverside Drive. The design was completed in Summer 2021 and construction was tentatively scheduled to start this Summer, it has been delayed to a summer 2022 completion. The proposed work includes cycling facilities along Smyth Road from Riverside Drive to the Ottawa Hospital Riverside Campus, including modifications to the Riverside Drive on/off ramps at Smyth Road, improvements at the Smyth Road and Ottawa Hospital Riverside Campus intersection and improvements at the southern end of Frobisher Lane to Smyth Road.
Terminal Ave/Via Station pedestrian/cycling overpass project
The RPCA continues to advocate for construction of an overpass between Terminal Avenue and the Via Station. This project would help provide an active transportation route between the refurbished Train Station (and LRT) and the Trainyards Office and Retail Complex. It would also fill in the missing pedestrian/cyclist gap between Alta Vista and the northern side of Hwy 417 (e.g. Coventry Road, Baseball Stadium, and St. Laurent businesses) and is part of the City of Ottawa’s long-term Cycling and Pedestrian Plan network. The Board passed motions calling for inclusion of $1.5 million in the next City budget for an environmental assessment – and that the project be considered as a candidate for funding under the federal government’s Active Transportation Infrastructure fund. The project has been included in the 2022 draft city budget.
Further project proposal details
Information on some project proposals can be found at the City of Ottawa website. The RPCA welcomes your input on these proposals and any other potential developments in the area.