Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Ottawa's Forestry’s spring 2020 planting season was postponed and new planting requests were put on hold. I am happy to announce that Forestry Services’ fall planting program will run this year and planting requests for 2021 are now being accepted. Planting program information can be found at Ottawa.ca/forestry.
The fall planting program is scheduled to begin the week of September 21st and will run, weather permitting, until mid November. This includes tree planting in parks, at City facilities, and along streets. As the list for ward 22 is quite long, if you wish to receive the list, please email my office at email@example.com.
Reforestation and Rehabilitation Projects:
This fall, Forestry Services will also have a contractor completing tending and tree planting in Leitrim Park (3290 Leitrim Rd). Plantings of reforestation areas are tentatively scheduled to beginning in mid to late September.
The objective of this rehabilitation contract is to ensure successful reforestation of forested areas impacted by EAB, tornadoes, and invasive species. The work will include manual tending with brush saws and cut-stump pesticide application as well as planting of tree saplings. For your safety, please do not enter the parks or pathways where signs are posted.
We are starting to get more calls about theft from vehicles. I ask you report each incident to the Ottawa Police. You can report online or call 613-236-1222 x 7300. The police will step up their presence if they see a spike in theft reports.
It’s important to try to prevent your car from being a target. Never leave valuables in your vehicle and always lock your doors. Police also suggest you print a sign that says “NOTHING VALUABLE INSIDE”, and place it in a visible spot.
We know street racing is an ongoing problem, especially at night. Record the locations and times, ie: Prince of Wales and Winding Way at 11:30 pm and file a police report. The more police reports the better, as they are report driven and evidence based.
Thank you all for your cooperation.
Blais Road: Please be advised that Hydro Ottawa will be installing hydro pole lines and electrical infrastructure on Blais Road between Bank Street and Hawthorne Road. This work is expected to start on September 14 and is expected to continue until December 18, 2020. There will be an increased presence of construction throughout the duration of the project. To minimize noise concerns, the work will take place on weekdays between 7:00 am and 5:00 pm.
Rainforest Drive: Please be advised that on Monday, September 14, Hydro Ottawa will be replacing a transformer located on Rainforest Drive which will result in a power interruption between the hours of 9:00 am and 4:00 pm. Customers who will be impacted will be contacted by Hydro at least 72 hours prior. Should there be adverse weather, the work will be rescheduled to October 1.
The new roundabout at Longfields and Golflinks in East Barrhaven is finally done. Work began last fall and was plagued with problems when it resumed this spring. My office identified several issues including lanes being too narrow to accommodate large trucks. The problems were fixed. This week City staff debriefed my office on the project. We are told lessons were learned and will be applied in the construction of other roundabouts in the city.
For more information on roundabouts and how to use multi-lane roundabouts please visit ottawa.ca. Keep an eye out for a how to video coming soon.
Please be advised that Leitrim Road, beginning on Monday, August 10, from Albion Road to Bank Street will have nightly lane closures between 7:00 pm and 6:00 am for road resurfacing work. This work is planned to be completed by the end of September.
Please be advised that road resurfacing will be taking place on Earl Armstrong Road from 650 metres east of Limebank Road to 250 metres west of Bowesville Road. This work will begin ahead of schedule. Work is now expected to begin in August, weather permitting and is expected to be completed by fall 2020.
The wait will continue for a new and much needed public High School in Riverside South.
Sadly the high school didn’t make it onto the latest project list announced Thursday, despite the petitions and all the work by community members. No reason was given. The Ford Government is spending 500 million dollars to build 30 new schools in the province. Half Moon Bay in Barrhaven will get a new public elementary school.
Good news for them but the fact remains that those kids will eventually need a high school. One is desperately needed in the south end of Ottawa. In fact the land along Earl Armstrong is just sitting vacant waiting for government funding. If a high school opened this fall it would already be over capacity with students from Riverside South and Barrhaven.
I am so disappointed for families faced with bussing their kids out of the community, but I am even more determined to get the Government’s attention on this vital community need.
My office hosted a virtual meeting on developing an official policy to deal with aggressive animal incidents in the city. I promised to do this following the confusion and difficulty we experienced in June in finding a solution to a coyote that was attacking people in Riverside South.
Staff from the Ministry of Natural Resources, Ottawa Police, Bylaw Services, City Councillors, Carleton MPP Goldie Ghamari and the RSS Community Association President all attended.
We determined that the Municipality has direct jurisdiction over wildlife issues and complaints.
If an animal poses a public safety issue, like attacking humans, the first call is to 9-1-1 for Police assistance.
All other calls go to 3-1-1, which will bring in Ottawa Bylaw officers, if needed. Luckily serious encounters with wild animals are infrequent. The key to keeping it that way lies with education, and that’s where the Ministry of Natural Resources comes in. Watch for an information campaign in the coming months. We will continue to hammer out an official policy we hope will be in place by the end of the year.
Once again I would like to thank Ottawa Bylaw for taking a lead role on the coyote problem this spring, and to Ottawa Police for doing what was necessary to protect the public.
Strandherd Drive is being widened to a four-lane cross section from Maravista Drive to Jockvale Road in Barrhaven (essentially from the Costco to the Home Depot). This is a major and complex infrastructure project and a significant investment in Barrhaven.
The project is approximately 3.3 kilometres in length. It will provide capacity for existing and future traffic volumes during peak periods and facilitate the movement of cyclists and pedestrians through the corridor as well as provide the underground infrastructure to support growth.
This project includes:
The estimated total projected budget for the Strandherd Drive widening is $113 million, including additional funding authority anticipated as part of the upcoming 2021 capital budget. The total project budget for the Kennedy-Burnett Stormwater Management Facility Retrofit is $15.8 million.
The project has a newsletter where up to date information will be shared, including traffic impacts - Strandherd Drive widening e-newsletter.
We received some good news about plans to widen Bank Street South. Under the City’s current plan, work to expand Bank Street would not begin until 2025. Now, City staff tells us money has been set aside to begin Phase 1 of Bank Street, expansion between Valley Squire Furniture Store on Bank Street to the Dun Skipper intersection, as early as 2022.
All of this is still subject to Council approval.
I consider it a win for Findlay Creek and Ward 22 and I am pleased with the new proposed timeline.
Rural Ottawa Residents! We have partnered with South Nation Conservation to provide some free trees to area residents this fall.
Though SNC is accepting online order requests for free trees this spring in other regions, please note that trees secured for Ottawa residents won’t be ready until the Fall. Check back with SNC or us later in the year for details on how we’ll provide free trees, we’ll post all of the details on social media.
Thank you for your cooperation and understanding during this time. For more info on SNC’s Tree Planting Program and to secure tree orders for Spring 2021, please visit www.nation.on.ca.
Are you or is someone you know living with violence or abuse? Physical distancing during COVID-19 can make things worse. Unsafe at Home Ottawa is a secure, bilingual text and chat line. It’s available 7 days a week, from 8:30 am to midnight.
You are not alone. Reach out!
Text (613) 704-5535
Chat online unsafeathomeottawa.ca
My office has been made aware of the ongoing safety concerns on Earl Armstrong Road, in Riverside South, particularly at the intersection of Spratt and Earl Armstrong. I would like to reassure everybody that I am very aware of these concerns and this is an issue I am actively pursuing with City staff.
There has been a pattern of unsafe practices at the Spratt and Earl Armstrong intersection, which the City has been able to identify. City staff of Traffic Services are currently working on installing a protected left at this intersection. What this means is the left turn signal will turn red, while straight through traffic remains green. While I understand the concern for longer wait times at this intersection, safety is a real concern here and needs to be addressed.
At this time, the study of this intersection is underway and no confirmed timeline of when the protected left will be installed. This type of change requires a more thorough review process and takes more time, as there are different civil works that must be considered. I will make sure to keep everybody informed when I get more information.
In the interim, I've asked that this intersection be considered for an extended advanced left, to give more time to those turning left.
Other intersections on Earl Armstrong Road are also being considered for an extended advanced left, including Canyon Walk and Shoreline. I am currently waiting on the study from Traffic Services to determine if this is feasible.
I appreciate everybody's understanding and cooperation, and hope to continue working on improving safety on Earl Armstrong.
On Wednesday, December 11, I sat down with City Staff from the Planning and Recreation Departments to discuss plans for a Rec Center and Community Centre in Riverside South.
Originally a community center, similar to the Rideauview community building we now enjoy on Shoreline Drive, was proposed for the new town center core, near the LRT Limebank Station, and a recreation complex would be located North of Earl Armstrong. After consultation with the Riverside South Community Association, we took the decision to alter those plans, to essentially swap them. Overriding opinion is that it makes better sense to build a recreation center, with the opportunity to have a library, pool, gyms and meeting rooms in one building and locate it on the transit line. We can’t squander the opportunity to give as many residents as possible easy access to much needed amenities, and the LRT which will connect to the BRT to Barrhaven will do that.
The Rec Center represents over $64 million investment in our ward.
All this to say, these plans are still early in the planning process. Before anything is finalized, there will be community consultation so you can tell me what you want in our new recreation center.