Friday, January 25, 2013

Ottawa’s tallest buildings, highest density: coming to streets near you?

-City releases draft development plan for Preston-Carling Area
-CHNA seeks community input

The City has just released a draft development plan for the Preston-Carling area, which includes the eastern section of the Civic Hospital neighbourhood. The central theme: major “intensification.”     

You will be affected by the plan if  . . . you live in the Civic Hospital neighbourhood . . . travel on our  streets . . . use our parks . . . send your kids to a neighbourhood school . . . swim at the Plant Recreation Centre . . . enjoy the ambiance of Little Italy . . . live near a patch of development land, etc., etc..  

Among the draft plan’s highlights:

 It calls for the area to have the tallest buildings and highest population density in the entire city.
·         It would allow construction in the area of at least 23 condo and office towers of between 15 and 40 storeys (3x40, 3x30, 6x25, 2x20, 7x18, 2x15 — for a total of 556 floors of high-rise development).

·         It would allow construction in our own Civic Hospital neighbourhood of one 30-storey tower, five 25-storey towers, and one 15-storey building. That’s 170 floors of high-rise development (mainly condos), all to be clustered on the block of land between Champagne St. and the O-Train trench, north of Carling.  

·        It says there should be a height transition from the towers “towards the surrounding stable residential neighbourhoods", but there isn't one. The maximum height of the “transitional” buildings on our side of the trench will be over nine storeys, putting high-rises adjacent to one and two storey buildings.

·          It recommends new road/bridge connections over the O-Train trench at Young and Hickory Streets, encouraging more traffic to flow on residential streets between our neighbourhood, Little Italy and points further east.

·          The plan calls for traffic calming projects throughout the study area. No details are provided.

·        It calls for “the provision of a sufficient and generous high quality public realm.”  That means traffic calming projects, parks, public squares, sidewalk improvements, etc.  It says the details “should be prepared and implemented through collaboration between the City and all stakeholders.” However, public realm projects appear to be dependent on money from developers. 

·        It proposes expanding Ev Tremblay Park to include the lot to the west of the park on Champagne Avenue (where the Beechgrove Apartments are). It suggests making part of Champagne Avenue into a pedestrian-first area (cars must give way to people) to allow passage between the two halves of the park.

·        It  recommends the establishment of a new, large-scale federal government building complex in the green space south of Carling Avenue between the O-Train and Sherwood. This would eliminate a space that is currently used for recreation by the community.

So, what do you think? 

The Civic Hospital Neighbourhood Association (CHNA) is seeking input. Please complete our short 'Survey Monkey' questionnaire by going to
We’ll share the results with our Councillor, Katherine Hobbs.

The association is also encouraging residents to send comments directly to Councillor Hobbs and City planners. You can email Hobbs at and City planners at

Whatever you think of the plan, NOW is the time to speak up!

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