Hello and happy spring (for real),
It seems incredible that only a week ago, Ottawa was hit by a fierce ice storm and as I write this, the temperature is scheduled to hit 30 degrees. I would like to say that this is not a normal April, but it seems that climate change is leading to more extreme weather and dramatic temperature swings. And although we were largely lucky to not lose power for very long in Somerset Ward, we lost a lot of mature trees, both last week and in May 2022’s derecho storm.
This is particularly devastating in downtown Ottawa, where we have the lowest percentage of tree coverage in the National Capital Region – only 20%. The amount of tree coverage needed to mitigate climate change is estimated to be near 30-40%. We have a lot of work to do to recover from extreme weather and make our city more climate resilient.
For this reason, I am thrilled to see that two new towers being built at Lebreton Flats will use new technology to become net-zero by capturing renewable energy from wastewater. The Dream Lebreton Flats project is working with Multi-Faith Housing Initiative to build 601 new residential rental units -- 247 of them affordable – in two towers at 665 Albert Street, between Ottawa’s future Ādisōke main public library and the Pimisi LRT station. After more than 60 years of the land sitting vacant, I am thrilled to see that new, affordable and environmentally sustainable housing is finally being built there.
Another major policy issue that will have an impact on climate change in our city, is the way we get around. One of the greatest ways that we can reduce emissions in Ottawa is to encourage a major modal shift – getting us out of our cars when possible and onto public transit or some sort of active transportation. But the reality is that in many parts of the city, this is easier said than done.
Many of the older suburban neighbourhoods (now referred to as “outer urban”) don’t even have sidewalks or basic infrastructure to make cycling safer. And our office hears constantly from residents who are frustrated by late buses and train stoppages. Simply put: we need to do better.
On Monday, the Transportation Committee will hold a special meeting to discuss our city’s Transportation Master Plan. I look forward to dreaming bigger about a city where more of us can get around, accessibly and sustainably.
Enjoy the sunshine,
Council rejects multimillion dollar tax break for hotel
On Wednesday, Ottawa City Council discussed a proposal to give a new airport hotel a multi-million dollar tax break under the Community Improvement program. The vote failed 18-7, and Councillor Troster spoke out about the need to support businesses and non-profits that serve human needs and build communities -- not subsidies to rich corporations.
Join Councillor Troster for A Taste for Life!
On April 19th Councillor Troster and team will be hosting A Taste for Life at Citizen (2017 Gilmour St.) in support of Bruce House. Call 613-422-6505 to reserve a table and bring hope, housing and support to people living with and affected by HIV in Ottawa.
Cleaning Up The Capital
This is the 30th year of the #CleaningTheCapital program! DYK? Since its start, over 1.4 million volunteers have participated in nearly 30,000 cleanup projects throughout #OttCity and removed over 1,000,000 kg of waste from our public spaces. Want to participate? Register your cleanup project by May 1: ottawa.ca/clean.
Jakes House Employment Expo Powered By Spectrum Works: April 17th
Join us for a unique career fair designed to empower individuals with autism or developmental disabilities by connecting them with meaningful employment opportunities.
Sir John A MacDonald Parkway (Slidell Intersection to Vimy Place Intersection) Closure
R.W. Tomlinson will be closing the Sir John A MacDonald Parkway between Slidell Intersection and Vimy Place to install a segment of the new piping network under the Energy Savings Acquisition Program Modernization Project. To complete this work, a full closure is required between April 27th and May 1st on the Sir John A MacDonald Parkway between Slidell Intersection and Vimy Place Intersection. Detours will be in place. From April 17th to May 5th, with the exception of the full closure, a bi-directional traffic configuration will be in-place on the existing westbound lanes of the Parkway to complete preliminary works. Please be aware of these traffic modifications as well as the detours during the above noted times.
Support the John Leaning Mural Project
John Leaning’s work continues to touch us all. His work as a planner/community developer changed the face of urban neighbourhoods. Working with residents he developed The Glebe plan in the 60's and Ottawa's Centretown Plan in 1972, strengthening community voices and saving these communities from traffic, demolition and high-rise development
As Chief Architect for the NCC (1958–68) the managed transitional projects, guiding the preservation of Sussex Drive, Mackenzie King Estate and other historic properties, establishing the Greenbelt, and the Sparks Street mall, a North American first. He guided the 1970’s rehabilitation of Parliament’s East Block.
He was a prolific writer authoring Our Architectural Ancestry (1983), The Revitalization of Older Residential Districts (1970), The Story of the Glebe (1999); and A Narrative History of Hintonburg-Mechanicsville (2002).
A mural is planned to commemorate John and his work. It will be on the wall of 433 Cooper Street in Ottawa, the 1970’s field office of the team that developed the Centertown Plan. It will be created by local artists and youth at risk.
We need to raise over $10,000 and are counting on your help to ensure John’s legacy is commemorated.
Wildlife Speaker Series: Tue, May 2 2023, 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Spring is in the air and Ottawa’s natural areas and other greenspaces are beckoning. Once the trails have thawed and dried out, residents are encouraged to get outdoors! Be on the lookout for spring wildflowers, migrating birds, and biting flies and ticks. While it’s a common joke that Canada has two seasons, winter and “bug season,” black-legged ticks may be active at any time of year, depending on the temperature. The City and Ottawa Public Health want to ensure that residents know how to protect themselves from ticks, which can carry illnesses such as Lyme disease. We invite you to join us for a presentation by local experts from the University of Ottawa and Ottawa Public Health, to learn more about ticks, Lyme disease prevention, and ongoing research in our area.
Ottawa Public Health Updates
Did you know there are different helmets for different activities? Each helmet is designed and tested to protect your head from the impact common to activity or sport.
Find out about which helmet is right for which activity here.
Preventing and Responding to an Overdose and Naloxone
Anything can be cut with fentanyl or carfentanil. There is no way to be sure of what is exactly in drugs obtained from anywhere other than a pharmacy or government retailer (such as an OCS). If you get them from a friend, order them online, buy them from a dealer, or anywhere similar, you don’t know how toxic they may be.
If you use opioids, you can reduce your risk of overdose death by:
- Not using alone
- Don’t mix drugs
- Go slow
- Carry Naloxone
- Know your tolerance
- Be aware
Learn more about Stop Overdose Ottawa and get Naloxone training here.