Market plan

Board Bites: Approvals for Byward Market Plan, Kanata Development, “Commanda Lane” and Mask By-Law Extension


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A $ 129 million plan to improve public spaces in the Byward Market received full council support on Wednesday, with members highlighting the importance of improving one of Ottawa’s top tourist attractions.

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The plan includes better lighting, more trees, and ‘flexible’ spaces that can be used for different uses, such as cafe seating or festivals. The plan would devote more space to pedestrians and soften the largely paved and concrete public areas of the neighborhood.

One big problem: the plan will require grants from other levels of government.

The city will rely on the private sector to redevelop the parking lot and commercial structure at 70 Clarence Street to create a destination building.

The plan also includes redevelopment of the intersection of Rideau Street, Sussex Drive and Colonel By Drive, but this is not included in the cost estimate.

County of Orleans Matthew Luloff questioned the fact of spending more money in the region when other projects in the public domain, like the one on St Joseph Boulevard in his neighborhood, are not funded. The city has just completed a multi-year redevelopment of Rideau Street and has rebuilt the George Street Esplanade in the Market.

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Gloucester-Southgate County Diane Deans agreed councilors should advocate for projects in their neighborhoods, but said the Byward Market needs city-wide attention.

“This is a frontal look at the city of Ottawa,” said Deans.

“If you kill your core, you kill your city.”

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In his State of the City address, Mayor Jim Watson announced he would chair an organizing committee to celebrate the market’s 200th anniversary in 2027.

Watson said one of his goals is to bring La Machine back to Ottawa for the 2027 event. The French production company wowed crowds at Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations in 2017 with its giant mechanical creatures.

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Kanata Intensification Project Approved

Three councilors voted against a controversial request in southern Kanata to build a 12-unit apartment complex to replace a single house.

MG4 Investments Inc.’s two-building, three-storey project at 33 Maple Grove Road. was criticized by the community as being too big for a traditionally low-rise neighborhood. Residents said the new buildings would appear even taller from the rear due to a slope on the property.

The majority of the board thought otherwise, passing the rezoning request with ease.

South Kanata County. Allan Hubley, Bay County. Theresa Kavanagh and Gloucester South Nepean County. Carol Anne Meehan disagreed.

The council changes Langevin avenue to Commanda lane

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The town removed Langevin from a street name in the Lindenlea community of Rideau-Rockcliffe.

Council renamed Commanda Way after William Commanda, the late Algonquin Elder and former Kitigan Chief Zibi Anishinabeg. The Commanda name is also poised to be associated with an interprovincial multi-use trail when the city transforms the Prince of Wales Bridge.

Rideau-Rockcliffe County Rawlson King proposed the Commanda name for his neighborhood street after a multi-year consultation process with residents.

Council’s decision follows the federal government’s decision in 2017 to change the name of the Langevin Block to the Prime Minister’s Office and Privy Council.

Hector-Louis Langevin was a father of Confederation and a supporter of the residential school system, which removed Indigenous children from their families.

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Mandatory mask regulation extended, council calls for sales restrictions in big box stores

The council extended until April 29 the temporary regulation requiring people to wear masks in enclosed public spaces.

However, it should come as no surprise if the regulation is extended even further, as COVID-19 vaccines are expected to continue to be deployed throughout the summer.

Council may review settlement timelines and adjust them as needed in response to the pandemic.

The regulation came into effect on July 15.

Council also approved a motion by Kavanagh and Watson directing the mayor to ask the province to allow the reopening of small businesses under similar restrictions applied to big box stores under the stay-at-home order.

If the province does not change the rules to help small businesses, the council wants big box and discount stores to restrict in-person sales to groceries and essentials.

Kavanagh said it was unfair that small businesses suffered from provincial restrictions while department stores took advantage. Watson said it was “patently unfair” and he planned to write to the prime minister by Thursday.

jwilling@postmedia.com

twitter.com/JonathanWilling

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