Clare Gardens Park Fall Clean-Up: Saturday, October 19 @ 10:00 am

16 10 2019

 

Clare Gardens Park Fall Clean-Up

Saturday, October 19th, 2019

From 10:00 am till noon

(Rain date: October 20th)

It’s that time of year.  The WCA and the Volunteer Gardeners of Clare Gardens Park are hosting the park’s autumn clean-up.

We’ll bring rubber gloves. We’d appreciate if you could bring a broom, a rake or a shovel, and a few yard waste bags if possible.

Hear the park news and ask questions. Tell us if you have any park-related concerns. We welcome your feedback.

Bring your families and meet your neighbours!

See you in the park!

Organized by:

The Volunteer Gardeners of Clare Gardens Park

volunteergardenersofclarepark@gmail.com

and

The Westboro Community Association 

hellowestboro@yahoo.ca





Westboro developers won’t take “No” for an answer: Eric Milligan

25 06 2019

From the Kitchissippi Times

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Westboro developers won’t take “No” for an answer

by Eric Milligan

Developers are continuing their efforts to introduce high intensification infills in the Westboro residential neighbourhood.

 

In February, largely due to a massive display of opposition by affected neighbours, the Committee of Adjustment rejected developers’ infill proposals to build a total of 16 residential units (four “long” semi-detached buildings with secondary units) at 508 and 514 Roosevelt Ave.   Currently, each of these properties has a single family home.

 

In March, again largely due to the opposition of a very determined group of Westboro neighbours and the Westboro Community Association, the Committee of Adjustment refused to approve a developer’s proposal to replace a single family home at 694 Roosevelt with two triplexes.

 

In all of these cases, the Committee of Adjustment concluded that the requested variances from the City’s zoning bylaw were not “minor”. Neighbours voiced concerns about the loss of trees, greenspace, a significant increase in paved areas, inadequate parking, issues with garbage storage and collection, and an inappropriate level of intensification.   Virtually the entire rear of the each property was to be paved for tenant parking.

 

Neighbours on Roosevelt Ave, and those in behind, on Cole Ave., made it clear that they were not opposed to infills or to moderate levels of intensification.   However, they were united in their opposition to developments that resulted in an inappropriately large increase in residences and in buildings that were entirely out of character with the surrounding properties.

 

The developers, however, are not taking “no” for an answer. In all three cases, they have now appealed the Committee of Adjustment decisions to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal(formerly known as the Ontario Municipal Board).   They have hired experienced lawyers who specialize in land-use law and professional planners who will appear as expert witnesses in the appeal hearings. It is expected that the City planners will continue to support the infill proposals as they did at the Committee of Adjustment.

 

The hearings of the three appeals are likely to take place in late July/early August and early September.   The Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) is a quasi-judicial tribunal. The entire process for LPAT appeals is very legally-oriented. The outcome is highly dependent on the professional opinions of expert planners and on the skill of the lawyers who represent the parties.   The neighbours affected by the long semis at 508 and 514 Roosevelt are organizing and addressing the need to raise up to $30,000 for lawyers and planners who would support their case before the Tribunal. The neighbours affected by the proposed triplexes at 694 Roosevelt are faced with the same challenges.

 

There is actually is a fourth appeal underway.   In February, the Committee of Adjustment approved a development involving two long-semis with secondary units (a total of 8 residences) for 582 Churchill. The adverse impacts are largely similar to those of the Roosevelt developments.   Two neighbours have appealed the decision approving this infill development.

 

Time is short, and the developers and their hired professionals have a clear advantage in this new stage of the intensification fight in Westboro.   The decisions taken by the LPAT in these appeals will have impacts in Westboro far beyond the immediate neighbours.

 

If this type of development is approved it will set a precedent.   Other properties with older homes throughout the Westboro residential area will become targets for developers.   Competition among developers is driving up the prices of properties.   This means that they increase the number of dwelling units per lot in order to generate the profit they desire.  It is a recipe for rampant intensification and transformation of the Westboro neighbourhood: lot, by lot, by lot.

 

No matter where you live in Westboro, the quality of life in your neighbourhood is at risk from excessive infill intensification.   If you are concerned about the future of your community, reach out to your neighbours and join the resistance.

 





Rain Garden-Ask and Expert Workshop: June 23, 2019

22 06 2019

From EnviroCentre and the City of Ottawa

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EnviroCentre and the City of Ottawa RAIN Program are pleased to be offering a Rain Garden-Ask and Expert Workshop at Home Depot this Sunday!  Please drop by with your pictures, ideas and questions for a free 10-15 minute consultation with our guest landscape designer Sara-Jane Campbell.

 

Rain Garden Ask an Expert Q&A

Sunday, June 23 9-11 am

Home Depot (1900 Baseline Rd)

To reserve a time slot, send us a message through Facebook!

Landscape Designer Sara Jane Campbell will be onsite to help get your garden ready for rain!

https://www.facebook.com/events/365128154356759/

 





Date Changed to Saturday June 22: Save Byron Place Neighbourhood Fundraiser

14 06 2019

Note that the event is now taking place on Saturday, June 22.

From the Save Byron Place neighbourhood group:

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Highland Park Lawn Bowling Club Open House: TONIGHT

14 05 2019

Please see the attached poster from the Highland Park Lawn Bowling Club.

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Open House Flyer





Bike Fest at Dovercourt: May 15

2 05 2019
Bike Fest @ Dovercourt :
The Bike Fest @ Dovercourt is an annual cycling safety and play event that started out as a parent initiative at Broadview in 2009, and has evolved into a neighbourhood hosted at Dovercourt Recreation Centre. The goal of Bike Fest is to promote the benefits and fun of cycling while developing good safety habits for students of all ages, especially as they become more independent and mobile members of our community. Core activities will include helmet fitting, basic maintenance instruction, bike handling skills and rules of the road. There will be an amazing pop-up, challenge-by-choice mountain bike trail-obstacle course, bike art and a bike wash! For older kids and adults we will have folks to help inspire ideas on making our community even better for cycling.
Bike Fest is run by a group of Broadview parent volunteers and community partners who have come together over the years, including Dovercourt, Ottawa Public Health, City of Ottawa cycling, and the Envirocentre. This year we will welcome Bike Ottawa, The Yard (indoor bike park) and Velofix mobile bike repair.
Bike Fest @ Dovercourt is on Wednesday May 15th from 2:30pm to 5:30pm. See you there for a great start to the cycling season!




Jane’s Walk: Follow the Raindrop on May 4

30 04 2019

Please see this message from Jane’s Walk:

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Follow the Raindrop!
Join Jennifer Stelzer from EnviroCentre as she guides you though the life of a raindrop! Using materials and information from the City of Ottawa’s RAIN program, we will learn the path that water takes from the time it lands on your property until it reaches the river! We will explore the wonderful world of downspouts, drains, ditches, and debris! Together we will see good examples of rain gardens, permeable driveways and other solutions to managing rainwater where it lands.

Come learn how you can make your home RAIN and river friendly. Slow it Down, Soak it Up, Keep it Clean!

Guides:

Julia Robinson and Jennifer Stelzer

When:
Date: Sat May 4, 2019
Time: 1:00 PM
Duration: 1 hour 30 min
Language: English
Where:
Start: Westboro Beach Underpass
End: Westboro Beach
Area: Westboro
Distance: 3.25 kms
Accessibility:

The walk will follow city sidewalks and paved pathways.  At the very end of the tour we may go right down on the riverbank to the water’s edge.

More information can be found by clicking here.





Parkdale United Church: 1st Annual Amnesty International “Write for Rights” Event

29 11 2018

Please note this announcement from a neighbour:

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Parkdale United Church is holding its first Amnesty International “Write for Rights” event on Sunday, December 9, from 12:30 to 3:30.  Could you please add the following information to your website’s community calendar/events and Facebook pages:

Write for Rights at Parkdale United Church

When: Sunday, December 9, 12:30 – 3:30

Where: Parkdale United Church, at the corner of Parkdale and Gladstone. Please enter by the ramp off Gladstone.

More details:   Join in the biggest human rights event in the world, Amnesty International’s “Write for Rights”.  This is Parkdale’s first Amnesty write-a-thon, but they have taken place since 2001. Last December, hundreds of thousands of letter writers all over the world wrote five and a half million letters and messages in support of those whose human rights have been violated. Because they are under threat all over the world, this year’s campaign will focus on courageous women peacefully advocating for human rights.  Parkdale’s write-a-thon event is open to all. Coffee kindly donated by Bridgehead.





From a Neighbour: Response to Rezoning Request for Triplexes on Byron

7 11 2018

Please see the attached from a neighbour on a rezoning request for triplexes on Byron. Note that these have been submitted to the City.

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Comments Regarding Planning Committee Decision on Rezoning – 266 and 270 Byron Zoning By-law Amendment Application No. D02-02-17-0037_R Pellarin

 





Westboro Resident Max Finkelstein: Thoughts on Intensification in our Community

7 11 2018

A letter from Westboro resident Max Finkelstein: Thoughts on Intensification in our Community

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Lot after Lot, Thought After thought: The Westboro Story

Or:

Pontification on intensification: the Westboro story

 

This year has seen a bumper crop of little black and white signs all over Westboro.   Back in September, a couple sprouted up on the lot next door informing us of a request for two ‘minor variances’ to allow the construction of two triplexes on the property. Another black and white sign appeared at 514 Roosevelt, just south of Kenwood, also seeking approval for two tripleses and  the same two ‘minor variances. And so began what we have come to call “Westboro and the Creeping Triplex Menace”.  For those of you who actually live in triplexes, please understand that we are not against triplex residents, nor are we against triplexes, but we are against development that contravenes the spirit of the zoning bylaw and that is unplanned, unsupported by the community,  and opportunistic.

For the past few weeks, we have been pouring over the official plan, zoning by-laws, streetscape analyses and other planning tools. Coffee has been spilled many times, as we drift off late in the night trying to understand the complexities of urban planning. But all this research has reinforced what we, and you, already know – that the factors that contribute the most to making a neighbourhood feel like an extension of your home can’t be counted or measured. A house, whether it is a single family home or a triplex, is an expression of values.

When we moved into Westboro two decades ago, we noted its tree-lined streets and unique homes. Attention to detail, pride in workmanship, artistic and innovative design….these homes spoke loudly, and those that are still there, still speak loudly, of these values and more. They looked as if they had grown there, and, like a mature tree, emanate a feeling of stability, of a place where the rate of change is just a little bit slower and saner. It was a neighbourhood that was a mix of small homes, stately homes, apartments, with the Jean d’Arc Convent, with its housing for single women, as one of the anchors of the neighbourhood character.  When we moved into our house at 487 Edison Ave.twenty years ago,  the house was divided into two apartments, and had been that way since about 1944. We lived in the downstairs apartment, and rented out the upstairs one. At one time, in our 1500 sq.ft. home there were seven people, and a few dogs, living there. Our tenants included students, and young families new to Canada (and some squirrels in the attic, and chipmunks under the front porch). It was only when our growing family made us feel cramped in the downstairs apartment that we decided to renovate the house into a single family home.

The first infills on our block, just after the new millennium, were aimed at middle income families. But intensification in the neighbourhood has taken the form of ever-bigger, and ever-more unaffordable, homes. Even the proposed triplexes next door would rent for $2,500 – $3,000/month, which limits them to high income earners. The one new proposal that has received strong community support is the Cornerstone housing development of 42 apartments for single women in the old Jean d’Arc Residence.

All neighbourhoods have a life cycle. Change is inevitable. But change needs to be planned so all the values that come together to make a great neighbourhood are not lost in the rush towards intensification and maximization of tax revenues – both good goals – but at what cost? We know the four tests to evaluate minor variances do not consider any of these values.  But we all know it when we see them, and when we don’t, in building proposals.  When we see identical ‘cookie-cutter’ designs plunked on lots that leave no room for mature trees to survive, when we see concrete and stone from lot line to lot line (‘intensification does not have to be ‘asphatification’) , when we see roof-lines as flat as a left-over morning-after  beer, everybody knows what values are being chosen, and not chosen.

Ottawa’s official plan states up front that  This Plan manages [this] growth in ways that reinforce the qualities of the city most valued by its residents: its distinctly liveable communities, its green and open character, and its unique characteristics that distinguish Ottawa from all other places….The qualities that make neighbourhoods special and contribute to their identity are valued in any consideration of land-use change.

The challenge to planners and politicians, the art and the poetry, is to balance change with community values. We can do both. Let’s work together to make it so. We can do better.

 

“If we add beauty to the world, we can be sure we are doing the right thing.”

 








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