Friday, December 15, 2017

December newsletter

The year in review
2017 was another busy year in our downtown neighbourhood. The next few decades will see substantial transformation with several major developments happening. Intensification brings challenges but also rewards to local residents.

Ground has recently broken for utilities work at 900 Albert, the vacant lands between the City Centre complex and Albert Street. The proposed development has yet to be approved, but will include up to three residential towers of about 50 stories, mixed with retail and commercial space. The DCA remains concerned about how the development will interact with the neighbourhood, and expects a formal development application in the new year.

Plans for redevelopment of the Booth St. Complex by Canada Lands Corporation are well underway. In the past year, consultations and open houses have been held to gather feedback on how the 6.5 acre area between Booth, Orangeville, Rochester and Norman Streets should be developed. Open access to community spaces and greenspace are priorities for the DCA, as is having Rochester Street designed as a complete street. Initial designs shown to the public advisory group have been positive, and an official public meeting will be held in the new year.

In May, Ottawa Community Housing (OCH) announced its purchase of the former Oak St. Complex (the field between Gladstone and Somerset along the O-Train pathway). The Gladstone Village plan provides some clarity on what will happen with the largest open parcel of land in the neighbourhood. The plan includes a mix of affordable and market rental housing, a French-language public school, and integration with a future Gladstone station. We will continue to push the city to complete the Gladstone Community Design Plan (CDP) process that had been paused while land ownership questions were sorted out.

In 2017 we were proud to establish a new community garden at the north-east corner of Preston Street and Somerset Street. Funding came from development benefit funds (Section 37) and the use of the land has been temporarily donated by the Vietnamese Canadian Centre.  The garden contains 72 plots and was entirely built by volunteers in May. On June 17 the garden officially opened. The first harvest season was bountiful and plans are underway for next season.

Upcoming events

There’s an application for a new apartment building at 770 Somerset St. W (at Lebreton St.) The proposal is for a 9-story building with retail at the ground level. There are several changes from a previous application and will affect how the building interacts with the street and neighbourhood. There will be an open house on January 9th at 6:30PM at the Dalhousie Community Centre.

As part of the transitway corridor through downtown, the stretch of Albert Street and Slater Street between Empress and Bronson will be redeveloped when the LRT opens. This section around the escarpment will be redesigned to simplify the corners and include new sidewalks and cycle tracks.

The Somerset West Community Health Centre (SWCHC) has received approval from Health Canada to open a Supervised Injection Site at their 55 Eccles location. Funds to renovate and operate the facility are still required from the Ministry of Health before the service can open.

More change is sure to come in 2018, especially as Confederation line construction ends and LRT service begins. Take any opportunity you can to get involved with your community.

Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on twitter at @DalhousieCA. To receive email updates, email with the word “subscribe” in the subject.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

November newsletter

Dalhousie Community garden
The Dalhousie Community garden benefited from the extended warm weather in the fall with a good harvest. Gardening has wrapped up for the season with a plot cleanup and an Annual General Meeting. The first year of the garden was a success and planning is underway for next year.

Traffic on Booth Street

Heavy traffic on Booth St. remains an issue. Last June, residents met with Councillor Catherine McKenney and Phil Landry of Ottawa Traffic Services to review the problem. As a result, several improvements have been made, including traffic counts and spot checks by Ottawa police, changes to parking and a reduced speed limit. Two concrete planters at the intersection of Booth and Primrose will bring more greenery to the street as well as further deter speeding.

City of Ottawa Budget 2018
The 2018 City of Ottawa Budget mentions Dalhousie ward a few times. The city has allocated money towards making the intersection of Gladstone Ave. and Rochester St. safer for pedestrians, and rehabilitating the Booth Street Bridge. There is also money for improving signage and connectivity along the Trillium Pathway Link to Dow’s Lake, as well as the improvement of the cycling corridor along Scott Street and Albert Street.

Functional Design Study and the Slater Street and Bronson Avenue Environmental Assessment Study
The City of Ottawa is studying Albert Street, Slater Street and the Mackenzie-King Bridge between Empress Avenue and Waller Street. Two studies will explore opportunities to improve walking, cycling, transit and general traffic along these streets when existing Transitway lanes will be reallocated after the O-Train Confederation Line opens in 2018. A public open house for both the Albert Street and Slater Street Corridors (Empress to Waller) Functional Design Study and the Slater Street and Bronson Avenue Environmental Assessment Study is taking place on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m at City Hall. For more information visit Catherine McKenney's website.

Welcome to the neighbourhood!

In December, Tall Tree Cycles bicycle boutique is moving into 806 Somerset St. West, near the corner of Booth.

The School of the Photographic Arts held its grand opening for their new location at 77 Pamila St. on Friday Nov. 10.

Keep in touch!
Be sure to like us on facebook and follow us on twitter at @DalhousieCA. To receive email updates, email with the word “subscribe” in the subject.

Monday, March 14, 2016

DCA March Newsletter

Norman OMB Appeal

After years of hard work and preparation by your neighbours, the DCA had its appeal of the decision to build a 10-story condo tower on Norman St. at the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). This would be the only tower that was permitted on any of the dead-end residential side streets in our neighbourhood, and will set a dangerous precedent if approved. The OMB is notoriously unfriendly to appeals from community groups, but we remain optimistic that an egregious case of over development will be overturned.

The decision has been reserved, meaning it will be some months before the board delivers a decision.

900 Albert

A proposal has been submitted to redevelop the vacant lands between the City Centre complex and Albert Street, officially known as 900 Albert.

A public open house was held on March 8, and details are now online at The proposal includes at least three 55-story apartment/condo towers and a substantial amount of retail space. There is also a proposal for a fourth tower that would use the Trillium O-train line's air rights (i.e. be built above). That extra proposal also includes another potential spot for the Ottawa Public Library main branch.

There is a long way yet to go in this process, and we will keep you up to speed on opportunities to comment and support the best possible development.

Rosemount Library Consultations

The READ Rosemount community group invites you to participate in a public consultation on the future development of the Rosemount Library.  Sessions will take place on Saturday March 19 (11:30 am to 2:00 pm) or Tuesday March 22(6:30 PM to 9:00 PM). Follow up sessions, building on discussions from the first round, will take place at the same times April 16 and April 19.  All happen at the Hintonburg Community Centre (1064 Wellington West). More details are at

New Civic Hospital

On March 7th, consultations were held regarding the location for the Civic Hospital.  Sites under consideration include a portion of the Experimental Farm, the former site of the Sir John Carling Building and Tunney’s Pasture. Actual construction of a new hospital is still many years away.

The DCA shares concerns about the use of the Experimental Farm for a new hospital. The farm is not just important to Ottawa, but includes internationally significant land experiments that can’t be replicated elsewhere. It should not be used for the hospital.

Otherwise, whichever location is chosen, we believe that it should use of existing transportation infrastructure (e.g., not require road widening or highway offramps), accommodate parking requirements on site, and have a plan to encourage the use of transit for staff, visitors and, where appropriate, patients.

Reducing Speeding

On March 23rd, city council will consider a motion from River Ward councillor Riley Brockington that would ask the province to give Ottawa the power to use photo radar to enforce speed violations.

Speeding in our neighbourhoods is a major concern. Too many of our streets have been built to accommodate unsafe speeds. Traffic calming is expensive, as is police enforcement. Photo radar offers the opportunity to effectively deter speeders at very little cost to Ottawa. That makes our streets safer at the expense of those that break the law.

Please help support this by signing the petition at

Keep in touch!

Be sure to like us on facebook and follow us on twitter at @DalhousieCA. To receive email updates, with the word “subscribe” in the subject.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Lebreton Flats: Make your comments!

We hope that you have had a chance to review the two proposals for the redevelopment of Lebreton Flats. If not, you can view details of both online via the National Capital Commission’s website until February 8th. The DCA will explore opportunities for hosting materials for review after that date.

The official public consultation continues until February 8th online. The questions are straightforward, and they ask what you think about each of the proposals and general overall comments.

It’s important that you take the time to express your concerns and what you would like to see at Lebreton Flats through this process. It is the primary way that we can signal to the NCC and proponents what we are looking for in the eventual development.

Remember: what we’ve seen so far are proposals, and may change a great deal even before a winner is selected.

The DCA will not be advocating for one proponent or another, but does believe that the following issues must be considered and reflected in whatever proposal is selected.

Below are elements that we will be highlighting to the NCC, the proponents, and other decision makers. If you are interested, please feel free to use this to help guide your comments.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

January Newsletter: Lebreton Flats Redevelopment and Transitway Detours

Lebreton Flats Redevelopment.

The NCC will be holding a public open house for the two bids to redevelop Lebreton Flats on January 26th and 27th at the Canadian War Museum.

This will be the only scheduled opportunity for the public to view and provide in-person comments on the proposals. It will also be the first opportunity to see officially what they include. An online consultation will continue into early February.

It has been widely reported in the media that both remaining bids will include an NHL-ready arena. There has been no other details as of yet about other aspects of proposals, including greenspace and residential and commercial uses.

There is every reason to be disappointed that this process has remained relatively opaque with limited opportunity for the public to provide feedback. We would encourage you to attend the open house in person if possible as well as to provide your thoughts to the NCC afterwards.
We would suggest that you consider the following matters. 

Print this and bring it with you!:
  • How does the proposal interact with the existing community? Does it connect in logical places? Is it easy to walk from nearby neighbourhoods, such as Chinatown and Little Italy, or are there apparent barriers that keep these areas separate, including not enough places to cross the LRT track?
  • Do any proposed commercial uses reflect the needs of the neighbourhood? What would you like to see there?
  • Do you think that there is an appropriate mix of housing types? Is there enough space for families? Are there rentals? Is there any affordable housing?
  • What is envisioned for any greenspace? Is it the sort of thing that you would use? What could improve it?
  • Do you think that the primary use (e.g. an Arena) is appropriate for public land?
  • How does the primary use animate the space on a regular basis, and how could that be improved? Does it have shops/services around it, or is it just blank space?
  • Will this development swamp our neighbourhood in cars like during other busy events, such as Bluesfest? What’s being done to minimize traffic?
  • What will be built first? Is all the nice stuff left to the end?

The NCC can choose to move ahead with a proposal, take parts of it, or reject everything outright. We will see at the end of January what we think should be the best option.

LRT Transit Detours Begin

On Sunday, the Albert Street Transitway detours will begin and will continue to sometime in 2018. Welcome to the buspocalypse.

We will monitor the implementation of the detour and continue to impress for any changes necessary to improve the situation in our community. The first snowstorm of the year was an early reminder that inclement weather can easily throw a wrench into the best-laid plans. We have also noted that the fencing along Albert St. has been damaged already, and have highlighted this with the Rail Office for repair.

We will keep an eye out for problems, but need your input as well. If you identify issues, please highlight them to us at the contact information below. Attached is the public notice from Ottawa's Rail Office.

Keep in Touch!
Questions? Comments?  Email
You can follow us, 140 characters at a time, on twitter at @dalhousieCA. Search for us on Facebook.

Friday, July 3, 2015

DCA July Update: Priorities, Park Updates and More!

1) AGM Update
2) DCA Priorities Project Update
3) McNabb Park Re-Opening: July 5th 11-4
4) Get involved in a DCA committee!

1) AGM Update

On June 16th, the DCA held it's annual general meeting at the Dalhousie Community Centre. There, we heard from Ottawa Centre MP Paul Dewar, who updated us on some of the matters affecting the neighbourhood at the federal level, including home delivery of mail and the NCC LeBreton Flats process, and Councillor Catherine McKenney, who provided an update on some of the matters affecting the ward and goals she has for improving how the community can interact with the city. The DCA also released the results of the Dalhousie Priorities Project, details of which are below.

The DCA board was also elected. Thanks to all those that have opted to join the board, as well as those who have served in the past year. 

2) DCA Priorities Project Update

At the Annual General Meeting, the DCA released the results of the Dalhousie Priorities Project, which had been running through the winter and spring.

The goal was to work towards achievable and tangible hyper-local projects. They needn't be large, complicated or expensive. They may require a small change or action by the city, but just as easily could be something that we as residents can take care of ourselves. The goal is to find ways to make our neighbourhood a little bit better.

This is a list pushing for community gardens, small ways to improve walking or biking facilities, and adding to our neighbourhood.

We'll be telling you more about how these roll out in the coming months. But ultimately, we will need your help to get them done. If you are interested in more information, email

In the meantime, you can see the full plan at the DCA website.

3) McNabb Park Official Re-Opening

The renovations to McNabb Park, including the construction of new playground equipment, a skateboard park, and a tremendous gate/public art project are now complete. To celebrate, an official opening will be taking place this weekend, with prizes, free bike tune-ups and food. Details are below from the councillor's office. 

McNabb Park Official Re-Opening

July 4 @ 11:00 am 4:00 pm

You’re Invited! 
Location: McNabb Park, 435 Bronson Ave., corner of Bronson and Gladstone
McNabb Park will officially re-open this Saturday at 11 a.m. and it promises to be a fun day with activities for families, sports enthusiasts and music lovers!
Speakers include Councillor McKenney, Mayor Jim Watson, artist Tim desClouds, who designed the beautiful entrance gate, and skateboard community representative, Aaron Cayer.
After the ribbon cutting, there will be the unveiling of the commemorative plaque in memory of Charlie Bowins in the skateboard park.

Refreshments will be served and there will be a BBQ provided by Union Local 613.

Afternoon skate park activities, organized by Antique Skate Shop, will include Charlie Bowins Best Trick, game of skate, and an open skate. Prizes will be rewarded to anyone smiling and skating.
There will also be live music around noon featuring the local Harea Band.

Plus lots more fun things to do, including:
    • Little kids area – hullahoops and bubbles
    • Kids soccer
    • Bike Rodeo: City of Ottawa information tables on bike safety etc., free bike bells and lights
    • Free bike tune-ups provided by Right Bike
    • Indoor skate park in McNabb arena 

4) Get involved in a DCA committee!

Care about transportation issues, local planning, greenspace, or want to help organize events in the neighbourhood? The DCA will be re-invigorating it's committees in the next few months. You need not be a member of the board to be a committee member, and the time commitment will be as little (or as much!) as you would like. Committees will meet locally at mutually convenient times.

Currently we are looking to have four committees:

1) Planning: Which focuses on development applications and other such issues in the neighbourhood.

2) Transportation: Looking at improving how we get around in the community, including pushing for better pedestrian and cycling facilities and keeping roads safe for residents.

3) Greenspace and Gardening: This will focus on improving the greenspace in our neighbourhood, including community and guerilla gardening.

4) Outreach: This will focus on the outward facing elements of the DCA, including organizing public events and communicating with members.

If you are interested in participating in these, please email with COMMITTEE in the subject line.

Friday, September 12, 2014

All Candidates Debate: September 23rd

Ottawa's municipal election is fast approaching, and residents of our ward will have an important choice to make on October 27th.

To help you in that process, the Dalhousie Community Association, in conjunction with the Preston BIA, Chinatown BIA and CKCU FM will be hosting an all candidates debate on September 23rd at St. Luke's Church. Doors open at 6:30 and the event begins at 7pm.

There are 10 people running to represent us at City Hall, and the person that's elected will play an important role in shaping our community for years to come. This is a great opportunity to see what the contenders have to say.

What do you want to hear them discuss? The DCA is finalizing the format of this debate, and welcomes input on themes you would like to see raised. Feel free to comment on this post or email

Monday, June 23, 2014

Planning Committee meets today to consider the Preston-Carling Community Design plan, which will shape our neighbourhood for decades to come. We've issued the press release below to highlight some of our concerns.

There are a number of elements that need to be amended to protect the things that matter most in our community. For more information, you can visit

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

DCA AGM, with Guest Speaker Dr. Mark Kristmanson

The Dalhousie Community Association will be holding its annual general meeting on Tuesday, April 29th at 7:00PM at the Dalhousie Community Centre.

We are very excited to welcome Dr. Mark Kristmanson, CEO of the National Capital Commission, as our keynote speaker. Our neighbourhood is bounded to the north and south by NCC land. The redevelopment of Lebreton Flats is gradually reshaping the northern portion of our neighbourhood, and the parklands along the Ottawa River and Dow’s Lake are important greenspaces to our community.

At the meeting, we’ll also provide an overview of the past year in our neighbourhood, what’s coming up in the year ahead, and elect new members of the board. This is your chance to get involved in helping make our neighbourhood a better place.