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.

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