Tag Archives: Rideau Street

Eye Spy: Vocal Advocating Attendees at RideauSt CDP Planning Primer

I attendimageed the 1st of three Rideau St Community Development Plan (CDP) planning primers hosted by Ottawa City Planner Melanie Knight at the Rideau St Library this morning.

Though the room was about half full the meeting was amply  filled with vocal input from advocates from Lowertown & Sandy including Chris Bradshaw, Diane Beckett and Francois Bregha. It was an informative meeting with a very animated discussion around the way we ensure a thriving mainstreet. Highlights were not using the highest building as the guideline for height (there are only 4 over 10 stories and only 1 over 15 – hardly a hand-tying precedence for towers), creating open inviting corridors from Rideau to nearby parks (either side at Chapel St & to MacDonald Gardens)  and creating resting spots or plaza’s on Rideau st.

The final session is tonight at 6pm. It should be fun and vocal as I know of at least two strong advocates & visionaries Eric Goodwin & Catherine Fortin-LeFaivre who will be in attendance. I hope you will be too!

Eye Spy: Open House on Rideau Street Re-Design

The 1st Open House for the Rideau St re-design will be March 26th, 3-8PM at the Rideau Library. Pop-in to see the plans.

In December 2013 the City of Ottawa deemed it important to re-open the Community Design Plan (CDP) created in 2005 “to provide clear direction for future development.” Read more on the reasons for reopening the CDP and the items  affected (e.g., Building height, traffic management, etc) here.

This open house will be the first opportunity for the community to see and comment on proposed changes. The Uptown Rideau area covers Rideau street from King Edward to the Cummings Bridge which leads to our neighbours in Vanier and the Montreal Road.

We are hopeful  this is the first step in ensuring a traditional low-rise strolling- and-shopping, patio-friendly commercial street that locals and visitors can enjoy. Rideau is a key corridor linking the Byward Market to Sandy Hill, Lowertown & Vanier. Rather than belonging to no-one it belongs to every neighbourhood in our Ward. At the very heart of Ward 12 Rideau must be fully transformed from a conduit to other places to a desirable liveable destination.

Wednesday March 26, 2014
Rideau Library – 377 Rideau Street
Drop in anytime between 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Eye Spy: Serious Words on Revitalising our Hood

Tomorrow is the cut-off for letters to the City Planning department on a proposal from Dharma Development that wishes to more than double the height allowed on Upper Rideau Street.

bytownerideau1.pngI want a strolling, shopping corridor so I wrote this to City Planning. I want businesses like the Bytowne, Auntie Loos, Rideau Bakery and All Books. I want them supported by foot-fall and I want more of their ilk. Strongly worded? Yes but if we don’t advocate for our neighbourhood who will?
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Re: File Number D02-02-13-0129 – Zoning By-law Amendment Proposal, 541-545 Rideau Street

I am writing to you today to oppose the proposal to rezone 541-545 Rideau Street. The proposal brought by Dharma Developments violates current zoning restrictions and goes directly against the City’s stated aim to create a Traditional Mainstreet (TM) on Upper Rideau.  The City spent taxpayer money developing the Upper Rideau Design Plan in 2005 with the communities’ involvement to identify the best approach to creating the best possible Street. To allow rezoning is wasteful of taxpayers’ money and disrespectful of the Ward’s wishes.

The City planning has stated that their “hands are tied” in respect to high-rise developments as they were zoned for height and the City must respect the owners rights. This was a response from City planning when asked why we can’t spot-rezone for lower height –it is always and only greater capacity the City bows to. Let the City have their hands tied and be respectful citizen and property owners rights in areas zoned for low-rise development.  The City must have an equal obligation towards respecting the investments of property buyers that purchased in areas zoned as low-rise. Let’s finally start respecting investments equally be they by corporation or individual.

To be completely clear a TM means buildings should be no higher than 19meters – ideal for light thus encouraging strolling and patios which are two much needed developments on Upper Rideau.  The Dharma Development proposal wants to more than double the zoned height restriction and tear-down 541 Rideau a building noted as “of Heritage Interest”.  The last thing residents of the Upper Rideau want – and that the City as a whole should encourage – is the transformation of beautiful old neighbourhoods in to an extension of the wind-tunnel dark shadowed portion of Rideau Street between King Edward and Cumberland.

That these old neighbourhoods have been neglected is no excuse for irresponsible development.  One need only look to the transformation of Bank St in Old Ottawa South to see the flourishing benefits of listening to Community input.

I want to see new developments on Upper Rideau that enhance the liveability of the street.  Developments must encourage quality businesses catering to and are supported by the neighbourhood.  Currently Upper Rideau St is not a “destination” it is a cut-through for car drivers.  Building light-blocking high-rises will reinforce this. If the City is sincere in its stated plan then it needs to respect the Upper Rideau St Design and, as this plan states, adhere to the zoning of 19ft height that allows no more than between 6-9 stories; as opposed to the 16stories the current proposal request.  The Upper Rideau Street plan was adopted 8 years ago – let’s enforce it today.

Developing Upper Rideau Street properly can – given the diversity & density of the surrounding neighbourhoods including Sandy Hill, Lowertown, Vanier & the Byward Market –create a natural shopping and strolling corridor between Vanier and Byward. Doing this will strengthen the quality of businesses, the desirability of all four neighbourhoods and create a vibrant shopping street to rival any seen in Old Ottawa South or Wellington West.

It is time for the City to get serious about the commitment to transform Upper Rideau – talk and planning sessions and whitepapers are nothing other than a waste of taxpayer money if they are not implemented.

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Please feel free to copy this letter and email it with your own message to Douglas.james@ottawa.ca
Letters on this proposal are due by end of day 17 February 2014

Mr. Douglas James
Planning and Growth Management Department
City of Ottawa
110 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, ON, K10 1J1

Eye Spy: Rideau Street ReVitalised & ReDiscovered

Yowzers!  There’s a flurry of activity on Rideau Street today.

RibbonCuttingDSCN7439Djembe players lent beats to the proceedings as the Mayor, Councillor Fleury, local businesses and the Downtown Rideau BIA came together for the ribbon cutting ceremony & BBQ to mark the official re-opening – if not completion (Friel through Wurtemburg & Rideau River bridge still in progress) of the Rideau Street redevelopment project.

Mark Thompson

Mark Thompson

Mark Thompson & his beautiful light art was displayed – on a smaller scale – while awaiting road work completion. The 4 LED visual art installations will be situated between Waller & Coburg streets and stand 9 feet tall sparkling in the daylight whilst shimmering at night. I seriously can’t wait for these beauties.

DSCN7452Rideau Bakery outdid themselves; their cake decorated with historic pictures from the streets elegant past. Businesses up and down Rideau set up sidewalk displays offering discounts, gifts and taking the time to get to know their neighbours.

I picked up some lovely reflector straps and bike lights outside the EnviroCentre.  I love this organisation they are so involved with Ottawa happenings and they’re offering discounts of 25-50% off today at the Rideau Street location where we chatted with the lovely Sheila & Melissa.

DSCN7454Later we discovered the Rideau Homeopathy wellness centre with physiotherapist & homeopath Mokhtar Akbari and massage therapist & acupuncturist Lori Mackay – 418 Rideau.

So many businesses were set up it’s a hard to name them all from Loblaw’s with a free BBQ to jamaican patties at the DJ Market  by the African Heritage Centre, the local Library, Cony’s Nail Spa, Bytowne Cinema, Riccioli – such a fun time.

DSCN7455A final highlight was meeting Indigo who not only set up the most beautiful table but filled us in on the monthly Sandy Hill Good Food Market at 731 Chapel St.  September’s market is tomorrow Saturday the 28th from 11am-3pm and they are hosting a community harvest BBQ from 1pm.  Come for the market and stay for the great eats!! Future market dates will definitely be posted on the SandyHillSeen website from now on.

Counting on Sandy Hill by the Numbers

NumbersSandy Hill is a neighbourhood of many facets and this website will provide residents and visitors with information to fully enjoy this eclectic and exciting quarter.

This site will equally be a “listings” home for the many events held locally including Art in The Park, Dusk Dances, Jane Walks, Yoga classes, ASH meetings, Community days, garage sales and more.

The current site will be developed, and lay-out rapidly improved, but for now we leave you with some Sandy Hill stats rather than an Under Construction place holder.  Welcome and enjoy!

People – over 10 000 strong 

  • 12,451 (2011 census).  A bilingual neighbourhood with an eclectic mix of families, professionals– from Ambassadors through Chefs – and students.

Incredible Public Transport  – Get Anywhere in Ottawa Car-free

  • The Transit Way at Ottawa University (Laurier & Campus stops) or the Rideau Centre (Mackenzie King stop) provide over 50 bus options
  • 5 & 16 running off Laurier Avenue
  • 7, 12, 14 & 18 on Rideau Street
  • Multiple VrtuCar car-sharing sites

IMG_5864Bike Paths & Walking – Minutes to Centretown, The Market & Beyond
Sandy Hill is a community that embraces walking and cycling due to the easy access of this neighbourhood to schools, shops and amenities from Rideau St, the Byward Market, Rideau Centre, Elgin street/Centretown and Vanier.  On foot or by bike these neighbourhood are mere moments away whilst further biking to Westboro beach, the Old Ottawa South farmer’s market and beyond is a cinch on two-wheels.

  • Rideau Canal bike paths can be accessed via Ottawa University & the pedestrian/bike Corkstowne Bridge
  • Rideau River Bike Paths are accessed via Strathcona Park
  • Stewart Street has a dedicated west-bound bike path
  • Wilbrod has a dedicated east-bound bike path

Parks:  (# square feet of green space) Sandy Hill is a green neighbourhood with elegant old trees lining the streets and beautiful parks and community gardens.

  • IMG_5857Strathcona Park runs along the Rideau River at the east end of Sandy Hill. A beautiful expansive oasis with a sparkling fountain on the crest where park meets Laurier Avenue.  Strathcona is home to art and theatre events in the Summer months (Odyssey Theatre, Dusk Dances, Art in the Park, Rag and Bone and more). Has gothic ruins to climb and two play structures , 2 wading pools (Strathcona Park & Dutchy’s Hole)and great tobogganing in the winter months.  One of Ottawa’s premiere parks it meets every comer’s needs.
  • Dutchy’s Hole and Robinson’s Field – often considered part of Strathcona Park these two green spaces are located at the southern end of Strathcona and joined up by the pedestrian cycling path along the river.  Dutchy’s Hole has playstructures, a great dog entrance to the river, a wading pool and is home to the Sandy Hill Community Garden. Robinson’s field is, as the name indicates, a very large playfield with lots of green space for sun worshiper’s, book readers and dog-walkers.  Robinson’s Field also houses the Strathcona Heights’ Community Garden.IMG_5868
  • St Germain Park – nestled next to the Sandy Hill Community centre at the South Western tip of Sandy Hill where King Edward meets Mann Avenue this park is perfect for active Sandy Hill residents. A play field, dog park, extensive new climbing facilities and a wading pool are some of St Germain’s key features. In the winter a well maintained outdoor rink is located on the playing field and they even have a small ice-run for new skaters.
  • Chapel Street Splash Park – A small shady park between Rideau and Laurier the Chapel street park is an ever popular destination for water play, relaxation and picnics.

Businesses & Services:  Sandy Hill is spoiled for services, eateries, and coffeeshops. For a complete listing see our comprehensive  Business Directory.

Embassies – The elegant tree-lined neighbourhood is home to over 30 embassies. From Albania, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Egypt, Switzerland, Tanzania and so many more the international flavour of Sandy Hill is undeniable!  See a complete list of embassies here.

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Education

  • University of Ottawa
  • Le Cordon Bleu – Culinary Arts Institute
  • Ecole FrancoJeunesse
  • Viscount Alexander Public School
  • Bettye Hyde Daycare & After-School Care
  • Wilbrod Daycare

Come and visit us again soon as the information and events on this site grow and flourish. Live your Sandy Hill Seen (sic) to the full!