April 12, 2023 Newsletter


Last Week’s Ice Storm 

Certainly, the big news over the past two weeks has been the ice storm that hit Ottawa-Gatineau last Wednesday, and the way the city recovered from this event. Certainly, the city continues to experience a growing number of weather-related events, and we must take stock of this and be better prepared for it. But Ward 9 continues to experience a greater level of impact from these storms, and a troubling pattern is emerging where it’s taking longer to get Ward 9 communities restored from lengthy power outages. At one point on Saturday, when most of the city had long since recovered power, the remaining outages in Ward 7 (Bay Ward), Ward 8 (College Ward) and Ward 9 (Knoxdale-Merivale) easily accounted for far more than 33% of the remaining outages.  

There are several neighbourhoods in Ward 9 that have been among the last to have their power restored, with several Ward 9 neighbourhoods having gone 10+ days without power after the derecho. There are also several areas in Ward 9 that are on well and septic, which experience an extra layer of inconvenience when a power outage means they don’t have running water or can’t operate their pumps to prevent basement flooding. Finally, too many vulnerable residents in hi-rise apartment buildings are being left dangerously exposed in these power outages, especially when cold weather persists.     

As I’m a member of the Emergency Preparedness & Protective Services Committee, it’s my intention to conduct a postmortem with Hydro Ottawa to get a better sense of why outer urban wards have been most severely impacted by these events, and how can better systems of prioritization and response be put in place to deliver a more equitable system.  

However, there was still a lot of good news to acknowledge in how our city responded. Most residents had their power restored within 72 hours of the storm, which is what Hydro Ottawa promised. And Hydro Ottawa received a lot of support from public and private electrical companies from across the region. Ottawa Police and Ottawa Fire Services provided excellent support. Our city’s Public Works Department (and especially Forestry Services) were heavily involved in ensuring resident safety. And our city’s Emergency Operations Centre continues to improve its service delivery during crises.  

While I’m certainly proud of the work that my office and my team did during this event, I want to extend my congratulations and gratitude to Ward 8 Councillor Laine Johnson, who took on a strong leadership role during this crisis. Her constituents are very fortunate to have her compassion and leadership.  

On Saturday, Councillor Johnson was able to secure a very generous sponsorship from IKEA, who donated 400 hot meals (prepared by more than 20 IKEA employees who volunteered their time and effort on their day off). Several councillors, Mayor Mark Sutcliffe and I then joined Councillor Johnson to pack our vehicles with the meals, and deliver them to the relief centres the city had set up at Pinecrest Recreation Complex and Howard Darwin Arena. 

My executive assistant Tim Abray and I were then able to take a batch of those meals to an apartment building on Eleanor Drive that was without power, where we climbed 11 storeys (it was exhausting) to deliver meals and juice to all the building’s vulnerable, stranded residents. This group included Dr. Lynn Ashdown; the disability rights advocate who had been stranded in her apartment for 10 days during the derecho. Visiting Lynn and hearing how she was re-experiencing the strain of the derecho all over again reinforced my commitment to improving our city’s capacity to take care of vulnerable residents during a crisis.  


Post-Storm Cleanup 

Now that power has been restored, many residents will be dealing with the aftermath of cleaning up after the event. Whether it’s dealing with food waste or clearing limbs and branches from damaged trees, the City has suggestions for how residents can manage the post-storm cleanup.  


Why are municipalities strapped for cash if the province is rich? 

Regular readers of this newsletter will be familiar with the concerns I’ve raised previously about the tight situation that the City of Ottawa has found itself in when it comes to our finances. Our 2023 budget is clearly an austerity budget that’s been euphemistically labeled a “tighten our belts” budget. And that budget’s success relies on the as yet-unfulfilled promises that the province will write massive cheques to bail out LRT, to support the costs of derecho clean-up, and to make us whole in response to Bill 23.  

And so, I think that Ward 9 residents will appreciate a recent article from CBC Toronto journalist Mike Crawley called “As Ontario rolls in tax dollars, why are its municipalities so cash-strapped?”  

The main point of Crawley’s article is to point out that the province is getting richer while cities are getting poorer. But the province is also “downloading” more and more financial responsibilities to municipalities, who are finding it harder and harder to pay for them. “The [financial] responsibilities that cities have in Ontario far outstrip their capacity to pay for them,” says a professor quoted in the article.  

It’s important that residents of Ottawa recognize the extremely difficult situation we find ourselves in when it comes to our relationship with the province, and specifically this Provincial government. Some residents might prefer that I not call into question another level of government in this newsletter, but it is important to take honest stock of the political landscape so that we can make the best possible decisions for our community’s future.  

City Hall Update 

The past two weeks have been relatively quiet at City Hall. But there is certainly a lot happening on the immediate horizon.  

At this week’s City Council meeting, we will be voting on the proposal to award a grant to the Ottawa Airport as part of their application for funding from the Airport’s Community Improvement Plan (CIP). Residents may recall that the Airport had been seeking $13 million in tax relief over a 25-year period. That proposal was brought to the Finance and Corporate Services Committee last week, where the vote ended up in a 6-6 tie. Due to the tie vote, the matter is now going to be decided on at Council. It’s interesting to note that the Airport has submitted a revised request for $5 million over a 10-year period. 

My position on this matter is the same: I will not be supporting this proposal. As it’s entirely possible that the hotel could get built without this grant, and any tax relief that we offer is potential lost revenue. Further, the success of this hotel could jeopardize the viability of other hotels servicing the airport, and in this instance I can’t justify using public funds to favor one business at the expense of several others.     

In other news, Ward 9 residents may recall in a recent newsletter that I had been very concerned about the clear-cutting that was discovered in February in the forests near Tewin, which was the focus of our March 21 Environment & Climate Change Committee. I am still not satisfied with what we’ve learned about that episode, and further action is needed. A small group of councillors and I have requested to view the lease that had been signed between Taggart/AOO and a local farmer as well as other documents in the City’s possession to better understand the legitimacy and history of the farming operation. And Councillor Theresa Kavanagh will be seeking to pass a motion at this week’s Council meeting to have the clear-cutting operation assessed by the provincial Normal Farm Practices Protection Board to determine whether it can be seen as a “normal farm practice.”  

At our last Emergency Preparedness & Protective Services Committee meeting, we reviewed the action report on the City’s response to the May 2022 derecho. While the report was largely positive, there are still areas of improvement that myself and several councillors are seeking, including an acceleration of how the city plans to engage residents and community associations in being part of an organized response to future crises.  

Finally, at our upcoming Transportation Committee meeting on April 17, the committee will receive and debate the latest update to the Transportation Master Plan, including the list of recommended active transportation projects and infrastructure projects for Ward 9.  


Grace Period for Vacant Unit Tax 

If you haven’t yet filed your declaration for the new Vacant Unit Tax (VUT), it’s time to get it done. The official deadline passed on March 16 but, because this is the first year of the program, there is a grace period to get your declaration in. The hard deadline is April 30. After that date, if you have not yet made a declaration, your property will be registered as vacant and you will be charged the VUT (which is equal to one per cent of the assessed value of your property). 

To make your declaration, you can sign in to My ServiceOttawa and file it online or you can call the city Revenue Services at 613-580-2444. If you have questions or want to learn more about the new VUT program, you can visit the Vacant Unit Tax page on the City of Ottawa website. 



Emergency Preparedness Tools 

As ward 9 residents are undoubtedly aware, emergencies can strike at any time and emergency preparedness is key. Last year’s devastating derecho and as recently as last week’s ice storm prove that there is no such thing as being too prepared. The City has consulted with residents and stakeholders to create the Community Emergency Toolkit which provides information, guidance, and resources to help communities get started in developing a community emergency plan. This guide encompasses roles and responsibilities, guidance and planning, and resources and training. 
Are you ready? Check out the City’s webpage on emergency preparedness for more information on what to do before, during, and after an emergency, and how to develop your own emergency preparedness plan and kit. 


City of Ottawa Infrastructure & Engagement Website 

Our office team is helping to advance several Ward 9 infrastructure projects, many of which unfold over several years of consultation, planning, design, planning, and construction. For residents who wish to get a sense of the various infrastructure projects taking place across Ward 9 or even across Ottawa, the city has a simple-to-use interactive website where you can pinpoint local projects for additional information. Any questions about local infrastructure projects should be sent to Councillor’s Assistant Alex Harris at [email protected]   

The City of Ottawa has also produced a website with a comprehensive list of projects on a ward-by-ward basis that staff are seeking to consult the community on. This list includes everything from infrastructure renewal to By-law reviews, to traffic management studies. For a list of projects impacting Ward 9 and to get involved in the consultation process, please visit the site here.  


Craig Henry Drive Update 

As part of the City of Ottawa’s annual infrastructure maintenance cycle, road resurfacing will begin in April 2023 on Craig Henry Drive from Aldridge Way to Knoxdale Road, and will continue until late summer. Work will involve concrete works, milling/pulverizing of the existing surface, iron adjustments granular road base upgrade, granular shouldering, ditching, and roadway resurfacing. Increased noise levels are to be expected in order to facilitate the work. 

As the various road reconstruction activities are in progress on your street, on-street parking will be restricted. In the event that access to your driveway is restricted due to construction activities, a Temporary On-Street Parking Permit (orange form) will be distributed to permit on-street parking within two blocks of your residence. 

The Contractor will take every precaution to minimize interruptions to the normal life of your family and/or operation of your business, but as you can appreciate, there may be some inconvenience during construction. We would like to thank you in advance for your patience and co-operation. For construction activity hours of work, the City of Ottawa follows provincial requirements and the City’s Noise By-law (2017-255) 

LRT Stage 2 Update 

In the most recent quarterly update, we heard that the western extension, from Tunney’s Pasture Station to Moodie and Algonquin stations, is expecting a delay of up to 17 months against the contractual completion date of May 25, 2025. Production rates and accumulated delays on the cut and cover tunnel along the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway and Byron Linear Park are pushing the overall project completion date to late 2026. 
Upcoming O-Train West Construction Activities 

  • Through 2023: Excavation, structural work, and construction of Cut and Cover Tunnels will continue 
  • Through 2023: Rail installation begins at Moodie LMSF 
  • Summer: Installation of Queensview Station Pedestrian Bridge 
  • Summer: Construction of approach ramps to Woodroffe Pedestrian Bridge 

O-Train West Mobility Impacts 



Traffic & Mobility Impacts 

(Dominion to Tunney’s Pasture) 

Through to revenue service 

Full closure with buses detoured onto Scott 

Richmond Road 
(Cleary Ave to McEwen Ave) 

Through Fall 2023 

Multiple off-peak lane closures, intersection reconfigurations and temporary road detours 

Richmond Road 
(Westbound from New Orchard 
to McEwen Ave) 

Through Fall 2023 

Westbound Richmond detoured to Ambleside 

Woodroffe (Richmond to Byron) 

Spring 2023 

Full closure for approximately 2 weeks to remove temporary bridge and build the permanent road over the tunnel. 

Carling Avenue 
(Lincoln Fields) 

Fall 2023 

Entrance to Lincoln Fields Station shifted west and south of Carling with the addition of a new intersection 

(Pinecrest to Bayshore) 

Through to revenue service 

Buses detoured onto Highway 417 

Highway 417 and 
Pinecrest Interchange 

Through Fall 2023 

Westbound off-ramp closed to traffic 

Highway 417 (Pinecrest to 

Spring 2023 

Closure of Hwy 417 WB then 417 EB over weekends 

(Iris to Baseline) 

Through to revenue service 

Closure of Transitway with buses detoured onto Woodroffe Avenue. Iris alignment is in final configuration 

Woodroffe Pedestrian Bridge 

Through to Spring 2023 

Pedestrian Bridge and MUP detoured onto Carling Ave 


OC Transpo 2023 Spring Service Changes 

Regular adjustments to OC Transpo’s schedule take place four times a year – spring, summer, fall and winter. Spring service begins Sunday, April 23, 2023. 

Service Adjustments 

  • The weekday trip on Route 75 that starts at Tunney’s Pasture Station at 16:07 will be extended to end at the Minto Recreation Centre instead of Barrhaven Centre. 
  • Service on Route 97 to and from the Ottawa International Airport will be increased from every 30 minutes to every 15 minutes through most of the service day, seven days a week. This will restore the frequency of service to the airport to what it was before changes were implemented in Summer 2021 as result of low ridership due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • As part of the regular review of schedules to improve reliability and service for customers, schedule adjustments will be made to the following routes:  
  • On weekdays, O-Train Line 2 replacement bus service and routes 40, 57, 88, 168, 170, 171, 231, 261, and 263. 
  • On weekends, routes 61, 62, 63, and 88. 

Seasonal Service Changes 

  • Frequency on O-Train Line 2 replacement bus and on Route 25 will be reduced in certain time periods on weekdays, to reflect reduced seasonal ridership levels at Carleton University and La Cité. 
  • Frequency on routes 56 and 57 will be reduced in certain time periods on weekdays, 
    to reflect seasonal changes in ridership. 



Community Engagement Series 

We are continuing to promote our new format Community Engagement Series, which has been working quite well since we launched it in March. At our last Thursday Night Think Tank, we focused on the critical subject of Housing. We had almost 20 people from across Ottawa participate in a great discussion, with a surprise appearance from the Executive Directors of the Alliance to End Homelessness Ottawa, as well as the Ottawa Community Land Trust.  

Here are some of our upcoming Community Engagement Series events:  



Covid-19 & Health Update  

Levels of respiratory viruses in Ottawa largely remain stable. Influenza and RSV activity is similar to the week prior, while COVID-19 wastewater activity has increased and percent positivity remains moderate. 

Wastewater surveillance:  

  • Influenza: low levels and similar to last week  
  • COVID-19: very high levels and increasing since last week  
  • RSV: low levels and similar to last week  

Percent positivity:  

  • Influenza: 1.1 percent. Low levels and similar to last week.  
  • COVID-19: 7.9 percent. Moderate levels and decreasing since last week.  
  • RSV: 0.4 percent. Low levels and similar to last week.  

This information and much more can always be consulted on Ottawa Public Health’s website under the Respiratory and Enteric Surveillance Report. 


School Crossing Guards Needed 

Join the Ottawa Safety Council’s (OSC) dedicated, community-minded team of Adult Crossing Guards!  

Great reasons to join the OSC’s crossing guard team:  

  • Make a real difference in your own community!  
  • Get to know your neighbours  
  • Help local families  
  • Become a trusted face in your neck of the woods  
  • Enjoy supplementary income and perks  

Being a Crossing Guard provides a meaningful employment opportunity that puts a smile on everyone’s face.  

Interested in learning more? Get all the details on becoming a crossing guard from OSC’s website at https://www.ottawasafetycouncil.ca/employment-opportunities/ or contact Stephanie at [email protected] 


Hazardous Waste Drop-off Schedule 

Every year, the City of Ottawa hosts drop-off events to ensure that resident’s hazardous waste is 
safely collected, transported, and appropriately recycled or disposed of. This helps to protect the 
environment and decreases the risk of toxic materials ending up in our collection vehicles or 

  • Sunday April 23 RCGT Stadium, 300 Coventry Road 
  • Saturday May 6 Rideau Carleton Raceway, Hard Rock Casino, 4837 Albion Road South 
  • Sunday June 25 Canadian Tire Centre 200 Cyclone Taylor Blvd. 
  • Sunday July 9 Conroy Snow Dump 3100 Conroy Road 
  • Sunday August 13 Innes Snow Dump 2170 Mer Bleue Road 

Please note that drop-off event dates are subject to change. For the most up-to-date schedule, 
and to see the list of acceptable items, please visit Ottawa.ca/HHW. 



Pineglen Park Re-forestation and Playground Renewal 

Our office was happy to receive news of some exciting renovations to Pineglen Park in the Pineglen neighbourhood, scheduled for 2023 and 2024. This park was severely impacted by the 2022 derecho, including the complete destruction of the play structure, and the elimination of much of the park’s forested area. Over the next two years the park will get a brand new and updated play structure, as well as the planting over 1200 trees to shade the park area and re-forest the remaining area of this park. We’re happy to report that the City will be working closely with members of The Glens Community Association to ensure that the local residents are engaged in the process.  


BIA Meeting 

Did you know that Knoxdale-Merivale is one of the few wards in Ottawa not to have its own Business Improvement Area (BIA)? Well, not for long! Over the past few months Councillor Devine has been in discussions with the Ottawa Coalition of BIAs (OCOBIA) to discuss the growing interest of establishing a Merivale BIA. This is especially critical for our plans of revitalizing the Merivale corridor between Baseline and Viewmount into a comprehensive “live-work-shop-play" neighbourhood. This week Councillor Devine will be meeting with staff responsible for the city’s BIA program to get the Merivale process underway! 


Update on 1545 Woodroffe 

Residents who live near the intersection of Woodroffe Avenue and Knoxdale/Medhurst have long been aware of the pending status of the former Tim Hortons and car wash that had been damaged in the 2018 tornado, and which are part of the same footprint as the current gas station operating on that site. The property had gone through multiple owners and application plans, which had caused delays in development plans.  

Our office has received confirmation that new owners have received approvals for a new site plan, which will consist of a Circle K gas station/car wash/convenience store, along with a smaller Tim Horton’s restaurant and a cannabis retailer. We do not yet know which cannabis retailer will be operating at this site. Cannabis retailers are regulated by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). The property owner will need to obtain the required approvals and licenses from the AGCO before they are able to proceed. This process is outside the scope of the city’s Site Plan Control. 

Our office has learned that building permits will likely be submitted in April/May, in anticipation of construction to begin this summer. End of construction date is not known.  


Nestow Drive Update 

Residents in the Tanglewood area (and especially residents of Nestow Drive) are aware of the Hydro Ottawa construction work that began there in mid-March. This work has caused a certain level of confusion and frustration among residents, as it seemed to contradict the information and plans that were communicated by Hydro One. It’s important to note, however, that Hydro One and Hydro Ottawa are separate entities that are working on separate projects. Also worth noting is the quality and quantity of communications that our office has experienced between the two companies.  

Councillor Devine had a meeting with Hydro Ottawa representatives this week to convey our concerns about traffic safety, site maintenance, communications, and work schedule. Most of those concerns have been alleviated, and we anticipate that there will be better communications moving forward. As we are still concerned about traffic safety onsite, Councillor Devine will be conducting a site inspection this Tuesday to monitor traffic safety.  



Just for Kicks Soccer 

CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS & VOLUNTEERS: There’s a fantastic soccer program called Just For Kicks operating out of Trend Arlington. Players aged 5 – 99 with developmental disabilities get to be active and have fun while learning soccer skills. Activities are tailored to suit the individual needs of each player. No athletic experience is required. Parents get to watch from the sidelines as their family members make friends and participate in a lively summer pastime.  

Councillor Devine and his family have served as volunteers at Just For Kicks for several years and can attest to just how fantastic and rewarding this program is for everyone involved.  

The program runs Thursday evenings from July 6 – August 24 at Trend Arlington field. Registration fee is $35 which includes a uniform. Participants can register here. You can also find Just for Kicks on their Facebook page.  

This program runs entirely on volunteer power. Volunteers of any age and ability are welcome. Students can receive their volunteer hours. If you or someone you know would like volunteer, please contact the organizers through the registration link above.   


Ward 9 Community Association Events 

As spring season picks up, we’re seeing news about a lot of Ward 9 events being organized by our fantastic local community associations. Here’s just some of the events we’re aware of.  

The Tanglewood Hillsdale Community Association has several events announced, including their How to Prepare for Spring Planting event on April 17, their Young At Heart speaker series event on April 24, and their Arbor Day event on May 7. 

The Trend Arlington Community Association has a busy spring calendar, including their annual Spring Things event on April 29 (which includes their Cleaning the Capital program), and the annual Bike Rodeo on May 13, being hosted by the Arlington Woods Free Methodist Church.  

The Fisher Heights Community Association is hosting a Rummage Sale on April 15th.  

The General Burns Community Association is hosting their annual Fun Day on May 27th from 11am – 3pm.  


Eid Bazaar 

The South Nepean Muslim Community Centre is hosting an Eid bazaar this Saturday, April 15th from 12:00pm to 7:00pm. Stop by 3020 Woodroffe Avenue to see what’s on offer! 


Come Try Ringette!  

The Nepean Ringette Association is hosting a free Come Try Ringette event at the Nepean Sportsplex on April 23rd. Interested players and families can learn more here. 


Barrhaven Lions Pancake Breakfast 


Nepean Horticultural Society’s Healing Gardens 


Dementia Learning Summit 

The Canadian Institute for Seniors Care at Conestoga College is proud to announce that the Dementia Learning Summit is back for a second year. This two-day virtual conference from June 6 – 7, 2023 will provide attendees with the opportunity to participate in engaging presentations, interviews and activities on innovative solutions for dementia care.  


Parkwood Presbyterian Church: Lunch & Learn 

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