Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Centretown updates for March 2011

The following message was sent to the e-mail list of the Centretown Citizens Community Association early this morning. Join the CCCA and get on the e-mail list to receive 2-3 updates per month from the CCCA. Note that Images of Centretown is my personal blog and not a blog of the CCCA.

Dear CCCA members and followers,

Here are some dates to mark on your calendars for upcoming meetings and events in Centretown:

Thursday, March 3, 2011, 7-9pm
City of Ottawa budget consultations for downtown residents

City Hall (Andrew Haydon Hall, ground floor)

Ask the mayor and councillors about the draft 2011 budget, including items affecting Centretown, and hear others ask their questions. This is the last opportunity for public input into the budget before Council begins deliberations! Through the City Centre Coalition and the Federation of Citizens' Associations, the CCCA has asked for the Alta Vista Transportation Corridor to be removed from the budget (see, and for the municipal election rebate program to be reinstated. Funding for the Laurier Segregated Bike Lane pilot project is included in the City's draft budget, as well as the previously-scheduled resurfacing for Laurier. The reconstruction of Bronson has been put off by at least a couple years, giving us time to really look at alternatives in the initiative. Among the many components of the 2.5% tax increase budget, there is some new money for social programs and affordable housing, and a freeze on recreational fees.

Saturday, March 5, 2011, 1pm, and
Monday, March 7, 2011, 5:30pm
CCCA Planning & Development Review Committee meetings

Saturday - Location TBD (Contact me)
Monday - City Hall (Honeywell room, second floor)

There are LOTS of new highrises being proposed for Centretown, and more proposals will be coming forward as developers try to get their projects approved before the City begins collecting Development Charge fees in August, after a freeze started in the early 1990's. Due to the volume, we've added a second meeting to give ourselves enough time to look at them all, and hopefully you'll come to at least one. You can look up the details for these projects at
- Lyon & Gloucester (17 storey condo)
- 70 Gloucester (second 27-storey tower next to 89-91 Nepean)
- 260 MacLaren (not yet submitted to the City)
- 340 McLeod

We've already discussed the 27-storey tower at 89-91 Nepean and spoken at Planning Committee against it; it has since been approved at Planning Committee and Council. We can discuss whether we want to appeal the decision at the OMB. We've also already discussed the Cathedral Hill development on the Christ Church block.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011, 5:30pm
CCCA Transportation Committee meeting
Meet at Bridgehead, Elgin and MacLaren

The Laurier Avenue segregated bicycle lane (SBL) pilot project was approved by City Council, with the CCCA's support. However, we'll be keeping a close eye on the impacts to residents and seniors in the area and making sure the city does, too. Of the many claims made by proponents and opponents about what will happen when the lane is built, we're keen to find out which of them come about in practice. The committee will also be reviewing the transportation-related components of the mid-Centretown Community Design Plan to refine the CCCA's position.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011, 7:00pm
CCCA Board meeting
City Hall (Honeywell Room, second floor)

The CCCA's board meets monthly, and the meetings are open to the public. CCCA members are welcome to contribute to the discussions at these meetings. The Board receives reports from the executive and the various committees, and sets policy for the organization. The agenda is sent out two days before the meeting, and you can check out for agendas, reports, and approved minutes of previous meetings. If you know of an interesting project or organization in Centretown that would like to make a presentation to the Board, please contact me.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011, 7:00pm
Free public lecture on the restoration of the Victoria Memorial Museum Building
Canadian Museum of Nature, 240 McLeod Street (main entrance)

For more than six years, Maria Somjen, Project Director / VMMB Renewal Project, was involved in the phased rehabilitation of the Victoria Memorial Museum Building for the Canadian Museum of Nature. She will describe the process of restoration of a significant federal heritage building with particular attention paid to the need to balance functionality with heritage restoration and the architect’s vision. This lecture will be in English. Info: 613-230-8841 or

Centretown Buzz welcomes new editor
The editorial board of the Centretown Buzz thanks Sarah Hoy for her 18 months of producing an excellent community paper each month, and wishes her the best in her new job. The board hired Frank Appleyard as the new managing editor, who will get right to work on the March issue! Frank has lots of experience in community newspapers, having served as both Editor-in-Chief and Business Manager of the University of Ottawa's student-owned newspaper, the Fulcrum. The Centretown Buzz is jointly owned by the CCCA and the Dalhousie Community Association.

CCCA membership drive - YOU can help make the CCCA stronger!
I hope you saw the front-page article in the February Centretown Buzz, on how important it is to join the CCCA (and to get your friends and neighbours to join) and to help work to make sure that residents' views are heard at City Hall. The development applications listed above are just the tip of the iceberg, and many of them are still at a stage where the community can have real influence. Membership is only $5, and you can download the form from the link at the top-left of the CCCA website. If you don't want to mail us a cheque for only $5, we don't mind if you include a donation on top of it ;)

Thank you to everyone who has already joined, donated, or volunteered with the CCCA, your contributions go a long way! We hope you'll engage your friends and neighbours to spread the word about the many issues facing Centretown.


Charles Akben-Marchand
Centretown Citizens Community Association (CCCA)

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