GCA making it better

Laura Smith
President Glebe Community Association


On a recent crisp evening, I was out for a walk in the neighbourhood and enjoying one of the simplest pleasures of this time of year in the Glebe. I am grateful for the beautiful lights on trees and houses and for the brightness that they bring to the darkness – especially this year. And in case you haven’t seen it yet, there is also a new spot of colour at the north end of the neighbourhood! We were pleased to work with the Glebe BIA, Underground Sound and other volunteers on the gateway sign that now welcomes people to the Glebe. As always, volunteers in our community continue to work to make things better in our neighbourhood and in our city. Here are some of the other things the GCA is working on.

Bank Street Height
and Character Study

We have been working with the city for two years on this important document that lays out a comprehensive vision for Bank Street. The city presented draft recommendations in October. We were pleased that many of our requests aimed at enhancing the vibrancy and character of Bank Street were reflected, but there are still parts of the study that diverge from what the GCA has requested. At our November meeting, the GCA board voted to support the recommendations, subject to the study including further improvements in areas where mid- and high-rise buildings have been proposed (such as including affordable housing and enhancing the walking and cycling experience on the street).

City council will consider the study in the new year, and we are hopeful that it will provide greater certainty regarding development in our neighbourhood. A very big thank you to Carolyn Mackenzie and other members of the GCA planning committee for years of work on this project.

Affordable housing

There is certainly a need for more affordable housing in our neighbourhood. The walkability of the Glebe, our strong community connections and the close proximity to schools, transportation and social services make this an ideal place for affordable housing. The parking lot at Bank and Chamberlain is owned by the city and is currently slated for divestment. At our November meeting, the GCA passed a motion asking the city to explore financial options or partnerships that would make it a viable spot for affordable housing.

Great Glebe Garage Sale
– virtual edition

Since the Great Glebe Garage Sale started in 1986, the GCA has asked those participating to donate a share of proceeds from their sales to the Ottawa Food Bank. As we weren’t able to hold the garage sale in May due to public health restrictions, we partnered with GiveShop to try an online, virtual garage sale over the summer. While we knew it wouldn’t be the same experience as the usual in-person extravaganza, we wanted to find a way to assist the Ottawa Food Bank in these challenging times. At our November meeting, we received an update from GiveShop – participants raised more than $1,000 for the food bank. Thank you to all who bought and sold your treasures.

Lansdowne

We were surprised by the city’s report in November that recommended changes to the Lansdowne Partnership Plan. Lansdowne Park is an important part of our neighbourhood, and we want it to succeed. Check out June Creelman’s article this month for more about our response to the proposal. My thanks to Anthony Carricato and other members of the GCA Lansdowne committee for their continued dedication to improving Lansdowne Park.

Pop-up gallery at Lansdowne

On November 20, the Glebe Art in Our Gardens and Studio Tour opened a pop-up gallery at Lansdowne. Its annual backyard tour was cancelled this year because of public health restrictions; now some of the artists are showing their works at at 225 Marché Way. We were pleased to work with the Glebe Art Tour, OSEG and the Glebe BIA on this project. The gallery is open until December 31 – please stop by and visit!

Want to become more involved?

Our monthly board meetings are held the fourth Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m., and you are welcome to attend. We are taking a break in December, so our next meeting will be on January 26. If you’d like to join us, please email the board secretary, Sheryl, at secretary@glebeca.ca.

Until then, I wish you and those you love a wonderful holiday season and all the very best for 2021.

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