The GCA’s busy fall

While the days get shorter and cooler, things are as busy as ever for the Glebe Community Association. We had a packed agenda at our meeting in October.

There was an article in last month’s Glebe Report by Sue Stefko about the development proposed for the corner of Bronson and Carling. At the GCA board’s September meeting, we voted to oppose the development for several reasons: the building is far higher than current zoning permits; there is a lack of green space; traffic will be negatively affected; and there will be safety concerns for pedestrians and cyclists, including students at Glebe Collegiate.

Given our concerns about the development and its potential long-lasting effects on the Glebe, Dow’s Lake and the Glebe Annex, we voted at our October meeting to contribute $5,000 to support legal efforts initiated by the Dow’s Lake Residents Association to oppose the development. We also passed a motion asking the City to ensure that this and other developments are consistent with the Official Plan’s vision of preserving, enhancing and promoting additions to Ottawa’s parks and greenspaces.

The board also passed two motions that we would like to see reflected in the 2022 municipal budget. First, we asked that the City commit at least $20 million, over and above federal and provincial grants, to build new affordable housing and to substantially reduce the centralized wait list for affordable housing. Ottawa declared an affordable housing and homelessness emergency in January 2020 and there have been investments in previous budgets. However, there are still more then 10,000 households on the centralized wait list for affordable housing, with waits of up to five years.

The GCA also asked the City to pass a strong, city-wide, inclusionary zoning bylaw that ensures 25 per cent of new development is dedicated to affordable housing and places a special emphasis on building it within one kilometer of rapid transit stations. Finally, we asked the City to ensure that all available government-owned land developed for housing is allocated for deeply affordable, non-profit or co-op housing.

Our second priority for the upcoming municipal budget is the maintenance of parks in the neighbourhood. The GCA’s Parks Committee maintains an Evergreen Glebe Parks Plan. (You can see it on the committee’s section of our website at glebeca.ca/parks-committee.) As part of this plan, the committee provides the City with an annual summary report that describes maintenance issues that its members observe in Glebe parks during the annual fall clean-up. In addition to requesting sufficient funding for ongoing park maintenance and upkeep, we highlighted the need for:

  • repairs to the tennis courts at Chamberlain Park
  • new plants to replace those that have died near the Bank Street stairs in both Central Park West and Central Park East
  • replacing the log rounds, repairing or replacing the blackboard and replacing mulch and pea stone materials at the Exploration Garden
  • filling holes and adding a fresh layer of gravel ground cover at Sylvia Holden Park and Dog Run.

We also shared these requests with Councillor Shawn Menard’s office. We have wonderful parks in our neighbourhood and I am very grateful to the committed members of the GCA Parks Committee for their ongoing work to advocate for those important spaces.

The October meeting also approved the GCA budget and our new Code of Conduct. This latter document outlines our commitment to creating a safe, inclusive and positive environment for all community members and everyone who participates in our activities. We’ll have it up on our website soon.

Finally, I was pleased to highlight for board members that our work with Operation Come Home’s BottleWorks program continues to be a great success. Despite the dreary weather on October 16, our community was able to fill one and a half trucks with empty bottles and cans. We are proud to work with Operation Come Home to support at-risk youth and to provide this service to our neighbourhood. Your next opportunity to take empties to the Kunstadt parking lot is November 20.

Our monthly board meetings are open and you are welcome to join us! We meet on the fourth Tuesday of every month. Our next meeting is on November 23. If you would like to attend (still virtually), please contact Janet, the secretary of the GCA Board, at secretary@glebeca.ca.

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