Old Ottawa South church seeking financial salvation from condo faces concerns

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Residents raise concerns about proposed condo's height, obstruction of heritage views of church

This architectural rendering shows the proposed condo and townhouses as seen from Galt Street. Southminster United Church can be seen behind them.

By Matthew Kupfer, CBC News

As Southminster United Church turns to a developer to help its finances, Old Ottawa South residents have raised objections about a proposed condominium's height and the obstruction of heritage views of the church itself.

Windmill Developments is behind the proposal, which includes four three-storey townhouses and a 14-unit, six-storey apartment building.

Church administrators made their case for looking for a development deal at an official public consultation held Monday night in the church basement at 15 Aylmer St.

Andrew Brewin, a member of the congregation in charge of the redevelopment, said the church is trying to make sure it can continue to operate as a place of worship and a community hub.

'Ultimately, it is survival'

"Ultimately, it is survival. Can our congregation pull together the resources, both financial and human, to be able to continue for the next 85-plus years?" Brewin asked.

"If we do this proposal, we will be able to do that. Otherwise, if we have to go back to the drawing board, it really is hard to see how we'll be able to draw the kind of energy that's needed to do that kind of work."

The church turned to redeveloping the site after attempts to get more money by renting church space came up short.

The church's financial shortfall happened in part because of overdue repairs to a hall that was built in 1955 and created a "drip, drip, drip" from the congregation's budget, Brewin said.

The value of the deal is "in the neighbourhood" of $2 million, he added.

Questions about height, obstructed views

Residents said they felt the church hadn't consulted enough prior to going to the developer, and that the church should have looked for alternatives to keep programs running.

Laura Urrechaga was among the 13 original members of Development Watch Southminster, a group that formed to organize people who were against Windmill's proposal.

"We as a community, want them to survive. But we want the importance of our heritage value to be maintained," Urrechaga said. "We do not want to be turned into Westboro."

Among the key issues is the height of the proposed building — six-storeys or about 19 metres — which is almost double what's allowed for neighbouring residential and commercial buildings, she said.

'Exceeded expectations': Latest figures show Corktown, Adàwe bridges popular with pedestrians, cyclists

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Matthew Pearson, Ottawa Citizen

More than 185,000 people used the Corktown Footbridge to walk, jog or pedal over the Rideau Canal in a five-week span this spring, making it Ottawa’s most heavily-used pedestrian and cycling bridge.

Between May 10 and June 13, 186,333 people — an average of 5,324 per day — used the decade-old bridge to travel between Somerset Street West in Centretown and the street’s eastern portion in Sandy Hill, according to figures supplied by the city. The numbers don’t distinguish between pedestrians and cyclists.

July, meanwhile, was a record-breaking month for the Adàwe crossing between Somerset Street East in Sandy Hill and Overbrook’s Donald Street. Of the 117,659 people who crossed the bridge between Canada Day and July 31, 60,758 were on bicycles and another 56,901 were on foot.

That’s the highest monthly total recorded since the $9.2-million bridge opened in December 2015.

More than 114,000 people crossed the bridge in June, and on three previous occasions — July, August and September 2016 — monthly totals exceeded 90,000 crossings, according to the city’s figures. Adàwe was the least busy in December 2016, when 21,850 pedestrians and 4,823 cyclists crossed it.

“The high usage of the Adàwe crossing has exceeded my expectations and is a testament to the demand for safe, convenient and pleasant routes for walking and cycling,” said Rideau-Rockcliffe Coun. Tobi Nussbaum.

He wants the city to build on the bridge’s success by ensuring infrastructure is in place to link these crossings to a wider grid of dedicated walking and cycling routes.

City puts final touches on pedestrian and cycling crosswalk on Bronson

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The city put down the green thermoplast on the crosswalk this spring to make the bike lane. (Jennifer Beard/CBC)

Krista Johnson was struck by a car and killed while cycling on Bronson Avenue in 2012

CBC News

Five years after a cyclist was killed on Bronson Avenue, the city has put the final touches on a pedestrian and cycling crosswalk on the busy road just north of Sunnyside Avenue.

Twenty-seven-year-old Krista Johnson, an avid runner and city cyclist, was struck by a car and killed on Bronson Avenue in October 2012.

The Carleton University student was cycling home at the time.

While speed was not deemed a factor in the crash, Johnson's death triggered a safety review of that stretch of the road.

According to the councillor for the ward, David Chernushenko, it was determined that section of Bronson was a very confusing and busy area.

And, the lack of a pedestrian crossing with traffic lights there meant people were dashing across in busy traffic.

Green thermoplast marks bike lane

"This crossing addressed a need to be able to cross a very high speed busy road in a safe manner. It's only triggered when the need is there. So, while it does have the traffic calming effect of slowing down traffic by having another intersection, it's not going to be activated if no one wants to cross so you won't have frustrated drivers," said Chernushenko.

The crossing has been in operation for 18 months, but the city recently added signs, and in the spring, put down green thermoplast paint on the road to mark the bike lane.

Chernushenko said the process took five years to reach this final stage due to a number of factors. It took a year to do a traffic safety review and hold public consultations. And then there was a municipal election before the contracting process began.

"The usual, I guess process to do a public infrastructure project of tendering and design, sure it did take longer," said Chernushenko.

Proposition de modifications à la chaussée

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Ville d'Ottawa

Conformément au Règlement municipal no 2011-122, la Ville d’Ottawa avise la population de son intention d’approuver des modifications à la chaussée aux endroits mentionnés ci-dessous, en vertu des pouvoirs qui lui sont conférés par le Règlement municipal no 2011-28 :

L'avenue Greenfield entre la rue Main et l'avenue Lees /avenue King Edward

  • des voies cyclables des deux côtés de l'avenue Greenfield entre la rue Main et l'avenue Lees /avenue King Edward;
  • une réduction du nombre de places de stationnement sur rue sur l’avenue Greenfield entre la rue Main et la rue Concord pour accueillir les voies cyclables proposées; et
  • l'enlèvement du terre-plein central existant sur le tronçon est de l’intersection de l’avenue Greenfield et de la rue Concord.

La promenade Colonel-By depuis l'avenue Graham jusqu'à l'avenue Hawthorne

  • un sentier polyvalent sur le côté est de la promenade Colonel-By entre l'avenue Hawthorne et l’avenue Graham.

La rue Main depuis la rue Harvey jusqu'à la promenade Colonel-By

  • un sentier polyvalent sur le côté ouest de la rue Main, entre l’avenue Greenfield et la promenade Colonel-By;
  • des voies cyclables sur les deux côtés de la rue Main entre l'avenue Greenfield et la rue Harvey et sur le côté est entre l’avenue Greenfield et la promenade Echo ;
  • un passage piétonnier potentiel sur le tronçon ouest de l’intersection de la rue Main et de la promenade Colonel-By, sous réserve de la disponibilité du financement et de l'approbation de la Commission de la capitale nationale; et
  • le rétrécissement mineur de certains tronçons de ces routes pour accueillir les infrastructures cyclables proposées.

La reconstruction complète de ces routes est nécessaire, car il faut remplacer les conduites d'égouts et d'eau principale vieillissantes. Dans le cadre des travaux d’égouts, les égouts unitaires existants seront séparés. Le processus de conception préliminaire et détaillée commencera cette année, et l’année du début de la construction est à déterminer. La Direction de la construction et du design, Services d’infrastructure, entreprendront des consultations publiques supplémentaires, présentant les détails de la mise en œuvre proposée.

Si vous avez des questions ou des commentaires sur les modifications proposées à la chaussée, veuillez communiquer avec Vanessa Black à l'adresse Cette adresse e-mail est protégée contre les robots spammeurs. Vous devez activer le JavaScript pour la visualiser. ou par téléphone au 613-580-2424, poste 12559 d'ici le 9 août 2017.