Ottawa's suburb expansion debate far from over

By Joanne Chianello, CBC News Ottawa, May 12, 2020

The battle over Ottawa's urban boundary continues Tuesday morning after 11 hours of public arguments Monday for and against expanding the suburbs over the next two decades.

More than 60 of the 109 people that signed up to speak to city councillors have yet to weigh in during what is turning into a multi-day public meeting held on Zoom.

That so many people want to weigh in is an indication of the importance of this once-in-a-decade decision.

Whether to expand the urban boundary — an invisible line within the city limits that separates the core and suburbs from Ottawa's rural areas — will have long-lasting ramifications for how the city will grow for years to come.

(...)Several landowners and developers, including Claridge Homes vice-president Neil Malhotra, warned the city's recommended plan for expansion will be "challenging" for the city because many families still want to live in a single-detached home with a backyard.

(...)Those opposed to urban expansion argued residents need more choices than a house with a white-picket fence or living in a high-rise.

The city's recommendations include more semi-detached, row- and stacked-houses — but not by enough, according to critics.

They called for intensification through six- to nine-storey mid-rise buildings on main streets instead of towers and argued for better services such as schools, daycares, and parks to attract people to more dense living areas.

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