Council approves major expansion of city's suburbs

By Joanne Chianello, CBC News Ottawa, May 27, 2020

Ottawa city council voted 15 to 6 Wednesday to expand the city's suburbs by hundreds of hectares, a decision that followed weeks of debate about how the city should grow over the next two decades. 

Mayor Jim Watson has argued that "modestly" expanding the supply of residential land will help keep home prices lower, and give builders more time to adapt to the concept of denser development. 

"Ottawa will have one of the most aggressive intensification targets in all of Canada," Watson said during Wednesday's meeting, which was held by teleconference. 

"We've heard from the vast majority of residents that they support intensification, but they want it to be done thoughtfully through design, while respecting the characteristic of established communities."

(...)The councillors who voted against the expansion, which could see 23,000 homes built in the newly added areas, were: Mathieu Fleury, Rawlson King, Jeff Leiper, Catherine McKenney, Shawn Menard and Theresa Kavanagh. 

(...)At council, Coun. Riley Brockington moved a motion to freeze the urban boundary. "The people of Ottawa want this option to be debated today," he said.

An EKOS poll commissioned by three urban councillors indicated a little more than half of respondents wanted council to hold the line, and worried expanding the urban boundary would place a burden on city services and jeopardize its climate change goals.

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