Tree-planting efforts questioned 1 year after highly destructive derecho storm Social Sharing

By Kristy Nease, CBC News ottawa, May 20, 2023

Some critics say the city isn't doing enough to get replacement trees in the ground a year after a derecho windstorm destroyed thousands of trees across Ottawa, and after Mayor Mark Sutcliffe campaigned on a promise to plant a million in his term.

In a typical year the city plants about 100,000 trees. They cool urban heat deserts, shade houses and sequester carbon, and they increase property values and improve quality of life, among other benefits.

Sutcliffe said during last year's election campaign that he would get 250,000 trees planted annually.

In 2023, his first full year in office, the city will continue to plant somewhere around 100,000.

Find the whole article here.

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Auditor slams City of Ottawa officials over handling of Barrhaven housing development

By Randy Boswell, Ottawa Citizen, November 24, 2023

The City of Ottawa’s auditor general has slammed municipal officials for mishandling a major housing development in Barrhaven that involved extensive alterations of the Jock River floodplain to accommodate a sprawling new subdivision with nearly 1,000 new homes.

Auditor General Nathalie Gougeon has released a scathing, 14-page report detailing her team’s investigation into the project after allegations of mismanagement were made through the city’s fraud and waste hotline. The report has been tabled for discussion at the city’s audit committee meeting on Monday.

...The plan involved cutting away more than 100,000 cubic metres of soil along the north shore of the Jock and depositing more than 400,000 cubic metres of soil on adjacent land immediately to the north so houses could be safely built there, beyond any flood risk.

Find the whole article here.

Ottawa city council asks province to reinstate nine-storey building heights on minor corridors

By Blair Crawford, Ottawa Citizen, November 25, 2023

In a head-spinning move that has angered some community groups, Ottawa is asking the province to reverse its decision to override the city’s official plan on building heights.

A motion, approved by council this week in a 19-2 vote, instructs city officials to ask Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Paul Calandra to reinstate rules allowing higher buildings heights along minor road corridors. It’s something the city’s planning committee rejected two years ago, when it approved Ottawa’s new official plan.

At the time, city staff had recommended higher buildings, but council bowed to pressure and limited buildings along minor corridor roads to four storeys.

Pellerin: Speak up for the glorious, badly under-used, Rideau Canal

By Brigitte Pellerin, Ottawa Citizen Op-Ed, November 24, 2023

The City of Ottawa, the National Capital Commission and Parks Canada are launching a consultation on the Rideau Canal, and they want our opinions.

What they hope we do is complete a survey, attend a virtual meeting, visit a pop-up kiosk at Landsowne Christmas Market on Nov. 25 and send our comments. I’m going to skip right to the last step.

...Around here, we only think of roads for commuting. Everything else — even a lovely gem like the Canal — is for recreational purposes. It’s a failure of imagination that deprives everyone, residents and visitors alike, of truly magnificent public spaces in the nation’s capital.

Find the whole article here.

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