Ottawa City Council

On Wednesday July 11, City Council approved two major developments that will create a mixture of residential and commercial buildings near light-rail stations in Ottawa.

Council approved Official Plan and zoning amendments for five high-rise buildings next to the Pimisi light-rail-transit station, east of Booth Street. This multi-phase project will include towers between 25 and 45 storeys. The development will include a variety of apartment sizes, affordable housing and a child-care facility, as well as a range of commercial uses, including restaurants and a grocery store. The fully built development will feature about 1,600 dwellings.

Council approved Official Plan and zoning amendments needed to develop 900 Albert Street with three high-rise towers on a three-storey podium. The buildings will be 65, 56 and 27 storeys.

This mixed-use development is located 50 metres south of Bayview Station, where the Confederation and Trillium light-rail lines meet. It will feature 1,241 residential units, along with 1,059 parking spaces in six levels of underground parking. The building plan includes a new sidewalk and cycling facility along the Albert Street frontage and a public plaza at City Centre Avenue.

Council agreed to defer the City’s portion of development charges for a one-million-square-foot warehouse that will be occupied by Amazon at 5225 and 5371 Boundary Road. This will bring significant infrastructure to support business growth in the area. The charges are valued at $7.9 million and the developer, Broccolini Construction, will pay the City after the facility is completed, in about one year.

The warehouse operation will create about 600 permanent full-time jobs, resulting in significant rural economic development on lands that the City identified as an area of opportunity in the 2016 Ottawa Employment Lands Review. Construction will also create more than 1,500 jobs involving more than 30 trades.

The City will also waive  interest charges in exchange for the developer bringing services to the site, in particular extending water service, which the City committed to in the Official Plan. Extending these services to the area would otherwise cost between $8.4 million and $9.1 million, including gas ($4.7 million to $5 million), hydro ($1.2 million to $1.5 million) and water ($1.5 million), as well as roadway modifications ($1 million to $1.2 million), all of which would support further development in the area.

The City will get $856,000 in provincial funding for main-street enhancements after Council approved a by-law authorizing the City to receive the funds. The money will come from the Government of Ontario’s $26-million Main Street Revitalization Initiative. The initiative funds public-realm enhancements in main-street areas that improve energy efficiency, accessibility, aesthetics and the marketability of small businesses. The 10 projects earmarked across seven wards in Ottawa include public information displays, tourist kiosks, commemorative plaques and decorative elements.

A by-law requiring City Council oversight, should there be an application for additional gaming tables at the Hard Rock Casino, was approved. Any such application would need to be considered by both the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee and Council. In May, Council directed staff to initiate the by-law, to prevent increases made through an application for a minor variance through the Committee of Adjustment.

For other items discussed at Wednesday’s City Council, please visit here.