New processes to protect Ottawa’s trees

Two new requirements aimed at protecting Ottawa’s urban trees will take effect beginning Tuesday, May 24. The changes will affect those doing infill development or removing distinctive trees – any tree with a trunk that is 50 cm or greater in diameter at chest height.

The first change is a new process that aims to protect trees on lots undergoing infill development by identifying potential impacts early in the process. When Building Permit applications for infill development within the greenbelt are submitted to the City, the developer must now include specific Tree Disclosure information and identify whether each tree is to be removed or retained.

For trees protected under City by-laws, the applicant must follow the City’s tree protection guidelines and work with an arborist to determine mitigation strategies.

For these infill developments, the applicant is required to pay a refundable deposit of $700 per lot – the average cost to plant and maintain one new tree for a two-year period – to help ensure trees are retained or replaced. The applicant can apply for a refund of the deposit upon the successful retention of the City tree(s) or, after planting a tree to City specifications.

The second change relates to the application process for the Urban Tree Conservation by-law. This by-law, in place since 2009, requires any property owner planning to remove a distinctive tree from private property in the urban area to first apply for a Distinctive Tree Permit. Under the new requirements:
• The Arborist Report must be submitted with the City’s online template in person at one of seven Client Service Centres.
• A $100 administrative fee will be incurred for all Distinctive Tree Permit applications.
• An Arborist Report is not required if a Building Permit application will also be made for a site within the greenbelt because it will be included as part of the Tree Disclosure information.

For detailed information on these changes, visit

Your Voice is Needed: Important Meeting to Attend Regarding Minto Homes Potter’s Key Development

The plan of subdivision and zoning for the proposed Minto Homes Potter’s Key development located at 6111 and 6141 Hazeldean Road will be decided upon at the City’s Planning Committee on February 23 and at a following City Council meeting.


As the community has continued to raise concerns with this development, I will not be in support of the development when it comes forward to Planning Committee and Council.  That said, it is also very important that my Committee/Council colleagues hear from the residents.

Planning Committee

Tuesday, February 23, 2016, 9:30 am Start time

Champlain Room, City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave W, Ottawa


Please submit comments and attend Planning Committee at the above noted time and location.  The meeting agenda and staff report will be released on Feb. 16 and will be posted here.


To register to speak and / or to provide written comments please email:

  • Committee Coordinator

Melody Duffenais

  • City Councillor

Shad Qadri



I strongly encourage residents to register in advance to speak and please advise me if you plan to attend to ensure that the venue will be large enough to comfortably accommodate members of the public.


If you have provided comments in the past to the City Planner these comments will be summarized in the staff report but will not be circulated to all Council members.  Please ensure you provide comments to the Committee Coordinator listed above.


Ash Woodlot Rehabilitation Program Continues

In last week’s column, I shared news that Ladybird Park in Timbermere subdivision would undergo tree removal due to the hazard of the Emerald Ash Borer. Continuing in line with this program, removals will also be taking place in the parklands behind Springbrook Drive and Greer Street. Removals taking place along the pathway from the footbridge to Paul Lindsay Park will likely be done at a later date with smaller logging equipment. It is anticipated that the crews will commence removals in this area starting on February 16th, and it will likely take the full week to complete.


The Emerald Ash Borer is a non-native, highly destructive wood-boring beetle that feeds under the bark of ash trees. All species of ash are susceptible to attack, except mountain ash, which is not a true ash species. Since it was first identified in Michigan in 2002, EAB has killed millions of ash trees in Ontario and many parts of the United States. It poses a major economic and environmental threat to urban and forested areas. It was confirmed in Ottawa in 2008 and its impacts can be clearly seen spreading from the St. Laurent area. Since the insect spends most of its lifecycle under the bark of trees, it can be easily moved with firewood or other tree materials such as nursery stock, logs, brush and larger wood chips. This insect is able to fly, but since its spread has been primarily along major highways and transport routes, it is clear that humans are the main vector of dispersal.

Stittsville Appreciation Awards Nominations Open!

You don’t have to look far to recognize excellence in our community. It could be a neighbour, a friend, or even a family member.  This is your opportunity to bring their special contributions forward.  My office is now seeking nominations for the annual Stittsville Appreciation Awards!  Nominations must be received by Saturday April 16th!


The Roger Griffiths Memorial Citizen of the Year is awarded to an individual who best exemplifies community involvement and participation.  The Senior of the Year is awarded in recognition of a senior citizen who has made a significant and long-standing contribution to our community.  The Youth of the Year is presented to an individual who contributes leadership, volunteer service, serves as a peer example, and has overcome personal challenges or responds in an emergency situation.   The Business of the Year is awarded to a Stittsville business that has contributed significantly to our quality of life. For further qualifications on these awards, I encourage you to visit my website.


Winners will be announced at the Appreciation Awards celebrations, which will be held on Tuesday May 10th commencing at 7:00pm at the Goulbourn Recreation Complex.


I encourage you to either submit online or print the form and mail or drop it off at my ward office in the Goulbourn Recreation Complex or 110 Laurier Avenue West, Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 1J1. Please include a detailed, written submission outlining why you are nominating a particular individual or business.

Stittsville Items at Committee of Adjustment


At the Committee of Adjustment meeting on Wednesday, February 17 there are some Stittsville development applications which will be discussed. The Committee of Adjustment is a quasi-judicial tribunal appointed by City Council and is independent and autonomous from the City Administration.


Members of the public are welcome to attend the Committee of Adjustment meeting on February 17 starting at 9:00 a.m. at Ben Franklin Place, The Chamber, Main Floor, 101 Centrepointe Drive.  The agenda and report for the meeting is available here.


12 Meadowland Drive: The Owner wants to subdivide the property into three separate parcels of land. It is proposed to construct three one-storey detached dwellings, with one on each of the parcels. The existing dwelling and sheds will be demolished. In order to proceed, the Owner requires the Authority of the Committee for the Consent for Conveyances and Minor Variances from the Zoning By-law.


6176 (6130 & 6150) Hazeldean Road: The Owner wants to subdivide the property into three separate parcels of land. It is proposed to construct a five-storey mixed-use building with a residential care facility and rooming units on one parcel.  The other two parcels will remain vacant.   The proposed mixed-use building, as shown on plans filed with the Committee, will not be in conformity with the requirements of the Zoning By-law.  For more information on the development of the residential care facility please visit here.

5 Orchard Drive: In September 2015 the Committee approved an Application for Consent to convey a portion of this property to the abutting land owner to the south known municipally as 8 Sweetnam Drive.   The Owner now wants to convey a further portion of its property to the abutting land owner at 8 Sweetnam Drive, as well as a portion of its land to the abutting landowners to the south known municipally as 29 Cloverloft Court.

5661 (5705) Hazeldean Road: The Owner wants to enter into a long-term lease in excess of 21 years for a portion of its property which containing a retail store (Toys “R” Us). In order to do this, the Owner requires the Consent of the Committee for a Long-Term Lease.

Fairwinds Community Association AGM

The Fairwinds Community Association invites all neighbours to their Annual General Meeting on Wednesday February 24, 7:30pm at the Stittsville Sobeys (Carp @ Hazeldean Road) upstairs in the community kitchen.


Meet your neighbours, learn about what they’ve been up to in the community this year, share your ideas and concerns.  The Grounds Café will be providing coffee, finger foods and some desert items. They’re the new coffee shop opening soon next to the Food Basics. It should be a great preview of what’s in store for the community!


For more information visit or email



Speeding is an issue that the Ottawa Police Service and I as your councillor take very seriously.  The Ottawa Police rely on different sources of information, including assistance such as yours, to highlight problem areas and direct their resources appropriately.

Please contact the Ottawa Police Call Centre at 613-236-1222  Ext 7300.  Call Centre agents are available 7 days a week from 6 am until 2am.

Once your report is taken, you will be provided with a case number and the report will be assigned to the area traffic enforcement section for follow-up.  A police officer will then contact you in relation to their action.

You can also make a report online at

Current Commemorative Naming Proposals


Max Keeping Bridge:

In recognition of Max Keeping’s extensive community service, Jim Watson has requested on behalf of the City of Ottawa to name the new pedestrian and cycling bridge over Highway 417 near Coventry Road, “Max Keeping Bridge”.

Max Keeping was known as a community leader, a trusted source of news and local stories and a tireless advocate for our community’s most vulnerable.
Max was a uniquely accessible broadcaster, contributing his time and profile to raise funds for several local charities and causes. It is estimated that his efforts have helped raise more than $100 million for organizations such as the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), Roger’s House, the United Way, the Boys and Girls Club, Operation Come Home and the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation.

Max was also a big supporter of local baseball and the pedestrian and cycling bridge over Highway 417 near Coventry Road is connected to the baseball stadium, where Max spent many afternoons and evenings. The bridge’s proximity to CHEO, to the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation and to the Cancer Survivors’ Park also make it a fitting location for this commemoration.



Howard A. Maguire Park:

In recognition of Howard A. Maguire’s demonstrated excellence, courage and exceptional service, I have requested on behalf of the City of Ottawa to name a future park at 560 Parade Drive, within the new residential development at 1921 Stittsville Main Street, “Howard A. Maguire Park”.

Howard A. Maguire was a resident of Stittsville for over 60 years. During this time, he served the community as a firefighter for 33 years. In 1967, Howard was named the volunteer fire chief of the Goulbourn-Stittsvile Fire Department and in 1972, he became the first full-time fire chief in Goulbourn Township. In 1985, he was the recipient of the Ontario Fire Services “Long Service Medal” and in 1987, he received the “Exemplary Service Medal” in recognition of his 30 years of service.

Howard founded the Stittsville News as a monthly local paper, with the first edition being printed on December 12, 1957. This newspaper has since become a strongly established weekly community publication.

In addition to the above, Howard and his wife Molly were members of the Stittsville United Church where Howard served on the church’s board of trustees and taught Sunday School for 13 years.

In their later years, Howard and Molly moved to a property on Flewellyn Road. Some of their land is now planned for development, which includes this proposed park.

If you would like to submit comments regarding these proposals or obtain further information, please contact:

Diane Blais
City Clerk and Solicitor Department
Ottawa City Hall
110 Laurier Ave. W., Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1
Tel: 613-580-2424, extension 28091

Comments must be received no later than March 11, 2016.

Residential Protective Plumbing Program – Review and Proposed Program Updates

The Residential Protective Plumbing Program (RPPP) provides financial assistance to qualified City of Ottawa residents for the installation of protective plumbing devices, such as sump pumps and storm and sanitary backwater valves to prevent water and sewage from entering homes through service connections.


A review of the current program was initiated to identify opportunities to update and improve the program and determine a consistent funding level. This report presents the findings and recommendations from the recent review of the City’s program.


The proposed changes to the Residential Protective Plumbing Program could:

– improve the resiliency of the wastewater collection system

– increase the availability of the program

– simplify the application process

– improve knowledge/understanding of the risks/hazards associated with sewer flooding events.


The review also identified a Service Warranty Program that has been adopted by the City of Hamilton. The Service Warranty Program, an optional opt-in program for residential property owners, would:

– address unplanned, potentially costly repair work to the private portion of water service lines and sewer laterals, and in-home plumbing

– improve the property owners access to qualified contractors (one stop shop)

– co-ordinate work with various City departments.


The Residential Protective Plumbing Program funding ($1M) was approved as part of the 2016 Rate Capital Program. It is proposed that the program continue to be funded at this level on an ongoing basis. Maintaining the current program funding and implementing the proposed changes will provide an opportunity to increase program participation.


The proposed changes will be discussed at the City’s Environment Committee on February 16, to view the report and agenda please visit here.

Lead Levels in Drinking Water

Recently, there have been serious concerns raised about lead levels in the water supply for Flint, Michigan.  Lead concentrations in the range of 30 ppb (parts per billion) have been reported for the Flint water system.  These levels are well above the standard for lead in drinking water which has been established in Canada at 10 ppb (equivalent to 10 µg/L) or less as a safe level for human consumption.  Average levels in City of Ottawa’s water supply are as follows:  0 ppb leaving the water treatment plants; 0 ppb for tap water in most homes, and 2.3 ppb in homes with lead service pipes.  These results are well within the Canadian and U.S. health-based targets for lead in drinking water.

The situation in Ottawa’s water supply is quite different.  The treated water produced by the City of Ottawa Water Purification Plants is lead-free.  However, trace amounts of lead can dissolve in the water as it travels through a lead service pipe or when it comes in contact with household plumbing components such as lead solder and brass fittings.  It should be noted that there are no lead watermains in the City’s water distribution system; however, there are lead service pipes that connect the watermains to the customers’ property line.  For homes constructed before 1955, lead service pipes were commonly used until the plumbing standard switched to copper service lines in 1958.

There are approximately 30,000 older homes in Ottawa that originally had lead service pipes connecting the watermain to the home.  Over the years, the City has replaced the public portion of the lead service pipe with copper, usually when the watermain is replaced or upgraded.  Today, it is estimated that there are approximately 15,100 homes remaining that still have lead for the public portion of the water service pipe.  Since the private portion of the service pipe is the responsibility of the homeowner, it is not known how many of the 30,000 private services have been replaced.

For many decades, the City of Ottawa has practised corrosion control at the water purification plants.  Before treated water enters the distribution system, the pH is adjusted to a level of 9.2 (pH units) in order to reduce corrosion within the water distribution system and to minimize the amount of lead or other trace metals that can dissolve into household tap water.  This corrosion control strategy was further enhanced in 2002 following 2 years of extensive research and testing.  It has proven to be very effective at minimizing trace metals in tap water throughout Ottawa.  In fact, Ottawa tap water has some of the lowest measured levels of lead in Ontario.

Starting in 2007, a new Ontario regulation was introduced that requires water utilities to randomly test tap water lead concentrations in 50 – 100 homes every six months.  Homes with lead service lines are specifically chosen in order to represent the “worst case” levels of lead that might be observed.  The testing is conducted during winter and summer periods to represent any seasonal changes in water quality.

Since 2007, Ottawa’s tap water lead testing has consistently passed the criteria for safe drinking water.  In order to meet compliance standards, 90% of the tap water samples must have a lead concentration below 10.0 ppb following a 30-minute period of stagnation in the plumbing system.  Combining results for all 14 rounds of testing for 2007 – 2015, the average lead concentration in homes with lead service pipes is 2.3 ppb, and 90% of the homes had lead levels less than 4.9 ppb.  During the 2015 round of testing, there were 4 samples that had lead levels higher than 10.0 ppb, out of 222 samples taken.  The maximum concentration detected was 14.4 ppb.  Typically, these are homes with longer than normal lead service lines supplying their home.  In each of these cases, homeowners were notified immediately and provided with practical advice for reducing lead in their tap water, and to offer further water quality testing.

Several recent media reports have mentioned an increased risk of lead exposure following partial replacement of the lead service pipe, especially following construction to replace water mains.  This effect has been observed in several North American water utilities in recent years, and is thought to be caused by electrochemical reactions between dissimilar metal pipe materials such as copper and lead.  In Ottawa, several research studies have been conducted to specifically look at this issue, including research by Marc Edwards (Virginia Tech) and Michele Prevost (Ecole Polytechnique).  For Ottawa, the observed increase in lead levels was minimal.  It was found that tap water lead concentrations quickly returned to normal or lower values following replacement with copper/lead.  The researchers concluded that the pipe mineral scale in Ottawa’s system was particularly stable, due to our specific water chemistry and years of corrosion control being practised.

If a customer wishes to remove their lead service pipe, they can apply to Ottawa’s Lead Pipe Replacement Program.  This is a shared cost arrangement in which the homeowner pays for replacement of their privately owned portion (from property line to house) and the City replaces the publicly owned portion (from watermain to property line) so that the entire water service pipe is lead-free.  The City also proactively offers this program to residents who are impacted by a City Watermain Replacement Project that could have lead service pipes.  For more information on water quality and the City’s Lead Pipe Replacement Program, please visit