A Perfect Opportunity for Leadership- Who Will Step Up?

The Oblate Fathers have sold their land and the Regional Group will develop them.

Unlike with Lansdowne Park, a developer has not led the charge to transform this property, but rather the community. The developer is enthusiastically working with residents, who have shown an interest in working with Saint Paul University to build a model community and education facility.

 Ours will likely be one of the most desirable places to live in Ottawa.

 Where is city hall? If our elected leaders are going to show leadership, then they should take future tax revenue, invest it and help make this community better.

 We would like the dump that is now the Rideau River shoreline cleaned up. The river is a jewel but the shoreline in OOE is the worst stretch in the core, marked by pieces of metal and old concrete barely held in position by trees that have grown from its side.

The city will receive taxes for the next 100 years through this development. But if we don’t clean up the shoreline when the rest of the property is being remediated next summer, the job will likely never happen. OOE and Capital Ward citizens deserve better.

Consider the beauty of this waterway and all others in Ottawa. It is pathetic that there are only three all-year shoreline facilities and all are on the canal.

There is only one place where people can rent boats – on the canal. The Rideau River could use a boathouse for community programs, rentals, and perhaps private-boat storage.  Such a facility and its increased use will improve stewardship of the waterway. It will offer urbanites a natural getaway without leaving the city.

With well-built facilities our community can handle the cost of operations. Saint Paul would use a boating facility as well.

To look at a dump for another 100 years is not an option. The public’s engagement with our waterway has to be addressed now.

A waterfront facility will not hurt the shoreline. If it is acceptable to leave a dump in place, as the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority has implied, it should also be acceptable to build a facility on the shore above the high-water mark.

People can, and should, enjoy the waterway for generations to come.

Intensification is not simply about packing residents into a smaller area. It demands passionate resource development by both private and public institutions. For the city it is an opportunity to invest new tax revenue in developing an ideal local environment that better serves its citizens.

Jamie Brougham, a 35-year area resident of Ottawa, frequently paddles the Rideau River. He has an interest in building river stewardship through community engagement.  He believes a beautiful rehabilitated shoreline and inviting shoreline facilities will ensure better citizen engagement.   

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