Spring Awaits! Update from OOECA

By Phyllis Odenbach Sutton, President, Ottawa East Community Association

I am writing this column on an evening of bitter cold with a forecast of freezing rain, but this winter has truly been a mixture of both frigid temperatures and unseasonably warm interludes. The mixture has produced many new potholes in our neighbourhood and throughout the city. Even our wonderful new brick sidewalks have suffered in some locations on Main Street.

But once the first signs of spring arrive (and I saw my first robin on March 4), I suspect we all get anxious for open water rather than ice on the Canal and river, the budding of trees, the blossoming of flowers and warmer temperatures.

Development throughout our community continues. As windows start to open, we will likely become even more aware of the construction going on.

Regional’s construction of its Phase 1 developments near Clegg Street is now well advanced as are preparations for development of other portions of Greystone Village. The city’s Planning committee approved zoning amendments for the North Village (just south of Springhurst Avenue) on Feb. 28. Consultations on the mixed-use block of land to the west of the Deschatelets building and up to Main Street are likely to be conducted in April or May.

The Domicile Corners on Main building is growing ever taller. The buildings are nearing their full height. The ‘Ichabod’ Crane continues its daily movements, much to the pleasure of some of the younger residents in our community.

There has also been considerable progress in the construction of the Ottawa Chinese Bible Church on the corner of Main and Graham. And we will soon be welcoming another Main Street business when Sula Wok opens.

While these developments are proceeding smoothly, the fate of the 30-metre strip of land beside Greystone Village and along the river remains uncertain. Regional had discussed the possibility of the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority taking over this land, but the group declined. To date, the city has refused to accept ownership either. We continue to be puzzled by its refusal.

We also continue to hear about concerns from our north of the Queensway neighbours – the noise from engine braking, the lack of sound barriers along the Queensway and issues with stormwater surface drainage.

On a more positive note, I encourage community residents to take advantage of events planned to celebrate Canada’s sesquicentennial.

I hope that many of you, like me, have already taken part in some of these special events, such as Davis Cup tennis at Lansdowne park in February and Crashed Ice in early March. You may also want to check out the free Sunday and Monday screenings of Canadian films at the Bytowne Cinema – a pleasant walk from our neighbourhood. See ottawa2017.ca for more information. And there are also some special events organized by your community association.

Our Prime Ministers book club will have already hosted its first event by the time this article is published. We are so excited to announce that we have a wonderful group of speakers lined up to bring a number of our prime ministers to life. We started our series with a presentation and discussion of Sir Wilfrid Laurier on March 28. Our next presentation will be on April 24 when we go back to the beginning of confederation and discuss Sir John A. Macdonald. Later, we will host evenings on Robert Borden, Lester B. Pearson, Louis St. Laurent, William Lyon Mackenzie King, Pierre Trudeau and John Diefenbaker. We will share reading suggestions in advance of our events so please check for further information on our OOECA web-site and look for reminder notices in the CAG e-updates.

And please mark your calendars for the September 9 circumnavigation of Rideau Island – our other sesquicentennial project. Additional volunteers to help in the planning and staging of this event are needed; please contact either John Dance directly or send us an e-mail.

Have questions? Want to learn more or volunteer to make improvements in the community? Then please attend the monthly OOECA Board meetings (second Tuesday of the month, 7:00 p.m. at Old Town Hall). For more details check out the OOECA website at http://www.ottawaeast.ca/ or contact me at info@ottawaeast.ca.

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