Building active community infrastructure to celebrate Canada’s 150th

Yasir Naqvi

Summer in Ottawa for the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation has been one that will be remembered for years to come. Whether a giant spider walking our streets or one of Ottawa’s world class festivals, this summer has created memories that will be remembered for some time.

But the sesquicentennial is more than street parties and festivals. It is an opportunity for us to invest in projects that will have a lasting impact on the lives of residents in our community. I am excited to highlight three active community infrastructure projects that are being built in Ottawa Centre with the support of the Ontario government.

Footbridge across the Rideau Canal

For many years, the residents of Old Ottawa East, the Glebe and Old Ottawa South have advocated for a cycling and pedestrian footbridge across the Rideau Canal. It has been important to me to work with the community, in addition to our Mayor, local MP and Councillor, to ensure that it is a priority for City of Ottawa.

I am excited that the province is investing $5 million towards the new Clegg Street-Fifth Avenue bridge. This is a true funding partnership between all three levels of government. The new bridge will be built over the Rideau Canal connecting Clegg Street in Old Ottawa East to Fifth Avenue at Queen Elizabeth Drive in the Glebe. The City plans to begin construction as early as this fall, with completion in 2019.

This footbridge is crucial to uniting our community. It will provide a safe cycling and walking path, shorten commute times, and offer a dedicated active transportation route to work, entertainment and shopping.

Expansion of Dovercourt Recreation Centre

Dovercourt Recreation Centre has been providing high-quality recreation programming since 1987 to the residents of Westboro and beyond. The Centre has grown to be Eastern Ontario’s only HIGH FIVE accredited organization, providing the quality recreation programming for children in our community.

As demand for this facility continues to grow, it is clear that an expansion is much needed. I am proud that the Ontario government is contributing $500,000 to help make this expansion a reality. More space means more fitness programs, camps, after-school care, sports, arts and dance programs for all ages.

The expansion is scheduled to open later this fall. Huge gratitude is owed to the Dovercourt’s leadership team and volunteer board for their hard work in fundraising for this important expansion focussed on the health and well-being of our community.

New Clubhouse for the Ottawa River Runners

It may come as a surprise to many, but we have a whitewater paddling facility at LeBreton Flats. This facility, known as the Pumphouse, has produced world-class athletes and Olympians over the years, all the while they were using shipping containers for storage and changing.

It was time to build a new clubhouse to provide better facilities for the athletes and community that use the Pumphouse. Thanks to incredible community leadership and a $150,000 grant from Ontario’s Trillium Foundation, the Ottawa River Runners now have a stunning new home, providing adequate training and storage space.

Due to a new clubhouse, the Ottawa River Runners were proudly able to welcome the entire country this August to compete for the 2017 Canadian Canoe Kayak Whitewater Championships. Further, the River Runners are able to expand its community programming engaging more people in this thrilling sport.

All these projects are important community infrastructure, and will be a lasting reminder of Canada’s sesquicentennial in Ottawa Centre. It has been immensely gratifying for me to work closely with our community leaders to obtain provincial funding so that we all have the opportunity to stay active and live healthy. If you need more information about any of these projects, please do not hesitate to contact me at my Community Office (information above).

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Filed in: FP, Front Page, Political Pages

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