The year in review and what to expect next year

Sutton

As I write this column, I am preparing for our Annual General Meeting on November 14, so I thought it would be an ideal time to both reflect on 2017 and look ahead to 2018.

What a year we have had!

Main Street had its official opening at the Main Event in June, but we have been able to enjoy the wide sidewalks, comfortable benches, raised bike paths, new trees and grass boulevards, the underpass mural + Main2 new artwork and the restored and rededicated Brantwood Gates for many months. The Brantwood Park portion of the Rideau River Western Pathway is complete, with the Springhurst portion expected to open by the end of November. The Greystone Village walking pathway has been re-opened, and Regional is well on the way to beautifully naturalizing the 30m river park. And construction has started on the footbridge at Clegg.

We have already welcomed some new neighbours in Greystone Village and soon the condominium units in Phase 1 of The-Corners-on-Main will be ready for occupancy. The Ottawa Chinese Bible Church has now celebrated its official opening, and a second jazz and chamber series is underway at the Church of the Ascension.

And in Canada’s sesquicentennial year, we are very proud of our community association efforts to make this a special year. We had a marvelous time on our canoe/ kayak circumnavigation of Rideau Island in September, and we have been thrilled at the feedback received on our Prime Ministers Speakers’ Series. To date we have celebrated the lives and times of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Sir john A. Macdonald, Sir Robert Borden, Lester B. Pearson, Louis St. Laurent and William Lyon Mackenzie King. Our understanding of Canadian history has been enriched by a diverse group of speakers, for whom we are incredibly grateful.

Sustainable Living Ottawa East has had a tremendous influence on the landscaping chosen for 30m river park at Greystone Village; we also have a new perennial garden at the corner of Riverdale and Main.

The basketball court resurfacing at Springhurst Park was completed (albeit with issues remaining on the pooling of water on the southern side). The new sod is well established, and there is additional equipment for table tennis, soccer and volleyball.

But we continue to hear concerns from residents about some planned developments, construction issues, minor variance requests, and a lack of parking.

What can we expect next year?

On the transportation front, more planning will be undertaken for the Elgin-Hawthorne redesign and the Greenfield-Main Street north project; watch for notices on public consultation. And while the footbridge will not be completed until 2019, we should see significant construction progress. The Lees LRT station will open, as will the LRT bridge sidewalks across the Rideau River. The Multi-Use Pathway on the eastern edge of Greystone Village should be completed. And I believe that 2018 will mark the reopening of the Queensway on ramp at Lees; after a five-year closure, this will indeed be a welcome change for many of us.

Hopefully we will also see some action from the City on a new community centre.

And even though our sesquicentennial year is coming to a close, we will be hosting several more events in our Prime Ministers speaker series. Check for details on our OOECA web-site and watch for the reminder notices in the CAG e-updates.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank retiring Board members for their hard work over the last year: Eddie Gillis, who represented us at the Federation of Citizens’ Association (FCA) and led community efforts on the design of Greystone’s Grande Allée / Forecourt park, our VP Ed Janes who also followed Transportation issues, Bob Parkins, who assumed FCA duties after Eddie’s departure, Paul Goodkey, one of our members-at-large who is also one of our longest serving representatives on planning issues, our secretary Katherine Simonds who unfortunately is moving away from our community, Bill Baldwin who has been our Lees Ave apartments representative for a number of years and Kate Martin who represented us at City Centre Coalition meetings.

While the slate of proposed Board members for the next term is still being finalized as I prepare this column, it looks like we will have a good balance of returning members, some in new positions, and a number of new recruits.

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 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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Filed in: Community Groups, FP, Front Page

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