OSCA President's Report for September 1999

By Douglas Stickley


hanks to all the canvassers and buyers, and, to all the participants who generously donated a portion of their sales to support OSCA activities. Special thank you’s go out to Deirdre McQuillan who organised the event, and to Willi Devonish who again co-ordinated all the volunteer canvassers. An apology is offered to members of our Jewish Community as this year’s sale conflicted with their celebration of Rosh Hashanah. We will endeavour to find a solution to such future schedule overlaps.


Local mom, Georgina Hunter, is spearheading a drive to upgrade the play structures at Windsor Park. OSCA has assisted by applying for a Self-Help Grant from the City to fix and replace some of the equipment. The grant system requires matching funds from the community so Georgina will be looking for assistance in raising funds for this venture. She will be presenting her ideas to the OSCA Board at 8:15 PM at the Old Firehall on Tuesday September 21st. Interested residents are invited to attend.


Thanks to the intervention of Mayor Jim Watson, the Community Centre Building at 260 Sunnyside Avenue has been added to the list of City buildings that will undergo an audit for potential energy saving retrofits by City staff. This could mean more energy efficient lighting, or a new Heating and Cooling System to replace the old oil furnace. As well, the City will assess the building’s on-going requirements as part of the 2000 Facilities Performance Life Cycle Renewal Project. This is good news as Firehall repairs and maintenance were halted due to the discussions last year on the location of our neighbourhood Community Centre.


As part of its on-going review of bicycle routes, City Staff are considering installing a Contra-Flow Bike Lane on the north side of Cameron Avenue between Bank and Seneca. Daphne Hope from the City’s Department of Urban Planning and Public Works is looking for community input regarding the proposal. Staff have found that some bicyclists, and drivers for that matter, are currently going against one-way traffic in an effort to get to Seneca Avenue and Carleton University. Additional curbing at the Seneca/Cameron corner is envisioned to deter drivers from going the wrong way and endangering the safety of others. If you are interested in hearing more on the subject, join the OSCA Board Meeting at 8 PM on September 21st at the Firehall. Residents living on Cameron Avenue will likely receive written notice of the proposal and be given the opportunity to comment before any changes are approved.


If you know of someone who has made a significant contribution to life in the City, consider nominating him or her for the Mayor’s Award. Information can be obtained by calling the Mayor’s office at 244-5380. Submissions must be received by October 29th.


By the time that you read this, City and Regional Councils will probably have decided the fate of Lansdowne Park. Attendance at the four City-sponsored Open Houses in August was dismal to say the least. Maybe it was the time of the year, or, possibly people are tired of the on-going discussions and have lost interest. The proposal to transfer the Park for free to the Region along with a commitment by the City to make 15 annual payments of $675,000 to cover Capital expenditures is expected to save the City $510,000 per year. OSCA’s position is that, given the uncertainty of local municipal government restructuring and the Province's promise to settle the matter once and for all in the near future, all negotiations should cease. Regional Chair Bob Chiarelli has promised voters that the current debt of the City of Ottawa will not be redistributed to other cities that join Ottawa as part of an amalgamation. Given that, the City of Ottawa should retain ownership of Lansdowne Park and use this multi-million dollar asset as a bargaining tool in any restructuring discussions. The net worth of the City, considering all its Assets and Liabilities, must be the starting point for any discussions. To give away Lansdowne Park at this time to a Regional Government that may not exist in the future would only weaken the City’s bargaining position. Should the decision be to transfer the Park to the Region, OSCA would like to be part of a management or advisory board, along with other community groups, to oversee the operations of the facility.


OSCA has contracted with local resident David Kennedy to be our webmaster and design a new web page for our Association. David has started a new business, "sitesUnseen" and, in conjunction with Magma Communications, will help OSCA and OSCAR provide information about our community on the Internet. Peter Wells did a fantastic job in developing our original website and persuaded the Board that it was time to hire a professional to manage the site. OSCA has since registered the new address domain name and hopes to sell advertising links to local businesses to help defer some expenses. Our new website is located at http://www.oldottawasouth.ca/.