There is a lot happening on Bank Street, and rather than focusing on one or two specific businesses in Old Ottawa South, this month’s Business Beat will highlight some of the changes that have occurred this summer.
By the time October arrives Green Dreamers will be winding down their fourth gardening season in Old Ottawa South. When you see them on the sidewalks and in the public garden beds between the bridges, they will be (most likely) pulling up the dried remnants of milkweed and sunflowers, cutting back some rather thick and reedy perennial growth, raking dried leaves, filling brown bags, ruminating over what went well and what didn’t, and sharing with each other and passers-by bits of information and suggestions for the next growing season in 2018.
Councillor Chernushenko will host an information session on the plan to redevelop the Southminster United Church property. The proposal is to retain the existing church building and renovate the basement to house community uses. Memorial Hall would be demolished and replaced with four three-storey townhouses and a 14-unit, six-storey apartment building.
Date & Time: Monday, 11 September 2017, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Location: Southminster United Church (Lower Hall), 15 Aylmer Avenue
The corner of Bank & Belmont looks a little different now with the addition of a statue of Sri Chinmoy surrounded by some flowers and benches. CBC News recently brought attention to the statue and the Bank Street site where a local group operated a natural food store and restaurant in the 1970's.
Here's another Bank Street garden — this time in front of Boomerang Kids — transformed into a lovely spot by Green Dreamers.
We will meet at Sunnyside & Bank on Saturday, July 8, 2017 from 8:30 - 10:30 a.m. Depending on weather and numbers of Green Dreamers, we will branch out to do some transplanting and some light gardening at the Firehall and at the Hopewell School bed nearest the younger kids' playground.
On Thursday July 7th, Brian Ure and I moved some perennials from the former Hortus Urbanus garden on Glen to the bed nearest the TD building. Ailsa Francis began her work on the new Oat Couture Garden Wednesday, July 6th, and asked us to move what she is excavating. So we did! The public bed nearest the new Oat Couture garden will likely be affected by the patio design and renovations taking place. We will maintain this public bed but not plant anything new in the near future. We agree with Ailsa that the weed trees on this bed should be removed and a new tree planted. When this happens we will have to be prepared to save perennials already planted. Stay tuned. It all looks good!!
Being a born-and-raised Dutchman, I thoroughly enjoyed the last two FIFA World Cups, where we finished as runners-up and in third place, respectively (I’ll conveniently ignore the last few Euro Cups though). A huge part of that enjoyment came from watching the majority of the games at the Georgetown (1159 Bank Street). Especially as the Georgetown was the unofficial-official hangout for Dutch soccer fans and was nicknamed “the Dutch Lair” on game day (the Dutch soccer emblem is a lion).
Originally published in the June 2017 OSCAR.
One of the defining characteristics on Old Ottawa South’s business community is that it is almost exclusively comprised of independent, locally owned businesses. “Loving our Local” is a campaign aimed at promoting and celebrating these unique, independent local businesses that make our National Capital Region and OOS so special. Each neighbourhood in our city has a distinct culture and identity, and the businesses and organizations that reside in these neighbourhoods heavily influence the cultural fabric that defines where we live.
Old Ottawa South Community Association (OSCA)
Traffic and Safety Committee
Presentation to City of Ottawa Transportation Committee
April 20, 2015
Let me begin by saying that the Old Ottawa South Community Association (OSCA) appreciates the opportunity to be a part of the Lansdowne Management Operations Committee (LTMOC). We have found it beneficial to community interests to work with LTMOC and City traffic specialists in a consistent and continuous manner.
Location of OOS
The Rideau Canal separates Old Ottawa South (OOS) from Lansdowne but OOS is as close to Lansdowne on the south side as Holmwood Avenue is on the north side. Our buffer is the Canal. Sunnyside Avenue, the second intersection south of the canal, is one of the main arterial routes used to transport patrons from Carleton University to Bank and a direct link between Bronson and Bank. Large event parking requirements and restrictions together with extra bus shuttle services have a direct impact on our local businesses and residents. As the retail side of Lansdowne gains in momentum, however, OOS is primarily concerned with day-to-day pedestrian and cycling safety.
Some notable results of our work with our Councilor David Chernushenko, City officials and LTMOC include: an advanced pedestrian signal at Bank & Sunnyside, a “dazzle” of zebra stripes at intersections from Aylmer to Riverdale on Bank, and a new system of sharrows for cyclists travelling on the Bank Street Bridge.
Some problem areas, however, continue to be a “drag” on our moving forward:
- Of particular concern is the Bank Street Bridge. We support the latest proposed safety measures for cyclists and will continue to press for future improvements.
- Pedestrian safety at Aylmer & Bank, the first intersection directly south of Lansdowne is a serious concern as are the walking routes for school children and after-four programs at peak traffic periods along Sunnyside Avenue, east and west of Bank.
- The automatic east-west pedestrian signal agreed to by City officials in early March from Glebe Avenue to Riverdale (at Billings Bridge) has not been implemented. To date no alternative has been proposed between Aylmer & Riverdale.
The Process and the Budget (or lack thereof)
Managing traffic is a slow methodical process. It involves provincial and municipal standards, regulatory by-laws and sophisticated data collection. It also requires resources. In March 2014 community representatives learned from the City Transportation Committee that no budget had been earmarked or allocated to address community traffic concerns in response to the re-development of Lansdowne. As a result only those recommendations easily tucked into the annual traffic budget have been considered.
In 2014 a campaign promise was made to increase funding for improved pedestrian & cyclist safety and better bylaw enforcement. Included in that promise was an increase to the Safer Roads Program from 75K to 500K. To date, our communities have not felt the anticipated benefit of these increases.
It is clear that increased traffic is having an impact in OOS and residents are calling for action that might reduce speed, address hotspots, and improve safety features for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers. At the very minimum resources need to be identified for measures within our purview, for example funds for proactive and consistent bylaw enforcement targeting hotspots where regulations already exist.
The challenge facing community representatives in 2015 will be the day-to-day impact of a fully active Lansdowne as its remaining retail, commercial and residential components open for business. In the case of OOS, Lansdowne’s monitoring oversight includes only the fringes of OOS, primarily the intersections at Aylmer and Sunnyside. Its impact, however, is much broader.
The following are recommendations that we believe are of mutual value and benefit to all the players at LTMOC:
- Continue proactive measures to promote and monitor the use of public transit to and from Lansdowne (explore more incentives)
- Undertake a complete safety audit of the traffic issues at Bank Street Bridge including the intersections at Bank and Wilton, Echo and Aylmer
- Install a safe crossing at Queen Elizabeth Driveway & Wilton leading up to Bank
- Reduce illegal left turns at Bank by installing better signage on Colonel By Drive indicating right turn (south) only on Bank
- Accelerate the construction of the pedestrian/cyclist bridge at Clegg & Fifth
- Ensure that all shuttle buses for major events at Lansdowne use arterial roads and avoid residential streets such as Lakeside
- The City needs to be more transparent and proactive about its plans to link the new rapid transit system to Lansdowne (expansion of the Trillium line is one opportunity, future shuttle services to and fro is another, not the widening of arterial routes to allow for more vehicles to head for an already congested inner downtown core)
- Increased resources (human & financial) to implement targeted enforcement of key traffic regulations and to implement some of the oversight and studies required to make OOS and its neighbouring communities safe for pedestrians and cyclists
From Library and Archives Canada, a couple of older photos of the Bank Street Bridge, the north gateway in Old Ottawa South.