Some Things I Would Try to Revitalize Vanier’s Main Street

  • Consult with all community stakeholders in preparing a revitalization strategy focusing on encouraging uses that will create a pedestrian oriented, safe and welcoming environment. Identify desirable mix of activities that will contribute to a vibrant Main Street for shopping, entertainment and socializing. Place a particular importance on independent businesses, local mom and pop businesses and uses that promote Vanier’s French Quarter history / culture. Vanier community is best equipped to assess their needs not City staff or property owners alone or other special interests. Continue reading
Advertisements

If It’s Called the Montreal Road Community Improvement Plan, Then Why Wasn’t the Community Consulted?

After decades of economic stagnation, it is not surprising that Mayor Watson and Councillor Fleury expressed excitement during their public announcement of the Montreal Road Community Improvement Plan (CIP). Continue reading

City’s Community Improvement Plan for the Revitalization of Montreal Road: Why is the City Ignoring the Elephant in the Room?

Mayor Watson and Councillor Fleury recently announced the initiation of a Community Improvement Plan (CIP) aimed at encouraging the much-needed commercial revitalization of Montreal Road, Vanier’s Main Street, between North River Road and the Aviation Parkway. The staff report on the Montreal Road CIP will be tabled at the April 2, 2019 meeting of the Finance and Economic Development Committee and then to City Council for final approval. Continue reading

The Life and Death of City Planning at Ottawa?

“The only thing certain about city planning is that there’s nothing certain about it”.

No, this is not a quote from the legendary Canadian-American city planner and urbanist, Jane Jacobs. It comes from none other than Ottawa City Councillor Jan Harder who also has been the chair of the City’s Planning Committee since 2014 (she was the vice-chair before that) and will continue to perform that responsibility up to at least 2022. If there is one person who has contributed the most to uncertainty in terms of city and land use planning since 2014, it is Councillor Harder. Continue reading

What Would William Booth Think About the Salvation Army’s Proposed New Booth Centre in Vanier?

In 1890, William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, published In Darkest England and the Way Out. Booth devoted his life to aiding those unfortunates found in the desperate situation of unemployment and economic depression in East London of the latter 1880s. In his Darkest England book, Booth outlined his plan to regenerate London’s destitute poor living in appalling conditions which provided the foundation for the future social work of the Salvation Army. Darkest England outlined three successive stages in Booth’s plan for social reform. A “City Colony” and a “Farm Colony” would provide food, shelter, training and work for the destitute and unemployed. Ultimately emigration to a “Colony Across the Sea” would offer new futures and new lives for those rehabilitated by the Salvation Army scheme. Continue reading

Will Amazon Fulfill Economic Aspirations for East Ottawa?

Amazon’s first fulfillment centre (FC) was a modest 93,000 sq. ft. warehouse built in 1997 in Seattle, Washington where the company started 3 years earlier (a fulfillment centre is a 3rd party, in this case Amazon, logistics warehouse where incoming orders from ecommerce vendors are received, processed and shipped). The company has been aggressively expanding its fulfillment space over recent years in proximity to population centres to meet growing demand for fast delivery. Today, Amazon operates 6 FCs in Canada, 2 in the Vancouver metropolitan area (Delta and New Westminster) and 4 in the Greater Toronto Area (Mississauga – the first FC in Canada opened in 2011, Milton, and 2 in Brampton). Another 2 FCs are to be added – one in Balzac just outside Calgary, Alberta to be completed in Q3 2018 and one in Ottawa scheduled for completion by Q3 2019. Continue reading

Trading Tim Hortons For Cummings Store: Revitalization of Vanier’s Traditional Main Street

During the latter half of the 19th Century and until about 1920 Cummings Island was a vibrant commercial hub on the Rideau River between Janeville (one of three settlements that eventually formed Eastview which later became Vanier) and Ottawa. When the City of Ottawa bought the island in 1923 and built a new bridge bypassing the island slightly north of it, the store was moved to a new location now occupied by Tim Hortons at the intersection of Montreal Road and Vanier Parkway. The new site was to become the entry point for what was to be Eastview’s downtown and Vanier’s traditional main street and French Quarter. Continue reading