Save Our Greenspace

Ottawa Communities Fighting to Preserve Our Greenspace / Updates on the LRT Project

January 31, 2006

Brownfield Land Redevelopment

C'mon Ottawa, use the existing Walkley site! It just makes sense. For more on urban-brownfield redevelopment initiatives, see these interesting links:
  • NRTEE - National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy website
  • PDF - see p.44 of: Cleaning up the Past, Building the Future: A National Brownfield Redevelopment Strategy for Canada

January 30, 2006

Results of Jan 29 meeting

Last night members of Save Our Greenspace met with David Jeanes (Transport 2000 Canada), Shikha McGowan (representing Counsellor Diane Deans), Peter Hillier and other members of the community. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss strategy and share new information.

The following arguments were brought up - consider adding them to your letters to the MOE and city council:

  • The city of Ottawa's Official Plan, as indicated in Schedule I, the airport parkway is considered a key scenic entry point into the Nations capital. The City of Ottawa staff would prefer to make the natural landscape a large maintenance yard for trains?
  • The airport parkway is the official ceremonial route for heads of state, ministers and dignitairies. Not the place for a maintenance and storage facility.
  • The Federal government's environmental policies encourage the redevelopement of urban-brownfield lands. The Federal government signed a MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) May 2005, promising to invest $200 M dollars into this project. It's too bad they didn't put any conditions on the project - to ensure their own policies were enforced?
  • The EA is lacking in evaluating the effect of the yard on migratory patterns of deer, fox, ermine, and other animals. The city's response to these questions state these animals are young and non-significant.
  • The City of Ottawa is spending $13,000,000 for a Stormwater Management System just 500 metres up the parkway from where they would like to create a new brownfield, maintenance yard and storage facility? How does that make any sense of our tax dollars?
  • East of the tracks is an old growth woodlot, with trees that are over 300 years old. This is the largest old growth woods in the City and it is a very rare type, the dominant trees being Red Maple, Beech, and Hemlock. The field is full of milkweed plants, which is the plant needed for Monarch butterflies. The City of Ottawa says it's a noxious weed - but I guess they haven't looked too closely around the greenspace to notice there are no farms in the vicinity.
  • It's important to let the city know that our children use this recreational area and benefit greatly from it. Many youth groups such as cub scouts and girl guides use it as do elementary schools. Children are often left out of the discussion, but stand to lose the most.
  • In previous city-sponsored meetings, the public was mislead concerning the zoning of the Lester site.
  • Lacking in the EA is any mention of the testing of bells and whistles - typically tested in the early AM before the trains begin
    service. Noise bylaws will be broken, however, that would not be a problem for the City of Ottawa, because in the same study, they said they would adjust the by-laws if necessary.
  • The marshalling act of unhitching the train cars (read: noise), is mentioned in the EA but states, it's not a problem because people live 300 m away.(!) The maintenance yard and storage facility noise will be worst in the night time - (12:00 am - 5:00 am), because that's when the trains stop running, the yard becomes the busiest.
  • If Toronto's Go transit system can be serviced by one maintenance yard (381+ trains), why does the City of Ottawa think they need 3 maintenance yards and storage facilities for a total of 105 train cars by 2021?
  • Transport 2000 Canada's estimate of Walkley yard capacity is that it would hold over 200 train cars, and have room for a test track.
  • The Walkley neighbouring communities do not object to the use of this land for a maintenance yard, according the their councillor D. Deans. They do however, have some problems with levelling a greenspace on a greenbelt.
  • The Walkley site was designed for heavy rail, and adding light rail duties to it would not add much stress. The infrastructure is there to build upon. It's double-ended, and has a wye to turn trains around.

January 29, 2006

First Post!!!

Welcome to the Save Our Greenspace blog! SaveOurGreenspace is a group of Ottawa residents and businesses who want to protect the greenspace along the Airport Parkway. We support public transit, OC Transpo and expanding LRT in Ottawa. However, the City of Ottawa plans to destroy greenspace to construct a train maintenance yard rather than use an existing rail yard that is currently being used for the O-train maintenance. We do not understand why the city will not re-cycle and re-use existing brownfield sites (Walkley Yard), instead of destroying increasingly rare urban forests, fields and wetlands.

Keep checking here for updates on our progress as the Ottawa LRT project evolves. Post your own comments and send us your feedback! Check the links on this site to learn more.