Save Our Greenspace

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

April 26, 2006

Bring signs to City Hall

CJOH live at 12:30. Bring signs! *
by Larry Pegg on April 26, 2006 - 9:54am
I will be attending and doing a live interview w/CJOH at 12:30 Bring signs. Suggested

Take ultimate to the Promised land. The OSP (per May 2001 letter of invitation from
Airport Authority)

OSP will reduce smog, asthma, Type 2 Diabetes, obesity!

Ottawa Airport be fair!

We want a Study!

No more dead park and rides. Make them live.

Bowesville site not part of the EA

I went back to read the EA that the city prepared and submitted to the Ministry of the Environment last fall.

It outlined three alternative sites:

1) Walkley
2) Lester (aqua Airport parkway)
3) Leitrim and Albion (on the Provincially Significant Wetlands)

NOT Bowesville

Bowesville is approximately 3 - 4 km down the road, and the EA has a mention of a park and ride on Bowesville road (but not a maintenance and storage facility for 105 train cars).

Rejean Chartrand put up these flip charts with Bowesville outlined as a possibility for a maintenance yard (I suspect sometime after Larry asked for use of the land) and months after the EA was approved by council. The first time I saw Bowesville was at a city presentation on Dec. 8th. They changed all the flip charts and web-sites pictures - but not the EA.

So we all kept talking about Bowesville. But you know what, now Mr. C. may want to put it at Bowesville, but he can't. There was never an EA done for a maintenance yard at that location. The city would be delayed at least three more months before the EA would have that addendum. Regardless the Minister would never allow for an addendum on maintenance yards, now that she knows about the MOU - stating the use of a Brownfield, and the fact that the PWG unanimously decided on a Brownfield.

April 25, 2006

Rally of support tomorrow

Support is mounting for tomorrow's rally at City Hall (Lisgar side). This is to show support for the motion facing city council to direct the city to develop a multi-use year-round sports facility near the airport.

I encourage you to email your councillors and come out for some fun tomorrow! (Noon to 1:00pm) There will be ultimate frisbee players, soccer players, musicians and enthusiastic people having fun.

More info at
Ottawa Carleton Ultimate Frisbee Association,, stands to benefit along with the city, as it would become host to national and international soccer and ultimate championships.


  • A sports facility like the one proposed would bring enormous social and economic benefits to the city

  • The park would integrate well with the natural environment, and provide an excellent place for youth to go and be active.

  • Located on the N-S LRT line, it would add ridership and allow local soccer-moms and dads to leave their minivans at home.

  • Passengers on incoming flights will notice as they fly over the facility, that Ottawa is a vibrant, fun city to live in.

April 24, 2006



---When: Wed. April 26 - noon
Where: City Hall - Lisgar Street side
What: This is a display of support for the motion submitted by Councillor Doug Thompson, that supports the concept of the OSP located near the Ottawa Airport (more: There will be soccer and frisbee players, musicians and good people. Let's send the message. Vote in favour of Councils motion.

---When: Wed. May 3rd - 5:30 pm
Where: (A) - Meet at Tache and St Joseph at about 5:00pm.
(B) Christ Church Cathedral (420 Sparks Street)
What: Meeting between Interest Groups and the NCC's Board of Directors

First 3 agenda items:
6:30 pm Word of Welcome
I Transportation
6:45 pm 1. Transport 2000
Interprovincial transportation and update on anniversary of Ottawa Station
6:55 pm 2. City Centre Coalition
Interprovincial transit

Details from David Gladstone:
Folks, ... the following was agreed for our May 3rd event: we'll meet at Tache and St Joseph in Hull at 5:00 (or a bit later) and walk along the railway corridor to the north end of the Prince of Wales railway bridge where we'll firmly restate our long-standing insistence on the need for O-Train service into Gatineau across the bridge.
Then we'll walk along the pathway to the Chaudiere Bridge, cross it, and walk by the War Museum to get another view of our favourite railway bridge, and on to Christ Church Cathedral , where all are invited to show their support for my comments to the NCC.

David G.

---When: May 16 - Time 1:30pm,
Where: City Hall Champlain Room
What: A joint committee meeting (Corporate Services and Economic Development) will hear comments from the public on the maintenance yard site selection, and will make a recommendation to council, based on the site selection report from the PWG and
consultant team.

---When May 24 - Time:
Where: City Hall - Andrew S. Haydon Hall
What: City Council meeting - will vote on where to put the maintenance yard.


I attended the Eco Fair on Saturday, and was pleased to hear the mayor's pledge to the environment.

"The environment is a priority for the city of Ottawa ... probably the highest priority at the city of Ottawa." [applause] " Certainly speaking for me personally, it is."
The mayor mentions how the LRT project is the largest constuction project in the histroy of Ottawa ($725M) and the largest environmental project in the history of the city of Ottawa.

Mayor Chiarelli also spoke about the Trail Road Landfill methane gas conversion project which will produce enough electricity to serve 5000 homes. He also mentioned a pilot project at Trail Road for plasma technology - A technology that uses very high levels of heat to convert garbage into gas, then to electricity.

New inititive that involves leadership:
"In order to continue to advance the city's environmental agenda, I have appointed our city manager, Kent Kirkpatrick, as the Environmental Commissioner for the City of Ottawa. The highest management level at the city, is going to also share the responsability of being the environmental commissioner."
The day before in Kanata, the mayor announced a "New Green Partnership Program" - $1 million in new funding in the 2006 budget:
"We are inviting community groups, community associations, service clubs, environmental groups, schools, to apply for a project that will give them up to $20,000 for their own neighbourhood. These are envionrmental projects, beautication projects, projects that will respect the pride that our citizens have in keeping this a beautiful and green community."
More info at

The Mayor concluded by recognizing the environmental work of Ann Coffey, of the Environment Advisory Committee.
"I want to say how proud we are at the city, how proud I am as mayor, to have people like Ann Coffey sitting there working in the trenches, committed, and making a difference for the environment. So I want to say thank you very much."
His full speech can be heard here: MP3 (8 Meg download)

April 21, 2006

Opponents ride Chiarelli on light-rail

Opponents ride Chiarelli on light-rail Citizen story, Apr. 20, 2006

First exchange for mayoral hopefuls

Mayoral candidates, Terry Kilrea, Bob Chiarelli and Alex Munter, outlined their themes for this year's campaign during a public forum at the Rideau Carleton Raceway. Mr. Kilrea and Mr. Munter said suspicions are growing that the light-rail project isn't good value.

Patrick Dare, The Ottawa Citizen [comments by yours truly, in italics]

Published: Thursday, April 20, 2006

Ottawa's three main candidates for mayor got out of the election gates yesterday with a first public exchange at the Rideau Carleton Raceway that asked whether the biggest capital project in the city's history, the north-south commuter rail line, is a boondoggle.

Mayor Bob Chiarelli replied with an emphatic no, saying the new 28-kilometre rail line will serve Riverside South, a community of up to 55,000, and South Nepean, with up to 150,000. His two main challengers, Alex Munter and Terry Kilrea, said there's a growing suspicion among taxpayers that the project isn't good value for the $725 million being spent.[First of all, these communities don't yet exist. Links to the airport, Barrhaven, Hull would boost ridership but have been cut or postponed. An important station at South Keys is not in the plans. Ridership forecasts are doubtful at best.]

Mr. Kilrea argued the commuter rail line is going the wrong way and should be running east-west, where much of the city's heavy commuter traffic and congestion occurs.

Mr. Chiarelli said east-west rail will come in time, but that the city went with a pitch to the federal and provincial governments for the north-south line because it had a lower, more palatable price tag. He said the federal and provincial governments, which are contributing $200 million each for the north-south line, would never have gone for a $2-billion project, which is about what an east-west service would have cost.[Let's not make up their mind for them, Mr. Mayor. But if this is true, what makes you think they'll be willing to pay for the E-W line later?]

Mr. Munter called for an independent financial look at the costs and benefits of the project and urged that city council not rush into contracts for the rail project before the Nov. 13 election. Mr. Munter reminded Mr. Chiarelli that he considered the bus-only transitway system too costly, at $5 million a kilometre, when he first ran for the regional chair's job in the 1990s, defeating Peter Clark. The north-south rail project has a capital cost of about $25 million a kilometre.

Answering questions later, Mr. Chiarelli said the north-south commuter line will be the first piece of transportation in the city that will serve neighbourhoods as they are growing, rather than after the fact.

Mr. Chiarelli said the city's east-west corridor has already seen a major investment of public money in the bus transitway.

During the moderated discussion, the candidates set themes for the seven-month campaign. Mr. Kilrea said the city's biggest problem is spending on unaffordable projects and programs and wants to see council stick to the basic services -- "police, fire, paramedics. Pick up my garbage, clean my roads."

He said business people and rural residents are upset with an administration that costs too much and demands uniformity on everything from chip stand fees to bylaw enforcement. Mr. Kilrea said the city shows businesses little respect, noting that it suddenly cancelled garbage collection for small businesses without informing them.

Mr. Munter said the election is about whether it's time for a change after a decade of Mr. Chiarelli as the top municipal politician. Mr. Munter said the city has to focus on things like ensuring a supply of affordable housing so it doesn't end up with Toronto's social and economic problems. He said the public's confidence in city hall's financial management is being eroded and he wants to ensure taxpayers get value for their money.

Mr. Munter said he was shocked by yesterday's news about a $1-million property tax increase imposed on the Ottawa Senators, without the team being notified. "The city is not prepared to listen. The city is not open." [The SUN (Tax Hit Way out of Place, Apr21)has more on this screw up, and now city staff admits they didn't give proper consideration (or even read the current agreement with the Senators).]

Mr. Chiarelli said he is proud to run on a record that includes tax freezes in many years and a city economy that is booming. He said the city government is in solid financial shape, with a triple-A credit rating.

The City of Ottawa has a debt of about $454 million and total investments and reserves of about $860 million.

Mr. Chiarelli acknowledged that the property tax system is unfair to some business owners, but said the city is doing all it can to get the provincial government to change it.[It's not our fault your taxes are high, honest! Geesh.]

And he noted that the city is finally getting some financial help from senior levels of government, including $80 million a year in GST and gas tax money.

He also noted that he created several business advisory groups, including a task force on cutting red tape.[How to reduce red tape: create more red tape.]

© The Ottawa Citizen 2006

April 17, 2006

Dates of note

The report for the selection of the site for the location of the storage and maintenance facility for the North-South Light Rail Transit project, is now scheduled to be on the agenda of a joint meeting of Corporate Services and Economic Development Committee and Transportation Committee on 16 May 2006, subsequently scheduled to go to Council on 24 May 2006.

Our next PWG meeting is scheduled for:

Date: Wednesday April 19
Location: EMBASSY HOTEL AND SUITES (25 Cartier Street - at Cooper Street)
Time: 6:30 - 9:30

April 13, 2006

Councillor Doug Thompson's motion to go forward with OSP

This motion supports the Ottawa Sports Park (OSP) concept for the location near Ottawa Airport, just another of many such sports facilities located near airports across Canada and around the world. Essentially we can have a LRT rail yard or a sports park. The sports park will preserve valuable greenspace the rail yard will not. The current rail yard at Walkley Yard is already a brownfield site and makes the most sense.

The vote to go forward (or not) will be April 26th when Council will vote on this Motion . This means each and every Councilor needs to be on board, aiming for a unanimous decsion to support it. With a project as positive as the OSP there is no reason why this shouldn't be acheived.

More Info: Larry Pegg,


April 12th, 2006 City of Ottawa Council Meeting

Moved by Councillor D. Thompson
Seconded by Councillor R. Bloess

WHEREAS the City of Ottawa has negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding for the use of the Bowesville site from the Ottawa Airport Authority;

AND WHEREAS the City has a sports field deficit of 200 fields;

AND WHEREAS the City is reviewing multiple sites for its rail maintenance yard;

AND WHEREAS the City has completed a study identifying potential sportsfield sites (June, 2005) identifying the Bowesville lands as entirely suitable for sportsfields;

AND WHEREAS the City received informally, conflicting data on lands at or near the Ottawa Airport in the context of aviation safety, bird hazards and crash zones;

AND WHEREAS the City has seen no study or report prepared by any authoritative bird hazard specialist in the context of (a) aviation safety, (b) bird hazards, (c) crash zones, (d) use of the Bowesville lands for a 30 soccer field facility or any other purposes, and (e) the Ottawa Airport;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the City undertake negotiations with the Ottawa Airport Authority for the potential use of the Bowesville site for use as multipurpose sports and recreation facilities, run by either the City or a Public-Private Partnership or other entity;

AND FURTHER that the City conduct a economic assessment of the financial impact of usage of the site for a 30 field soccer park, said assessment to include at the minimum the Canadian Sports Tourism Alliance economic assessment model known as STEAM (Sports Tourism Economic Assessment Model) to calculate the benefits to Ottawa, there being no apparent need to calculate the obviously immense social and health benefits to the City;

AND FURTHER that the City conduct a review of other municipalities that have similar large scale sports facilities to become acquainted with any topics that could prove important to the City should it choose to operate or procure the creation of a sports facility on the Bowesville lands, with particular attention paid to the sports parks in Winnipeg and Calgary that operate sports fields as in close proximity to airport operations;

AND FURTHER that the City in conjunction with Transport Canada and other experts in the field, undertake a review of hazards and risks associated with the proximity of the Bowesville lands to the Ottawa Airport.

April 12, 2006

PWG backs Mayor Chiarelli's Vision

After weeks of meetings and countless hours of community effort, the Public Working Group overwhelming recommended to re-use an urban Brownfield location near Walkley Road for a maintenance and storage facility for 105 train cars (2021 forecast). The selected and highly recommended site is a decaying and underutilized rail yard, and was chosen from among four potential sites – the selected Brownfield location, and three greenspaces located in the Greenbelt.

Amongst the people representing the residents around Walkley yard, no one objected to the decision, in fact the president of the Heatherington residents association spoke out in favour of the benefits this will have for the community. As stated by Louise,
“This is a tremendous opportunity for the community. Plans can now be made to revitalize the yard and surrounding environment for community use and employment opportunities.”
Credit needs to be extended as well to Mayor Chiarelli. In negotiating the Memorandum of Understanding that secured federal and provincial funding for this project, he identified the re-use of the Walkley rail yard as one of the key deliverables of the LRT project. Not resting on this commitment, he arranged to have his goal and vision of reusing the derelict rail yard reviewed by the citizens and businesses of Ottawa through the Public Working Group. As demonstrated by the overwhelming response, the PWG has backed his vision of redeveloping Brownfields and saving valuable greenspaces for current and future generations of Ottawa residents.

The Memorandum of Understanding highlighting Mayor Chiarelli’s commitment can be found here (PDF). The Project Definition, which includes the Walkley site and other deliverables committed to by the City, Province of Ontario and Government of Canada, is found starting on
Page 7.

The next step in the process of confirming the Walkley yard is a Public Open House being April 11, 2006. Ottawa residents are encouraged to come out and support the Mayor in realizing his vision of reusing the Walkley rail yard for the LRT.

This is an excellent opportunity for the city to take ownership of the yard. By turning over this new leaf, Ottawa will show the rest of the world how progressive it is by reusing a Brownfield rail yard for the new and exciting LRT project.

Please pass this note on to others so the people of Ottawa know of this true success story.


Cheryl Doran

April 07, 2006

Open House April 11 - come and see site chosen by the PWG: Walkley Yard

Open House
Proposed maintenance and storage yard facility

You are invited to attend a Public Open House to review information and comment on the recommended location for a new Light Rail Transit maintenance and storage yard facility on:
Date Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Time 4:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Location: Jim Durrell Complex, Elwood Hall, 1265 Walkley Road

What is being proposed:

On July 15, 2005, City Council approved the Environmental Assessment recommended plan for the North-South Corridor Light Rail Transit Project. The approved plan identified three potential locations for the construction of a Light Rail Transit maintenance and storage yard facility.

On September 9, 2005 the City submitted the Environmental Assessment Report to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment for approval. Following this submission the City formed a public working group to obtain direct input from residents and communities who have indicated an interest in, and may be affected by, the selection of the location for the storage and maintenance facility. The public working group has considered all aspects associated with each site, has undertaken a comprehensive evaluation of the three sites and has identified its preferred location for this facility.

Why should you attend:

The three sites identified in the Environmental Assessment Report as possible locations for the maintenance and storage yard facility are;

* Walkley (chosen by the PWG as the preferred site - a brownfield site) (south of Walkley Road between Albion and Conroy Roads)
* Lester (east of the Airport Parkway between Lester and Hunt Club Roads)
* Bowesville (north of Earl Armstrong Road between Bowesville and Albion Roads)

This Open House will provide you an opportunity to learn about the sites, the selection criteria used for choosing the preferred site, and which location has been selected as the preferred site. City staff and its consultants will be available to listen to comments from the public and respond to questions. Input received at this Open House will be used to identify public concerns/issues associated with each site and help in refining mitigation measures to address those concerns. Your feedback is an important part of this process.

For additional information about this project, please contact:

Paul S. Clarke, P. Eng.
Program Manager, Light Rail Implementation Division
City of Ottawa
180 Elgin Street, 6th Floor
Ottawa, ON K2P 2K3

Tel: 613-580-2424, ext. 21344
Fax: 613-580-9688


April 03, 2006

Final PWG meeting

Final PWG meeting is Wed. April 5th. We are to weight the various selection criteria and come to a recommendation for the Transportation and Economic (joint) committee, and city council.

PUBLIC MEETING/ANNOUNCEMENT on site selection (come out and provide your input) - Tuesday April 11, from 4:30 - 8:30 at Jim Durrell Complex, Elwood Hall, 1265 Walkley Road.