Ward boundary review needs your input now

15 09 2020


Important Reminder

Zoom meetings regarding ward boundaries are scheduled until September 23rd. Option 6 of the review, which seems to be the preferred option, would have the western part of Kitchissippi ward — including all of McKellar Park and parts of Westboro — moved to Bay Ward. If you prefer we stay in Kitchissippi please let councillor Jeff Leiper and the Mayor know. If they get no feedback from residents they will assume that residents of Kitchissippi are ok with it being moved to Bay Ward. Alternatively if you think we should be in Bay Ward, they would want to know that too.
https://ottawa.ca/en/city-hall/public-engagement/projects/ottawa-ward-boundary-review-2020.
This is a time when your input may help to sway opinions at City Hall.





Ottawa Ward Boundary Review

29 08 2020

A Bit of Background

City Council, which governs the City of Ottawa, is made up of 23 Councillors and 1 Mayor. Every 4 years, the Mayor is elected by all voters in Ottawa, and each Councillor is elected by the voters in his/her Ward.

Every few years, the boundaries of those Wards are up for a fresh look to make sure that everybody in the City is well represented.

The last time this happened was in 2005. Clearly a lot of things have changed since then. Population has changed, new issues have arisen, neighbourhoods and communities have changed. Some parts of the City have grown faster than others.

The new boundaries are meant to ensure that everybody gets “effective representation”, and they will be in place for the 2022 municipal election, and also for the 2026, 2030, and maybe for the 2034 election. This means that the new boundaries will have to take into account where we think neighbourhoods and communities will be possibly as far ahead as 2034.

Note that these boundaries will have no effect on Federal or Provincial constituency boundaries (MPs and MPPs), which are adjusted from time to time as well, but through an entirely different process. And they will have no effect on school district boundaries, (school board trustees) which are adjusted from time to time as well, but, again, through a different process.

People in McKellar Park are currently part of Kitchissippi Ward, and we are currently represented by Councillor Jeff Leiper.

How Does the Ward Boundary Review Work?

In 2019, the City of Ottawa hired a team of consultants to look at the Ward boundaries as of 2020, and how they may need to be adjusted to ensure effective representation, both now and up to 2034.

The consultants held a round of consultations, examined population and other projections for the City, and produced an Options Report in July which outlined 5 proposals for new Wards. Later, under Council’s direction, they produced a sixth proposal.

So, there are now 6 options before Council and voters, and these will be examined in some detail in a round of consultations over the next few weeks.

After these consultations are finished, a final report will be prepared for Council by the end of 2020. Council will then make the final decision on the new ward boundaries. While not required to accept all the recommendations, council will clearly be heavily affected by the report they receive later this year.

Once they are approved by Council, the new ward boundaries will be in place for the 2022 municipal election.

What Is the Ward Boundary Review Looking At?

The point of the exercise is to ensure that everybody in Ottawa gets “effective representation”.

What does that mean?

The City of Ottawa website puts it this way:

Generally speaking, “effective representation” means that one person’s vote should be of similar weight to another person’s vote. When applied to wards, the term suggests that wards should be of similar population size. In practice, achieving effective representation for ward boundary reviews involves balancing several components:  

Voter Parity

Ward populations should be similar but not identical and should be in the range of +/-10 per cent to +/-15 per cent of the average ward population. Larger percentage variations are possible, but only in exceptional circumstances such as in Ottawa’s functioning rural community.

Natural/Physical Boundaries

Ward boundaries have to be recognizable. Natural boundaries such as rivers and the Greenbelt, and physical boundaries such as highways, railways and arterial roads make good boundaries.  

Geographic Communities of Interest

Ottawa’s neighbourhoods such as the Glebe or Westboro Village and commercial areas such as the ByWard Market or the Carp Business Improvement Area are considered to be “communities of interest.” When re-aligning ward boundaries, geographically contiguous communities of interest should not be divided, unless they are so large that they must be split to achieve voter parity.

Minority Interests

Minority interests should be considered if they are geographically based.

Ward History

Ward design should, where possible, consider the history of the ward. However, ward history by itself cannot override other major criteria such as voter parity, strong natural/physical boundaries, and communities of interest.

Capacity to Represent

Capacity to represent is often equated with Councillors’ workload. It includes matters such as ward size, types and complexity of issues, ongoing growth and development, etc. and has to be taken into consideration when designing wards.  

Geographic Size and Shape of a Ward

All wards cannot be the same geographic size. Some areas of the city are more densely populated than others and some wards have more open space. Ottawa is especially unique with respect to this component of effective representation because of its large rural area.

Population Growth

The results of the Ottawa Ward Boundary Review 2020 are meant to last for at least three municipal elections (2022, 2026 and 2030) and, perhaps, a fourth municipal election in 2034. The target election for an evaluation of effective representation will be 2026. This allows for Ottawa’s expected growth to be factored into ward boundary calculations.

Balancing the Components of Effective Representation

While all components of effective representation must be taken into consideration, they are not all equal. Voter parity, respecting communities of interest, and well-defined, coherent ward boundaries are the most important components.

What Did the Options Report Come Up With?

Option 1

  • 25-wards
  • 13 urban wards, 9 suburban wards, and 3 rural wards, which would be the addition of two suburban wards, and one core urban ward, and removing one rural ward.

Option 2

  • 24-wards
  • 12 urban wards, 9 suburban wards and 3 rural wards, which would be the addition of 2 suburban wards and the removal of one rural ward.

Option 3

  • 23-wards
  • adds two wards to the suburbs, removes one rural ward, and removes one ward from inside the Greenbelt. It significantly adjusts ward boundaries in the urban area.

Option 4

  • 23 wards
  • 11 urban wards, nine suburban wards and three rural wards. Like option three, it removes one urban ward, one rural ward, and adds two suburban wards.

Option 5

  • 17 wards.
  • nine urban wards, six suburban wards and two rural wards.

Option 6

  • 24 wards
  • adds two more suburban wards while removing one rural ward

What Does All This Mean for Kitchissippi Ward? What Does It Mean for McKellar Park?

Ward Boundary Reviews are inherently complicated, since they deal with neighbourhood boundaries, population projections, balancing the interests of urban, suburban, and rural voters. All of the 6 options are compromises, and none of them do all of the things on the list of “effective representation” perfectly.

It would be easy to fall into the rabbit hole and not come out. Nevertheless, there are some clear effects both on Kitchissippi and McKellar Park.

Councillor Leiper has said that he has three key priorities:

First and foremost, I want coherent communities to stay together. Several of the scenarios for Kitchissippi would split Hintonburg in two, or split Mechanicsville from Hintonburg, which I don’t believe would be healthy. I feel strongly that the same person should represent both of those communities in their entirety. A sixth option would see McKellar Park have a different councillor from Westboro.

I also want to ensure that the “downtown” voice isn’t diminished.

Something I’m feeling very keenly right now is the need to ensure that the ward doesn’t grow so big as to become unwieldy for the next councillor.

For McKellar Park, only the 6th option would see McKellar Park split off from Kitchissippi, and in a different ward from Westboro; it would see McKellar Park, Carlingwood, Woodroffe North and Wood Park, adjoining communities which are broadly similar to McKellar Park, in the same ward. Some may see these changes as positive, some may not.

Should I Get Involved?

The answer is almost certainly yes. The quality of our representation will be heavily affected by the outcome of these new Ward boundary decisions.

Population size will clearly have a big impact on the Councillor’s ability to respond to your needs.

As well, you should decide for yourself if the new boundaries in each of these proposals puts you in a ward where the Councillor’s priorities are likely to be the same as yours.

Finally, do the boundaries, in a general sense, seem like a balanced approach to the fact that Ottawa has urban areas, suburban areas and rural areas? Will the Council be more able to work together and plan for the future, or less?

Look at what makes up “effective representation” in the list above. Do these proposals make the grade? Do some do a better job than others?

All of these issues will have an impact on your future, and on the future of our community.

How Do I Get Involved?

Start by going to the following website:

https://engage.ottawa.ca/ward-boundary-review-2020

From this site you can do a survey, find out about times and locations for virtual meetings, and look at maps, population projections, and detailed description of all the 6 options.

Let your Councillor, Jeff Leiper, know what you think about the options, which you prefer, and why. If you think some can be improved, don’t hesitate to say so. None of these proposals are set in stone – yet.

Don’t forget to include the Mayor in your communications.

Contact information for the Mayor and Councillors can be found at www.ottawa.ca

Councillor Leiper’s website is at http://www.kitchissippiward.ca/

And keep us informed about your views as well.





Closure of Byron between Golden and Redwood

14 08 2020
Over the summer many of us have enjoyed the closure of Byron between Golden and Redwood to through vehicle traffic. Neighbours there have taken the initiative to gather support to extend this closure beyond COVID-19 times. We have heard from others in the neighbourhood who feel the additional traffic has gone onto other local streets and they have expressed concerns regarding traffic volume and kids walking to school along Dovercourt for example. Others wonder how they will get to the kiss and ride on Byron at Sherbourne once the station is opened, if Byron is closed to all but local traffic.
If you have views or concerns either for or against the closing of Byron to through traffic, please take the time to let your Councillor know, and copy the MPCA.




Tillbury Park Alert – Volunteers needed

11 08 2020

If you’ve been by Tillbury Park recently you’ll have seen that the City has been hard at it building the new play structure. It should be finished soon.

With that in mind, it’s time for us to help make the park a friendly place to hang out in by picked up the garbage people have left there over the past year. We’re hoping you can spare a little time on Saturday morning, rain date Sunday, to help out. Please bring gloves. I’ll have some disposables available. Masks are not mandatory because we will be outside and more that 2 metres apart. It’s probably not a good idea to have small children participating.

I’m hoping we get a good turn out so we can finish in an hour or so. If it isn’t finished, there are no plans to try and have another day.

Hope to see you on Saturday @9 AM.





Virtual Trivia Fundraiser for Queensway Carleton Hospital

11 08 2020

Tuesday, August 25 at 7PM
Questions for the Q – Virtual Trivia Fundraiser
Tickets are $20. Door prizes, etc.





McKellar Park Golf Club featured at Kitchissippi Museum

9 07 2020

Dave Allston’s blog, The Kitchissippi Museum, is currently featuring a five-part series on the  historic golf course from which fully half of today’s McKellar Park neighbourhood was formed.

(Our “Resources” page now links to Dave’s blog, and the recent Walking Tour has been updated to note these posts among its golf course-related references.)





The Hintonburg Community Association invites you to take part in the I Spy Hintonburg Event.

8 07 2020

WWBIA-ISpyHintonburgRules-FinalWWBIA-ISpyHintonburgPoster-Final

 

 





A self-guided tour around McKellar Park

1 07 2020

McKellar Park Community Association is pleased to highlight a first-rate walking tour of the neighbourhoods around McKellar Park.


“West of Westboro / A Walk Around the Park” [PDF]

annotation-2020-07-01-093535

from H. Belden & Co.’s Historical Atlas of the County of Carleton, Ontario (Toronto, 1879)

The Tour was written by Kathryn Mikoski, with help and advice from a number of people who are mentioned in the introduction to the tour.

This work makes the history of our neighbourhoods available to a wider audience than has been the case in the past. We are hoping that it will be the first of many, and that it will inspire others to take up similar work.

We are fortunate to live in an area that still wears its history visibly, in the form of houses and buildings, streets, street names, and parks, that take us back to an earlier era.

We hope that you enjoy your tour of our community, and that the walk leaves you with a deeper appreciation of how our community has grown and changed, along with Ottawa as a whole.

We should note that many of the historical sites featured in this tour are currently occupied by families – some of whom are uneasy about strangers entering their property, even if it is to admire it and deepen their understanding of the community’s history.

Please don’t trespass on the properties – enjoy, but from a distance.

Respect the privacy of the people who are living and working in these marvellous buildings.

Let us know how you have enjoyed the tour. We will pass your comments on to the creator.

And if you have ideas about other walks, other themes, other properties, please let us know.

Your community association.





Ottawa Farmers Market is coming back to McKellar Park!

30 06 2020

The Ottawa Farmers Market has announced that it will be re-opening for weekly markets in McKellar Park on July 4. Stay updated on the latest related to that on their Facebook page here. They’ve been working with Ottawa Public Health on all the necessary safety protocols, and our discussion has been that there will be a reserved hour at the start of market days for vulnerable shoppers

Hi #Ottawa!

Market staff have been working closely with public health officials to create protocols to help make our markets the safest source of fresh, local food possible while we strive to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Ottawa.

These measures include:

– Limiting customer numbers within the market at any given time.
– Limiting the first hour to those aged 65+ and/or immunocompromised
– Spaces between vendor’s booths.
– Hand sanitizer throughout the market.
– Physical distancing measures within the market square, and in areas where customers may wait.
– Sanitizing surfaces and tables frequently.
– No sampling of products.
– All food is take-out only. No eating within the market.
– No seating areas.
– No pets, only service animals.
– No musicians or buskers.

We ask that customers please respect these measures as they are designed to give you the safest shopping experience possible.

We ask that you please:

– Stay home if you are sick, or have been in contact with someone who is sick.
– Use the hand sanitizer provided.
– Shop one person per household, whenever possible.
– Leave your pets at home, only service animals.
– Maintain 2 meters distance between yourself and others at all times.

Thank you!





LRT Stage 2 station connectivity review

27 06 2020

The Stage2 Team held presentations with groups along the Confederation Line West Extension to look at connectivity to stations. They have posted content which they would like you to review, including these connectivity features for Cleary station in our area:

Planned

A. Complete street with cycle tracks along Richmond Road, Byron Linear Park improvements, and sidewalk on south side of Byron Avenue

B. Station plaza with 6 passenger pick up and drop off spaces and bike parking for 20 bikes with space allocated to double in future when required

C. Close Redwood Avenue between Richmond Road and Byron Avenue

D. Two new pedestrian crossovers across Richmond Road at Lockhart Street and west of Sherbourne Road

E. New multi-use pathway connection from Cleary Station to Ottawa River pathway, including underpass at the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway

Feasibility Assessment

F. Add contra-flow bike lane on Redwood Avenue north of Keenan Avenue

aerial_clearyIf you have questions or comments about this, good or bad, please let the Stage2 team and Councillor Jeff Leiper know by July 10, 2020. Please consider copying this blog’s email as well.


Received from the LRT Stage 2 program office:

 

Subject: Stage 2 Confederation Line West Extension Connectivity Review – Online

Hello,

The content from the following five presentations for the Stage 2 Confederation Line West Extension Connectivity Review has been posted online:

  • Iris & Baseline
  • Queensview & Lincoln Fields
  • New Orchard & Cleary
  • Dominion, Westboro & Tunney’s Pasture
  • Moodie, Pinecrest & Bayshore

https://ottawa.ca/en/city-hall/public-engagement/projects/stage-2-lrt-station-connectivity-enhancement-study#stage-2-confederation-line-west-extension-connectivity-review

https://ottawa.ca/fr/hotel-de-ville/engagement-du-public/projets/etape-2-du-projet-de-train-leger-etude-sur-lamelioration-de-la-connectivite-des-stations

We hope you are able to share the links above widely within your networks, encouraging the public to send in their questions and comments copying stage2@ottawa.ca by July 10th, at which time we will prepare a public ‘As We Heard It’ report containing both comments from the PAC, and the public at large. This will also be posted to the website following the public comment period.

Accessibility is an important consideration for the City of Ottawa. The Rail Construction Program is committed to creating barrier-free access for all residents by following the City of Ottawa Accessibility Policies and Procedures. To receive a resource in an accessible format, please email stage2@ottawa.ca or call 3-1-1 (613-580-2400) / 613-580-2401(TTY).

Thank you

Stage 2 Team