What Community Facilities Does Centretown Need?

September 17, 2010 at 10:29 am 4 comments

Over the next few weeks, we will be posting a new discussion topic, ranging from Community facilities to defining the Character of Centretown, to generate dialogue about the future of Mid Centretown. We look forward to hearing your ideas in the comments.

The Centretown Ward is quickly becoming one of Ottawa’s most desirable destinations for downtown living and it is expected that more people will want to live and work in Centretown over the coming years.

To gain a better understanding of the different types of community amenities and facilities serving the Centretown Ward, a Community Amenities Audit was undertaken as part of the Mid-Centretown Community Plan.  By “community amenities”, we mean typically mean not-for-profit facilities that and are open to the public, such as community centres, playgrounds, sports fields or sports arenas.

The Centretown Community Amenities Audit (329 KB PDF) is in draft form at the moment and we need your help to finish it. (Click here for a 44 KB summary spreadsheet). Once finalized, an important output of this research will be to identify what types of additional community amenities may be required to complement existing amenities and facilitate future growth in the area.

You can help us by that ensuring the Audit provides an accurate representation of facilities and amenities that you use within your neighbourhood.  A full list of community facilities that we have already included is provided at the end of the Amenities Audit.  Please tell us (by clicking here) if we are missing any important community facilities that you regularly use in Centretown. At the moment, youth facilities are looking particularly thin on the ground! What else are we missing?

An accurate understanding of current community facilities will help us to identify where gaps exist in provision and what new facilities may be required in the future.

We would like to acknowledge the huge help provided by the Ottawa Neighbourhood Study team, based out of the Institute for Population Health at the University of Ottawa.  They provided the foundation for much of this work. The very useful and important work this team is currently undertaking can be viewed here.

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Does Mid-Centretown Exist?? Is Centretown Being Shaped by the Ontario Municipal Board?

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. westsideaction  |  September 19, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    Most neighborhoods have govt run facilities only. But some neighborhoods have an abundance of private facilities. Centretown has more than most. It might be useful to deliniate the private facilities (eg condos with pools, or condo tennis courts) since their presence might account for gaps in demand for public infrastructure. Ditto, hotel pools. While I live just a block from Plant Pool I use the Delta hotel pool and fitness room. Its cheaper, there are no crowds, its a salt water pool, with longer hours. About 60% of the time I have the pool to myself. So the gap analysis need to account for these quasi-public facilities.

    • 2. midcentretown  |  September 20, 2010 at 10:25 am

      Hi Eric – That is a good point and probably highly relevant to more established and urban neighbourhoods like Centretown where there are a large number of these amenities in private buildings. I agree that these facilities can be useful for helping supplement public facilities and services (for those who can access them), but I don’t think that they should be considered as replacements for public investment in communities. The City has a capital budget for spending in its neighbourhoods and if Centretown is not represented in that budget, we need to begin to fix that issue. Part of this work is to identify where capital budgets need to be allocated (or capital from other sources, such as new development interest). At the moment, we have tried to keep the gap analysis pretty tightly focussed 100% public facilities, but future studies could potentially expand this to private amenities too.

  • 3. Beth  |  September 17, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    Thanks for posting! Perhaps these aren’t amenities as such, but I regularly use public benches to take a rest, look at notices posted on public notice boards, lock my my bike to City of Ottawa bike racks. Reading through the report I wondered why the Museum of Nature is listed under “libraries” and “education” – maybe there should be a separate category for cultural/arts amenities? Additionally I noticed the provision standards are based on outside or city-wide studies rather than a recent survey of Mid-Centretown resident preference. What is standard for the city as a whole, or for other cities, may not be the preferred service mix for Centretowners. With proper sampling techniques it would not be that costly to conduct a survey that will give a more accurate picture of demand.

    • 4. midcentretown  |  September 20, 2010 at 10:17 am

      Hi Beth – thanks for your thoughts. We werent 100% sure where to slot in the Museum, and in fact it only just made it onto the list after the Community Liaison Group pointed out what a well used and high quality facility it was. We wanted to avoid creating a dedicated ‘culture’ category, as so much of cultural facilities blur the public/private line, but I think that we may need to reconsider. The reason that we had to look beyond Ottawa for standards was because they just dont exist more locally – I will have another look at the residents’ survey and see what it says. A more detailed survey would certainly be useful for this growing area – it could be one of the pieces of work that falls out of this study. We may lobby the University of Ottawa to make Centretown a priority study area for their great Neighbourhood Survery work.


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Welcome to Mid-Centretown Tomorrow, the official project blog for the Mid-Centretown Community Design Plan, commissioned by the City of Ottawa! This is the place to learn about and participate in discussions regarding the future of Mid-Centretown.

Bienvenue sur Mi-centreville de demain, le blogue officiel du projet de Plan de conception communautaire pour le secteur médian du Centre-ville, commandé par la Ville d’Ottawa!

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