Thank You for a Great Session

December 3, 2010 at 6:05 pm 2 comments


As promised, the presentation that we gave and all of the information panels have been uploaded and are available here on the blog. Some files are very large, so please be patient when downloading. You can download these files either by using the “Project Downloads” sidebar on the right of this page (beneath the “Nov. 30 Open House” header), or by using the links at the bottom of this post.

After a bumpy ride back, we are now settled in Toronto and reflecting on Tuesday’s session – we thought that it went great and really appreciated the thoughtful comments and time that people have given to this project. There was a full-house turn-out of about 80 people (impressive for a dark, rainy night). We were most impressed with the cross-section of interests represented at the meeting and the many points of view expressed. It inspired a great discussion. Of course not everyone agreed on everything, but I think that we all agreed that Centretown is a great place, that it can be even better, and that this process can help to deliver some of the positive changes needed (with effort on everyone’s part).

We also wanted to apologize again for not having a fully accessible venue space for the event – that was a real shame and we were embarrassed about that oversight. We are already trying to secure a fully accessible event space for the third open house and think that you will be pretty excited with where we are planning to hold the next event.

Again – thank you for your help in shaping this plan for Centretown. We hope you will continue to provide feedback on the ideas and projects presented. Feel free to spread the word and collect other people’s views on some of these ideas. We also learned that some live-tweeting was going on at the event – great!! Click here to see current and recent tweets, and, if you’re a twitter user, use the #ccdp2011 hashtag to follow and participate in future twitter discussions. Let’s keep on getting the word out, collecting feedback on work already done and inspiring new ideas.

Nov. 30 Open House:

Presentation Slideshow (11 MB PDF)
Building Centretown Part 1 Presentation Panel (1.6 MB PDF)
Building Centretown Part 2 Presentation Panel (600 KB PDF)
Community Amenities Presentation Panel (550 KB PDF)
Greening Strategy Presentation Panel (508 KB PDF)
Mobility Strategy Presentation Panel (439 KB PDF)

Entry filed under: Events.

REMINDER: Community Meeting #2 – TONIGHT! Blog Action: 2010 in Review

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Nancy Oakley  |  March 3, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    I reflect on the issues covered in this last community update each morning as I walk to work (I’m one of those pedestrian commuters to the downtown). One of the things that pops into my head (usually about, say, Nepean Street), is what the boundary between the downtown and Centretown has, does and will look like. Right now, you can see how the large-scale intensification has been eating away at the existing, small-scale building stock. I look at those lone 2-storey buildings tucked between 20-storey apartment buildings and I wonder, “how much longer?” This is the transition zone, a ‘no-man’s land’ that is always in flux.

    I guess my question is how do you guys envision this transition zone in the CDP? In the meeting there was a lot of talk about building up, building big and intensifying. How will this be reconciled with the strong concentration of smaller-scale housing that extends as far north as Lisgar? They are two strikingly different landscapes. What about a buffer zone of medium-scale buildings of sorts to soften the transition? How will you decide how large this transition zone will be and where the boundary between downtown and Centretown will be drawn?

    My other point is really more of a beef that I have with all this talk about sustainability. I was very disappointed to see that you did not talk about the adaptive reuse and renovation of existing building stock in your panel on ‘greening’ the neighbourhood.

    Sustainability isn’t just about planting a few trees or using flashy new construction technology- the greenest building is the one already standing! The goals of heritage conservation can be met along with sustainability and development- it just takes a little creativity. Intensification doesn’t have to mean large-scale, new construction, but rather achieved through in-fill that is sensitive to the existing neighbourhood. Is there anything in the CDP that will provide guidelines on appropriate in-fill and the retention of existing building stock?

    Thanks!
    Nancy

    Reply
    • 2. Administrator  |  March 7, 2011 at 9:49 am

      Hi Nancy – thank you for your comment and welcome to the project blog! You observations on the transition zone are spot on – the project team was also struck by the oddity of having a 12 or 15 storey buildings right beside a 3 storey heritage home – how was that allowed to happen in so many locations? One of our issues today is that this has gone on for so long and there are now so few of those ‘3 storey’ buildings remaining (in the northern portion) that the 12 and 15 storey building has become the norm and the 3 storey the anomaly. Due to this history, our thinking is that this area is firmly established as a destination for taller buildings…we now need to focus our attention on protecting those areas that have not yet become a destination for taller buildings (but will be one day, if a clear and defendable plan is not put in place). We like your idea of a mid-scale transition zone – that is a really important concept – although I think that this notion could probably extend down as far as Somerset area. The ideas of a transition is critical – we all see how ridiculous things can be when there is zero transition between 3 storeys and 20 storeys!

      We also agree 100% with your second point. Adaptive re-use (especially of heritage structures) and infill will be important techniques for achieving intensification in Centretown (especially in that area where 8, 10 or 20 storey buildings are not acceptable – which is many locations!). One of the hurdles for us to overcome is that the rules of the Heritage overlay and Heritage conservation district present some challenging restrictions around building integration or re-using of heritage buildings (we more or less have to keep any building within the boundary of the Conservation District – even modern buildings – exactly as they are, which limits their adaptation to more contemporary uses). There is a risk that these highly restrictive heritage tools may act as a disincentive for investment and building repair.

      Finally, yes, we will be presenting a series of design guidelines on both in-fill (focused mainly on residential) as well as adaptive re-use (where viable) for heritage assets.

      Thanks again for your comments and feeback on the plans – we really appreciate your ideas.
      All the best
      Ross

      Reply

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Welcome!

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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