Ottawa on track to achieve economic, housing, climate goals: Committee

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80 Woodridge rendering
80 Woodridge rendering

Ontario Construction News staff writer

The City of Ottawa says it is on track to meet its goals for economic development, housing, and climate change mitigation as outlined in the Official Plan.

A new monitoring report for the 2022 fiscal year was released to the Planning and Housing Committee on July 3, and it found that the city is on track to meet or exceed the targets set out in the plan for 19 indicators related to growth management, economic development, mobility, and climate, energy, and public health.

The indicators being assessed are related to the supply of affordable housing, vacant dwellings, winter maintenance, natural heritage, the rental vacancy rate, and the number of homes and businesses built each year. The city says that eight indicators are meeting or exceeding targets, and six are showing progress but are not yet meeting targets.

The city did not have enough data to assess the performance of four indicators this year: affordable housing, vacant dwellings, winter maintenance, and natural heritage. These indicators will be assessed in the 2023 monitoring report, which is expected to be delivered to the committee by the end of 2024.

The committee also approved the amendments needed to allow for the construction of more high-density residential buildings in areas near the Peri-urban centre, including at the former bus depot site on Catherine Street and near the Bayshore Shopping Centre on Woodridge Crescent.

The amendments would allow for the construction of up to 37 storeys in areas currently permitted to allow for a maximum height of 25 storeys. The city is also considering the construction of two affordable housing developments at West Centretown and Orléans.

265 Catherine
265 Catherine project rendering

The development at the former bus depot site on Catherine Street will consist of three towers at 32, 34, and 36 storeys facing Catherine Street, as well as a three-storey townhouse building facing Arlington Avenue. More than 1,130 residential units are proposed, as well as commercial and public spaces, including a new 1,000-square-metre public park at Arlington Avenue and Kent Street.

The development near Bayshore Shopping Centre would consist of two towers at heights of 40 and 37 storeys on Woodridge Crescent. More than 510 residential units are proposed, along with 1,500 square metres of publicly accessible open space and a multi-use pathway.

The city is also considering the construction of two affordable housing developments at West Centretown and Orléans. The development in West Centretown would consist of a four-storey apartment building south on Empress Avenue North that would have a total of 41 apartments, all affordable.

The development in Orléans would consist of an 18-storey building on St. Joseph Boulevard at Duford Drive with 202 residential units and ground-floor commercial space. In line with federal funding that the applicant has received for the proposed development, at least 20 per cent of units would need to be affordable.

The city has set a goal to build 151,000 quality market homes by 2031 to help address the housing crisis. The land-use permissions approved by the committee will help developers put 2,472 new homes on the market in the next fiscal year.

Recommendations from the committee meeting will rise to city council tomorrow.

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