Capital ADVOCACY. DIALOGUE. CONNECTIONS.
ARCHITECTS DCA’S TOON DREESSEN ADVOCATE FOR ARCHITECTURE p. 32
INFRASTRUCTURE & DEVELOPMENT
CHANGING OTTAWA’S LANDSCAPE People behind the change PM 43 13 6012
THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE OF
CITY OF THE FUTURE
The City of Ottawa is rewriting its official plan
Has an ambitious five-year plan
VISIT OUR WEBSITE! CAPITALMAG.CA Left to right: Gilles Desjardins, Kevin Skinner, and Alexis Ashworth
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COVE R: KEVI N BEL ANGER
Making the Future Bright
Ottawa Succeeds Environmentally and Economically
Bells Corners Offers Economic Incentive to Stimulate Business Development
BY J ENNI F ER C A MPBELL
BY A L J E K A M M I N G A
BY J E FF BUCKSTE I N
TH E BUS I N E S S M AG A Z I N E OF TH E OT TAWA BOA R D OF TR A D E | S UM M E R 2 01 9 C A P I TA L 3
IN EVERY ISSUE
6 The OBOT Perspective
Capital Context Ottawa—Future Capital: Future City
Transportation and Infrastructure Planning the City of the Future
C-Suite View LRT, Enhanced Infrastructure Boosting Ottawa’s Status
BY J OE B ERRI DGE
BY STEPHEN WILLIS, MC I P, R P P
BY J E FF BUCKSTE I N
8 From the Publisher
On the Cover
Capital ADVOCACY. DIALOGUE. CONNECTIONS.
ARCHITECTS DCA’S TOON DREESSEN ADVOCATE FOR ARCHITECTURE p. 32
INFRASTRUCTURE & DEVELOPMENT
CHANGING OTTAWA’S LANDSCAPE People behind the change
4 C A P I TAL S UMMER 2019 | THE BUSINES S MAG A ZINE O F THE OT TAWA BOA R D OF TR A D E
THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE OF PM 43136012
CITY OF THE FUTURE
The City of Ottawa is rewriting its official plan
Has an ambitious five-year plan
VISIT OUR WEBSITE! CAPITALMAG.CA Left to right: Gilles Desjardin, Kevin Skinner, and Alexis Ashworth
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THE OBOT PERSPECTIVE
Building a Better Ottawa
WITH THE CONSOLIDATION of three
Ian Faris, President and CEO Ottawa Board of Trade
MAR K HO LLERON
Chambers in 2018, the Board of Trade now finds itself focussed on City-Building and talent development; while at the same time advocating for gender equality, sustainability and the pursuit of a bilingual business community—all making Ottawa the best place to do business in North America. The June City-Building Summit and launch of the 2019 Ottawa Business Growth Survey results—both hosted by the Ottawa Business Journal and the Board of Trade demonstrated that engagement in the National Capital is high; confidence remains at significant levels; and critical sectors like technology and construction continue to lead the way. Simply put, the confluence of these factors translates into growth and wealth creation in our community.
This Fall, the elusive search for talent will continue for most companies. The Board of Trade and Ottawa Business Journal will explore the multi-faceted issues that make talent one of the top issues on the minds of business leaders, according to the Business Growth survey. Our Talent Summit will be hosted at the Brookstreet Hotel on September 23 & 24 and will feature, much like the City-Building Summit, a number of compelling keynote speakers, panel discussions including personal perspectives on talent development. We look forward to moving the needle on recruitment while attracting the best and brightest talent. Complementing this robust advocacy agenda is the need to ensure our vibrant local businesses work towards inclusive growth in our community—including gender equality and sustainability. The Ottawa Board of Trade continues to work with its members and economic development stakeholders to ensure those businesses continue to create jobs and produce results that will benefit all of our residents, foreign students, investors and visitors.
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FROM THE PUBLISHER
Icons and Pathways
OTTAWA JUST TOPPED 1 million residents in
Iconic architecture serves as a real or virtual touch-point for those who are exploring their options for travel, foreign direct investment or relocation. Ottawa can claim many examples including the spectacular Great Hall in the National Gallery of Canada designed by Architect Moshe Safdie. From that spot, you can look across to the Library of Parliament or over the Ottawa River to Gatineau’s iconic Canadian Museum of History designed by Douglas Cardinal. Architect, Frank Gehry’s Bilbao Guggenheim Museum served to drive international crowds to the north of Spain based on his signature building design. This internationally recognized architecture effectively place-branded Bilbao as a destination to seek out from all over the world. My experience of late has been about the City’s bike paths. The pathways in Ottawa are truly magnificent. This infrastructure throughout the National Capital Region provides a gateway alongside waterways or through stunning forested areas in the vast Gatineau Park. The National Capital Region pathways are open for discovery and enjoyment while also providing an unmatched lifestyle attribute. The city planners past and present have served Ottawa’s populations and visitors well by integrating alternative and environmentally beneficial trails for those inclined to open the door and explore everything the city has to offer. We remain grateful to all those who support Capital Magazine. Not limited to the readership, advertisers, contributors, and stakeholders. Robert Chitty, President gordongroup
OTTAWA BOARD OF TRADE 328 Somerset St W, Ottawa, ON K2P 0J9 Phone: 613-236-3631 www.ottawabot.ca President & CEO Ian Faris PUBLISHER gordongroup 55 Murray Street / Suite 108 Ottawa, Ontario K1N 5M3 Phone: 613-234-8468 email@example.com Managing Editor Terry McMillan Contributors Jeff Buckstein Jenn Campbell Stephen Willis
Alje Kamminga Joe Berridge
Creative Director Leslie Miles Art Director Jim Muir SALES For advertising rates and information, please contact: Director of Advertising Sales Stephan Pigeon Phone: 613-234-8468 / 250 firstname.lastname@example.org
OTTAWA BOARD OF TRADE Director of Membership Experience, Ottawa Board of Trade Chantal Calderone Phone: 613-236-3631 / 120 email@example.com www.capitalmag.ca
ISSN 2371-333X. All rights reserved. Any reproduction of the contents without prior written authorization from the publisher is strictly prohibited. PM 43136012. Capital is published three times a year: winter, spring, and fall. Printed in Canada.
BOB C HIT T Y / MARK HO LLERON
2019, which is an important milestone in the city’s evolution. Here at gordongroup, we continue to celebrate much of what makes the city great by working closely with the Ottawa Board of Trade and publishing Capital Magazine. In this issue, we look at development and infrastructure. Much of what defines the attractiveness of any city is derived from the geography, built structures, architecture, transportation routes, monuments, and other related features that shape the landscape while making the city experience unique. Moreover, greatness is about the culture that exists. Ottawa culture, after all, makes our city inclusive and accessible while providing a sense of belonging. Features on the landscape become iconic and recognizable, they are emblematic of the city’s vitality and personality.
The magazine about doing business in Ottawa, created by the Ottawa Board of Trade in partnership with gordongroup.
The Capital Pathway network has over 600 km of multi-use trails.
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Ottawa—Future Capital: Future City OTTAWA IN THE Spring is as
fine a capital city as one could wish for. Clean and fresh, blue skies and acres of tulips providing a setting for the Parliament Buildings and other national landmarks that still bring a shock of delight each time I come to the city. I’ve been working recently with the planning team of the City of Ottawa to explore how best to develop its other, non-capital city role, that of a mid-sized Canadian city with all the challenges and opportunities they face. Interesting things are happening in Canada’s urban world. Ottawa, with a population of over a million, is the fifth/sixth biggest city in Canada.
Toronto is the fastest growing and now pulling away to global city status. Montreal has found a new energy after decades of relative decline. Vancouver is… well Vancouver, and it doesn’t have to do much more than that. Calgary and Edmonton’s fortunes are tied tightly to the status of the oil and gas industries, although both are diversifying their economies aggressively. Ottawa is the slow and steady city. It isn’t growing very fast compared to its rivals, it is very much the outlier in terms of attracting immigration, with a markedly lower percentage of its population born outside the country. The inherent stability of the federal employment
sector has resulted in Ottawa having the highest average incomes of any Canadian city. And that employment base, according to recent analysis, is the least vulnerable to erosion by automation. So should Ottawa worry? Should it have urban ambitions beyond being a fine capital and a delightful place to live, secure in the stability of the federal presence? Well probably not worry, but perhaps some aspirations to become a bigger, bolder city. Why bigger? It’s tough being a million city. Higher-order transit, like LRT’s, have only just enough ridership; sports franchises hang on the edge of viability; air travel destinations
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are limited; the labour pool for existing and new businesses is constrained. And the density, intensity, variety, and texture of urban life engendered by higher numbers of people living and working close together is limited. So Ambition #1. Ottawa should aim to be a 2 million city as soon as it can. Ambition #2 is closely related. Ottawa should more vigorously attract immigration. Two reasons why. First, because all the evidence shows that it is immigrants who start businesses, who are the innovators, particularly in the tech sector. Ottawa’s comparative lack of immigration is an opportunity. All the public institutions—universities,
CI T Y OF OT TAWA
BY J OE BE R R I D G E
CH ARLES RUTHARI
“Ottawa, with a population of over a million, is the fifth/sixth biggest city in Canada.” colleges, hospitals, agencies— should actively promote Ottawa as an immigrant settlement location to recruit the talent they need. And the second reason— the available foodie options will dramatically increase. One of the things I document in ‘Perfect City’ is the critical role of interesting food in engendering urban economic activity. Ambition# 3 is connectivity. Ottawa is in a somewhat isolated location, to the north of the ‘St Lawrence corridor’ from Quebec City to Windsor. The
unavoidable reality is that the global economy is now dominated by a very short list of big cities. Canada is lucky that Toronto is one of the top dozen and that Montreal ranks well. Ottawa’s urban—as opposed to federal—economy will increasingly be defined by its links to those centres. Isn’t it time for a high quality inter-city rail service? Can Ottawa International Airport find a role in relieving increasing congestion at Toronto Pearson? And more fundamentally, as spiraling housing costs
in those cities make the attraction of young talent increasingly impossible, how best can Ottawa present a plausible alternative for big city businesses? And the final ambition? I’m going to show my outsider ignorance, but every time I come to Ottawa I am struck by the magnificence of the river valley— and by its emptiness. Is there a big, bold project of the kind I see increasingly in other cities— that can celebrate its extraordinary geography more actively. London’s location-busting
aerial tramway over the Thames; Seattle’s mind-blowing art park ramp to the water’s edge; New York’s economychanging science university complex in the East River. Not sure what it is—that’s for Ottawan’s to decide. But that’s how federal city can become perfect city. Joe Berridge is a partner at Urban Strategies and author of the recently released ‘Perfect City’.
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ANY LOCAL INFRASTRUCTURE projects in recent years
have served notice that the National Capital Region has become an urban force to be reckoned with. “I think Ottawa is going through a really interesting period. It’s growing up, and particularly with the LRT and other projects like the Canadian War Museum and the Bruyere Hospital Village project, we are seeing the face of our city change right before our eyes. As these projects are developed, that’s also going to lead to other development opportunities. It’s really exciting to be part of that process at this time,” says Jessica Sheridan, a senior associate with Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG). Sheridan is part of the legal team responsible for acquiring all of the property interests for the City of Ottawa for Stage Two of the LRT project. BLG has worked on several key infrastructure and development projects in recent years. In addition to the LRT, they include the Lansdowne Park redevelopment, Arts Court Theatre, Richcraft Sensplex (Ottawa East), Bruyere Hospital Village project, Montfort Hospital Orleans Health Hub, and Canadian War Museum, among others. “I’ve been involved in a number of local projects that I think are transformative,” says BLG partner Kasim Salim. “This includes the redevelopment of Lansdowne Park into its current mixed use development—mixing retail, residential, commercial, public space, and the sporting element. “The scale and nature of these large infrastructure projects means that they don’t often come around, and so to be involved in them is certainly exciting,” Salim adds. There are various legal complexities that both public and private companies participating in major development projects need assistance with, not just during the construction phase, but also on a long-term basis with the maintenance and operations required following construction.
“These projects are becoming increasingly complex, and there are also increasing public expectations for visibility,” Salim adds. For example, the public sector has become more involved in public-private partnerships (P3s) designed to develop infrastructure and other major projects in recent years. Oftentimes P3s involve new concepts that require expertise in a variety of disciplines, including financing, construction and procurement. “We have lawyer expertise in all of these fields, so we’re able to bring to the table a team that has experience,” stresses BLG partner Yves Ménard. Another aspect of working on major infrastructure and development projects that Salim enjoys is that these efforts are ultimately aimed at social improvements with a goal towards providing or enhancing services to the public. “I also enjoy the collaborative nature of these projects. From the big picture perspective, there’s an alignment—everyone from the owner, to funders, to constructors, to maintainers. They share a common interest in the success of the project,” he says. Legal professionals provide a lot to help to make large-scale city projects succeed, notes Sheridan. “We get to know our clients very well. We get to know our clients’ objectives, and we understand the practicalities of the project. Then we help to troubleshoot, problem solve and mitigate risk, amongst other things,” she elaborates. BLG must also be fast on its feet to assist its clients navigate unforeseen, time-sensitive events that often arise, Sheridan notes. “It’s really fun being part of those projects, helping them get off the ground, and plan and organize, and ensure that we facilitate them all the way through to completion,” she stresses. “We stand out because we have a good nucleus of lawyers who specialize in infrastructure work, and we bring our experience throughout the country,” says Ménard.
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PHOTO CR EDIT TK
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BY J ENNI F ER CAMPBELL
PHOTO CR EDIT TK
MAKING THE FUTURE BRIGHT
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“Stronger communities are built when families of all income ranges are included.” Alexis Ashworth CEO of Habitat for Humanity Greater Ottawa
KE VIN BEL ANGER
“CREATING MORE VIBRANT, HEALTHY AND COMPLETE NEIGHBOURHOODS” IS THE GOAL OF THE CITY OF OTTAWA’S CURRENT INFRASTRUCTURE MASTER PLAN. IT ALSO AIMS TO ENSURE “LONG-TERM AFFORDABILITY FOR THE CITY GOVERNMENT AND RESIDENTS.”
To achieve that goal, the city must ensure there is enough infrastructure capacity to accommodate all of the development happening as Ottawa’s population pushes one million inhabitants. The city must weigh development against environmental concerns and it must build more compact neighbourhoods, where people can live, work and play while minimizing their need to drive and maximizing their ability to cycle and walk. When we think about development and infrastructure, we also think of the big projects—light rail, the redevelopment of Elgin Street, and the soon-to-be reimagined LeBreton Flats redevelopment. To talk about what they foresee for Ottawa on the infrastructure and development front, we consulted three experts. We also asked them about interesting projects they’ve undertaken and their wish lists for the future. Development trends Alexis Ashworth is the CEO of Habitat for Humanity Greater Ottawa, which builds affordable homes for families in need. In terms of trends, she sees an urgent need for affordable housing, one that might surprise those who think affluent Ottawa is free from such needs.
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“We will deliver more than 5,000 units by 2024 in a dozen new communities” Gilles Desjardins President Brigil
highlighting the light-rail project. He says the city is working well with the federal government to make sure Ottawa is a liveable city worthy of its national-capital status. “We’re hoping the private sector will be able to deliver on some of the dreams of densification in Ottawa like they’re doing in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal,” Skinner says. “There are neat concepts coming out, but we don’t know what future generations are going to want.” He noted that disruptive technologies such as Uber, Lyft, electric and autonomous vehicles are all going to play into the future development of cities, and commercial development will become increasingly “smart and green” as cities move toward a zero-carbon footprint. Pet projects Asked about his favourite project, Skinner named the Parliamentary precinct—specifically developing the West Block into the temporary House of Commons and moving the Senate chambers into the old train station. He has a lot to choose from, including the Canadian War Museum, Museum of Nature, the Rideau Centre and National Arts Centre redevelopments and the Ottawa airport, to name just a few.
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KE VIN BEL ANGER
“There’s a 10,000-person waiting list to get into social housing in Ottawa,” Ashworth says. “We have an affordable housing need that’s reaching a crisis level. Shelters are full and people can’t get into social housing.” Between 30-40 per cent of families who move into Habitat housing come from social housing, which means they free up one such unit when they move into a Habitat home. “Stronger communities are built when families of all income ranges are included,” Ashworth says. Meanwhile Brigil president Gilles Desjardins, whose company has built more than 10,000 units in 30 different communities in the region, says he sees active retirees and seniors looking to spoil themselves, while also shedding the responsibilities of property ownership. He envisions even more high-rise buildings—especially in the downtown area—and more mixed development, in which commercial, residential and recreational facilities intertwine. Brigil is building one such project in Orleans. Petrie’s Landing will feature 600 new condo units, on top of an existing 400 units, as well as a commercial centre and office tower. Kevin Skinner, vice-president of PCL Constructors Canada Inc., applauded the city’s “strategic approach” to development,
“We’re hoping the private sector will be able to deliver on some of the dreams of densification in Ottawa like they’re doing in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.”
KE VIN BEL ANGER
Kevin Skinner Vice-president of PCL Constructors Canada Inc.
“West Block was pretty special to me,” he says. “It put it all into perspective—what we did as a company—and it was on time and on budget. It also was a great demonstration of how the government and private sector can work in partnership to get complex things done.” Desjardins named two leading-edge developments from Brigil’s Pinnacle brand, a concept inspired by the services offered by major hotels. The twin 33-storey luxury condo towers being built on Parkdale Avenue are one example of this kind of development as are the three 13-storey condo buildings being developed at the junction of the 416 and 417 highways. For Ashworth’s part, she’s excited that Habitat is launching its second-largest development project in 2021. The project consists of approximately 11 townhouses on Mac Street in Ottawa South and will be built in two phases over two years. Adding to her excitement is that the Governor General’s Foot Guard, in honour of its 150th anniversary in June 2022, has committed to raising $250,000 for the Mac Street development. “We are thrilled to be partnering with them on this exciting initiative,” Ashworth says.
The future looks bright When it comes to projects Skinner would put high on his wish list, he named the LeBreton Flats redevelopment. “It used to be the centre of Ottawa 150 years ago and I think the concept put out by the NCC was really forward-thinking,” he says, and adds that he’d like to continue to work on the Parliamentary precinct, “to make sure our heritage stays in place.” As for Desjardins, he says Brigil’s future is bright. “We will deliver more than 5,000 units by 2024 in a dozen new communities,” he says. “I want Brigil to continue to be a leader, supported by the best partners and the best people.” Ashworth wishes Ottawa developers were more open to partnerships, suggesting they “not be afraid of the NIMBY of partnering with not-for-profits.” She also says Habitat supports inclusionary zoning, which ensures affordable housing is included in new developments. Many Habitat chapters have fruitful relationships with developers and Ottawa has had successful partnerships with PCL and The Regional Group, but so far, those are the only ones. “The challenge for us is paying market price for land,” Ashworth says. “Builder partnerships can work really successfully. It just hasn’t happened yet in Ottawa.” Jennifer Campbell is an Ottawa writer and editor. She has written for numerous newspapers and magazines and is currently the editor of Diplomat magazine.
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Infrastructure leads to
TOURISM GROWTH A
MONG URBAN DESTINATIONS
in Canada, few cities can rival the appeal of Ottawa. The city offers a remarkable selection of festivals, sporting, and cultural events; an impressive array of galleries and museums; and incredible craft beer and culinary scenes. But Ottawa’s appeal also resides in the venues in which those events are held and the buildings in which those collections are contained: in a word, the city’s infrastructure. Catherine Callary, Ottawa Tourism’s Vice President of Destination Development, says Ottawa is blessed to have infrastructure that reflects all stages of the city’s growth. “I love the history you find here,” she says. “From traditional Algonquin territory to the lumber industry to the G7 world capital of today, you can find the story of Canada writ large in Ottawa.”
That rich history not only endures, it thrives. From the iconic and beloved Parliament Buildings, currently undergoing renovations, to the ByWard Market, where today’s vendors and merchants provide food and services as their predecessors have for generations, tradition surrounds you. In winter, expect to share the Rideau Canal—a UNESCO World Heritage Site— with up to 20,000 other skaters. An example of how that kind of history has continued to inspire is the Shaw Centre. Opened in 2011, the centre has not only elevated Ottawa’s reputation as a conference-hosting city, it has become an attraction in its own right. Described in the Globe and Mail as a “glass spaceship nosing toward the Rideau Canal,” the Centre—with its magnificent views of the Rideau Canal and Parliament Hill—is as good to look at as it is to look from.
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Once little more than a venue for Ottawa’s football team, Lansdowne Park is now a vibrant locale for visitors and locals alike, playing host to concerts, a busy nightlife, restaurants, shops, unique events and festivals. And, yes, also sporting events. Watch for a new European-inspired Christmas market later this year! A draw for culture lovers for 50 years, the recently renovated National Arts Centre offers visitors an even more dramatic setting today in which to experience the performing arts. The recently renovated Bank of Canada Museum is another excellent example of purpose-built infrastructure with a modern, cosmopolitan vibe. It offers hands-on, interactive exhibits, informative videos, multimedia stations and old-school exhibits featuring centuries’ worth of economic artifacts. Opened a year and a half ago after an $80 million facelift, the Canada Science and Technology Museum brings the technological and scientific history of Canada to life in innovative ways while preserving the locomotives and Crazy Kitchen that visitors have loved since 1967. The newly built light rail transit system (LRT) is another piece of key infrastructure in its own right; and one that is essential to delivering visitors to other attractions, particularly those off the beaten track. Despite the setbacks normally associated with any
major project, the 12.5 km LRT is expected to open this summer. Few locations in Ottawa have been more “off the beaten track” than Chaudière Falls. Blocked from public access for more than a century by industrial development, the area is now home to a landscaped platform with exceptional view of the falls (thanks to Hydro Ottawa) and Zibi, a fully-integrated community overlooking the Ottawa River. Almost a quarter of the Zibi development will be dedicated to green space, including walking trails and cycling paths. Back at Hydro Ottawa’s Chaudière Falls site, infrastructure also includes sustainability elements like bypasses for the American Eel, a species at risk Infrastructure is just one way Ottawa’s stories are told, and Ottawa Tourism is committed to sharing these stories with people around the world.
1 Canada Science and Technology Museum
PHOTO : SOFIE SHAROM
2 Biking in front of Parliament Hill
PHOTO : OT TAWA TOURISM
3 National Arts Centre
PHOTO : DOUBLESPACE PHOTOGRAPHY
4 Tavern on the Hill
PHOTO : OT TAWA TOURISM
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OTTAWA’S VISITOR ECONOMY ECONOMIC IMPACT SUMMARY
MILLION Number of visitors Ottawa welcomes annually
BILLION Total visitor spending by overnight and same day visitors
Direct, indirect, and induced employment related to Ottawa’s visitor economy
Estimated annual tax revenue from Ottawa’s visitor economy
For every resident of Ottawa, the visitor economy supports over $750 of government services
Visitor economy’s daily contribution to Ottawa’s GDP
CONNECT WITH #MyOttawa
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+ $3 BILLION Total direct economic output
Inclusive Teamwork A
T PROSLIDE TECHNOLOGY, teamwork is the essence of
their corporate culture; their employees function as individual units to support the team’s overarching goals. They are inclusive by design. “It is important to find the right person when hiring,” says Sarah Jensen, the Talent and Culture Generalist at ProSlide. “Skill set is important, however, a fit with our team is essential for each employee’s success.” In 2017, Eric Pusey came to PPRC looking to find employment in the field he loved at the place he remembered: ProSlide Technology. “It was a dream of mine to be part of this company,” he says. PPRC’s team of Rehabilitation Consultants worked with ProSlide and in 2018, Pusey was hired. It has been a successful match; Pusey works cleaning the lunch rooms and break rooms. He keeps the ProSlide welcoming and clean. He greets everyone. “I love it, it is a complete team effort,” says Pusey. “PPRC are really good at finding a good fit and they helped me get used to the work.” Lynne Babin, the Office Manager at ProSlide, says Pusey is amazing. “He is good at what he does, he makes everyone feel welcome and he remembers the little things,” she says.
ProSlide and PPRC have worked together before; this is their third placement. “We partner together with PPRC and they provide supportive job coaching, which has allowed Eric to be so successful in his role,” says Jensen. “We are proud of our successes, but we are even more proud of our clients and employers who work together to make the match a success,” says Brittany Williston, PPRC Rehabilitation Consultant. PPRC believes everyone has the ability to be employed. We need to help our clients recognize their abilities and crystalize their job goal. Next, we match them with an employer who has a need and a willingness to provide the opportunity. Inclusive hiring is a business mindset that brings benefits to the bottom line, creates opportunities, and strengthens a company’s position within the market. PPRC offers placement services for persons with disabilities at no cost to the employer. This hidden talent pool is smart for business and provides a solution where everyone benefits. Contact Linda Simpson at email@example.com or at 613-748-3220. Visit www.pprc.ca for more information.
PHOTO CR EDIT TK
From Left to Right: Lynne Babin (Manager ProSlide), Brittany Williston (PPRC), Eric Pusey (ProSlide) and Sarah Jenkins (Talent and Culture Specialist—ProSlide)
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TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Planning the City of the Future
RECENTLY, THE CITY OF OTTAWA achieved a major
milestone. Our population is now one million residents. This is significant as it places Ottawa in a different league of North American cities who have the critical mass to be resilient to economic change and growth cycles, and large enough to support diverse enterprises, community and cultural amenities and a Light Rail Transit (LRT) system. To coincide with this milestone, the City is rewriting its Official Plan. The Official Plan is the strategic document
that describes how the city will grow over time, where we will place major infrastructure, and what policies will be in place to support economic growth and guide the development and evolution of communities. The current Official Plan was adopted when Ottawa and surrounding municipalities amalgamated in 2001. It carried forward many of the elements of the former Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton Official Plan from the 1970s. However, the current pace of technological and economic change requires
a new Official Plan; one that will position Ottawa to be flexible, resilient, and, above all, a city were people want to live, work, and play. We are very fortunate to live in Ottawa. We enjoy a beautiful natural setting in proximity to rivers and green space. Our cultural assets and festivals contribute to an enviable quality of life. We have a stable, diverse economy and well-educated workforce many of whom are bilingual or multilingual. Our housing market is steady and growing at a manageable pace, unlike
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the explosive growth rates of other cities. However, despite Ottawa’s many attributes, we need to consider and plan for the increasing impacts of disruption and change. For example, while many parts of our economy are growing, the retail landscape is evolving very rapidly as a result of new technology, distribution channels and shopping habits. In the face of this change, we need to consider how we can maintain the character and quality of our main streets which are crucial to successful, complete communities and neighbourhoods.
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BY STE P H E N W I L L I S, M CI P, R P P
We want our neighbourhoods to retain their unique character and become as well-known as major neighbourhoods in cities like Toronto and Boston. Neighbourhoods and communities can remain strong in the face of change, provided new elements are introduced with thoughtful design. Ottawa is almost 80% rural and that part of our community performs a variety of essential functions. The rural economy is diverse and embracing technology at a fast rate. Agriculture is being revolutionized by technology including precision agriculture and vertical farming. The
rural area is a source of many resources needed in the city and possesses significant natural reserves, villages and hamlets that are an important legacy for the future. Finally, to compete within a global context, City planning policy needs to allow for business innovation, collaboration and productivity. For example, a land use framework that supports the co-location and cluster of connected firms, institutions, and services as well as thoughtful urban design and placemaking in our employment areas can play a significant role in attracting and retaining talent.
Our challenge is to deliver a new Official Plan that shapes Ottawa for the next 25 years. Ottawa’s population will likely be 1.5 million by 2050 and possibly 2 million by the end of the century. If our goal is to be the most liveable, mid-sized city in North America, what can we do today to ensure our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren continue to enjoy an exceptional quality of life in a vibrant, thriving and prosperous community? We want you to help us answer this question. Please visit www.ottawa.ca and search New Official Plan to find out how you can get involved. Stephen Willis is General Manager of the Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development Department at the City of Ottawa.
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We know that transportation patterns will change as the LRT system is built to its intended length and that climate change is affecting the capacity of our systems to manage major weather events. Additionally, connectivity and integration between major cities will become more important. Therefore, we need to plan for sustainable, resilient and adaptable public infrastructure for the 21st century. The City remains committed to using intensification as a way of moderating the amount of land consumed by growth. We must develop denser, interesting and mixed communities near major transit stations. The new Official Plan must provide for a variety of housing choices around the city and recognize affordability as an important component of choice.
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Famous Ottawa Architect Incorporates Indigenous Culture in Designs BY J EF F B U CKST EI N
Cardinal says architectural design provides a very strong statement that can influence people not only sculpturally, but as a form that people can enter to experience a whole inner environment.
The curves in the 30-year old Museum’s structure embrace the Ottawa River to its south, with the 93,000-square metre building’s architectural form symbolic of the waves that shape and mould the rocks within the river, explains Cardinal.
In addition to being an early proponent of computer aided architectural design, he has long advocated for greater sustainability, green buildings and ecologically designed community planning. For example, the Museum of History uses water from the Ottawa River for geothermal heating and cooling.
“I’m inspired by forms of nature. I also like my buildings to be nurturing and caring spaces, so my buildings are more female than male symbols,” says the 85-year old architect, who proudly incorporates his Indigenous heritage and philosophy into his work. “I like to emphasize that although we’re all the same, we have a different way of thinking. The Indigenous peoples’ world view is more at harmony with nature. People feel they have to dominate nature, that they are separate from nature, whereas the Indigenous world view regards us all as being part of and at one with nature,” he says.
Cardinal says the NCR is making improvements in those areas but believes there is “still a long way to go.” Cardinal is currently participating in a special multimedia exhibition at the Museum of History called ‘Unceded—Voices of the Land’ to illustrate the Indigenous experience in North America. This exhibition runs until March 22, 2020.
“The exhibit is trying to show how important it is to incorporate Indigenous people as true partners in this country. Their world view is extremely important for the future,” he says, referencing climate change and other threats to the Earth’s health that scientists believe has already led to the extinction of at least thousands, if not millions of species on the planet. “The Indigenous people have always worked in harmony with this Earth. Their way of living was to always plan for seven generations, because whatever you do today is going to affect the future. Therefore, you owe it to your children and your children’s children to always keep one’s balance with one’s environment,” Cardinal emphasizes. “We want the exhibit to immerse people into our world view so that people get it rather than just read [about] it,” he adds. Cardinal’s architectural works in North America for more than a half century have also served as a powerful visual to the importance of Indigenous heritage and culture.
Unceded—Voices of the Land multimedia exhibition at the Museum of History
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BOB C HIT T Y
Douglas Cardinal is famous for his curvilinear architectural designs in Canada and the United States, most notably in the National Capital Region with the Canadian Museum of History.
BOB C HIT T Y
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Museum of History Grand Hall
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Elgin Street June 2019
inspired by its past BY AL J E K AMMI NG A
Called Biddy’s Lane as early as the 1840s, Elgin Street was originally a lively mix of commercial and residential activity. Now, nearly two centuries later, it appears that Elgin is poised to recapture some of that 19th century magic. City Council’s recent approval of a $36.3 million redesign will ease traffic flow on approximately 1.2 kilometres of Elgin Street, between Gloucester Street and the Queen Elizabeth Driveway, by reducing the number of traffic lanes from four to two. To compensate, a number of passing lanes will be added. As a result, the sidewalks will be widened, encouraging a return to more pedestrian traffic. And while the number of parking spaces will be reduced, from 120 to 90, a number of those spaces will be available to merchants and shop owners to use for restaurant patios, seating areas or displays of public art.
As one business owner told the Ottawa Citizen in an interview, “I’m quite excited at what it’s going to look like afterward. I think it’s going to completely transform Elgin Street into this friendly community.” Pedestrians will also welcome the changes to that “friendly” community. While the redesign for Elgin does not include separated or painted bike lanes, it does feature super sharrows, markings to indicate where people should cycle. Bicycle racks will also be installed. All told, the Elgin Street redesign will transform—and invigorate— 16 blocks between Gloucester and Isabella Streets.
While business owners are naturally concerned about the lengthy construction period, most recognize that the changes will ultimately attract more people to the area. In the meantime, the city is offering free parking at the city hall parking garage during construction, a decision that one merchant described as “really huge” for business. Store owners and residents are equally pleased about the city’s decision to remove overhead lines and bury new lines underground. In addition, sewers and water mains—some more than 100 years old—will be replaced.
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CI T Y OF OT TAWA
Elgin Street’s future
T UNNEY’S PAST U RE
W E ST B O RO
PA RLIA ME N T
B AY VIEW
R I D E AU
H UR D M A N
BL A I R
ST-L AUR E N T
TR E M BL AY
C Y R VILLE
OTTAWA’S TRANSIT HUBS A DEPARTURE FROM THE NORM I
N THEIR INFANCY, transit hubs were simply a place for
travellers to arrive or depart. No more. Rather than helping you get to your destination, today’s transit hubs are a destination in themselves. The services, facilities, and amenities found around modern transit hubs attract people, encourage investment, generate revenue, and boost wider prosperity. Ottawa is no exception. Transit hubs, particularly those along the light rail transit system (LRT), are now vibrant community spaces.
For example, the newly renovated Bayview Station near 900 Albert Street attracts people and business from several downtown neighbourhoods, such as Hintonburg, Mechanicsville, Lebreton Flats, Little Italy and Chinatown. And convenient access to recreation trails along the Ottawa River—as well as downtown—is attracting a growing number of residents to the area. When it comes to a quality lifestyle, Ottawa’s transit hubs— depart from the ordinary.
Westboro Connection Phase II 1960 Scott Street
Tunney’s Pasture Master Plan
Hintonburg Connection 175 Carruthers Avenue
• • • •
• employment retail hub, key transit station, civic plaza • capacity for office and other employment opportunities • approximately 22,000 to 25,000 employees • capacity for a multi-unit residential development of 3,400 to 3,700 units, offering opportunities to live close to work and public transit • a block devoted to a major community park • 25-year vision
• 18 Story mixed-used complex • rental residential • adjacent to the high rise tower will be eight executive flats • ground floor of commercial space • completion Winter 2020
quality office space rental apartments service-oriented retailers planned completion Summer 2020
Examples of Transit-Oriented Development on the go in the NCC
N 5 2
Trinity Centre Bayview Yards 900 Albert Street
City council approved development East of Booth
Claridge Moon Lyon at Queen
Frontier Condo Ottawa 2280 City Park Drive
• 3 towers 65, 56, and 27 stories tall • 1,200 residential units
• multi-phase project will include towers between 25 and 45 storeys • affordable housing and a child-care facility • 1,600 dwellings • restaurants and a grocery store
• condo development with 266 units • doorstep access to Lyon Station • completion 2023
• 23-storey tower • 228 rental units • now renting
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MiGen WILL GIVE CONSUMERS POWER TO CONTROL THEIR ENERGY USE W
E’VE ALWAYS HAD the ability to reduce our energy use.
Turn down the heat at night. Dim the lights. Switch off the TV when no-one’s watching. Individually, these actions save us money; collectively, they ease the demands we place on our energy providers and, in turn, reduce stress on the environment. What consumers haven’t had is the ability to control the production and management of energy. Soon, thanks to Hydro Ottawa’s introduction of the MiGen Transactive Grid, that will change. “MiGen Transactive Energy will literally enable consumers and businesses to generate their own power,” says Mark Fernandes, the Chief Information and Technology Officer for Hydro Ottawa. “By installing and using what is basically their own microgrid, consumers will have the ability to store electricity, share it with connected neighbours and send what they don’t use back to the grid.” MiGen Transactive Grid, known at the time as The GREAT-DR, was launched in 2017 as a trial project. As a result of that trial’s success, MiGen attracted both additional funding and partnerships, notably from Natural Resources Canada. Here’s how it works: Hydro Ottawa will install solar panels and a state-of-the-art battery storage system in your home or place of business. A smart inverter in that storage system will convert the sun’s solar energy into usable electricity. Lithium ion battery storage will ensure a constant supply of electricity, even when there’s no sun.
An air-source heat pump—optional—allows consumers to store energy as hot or cool air for later use. MiGen’s benefits will be significant, says Fernandes. And they won’t be limited solely to Hydro Ottawa customers. • MiGen users will no longer have to worry about power outages. The system’s solar power and battery storage will continue to provide power to your home or business should the main grid go out. • MiGen will produce cleaner energy. Switching to solar or battery storage—especially during peak times when fossil fuel generation and traditional electricity costs are highest—is clean as well as cost effective. In short, it will reduce costs as well as greenhouse gas emissions. • Waste will be reduced. Any unused electricity within a connected community can be sent back to the grid, reducing the amount of energy lost from moving electricity across long distances. • As our demand of electricity increases, turning to solutions, such as MiGen, which can help balance supply and demand on the grid, can reduce the need to invest in costly infrastructure required of the traditional grid. “Simply put”, says Fernandes, “MiGen promises a better future for all of us. And those who choose to participate will not only reduce their energy costs, they’ll contribute substantially to shaping that future. They’ll influence the way in which we live, work and play in our connected communities.”
Thermal Storage (Optional)
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Home Energy Management System
“By installing and using what is basically their own microgrid, consumers will have the ability to store electricity, share it with connected neighbours and send what they don’t use back to the grid.”
Solar panels installed at Ottawa Community Housing (OCH) housing complex.
Smart inverters. These inverters convert the energy generated by the solar panels into usable electricity
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CAPITAL/Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association
GOHBA Reps meet Ottawa-Area MPPs in May. L to R: Pierre Dufrense, GOHBA & OHBA Past President; Marie-France Lalonde, MPP (Orleans); Roy Nandram, GOHBA President; John Fraser, MPP (Ottawa South); Jason Burggraaf, GOHBA ED; David Renfroe, GOHBA 1st VP
Builders Poised to Meet Housing Challenge I
N ADDITION TO offering a broad vision for the city’s growth through 2031,
Ottawa’s Official Plan will establish a framework to guide the city’s physical development. When complete, that framework will almost certainly acknowledge two main factors: one, the city’s population will continue to increase rapidly; and, two, so will the demand for quality, affordable housing. In fact, the city expects to add at least 100,000 homes in the next 15 years. In response, the City has invited the private sector, including builders and developers, to play a vital role in meeting that demand. That’s exactly what the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association (GOHBA) has done, and is prepared to do in the future, as the plan is developed. Like the city—and like its residents—GOHBA members want to get housing right in the new Official Plan, says Executive Director Jason Burggraaf. “Our industry is an important partner in the creation of the Official Plan because all communities—new and existing, inside and outside the greenbelt—need to be successful if Ottawa as a city is to be successful.” The challenge, he says, will be balancing intensification while protecting housing affordability and choice. “As Ottawa grows, we need to think about how and where we’re going to house those new residents,” says Jason. “That means moving beyond the idea of building only certain types of homes or building only in certain areas.” “Simply put, we need to embrace an Ottawa that will see homes grow up, in and out.” As they have for nearly 70 years, GOHBA members—new home builders, land developers, professional renovators, suppliers, manufacturers and trade contractors—are fully prepared to contribute to the city’s housing policy as they are the housing policies of every level of government. And, as always, the priority will be on affordability and choice. Residential construction and renovation industry is a financial powerhouse, responsible for $5 billion in economic activity annually. Residential construction alone is responsible for 20,000 jobs in the Ottawa area and $1 billion in wages while the renovation industry accounts for 24,000 jobs and $1.4 billion in wages But GOHBA member’s contribution to the community goes well beyond the financial. Members recognize that a home—be it a condo, house or apartment—can be the most defining characteristic of a community. “A home represents a significant part of our identity,” says GOBHA president Roy Nandram. “Homes frame our lifestyle choices and provide a base for our families.” That’s why the Official Plan is so important, says Roy. “Ensuring a sufficient supply of housing and creating an appropriate mix of housing, all while protecting affordability—that has always been our goal. And working with the City on the Official Plan, we’ll achieve that goal.”
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In addition to its collaborative work with the City of Ottawa and other housing stakeholders, GOHBA is expanding its member services in the following areas: • enhancing educational offerings to renovators—it recently held its first annual RENODAY, a professional development symposium for renovators and contractors • creating a program to help Ottawa residents recognize infill builders who are committed to professional job sites and superior neighbourhood engagement • partnering with school boards, immigrant employment and training services and secondary institutions like Algonquin College to promote skilled trades as a first‑choice career
2018 Housing Design Award Winner – Best New Community (Planned). Greystone Village: Hobin Architecture Incorporated with EQ Homes
2018 Housing Design Award Winner – Highrise Building (10 storeys or more). Upperwest: Minto Communities
2018 Housing Design Award Winner – Best New Community (Built). The Haven: Hobin Architecture Incorporated
His Worship Jim Watson speaks at GOHBA AGM in April. L to R: David Renfroe, GOHBA 1st VP; Roy Nandram, GOHBA President; Ben Kardish; Josh Kardish, GOHBA Past President; His Worship, Jim Watson, Mayor of the City of Ottawa; Jason Burggraaf, GOHBA ED
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Toon Dreessen, President Architects DCA
Lisa Brush, Chief Executive Officer & Founder, Symphony Senior Living
Charles Mirsky, Vice-president of Brokerage, District Realty
LRT, Enhanced Infrastructure Boosting Ottawa’s Status SINCE GRADUATING FROM
Carleton University’s School of Architecture in 2000, Toon Dreessen has had a front row seat to witness the significant structural growth Ottawa has experienced over the past two decades. There are now more people working and living within the core urban area, interested in a community that is both walkable and well served by mass transit. This has helped spark redevelopment of historic downtown neighbourhoods, says Dreessen, the president of Architects DCA, and a public speaker and advocate for architecture being pivotal in shaping society and culture.
“People see value in not having a lengthy commute, and in being close to the amenities that they’ve grown up with. These can be communities that they’ve lived in as kids. Or an older generation that is empty nest that doesn’t want to leave the community they established roots in,” elaborates Dreessen, who is also the past president of the Ontario Association of Architects. Charles Mirsky, vice-president of brokerage at District Realty, has also seen enormous change take shape in Ottawa since he joined that company to begin his career in 2006.
“When I first started we were regarded as a secondary market in certain circles. Now we’re regarded as a primary market or just under a primary market. We’re seeing more and more buyers and clients coming through Montreal and Toronto,” Mirsky says. Mirsky believes the new LRT system is the most predominant evolution in Ottawa’s real estate market over the past 13 years, with the desire for businesses to locate close to the new rail lines having spurred massive growth and investment. Moreover, “I think businesses are trying to accommodate the younger generation of
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millennials who are a bit more focused on transit and ease of transit, who are less likely to own a car, but more likely to use either the light rail or other forms of mass transit,” he notes. Mirsky recounts how local land use has changed since 2006. At the beginning of his career, he says, Ottawa had many condominium projects on the go. Today’s trend involves a significant influx of and demand for multi-family developments. For example, District Realty is managing a property on Metcalfe Street that was an office building, but was converted to 61 apartments and a ground floor retail space.
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BY J E FF BUCKSTE I N
Brush expects continued development of retirement and medical facilities over the next decade as greater numbers of baby boomers retire and age further into their senior years. However, she notes, many members of that generation are much better off physically, and facing a longer lifespan than their predecessors. “I think you’re going to see two things.” Brush predicts. “You’re going to see these lifestyle type retirement communities focusing more on very active people. Then as they get into their 70s and 80s and their care needs really increase, that will be where the assisted living and the memory care private pay services come along,” she says. Mirsky expects to see exciting new developments in the downtown core and surrounding areas. “If we can get the east-west light rail up and running and extended to the outer suburbs and down south to the airport, I think that will dramatically
change the impression that outside investors have on Ottawa,” says Mirsky who elaborates that ease of transportation access will make for a much more international city. Despite the enormous development that has already taken place to date in the NCR, corporate leaders see room for improvement as the city’s infrastructure needs continue to expand. Mirsky would like to see LeBreton Flats developed after decades of delay. “I believe the general consensus looking at the vacant land that’s down in this prime real estate is that it is a shame it has been sitting there idle for so long. It would be great to bring some activity and some energy down to that area,” he stresses. “I’d like to see our city advance its thinking on how we create a better environment by working with architects to be able to envision a more engaged social network that contributes to a better, more sustainable, healthier city,” stresses Dreessen.
Dreessen would also like to see the City take a longer-term approach to the way it develops its infrastructure. “We see our infrastructure as something that is invested in over the shortterm. We tend not to really think about what long-term means. That requires a shift in thinking about capital investment,” he says. For example, investing in the construction of a new building that emits net zero carbon might cost 15 per cent more capital up front, but if it has net zero operating costs because it produces as much energy as it consumes, that means not having to pay utility bills, which can make a huge difference in cost and performance over the life-cycle of that building, stresses Dreessen. “We need to invest in that kind of infrastructure, because otherwise we’re shooting ourselves in the foot. We’re creating buildings that are unsustainable for the long-term, and leaving future generations to pay the bills for that,” he warns.
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“Another conversion that we stickhandled on Lisgar Avenue was the same sort of idea. We took the office space when there was a higher vacancy in the office market, and converted it to apartments, which shifted the use from a high vacancy market to a low vacancy market,” says Mirsky. An aging population has also significantly impacted the growth of retirement homes in the NCR. “There’s a lot going on,” says Lisa Brush. the chief executive officer and founder of Symphony Senior Living, which currently has four facilities in and around Ottawa—two in Orleans, one in Kanata and another in Carleton Place, housing almost 300 residents in total. Over the past 18 months, many new seniors’ facilities, providing either independent living, or, at the other end of the spectrum, medical assistance, such as for individuals with memory care issues, have opened up in the NCR, she elaborates.
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Colonnade BridgePort: Enriching and Enhancing Communities
ECOMING PART OF a community means more than simply moving in.
It requires commitment and understanding. To contribute, to truly belong, your presence should enhance the neighbourhood and enrich the lifestyle of those who already live there. That commitment—to support the health and growth of the neighbourhoods in which it invests—is a guiding principle at Colonnade BridgePort, one of Ottawa’s largest and most respected commercial real estate companies. Simply put, says CEO Hugh Gorman, “it is why we do what we do.” One of the things Colonnade BridgePort does is develop and manage attractive, efficient and modern apartment buildings. And it locates those apartment buildings in the most desirable locations in Ottawa. Increasingly, that means building along the city’s public transit corridors, specifically Ottawa’s newest light rail transit (LRT) hubs. “At Colonnade BridgePort, we believe that density and transit are key elements of any vibrant community,” says Hugh. “Through the strategic acquisition of land along the LRT route, we can create apartment buildings that will significantly increase that community’s liveability.” “The alternative—more urban sprawl—is unsustainable,” he says. “And it cannot promote the more relaxed lifestyle found in high-density areas.” Perhaps the most compelling example of Colonnade BridgePort’s innovative approach to modern living is Westboro Connection. Located at 315 McRae Ave, Westboro Connection combines quality office space, a satisfying selection of service-oriented retailers, and a wide selection of modern apartments. In addition, the building’s rooftop terrace provides residents with exceptional views of Westboro, the Ottawa River and the Gatineau Hills. Phase 2 of Westboro development is expected to open next year. Another example is Hintonburg Connection. Scheduled to open in early 2020, the 19-storey apartment building is located in a trendy and heritage-rich neighborhood. To ensure it accurately reflects its unique surroundings—the area features boutique shops, eateries, markets, live theatre, and art galleries—Hintonburg Connection was designed with the artistic and creative professional in mind.
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“Through the strategic acquisition of land along the LRT route, we can create apartment buildings that will significantly increase that community’s liveability.”
For Colonnade BridgePort, it’s satisfying to know that selecting locations along the LRT for its apartment buildings makes those communities more liveable. Even more satisfying is knowing that by creating opportunities and spurring investment, it is making those communities even stronger and more vibrant. “In healthy communities—those communities in which we prefer to invest— the eco-system is already in balance,” says Hugh. “We don’t want to disturb that balance. Rather, our goal is to contribute in a positive way.” With that in mind, Colonnade BridgePort will continue to develop projects in areas that enhance existing communities. In today’s competitive marketplace, that also means attracting investment capital, as it did with the Westboro and Hintonburg projects. For
both projects, Colonnade BridgePort approached Fiera Properties, one of North America’s leading independent asset management firms and a long-time partner in the company’s commercial operations. Fiera Properties shared Colonnade BridgePort’s vision, opting to invest significantly in both projects. For Colonnade BridgePort, and for the communities in which it hopes to invest in the future, the connection to willing partners like Fiera is vital. The availability of desirable land is limited, and construction costs continue to rise. Despite the challenges, Hugh Gorman and the Colonnade BridgePort team are convinced that by focusing on the why, it will continue to successfully connect its residents to their city and community.
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OTTAWA SUCCEEDS ENVIRONMENTALLY AND ECONOMICALLY BY AL J E K AMMI NG A
TTAWA’S REPUTATION AS a ‘green’ city is well earned.
Not only do residents possess an enduring commitment to a sustainable community, one that addresses global issues such as climate change, they actively support local initiatives to promote clean air and water, and public transit. In addition to the collective energy of its residents, the city has a number of natural advantages, like a large land area and a diversity of natural spaces. But Ottawa is much more than simply an environmental success story. It is also thriving economically, in large part because of its willingness—and its ability—to balance environmental protection with economic prosperity. By basing its actions on a growing wealth of knowledge and experience, Ottawa is making decisions that reduce the human impact on the environment but make sense socially and economically. This reorientation process is not unique to Ottawa. In Canada and around the world communities are beginning to recognize that an environmentally sustainable future requires insight and action in a number of areas including development patterns, infrastructure, economy and human behaviour. However, residents in Ottawa and the National Capital Region enjoy a key advantage—ready access to a web-based community knowledge centre. Operated by the Ottawa Community Foundation, Ottawa Insights collaborates with a broad range of community partners who collect data to support and empower evidence-based decisions and actions.
Ottawa Insights’ reach is broad, covering areas such as health and wellness, economy and employment, and education and learning. In the area of the environment and sustainability, Ottawa Insights focuses on the following: • Land use and ecology: Effective land use and development are key to environmental sustainability. Decisions that reduce human impact on the environment often make sense from an economic and social perspective as well. • Waste, water and sewage: How the city organizes and delivers waste management, provision of tap water and treatment of wastewater (sewage) can significantly influence their environmental impact. • Transportation: A leading source of greenhouse gas emissions, transportation systems often require huge amounts of land and resources, fragment habitats, and release pollutants. Transportation’s environmental impact is largely defined by how residents commute to work and how they access services and amenities. These are, in turn, influenced by land use planning and transportation infrastructure. • Climate: Containing the scope and pace of climate change requires major shifts in how we power our economies, cities, transportation systems and homes. The need to adapt—to minimize risks to safety, health and infrastructure—is also critical. Residents of the City of Ottawa and the NCR look to organizations like Ottawa Insights to make the best decisions about their communities. Perhaps the most compelling example of the NCR’s success in creating a fully-integrated community is Zibi, a 34-acre neighbourhood overlooking the Ottawa River. When complete, it will be home to 5,000 people and 6,000 jobs. Eight acres of the site are dedicated green space, providing walking trails and cycling paths. Increasingly referred to as the Waterfront City, Zibi will be Canada’s most sustainable neighbourhood. Not surprisingly, given the support and input of organizations like Ottawa Insights, it will be located in one of Canada’s most sustainable cities.
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1899 Ottawa Improvement Commission One of the OIC’s first projects was the Rideau Canal Driveway, now the Queen Elizabeth Driveway, pictured here circa 1903.
1927 Federal District Commission
120 YEARS OF CAPITAL BUILDING
Acquisition of land in the Gatineau Hills and creation of Gatineau Park.
1950 Acquisition of rural land surrounding Ottawa to create the Capital’s Greenbelt, which is now the largest greenbelt of its kind in the world.
1959 National Capital Commission
1970-1971 also, celebrates the 120th anniversary of the federal government’s initiatives towards building, planning, preserving, managing and developing an inspiring capital that make Canadians proud. It all began in 1899, with Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier. What started out as an effort aimed at beautifying the Capital, over the years became the Commission, a dedication to planning, development and conservation. The NCC has the stewardship of 536 square kilometres of land straddling both sides of the Ottawa River, about 11 percent of Canada’s Capital Region. The long-term functioning and experience of the Capital requires this land to be held in trust as a legacy for future generations of Canadians.
38 C A P ITAL S UMMER 2019 | THE BUSINES S MAG A ZINE O F THE OT TAWA BOA R D OF TR A D E
1971 The NCC closes the parkways to motorists to create ‘Sunday Bikedays.’ Discover—or rediscover—Canada’s Capital history through historical pictures, annual reports, blogs and more on the NCC 120th webpage: http://ncc-ccn.gc.ca/120-yearsof-capital-building
CI T Y OF OT TAWA ARCHIVE S / CA024533
HE NATIONAL CAPITAL Commission turns 60 this year and, this year
The NCC first opens the Rideau Canal Skateway.
A Familiar Face Takes the Reins at the NCC
“I always appreciated how lucky we were in the National Capital Region to live in a place where the NCC exists as steward of much land, forests, parks and pathways.”
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URING THE COURSE of his career in public service,
Tobi Nussbaum has had the unique perspective of both working on policy issues in a global context, and advancing them from a local perspective. And, says the former diplomat and city councillor, these experiences will hopefully serve him well in his new role as chief executive of the National Capital Commission (NCC). Nussbaum, who had been city councillor for Rideau-Rockcliffe ward since 2014, took the helm of the NCC—the chief planner and steward of federal lands and assets in the Capital—on February 4th. “I had an opportunity to understand the federal system and then an opportunity that introduced me to how cities work,” Nussbaum says of his previous work. “The NCC really sits, in some ways, in the middle of those two—a federal Crown corporation with, at times, municipal-like responsibilities.” As a councillor, Nussbaum championed sustainable land use, planning and transportation, as well as transparency and accountability— all issues of immense relevance to the NCC as well. This background will certainly be an asset in dealing with one of the largest files on his desk—relaunching the process to revive
LeBreton Flats. While saying that the NCC will build on past processes and lessons learned, Nussbaum also wants to be clear that the NCC’s approach will be different from past efforts, starting with the timing of public engagement. “There is no question we are really excited about the new process,” he says. “The public will have a role from the start in shaping the plan that will serve as the refreshed vision for the development of the 53-acre site.” Indeed, the first round of public consultations in the new process launched in mid-June. As an outdoors enthusiast, Nussbaum also brings to the job a deep understanding of the importance of what the NCC brings to the Capital. “I’ve always been an active user of NCC assets as a cyclist, as a runner, as a cross-country skier and as a hiker. I always appreciated how lucky we were in the National Capital Region to live in a place where the NCC exists as steward of much land, forests, parks and pathways,” he says, adding that one of the attractions of his new job was “advancing the NCC’s value and its important role for the country and for the National Capital Region.”
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BELLS CORNERS OFFERS ECONOMIC INCENTIVE TO STIMULATE BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
business investment, urban renewal and property upgrades in Bells Corners, and lead to new commercial activity and improved employment opportunities has already begun to yield tangible results, says a senior city planning official. The Bells Corners Community Improvement Plan (CIP) provides financial incentives for all local commercial property owners to redevelop lands and/or buildings that are currently underutilized, idle, or in need of repair or renovation. The CIP “is ideal for a neighbourhood that has needed an upgrade because the structures are perhaps somewhat tired and outdated, or are not exhibiting the highest and best use of the land,” explains Chris Cope, Economic Development Officer in the Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development Department for the City of Ottawa. The geographic boundaries for this plan cover most of Robertson Road, parts of Moodie Drive, and other pockets of commercial space in Bells Corners, such as on Northside Road. Many prominent Ottawa businesses, including multiple automobile dealerships and the recently re-located Kichesippi Beer Co. are already present, and the CIP will enhance the appeal of Bells Corners even further. The mandate of Bells Corners BIA, whose mission is to champion the business success of its membership “by promoting Bells Corners as a vibrant and healthy commercial, retail, residential and
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BY J E FF B U CKST EI N
N AMBITIOUS FIVE-YEAR plan designed to stimulate
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“It’s nice to see a vacant, decrepit building suddenly become a nice looking little building with activity going on,” he stresses. Another renewal underway is at the corner of Moodie Drive and Fitzgerald Road. That site used to be contaminated, but a remediation has just been completed, and construction of a six storey Hampton Inn hotel is now taking place. In another project, on Robertson Road near Fitzgerald Road, a portion of the former Beaver Lumber site will be turned into two small commercial buildings in an initiative that will feature two or three new local businesses. A lease to house one of those businesses—an air conditioning, heating and cooling company, is already in place, says Cope. In order to stimulate investment, the CIP offers Tax Increment Equivalent Grants (TIEG) to qualifying applicants. TIEGs are based on the increase in the property’s contribution to municipal property taxes as a result of the re-development value created. Once a new or expanded property development established under the CIP has paid its annual taxes in the new amount, post-development, the City will provide a grant to that property owner equal to 75 per cent of the increment in its municipal property tax annually for up to ten years. “We think this is going to be a very successful program,” says Cope.
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entertainment district, and attracting more people to live, shop, work, and gather,” will receive a considerable boost from the CIP. The CIP, approved by Ottawa City Council in September 2016, will expire in September 2021, unless Council decides to extend the program. About $24 million in private investment has been committed for three redevelopment projects “and I think we’re just getting started. It’s a self-financing program. It’s not costing the taxpayers anything,” Cope stresses. “One of the reasons for making it five years and not 10 years or 20 years is to put a bit of urgency on it,” says Cope. “We want to spawn people into getting busy with some projects that they wouldn’t have done otherwise, and to say ‘let’s do them now and get it kick-started.’” Most of the new businesses under the CIP are expected to be in the retail and service industries. One of the first applications, notes Cope, was from the new owner of a site on Robertson Road, near old Richmond Road that used to house a Local Heroes restaurant, which has been vacant for several years. “It was purchased by a fellow who redid the whole thing, not only the façade. He structured it into a three-store strip, as opposed to a single restaurant,” says Cope, who adds that two of those units—one a KFC restaurant returning to Bells Corners after many years, and the other a motorcycle dealership called Gear Head that also sells sporting goods, have already been filled.
TH E BUS I N E S S M AG A Z I N E OF TH E OT TAWA BOA R D OF TR A D E | S UM M E R 2 01 9 C A P I TA L 4 1
WINNING BY REDEFINING AN INDUSTRY
YMON GROUP OF COMPANIES has become one of
Canada’s most successful storage companies by offering business and residential Guests innovative storage solutions, best-in-class service and a broad range of innovative products and services. Credit those same qualities, along with an impressive and growing selection of products and services, for DYMON’s successful expansion into specialty stores and custom closet solution centres. The DYMON success story is Ottawa-owned and headquartered. And it all started in 2006 with their first self-storage centre on Coventry Road. Today, DYMON has nine properties across Ottawa, including their newest location on Carling Avenue at Lincoln Fields. DYMON has also opened nine new home and business organization stores in Ottawa (featuring more than 1,500 organizational products) and launched DYMON’s exclusive private label product line and DYMON custom closet solutions. DYMON’s presence continues to grow. At last count, three more stores are under development in Ottawa, and the first DYMON facility has now opened in Toronto. The openings are part of DYMON’s 6 year, 10 million square foot expansion that will see 80 new properties added in Ottawa and the Greater Toronto Region.
Again, credit DYMON’s focus on innovation and service for its continued growth. Innovation in the products and services it offers, including DYMON Business Services which offers a robust offering specifically designed for businesses. Service is how it anticipates and meets the needs of its Guests, from providing business Guests with a truck and driver at move in—free, of course—to ensuring those Guests have access to their climate and humidity controlled storage Suites any time of day, every day. DYMON Business Services offers a range of drop off to a full service, secure shredding services at some of the lowest rates in the industry. DYMON also offers Mailboxes with 24/7 access and Safe Deposit Boxes. And DYMON’s document storage & records management service not only gives Guests control and custody of their files, DYMON will also pull files and deliver them to Guests’ offices if they’re too busy to pick up themselves. Guests renting a DYMON storage Suite also benefit from 8 hours free use each month of DYMON’s fully equipped Boardrooms. While DYMON’s evolution will undoubtedly continue, one thing that won’t change is its determination to always exceed their Guests’ expectations.
DYMON Founders & Executives joined by Councillor Kavanagh for the ribbon cutting celebrating DYMON’s newest & ninth location in Ottawa.
Leaders from DYMON & The Ottawa Mission celebrate the announcement of their expanded philanthropic partnership.
L to R: Reza Alagha, Director, Retail Re-imagination & Operations, Tim Francoeur, Director, Operations, Tim Smith, Vice President, Operations, Brent Wilson, Co-Founder & President, Glen Luckman, Co-Founder & CEO, Councillor Kavanagh, Alan Giller, Vice President, Construction & Development, Steve Creighton, Senior Vice President
L to R: Glen Luckman, DYMON Co-Founder & CEO, Peter Tilley, Executive Director, The Ottawa Mission, Steve Creighton, DYMON Senior Vice President, Brent Wilson, DYMON Co-Founder & President, Sean Wong, Executive Director, The Ottawa Mission Foundation, Michael Pallett, Board Chair, The Ottawa Mission Foundation
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MARANT CLIENTS EMBRACE PRE-CONSTRUCTION APPROACH Survey Monkey – 50,000 sf
MARANT Construction is hard at work, consulting and collaborating with its clients and their consultants. That’s why it is now a recognized leader in the construction of commercial interior offices. And why its list of clients continues to grow, both in Toronto and, more recently, in Ottawa. While MARANT understands that contracts are generally awarded to the lowest bidder, it believes clients are better served when the company it hires serves as a construction consultant. “By taking a collaborative approach to the construction management,” says founder and president, Gino Vettoretto, “we integrate design development with our pre-construction process. Essentially, we become a key member of the project’s “core” team, acting as a construction consultant.” For clients, that means a controlled pre-construction process, one in which MARANT functions in a strategic capacity with the core team to identify and resolve issues proactively. The process is a “risk management” approach, aligning the budget and schedule to corporate objectives well in advance of sub-trade tendering. By ensuring a tight set of tender documents, they maximize competitive pricing and eliminate costly changes later. As a result of this construction management approach, says Matthew DiCintio, MARANT’s Director of Operations in the National Capital Region, “we come to really understand client’s perspective. And that means we can be sure that the design remains
McMillan LLP – 27,000 sf
within the desired budget without jeopardizing the design intent.” In fact, MARANT is so committed to its construction management model that it provides the service even when working under a stipulated contract. “It is,” says Gino, “the only way we know how to do it.” Judging by its success in Toronto and Ottawa, MARANT’s clients are pleased they do. Not only is its reputation for quality, professional service, and health and safety well established, it has underpinned the company’s success since 1999. “Our partnership approach was welcomed in Toronto,” says Matthew. “We’ve been in Ottawa for just five years and it’s clearly being welcomed here.”
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The Algonquin Centre for Construction Excellence is Building Ottawa
One Graduate at a Time
ACCE’s welding lab
art facility has cemented Algonquin College’s reputation as an educational leader in the skilled construction trades—a place for professionals looking to hire, train, teach, and even shape curriculum. “The way this is setup, it’s a learning lab,” Shaun Barr, Chair of Construction Trades and Building Systems, says of ACCE’s unique, collaborative environment. “You have [everything from] carpenter and refrigeration apprentices to architecture, HVAC (Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning), and interior design students— all working in the same space.” That interaction mirrors the experience of real-world job sites. It also makes graduates valuable to employers—many of whom supported ACCE. The local construction and trade industries donated $7 million towards the building—nearly 10% of the final cost.
That investment created ongoing partnerships and vital connections, Barr says. From a new electrical lab to new programs—like Canada’s first Bachelor of Building Science—ACCE continues to grow to meet changing needs in the industry and economy. Industry professionals can play a major role in ACCE by serving on a program advisory committee (PAC) and steering curriculum changes, Barr says. He urges anyone interested to simply contact a program Chair. HVAC alumni and PAC member, David Godin, calls the committees a “true testament” to how much the College values “feedback from the industry.” “[They] allow the business community to engage…and be heard,” says Godin, Sr. Advisor Operations, Eastern Region, for Enbridge Gas Inc. “It’s having your voice at the table in the programs that are going to train the graduates you hire. More people should get involved and give their input.”
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