Looking ahead at Beechwood, future schools, and the number 17 bus route

Manor Park Community Association (MPCA) President Natalie Belovic's overview of community issues

By Manor Park Chronicle

Despite up-and-down temperatures and relentless snowfall, the Manor Park rink remained sturdy enough to host a February bash and many rink-users . . . even if not all of them wore skates. Photo: Doug Banks
Despite up-and-down temperatures and relentless snowfall, the Manor Park rink remained sturdy enough to host a February bash and many rink-users . . . even if not all of them wore skates. Photo: Doug Banks

Je prends cette occasion pour vous mettre la puce a l’oreille a propos de quelques dossiers qui ont beaucoup d’impact dans la communauté et des quels on n’a, jusqu’à date, pas beaucoup parle.

This is my chance to put a bug in your ear to pay attention to and help drive (hopefully) some good decision at the municipal level. These are issues that we haven’t discussed much to date but each one has important ramifications for our community.

Bus vs car

Our neighbours at Wateridge Village are asking to reinstate the Number 17 bus which routed through their community. They are also pushing hard to re-open Hemlock Rd.

Unfortunately, Wateridge is a car centric community than was hoped in part because it never had great bus service to begin with to “train” residents to become frequent users.

With the new budget passing and the deeper cuts to OC Transpo, the likelihood of the bus being returned is slim though our councillor managed to get it “studied” by OC Transpo. That will mean that the push and the inevitable reopening of connection to Wateridge will cause even more havoc on Hemlock and Beechwood roads.

This is something that you can work on by also pushing OC Transpo, emailing the City of Ottawa’s Transit Commission, and the city councillors (at rideaurockcliffeward@ottawa.ca and stephanieplante@ottawa.ca) to reinstate the bus route.

Embracing even better and more available cycling routes along this corridor would also serve as a car deterrent and would help make the area safer for all of us as pedestrians, cyclists and also drivers who now have to navigate a very disjointed cycle track and roadway.

Beechwood Village Alliance

The Beechwood Village Alliance is a multi-community group that was created to work together on things that have impact to all our neighbourhoods such as the future development of Beechwood Ave. and Hemlock Rd.

The Alliance is made up of community members from Vanier, New Edinburgh, Lindenlea, Rockcliffe and Manor Park. Together, the group as crafted a document that makes a case for the City of Ottawa to consider creating a secondary plan to govern specifically, the evolution of the Beechwood and Hemlock corridor from the Aviation Pkwy. to the Rideau River.

A copy of the document is posted on the manorparkcommunity.ca website. I really encourage you to read it and to send comments and encouragement to the City Planning Department and our councillor to encourage this desire to become a reality. Persistence and attention will certainly encourage city staff to take it seriously.

I would like to personally thank all the members who have worked so hard on putting this impressive document together but more specifically to say thank you to Chair Tony Stikeman as well as Susan Clark, Andrea Stewart, David Goldfield and honorary Manor Parker for life Robert Todd.

School scenarios

As of my submission deadline for this column, I have not yet had a chance to speak with Ottawa-Carleton District School Board Trustee Lyra Evans to ask if the board has a specific vision in mind regarding the following.

At the Wateridge annual general meeting last week, Ms. Evans announced that is was very likely that the OCDSB would follow through on their option to purchase a future school site at Wateridge.

What does this mean for Manor Park?!

Well, there are many scenarios, none of them immediate, but here are some of possibilities:

In order for the OCDSB to have enough funds to build a new school, they will have to close some and sell off the land. Could this mean that they would opt to close Manor Park Public School as it is an aging asset and then direct our kids to Wateridge?

Would this justify the closures of Queen Mary and R.E. Wilson thereby eliminating the possibility of Overbrook and Vanier having their own schools that we know build and strengthen our community?

I am throwing out the scenarios because its important to keep on top of what is going on whether or not you have children and whether or not they attend an OCDSB school because it impacts all of our quality of life.

If we were to lose the school (e.g., sale to a developer) or if it continues to be overcrowded and portables start taking up all the park space . . .

There is so much more going on:

  • the Manor Park Estates redevelopment and the community benefits agreement (CBA) working group,
  • the zoning bylaw revision (yes, R1 zoning is going to be a thing of the past!),
  • the new “temporary” shelter at Bernard Grand-Maître Arena on McArthur Rd.,
  • the Salvation Army Mega Shelter, and
  • the redevelopment of the NCC Parkway.

Reach out at any time with questions and comments or if you can help work on some of these files.

Il y a un paquet de dossiers à suivre tels que ceux nomes ci-dessus et mêmes s’ils ne sont pas tous directement a Manor Park, ils ont des impacts. Si vous êtes disponible à nous prêter votre temps pour travailler sure quelques-uns de ces dossiers, nous serions très reconnaissants.

We need you! On a besoin de vous!

We are looking to fill the position of Secretary and Treasure for the MPCA. If you could help us out with this (one or the other) we would be so grateful to hear form you.

Nous sommes à la recherche d’une ou deux personnes pour combler les rôles de trésorier et de secrétaire de l’association. Si vous pourriez être disponible, SVP, contactez-nous pour en savoir plus.

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