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Old October 29th, 2005, 12:50 AM   #1
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Ottawa Developments

How about some love for the capital? To kick this thread off, here's a story from the Citizen about a new statue in LeBreton flats, the redeveloping parcel of land that's to the west of downtown, right on the Ottawa river across from Hull, the terminus of the O-Train, and the site of the new Canadian War Museum.
Friday » October 28 » 2005
LeBreton to get another monument -- this one to 800 fallen firefighters
$5M structure OK'd after firefighters foundation's 3-year campaign
Mohammed Adam
The Ottawa Citizen
Friday, October 28, 2005

The federal government has announced its backing for a national monument at LeBreton Flats in honour of the more than 800 Canadian firefighters who have died on the job.

The $5-million Canadian Firefighters Memorial will be erected south of Wellington Street, near the war museum, on one of two sites the National Capital Commission has set aside for national monuments. It will take at least three years to build.

The announcement by Canadian Heritage Minister Liza Frulla caps a three-year campaign by the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation to seek national recognition for the sacrifices of firefighters across the country. "By supporting this project of national scope, the government of Canada recognizes the extraordinary contribution of firefighters who make tremendous sacrifices to protect and save the lives of their fellow citizens," Ms. Frulla said.

William Brooks, president of the firefighters foundation, said he is delighted to get government recognition, but the foundation now has to turn its attention to raising money for the monument. And he hopes that down the road, federal and provincial governments will help with funding to get the project off the ground.

"The government has put itself behind it, and that is positive. But they have not committed any funds to it. But we think ultimately, they will contribute," said Mr. Brooks.

The choice of LeBreton Flats for the memorial is particularly significant because the Great Fire of Ottawa in 1900, which started across the Ottawa River in Hull, devastated the Flats. By the time the fire burned itself out, an estimated seven people had been killed and 8,000 in Ottawa and 6,000 in Hull were left homeless. One of the heroes of the day was a lone firefighter, with a single hose, who stood on a roof, beating down the fire as flames raged behind him.

Neither Ottawa fire Chief Rick Larabie nor the firefighters' union leaders could be reached for comment on the honour to them and their fallen comrades.

Lamenting the dearth of landmarks in the capital celebrating Canada's social, cultural and intellectual achievements, the NCC has identified about 90 sites for new commemorations. And LeBreton Flats, sitting on the Ottawa River in the shadow of Parliament and just across from Confederation Boulevard, has emerged as the prime location for two national gateway monuments.

A second site at Booth and Wellington streets is earmarked for a grand, four-storey national monument for which the commission is currently seeking proposals. Suggestions for the site have ranged from a monument to the lumber industry, pioneer women and legendary lumberjack Joseph Montferrand.

Commission spokeswoman Kath-ryn Keyes said yesterday that one proponent has expressed an interest in the site, but no formal proposal has been made. However, Ms. Keyes said discussions with the firefighters foundation are well advanced and the site will be reserved for three years to allow the foundation to raise the money for the project.

Under the plan, the foundation has to raise $2.5 million, about half the cost of the landmark, to demonstrate its commitment and ability to go ahead with the project.

Mr. Brooks says fundraising for the project has begun in earnest, and already pledges of $1.5 million from small businesses, out of which the foundation will get a "generous" 20 per cent, have been received.

He said the foundation is getting only 20 per cent because such a campaign entails a lot of expenses -- everything from staff wages and printing brochures, to manufacturing pins and giving plaques to donors -- by the firm organizing it.

Mr. Brooks wouldn't name the company handling the fundraising effort, but said the response so far has shown that many Canadian individuals and companies would be happy to contribute to such a memorial and the foundation is now turning its attention to large corporate donors.

If the foundation can show that it is capable of raising significant amounts on its own, Mr. Brooks believes federal and provincial governments would join in. "The Ontario government gave $500,000 for a monument for Ontario firefighters, and we imagine they and many provinces will contribute," he said.

Mr. Brooks said the exact design of the memorial is unknown, although several artists' concepts have been proposed. The foundation says its goal is to create a "structure so excellent and full of respect" that visitors will "see it as a work of art."

Mr. Brooks said the next step in the process is to organize a $250,000 competition in the next six months from which a final design would be chosen. One concept that will certainly be included in the final design is an electronic book of remembrance that will allow visitors to review the names of firefighters who have died in the line of duty.

The foundation welcomes ideas for the memorial.
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Old November 15th, 2005, 11:04 PM   #2
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Tuesday » November 15 » 2005
NCC plans to link Ottawa, Gatineau with new recreation paths
10-year project also aims to fill in gaps in 170-kilometre network

Dave Rogers
The Ottawa Citizen

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

CREDIT: Pat McGrath, The Ottawa Citizen
The NCC plans to gauge interest in making a bicycle crossing on the Prince of Wales Bridge.
The National Capital Commission and the cities of Ottawa and Gatineau will consult the public this month about their plans to build new recreational paths linking the two cities and the region's suburbs to the downtown core.

Residents will be able to comment on a 10-year plan to expand the pathway network at a Nov. 23 English-language meeting at the Government Conference Centre on 2 Rideau St. and a Nov. 24 French-language meeting at the Relais plein air du parc de la Gatineau on 397 Cite-des-jeunes Blvd.

The NCC and the two cities plan to widen older paths to make them safer and fill in gaps in the 170-kilometre network, connecting suburban communities and greenspaces to downtown.

Ottawa, Gatineau and the NCC are expected to approve the plans in May or June 2006.

Gerald Lajeunesse, the NCC's chief landscape architect, said five to 20 kilometres of new paths could be built during the next five years, depending on the construction budget available at a cost of $150,000 to $200,000 a kilometre.

Key additions to the network could include paths on the west side of the Rideau River and across the Prince of Wales Railway Bridge to Casino du Lac-Leamy. The NCC also plans to upgrade existing paths to make them at least three metres wide.

"If we have $700,000 a year, we may put in four kilometres next year of new construction or reconstruction," Mr. Lajeunesse said. "This is the same budget that is used to rehabilitate our existing network and add a few missing links.

"The Prince of Wales link would be part of the north-south light-rail corridor. It is a shared vision between the municipalities and the NCC. We will hear in the next few weeks whether there is any interest in it -- there already are crossings for cyclists at the Champlain, Portage and Alexandra bridges."

Mr. Lajeunesse said the municipalities may want to preserve space beside the proposed light-rail corridor for a recreation path.

City of Ottawa officials say it may eventually be possible to travel by bicycle from the Manotick area to the casino.

A path along the west shore of the Rideau River would start at the Ottawa River, extend south through Strathcona Park, past the Lees Avenue campus of Algonquin College to Billings Bridge.

Ottawa planner Nelson Edwards said some parts of the path already exist on the west side of the Rideau River. Mr. Edwards said the short sections of path could easily be connected using city streets in some areas.

"The paths would enable people to get to places like Brewer Park and Carleton University. They help just getting around the city.

"Over a 10-year period, the city could build 25 kilometres of paths. We can improve that by working with developers. I think it is really important to start linking the suburban communities through the Greenbelt into the urban area so people who are commuting and travelling by bike can get into town.

"We are talking about links between Barrhaven and South Nepean to the city core."

The path would extend south from Leamy Lake and Brewery Creek in Gatineau over the Ottawa River to Dow's Lake, Carleton University and Manotick.

The NCC started building the first recreational path beside the Rideau Canal in 1970. Each year more than 500,000 users bike, rollerblade, jog and walk on the path network.

Maps showing where the NCC and the cities of Ottawa and Gatineau plan to build new recreational paths are available at http://www.canadascapital.gc.ca/corp.../capital_pathw ay_e.asp

A questionnaire about the proposals is also available at the NCC Library, 40 Elgin St., the main branch of the Ottawa Public Library on Metcalfe Street and the Gatineau public library at Maison du Citoyen at 25 Laurier St. in Gatineau.

The NCC wants the members of the public to submit their comments or completed questionnaires, by Dec. 23, 2005, to Public Consultation and Community Relations, National Capital Commission, 202-40 Elgin Street, Ottawa, Ont., K1P 1C7.
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Old November 27th, 2005, 01:33 PM   #3
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This has been on the back burner for a couple of years now. I'd love to see that area develop more retail, as the local populace could use it. Now where were they when I lived at Lees?
Train Yards project wins final approval
City's OK means Wal-Mart store likely to get go-ahead within days

Kristin Goff, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Saturday, November 26, 2005

The Ottawa Train Yards project has cleared a major regulatory hurdle that its developer expects will lead to construction starting on a controversial Wal-Mart no later than this spring.
Marty Koshman, president of the Ottawa Train Yards, said yesterday that construction of the long-stalled Wal-Mart store might kick-start a major retail node, with four or five other big-box stores on its 92-acre site south of the Alta Vista Via Rail station.
The Train Yards subdivision plan was registered on Thursday after receiving final city approval, Mr. Koshman said.
Because Wal-Mart's site plan and building permit applications were moving in parallel with that application, Mr. Koshman said, he expects them to follow very soon, perhaps "within days."
City planning officials couldn't be reached for comment yesterday.
Wal-Mart spokesman Kevin Groh was unaware of the latest city approvals but said the giant retailer is ready to go if it gets its building permit in time to start work before weather prevents that.
"We have been waiting since the spring and continue to wait, having made slight alterations and re-submitting a plan early this fall," he said. "We are optimistic that the city will respond -- even with a partial permit -- so we can get underway.
"Until then, we are waiting with our shovels ready."
Wal-Mart filed its original application for the 133,000-square-foot store in June 2004, but it ran into fierce city opposition over how it would fit in with the planners' vision for the Train Yards' development to have a "main street" feel that would be open and accessible to pedestrians.
After the issue went to the Ontario Municipal Board, Wal-Mart and city officials negotiated a compromise that involved a changing the store's trademark grey to earthtone colours, changing its orientation on the site and providing more green space and walkways through its large parking lot.
Ottawa Train Yards, which will sell a portion of its land to Wal-Mart, plans to build an additional three buildings nearby to house four or five warehouse-style stores and perhaps 20 smaller fashion and other types of stores, said Mr. Koshman.
No deals with retailers have been signed yet because a number of prospects have been waiting to see when the development would get approval to go ahead, he said.
Once Wal-Mart goes ahead, Mr. Koshman predicts that will change. The developer plans to file site applications before Christmas for three multi-retail buildings and begin construction next spring, he said.
If that happens, it would represent the first phase of a massive plan the company unveiled in July 2000.
That calls for a half-million square feet of retail space and 1.1 million square feet of office space, or six or eight office towers on a site that is about 2 1/2 times the size of Lansdowne Park.
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Old November 29th, 2005, 10:29 PM   #4
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Kanata...it's back! Is that a good thing?
Ottawa suburb is Ghost Town no more
Tenants returning to Kanata as it recovers from high-tech hangover
Tuesday, November 29, 2005 Page B10
Special to The Globe and Mail

Through the 1980s it was called Silicon Valley North. Commercial properties were jammed wall to wall with tenants.

But when the bottom fell out of the high-tech sector at the turn of the decade, Kanata took on a new name -- Ghost Town.

Now the Ottawa suburb, about 20 kilometres west of the city centre, is flowering again. Not with the confident blush of innocence, however -- this time it's with the broader perspective of a veteran.

Kanata is the real estate story of the year, says Paul Hindo of Royal LePage Commercial in Ottawa.

"It's amazing, the reversal of fortune. In 1999-2000 they were converting bowling alleys into offices," Mr. Hindo says. "In 2003 you could play bowling in the abandoned office space.

"Today most of the office space is now being leased," he says.

During the third quarter of this year, vacancy rates in Kanata plummeted to 12.3 per cent from 17.1 per cent in the previous quarter. The rate had been as high as 30 per cent following the 2000 tech bust.

About 320,000 square feet of space were absorbed, with additional space leased, during the third quarter as well.

The reviving commercial real estate sector in Kanata was given a boost this past summer when the Texas-based Dell Inc. leased the former Nokia Corp. building and its 156,000 square feet at 2500 Solandt Road for use as a call centre.

When companies of that calibre settle, you can be sure others will follow, says Bob Perkins of CB Richard Ellis, whose company negotiated the Dell deal. Startup high-tech companies and professional services firms, such as lawyers and accountants, also have been moving in.

Helping to drive the action in Kanata is an infusion of venture capital.

About $300-million will be invested in Ottawa high-tech firms in 2005, a level not seen since 2002, according to the Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation (OCRI). The number of technology companies as of June, 2005, was 1,740 compared with 1,030 in 2001.

When the boom went bust, about 20,000 high-tech employees in Ottawa lost their jobs.

Some were absorbed by coincidental government hiring, but many joined startup companies, says Judy Quigley, manager of investment response for global marketing at OCRI.

Many of these entrepreneurial spinoffs were companies with 10 employees or fewer, Ms. Quigley says.

Solace Systems is an example. The company, which makes network routers, started in Kanata in 2002. It now has 60 employees using 14,100 square feet and plans to double that within six to 12 months, says Lara Clarke, marketing communications manager for the company.

NorthSeas AMT moved to Kanata in September, 2003, because it "has an atmosphere and environment of innovation that is recognized in the U.S. and elsewhere," says the company's president, Stephen Spence. "When we tell people we're from Kanata they know where it is and that it is a technology centre." The company, which makes an e-mail archiving device, has 20 employees on 5,000 square feet with plans for expansion, he says.

The economic picture wasn't so rosy for Kanata after the high-tech bubble burst.

In the years following 2000, many companies folded or consolidated. Nortel Networks Corp. shrank to 5,500 employees in Ottawa from 17,000 at its peak.

Large companies were tied into long-term commercial property leases that would expire in 2009. The vacancy rate in Kanata crept up toward 30 per cent, and space that had been originally rented for about $16 to $20 a square foot was offered to tenants for free if they would pay operating costs.

From 2000 to 2004, the incentives remained on sublease space, which totalled more than one million square feet of vacancy in Kanata and other west Ottawa suburbs. However, to the outsider the situation might not have seemed as bad as it was because tenants such as Nortel and Nokia were still paying rent on space they weren't occupying.

Some observers began referring to Kanata as Ghost Town.

Toward the end of 2004, however, things began to turn around, says David Chorney of Colliers International.

"Vacancy began to steadily decline to about 25 per cent because the office market [in downtown Ottawa] was extremely tight and expensive, pushing tenants west to Kanata."

Tenants began to fill buildings between downtown Ottawa and Kanata, such as the Corel Corp. building at 1600 Carling Ave. and Canderel Ltd. at 495 Richmond Rd.

Soon, with class A office space diminishing in the immediate western suburbs, Kanata, with empty and less expensive office space, became more appealing.

"In Kanata, we are now seeing lots of tenant retention and new tenants moving in," Mr. Chorney says.

So, 4½ years after the end of the tech boom, demand is once again coming over the horizon to meet supply. More than 600 acres of land that is zoned commercial and industrial is still available in Kanata, leaving ample space for new building.

"We expect the trend of positive absorption to continue for the balance of the year," Mr. Perkins says, "with asking rents beginning to climb in 2006."

Market tightens in Ottawa's core

The Ottawa commercial real estate market, which traditionally has had one of the lowest vacancy rates in North America, is ending a strong year, and experts say available space in the core is shrinking.

"We expect the Ottawa office market to finish 2005 on a positive note," said Bob Perkins of CB Richard Ellis. But tenants looking for large blocks of space will find limited availability, he says, and "this could lead to the refitting of some facilities that have been seen in the past to be undesirable."

Most of Ottawa's office activity can be found in the downtown core and running west through the suburbs to Kanata. In downtown Ottawa, class A real estate costs about $48 a square foot. Toward the west that price drops to about $35, and in Kanata it's about $25. A result is that tenants are gradually moving west from the core.

But the downtown's vacancy rate for commercial property isn't rising accordingly -- instead, it's falling because of considerable growth.

Space downtown is becoming scarce even though nearly 400,000 square feet is added to the inventory each year.

Contributing to the situation are height restrictions that limit building size to keep structures from diminishing the Peace Tower.

"Our limited land resource will be maxed out in a matter of years," says David Chorney of Colliers International. "Since our vacancy rate has always been so low, when we do run out of space to build downtown, we will be put on waiting lists.

"There will be no choice but to move to a western suburb like Kanata."
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Old December 2nd, 2005, 08:56 PM   #5
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Old news but...

UPDATE: Nortel may sell Brampton HQ to Rogers
By Ottawa Business Journal Staff
Wed, Sep 21, 2005 8:00 AM EST

Nortel's Carling Avenue campus
The buzz surrounding Nortel Networks re-locating its head office to Ottawa is heating up, following published reports that Rogers Communications could soon move into Nortel's existing Brampton headquarters.

The Toronto Star says Rogers would not confirm a deal, but quoted a spokesperson as saying Rogers has been looking at a number of properties to consolidate its fast-growing work force. Rogers recently acquired Microcell Telecommunications and Sprint Canada.

Nortel CFO Peter Currie said the company has been "actively marketing" its Brampton Centre for some time and has had strong interest from a number of parties.

Nortel's Brampton Centre housed more than 5,000 employees at the height of the tech boom, but today there are fewer than 1,000 working in the massive one million-square-foot facility. Brampton is the company's marketing and administrative centre, while Ottawa remains the heart of Nortel's research and development efforts.

Nortel CEO William Owens told shareholders in June the company will retain its headquarters in Canada. He concedes the Brampton headquarters is too large.

Telecom consultant Iain Grant told The Star the site makes sense for Rogers, which might choose to move its Sprint Canada and telephone operations, call centres and some technical-service operations into the facility. He said it's possible that Nortel would sub-lease some space from Rogers to keep a presence in Toronto.

While the possibility of landing Nortel's headquarters has Ottawa's tech sector salivating, it would be a major loss for Brampton.

Nortel has been trying to lease more than half the Brampton floor space for about two years.

OCRI's Jeffrey Dale says if Nortel does come to Ottawa, it will be a huge boost for the city's business sector.

"Not only would it help us with our international reputation and recognition value, but a company of that size with its management team here would help expand the business sector with other companies. There would be a large amount of spin-off activity while they're training future executives.

"Ottawa sometimes gets known as a small-business town or research town and the more headquarters that we have here, the more well-rounded we become."

Maybe Nortel can build a decent office building in downtown?
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Old December 13th, 2005, 01:58 AM   #6
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It has been a year since I lived in Ottawa...any news on the redevelopment of the brown brick warehouse on Rideau (back elevation on Nicholas Street) adjacent to Rideau Centre/Westin...across from Les Suites? I remember hearing of plans to incorporate it into an expanded Rideau Centre???

Can you say "incredible potential for lofts"?

Last edited by WinnipegPatriot; December 18th, 2005 at 07:37 PM.
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Old December 13th, 2005, 05:13 PM   #7
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Nothing recently. I think the levels of government are still quarreling over who should pay what in the new Congress Centre. So, until then, I don't think Viking Rideau will do anything.
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Old December 14th, 2005, 02:39 AM   #8
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Does Ottawa have a height restriction?
Welcome To The Suck
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Old December 14th, 2005, 04:21 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by j4893k
Does Ottawa have a height restriction?

yup hense the masses of 20-33 story buildings..
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Old December 14th, 2005, 05:54 PM   #10
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Interesting article. So I guess the LRT won't be going directly to the airport for sure now...
LRT: A 'page-turning experience' that cannot be undone
By Ottawa Business Journal Staff
Mon, Dec 12, 2005 12:00 AM EST

Rejean Chartrand. (Darren Brown, OBJ)
Most of the criticism and accolades have been aimed at Mayor Bob Chiarelli, but the power behind the throne in the light rail transit debate is the city's director of economic development and strategic projects – Réjean Chartrand.

Mr. Chartrand has both placated and frustrated activists pro and con with his steely determination to keep moving forward in the face of adversity.

He asserts that a comment made at a recent luncheon speech in which he said the city and opponents to the rail plan would "just have to agree to disagree" was taken out of context. Nonetheless, it is that kind of sentiment, whether real or perceived, that has led lobbyists such as Transport 2000's David Jeanes to believe they are banging their heads against the stone wall of government.

Last week, Mr. Chartrand sat down with the OBJ to present his side of the LRT project, including routes, cost, traffic downtown and why a tunnel isn't needed – at least not yet.

OBJ: The budget for the entire north-south extension stands at $725 million. If the project exceeds that budget – something that is entirely possible – will the other two levels of government kick in a percentage of the overflow?

CHARTRAND: No, they have been very clear about that. Their contribution is capped at $200 million.

OBJ: Then it's crucial to stay within the budget.

CHARTRAND: We will stay within the budget.

OBJ: But we're on the hook if it goes over.

CHARTRAND: From a project management perspective, our challenge is to make sure the project does not go over $725 million, so if that means fine tuning on the scope side of the equation to make sure it does not – the approach is not to think of additional funding, but to be sure the project is completed within the allocated budget.

OBJ: What has it been like for you defending yourself and the city from some very vocal critics?

CHARTRAND: It hasn't been too bad. There has been one pressure group that has come from a number of businesses along Albert and Slater streets, but if you took a poll of the majority of the citizens it would show that the majority are looking forward to light rail coming into the community. Frankly, when you look at this project as the largest infrastructure project the city has ever built, to think there would be no opposition would be like living in a perfect world. In all fairness to the businesses that had concerns over the past several months, we have addressed all those concerns, we took everything back to the committee and council with recommendations to look after those concerns and to address them, which has been done very successfully, I'd like to think.

OBJ: There no plans for a tunnel now, but with more and more people living and working in Ottawa over the next 10 to 15 years, it seems logical that the gridlock downtown will reappear and even worsen. Doesn't it make sense to build a tunnel now rather than then?

CHARTRAND: Technically, it would be feasible. The question is whether this is the right investment at the right time. Rapid transit in the city is one of the key elements council is using as a response for a growing population. Transport is not about new technology – unfortunately that's what people focus on first – but transit is about setting up these transit corridors first. The technology will be whatever the technology of that day will be. Twenty years ago when we started building rapid transit in the city, council decided to use the Transit Way and a bus-based transit system, which is an award-winning transit system. People from all over the world come to see our system. It's so successful that our ridership per capita is effectively at the same level as Montreal and Toronto, which have subway systems.

At this point in time council has decided to go with more state-of-the-art technology, which light rail will deliver. It's more upscale, it is something that the general population will look up to and it will position Ottawa - from a tourism and economic development position – it has pizzazz and character, but it is really a technology choice.

When the time comes in 20 to 30 years time to build a tunnel, because there will be a time when we need a tunnel, then we'll use the available technology and it may be more of a subway system than light rail then. But building a tunnel will be the right choice then with the right technology of the time.

OBJ: What kind of lifespan would this project have?

CHARTRAND: Nothing is good forever, but a light rail system should be good for about 30 years. Of course, this is based on timely preventative maintenance and timely repairs.

OBJ: Is there a plan in the works to run the line directly to the airport? As it stands, a shuttle bus will carry passengers from the airport to a light rail station.

CHARTRAND: It was on the drawing board at one point in time very early, but if you look at the airport design and the north-south direction of the rail line, there were major conflicts with the runways and the way that line effectively bisected the airport lands. That option became a non-starter because there was such a significant conflict with the airport land and runways. You can't bisect the whole property through the airport. We're hugging the airport land very closely, so what has been approved is a T-connection and that connection will be made with a shuttle moving people to the nearest light rail station. I think when the time is right, technology will have improved enough to look at it again, but right now I see a people mover from the airport to the rail.

OBJ: What about the people in the west and east who have to battle dense traffic every morning and evening who say they need light rail as soon as possible?

CHARTRAND: They've had one for almost 15 years. The rapid transit system caters to their needs for now. They had that first because that's what their needs were. Express busses on a dedicated right of way. It's a very high quality bus-based system on a dedicated right of way. That's where the value lies – the dedicated right of way. The ridership on that line is phenomenal. I think there is a misconception that an east-west corridor would run into the city, but it would not be a direct link. You'd have to transfer to the north-south line. So, as far as the most direct route to go downtown, the bus is the best way.

OBJ: What happens if there's a power blackout?

CHARTRAND: If there's a major brownout, the whole system will stop.

OBJ: So people will be stranded until help arrives?

CHARTRAND: There may be some battery packs on the train that could take people to the next station, but clearly that system would not be able to operate.

OBJ: Along the north-south corridor there is much acreage to be developed. Were you or was council lobbied by development companies to run the line through certain areas?

CHARTRAND: I would not have been part of that effort and I'm not aware that it did happen, although in social circles I'm sure there would have been some of those discussions, it's just inevitable. The city currently owns a number of very key sites along the light rail route, so the city in parallel with the construction of the light rail system is fairly aggressively pursuing making those types of growth along the corridor that we know will happen.

OBJ: There is a federal election soon and a municipal election later in the year. Would a change in government in either put the brakes on the entire plan?

CHARTRAND: That would be very, very surprising, especially from the federal level. The funding that has been committed to the city comes from existing programs so that money has been clearly set aside. That funding is not dependent on existing legislation. On the municipal side, if things go as planned, this existing council will approve the execution of the project. After that, I would be shocked if a new council did anything to stop it after all the years of hard work and investment.

This is what I call a page-turning project. Cities go through cycles of growth. I think from a transportation perspective, this investment in our transportation system is a page-turning experience for the character of the entire city. I'm extremely proud to know that people will compare this system with the best in the world. That will give us that sense of being competitive. We'll be paying a lot of attention to the look and feel of the system; not only on its efficiency but also the look and feel. Do we want to put a new brand on it? How do we want people to see it? I can tell you one thing, it will be as good as most in the world.

By Scott Taylor
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Old December 31st, 2005, 12:48 PM   #11
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I can't believe it! I just went to the new Bayshore store a few days ago!
Market Fresh closes Ottawa stores
Grocer lays off 200 workers, retreats to Quebec
Kristin Goff
The Ottawa Citizen
Saturday, December 31, 2005

Market Fresh will close its four remaining Ottawa stores, laying off about 200 people after the end of business today.

The privately owned seller of fruits and vegetables said tough competition in the grocery business forced it to reorganize. It will continue to operate four smaller stores in the Quebec side of the region, said Randy Meltzer, vice-president of corporate communications.

Although employees at one Ottawa store said rumours of the closings had been circulating for some time, yesterday's news came as a shock to many.

Only a day before, employees at the Bayshore Shopping Centre store told a reporter they knew nothing of any pending closing. The store's shelves were stocked full of fresh produce, with more waiting in the back.

Ms. Meltzer said the decision was made only after considering all options in the face of growing competition.

"Letting people go was not our first choice. It was our last choice," she said. "This was not something that we wanted to do, so we looked at other options first."

In the end, management decided to consolidate operations in its four stores in the Gatineau, which include one at Les Galeries de Hull, one in Alymer and two others in strip malls in Gatineau.

In Ottawa, three of Market Fresh's remaining four stores are at major shopping centres, where rents are traditionally higher.

Market Fresh has stores at Bayshore, St. Laurent Shopping Centre and Place d'Orleans and at the smaller Blue Heron mall at 1500 South Bank St. All will close after the end of regular business today, according to Ms. Meltzer.

Two other Market Fresh stores, one at Signature Shopping Centre in Kanata and one in Vanier, had previously closed.

Information meetings will be held for employees on Monday, Ms. Meltzer said.

The chain was started in 1991 by Jean-Luc Brazeau with two stores, one on each side of the region. Mr. Brazeau, president of the privately-owned company, did not respond to a request for an interview yesterday.

"We've decided at this time it would be better to go after a niche market, there is so much competition with the chains right now," said Ms. Meltzer. "So we'll be looking at smaller, more specialized formats, lower overheads and feel there is more of a need for that, at this time, in the marketplace."

She said the company was not planning to file for bankruptcy as part of its reorganization and "will make every attempt to honour all of our obligations" to suppliers.

Market Fresh employs about 700 employees in the region. Ms. Meltzer said the issue of whether to close the company's head office in Ottawa was still under discussion, although some of the layoffs would involve headquarter employees.

The grocery business, which has always operated on low margins, has become increasingly competitive in the Ottawa area as Loblaws opened more large-format stores with large selections of fresh produce. Earlier this year, Metro Inc. of Montreal, which owns the Loeb chain, also acquired A&P. It has begun opening some discount-style Food Basics stores and officials say they plan to open more.

In addition, Farm Boy, with six stores in Ottawa, and other fresh produce specialists are also competing in the niche market for fresh fruits and vegetable sales.
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Old January 7th, 2006, 04:34 PM   #12
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Farm Boy acquires former Market Fresh location
By Ottawa Business Journal Staff
Fri, Jan 6, 2006 11:00 AM EST

Ottawa-based grocer Farm Boy is taking over one of the four local Market Fresh supermarkets which closed on New Year's Eve.

Farm Boy says it will take over the Market Fresh location in the Blue Heron Mall on Bank Street, renovating and expanding the space to a total of 16,000 square feet. Once opened, the new store is expected to provide more than 90 jobs.

As well, Farm Boy says construction is on target for its new 22,000 square foot store in Barrhaven, due to open in March. The store will create about 125 new jobs.

The opening of the two new stores will bring Farm Boy's total to nine – eight in the Ottawa area and one in Cornwall.

A career fair for the Barrhaven location will be held next Friday and Saturday at Mother Theresa High School located on Longfields Drive.
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Old January 7th, 2006, 04:35 PM   #13
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This makes me think of ways Sparks can be better...
E.R. Fisher to close on Sparks
Changing shopping habits, dithering mall planners send clothier to Westboro

Kristin Goff, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Friday, January 06, 2006
Sparks Street Mall's oldest tenant, the E.R. Fisher men's clothing store, is leaving on April 1, after a century of doing business on the street.
Changed shopping habits are part of the reason, says Tony Fisher, president of the family-owned company. The retailer of upscale men's clothing will consolidate its operations in its Richmond Road store in trendy Westboro, where the company owns its own building and business has been growing.
Mr. Fisher said Sparks Street has become a victim of decades of dithering by the federal government, which has left it in limbo while retailing elsewhere has moved on with the times.
Mr. Fisher, his wife, Susan, and brother Peter Fisher are the third-generation owners of the men's clothier started by his grandfather Emerson Ralph Fisher.
The original E.R. Fisher store opened in September 1905 at 138 Sparks St. The second generation E.R. Fisher, who was known as "Bud," continued the business at other Sparks Street locations. He was head of a development committee which pushed to have the street converted into a pedestrian mall in the 1960s.
Later the family retailer expanded to locations in shopping centres. But it retreated from the last of those, Bayshore, in 2001 when it opened its store at 199 Richmond Rd. and became its own landlord.
The family's deep ties to the Sparks Street retailing scene were apparent yesterday as Mr. Fisher explained the family's reasons for closing its downtown store.
"I don't want to say anything that hurts the street.... We have a love of the street and a love of a lot of the businesses, who have been here a long time," he says. There are, he adds, "some great businesses on Sparks Street and doing a very good job contributing to the street."
But he also says the area has been left in limbo for decades by a lack of decision by the federal government over what it wants to do with the north side of Sparks Street. The federal government owns all of the north side between Elgin and Bank streets after the properties were expropriated in the 1970s to make way for changes to the parliamentary precinct.
"The rest of the retailing world has moved on," he said. "Since the expropriation of the north side of the street, the Rideau Centre has opened and went through its expansion, and the Byward Market went from being a place where there were chickens and ducks on the street to a hip shopping area. Elgin Street has opened up, Bank Street has blossomed. Westboro is one of the hottest areas of the city and our type of client likes that type of environment."
In contrast, Sparks Street "has sort of been coasting" and the situation has not been helped by Public Works and Government Services inclusion of a clause in leases that gives it the right to evict tenants with 90 days notice, he said. That, he says, is discouraging anyone from making investments in their businesses.
Tony Fisher thinks the decision to turn Sparks Street into a car-free pedestrian mall -- something his father fought for in the 1960s -- is still a good choice for the street. He also thinks things would be very different if the family's building at 115 Sparks, and others like it, were still in private hands.
"If we would have stayed on as private enterprisers, we would have grabbed the street and this building by the throat and developed it. And fought like hell -- pardon my words -- to have the best possible tenants on the street ... and fought with the city and whoever else wanted to stick their fingers into the Sparks Street Mall."
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Old January 8th, 2006, 03:03 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by j4893k
Does Ottawa have a height restriction?
Nothing can be built taller than the Parliament building I believe.
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Old January 8th, 2006, 06:33 AM   #15
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Sucks for Ottawa...
"Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media." - Noam Chomsky
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Old January 8th, 2006, 05:56 PM   #16
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There are actually seven buildings that are taller than the Peace Tower. I don't think there's been a restriction on the height being taller than the Peace Tower in decades, as there is a building that was completed in 1967 that is taller than the Peace Tower.

1. Place de Ville II - To.. [Place De Ville Phase I..] 112 m 29 1972
2. Minto Metropole 108 m 33 2004
3. Le Parc 2 104 m 30 1988
4. R.H. Coats Building [Tunney's Pasture] 99 m 26 1976
5. Ottawa Marriott Hotel 96 m 26 1971
6. Crowne Plaza Hotel 96 m 26 1967
7. Place Bell Canada 94 m 27 1971
8. Peace Tower, Centre Bl.. [Parliament of Canada] 92 m 13 1927

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Old January 10th, 2006, 01:38 AM   #17
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Much of Ottawa's height restrictions are based on the principles of protected sight lines and sunlight reaching the sidewalks at certain times. The protected sight lines radiate out from the Peace Tower. One of these lines is along the Rideau canal, which preserves the view of the Hill along the Nicholas Street approach. The newest one is along the new Wellington Street extension in LeBreton Flats, which is one of the reasons the large park there is a strange wedge shape.

The Darcy Mcgee building (Royal Bank) is a weird product of bylaws requiring sunlight to strike the pavement on Sparks street at a certain time, so it has a hole in the middle:
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Old January 11th, 2006, 10:37 PM   #18
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As a former Lees Ave. resident, I can definitely appreciate that ^. My living room and bedroom had a view of the canal and Parliament. Not too shabby!
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Old January 11th, 2006, 10:44 PM   #19
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Staff rejects developer's plan for new library
City manager says council has never set aside funds for project anyway
Zev Singer and Jake Rupert, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Wednesday, January 11, 2006

A developer's proposal to build a new main library just west of LeBreton Flats has been rejected by city staff, who say the private-public partnership wouldn't save the city money.
In fact, according to a city manager's memo, the prospect of building a new central library any time soon is so unlikely that the city should cancel public consultations scheduled for next week. Those meetings, which are intended to ask residents what they want from a central library, could raise unrealistic expectations, says the memo.
In September, developer DCR Phoenix made an unsolicited offer to build a six- to 10-storey library under a planned condominium tower on land the company owns near where Scott Street meets the end of the light-rail line. The deal would have cost the city an estimated $150 million over 25 or 35 years.
Yesterday, city manager Kent Kirkpatrick gave council members the results of the staff analysis: For that amount of money, the city could build its own library, just as large as the developer's 271,000-square-foot offering. "The DCR proposal does not provide for any financial benefit over and above a public sector comparator project," he wrote.
But even if the DCR proposal had saved the city money, it is still not clear where the city would get the money. The city's long-range financial plan does not set aside funds for that purpose.
In his memo, Mr. Kirkpatrick recommended that the city not devote more time or energy to the library file until council sets its new long-range financial plan next year and decides what priority to give the project.
Part of the time and energy he refers to is a series of public consultations set to begin next Monday. Mr. Kirkpatrick's memo says those consultations could "both over-burden already limited resources and create public expectations for a main library project for which no funding has yet been identified by council."
City librarian Barbara Clubb would not comment last night on whether she would cancel the meetings or push forward with them anyway. However, as of last night, the Ottawa Public Library website said, "A new central library is crucial in order to keep pace with Ottawa's population growth and to build on the efficient, well-run library system we enjoy."
Councillor Rick Chiarelli, who chairs the library board, said he will recommend that the consultations be put on hold for the moment, although he said such an exercise does need to happen "at some point."
Officials at DCR Phoenix, the company that made the unsolicited proposal, were informed of the decision yesterday. William Buchanan, manager of planning at the company, said it was disappointing news, but that a Plan B is already in the works to develop the site. "We felt all along it was a good site for a library, but it's also a good site for other things, too," he said. "We have other plans, and look forward to working with the city on them."
He said a proposal for two towers, one housing condominiums and one for offices, was most likely the next option. "It's always been our intention to develop the site," said Mr. Buchanan. "It's disappointing that this decision has been made, but we will move ahead."
Mr. Chiarelli said other developers have approached him to discuss ideas for a new main library and he hopes some will step forward.
He described the city's existing main library on Metcalfe Street -- built in the early 1970s for a city of 300,000 -- as "far too small," "antiquated and ugly," and without adequate access for the disabled. Besides, he added, "it has mice and it leaks."
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Old January 11th, 2006, 10:48 PM   #20
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Corel Centre to become Scotiabank Place later this month
By Ottawa Business Journal Staff
Wed, Jan 11, 2006 10:00 AM EST

Photo illustration of the renamed "Scotiabank Place." (Image courtesy of Ottawa Senators)
Scotiabank is putting its name on the home of the Ottawa Senators.

The team and the bank have announced a 15-year deal under which the Corel Centre will be re-named Scotiabank Place. Financial details were not released.

The announcement came on the tenth anniversary of the opening of the arena, which was originally known as The Palladium.

"Scotiabank Place will continue to be the home of an exceptional hockey club, while also providing a full range of exciting entertainment options for people who live in and visit this vibrant region," says Scotiabank president and CEO Rick Waugh.

The name change takes effect Jan. 21, when the Senators host Toronto. A special Go Red promotion will encourage fans to wear their red clothes and Senators jerseys to the game. There will also be a contest to choose a boy and girl to participate in the ceremonial face-off prior to the game.

"As the first financial institution to lend its name to a major venue in Canada, Scotiabank continues to show itself as a leader in business and a leader in community outreach programs," says Sens president Roy Mlakar.

Scotiabank intends to set up the Scotiabank Senators Savings Club, which will encourage youth under the age of 19 to learn the benefits of managing money. Scotiabank has been involved with other Sens activities over the years, including support for Roger's House.

While it's giving up the marquee position, Corel is not bowing out entirely.

Its brand will continue to be displayed on the scoreboard for the next three years.

"It has been an honor for Corel to be associated with this wonderful venue, home of the Ottawa Senators. We at Corel recognize that this facility truly belongs to the Ottawa community and as such it seems fitting that Scotiabank – one of Canada's leading financial institutions with a large customer base in Ottawa – should carry on its outstanding legacy," CEO David Dobson said in a statement.

Corel acquired naming rights to the arena in 1996, and putting its name on the building was part of an aggressive campaign to promote its WordPerfect software and take on Microsoft.

Other Canadian banks have put their name on arenas in the U.S. TD Banknorth Centre in Boston is home to both the Boston Bruins and the Boston Celtics, and TD Waterhouse Centre is home to the NBA's Orlando Magic. The Caroline Hurricanes play their home games as the RBC Centre.
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