Archive for August, 2010

NCC survey of Ottawa’s Urban Lands

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Importance of Natural Areas in my Community

Hey everybody, The National Capital Commission (NCC) is currently looking for comments to “improve the directions of the master plan and better reflect the interests of the public”

Survey ends September 20, 2010.

Until then you can add your input here: http://www.canadascapital.gc.ca/bins/ncc_web_content_page.asp?cid=16300-20447-22709-116728&lang=1

Greening Lansdowne Park by Paving Greenbelt Forest.

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Greening Lansdowne Park by Paving Greenbelt Forests.

Next Wednesday, September 1st 2010 the City’s Committee of Adjustment will be considering an application for a “Minor Variance” that would allow more than 28 acres of existing forest in the Greenbelt to be destroyed and replaced with a 2,000 car parking lot and Exhibition Hall.

Our city has already accepted a proposal from the Shenkman Corporation to build a 220,000 square foot exhibition hall and massive parking along Uplands Drive near the airport (Link to the June 1st report here).   From the report:

“The construction of a new Exposition Hall Facility, as proposed by Shenkman, will not only solve the problem of lack of contiguous exposition hall space that has significantly limited the ability of the trade and consumer show industry to grow in Ottawa, but will also allow the City to pursue its ‘greening” objectives for Lansdowne Park”

Lansdowne Park currently has a total of 96,400 square feet of exhibition space and since most of it will be replace with shopping, hotels and condos this Exhibition Hall project seems to be packaged in with Lansdowne’s Partnership Plan.

While I understand that the NCC has marked the proposed area for development, after touring the proposed building site you can’t help but wonder why the Exhibition Hall needs to be built in an existing forest when there is acre upon acre of manicured green lawn just across the road.

Construction is due to be completed by December 2011.  So while our attempts to Green Lansdowne may be just, it is somewhat ironic that constructing a 2,000 car parking lot in the existing forests of our greenbelt.

p.s. Other Contacts:

City of Ottawa’s Lead Planner for the Exposition Hall Facility Project:

Simon M. Deiaco, MCIP RPP
City of Ottawa
Planner II
Infrastructure Services and Community Sustainability
Planning and Growth Management Branch
t: (613) 580-2424 Ext. 15641
f: (613) 560-6006
e-mail: Simon.Deiaco@ottawa.ca

UPDATE #1: It looks like Spacing Ottawa has picked up on the story and is getting some good comments!

UPDATE #2: Metro Ottawa has picked up the story as well.  (Thank you Tim!)

Loblaws at COG’s 2010 Feast of Fields

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Some commentary on an article in Ottawa Magazine that has to do with Loblaw’s sponsorship of this years Feast of the Fields event in Ottawa, Ontario:

It is always difficult to see a brand you hold near and dear go mainstream and that seems to be what’s happening with the Feast of Fields.

Participants like the Red Apron and the farms they have paired with have invested FAR MORE than “(a measly) $5,000″ to build up the Feast of Fields brand. Over the past few years the participants HAVE INVESTED HEAVILY in money and in kind by volunteering staff, energy, advertisements and food in order to make the Feast such a popular event.

After investing so heavily in the brand, it is no surprise that many feel COG have misstepped by involving Canada’s largest food distributor (and a leading provider of drugstore and financial products) to be the “Presenting Sponsor” by doing NO work and contributing 0.00076% of their annual profits.

Math: $5,000 divided by $656 Million (Loblaws Corp. net profit in 2009)
Reference: http://www.just-food.com/market-research/loblaw-companies-limited-swot-analysis_id92120.aspx

While the argument is focused a bit around ‘costs’ I think it also has something to do with ‘fairness’.  I mean,  I have to spend $50 to attend the event.   That’s about 0.1 % of an average annual $50k income for a single guy in my neighbourhood.   If Loblaws corp had to pay the same to attend the event, they’d be giving the Canadian Organic Growers $656,000 !

… Ron Eade has some more of COG’s side of the story on his Omnivore’s Ottawa blog.

UPDATE: There is some great commentary on Simply Fresh Ottawa [here] and [here] !

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