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  #721  
Old Posted Nov 14, 2017, 12:35 PM
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Central library build noticeably absent from library budget
Draft document includes funds for Rosemount, bookmobile

by Jennifer McIntosh, Ottawa West News
Nov 13, 2017, 02:46 PM


While the city’s library budget is well within the mandated two per cent property tax increase cap, noticeably absent from the Nov. 7 discussion was a plan for the central library.

The Ottawa Public Library’s CEO Danielle McDonald said the reserves are in good shape. The draft budget presented to the board includes the $2 million slated for the renovation of the Rosemount branch, but it’s still unclear where the funds for the city’s portion of the proposed $168-million mega library set to be built at 557 Wellington St. will come from.

The draft document asks for $1.49 million increase — bringing the total budget envelope up to $49.39 million. That number includes a new bookmobile to replace an older vehicle and inflationary increases.

Kanata North Coun. Marianne Wilkinson wanted to know where the business case for the new central library fits in.

The plan was to begin construction of the new branch in the 2018 calendar year. The facility would be a joint venture between the OPL and Library and Archives Canada, but the feds haven’t committed to the project.

The city’s share of the price tag would be $99 million.

Somerset Coun. Catherine McKenney, whose ward would be home to the new library, wanted to know if the financial report had come to the board when it was supposed to — in June — if the money would have been an “ask” in the next budget.

McDonald said it was never the intent for it to be part of the budget process.

She added the allotment for the process of developing the business case is $1.5 million. The financial plan has to include the city’s contribution after selling the existing branch on Metcalfe Avenue.

Board chair Tim Tierney said there will be more information on the central library coming in the new year.

Residents will have their say on the budget through online channels and their local councillors offices. The library board will meet again on Dec. 5 and vote on the draft budget. Council will vote on the budget as a whole on Dec. 13.

Jennifer McIntosh is the political reporter for Metroland Media¹s Ottawa papers. She can be reached at jennifer.mcintosh@metroland.com

https://www.ottawacommunitynews.com/...ibrary-budget/
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  #722  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2018, 12:36 PM
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City of Ottawa pitches super library to Morneau

Jon Willing, Ottawa Citizen
Published on: January 29, 2018 | Last Updated: January 29, 2018 7:18 PM EST


Finance Minister Bill Morneau heard a pitch Monday from city officials who want the federal government to spend millions on a super library in the nation’s capital.

Mayor Jim Watson and Coun. Tim Tierney, who chairs the Ottawa Public Library board, met with Morneau late in the afternoon.

Watson said Morneau was “very familiar” with the OPL’s main library project.

“It was a chance for us to explain how important a partnership between Library and Archives Canada and the new public library would be,” Watson said after the meeting.

Watson said Environment Minister Catherine McKenna (the MP for Ottawa Centre) and Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly have helped advance the city’s case, but he felt it was necessary to meet the finance minister to underscore the importance of the project.

“All roads lead to the budget,” Watson said.

“At the end of the day, the finance minister decides the spending priorities along with the prime minister and cabinet. I thought it was important to meet with (Morneau) directly to pitch our case.”

Watson said he also pointed out that the library would be part of the LeBreton Flats transformation and be served by a nearby LRT station.

This was supposed to be the year the city broke ground on a new main library, replacing the aging flagship branch at Metcalfe Street and Laurier Avenue.

City council agreed in February 2017 to build a new main library at the eastern edge of LeBreton Flats near Albert Street and Bronson Avenue. The major outstanding question has been Library and Archives Canada’s involvement in building a super library, combining the municipal main library branch with space for the federal agency.

City hall thought the federal government would have a decision by now, but the answer might come in the next federal budget.

The preliminary estimate for a combined municipal-federal facility is $168 million, with city hall providing $99 million.

If the federal government doesn’t want to participate in the project, the city intends to build a standalone municipal library.

Still, the city hopes Morneau and the Liberals consider the joint library project proposal when writing the federal budget.

“I don’t want to jinx it by interpreting what he said, but I think we put forward a very good case,” Watson said.

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twitter.com/JonathanWilling

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-...ary-to-morneau
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  #723  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2018, 2:25 PM
eltodesukane eltodesukane is offline
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Meanwhile, some of the neighborhood libraries are in a sorry state, but no one cares.
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  #724  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2018, 2:53 PM
IntoTheCore IntoTheCore is offline
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Originally Posted by eltodesukane View Post
Meanwhile, some of the neighborhood libraries are in a sorry state, but no one cares.
At least some people care: http://www.readrosemount.ca/
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  #725  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2018, 4:47 PM
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They call it a "super" library, but even with the archives partnership, this will still be pretty small in proportion to other new central libraries in Canada. Calgary for example are building a 240,000 square foot building compared to Ottawa's 216,000 sqft (133,000 sqft dedicated to municipal services, slightly more than Halifax at 129,000 sqft).
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  #726  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2018, 4:43 PM
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Quote:
New library district could include three high-rise buildings

Jon Willing
February 13, 2018



The City of Ottawa hired a planning firm to come up with a preliminary development plan for the future central library site at 557 Wellington St. and the National Capital Commission land to the west, near the Pimisi LRT station.

A consultant’s preliminary vision for a future central library district calls for a group of buildings up to 25 storeys tall on National Capital Commission land at the corner of Albert and Booth streets.

The planning rationale, created by FoTenn and filed at city hall this week, calls for the structures just to the west of a future four-storey central library at city-owned 557 Wellington St., which is at the intersection of Albert and Commissioner streets.

The rough concept plan considers buildings up to 25 storeys near the Pimisi LRT station, which is off Booth Street north of Albert Street.

The planning rationale is dated May 2017. In October 2017, the city finalized a draft plan for rebuilding the western intersection of Albert and Slater streets, so the land-use concept plan could potentially change. The city’s urban design review panel recently critiqued the road reconstruction plans, emphasizing the importance of a good design in the area.

Under the current concept plan, the NCC land northwest of Empress Avenue would have two buildings, both with five-storey podiums that would have two storeys of retail and three storeys of commercial or institutional tenants. The western-most building could extend into Pimisi station, but the city would have to consider how it wants to distribute the development air rights above the station. A total of three towers are contemplated in the preliminary concept plan.


A preliminary concept of a plaza near the Pimisi LRT station.

The plan also considers three additional mixed-use, six-storey buildings around the library.

Underground parking would be shared among multiple buildings in the district.

According to the planning rationale, the layout of the buildings was created to minimize the shadow impact on the neighbouring residential community.

The plan would allow a total of 818 new residential units on the properties, 12,340 square metres of retail space, 17,012 square metres of commercial space, plus the 19,970 square metres for the library.

The re-zoning application in the development plan seeks to add an “amusement park” to the long list of permitted uses allowed under the current zoning regulations.

Planning committee could consider the application in May.

The city is still waiting to hear if the federal government will allow Library and Archives Canada to build a $168-million shared facility with the Ottawa Public Library.
http://ottawasun.com/news/local-news...2-5ab6b004d6de

EDIT:

The re-alignment for reference.


Last edited by J.OT13; Feb 13, 2018 at 10:49 PM.
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  #727  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2018, 6:38 PM
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Looks like a good plan. Interesting that they want to add "amusement park" as a permitted use. There doesn't seem to be enough space for one unless it's one of those temporary ones that setup in grocery store parking lots.
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  #728  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2018, 6:49 PM
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Planning Rationale and Design Brief:
http://webcast.ottawa.ca/plan/All_Im...02-17-0052.PDF

Full Development application:
https://app01.ottawa.ca/postingplans...appId=__ALTXPW

Concept Plan:

Last edited by rocketphish; Feb 14, 2018 at 4:13 AM. Reason: Rehosting imagery for permanence
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  #729  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2018, 8:37 PM
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Reevely's been rightfully roasting the City for simultaneously consulting on a development plan and road plan for the same blocks that are incompatible with each other.

Quote:
@davidreevely
3h3 hours ago

The city is proposing to rezone land for the central library that includes land around it, on Slater and Albert. Here's the general concept.

AT THE SAME TIME, the city is working on realigning Slater and Albert right at that exact site. Here's the "preferred" outcome.

These two maps are obviously incompatible. Both these things cannot happen. Yet the city is asking for public commentary on both proposals.

Nevertheless, there's no way to engage with this plan productively. Your comments, which the city purports to have a desire to hear, might have no relevance to the outcome.

How both these plans emerged from the bureaucracy simultaneously, or what an engaged citizen is supposed to do with them, I have no idea.

https://twitter.com/davidreevely/sta...32268885721089
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  #730  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2018, 8:48 PM
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I was actually just thinking the same thing...

If the city does proceed with the street realignment, I think it would make it a much less comfortable place to have street-level retail or pedestrian activity. I sound like a broken record here, but I think it strengthens the argument of turning the whole thing towards old Wellington/Sparks to the north of the site. Instead of the traffic of Albert/Slater, it would face the view of the Aqueduct and the Gatineau Hills. The street ties in perfectly with the whole Canada Drive concept of Lebreton, as well as being the most direct route to the LRT station. And if an effort is made, it's also a natural continuation of Sparks Street from downtown. From a pedestrian's perspective, it's more practical and pleasant than Albert.
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  #731  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2018, 10:45 PM
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Will be interesting to see why the application was submitted in June 2017 but not sent out until Feb 2018.
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  #732  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2018, 10:48 PM
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I'm hoping they plan to fully bury the rail line from the portal to Pimisi. Having a trench separating this development from the aqueduct isn't right.

Interesting their removing the Wellington completely.

This new library should have grand entrances and show it's best face on three sides (Albert, the Plaza and the aqueduct) with services located along Commissioner.
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  #733  
Old Posted Feb 14, 2018, 12:07 AM
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It's interesting they say that according to the planning rationale, the layout of the buildings was created to minimize the shadow impact on the neighbouring residential community.

But the most recent claridge buildings aren't even depicted in their graphics.
That triangle section of land by the pumping station has a building - it isn't a field of greenspace.
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  #734  
Old Posted Feb 14, 2018, 9:36 AM
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Why not put the public library right at the Pimisi station?
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  #735  
Old Posted Feb 14, 2018, 1:08 PM
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City makes plans for new central library, forgets it's also changing the roads around it

David Reevely, Ottawa Citizen
Published on: February 13, 2018 | Last Updated: February 13, 2018 5:37 PM EST


A city plan, released Tuesday, for a new central library and the buildings next to it is built on a layout for Slater and Albert streets that’s about to change.

The two plans for the same land at the southeast corner of LeBreton Flats don’t work together. The city can’t do them both at the same time. Yet officially, that’s what’s going to happen.

The central library is a major civic investment, meant to bridge downtown and LeBreton Flats for a century. How the pieces combine is really, really important. Doing it in separate chunks, with expired information, promising to work out the details later, is how we’ll get trash.

“It’s completely understandable that residents would be frustrated by this,” said the area’s councillor, Catherine McKenney. “Outside of these walls, they do not expect city departments to work in silos.”

Let’s take the road situation first. This property is where Albert and Slater split as they go east into downtown, turning into a little plate of spaghetti between Booth Street and Bronson Avenue. They carry a lot of city buses now; once the light-rail system opens and most of the buses stop running there, the city intends to tidy the streets up by moving the Albert-Slater split farther east and closing a couple of hundred metres of Slater.

There’ll be less asphalt and intersections that are easier to figure out because they aren’t designed for rush-hour bus traffic, the thinking goes. Sounds good. City staff settled on this plan last fall, shared it publicly, took comments, finalized it, and are due to present it to city council’s transportation committee in April.

The new plan for the library and its surroundings, in the form of a rezoning and official-plan amendment worked up for the city by the consulting firm FoTenn, doesn’t take any of this into account. Though they were released Tuesday, the plan and a stack of technical studies supporting it are dated last April and May, with a couple of straggly bits from the summer. They use the current, soon-to-change layout of Albert and Slater Streets.

Usually rezoning applications come from private landowners and developers. In this case, the land involved is owned by the city government and by the National Capital Commission. They want a coherent plan for the properties before constructing the library and likely selling the other land, so the city is in the unusual position of commissioning a plan and then submitting it to itself for approval. The city and NCC have split the $243,210 bill, the city says.

The rezoning plan acknowledges in a few places that the city intends to change Albert and Slater but when it was written nobody yet knew how. Now we know how.

“This is a process by which one department has a submitted plan from May 2017 that was, from what I can tell, dusted off and put back out into the public realm. That should never happen,” McKenney said. Although she doesn’t control the process directly, she’s asked the city’s planners to re-do the plan using current information.

As it is, the plan would allow 818 new residential units on the properties, 12,340 square metres of retail space, 17,012 square metres of commercial space, plus the 19,970 square metres for the library. Underground parking would be shared among multiple buildings, including the library. The plan doesn’t propose specific designs but it does look at the general shapes of buildings and how they’d fit together.

The proposal would zone land at Albert and Booth, right next to the Pimisi light-rail station, for 25-storey buildings, in keeping with the city’s philosophy of clustering tall, dense offices and dwellings next to major transit stops. So far, so good.

Moving east on Albert, the plan proposes a six-storey building, then an open plaza, then the four-storey central library on land now being used as a staging area for light-rail construction. Across Albert to the south are more six- and four-storey buildings, marching up the hill toward Bronson, broken up by another plaza.

That’s where the plans ram into each other. The new layout of Albert and Slater streets will chop up the land south of the library into different chunks.

Doesn’t matter, the city says.

“The lands affected by the proposed Albert/Slater realignment (550 Albert Street) are only subject to an Official Plan Amendment to designate them as mixed-use,” reads a statement from planning manager Douglas James. “While it is not a requirement that any road alignment be considered with respect to designation of a property under the City’s Official Plan, the Official Plan designation proposed with the planning applications concept will maintain consistency with the road realignment, if and when approved.”

FoTenn’s planners seemed to think the road layout did make a difference.

The two plazas on opposites sides of Albert are placed so they can join up someday if the city closes Albert Street there, the plan says but that won’t happen because it’s already chosen to close Slater instead. The buildings were all laid out “to compliment the potential library building and central plaza.”

“All future development on this portion of the lands should maintain this building profile,” the plan says, meaning the southern building should roughly mirror the library. Which will be tricky, what with the new end of Slater Street running through the middle of it.

The plan includes a transportation study from last May that studied the development’s effects on car, bus and pedestrian traffic at intersections that won’t exist. It proposed a bike lane on a stretch of Slater that will disappear. The new street layout creates an odd-shaped triangular lot next to Bronson that will take some skilful architecting to design nicely. The planners working on the project didn’t see that coming.

Multiple weird errors contaminate the rezoning plan, including a map showing where the library is in the city that labels Old Ottawa East as Ottawa South, Sandy Hill as Ottawa East, Lowertown as Sandy Hill and New Edinburgh as Lowertown. Other maps (including on the very first page) mislabel Slater Street as Laurier Avenue. Evidently nobody at the city’s real-estate office, which accepted the consultant’s work, looked it over.

Even if the work were good, it’s garbage now. The city commissioned a plan from a consultant, sat on it for 10 months while it became obsolete, issued it publicly, and now wants citizens to waste time thinking about a fairytale.

“I don’t believe that residents can comment on the plan as it stands,” McKenney said. “It would seem to me that it’s very detailed. The amount of description in the plans is very detailed, so this is the time that we need intensive public consultation on those plans and I don’t believe that that can happen unless we have the areas scoped out properly.”

dreevely@postmedia.com
twitter.com/davidreevely

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-...oads-around-it
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  #736  
Old Posted Feb 14, 2018, 3:06 PM
roger1818 roger1818 is offline
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Originally Posted by Aylmer View Post
I was actually just thinking the same thing...
I noticed it as well but I think Reevely is making much ado about nothing. This is just a preliminary development plan after all. Even without the street realignment, the design will change significantly before shovels hit the ground.

The only thing affected by the realignment are the low rise buildings between Albert and Slater and they are inconsequential to the overall design. The only reason they are there is because the city owns that land and they could easily be reconfigured and moved to the new plot south of the merged Albert and Slater Street. No big deal.

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  #737  
Old Posted Feb 14, 2018, 4:15 PM
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Originally Posted by J.OT13 View Post
I'm hoping they plan to fully bury the rail line from the portal to Pimisi. Having a trench separating this development from the aqueduct isn't right.
I agree that they should fully cap the line to Pimisi. It looks like the current plan has the plaza near Pimisi station at track level with stairs down to it from Booth, Albert and the pathway to the Library. As a result to get from the Library to the LRT station you have to go down to the plaza, up to Booth street level and back down to the platform (Pimisi has a centre platform). Having it all at the same level would save 2 sets of stairs.

The other advantage of capping is is they can then have a covered walkway from the library to the station. Open air walkways with plazas is nice when the weather is pleasant, but in Ottawa that is only about 2 months of the year.

They could still have the sunken plaza but then have glass walls along either side of the walkway with doors to the plaza. They could then have an elevated open air MUP that runs from the Library to the station upper level. The MUP shown that loops to the library could also have a branch that loops to the station.

On the north side of the tracks, it could be open for natural ventilation, similar to what they are doing along the parkway (as shown below). That way from one side of the LRT people can still see the aqueduct and the other they can see the plaza through the glass walls on either side of the walkway.

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  #738  
Old Posted Feb 14, 2018, 4:54 PM
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Originally Posted by eltodesukane View Post
Why not put the public library right at the Pimisi station?
Because then they would have to give credit to RVL for proposing it. This way, it's Watson's brilliant idea.
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  #739  
Old Posted Feb 14, 2018, 5:48 PM
roger1818 roger1818 is offline
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Because then they would have to give credit to RVL for proposing it. This way, it's Watson's brilliant idea.
LOL. That certainly is a factor. The other one is there are fewer height restrictions (set by the NCC) at the bottom of the hill than at the top. The library is inherently a short building so might as well keep it at the top and save the bottom for the buildings that would benefit from being taller.
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  #740  
Old Posted Feb 14, 2018, 6:18 PM
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Just build the library over the tracks, with a bit of glass floor looking down and put the self-help books for overcoming acrophobia there.
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