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Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada > Ontario > SSP: Local Ottawa-Gatineau > Downtown & City of Ottawa

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  #1  
Old Posted Aug 19, 2011, 9:37 PM
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waterloowarrior waterloowarrior is offline
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335 Roosevelt Avenue | 7-8 fl | Approved

http://app01.ottawa.ca/postingplans/...appId=__8OOR0J

Developer: Uniform Urban
Architect: Barry J. Hobin

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  #2  
Old Posted Aug 19, 2011, 10:02 PM
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Looks good so far! Need to see what the ground level looks like though.
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  #3  
Old Posted Aug 19, 2011, 10:39 PM
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rocketphish rocketphish is offline
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This is precisely the type of development that should be encouraged along the transit corridor. And in anticipation of the guaranteed negative reaction to the proposed height, they are going out of their way to demonstrate the worst possible structures that are allowed under current zoning, and how much better the vertical option is. They basically want to take the currently allowed building envelope and stand it up on its end. I like it.
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  #4  
Old Posted Aug 19, 2011, 10:46 PM
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m0nkyman m0nkyman is offline
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You can get with this, or you can get with that [repeat 3X]
I think you'll get with this, for this is where it's at
[repeat both lines 2X]
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  #5  
Old Posted Aug 19, 2011, 11:41 PM
S-Man S-Man is offline
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Uh oh - Ken Grey and his cronies are going to be apoplectic.

Friends of the Transitway Corridor, anyone?

Expect this to be on his blog tomorrow under the annoying non-term 'extremification' he's so proud of coining.
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  #6  
Old Posted Aug 20, 2011, 12:32 AM
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waterloowarrior waterloowarrior is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S-Man View Post
Uh oh - Ken Grey and his cronies are going to be apoplectic.

Friends of the Transitway Corridor, anyone?

Expect this to be on his blog tomorrow under the annoying non-term 'extremification' he's so proud of coining.
already there
http://blogs.ottawacitizen.com/2011/...n-in-westboro/
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  #7  
Old Posted Aug 20, 2011, 12:59 AM
Uhuniau Uhuniau is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S-Man View Post
Uh oh - Ken Grey and his cronies are going to be apoplectic.
I see no reason why that sentence should be in the future tense.
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  #8  
Old Posted Aug 20, 2011, 5:27 AM
S-Man S-Man is offline
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Sigh.....Why do they have to insist zoning put in place in the 1970s when the city was half the size is set in stone, the great wisdom from the era of sensible, sustainable planning??
Why do people also insist everyone else drives everywhere? People won't continue to drive three blocks if it's jammed nd there is no parking anywhere. Do they think everyone will be a stubborn as them?
I realize lots of people will still drive, but once it gets to the point where it's not convenient, some will change their way. Usually the ones who bought there figuring it would be busy and a pain in the ass to drive.
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  #9  
Old Posted Aug 20, 2011, 6:06 PM
Ottawan Ottawan is offline
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I love those days when I check out the forum and learn about a great completely new (unhinted at in other threads or on other websites) project like this.

I've been wondering for a long time when this particular parcel would be redevelopped, and overall am happy with these plans. It looks like a good proposal that enhances the pedestrian space and is defensively drawn up in anticipation of the surely coming backlash. There doesn't seem to be any mixed-use, but considering the location I can't take much issue with that.

I'm very happy to see intensification like this that is away from the main streets. Small-scale intensification (single-family infills on vacant lots; single homes being replaced with doubles; additions of rental apartment spaces to older homes) is certainly happening in a big way in core neighbourhoods, but for intensification to truly work as a policy larger-scale projects need to appear away from simply the mainstreet corridors.
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  #10  
Old Posted Aug 20, 2011, 7:00 PM
S-Man S-Man is offline
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I stopped by this site today and it's a nice location. Two longish blocks to Richmond Road, walking distance to Westboro Beach, right on a bike path and 200 yards or so from a transitway station.
Also, the tall trees growing on the other side of the transitway cut minimized the impact on the houses to the north.
Problem is, the site isn't in the middle of an empty, vacant field in the country, so that's a problem.
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  #11  
Old Posted Aug 20, 2011, 8:13 PM
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Originally Posted by S-Man View Post
Problem is, the site isn't in the middle of an empty, vacant field in the country, so that's a problem.
You mean an ecologically sensitive greenfield that has been critical to the recreational needs of the nearby suburb since it was built? That too would be an issue in this city.
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  #12  
Old Posted Aug 20, 2011, 8:28 PM
Uhuniau Uhuniau is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S-Man View Post
Sigh.....Why do they have to insist zoning put in place in the 1970s when the city was half the size is set in stone, the great wisdom from the era of sensible, sustainable planning??
You think it's bad now; wait until someone tries changing ANYTHING, EVER, in Barrhaven, Kanata, or Orleans.

This is why curvy-wurvy is bad. The very physical form implies a permanent separation and segregation of uses. Grids can evolve, and suggest that possibility. Curvy-wurvy will be forever curvy-wurvy, and, being unable to absorb natural change in accordance with economic pressures, will only cause more curvy-wurvy to be built further out... unless and until we break the goddamn curvy-wurvy cycle once and for all.

Quote:
Why do people also insist everyone else drives everywhere?
Because they drive everywhere, and can't imagine life any other way. Of course, when they drive, that doesn't constitute "traffic". "Traffic" is from other people's driving.
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  #13  
Old Posted Aug 20, 2011, 8:29 PM
Uhuniau Uhuniau is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m0nkyman View Post

You mean an ecologically sensitive greenfield that has been critical to the recreational needs of the nearby suburb since it was built?
In 2009?
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  #14  
Old Posted Aug 20, 2011, 9:37 PM
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That's kind of funny. They copy-cut-pasted the existing building near Churchill to show what is allowed on the sites. It's even funnier because it's being done to demonstrate that their proposal has more open space than what existing requires and that their proposal allows for sun and light and views.

Here's the rationale for it (pp 21-22 of the planning document):
  1. Better access to light and sky for neighbouring residents;
  2. Elimination of the wall effect created by long buildings.
  3. Increase of on-site open space from 41% to 71.5% of the site area;
  4. Enhancement of the Wilmont and Winston streetscapes;
  5. Enhancement of the public pedestrian network, by providing a public walkway from the terminus of Wilmont Avenue, through the centre of the site, connecting to the multi-use pathway adjacent to the transitway;
  6. Reducing the number of lower level units overlooking neighbouring yards and homes, thereby protecting privacy.
  7. Minimizing the impact of shadows on neighbouring properties, by reducing the time that individual lots are in shadow.
  8. Facilitating the creation of more interesting building design from the
    perspective of the future residents, neighbours and passers-by.

Over half of this is complete nonsense because... it's next to the Transitway trench, on the south side. Anywhere else in Westboro this kind of high-mindedness might have been appreciated, but here, really?

(1) is of no concern since there are no neighbours who are going to benefit from all this extra light and sun.

(2) might have been a selling point somewhere else, but again, here? From the perspective of residents south of the Transitway, a lower wall of buildings is probably preferable since it would act as more of a sound barrier that taller narrower buildings. Either is preferable to what exists, but from the narrow perspective of improving existing residents quality of life, a wall in this case would be better.

(3) same again - it's "open space" along a transitway trench. There's open space at the end of Scott in front of the other building that seldom gets used for exactly that reason.

(4) is a matter of opinion that has far more to do with building design generally than height specifically. A low building could be designed really well while a tall building designed really badly.

(5) is the first that I would actually agree with. The narrower buildings would make for a more pedestrian-friendly passageway through to the pathway than would buildings occupying more of the site.

(6) is just ... weird. Up to three, possibly four storeys, there's not a lot of potential overlooking anyway, whereas anyone above that can overlook (up to a point - after awhile people are so high they can't see anything too clearly). So this would move people from floors in which they can't overlook to ones in which they can. About the only thing that can be said for it is that slightly fewer neighbours will be immediately overlooked. This looks like a claim without any foundation in logic that is really going to piss people off.

(7) is essentially a repeat of (1) and it's just as daft. There is no one to shadow anyway since the Transitway is to the north. If anything, making it taller runs the risk of shadowing residents along Workman who would not be shadowed by a conforming building.

(8) has to do with design, not height.

I have to wonder if anyone actually does site-contextual sanity-checks of these claims before putting them into an official submission. You can't take principles of a general nature and apply them to a specific property without considering that property's context.

Perhaps I shouldn't be too surprised. "Willis and Associates", who did the planning rationale, are based in a suburban home with a two-car garage and an impeccably-kept but otherwise featureless green front lawn backing onto the Ottawa River in Orleans:
http://maps.google.ca/maps?f=q&sourc...,332.07,,0,3.7

The real beneficiary of all this extra height is the developer who gets to sell more high altitude condos with views of the river. For once I'd just like to see a developer be honest about what they're doing and why they're doing it. Is it really that difficult to be honest? Making stuff up about preserving views and sunlight when it so obviously doesn't apply to anyone who lives anywhere nearby at the moment is the kind of thing that just ticks people off. Why can't they just for once say "we want the extra height because it allows us to sell units higher up with better views; in this particular case we think the effects of that height are minimal because of ... and we're going to use some of that extra revenue for improvements like ..."?

Don't get me wrong here: I do actually support this. I think it's a good use of a site along the transitway, which is the kind location I have long argued should be used for intensification. What I don't support is that all-too-typical bogus / lame / asinine justifications and rationales trotted out to support it that do nothing other than inflame opposition.

One thing I think they should try to do is make the eastern access via an extension of Scott rather than via Winston Ave.

For its part, the City should also be moving Westboro Station to Churchill Ave (with another station at Island Park and a replacement for Dominion further west) as part of the LRT conversion.


Quote:
Originally Posted by S-Man View Post
Sigh.....Why do they have to insist zoning put in place in the 1970s when the city was half the size is set in stone, the great wisdom from the era of sensible, sustainable planning??
Why do people also insist everyone else drives everywhere? People won't continue to drive three blocks if it's jammed nd there is no parking anywhere. Do they think everyone will be a stubborn as them?
I realize lots of people will still drive, but once it gets to the point where it's not convenient, some will change their way. Usually the ones who bought there figuring it would be busy and a pain in the ass to drive.
The record of people who move into high-priced accommodations in Westboro with respect to subsequent transit use is not that good. Existing residents - the ones you seem to like to complain about by calling them "stubborn" - are far and away more likely to take transit than the high income newcomers who buy into condos and monster-sized semi-detached houses. In Westboro, there's a far higher chance that you take transit if you live in an older detached house bought many years ago than if you live in a new semi-detached infill or condo.

We see that in the Metropole, which is sitting right next to Westboro Station. CMHC did a case study on it a few years ago and the results for transit ridership are frankly pathetic considering where it is. The percentage who took transit was 28% compared to 18.5% in the CMA (2001 numbers, the CMA being Ottawa-Gatineau). While its transit use is nominally higher than the average (which is pushed down by the inclusion of Gatineau), it's actually a lower percentage than the entire suburb of Orleans. It also had lower walking (3% vs 7%) and cycling numbers (0% vs 2%). 59% drove compared to 65% citywide, with 10% in carpools compared to 7.5% citywide. There was even a slightly higher percentage of two-car households than citywide (38% vs 34%).

http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/inpr/s...ad/65516-W.pdf

When a condo is added to Westboro, there's likely a small increase in transit riders from sheer numbers, but the semi-detached infill is, if anything, negative for transit ridership. Where there might once have been a homeowner of modest income in a bungalow or old cottage who used transit to save money, today there may well be two high income households full of car-drivers adding as many as 10 cars (really) to the neighbourhood.
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  #15  
Old Posted Aug 21, 2011, 3:16 AM
Uhuniau Uhuniau is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dado View Post
(3) same again - it's "open space" along a transitway trench. There's open space at the end of Scott in front of the other building that seldom gets used for exactly that reason.
Actually, the reason that open space seldom gets used, is that... people just really don't use "open space" all that much, no matter where it's located.
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  #16  
Old Posted Aug 21, 2011, 3:19 AM
Uhuniau Uhuniau is offline
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Originally Posted by Dado View Post
The record of people who move into high-priced accommodations in Westboro with respect to subsequent transit use is not that good. Existing residents - the ones you seem to like to complain about by calling them "stubborn" - are far and away more likely to take transit than the high income newcomers who buy into condos and monster-sized semi-detached houses. In Westboro, there's a far higher chance that you take transit if you live in an older detached house bought many years ago than if you live in a new semi-detached infill or condo.
Quaere: does that have more to do with the housing type per se, or the relative recency of the residence being established?

That is, which variable is more strongly associated with transit use? Length of time you have been in the neighbourhood (regardless of which kind of housing you occupy), or type of housing you occupy (regardless of how long you've been there)?

I have no idea what the answer is, but it would be interesting to find out.
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  #17  
Old Posted Aug 21, 2011, 6:02 PM
S-Man S-Man is offline
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As usual, OCD Ken Grey now has 'extremification' in more than half of his blog posts headings.
Apparently there's building of more than two storeys being built all over the city, Kanata to Nepean to Westboro, and it just isn't right! But sprawl is bad. Just nothing over two storeys, and nothing new in an existing neighbourhood.
Don't sprawl though, I'm an environmentalist you know....
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  #18  
Old Posted Aug 21, 2011, 7:39 PM
adam-machiavelli adam-machiavelli is offline
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While I hate using words created out of an ignorant understanding of history, for the sake of simplicity, I will make an argument to justify so-called extremification. First, read this article about why Bill Clinton has become a vegan and does not eat any added oils. For years, he had an extremely unhealthy diet of burgers, donuts, and fries that eventually forced him to need heart surgery. To save himself from the any worse problems, Clinton now has an equally extremely healthy diet.

What does this have to do with extremification?

For decades, Ottawa's urban area swallowed up unhealthy amounts of land with highly wasteful and inefficient land use patterns. Now we must build really high density development on the remaining urban land to make up for years of bad development. We could've built a lot of medium density development such as semi-detached housing, row housing, and low-rise apartments that would've nullified the need for building high density development. However that was not what was encouraged by planners, politicians, and developers. Extremification is not ideal. However it's the only way people and families will be able to lead affordable, resilient lifestyles in the 21st Century.
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  #19  
Old Posted Aug 21, 2011, 10:00 PM
S-Man S-Man is offline
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Couldn't agree more, but Ken Grey seems not to be able to get it - he rails on and on about how developers are destroying downtown and suburbs and everything in between, but doesn't ever offer a solution to the problem the high-density housing is trying to address.
That said, the Bill Clinton comparison is remarkably offbeat and welcome.
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  #20  
Old Posted Aug 21, 2011, 10:09 PM
Uhuniau Uhuniau is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adam-machiavelli View Post
Extremification is not ideal. However it's the only way people and families will be able to lead affordable, resilient lifestyles in the 21st Century.
All of which is well and fine... except that the "extremification" that Ken Gray and Friends of Fill In the Blank bitch about isn't all that "extreme".
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