The Wellington Village Community Association

The Wellington Village Community Association (WVCA) is a volunteer, non-profit community group of local residents that represents over 1,500 households in our neighbourhood.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

It's official! A new park for Wellington Village!

After years of pushing for much-needed park space in Wellington Village, it appears our dream is about to become reality! Jeff Leiper announced in his recent Newsletter update (Kitchissippi Weekly Email 318 on August 5th) that the City's acquisition of 115 Spencer Street (at the north-west corner of Huron Avenue North) is complete! 

Here is what Jeff wrote this past weekend:

As I noted in a previous newsletter, I've been hoping to use our ward's cash-in-lieu of parkland fund to acquire the property at 115 Spencer to turn into a park - the area very much needs it. I'm happy to say that I came back from vacation to news that the sale is now firm! It will close sometime in mid-September unless the buyer and seller accelerate that. Our parks folks have already engaged infrastructure services and the first step will be demolition as soon as possible. Over the winter we'll consult on how that park should be built and with some luck we can break ground early next year.

And here is a longer piece he wrote in Kitchissippi Weekly Email 316 on June 26th:

I'm thrilled to say that it looks like we're very close to acquiring the property at 115 Spencer to be re-developed into a park. That acquisition will be finalized when it get a clean environmental bill of health, and after community members researched the parcel's history it seems almost certain that it is uncontaminated. It will take a while to actually become a park, and there will have to be a demolition and then consultations on how residents would like to see it configured. The good news is that our ward has a very healthy cash balance in parkland funds, and this should be a priority for the city.

It is only in the past six months that, in consultation with community members, I've contemplated diverging from the parks plan that we developed together in the last term of Council. However, the message I continue to hear from residents is that park space and space for trees is critically important - and that has only become more resonant and insistent as the implications of the new Official Plan, the Westboro Infill rules, and the new R4 zoning have become clear.

Over the Christmas holidays, we had a unique opportunity to acquire parcels and expand another park. Ultimately, despite extremely hard work by City real estate and parks staff over our holidays, we simply couldn't compete for the parcels on the open market in this instance, and several structural hurdles were identified that I expect will be addressed in the next term of Council when we craft an urban parkland acquisitions strategy. 

When I agreed to pursue that opportunity, I also made a commitment that I would consider diverging from our parks plan if an opportunity came up in the area bounded by Scott/Holland/Wellington/Island Park. That is a very populous area and residents have to cross an arterial in every direction to get to a play structure. 

Residents alerted me to this corner lot, and I hope in a few weeks I'll be able to say the rest is history.

The use of our ward parkland funds will become more constrained in the coming years as a result of provincial changes. Some of the control over those funds (which come from development) that councillors have enjoyed will be reined in through the creation of spending plans more akin to how development charges are calculated and allocated. To date, I've been able to use those funds flexibly to achieve a complete re-development of Laroche Park including marquee field house attracting millions in City money to the effort, build a very well-used new field house at Van Lang, achieve amenity and climate resiliency upgrades at Dovercourt (in addition to helping keep it afloat in the pandemic through restructuring some of their own investments), de-pave Pontiac Street to enable the incredible work Champlain Park volunteers have been doing there, and to do lots of other small one-off projects. That will change. I believe that by pivoting to take advantage of an opportunity to buy land we are dovetailing with changing needs. Property values in our ward are not going down, and it behooves us to be nimble in our approaches.



The house that stands there now was the long-time home of the Connell family from 1950-2003. It was built in the fall-winter of 1943-1944 by local builder Michael W. Cain. Prior to that, the lot sat vacant, and was originally part of the upper north-west corner of the 19th century Hinton farm. The lot was sold in the original 1920 auction for $275, but at the time this area of Wellington Village was still susceptible to heavy flooding, so it was one of the last lots to be built on. Believe it or not, the original lot owner surrendered it to the City at the onset of the depression in 1928 over $17.74 of unpaid taxes!

The lot is exceptionally deep, at 130 feet (most of the lot depths in north WV are 100 feet), and is 33 feet wide.

So Wellington Village residents, it is time to start thinking about what YOU would like to see in the park! Jeff's office will be looking for input on how the space will be used, laid out, purchases to be made, etc. There is no forum yet established for this input, but rest assured we will share this information with you as soon as it becomes available! 

The WVCA will have a role in helping coordinate this feedback, so if you are not yet on our mailing list, please visit www.wvca.ca and add your email via the form on the right-side of our webpage!

This is a huge win for Wellington Village, and a great success to have dedicated park space back in the north half of our neighbourhood since we lost Grange Park back in the mid-1990s!

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Have your say about the future of Tunney’s Pasture

If you have ever walked around Tunney’s Pasture, you have likely found yourself imagining how the 49-hectare federal government campus could be transformed into a dynamic, multi-use space. 

What do you picture when you imagine it as more than a work environment, when you start to envision adding features like housing and recreational spaces, or other possibilities?


Now is the chance to weigh in on the future of Tunney’s Pasture, by providing your feedback to the public consultations hosted by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), and the Canada Lands Company (CLC).


Members of the public are invited to fill out an online survey, open until Sunday, June 19, to provide their thoughts on integrating Tunney’s Pasture with the communities that surround it. 

In addition, PSPC and CLC are in the process of forming a Communities Perspectives Group (CPG) as a forum to bring forward and consider the wide-ranging viewpoints of community members and interest groups as the planning and redevelopment proceed. If you are interested being part of the CPG, please review the terms of reference and selection criteria and submit a completed application form by Sunday, June 19. 

Further to the recently held engagement sessions, the partners are also organizing an online Questions and Answers Coffee House on Monday, June 20, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Participants are asked to register in advance of attending.

Finally, if you happen to be speaking to neighbours, please invite them to join Neighbours for Tunney’s to stay up to date on news and events about Tunney's Pasture. Simply send an email to NeighboursforTunneys@gmail.com. 







Sunday, May 29, 2022

Community Events: Venturing Out and About!

The derecho storm may have derailed our plans to gather outside during Victoria Day Weekend, but fear not — there are plenty of opportunities in the neighbourhood to enjoy the warmer weather amidst good company.


Saturday June 4, and Sunday, June 5 (11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day)

The spring edition of West End Studio Tour is approaching. The tour's participating artists look forward to welcoming you all in their yards and on their porches for this wonderful outdoor event.

 

Saturday, June 4 (8 a.m. onwards)

The plan this year is to make the Kitchissippi Yard Sale a bit of a community party… From 8 a.m. onwards, neighbours can search for treasures or set up tables to sell their wares, kids can run lemonade stands, musicians can play on porches, and more!

Saturday, June 18, (10 a.m. to 10 p.m.)

ArtsPark is back. Stroll down to the Parkdale Market to peruse the works of artists and craftspeople, sample local fare, and enjoy live music. (If you’re lucky, you may even find the perfect piece of art to adorn that bare space on your wall.)


All summer long

Do you have more tomato plants than you have space, or are you seeking a new destination for your walks? Check out the Goldenrod Community Garden, located within walking distance of Wellington Village, at the north end of Tunney’s Pasture.


 Photo caption: The Goldenrod Community Garden: lettuce entertain you.







Thursday, April 21, 2022

Kitchissippi-Wide Community Yard Sale!

Kitchissippi-Wide Community Yard Sale!

Saturday June 4th - 8am onwards (rain date Sunday June 5)


All Kitchissippi community associations & Councillor Jeff Leiper are partnering for a ward-wide yard sale.


Participating neighbourhoods:

Champlain Park - Civic Hospital -Hampton Iona - Hintonburg - Island Park - McKellar Heights - McKellar Park - Mechanicsville - Wellington Village - Westboro (multi-family at Dovercourt) - Westboro Beach


Tips for sellers:

• Promote your sale through social media, put up signs on your street corners, & share the ward-wide Facebook event.

• If Saturday is rainy, you choose whether to go ahead or wait until Sunday.

• Some sellers are planning to donate some/all of their earnings to charities supporting the crisis in Ukraine. Maybe an option to consider.

• Didn't sell all your stuff but want it gone? Consider leaving items out for the afternoon with a free sign or post the items on your local buy nothing group.


Let's make our Kitchissippi yard sale a bit of a community party…

Kids can run lemonade stands, musicians can play on porches, and more!


The sale is dependent on public health guidance applicable to large events at the time.






Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Assessing the impact of new access to Tunney’s Pasture

 The WVCA recently met with representatives from Councillor Jeff Leiper’s office, and the City’s Traffic Assessment Specialist for Kitchissippi Ward to discuss changes to the roadway network environs Tunney’s Pasture. 

As you may be aware, to help with the Stage 2 LRT detour, there are plans to install a new traffic signal at the intersection of Smirle Avenue and Scott Street. Plans also include adding a bridge over the transitway to connect Goldenrod Driveway to this intersection, providing new signalized access between Wellington Village and Tunney’s Pasture.

To determine how this new traffic signal and connection to Tunney’s Pasture may impact the traffic on Smirle Avenue and the surrounding streets, the WVCA requested that a traffic study be conducted. In the past, the WVCA has raised concerns repeatedly regarding the intersection of Ross and Scott, which — along with Holland Avenue — serves as one of the few access points from Tunney’s to Scott Street. A traffic study would also be useful in assessing the existing through traffic issues on all of the streets between Wellington and Scott. 

Unfortunately, the City has informed us that the affected streets do not currently meet the city’s criteria to be approved for a traffic study. As an alternative, they suggested that the neighbourhood could wait to see how the traffic responds to the LRT being up and running, and how the new Goldenrod connection is being used. They also raised the possibility of temporarily closing the street, with planters, as a pilot project. However, the WVCA is concerned that this might cause traffic to use adjacent streets instead, merely shifting the issue rather than addressing it.

Other options include requesting that the signal be programmed to prohibit straight through traffic in the north-south direction, as has been done at other intersections in the City (such as Baseline and Centrepointe Drive, for example). Looking into the future, the WVCA and the City both recognize the potential for new problems arising once the LRT detour is no longer needed, and Tunney’s Pasture is developed.  

The WVCA continues to maintain that a traffic study should be undertaken as part of the planning process for Tunney’s Pasture. Further, we would like to see how Wellington Village, and the other bordering communities are considered as part of this undertaking. Tunney’s Pasture is a Federal Government undertaking and therefore, may require some lobbying with them to achieve this.  If you are interested and available to assist the WVCA with this, please send an email to president@wvca.ca.


Summary:

City to conduct traffic study of Wellington Village – declined

City offered to conduct pilot closure of Smirle Avenue at Scott Street with planter boxes

WVCA request City to consider prohibiting North-South through traffic movements at the Smirle/Scott intersection – pending review

WVCA request to have community traffic impacts studied as part of Tunney’s Pasture redevelopment application – please indicate your availability to assist with this.

Friday, March 18, 2022

Tunney’s Pasture ski trail link

There’s a reason why you’ve been seeing many of our neighbours with blissed-out expressions on their faces as they carry their cross-country ski gear down local sidewalks.

The Kichi Sibi Winter Trail is a groomed, multi-use winter trail along the Sir John A. Macdonald multi-use path. It’s a local gem that promotes active living by providing access to the Ottawa River shoreline for walking, skiing, snowshoeing or winter biking. And now, a recent improvement has made access to it even easier for the residents of Wellington Village. 

This winter, the Trail added a link from Tunney’s Pasture, making ski excursions more accessible than ever. The hope is that this link will become a permanent fixture each winter, because it brings the trailhead into the neighbourhood.

As we wrap up the ski season we wanted to thank everyone involved in making Wellington Village a ski-in/ski-out urban neighbourhood!