Mark Taylor’s January Column

Dear Neighbours,

Happy New Year to all of you! 

As I have done in previous years I kicked off 2014 at the Ron Kolbus Lakeside Centre in Britannia Park. I welcomed participants to the Sears Great Canadian Chill, all in support of “Stopping Kids Cancer Cold”!

As I look to the year ahead and as your City of Ottawa Councillor I am excited about the plans we have for Bay Ward.  

Carling Avenue Economic Development:

As your Councillor I am committed to renewing our neighbourhoods.  In 2014 you will begin to see changes on Carling Avenue between Pinecrest Road and Bayshore Drive.  This area will soon take on a new look as the Carling Avenue Community Improvement Plan (CIP) begins to take shape.  Businesses along this stretch of Carling Avenue will be provided with tax incentives for growing and refurbishing their business.   The goal is to make Carling Avenue a “destination” a place where you want to shop.  The area is diverse and has the potential to offer so much to local residents as well as encourage residents from other areas of our City to visit.  Growing businesses and new business means good local and accessible jobs for residents.  By renewing and rebuilding we will provide opportunities; before too long, Carling Avenue will be the piece that connects families to renewed parks and young people to fulfilling easily accessible local jobs.

Bayshore Park/Outdoor Rink:

January 7th was a great day in Bayshore Park and a great day for Bay Ward.  I will be joined by representatives from the Sens Foundation and Ferguslea Properties.  The Sens Foundation made an announcement about the upgrades which they have planned for the outdoor skating rink.  The City also highlighted some of the other changes which are coming to the park in the coming years, like an upgraded field house. On January 14th we will be holding an Open House at the Bayshore Field House from 7-8:30pm to give residents a chance to provide feedback .

Ron Kolbus Lakeside Centre in Britannia Park:

The Ron Kolbus Lakeside Centre and Britannia Park are jewels not only in Bay Ward but in our City.  Hidden away on the banks of the Ottawa River they offer so much and have the potential to offer so much more to you, Bay Ward residents and our City.  Residents told us they wanted and needed more community and program space.  Last year we asked for your ideas and held consultations with various community and user groups.  There was no shortage of comments or suggestions for the park and the fifty year old building.   In 2014 we will again come back to the community asking for your input and feedback on how best to renew the facility.   I am happy to tell you that in the coming year we will begin to roll out park improvements.  One of the first changes you will notice is improved way finding signage.  This was an area that most users and visitors to the park felt was in need of upgrading.

Traffic Issues:

Traffic concerns, like congestion, speeding and parking are the number one issues across our City.  My team and I continue to work with residents, Community Associations and the City’s Traffic department to ensure our streets and sidewalks are the safest they can be for everyone.  I encourage you to call the City’s 311 service or the Ottawa Police Services non-emergency number at 613-236-1222 ext. 7300 to report your concerns about traffic.  These calls are recorded and help in allocating resources for enforcement.  In the coming year I plan to host traffic related meetings which will allow residents to learn more about how traffic initiatives are handled and how decisions are made which relate to specific neighbourhoods.

Following Along:

In the coming year my team and I will continue to follow along a number of private re-developments.  We will watch closely and continue to inform residents about the work being done at the former Sterling Place residence, we will also monitor the project at the Fairlawn Plaza and also the Former Grant School.  As always I will ensure that residents have the opportunity to make their voices heard through community meetings and open consultations.  I have always believed in bringing all parties together to ensure “good neighbours” and also that the project being considered is a “good fit” for the community and its residents.

This is just a snapshot of what we have planned for 2014 but as always my team and I will continue to work for you and with you, in an effort to make the neighbourhoods of Bay Ward great places to live, work and raise our families.   

Looking ahead, Ottawa’s Winterlude celebration kicks off on Friday January 31st and runs until February 17th.  There are numerous activities planned for everyone.  It is a great opportunity to get out, enjoy winter and all that our beautiful City has to offer.  You can visit the official Winterlude Website for more information, http://ow.ly/s5Gn2 . Don’t forget while you are downtown be sure to visit your City Hall and skate on the Rink of Dreams – a wonderful addition to our City.

If you have an idea, or question regarding our city, please feel free to contact me at our City Hall or Community office.  

Sincerely,

Mark Taylor
Ottawa City Councillor, Bay Ward


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