Free Bike Repair Clinic, Thursday June 24, 5pm to 7pm
Learn how to make simple repairs to your bike at a special bike repair clinic.
Van Lang Field House
29 Van Lang Private
Thursday June 24
5:00 to 7:00pm
Learn how to make simple repairs to your bike at a special bike repair clinic.
Van Lang Field House
29 Van Lang Private
Thursday June 24
5:00 to 7:00pm
A few years the Westboro Beach Community Association successfully reached out to the NCC to create a pollinator garden on Selby Plain at the end of Atlantis Ave. Last summer butterflies, bees, insects, and birds were seen happily visiting our garden.
A pollinator garden is not your typical garden. It’s a delicate ecosystem which provides a home for many insect species such as bumble bees, ants and lady bugs as well as a feeding area for butterflies and birds. The garden is filled with native flowering plants, ones that naturally grow in our environment as well as piles of wood, logs, branches and leaves. It may look wild but the garden provides an area for bumblebee queens and other insect larvae to spend the winter. Birds use these sites too for forage for food and utilize brush piles for shelter from predators and the cold (National Audubon Society).
Volunteers have worked hard to remove weeds and invasive species like Buckthorn and have encouraged native species such as thistle, asters, mullein to grow. We added a generous donation of native species plants from Fletcher Wildlife Garden in 2020 and in May, 50 milkweed seedlings grown through the spring by a neighbour were planted. The Champlain Park Pollinator Garden Committee donated 29 different types of sprouts which are being tended by a neighbour over the summer and will be planted in the Autumn. A large water barrel has been donated so that we can easily water the garden in the summer.
We welcome you to visit the garden. Our volunteers have built a path through the garden so all can wander through and view the plants. A local artist is painting a beautiful sign for the garden and it will be going up soon.
We hope that our Pollinator Garden will encourage you to think about planting a haven for insects and birds on your own property.
Meet our artists: Naylissah Aristide (left) and Kiara Whiteney (right)
The Westboro Beach Community Association’s (WCBA) proposed Let’s Add Art Mural 2021 project is a unique collaborative opportunity to add art to the local community in a well-traveled public location and to engage youth . This artworks project highlights a community that is committed, raises community awareness and it is meant to show that this place is a place for positive interaction and a place to gather and feel safe.
The intended mural will cover the wall that is located on the eastern wall of the OCH residential building at 30 Van Lang Private (please see the photo below). The mural location is highly visible for all users from the shared pathway that links Lanark Avenue and the OCH Van Lang Community to Westboro Station.
We are still a little short of money to make this wall art a reality. We need another $1000. This money will go towards paying these talented, young artists, the costs to prep the site and art supplies to create and maintain the mural.
Please send what you can to make beautify our community and support these artists!
Send your donations by e-transfer to:
Westboro Beach Community Association is applying to the Youth Engagement Paint It Up Mural Fund 2021.
Site Location of the proposed Mural is on the east side of 30 Van Lang Private, Ottawa.The concrete wall faces the bike /walking pathway to the Westboro Station.
Our Community needs your help:
1) What would you like to see? Send us your ideas and draft sketches!
2) Are you 15 years old or older? We could use you help in preparing the site, working with the artist and doing some painting.
Send your ideas and name if you are interested in helping out!
For those of you who may have missed this hugely popular Zoom event in February, no worries! We did record it and it is on YouTube. Click on the link below for facinitating insights and stories:
March 2, 2021
Please click here to view the full draft of City of Ottawa New Official Plan
WBCA General Comments:
Key here is to involve citizens in the transformation of their neighbourhoods. It should be done by citizens who live, work, play, walk within the 15-minute neighbourhood. Allowing zoning, or more density in and of itself, or done by planning staff will result in a cookie-cutter 15-minute neighbourhoods, it will not meet the changes and adaptations needed for every community to become a 15-minute neighbourhood.
Also, could we acknowledge in the OP that neighbourhoods that have undergone intense regeneration, that no more regeneration will occur until community infrastructure and publicly accessible places have been identified and improved to accommodate the increase in population density?
Notwithstanding the above, we would like to add the following specific comments to the draft Plan for your consideration:
p. 2, Table of Contents
p 19, Section 2.2.1 Regeneration, Policy (3)
p. 22, Section 2.2.2 Economic Development, Policy (1) Enhance Ottawa’s high quality of life to attract a skilled workforce and businesses
pp. 23-24, Section 2.2.2 Economic Development, Policy (6) Support growth of important economic generators through Special District Policies.
p. 28, Section 2.2.3 Energy and Climate Change, Policy (6) Build resilience to future flood risks: Avoiding building in flood plains and mitigating risks in areas vulnerable to flooding under future climate conditions.
(Comment: The impacts of intensification are dramatic in the Selby Plains area in Westboro Beach, resulting in events such as flooding of residences that for decades never flooded before. Increased density has impacted residents negatively.)
p. 29, Section 2.2.3 Energy and Climate Change, Policy (8) Enable local food production
p. 30, Section 2.2.4 Healthy and Inclusive Communities, “What we want to achieve” box
p. 31, Section 2.2.4 Healthy and Inclusive Communities, Policy (1), 3rd bullet
(We would like to suggest that “roll” be included in all instances where “walk, cycle, or take transit” is mentioned. Roll is on the increase and this preferred mode of getting around should be acknowledge and safety of the users and non-users and conflicts should be considered.)
p. 33, Section 2.2.4, Policy (3) Promote health through sustainability
p. 36, Section 2.2.5 Gender Equity, Policy (1) Meet the housing needs of women
p. 36, Section 2.2.5, Policy (2) Improve mobility options for women
p. 37, Section 2.2.5, Policy (3) Improve access to amenities, 2nd bullet from top
p. 37, Section 2.2.5, Policy (3), 5th bullet from top
p. 37, Section 2.2.5, Policy (3), add an additional bullet under 7th bullet from top
p. 39, Section 2.2.6 Culture, Policy (3) Promote the arts as an important element of placemaking
(explanation: there are spaces in the public realm for cultural expression but to rent space to stage a play or to rent space for a music gig, the cost of rental is prohibitive for many artists whose income level are barely liveable)
p. 40, Section 2.2.6 Culture, Policy (4) Strengthen the economic impact of the creative and cultural industries
(explanation: same reasoning as for Policy Intent (3) above. You give space, but rental policy (rental cost and provision of liability insurance) is a huge barrier for many of our local performers)
p. 46, Section 3.2 Support Regeneration: “The target amount of dwelling growth to occur through regeneration is 51 per cent… “
p. 48, Section 3.2, Policy (4)
p. 49, Section 3.2 Support Regeneration, Policy (8)
(Explanation: Other alternative fuel sources for vehicles could include hydrogen in the future when the extraction of hydrogen particles can be made less vigorous, and who knows other forms may be discovered. Don’t limit ourselves only to electricity.)
p. 49, Policy (10) The residential growth allocation by dwelling sizes and designation as shown on Schedules B1 through B7 in 15-minute neighbourhoods are established in Table 2.
p. 50, Table 3 – Minimum Residential Density and Large Dwelling Requirements
p. 50, Policy (15)
p. 51, Policy (18)
p. 51, Section 3.3 Design new communities to be 15-minute neighbourhoods
p. 56, Section 3.5 Meet Employment Needs, Policy (12), i. i
p. 58, Section 4 City Wide Policies
p. 66, Section 4.1.4 Support the shift towards sustainable modes of transportation
p. 83, Section 4.4.1 Identify park priorities within Ottawa’s growth areas, Policy (10)
(Explanation: An example are the Stromatolites. They are found along the Ottawa River downstream from Westboro Beach, but some are found inland and they can also be seen along the tunnel wall of natural stone east of Dominion Station. New York has built a park featuring Stromatolites, with only half the amount that we have here.
There is evidence of First Inhabitants settlements, as well as activities and remains from the Lumber years, that archaeological digs are justified and relics and remains found be preserved and exhibited. Lumber and sawmills have a prominent role in the history of Ottawa.)
p. 93, Table 5 – Design Priority Areas
Policy (4), The City will establish criteria for the review of projects by the UDRP, which may include different thresholds for review based on the Design Priority Area’s tier of priority outlined in Table 5 taking into account the hierarchy in Table 4, and the area’s economic role within the region.
p. 96 – Definition of Living Streets
Refers to the seasonal, or temporary reallocation of space within our streets from primarily serving vehicles, to providing a range of amenities that serve people in a manner that supports placemaking and healthy 15-minute neighbourhoods while informing permanent street design.
p. 96, Section 4.6.3, between Policy 8 and 9
p. 97, Section 4.6.4, Policy (1), between #f and #g
p. 97, Policy (4)
(Explanation: Buffering the outdoor children’s play area fronting the street with a building is NOT preferred because it reduces visibility. Play areas should be made as visible as possible. More eyes on the children will increase safety.)
p. 98, Section 4.6.5, Policy (1) b
p. 103, Section 4.6.6, Policy (11) c
p. 105, Section 4.7.1, Policy (1)
p. 112, Section 4.8.1 … Natural Heritage System
3) The City recognizes the following natural heritage features, as defined in Ottawa’s Environmental Impact Study Guidelines:
a) Significant wetlands;
b) Habitat for endangered and threatened species;
c) Significant woodlands;
d) Significant valley lands
e) Significant wildlife habitat;
f) Areas of Natural and Scientific Interest;
g) Urban Natural Features;
h) Natural Environment Areas;
i) Natural linkage features and corridors;
j) Groundwater features;
k) Surface water features, including fish habitat;
l) Landform features; and
m) Natural features or natural areas having significant cultural, economic, or historical value to the Algonquin Anishinabe Host Nation, as may be identified in mapping through dialogue and collaboration between the Host Nation and the City.
6) Development or site alteration shall take a no net loss approach with respect to wetlands and forest cover in the rural area. Mechanisms for achieving no net loss include land use planning, development processes, acquisition and conservation of land, and support for voluntary, private land conservation and stewardship.
7) The City shall identify municipal nature reserves in the Tree Protection by-law as those lands that require special restrictions on access and use to protect their natural values or ecosystems services.
p. 113, Section 4.8.2 Provide residents with equitable access to an urban forest canopy
2) The City shall pursue an urban forest canopy cover target of 40%.
6) When considering impacts on the urban forest and trees, approvals and Tree Permits shall not be denied for development that conforms to Zoning By-law. Council or the Committee of Adjustment may object to an amendment to the Zoning By-law which does not otherwise conform to the Official Plan, or a variance to either By-law, as the case may be, if the proposed development impacts the retention of tree(s) that are protected by the City’s Tree Protection By-law, or if it fails to consider the planting of new tree(s). Approvals granted by Council or Committee of Adjustment may include conditions to support tree protection, removal, and replanting. The City and the Committee of Adjustment may object to an application where it deems the loss of a tree(s) avoidable. This policy shall also apply to a Community Planning Permit approved through delegated authority or Council.
p. 114, Section 4.8.2, Policy 6
p. 116, Section 4.9.3, to add after Policy 2
p. 116, Policy 4) Where development or site alteration is proposed in adjacent to headwater drainage features, the proposal and supporting studies must address the following:
a) Evaluation and description of the project site, sensitivity of the headwater drainage features and sampling methods;
b) Assessment and classification of hydrological function, riparian conditions, fish and fish habitat and terrestrial habitat; and
c) Management recommendations regarding the need to protect, conserve, mitigate, maintain recharge or maintain/replicate terrestrial linkages of the headwater drainage features.
5) No site alteration or development is permitted within the minimum setback, except as otherwise provided for in this section. Exceptions to this policy are: …
p. 121-2, Section 4.10.2, Policy 2) Schools should generally co-locate compatible land-uses on-site for a more efficient use of land and promotion of healthy, walkable 15-minute neighbourhoods. The Zoning By-law shall allow school sites to have dual zoning for a variety of complementary land-uses, including: residential; licensed child care facilities; parks; small scale commercial and other community serving uses.
p. 127, Table 7 – Minimum and Maximum Height Overview Based on Official Plan Policy
p. 130-1, Section 5.1.3 Locate the tallest buildings and greatest densities in the Downtown Core
p. 141, Section 5.3.3, Policy (2) Parking in Outer Urban Hubs shall be managed as follows:
a) Minimum parking requirements may be reduced or eliminated; and …
p. 148, Section 5.5 Greenbelt and Rural Transect Areas
p. 152, Section 184.108.40.206
It is the ability to request amendments that leads to uncertainty and pits residents against residents against developers. With NO amendments permitted both developers and residents know what can be allowed and expected.
p. 153, Section 220.127.116.11
p. 158, Section 18.104.22.168 Protect the Natural Heritage System and Natural Heritage Features
p. 159, Policy 5.6.4 Future Neighbourhood Overlay
p. 163, Section 6.1.1, Policy (3) Development within hubs
p. 166 – Table 9
p. 170, Section 6.3.1
p. 171, Section 6.3.1, Policy (6)
p. 172, Section 6.3.2, Policy (4)
p. 173, Section 6.3.3, Policy (2) f
p. 174, Section 6.4
p. 180, Section 6.6 Special Districts
p. 195, Section 7.1
p. 198, Policy (4) The Conservation Area designation identifies provincial parks, Conservation Authority properties, and other lands which are identified or protected through separate legislation, regulation, or convention for conservation, sport, recreation, leisure and cultural facilities, but does not include the National Capital Greenbelt. Examples include Fitzroy Provincial Park, the Baxter Conservation Area, and the Beckett Creek Migratory Bird Sanctuary.
p. 201, Section 8.4, Policy (4) d
p. 215-6, Section 10.1.1 Natural Hazards: Flooding Hazards and Erosion Hazards
p. 216, Section 10.1.1, Policy (6)
p. 217, Section 10.1.2 Two-Zone Flood Plain Areas and Areas of Reduced Flood Risk
p. 218, Section 10.1.3 Areas Vulnerable to Flooding Under Climate Change
p. 226, Section 10.3 Build resiliency to the impacts of extreme heat
p. 230, Section 11.1, Policy (2) a
p. 231-2, Section 11.2 Create the framework to for a Community Planning Permit System
p. 234, Section 11.4, Policy (1) a
WESTBORO BEACH: A STORY OF RECREATION AND NATURE WORKING TOGETHER
Westboro Beach has been a gathering place for people along the river for thousands of years during which time it has undergone many changes. Once it was a stopping place for Algonquin Anishinabe as they rested on their trading route. Later, loggers managed the flow of large logs to the mills downriver. Ahead of them lay Remic Rapids and the Chaudière Falls so the natural beach was a place to prepare for what lay ahead. Then it became a place to enjoy summer. By the mid 20th century, we had learned that recreational enjoyment can be enhanced with improved water quality and a more bio diversified shoreline. These became community driven goals and the Westboro Beach community became actively involved in influencing a better future for our section of one of Canada’s most historically important rivers.
Work began in earnest in the late 1970s when a Westboro community study identified the need for a closer connection with the river. One of the first actions was to connect the community to the river by replacing the city operated Westboro Community Centre with the community operated Dovercourt Recreation Centre and hiring as director, John Rapp, who had good community development skills and an aquatic background. In addition, the community newspaper, a skills exchange program and a community animator funded by the City helped raise interest in new community recreational opportunities focusing on Westboro Beach.
Algonquin College’s Recreation Facility Management and Community Development programs provided resource support to the Dovercourt Recreation Centre especially in the redesign and construction of the beach pavilion and the introduction of new aquatic beach activities. Summer beach programs were expanded by using various federal and provincial summer student grant programs to hire students as play and program leaders. For two winters (1981-83), Court Ordered Community Service participants operated the pumps to flood the hockey rink and skating labyrinth right on the frozen river. In the 1980s, local businesses began donating their products and services to develop the kitchen and cafe, and to provide canoes and kayaks. They also sponsored and supported shoreline cleanups on both sides of the river from Britannia to the Chaudière Bridge. Overall, this was a successful demonstration of co-operation among government agencies, interested organizations and the community. Local volunteers worked hard in their efforts to advocate for the restoration of the beach and to prepare it for future generations. They became skilled at writing grant applications for funding of much needed work.
While there was and still is lots of discussion on what should or shouldn’t happen at the beach, there has always been agreement on the importance of reducing vandalism and improving river water quality. In the 1970s it was not unusual for high E.coli counts to shut down swimming for over 20 days each summer. Westboro Beach community members came together as Friends of the Beach and began pushing for a solution to reduce the number of posted closed days. It was obvious that daily monitoring of the water would eliminate the problem of shutting down weekend swimming. It involved a great deal of effort to get the City staff to get on board, but it finally worked. Since that time, all City beaches are monitored daily. Awareness of water quality is now top of mind. The number of posted days has been reduced to about 10 to 12 days per summer.
In 2002, Ottawa Riverkeeper was formed and led the way to developing the Ottawa River Action Plan. This has played a prominent role in improving water quality along the river and built on the foundational work done by the community association and its volunteers.
One of the very hands-on things that members of the Westboro Beach Community Association did was contribute to the City’s Pinecrest Creek/Westboro Retrofit Study that tried to reduce and improve the quality of runoff flowing from the 6 stormwater outfalls up-river from the beach. This involved having community association volunteers twice daily entering the major sewer outlets and taking water readings. It was a memorable experience.
These volunteers were known as Beach Friends. Later, the group evolved into Riverwatchers for Ottawa Riverkeeper by helping to monitor river water and organizing and participating in shoreline cleanups. Currently some Beach Friends are involved with broader water issues like opposing the shoreline nuclear dump being proposed for Chalk River. Beach Friends are well represented in the Westboro Beach Community Association and play a major role in shaping its agenda and long term plans.
Who could have imagined 50 years ago the important advocacy role the Westboro Beach community would play for the enhancement and protection of water and shoreline along the Ottawa River?
1966 – 1978
The river still showing its economic scars of the past: beach logs, boom cradles and sheds.
Changes started to come with the building of the new pavilions and the closing down of the log drives.
A made over pavilion with kitchen replacing lifeguards’ room, a paved patio with a foundation, a hillside with roses and flowers. Westboro Beach was also the first beach in the area with a paved pathway to the water’s edge for wheelchairs. Funding for many of these projects was awarded to some of the many grant applications submitted to the City, and the NCC.
Winter at the Beach
In the winters of 1981-83 a heated trailer was placed on the beach to support greater use of the beach as a year round facility. A cross-country trail was set up from Westboro Beach to Britannia using the river embankment to add slopes for greater enjoyment and interest. On the river, a pump was used to flood a hockey and broomball rink as well as for a skating labyrinth. A shortage of volunteers and safety concerns led to this initiative fading away. In the 21st century, it has been replaced by the SJAM Trail which allows thousands to enjoy the river side. Thanks to Groomer Dave Adams and team for all their hard work.
The Millennium Restart
WBCA pitched in to make the Beach more welcoming. One project was planting local bushes and wild roses on the hill side just east of the pavilions.
A paddling oasis with no motorboats as above Deschenes and below the Chaudiere. For two summers there was a children’s boat camp (sailing, canoeing, kayaking the Remic Rapids and rowing).
Thank you from the Westboro Beach Community Association
While many members of the Westboro Beach Community Association and of the Westboro Beach neighbourhood have contributed financially, and through their time and hard work to bringing back the beach to being a very important resource, no one has done more for this project than John Almstedt and Don Paskovich. Their work covers decades and includes both large and small tasks done with commitment and conviction. Without them, Westboro Beach might have suffered the fate of the two neighbouring beaches at Woodroffe and Remic Rapids and simply disappeared. Instead, all of us now enjoy a jewel. They are both neighbourhood heroes.
February is our fundraising month! Make you donation via e-transfer:
By Bonnie Campbell
Westboro Beach Community – you deserve a big thank you for reaching out to your most vulnerable neighbours through shared meals. On an almost monthly basis over the past five years, we held a community kitchen and shared a community meal with everyone welcome to join in.
When the pandemic hit in 2020 and gatherings were no longer permitted, we did not feel comfortable abandoning the 100 or so people who attended every month. We called participants to find out how they were doing. Many live with serious health challenges and several are food insecure. The combination of the two is very tough on overall health especially during a time when anxiety about COVID-19 19 is high. We realized that we needed to respond. In late July, 2020 we started to cook about 90 meals every two weeks that could be delivered to participants while respecting all distancing protocols. A prepared meal is a welcome treat to those trying to juggle front line work with homeschooling in small apartments.
We also deliver to the Richmond Plaza Motel on Tweedsmuir Avenue which is a homeless shelter with no cooking facilities. At Christmas, we cooked a traditional turkey meal for all participants and the Carlington Community Health Centre delivered a second one cooked by the Food for Thought Net Café. Our bakers spent two days making cookies to accompany small gifts that were delivered just before Christmas. Thanks to the generosity of the Westboro Neighbours group, we were able to deliver gift cards, presents and Christmas cards to everyone on our list.
We live in a visibly affluent neighbourhood. Often hidden are those people who are struggling to get by. We hope that this effort by our cooks at the Field House on Van Lang Private will send a message during these difficult times that we are in this together as we face the pandemic. We could not do it without Zaineb, our community developer from the Carlington Community Health Centre and our two trusty wagons that have hauled so many meals in the last few months since the pandemic shutdown started in March, 2020 and which will continue to until the end of February.
Make a difference in your community – send in your donation to the Westboro Beach Community Kitchen or Westboro Beach Community Association.
Send your donation via e-transfer to:
For the past 10 months, the world has been redefining our new “normal”.
We are unable to gather with friends and family to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries or any other event; we cannot hug those close to us who are in need.
With the recent edict to “stay at home”, it would be easy to focus on the negative and all the things I cannot do right now.
Instead of focusing on what is temporarily out of reach – because I KNOW better times are coming – I like to acknowledge all I that do have… I have a roof over my head, clothes on my back, friends I can call. I also notice that random acts of kindness are all around me, if I take the time to look. And yes, my local grocery stores and drug stores are still stocking toilet paper. Good times….
The WBCA continues to look after me, trying to make the best of a challenging situation. They are hosting safe outdoor and virtual events, representing my community at council meetings (remotely of course), writing letters to help preserve the beauty of my community and the place I call home. I begin my days walking to the beach … Right there, how many people can say that they can walk to the beach in the morning before going to work? I love this area and am grateful for all the work that the WBCA is doing to protect it.
Show your gratitude for the WBCA by donating what you can support community events and projects!
Send you donation via e-transfer to:
Are you new to Westboro Beach? See what a new resident has to say!
When we first moved to Ottawa, we rented a house in Westboro Beach. We wanted time to investigate various areas of Ottawa before we committed to buying a house. Not being from around here we were not certain into which neighbourhood our family of 5 should settle. After a very, very, very short time we knew it had to be Westboro Beach as we pretty quickly realized all the great things it has to offer. We loved its proximity to the river and were thrilled that we could walk to nearby shops and restaurants in just a few minutes. Prior to moving to Ottawa, we had lived in a town where you had to drive to just about every location, so now being able to walk or take transpo to anywhere within Ottawa was awesome. We ended up buying a home here and our enjoyment of Westboro Beach and all the things it has to offer has not diminished. In addition to finding a great location to settle, we have fantastic neighbours and have a real sense of community here. That community feel is in large part to the efforts of the WBCA, even during these difficult times.
Due to COVID disruptions this year, the WBCA has not been able to hold our usual fundraising events. Please donate what you can so that we can continue to provide inclusive and free programming to all community members.
Donate via bank e-transfer. Send your donation to: