Centretown Design Plan

Centretown Design Plan

On 8 May 2013, the City of Ottawa approved a community design plan (CDP) for Centretown. This plan, which had been under development since 2009, originally covered only the mid-Centretown area (Kent to Elgin, Gloucester to Catherine), but the scope was increased during the process to encompass the entire community.

A CDP outlines the guidelines and principles upon which change in the target community should be based, but it is not binding. The Centretown CDP makes recommendations in a number of areas, including building height and massing, greenspace, transportation, heritage and mixed-use development (e.g. integrating commercial and residential development).

The CCCA was involved in the drafting process from the beginning, submitting comments and providing feedback on the plan on numerous occasions (see below for relevant documents). To better inform Centretowners of the process and plan and to seek their input, the CCCA also held two public meetings during the development process: one on 30 May 2012 and the other on 23 April 2013. Both meetings were very well attended and saw excellent participation from the audience.

The process was a long and arduous one. Competing visions for what Centretown should be, not only within the CCCA but from developers and the City, meant that there were difficult decisions to make and obstacles to overcome. While the CCCA is pleased that a CDP is now in place, we feel there are a few integral elements that could be improved. These were outlined in a motion passed during a meeting of the CCCA Board, which was held specifically to discuss the CDP file, as well as in a motion that the CCCA sent to all members of City Council for them to consider when voting on the CDP. Both of these documents can be found below.

As a result of the desire to see further changes made, the Board decided to appeal the approval of the CDP to the Ontario Municipal Board. This appeal specifically cites three key items:

  1. the residential mixed-use designation in mid-Centretown;
  2. the Tall Landmark Building Policy; and
  3. Secondary Mainstreet designation for Somerset street between O’Connor and Elgin.

We are currently forming a team that will lead this appeal. If you are interested in helping, please let us know by emailing ccca [AT] centretowncitizens [DOT] ca. We will need plenty of expertise and financial resources in order to successfully handle this appeal; your donations of time or money would be greatly appreciated!

Note that you can find the CDP and the accompanying Official Plan amendment on the City of Ottawa’s website.

CDP Documentation

Centretown Citizens Community Design Plan