by Zsofia Orosz, DCA Secretary
After the summer break, the Dalhousie Community Association’s directors gathered again for their regular monthly meeting on September 5.
It soon became clear that the summer had been rather busy when it comes to development in our area. Several proposals are going to the Community of Adjustment or asking for rezoning. These include a mixed-use high-rise near the City Centre at 801 Albert, two modern-looking triplexes at 282 Booth, and a 4 storey apartment building at Lebreton and Arlington.
For more details visit the DCA blog at http://www.dalhousiecommunityassociation.blogspot.ca/, or join the DCA Development Committee members when they meet on the third Monday of the month.
The DCA Transportation Committee reported that construction has started on the Multi-User Path (MUP) along the east side of the O Train. After decades of waiting, we will be able to walk or bike in peace from the Ottawa River to Dow’s Lake.
Those keen to give more input on their views of what is appropriate development along the O Train should attend the Carling-Preston design charette at St. Anthony’s Banquet Hall (525 St. Anthony Street) on September 25-26. Come out during the day or in the evening and make your voice heard on a number of topics, including how best to landscape along the new path where, unfortunately, a lot of mature trees have to be cut. The DCA is also a staunch supporter of the expansion of Plouffe Park west up to the O Train.
Traffic calming efforts have not generated much improvement along Booth Street. Neither new signs nor stepped-up enforcement of the speed limits deter drivers from zooming down this residential street, as evidenced by the temporary speedboards set up by the Councillor’s office earlier in the summer. The DCA will start exploring what more could be done, especially south of Gladstone, once Booth Street is not so overcrowded with traffic detouring from Bronson Avenue.
Maybe the benches removed from Bank Street, and now stored at the Bayview yard, could be installed here, as well as along Gladstone. This would not only encourage more pedestrians but introduce new interest into the streetscape, a proven method to slow traffic.
Still related to the Bronson Avenue reconstruction, we heard that the City proposes not to use decorative bollards along this major street after all. Instead, more sturdy, cemented in, but plain black poles are to go in on either side of pedestrian lights for maximum protection.
Why not make these a bit more attractive and more useful by turning them into bike posts, similar to those already dotting Somerset Street?
As one of the last steps in the reconstruction of another main street (Somerset Street, between Preston and Booth Streets), colourful benches and garbage cans are now in place that feature striking Chinese motifs. These are complemented with bas relief granite pavers of stylised zodiac signs.
Councillor Holmes indicated that she is looking into the possibility of painting the bike posts and bollards red, and regrouping the art installations found at the top of the light standards to make them more impactful.
If you are interested in contributing to the brainstorm about Booth Street traffic calming, or any other transportation issue, the DCA Transportation Committee meets on the third Tuesday of every month. Remember, you don’t have to be on the DCA board to be a member of one of its committees. Contact Ericdarwin1@gmail.com for more details.
The DCA Safety Committee reported that drug dealing continues along Bell Street. It has helped that benches are now moved into St Luke’s overnight, but more thought will have to go into what to do with the planters, which still offer safety for loitering.
We were pleased to hear that the City has also stepped up the enforcement of garbage collection standards along Somerset Street—the next meeting about this issue will be on September 17 in the Dalhousie Community Centre.
Sala San Marco was held up as an example of a business that recently significantly improved its garbage storage area.
Next we turned to environmental issues. It is exciting news that Hidden Harvest plans to establish 17 orchards around the city.
We also congratulate the City for including fruit trees in the list of trees it plants, and for turning part of Florence at Bronson into parkland. The sprinkler system is also all ready, waiting for the large planters that will house new trees along the Somerset viaduct over the O Train (not that these can replace the mature trees that had to be cut down in front of 1010 Somerset.)
It is also unfortunate that the City’s Forests and Greenspace Committee has merged into the much broader Environmental Committee.
In the future, the newly set up DCA Heritage Committee will guide our work on all heritage related issues in our neighbourhood, built or living. Why not join this committee’s first meeting at the new Pressed Cafe on Gladstone, on September 11 at 7:00 p.m.?
Our meeting closed by recognising the exceptional contributions of community gardeners to public gardens in the neighbourhood.
Look out for the many new tulip bulbs along Preston and Somerset, funded by the BIAs and planted by DCA members. If you want to join us planting bulbs, please drop us a line!
All are welcome at the next DCA board meeting in the Dalhousie Community Centre on October 3 at 7:00 p.m.