Welcome to the GCA!
The Greely Community Association (GCA) is a not-for-profit organization created to advance community interests and improve the quality of life for the people of Greely. Our members are local residents and dedicated volunteers who share an interest in their community. The GCA shares information and provides support to the Greely community in several ways:
- o We provide a forum for discussion of issues, build consensus and bring conclusions to the public attention;
- o We cooperate with and support other community organizations in the pursuit of common interests;
- o We keep the community informed about activities and opportunities that may be of benefit or interest to Greely residents;
- o We initiate social, educational, recreational and other new programs as needs present themselves in our community.
LETTER TO THE CITY - GROWTH MANAGEMENT STRATEGY, TEEWIN PROJECT, URBAN BOUNDARY
February 8, 2021
Dear Mayor Watson and City Councillors,
The Community Associations of Greely, Manotick, Metcalfe, Osgoode and Richmond Villages are very concerned about two recent decisions by City Council Committees on amendments to the Draft Growth Management Strategy as part of the new Official Plan.
The two amendments of concern are:
1. Decision to approve prime agricultural land in the Riverside South area for development instead of the land proposed by City Staff
2. Decision to allocate 445 hectares to enable the Tewin development to proceed in the absence of clear consultation on the proposal and clear evidence of the viability of development on these lands.
Prime Agricultural Land Decision
Last May, Council voted in favour of not allowing future development on prime agricultural lands as one of the key criteria for identification of lands to be included in an expanded boundary. This decision was seen as a positive step by rural residents in maintaining a vibrant agricultural economy within the City boundaries.
The decision to approve a parcel of prime agricultural land for development in Riverside South flies in the face of Council’s decision and contravenes the Province of Ontario directive to only approve prime agricultural land for development if there are no other options.
Obviously, in this case, there was another option. The original parcel, recommended by City staff, scored high in a number of factors such as access to infrastructure, location near transit hubs, not designated prime agricultural land and others. Since the amendment was tabled after the public consultation portion of the meeting, residents had no opportunity to comment on the proposed amendment.
We also have grave concerns about the precedent this sets for future discussions of the expansion of urban boundaries. Once Council approves one project to be built on prime agricultural land, it opens the door for other exceptions in the future. This is not a precedent we support.
Tewin Land Project
It is apparent that the proponents for this project have spent many hours in the fall of 2020, lobbying Councillors to approve this development which would add close to 500 hectares to the urban area. Reference to this project has not appeared in any City document so Community Associations and Ottawa residents and community associations were unable to review, let alone provide any comment on the proposal. It is also apparent now that key Indigenous groups were also not consulted.
City Staff gave this land area a very low score based on the criteria set out in the Growth Management Strategy. And while the proponents have made commitments with regard to infrastructure costs and transit access, staff have not had the benefit of reviewing the studies used by the proponents to propose a new community in a rural ward.
In addition to concerns about the ability to develop this land, we are concerned about the impact of increased traffic on surrounding villages. The development of commercial projects on Boundary Road (Amazon, Taggart-Miller Landfill, Rosedale Group Trucking ) has already increased truck traffic through villages surrounding this area. Any additional development in this area would severely compound truck and car traffic congestion.
The recent Ward Boundary review has already substantially increased the size of Osgoode Ward. Once completed, the Tewin Development would more than double the number of suburban residents in a rural ward. This decision would continue to reduce the voice for rural residents at City Hall.
On behalf of the residents in our communities, we strongly urge Council to take the following actions:
1. Reverse the decision to allow for development of prime agricultural land adjacent to Riverside South
2. Refer the Tewin development back to City Staff for additional review before making a decision of allocation of an additional 445 hectares for urban development in this rural area
Doug Thompson, President, Greely Community Association
Grace Thrasher, President, Manotick Village and Community Association
Marc Sauve, President, Metcalfe Community Association
Emily Dozois, President, Osgoode Village Community Association
Ryan Pinet, President, Richmond Village Association
CITY OF OTTAWA WARD BOUNDARY REVIEW
Greely Community Association Input
Greely Village is one of the three (Greely, Manotick and Richmond) largest Rural Villages in the City of Ottawa. Currently, Greely has a population of 7,119 (approximately ¼ of Osgoode Ward’s Population). The Greely Community Association also represents a significant area surrounding the Village Boundary that has an additional 2,000 residents. Greely is a unique Village that encompasses numerous communities of single family homes, a high density multi-residential community, an industrial park, and a number of mineral extraction areas. Our Village is located approximately two kilometres from the southern point of the City of Ottawa’s Urban Boundary.
Ward Boundary Review
Following the 2001 Amalgamation into the City of Ottawa, a Ward Boundary Review took place in 2005 that added two suburban Wards. Currently, the 2020 Ward Boundary has six options for consideration in the second round of consultations due this September.
The City of Ottawa currently has 23 Wards (7 suburban, 12 urban, and 4 rural – Cumberland, Rideau-Goulbourn, Osgoode and West Carleton). Geographically, 80% of the land mass of the City of Ottawa is rural and is home to 20% of Ottawa’s population. Rural residents and rural businesses continue to be very concerned in regard to the lack of City support for rural Ottawa.
The City of Ottawa has had a very exciting history of representation of Elected Officials. Amalgamation in 2000 and the Ward Boundary Review in 2005 have inherently, to a great degree, heavily involved Rural Representation on City Council.
The 2020 Ward Boundary Review is no different. Our focus is on proposals related to Osgoode Ward. To date recommendations have been centred around adding Rural Cumberland Ward to Osgoode Ward. We firmly believe this scenario is short sighted, an abrogation of the fundamental principle outlined in the 2000 amalgamation and the City of Ottawa’s long standing affirmation that Rural Ottawa is an important part of the vibrancy of the City.
Rural representation on Ottawa City Council currently sits at 4 members who represent a geographical area of 80% of the City land mass and approximately 20% of the City population. To some people this is an unfair rep by population scenario.
As Canadians, we have historically dealt with massive geographical size of our Country and the issue of representing not only the population but the huge expanse of Rural areas. It has been the true essence of our history and our current political system.
The current proposal to add approximately 365 sq. kilometres of Cumberland Ward to the existing 465 kilometres of Osgoode Ward is unfortunately a bizarre strategy in that the geographic size would be almost double of the current size of Osgoode Ward. The population of Rural Cumberland would add approximately 12,000 to the current Osgoode Ward population of close to 28,000. Not only would it make the Ward Councillor’s daily workload of working with constituents issues that are inherently different than in Urban and Suburban Wards but would cause a further decimation of City resources allocated to Rural areas. The loss of historic rural geographic communities of interest, the loss of ¼ of Rural Representation on City Council and the loss of respect for the values of the history of Osgoode and Cumberland are simply not acceptable to the residents of these areas.
The Greely Community association strongly urges that the City Council not reduce the Rural Wards from four to three. First Round Ward Consultations strongly recommended adding Rural Cumberland Ward to Osgoode Ward. This action would eliminate ¼ of existing Rural Wards in the City of Ottawa. This recommendation is totally unacceptable for the following reasons:
- Loss of historic rural geographic communities of interest;
- Incapability of political representation of such a huge geographical area;
- Loss of ¼ of rural political representation at City Council; and,
- Loss of respect of the Ward history of Osgoode and Cumberland
There are alternative solutions to the whole question of the Ward Boundary Review Proposal that pertain to Rural Cumberland and Osgoode Ward:
- Re-align the Osgoode Ward Boundary to follow Russell Road to Carlsbad Springs and south on Boundary Road to Mitch Owens;
- Blais Road to be the northern boundary from Bank Street to Hawthorne Road
- Additional funding for Wards whose population has substantially increased. There could be a formula developed to add a percentage of monetary increases to the Office Budget based on the population increase over the past 5 years. Additionally Councillor’s staffing would remedy the disproportionate population figures.
Rural residents appreciate the need for Ward Boundary changes. Just as suburban and urban Wards are concerned about population size, rural Wards are concerned about the geographic size of any realignment.
The Greely Community Association supports minor changes in the boundaries of Osgoode Ward.
Greely Community Association
The Greely Community Association (GCA) Board of Directors is dedicated to supporting and working with the residents of the Village of Greely and our surrounding areas. There are over 7000 residents along with approximately 250 local businesses in the GCA area.
The GCA is concerned about local residents who may be unable to care for themselves out of fear or other limitations. We are coordinating information on the GCA Facebook page that will assist residents in our area and across the Osgoode Ward.
We have been receiving numerous offers to assist the GCA and our residents. Our goal is to coordinate with other Community Associations in our Ward to support those in need.
President, Greely Community Association.
Please practice social/physical distancing and stay safe Greely residents!
"Rural Ottawa Residents! We have partnered with South Nation Conservation to provide some free trees to area residents this fall!
Though SNC is accepting online order requests for free trees this spring in other regions, please note that trees secured for Ottawa residents won’t be ready until the Fall.
Check back with SNC or us later in the year for details on how we’ll provide free trees, we’ll post all of the details on social media. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding during this time. For more info on SNC’s Tree Planting Program and to secure tree orders for Spring 2021, click here:
GCA Greely Winter Carnival
Thank you to our volunteers and sponsors who made the 49th Greely Winter Carnival a great success! We look forward to planning the 50th Greely Winter Carnival next year.
City Draft Official Plan and Master Transportation Plan:
Planning documents may be found at:
CANADA DAY SPONSORS
Greely Sand & Gravel
Rideau Carleton Raceway
Sunset Lakes Development Corporation
I truly appreciate the support tonight as I was elected as President of the GCA … Doug Thompson