2014 Ottawa soils mapping update

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This month, the City of Ottawa is beginning an update of its soils mapping in rural Ottawa to improve the information it uses to protect agricultural land and to guide future land use planning.

Soil experts will work with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food as well as the Ministry of Rural Affairs in Guelph. They will ask land owners for permission to sample and map soils conditions in two to three test areas. Landowners within the test areas will be contacted by City of Ottawa Rural Affairs staff in May about the survey staff acessing their lands to conduct the survey.

The results of this work will lead to the development of a more comprehensive survey in 2015 to cover the remainder of the City.

This update is being undertaken in conjunction with provincial staff. The Province uses soil capability mapping to determine and protect the most productive lands for farming. Farmers use this mapping for a variety of purposes, including managing use and distribution of fertilizer to make their farm operations more efficient.

The results of the surveys undertaken in 2014-2015 will be added to the City's existing and highly accurate topographic information to produce some fo the most up-to-date and accurate soil capability mapping available in Ontario and the review of the City's policies for the protection of Agricultural areas.

Questions about soils mapping?

Bruce Finlay, Planner

Planning and Growth Management

613-580-2424, ext. 21850

bruce.finlay@ottawa.ca

The signs that spring IS coming (believe it or not)

Despite the snow this past weekend and the cold last week, there are ongoing signs that spring is, indeed, on the way.

Sledding hills were officially closed March 20th

The City of Ottawa has closed its 56 approved sledding hills for the season due to milder temperatures, which have resulted in unsafe conditions for sledding. The public is urged to keep personal safety in mind and remain off the sledding hills.

Notification of the re-opening of the hills in the winter of 2014-15 will be available on the City’s website at ottawa.ca.

Even with the fresh pile of snow that we received on the weekend, it's best to forego the sledding hills and look to other fun outdoor activities.

Seasonal load restrictions are now in effect

Last Monday (March 24), seasonal load restrictions began. Commercial vehicles or trailers with a gross vehicle weight in excess of five tonnes or 11,000 lbs. per axle are prohibited on roads where restriction signage is posted, and on all truck routes identified as restricted on the Truck Route Maps (Urban Truck Routes and Rural Truck Routes).

These restrictions also apply to all non-truck routes. Heavy vehicles that exceed weight limits on restricted load roadways during the spring thaw period will be subject to fines.

During the spring thaw period, some roads cannot withstand heavy vehicle loads. Every year, the City monitors thaw progression by utilizing the forecast temperature data to calculate the Thaw Index. When the Thaw Index reaches its threshold value, the load restrictions are imposed. Once the pavement strength has been restored, the load restrictions are removed.

For further information, please visit ottawa.ca.

Ice breaking, blasting and thawing

It's always important this time of year to be cautious of ice on local bodies of water. It may look solid, but that can be deceiving. Avoid going out on the ice to be on the safe side.

And since we're on the subject of ice, the City of Ottawa has been doing flood prevention on the Rideau River for over 100 years. The workers get to use some pretty fun looking equipment to prevent ice damming that can create local flooding. Watch this video to see how they blast the ice to prevent flooding of the river each year!

Now let's hope the weather starts to warm up!

Ontario Sport and Recreation Communities Fund - Deadline, February 20

The Ontario Sport and Recreation Communities Fund (OSRCF) is a grant program that supports a vision of getting and keeping Ontarians active in community sport, recreation and physical activity. The fund:

  • increases opportunities for participation in sport and recreation by developing new programs or increasing access to existing programs to encourage individuals to become more active and keep those who are, engaged throughout their lives
  • supports implementation of physical literacy as a foundation for lifelong physical activity among individuals enabling them to make healthier activity choices
  • strengthens the community sport and recreation sector by providing training in areas such as coaching, youth development, and volunteer development to provide enhanced service and quality programming.

Through the support of projects that deliver high-quality programs and policies, the OSRCF provides Ontarians with more opportunities to become physically active, including groups who experience barriers to participating and those who are traditionally less active.

The program supports projects of one or two years in length, at both the Local/Regional and Provincial levels. Deadline for local / regional projects is Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 5:00 pm EST. For more information, visit www.grants.gov.on.ca.

Upcoming workshops and events for rural communities

The following events and awards are potentially of interest for residents and farmers in rural communities.

Grow Your Farm Profit Workshops

Grow Your Farm Profit (GYFP) workshops are now being offered across eastern Ontario. Farmers are invited to participate and learn more about Growing Forward 2 opportunities that will soon be available.

GYFP Workshop - Navan:

Day 1 – February 4, 2014

Day 2 – February 11, 2014

GYFP Workshop – North Gower:

Day 1 – March 20, 2014

Day 2 – March 27, 2014

Several other locations in eastern Ontario area are available. For more information and to register for workshops visit www.ontariosoilcrop.org.

Environmental Farm Plan Workshops

Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) workshops are now being offered across eastern Ontario. Farmers are invited to participate to update their EFP and learn more about Growing Forward 2 opportunities that will soon be available.

EFP Workshop – Metcalfe:

Day 1 – February 27, 2014

Day 2 – March 6, 2014

For more information and to register for free workshops, including other available dates and locations in the Ottawa area, visit www.ontariosoilcrop.org.

Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence

Applications for the 2014 Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence program are being accepted from January 10 to February 28, 2014. The program recognizes innovators who contribute to the success of Ontario's agri-food sector.

Eligible applicants could receive one of

  • a Premier's Award ($75,000)
  • a Minister's Award ($50,000)
  • three Leaders in Innovation Awards ($25,000 each)
  • 45 provincial awards ($5,000 each)

Program applications will be reviewed by two independent panels made up of representatives from across Ontario's agri-food industry. For more information, visit http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/premier_award/.

Winter Woodlot Conference

Registration is now open for the 27th annual Kemptville Winter Woodlot Conference to be held on Wednesday, February 19 at the W.B. George Centre on the Kemptville Campus of the University of Guelph. This annual educational and networking event is a must-attend for private woodlot owners, and associated commercial, service, government, and non-government organizations. Information: www.eomf.on.ca.

Dairy Farm Sustainability Award - call for nominations

Dairy Farmers of Canada is seeking nominations for its annual Dairy Farm Sustainability Award. The dairy farm sustainability award recognizes Canadian dairy farmers that have adopted on-farm management practices that extend beyond standard industry practice and meet the objectives defined in Dairy Farmers of Canada’s sustainability strategy to:

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions from dairy farms,
  • Promote the efficient and sustainable management of natural resources, and
  • Benchmark the socio-economic performance of Canadian dairy farms

Nomination deadline is March 31, 2014.  For more information, please visit www.dairyfarmers.ca.

Ontario Renovates Program Overview

The Ontario Renovates Program administered by the City of Ottawa’s Housing Services Branch, provides limited funding to low income seniors who own their home and to persons with disabilities for necessary home repairs and accessibility modifications to support independent living. The program is also available to qualifying landlords to modify their existing units or buildings to make them more accessible to eligible seniors and persons with disabilities.

Eligibility of Applicants

Homeowners who are 65 years of age or older, persons with disabilities and/or families with a household member(s) that have a disability, may qualify for assistance, if the property is eligible and if the total gross annual income of the household meets the income requirements. See the website for income tables.

Eligibility of Property

Your property may be eligible for the program if it is:

  1. Located in the City of Ottawa
  2. Valued under $353,746 as determined by the Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) and verified by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC); and
  3. Your main residence

Eligibility of Repairs and Accessibility Modifications

Your home may be eligible for the program if it requires repairs and/or modifications to make it safer, more accessible and more energy efficient. Examples of acceptable repairs are listed on the website.

For more information call 613-580-2424, ext. 12300. Program applications are available to download on the City of Ottawa’s website.

An overview of the Eastern Ontario Development Fund (EODF)

The Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment’s Eastern Ontario Development Fund (EODF) will build on the competitive strengths of eastern Ontario to attract new investment, encourage innovation, and create local jobs.

In 2012, the Ontario government passed the Attracting Investment and Creating Jobs Act, renewing the Eastern Ontario Development Fund (EODF) and creating the new Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (SWODF).

These funds will help diversify and strengthen each region’s economy by encouraging businesses to pursue innovation and new markets, while creating jobs.

The EODF is targeted at existing businesses and economic developers in eastern Ontario who can:

  • Create jobs
  • Attract investment
  • Promote innovation, collaboration, and cluster development.

Eligible projects would enhance productivity and competitiveness; create high-value, sustainable jobs; increase exports; and promote a culture of innovation.

Who can apply and how much support is available?

Business Stream

The Business Stream is available to help businesses pursue growth that creates jobs. Projects can focus on developing new products or markets, increasing productivity, and improving the competitive position of the business.

To be eligible, businesses must:

  • Employ at least 10 people and meet minimum job creation targets as outlined in the Business Application Guide
  • Be able to provide three years of financial statements
  • Be part of an eligible sector
  • Be located in – or plan to locate in – eastern Ontario
  • Have a multi-year project with a minimum $500,000 investment in eligible project costs.

Businesses with 5-10 employees may be eligible under the Small Community Pilot.

Under the business stream, the EODF may provide up to 15 per cent of eligible project costs to a maximum grant of $1.5 million. Investments of over $10 million that create at least 50 jobs may be eligible for a secured, repayable loan capped at a maximum of $5 million.

Which communities are included?

For the purposes of the EODF, Eastern Ontario is composed of 15 geographic areas, including the entire City of Ottawa.

How can I learn more?

For more information about the Eastern Ontario Development Fund – including application forms and guides and program contacts and more – please contact:

Fall well water testing drop-off locations

Drinking contaminated water can make you sick and can even be fatal. Bacterial contamination causes stomach cramps and/or diarrhoea as well as other problems.

Make sure your well water supply is safe to drink by testing it regularly - test for bacteria three times a year and after major plumbing work. Visit www.ottawa.ca/water for more information.

Fall 2013 drop off locations and dates in Rideau-Goulbourn:

Date Location Time
Tuesday, October 15 Richmond Community Centre
6095 Perth Street, Richmond
3:00pm to 8:00pm
Tuesday, October 15 Ashton General Store
8981 Flewellyn Road, Ashton
5:30am to 6:00pm
Tuesday, October 15 Mac's Milk
2871 Munster Road, Munster
6:00am to Midnight
Thursday, October 17 North Gower Client Service Centre
2155 Roger Stevens Drive, North Gower
8:30am to 12:00pm
Tuesday, October 22 Rural Ottawa South Support Services
1128 Mill Street, Manotick
9:00am to 4:00pm
Tuesday, October 29 Goulbourn Town Hall
2135 Huntley Road, Stittsville
3:00pm to 8:00pm

Save the date: Savour Ottawa’s Harvest Table is Sunday, August 18

Come join Ottawa farmers and chefs in a celebration of local food and culinary talent. Savour Ottawa is hosting its third annual Harvest Table at Brewer Park on Sunday, August 18, 2013. Guests will enjoy a multi-course gourmet luncheon highlighting the harvest and be able to sample from local wineries and craft breweries. For more information and a full list of participants please visit: the Savour Ottawa website.

Tickets are on sale now! You can purchase tickets online here.

Volunteers Needed! We are looking for volunteers to help with set-up, take down, and anything else required on the day of the event. This is a great opportunity to meet the city’s chefs and farmers and be included in one of Ottawa’s biggest foodie events of the year! All those interested should email Just Food for more information.

Rural Association Partnership Program – Apply now for round-two funding

If you are an Ottawa organization operating rural fairs, rural farmers' markets or rural business organizations such as Chamber of Commerce and Business Improvement Areas, you may be eligible for funding of up to $7,500 through the City of Ottawa’s Rural Association Partnership Program (RAPP).

The second-round of RAPP funding is now available with applications being accepted until Friday, August 16 at 4pm.

The objectives of the RAPP are:

  • To provide project based funding that supports the main priorities for rural organizations.
  • To contribute to the City’s rural economic health by supporting projects that will assist Ottawa’s rural business organizations, fairs and farmers markets achieve sustainability and capitalize on the proximity to Ottawa’s large urban market.
  • To assist in promoting Ottawa’s rural identity to both residents and tourists.
  • To provide economic benefits to small and medium sized enterprises in Ottawa’s rural communities.
  • Assist rural communities to overcome the business development challenges associated with smaller local population base.
  • To increase the capacity for rural communities to provide a quality visitor experience.

More information, including guidelines and an application form, can be found on the Rural Association Partnership Program web page.

Prospective RAPP applicants are encouraged to contact the Rural Affairs Office at ruralaffairs@ottawa.ca or 613-580-2424, ext. 28352 to discuss their proposal prior to submitting an application.

Community Partnership Minor Capital Program

The Community Partnership Minor Capital Program is an initiative available for minor capital improvements to city-owned parks, recreation and cultural facilities on a cost-sharing basis with community groups.

Examples include: play equipment, basketball courts, park furniture, tree planting, landscape improvements, minor community facility improvements, etc.

The Community Partnership Minor Capital Program is an initiative to implement minor capital improvements to parks and recreation facilities on a cost-sharing basis. The City’s budget for the program is set annually and funding is apportioned by district based on population.

The program can be applied to a variety of capital projects which result in the development of fixed assets. This grant is not intended for the purchase of expendable recreation equipment, i.e. art supplies, tables, chairs etc. or to finance park or facility maintenance costs.

Who can apply for a grant?

  • community groups
  • sports organizations
  • cultural groups
  • school councils/parent teacher associations

What projects are eligible?

  • minor capital recreational and cultural projects on City property which result in the development of fixed assets, i.e. play equipment, basketball courts, park furniture, tree planting, landscape improvements, minor community facility improvements, etc. 
  • projects on school land and other public lands are eligible provided the landowner provides financial and operational support as identified in the guidelines.

How does the program work?

  • City matches the community contribution for projects on City property to a maximum of $7,500 or 50% of the total cost of the project. 
  • City’s total contribution to a project on school board land or other public land will be up to one-third of the total cost of the project, to a maximum of $7,500. The balance of the capital cost will come from the community group alone, or together with the landowner.

Projects on school board land and other public lands that are accessible to the general public may also be eligible. Deadline: May 1. Information: ottawa.ca or 613-580-2424, ext. 23169.

The next deadline to apply is September 1.

Seasonal load restrictions

During the spring thaw period, typically early March to mid-May, some City of Ottawa roads cannot withstand heavy vehicle loads.  Every year, the City monitors thaw progression by utilizing the forecast temperature data from Environment Canada and Weather Network to calculate the Thaw Index. 

When the Thaw Index reaches its threshold value, the load restrictions are imposed. Depending on the progression of the thaw, restrictions can come into effect quickly, sometimes with only a few days notice. The City also conducts deflection testing to monitor pavement strength as the thaw progresses.  Once the pavement strength has been restored, the load restrictions are removed.

As of 12:01 a.m., Wednesday, March 13, 2013 commercial vehicles or trailers with a gross vehicle weight in excess of five tonnes or 11,000 lbs. per axle are prohibited on roads where restriction signage is posted, and on all roads identified as restricted on the Truck Route Maps (Urban Truck Routes [PDF – 827 KB] and Rural Truck Routes [PDF – 1.5 MB]). These restrictions also apply to all non-truck routes.

Heavy vehicles that exceed weight limits on restricted load roadways during the spring thaw period will be subject to fines.

Local restrictions will remain in effect on the identified City roads until further notice (typically, mid May). For further information on seasonal load restrictions, please call 3-1-1.

Official Plan Review - Rural Ottawa Public Meeting

Hosted by the Manotick Village and Community Association

Tuesday April 9, 2013 from 7 to 9 pm
Manotick Arena and Community Centre
5572 Doctor Leach Drive

This is your opportunity to learn more about proposed changes to the City of Ottawa’s Official Plan that will affect the rural area.  The Manotick Village and Community Association will give a presentation and facilitate discussion about the proposed policies for:

  • future residential development and growth in the rural area and villages,
  • rural employment lands,
  • mineral aggregate resources,
  • the review of agricultural land, and
  • city-wide transportation

City Planning Staff will attend the meeting to answer questions and listen to the conversation. For more information about the proposed policies, visit ottawa.ca/liveableottawa and read the Comprehensive Five year review of the Official Plan staff report that was tabled at the March 26 meeting of Planning Committee.

Ontario Summer Experience Program

The Summer Experience Program (SEP) provides funding to eligible not-for-profit organizations, municipalities, Aboriginal organizations and First Nations in order to create meaningful summer employment opportunities for students.
 
The summer employment positions must focus on activities supporting key sectors within the ministries of Citizenship and Immigration and Tourism, Culture and Sport.
 
Applications must be submitted online through Grants Ontario by midnight (EST) on Friday, March 22, 2013. For more information, visit http://www.grants.gov.on.ca/.

All Terrain Vehicles on Municipal Roads in Osgoode

As per the direction of the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, the City of Ottawa Rural Affairs Office is developing regulations to allow all terrain vehicle (ATV) use on certain municipal roadways (both opened and unopened) in Osgoode Ward on a pilot project basis.

A map of the proposed trail network is available for review and comment on the Rural Connections website at ottawa.ca/rural.

The regulations are proposed to include elements such as:

  • Year-round access to the trails for ATVs, except during spring thaw;
  • ATVs would be permitted on trails 30 minutes before sunrise until 30 minutes after sunset;
  • Speed limits of no more than 50km/h, lower in areas where warranted;
  • Modified exhaust and/or two stroke ATV engines would be prohibited due to noise concerns;

For more information, and/or to provide feedback on the proposal, please contact the Rural Affairs Office at ruralaffairs@ottawa.ca or 613-580-2424 x23852.

The City of Ottawa wants to know what you think of its rural pathways!

In 2011, Council approved the Rural Pathways Shared Use Policy, which included a two year monitoring program and a requirement to report back this summer (2013). Part of the monitoring program includes a survey requirement where public users can have their say about their experiences.

This survey is now live and you can give your input online now.

More about Ottawa's rural pathways

The City of Ottawa has three major rural pathways that cover 65km (combined) of converted rail lines.  The pathways provide significant year-round multi-use recreational pathway links. 

  • The Prescott-Russell Pathway extends eastward from the greenbelt near Blair Road through the Village of Navan to the Prescott-Russell Trail at Canaan Road.
  • The Osgoode Pathway extends southward from Leitrim Road to Buckles Street in Osgoode Village.
  • The Ottawa-Carleton Trailway extends westward from Bells Corners near Fitzgerald Road through Kanata and Stittsville to Ashton Station Road and beyond to the Town of Carleton Place. The Ottawa-Carleton Trailway is part of the Trans Canada Trail.

What is the shared use policy?

The Rural Pathways Shared-Use Policy was approved by the City Council in February 2011 following a comprehensive study of similar pathways in other jurisdictions. Particular attention was given to pathways with a history of shared use without injuries to trail users. 

Under the policy, all motorized vehicles are prohibited on the pathways from spring to fall to provide the best environment for the pedestrians and cyclists who are the primary trail users during this period.

Snowmobiles are allowed on the pathways in the winter but are subject to restrictions, such as speed limits and curfews.

Want to learn more?

The City is reviewing the Rural Pathways Shared-Use Policy to ensure comfortable and enjoyable experiences for all pathway users. The survey results will be collected and analyzed to help the City develop appropriate policies and programming to improve experiences and interactions on the pathways.

The survey will be available from March 1 to April 15. City teams will also be on site to interview pathway users during this time.  Visit ottawa.ca/ruralpathways and ottawa.ca/sentiersruraux to tell us what you think.

If you have questions, please contact

Alex Culley
Project Officer, Transportation Demand Management
613-580-2424 ext 13199
alex.culley@ottawa.ca

In 2011 Council approved the Rural Pathways Shared Use Policy, which included a two year monitoring program with a requirement to report back in summer 2013. The monitoring program included a requirement to do surveying “to enable classification of users as well as obtaining feedback on ‘shared use’ experiences.”

Forage and Livestock Transportation Assistance

The 2012 Canada-Ontario Forage and Livestock Transportation Assistance Initiative is available for certain Ontario livestock producers who are facing severe forage shortages due to this summer’s dry weather.

This AgriRecovery initiative provides up to $2.4 million to help eligible producers in designated drought areas by offsetting extraordinary transportation costs incurred to transport hay, straw, silage and green feed to livestock or eligible breeding livestock to a feed source.

Eligible breeding livestock includes:

  • Beef cattle
  • Elk
  • Sheep
  • Deer
  • Goats
  • Horses (Bred for meat, pregnant mare’s urine or where their offspring is intended for sale)

Designated drought areas: Bruce, Brant, Grey, Haldimand, Huron, Lanark, Norfolk, Oxford,  Perth, Renfrew and Wellington counties, the cities of Hamilton and Ottawa and the regional municipalities of  Halton, Niagara and Waterloo.

Forms and program information are available on agricorp.com. The deadline to apply is March 22, 2013. Producers are encouraged to submit forms online for more efficient processing and to avoid incomplete applications. Producers can also submit paper forms by mail, fax or in person. As always, Agricorp’s Customer Care Centre at 1-888-247-4999 is available to answer program-related questions.

Links:    

Web site information    

http://www.agricorp.com/en-ca/Programs/AgriRecovery/Forage-Livestock-Transportation/Pages/Overview.aspx

Application form

http://forms.agricorp.com/render/COFLTAI_Form_EN.pdf

Floodplain Mapping Studies Underway Within the City of Ottawa - Local Input Welcome

Identifying lands that are vulnerable to flooding is an important responsibility for Ontario’s Conservation Authorities.

Over the next five years, three conservation authorities will be undertaking a number of flood risk mapping studies on watercourses within the City of Ottawa and their respective areas of jurisdiction. For some watercourses old flood risk mapping will be updated and for some watercourses flood risk maps will be created for the first time.

When completed, the new flood risk mapping will be used by the City of Ottawa when updating its Official Plan schedules and Zoning overlays and in the review of development applications under the Planning Act. Conservation Authorities will use the same mapping in the administration and enforcement of regulations made under the Conservation Authorities Act.

In the first year of this initiative, each CA will focus its efforts on the following study areas:

Mississippi Valley Conservation

  • Feedmill Creek
  • Poole Creek
  • Kizell Drain

Rideau Valley Conservation Authority

  • Ottawa River (Britannia Yacht Club to Shirley’s Bay)
  • Rideau River (Rideau Falls to Hogs Back Falls)
  • Monahan Drain (Jock River to Hope Side Road)

South Nation Conservation

  • Findlay Creek,
  • John Boyce Municipal Drain
  • Osgoode Garden Cedar Acres Municipal Drain

For more information, or learn how to provide input in the process, please visit the RVCA's website.

Living with Coyotes

From the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources

Source: MorguefileCoyotes are commonly found in open, agricultural land that includes woodlots and areas covered with brush. In cities, coyotes prefer natural green space, such as parks, ravines and stream banks.

Coyotes can raise concerns when they

  • feed on garbage, compost, fruit or vegetable gardens
  • prey on livestock or pets

Landowners can take action to manage wildlife on their property. Conflicts can often be prevented by making changes on your property:

  • remove sources of food by protecting pets and livestock
  • fence your gardens
  • secure garbage and compost

Taking these steps will help encourage coyotes to find somewhere else to look for food.

Most importantly, never feed coyotes or other wildlife.

For more information about coyotes, visit MNR's website.

All Terrain Vehicles on Municipal Roads in Osgoode Ward 20

On October 4, 2012 the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee directed the Rural Affairs Office to develop a by-law to allow all terrain vehicle (ATV) use on certain municipal roadways (both opened and unopened) in Osgoode Ward on a pilot project basis. As part of the public consultation for this project, members of the public are invited to attend an information session to learn more and provide feedback:

Wednesday February 20, 2013
Osgoode Community Centre – Upper Hall
5660 Osgoode Main Street
7 pm to 9 pm

For more information, contact the City of Ottawa Rural Affairs Office at 613-580-2424 x28352 or ruralaffairs@ottawa.ca.

Rural Review Update

Planning staff from the City of Ottawa would like to thank the over 400 residents that participated in the five Village Zoning Public Information Sessions this October. As a result of comments received at these sessions, changes will be made to the draft zoning maps for Villages.
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