June's ARAC Meeting Agenda and Other Updates

June is always a busy month in Rideau-Goubourn and across the City of Ottawa, with events such as Food Aid Day and the Mayor’s Rural Expo as well as Dickinson Days. Of course, there are Ottawa 2017 events and it all leads up to July 1st where Canada Day events will be taking place in North Gower and Munster.

To kick off the month, there is nothing more exciting than a rousing meeting of the Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee! Our upcoming June 1st meeting agenda includes the following items:

  • Surplus Farm Severance Zoning Amendments for:
    • 2638 Mackey Road
    • 4779 Carp Road
    • 6462 First Line Road
  • Report on Coach Houses in the Rural area on private services
  • Manotick Mahogany Harbour Dock Project
  • Rural Residential Land Survey: 2015-16 Update
  • Hobbs Municipal Drain
  • All-Way Stop Control at Van Vliet Road & South River Drive
  • 1229 Dwyer Hill Road Development Charge Report

The report on coach houses in the rural area is the response to a direction that had been given by ARAC in the fall. Staff were asked to look at ways of reducing costs and process on building a coach house on private services in the rural area. The proposal before ARAC on June 1st does that. However, I feel more could be done and Committee will explore those options at the meeting.

The report on the Mahogany Harbour Dock will provide an update on the status of this project and speak to the temporary Parks Canada facility being installed this season. It will also lay out the City’s role going forward from an ongoing maintenance perspective.

The report on 1229 Dwyer Hill Road relates to the Dwyer Hill RV Park and the potential sale of the property. This report looks at waiving a portion of the Development Charges owed to the City of Ottawa by the current park owners. The waiver is only available to a potential purchaser and not the current owner.

As usual, the monthly ARAC meeting is held at 10:00am at Ben Franklin Place in Centrepointe.

UPDATE: Munster Sewer Backup

On April 7th, 2017, amidst heavy rainfall and runoff occurring during the spring freshet, the City of Ottawa received eight calls from Munster residents who were experience sewage backups in their basement. Seven of these calls came from the southeast portion of Munster, on Middlewood Court and nearby Dogwood Drive homeowners. At that time, the pumping station became surcharged with stormwater and crews were quick to respond to alleviate the surcharge. Unfortunately, during this time, several homeowners closest to the pumping station saw backups.

After some investigation, it was determined that the pumping station reached capacity due to the existence of sump pumps connected to the system. Since the backup occurred in early April, bypass pumping into the overflow lagoon at the Munster pumping station was activated earlier during rainy periods in early May to reduce the risk of basement flooding. The connection of sump pumps to sanitary sewers also caused capacity issues in Richmond during that same time in April. As a result, I will be working with City staff on developing a program that will seek to encourage the disconnection of sump pumps from the sanitary system. In the meantime, the City will continue to initiate the bypass measures earlier than done previously.

As homeowners, there are options to protect your home against flooding as well. There is information on the City of Ottawa’s website regarding the Residential Protective Plumbing Program. If you did experience flooding as a result of the pumping station backup, you can also file a claim with the City of Ottawa. For more information on the protection program or on how to file a claim, please feel free to contact me at Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca.

McLean Bridge Renewal

Beginning the week of the May 15, 2017th, the City of Ottawa commenced construction on the McLean Bridge Rehabilitation on Barnsdale Road. The City of Ottawa has retained the firm, RW Tomlinson Ltd., to complete the work. The McLean Bridge must undergo rehabilitation in order to extend its service life. Work will involve repairing the deck, widening the north sidewalk, removing and replacing the bridge railings, repairing the guard rails, concrete and steel repairs as well as some painting of steel members. The work is planned to begin in mid-May 2017 and continue until late October 2017.

There will be an impact to traffic on the McLean Bridge. Traffic will be reduced to one lane for the duration of construction. With the assistance of portable temporary traffic signals, motorists will be able to safely pass over the bridge during construction. One direction of traffic will proceed at a time. OC Transpo will be impacted by the rehabilitation to the McLean Bridge and will experience a minor delay to the route. Pedestrians will have access to the McLean Bridge at all times.

RW Tomlinson Ltd. will take every precaution to minimize interruptions to the normal life of your family, but as you can appreciate, there may be some inconvenience during the course of the operation of the work including noise and delays. We would like to thank you in advance for your patience and co-operation.

For any emergency outside normal working hours on weekdays and weekends, please call the City at

3-1-1. Should you have any inquiries, please do not hesitate to contact the Project Manager, Elizabeth Murphy at Elizabeth.Murphy@ottawa.ca or by phone at 613-580-2424 ext. 15397.

Dickinson Days & Gathering in the Square

Dickinson Days is happening in Manotick between Friday, June 2nd and Sunday, June 4th. The weekend events celebrate the birthday of Manotick's founder Moss Kent Dickinson with a parade, fireworks, street market, and so much more. You won’t want to miss the Gathering in the Square on Sunday, which be filled with live entertainment, horse drawn wagon rides, guided tours, a flour grinding demonstration, crafts for children, and lots of fun! The Dickinson House will also be open and will be doing a cake cutting and housewarming to celebrate the house being built 150 years ago. 

On Sunday the meal will be a ticketed mechoui barbeque with a choice of meat, salads, and fries. The cost of the meal is $12 for children 11 years old and under and $15 for adults aged 12 and over. We encourage people to reserve a table of 6 or 8. Tickets can be purchased by calling Watson's Mill at 613-692-6455. For a detailed schedule of events, visit watsonsmill.com.

At the same time, you are welcome to visit the good folks at Dickinson House, as they too celebrate Moss Kent Dickinson.  Not only are they honouring Dickinson and his achievements, but they are also part of Doors Open Ottawa.  June 4th will be extra special, not just because of the aforementioned Gathering in the Square, but also the 150th anniversary of the construction of Dickinson House.  To celebrate this milestone, special guests from the past will be in attendance.  Please come and join them for a re-enactment of the Dickinson House housewarming for a piece of birthday cake at 1:30pm.

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If you have any other comments, questions or concerns, please feel free to email me on those as well or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491. For information on Rideau-Goulbourn issues, please visit RideauGoulbourn.ca.

City of Ottawa presents plans for managing Wild Parsnip

Before getting into the bulk of my column, I just wanted to provide an update to residents in Richmond on the state of 74 Colonel Murray Street, a residence that, unfortunately, was lost due to fire last fall.  The site has now become a bit of an eyesore generating some concern in the community.  I just wanted to assure residents that the City of Ottawa will not allow the property to remain in its current state and will be cleaning it up if the site remains untouched as of May 15th.

On to more positive news, the annual Rural Expo & Food Aid Day BBQ returns to City Hall on Thursday, June 4th. The day will feature a great display of rural flavor on the front steps of City Hall, a pancake breakfast and a delicious lunch from The WORKS all in support of the Ottawa Food Bank. The Rural Expo helps urban residents learn more about what rural Ottawa has to offer. If your organization wishes to participate in the Rural Expo, please contact the Rural Affairs Office at ruralaffairs@ottawa.ca or 613-580-2424 x28352.

Summer has finally arrived and, with it, a number of great reasons to be outside.  This Saturday, the Manotick Kiwanis Club will be out in full force for their annual spring clean-up.  The following weekend, Watson’s Mill opens for the season. Activities will begin on Saturday at 10:00am, and the Season Opening Ceremony is scheduled to start at 11:30am featuring a full schedule of activities for the upcoming summer season. The ceremony will be followed by a community barbeque. The Manotick Farmers’ Market will also launch that morning and the Mill opening also marks the return of the Carriage Shed Book Sale.

A new season is set to begin at Dickinson House as well.  You are invited to come & celebrate spring and Queen Victoria’s Birthday at Dickinson House on Monday, May 18, 2015 at 2:00pm. There will be cake and lemonade and an opportunity to see the special exhibit of 2015, “Tableware in Times Past”.  As always, admission is free, and donations are gratefully accepted.  Also of note, a new season at the North Gower Farmers’ Market kicks off at the end of the month on May 30th.

Dickinson Days is fast approaching and so too is the annual Rural Expo & Food Aid Day BBQ at City Hall.  This year, our event is on Thursday, June 4th. The day will feature a great display of rural flavor on the front steps of City Hall, a pancake breakfast and a delicious lunch from The WORKS all in support of the Ottawa Food Bank. The Rural Expo helps urban residents learn more about what rural Ottawa has to offer. If your organization wishes to participate in the Rural Expo, please contact the Rural Affairs Office at ruralaffairs@ottawa.ca or 613-580-2424 x28352.

Wild Parsnip

While talking about being outside, it’s also the time of year for wild parsnip. Wild parsnip is an invasive plant that is commonly found within the City of Ottawa in areas of uncultivated land, roadside ditches, nature trails, as well as on and surrounding rural and residential properties.

Wild parsnip may pose a health risk to humans. The plant sap contains chemicals that will cause skin irritation and make the skin prone to severe burning and blistering when exposed to the sun. The blisters typically occur one to two days after contact with the plant. This can result in long-term scarring of the skin.

Wild parsnip is a highly branched plant, with hollow green stems. The compound leaves are green and dense growing. The yellow flowers are in clusters of up to 20 cm across. The plant can grow to a height of 0.5 to 1.5 meters. It is a biennial plant, reproducing only by seed. When working around wild parsnip or when walking through dense vegetation, wear goggles, gloves, long pants and long-sleeved shirts. Thoroughly wash boots and gloves with soap and water before taking off your protective clothing.

Children should be reminded not to pick wild flowers. Ensure children are able to identify wild parsnip in order to avoid exposure. If you are exposed to the plant sap, wash the contaminated area(s) thoroughly as soon as possible, and seek medical attention if skin irritation occurs. For more information, visit ottawa.ca.

Our Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee is receiving an update from Public Works this week on how we are managing wild parsnip this year.  I do know we are increasing are resources when it comes to managing this invasive plant and I’ll provide more information on that next week.


Visit rideaugoulbourn.ca/wildparsnip for more information about the weed and what the City of Ottawa is doing to help prevent it spreading.


Property Tax Deferral Program

The City of Ottawa offers two property tax deferral programs for low-income seniors and low-income people with disabilities. Eligible homeowners may apply for a full or partial deferral of annual property taxes. Application for tax deferral must be made annually to the City of Ottawa to establish eligibility or confirm continued eligibility.

You may apply for one of the following programs: Full Property Tax Deferral Program or Partial Property Tax Deferral Program. For more information, visit ottawa.ca or call 613-580-2740.

Farm Grant Program

The City of Ottawa Farm Grant Program provides financial relief to working farmers. The grant program will assist eligible farm property owners by allowing the June final tax installment to be paid in December.

To qualify for the grant, the following conditions must be met:

  • The property must be defined by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation in the farmlands property class
  • The property must not be owned by a commercial enterprise
  • Taxes have been paid up to date before the June instalment
  • The final  tax instalment billed (mailed May) is paid in full in early December

How the program will work:

  • Penalty charges will continue
  • Notification of the amount to be paid will be communicated to you in the fall
  • The grant amount will be the equivalent of the penalty charges and fees added to your account during the deferral
  • The City will automatically calculate and apply a credit for the grant amount to your tax account; there is no application to fill out

Should you have any questions, please contact Revenue Branch from Monday to Friday, 8:00am to 4:30pm (June to August 8:00am to 4:00pm) at 613-580-2444 (Transactions will be recorded for training and verification purposes). TTY: 613-580-2401.

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If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491.