Open air fire ban now in effect for City of Ottawa

Ottawa Fire Services announced today that the annual spring ban on open air fires is now in effect until further notice. The ban will remain in place until spring progresses enough that the green grass begins to overtake the tall dead grass, as the risks of uncontrollable burns will be significantly reduced.

Every winter, grass and leaves die underneath the piles of snow, and even if the ground seems wet in some areas, the dry grass and leaves create the perfect condition for fast-spreading fires when combined with other dry materials, such as branches, as well as the addition of environmental changes like high winds, prolonged dry spells, early spring surface conditions, cut fields or wet conditions that prevent firefighting equipment from accessing remote and rural locations. 

From the Ottawa Fire Service:

All open air fires are prohibited during a fire ban, including for those properties that have an Open Air Fire Permit. This ban applies to agricultural burns, brush pile burns, as well as campfires. There will be zero tolerance enforcement during the fire ban.
We thank area residents for their patience and cooperation with this matter.

How can you reduce the risks around your home?

During this time of year, you can help reduce the risks close by when you take advantage of weekly yard waste collection. The Ottawa Fire Service offers these additional tips to prevent grass and brush fires in your area:

  • Clear all combustible materials such as tree limbs, leaves and other dry materials away from buildings and propane tanks.
  • Keep barbecue propane tanks at least three metres from buildings.
  • Wood piles should be stored a safe distance from your home.
  • Trees should be pruned to create a good vertical separation from the ground.
  • Clear out any accumulated dry or dead debris from your property.

Cigarette butts a major concern

Every year, cigarettes that are not fully extinguished contribute to the grass fires during burn bans. If you are a smoker, please use caution when disposing of your cigarettes. Cigarettes (lit or not) shouldn't be thrown out of car windows.

More information about open air fires in the City of Ottawa

Please follow our office on Facebook and Twitter to get regular updates. We'll announce there when the ban has been lifted. 

If you are interested in obtaining a burn permit, you can get more information at Ottawa.ca or visit the North Gower Client Service Centre (or any client service centre) on Thursdays.

Read more about the open air fire by-law here.

Updates on Dickinson Square

As some of you may already know, the Ayres Building in Dickinson Square has officially been sold.  The building had been owned by the City of Ottawa since the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority vacated the space in 2007.  Normally, I would announce the sale myself but I’m quite happy that the new owner was so excited to close the sale and announce it themselves.  After all, it isn’t about me. It was just under two weeks ago that Rural Ottawa South Support Services (ROSSS) announced that they had purchased the building, allowing them to maintain the place they’ve called home for the better part of a decade.

While the Manotick Mill Quarter Community Development Corporation, along with ROSSS, finalized the deal a couple of months ago, we were awaiting the official close of the sale, scheduled for August 6th.  As soon as all of the t’s were crossed and the i’s were dotted, ROSSS was free to dispense the good news.  We were a bit more tightly lipped this time around as many of you will recall an announcement I made in December 2013 regarding the initial sale of the Ayres Building to a Christmas store owner.  That, of course, fell through prior to the closing date so I decided to try and learn from my mistake.  In the end, everything worked out and now ROSSS can continue to serve the communities of Osgoode, Rideau and Goulbourn from right here in Manotick.

With the Ayres Building sale wrapped up, the Peppermint Spa transformation of the Weaver House well underway and the development of 1125 Clapp Lane approved, the Manotick Mill Quarter Community Development Corporation has come a long way in four years.  Of course, the work is not yet done and the City of Ottawa still retains the ownership of the Carriage Shed and Dickinson House.  Community sentiment has spoken strongly in favour of maintaining the current arrangement at these two buildings and I will continue to work toward a solution that can be supported by the community and makes the most sense going forward.  In my mind, that solution needs to make sense as much 50 years from now as it does today.  No easy task but we’ve listened to the community every step of the way and I look forward to continuing that working relationship on the two remaining, and most significant, Dickinson Square properties.

Dickinson House News

Speaking of Dickinson Square, come out and visit on August 15th and 16th as there will be demonstrations of the old time Domestic Skills of Spinning and Weaving at the House. Visitors will also be able to learn about or try their hand at the techniques citizens used to cope with laundry before the advent of the automatic washer and dryer.  The House is open from 10:00am until 5:00pm daily.  This summer’s special exhibition is Tableware in Times Past in the Coral Lindsay Memorial Hall on the third floor.  As always, admission is free, and donations toward the upkeep of the House are welcome.

Further, mark your calendars and plan to come to an old-fashioned, family oriented Barn Dance at Watson’s Mill on September 5th at 7:30 pm.  There will be live folk music featuring the Ever Hopeful String Band; easy instructions on traditional circle, square and line dances; country food and refreshments.  The Heritage Country Fair, with a full lineup of traditional Fall Fair events, will be in full swing on Saturday, September 5th, beginning at 10:00am.  For information about the events, check www.rideautownshiphistory.org/dickinsonhouse, call 613-692-2241 or visit the House.

A Taste of Manotick

While Dickinson House is providing a taste of the past on August 15th, the rest of the village will be promoting the present.  The Annual Taste of Manotick is back on Saturday, between 4:00pm and 9:00pm.  This annual showcase will take place along Manotick Main Street and into the Mews. Come out and enjoy live music, delicious samples, draws and demonstrations in the heart of the village.

Also, and you heard it here first, this is a guaranteed rain free event!  That is my guarantee and I know you can trust me on this as a recent Ipsos Reid poll ranked local politicians as the least trustworthy profession.  See you there!!

Manotick Secondary Plan

Back to business, the website for the Secondary Plan review has now been updated.  You can visit Ottawa.ca/manotickplan to look at the Official Plan and Zoning By-Law Amendments resulting from the current review update.  Please provide comments by September 5th on the draft proposals.  My office will also be distributing this information via mail to all Manotick residents to ensure that everyone is aware.

Development Updates

There are now two development applications in the Stittsville South expansion area.  Over the last two years, the City of Ottawa has been working on an application from several firms involving the property north of Woodside Acres and south of the Hartsmere subdivision.  That application is in the process of receiving draft approval after a lengthy process that included four public meetings.  The results from that include a restriction to vehicular traffic from the new development onto Poplarwood Road and a monitoring program on structures and wells to ensure there are no negative impacts on existing homes in Woodside Acres.

Directly to the east of that proposal is another application, this one by Tartan Homes, which has just been submitted.  This is, essentially, an extension of the previous application as the road network ties in and is key to traffic management in the area.  The main roads will filter out onto Shea Road and Fernbank Road. This property is addressed as 5970 Fernbank Road and more information on the application can be found at Ottawa.ca/devapps.  As information becomes available, it will be posted at that link.  Further, there will be a public meeting scheduled to discuss this application as well.

Open Air Fire Permits

Residents are reminded that open air fires of any kind are prohibited without an Open Air Fire Permit.

An open air fire refers to the burning of untreated wood, tree limbs and branches where the flame is not wholly contained. The City’s Open Air Fire By-law prohibits the use of campfires, brush fires, burn drums, windrows and outdoor fireplaces within City limits. Barbecues are permitted.

Definitions for all these terms, and further details about Open Air Fire Permits, can be found on the City’s website, ottawa.ca.

While open air burning might seem to be harmless, it has the potential to cause visible haze, health problems, air pollution and nuisance concerns.

Even residents who possess a permit are required to call 613-580-2880 prior to burning to ensure there is not a burn ban in effect.

Substantial fines may be issued to residents who are not in possession of a valid permit or are found to be non-compliant to conditions and regulations within their permit. Fire permits are available at all Client Service Centres and Ottawa Fire Services’ Rural Administrative offices. A list of these sites, hours of operation and more information on fire permits can be found on ottawa.ca or by calling 3-1-1.

*****

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.

Dickinson Square, Manotick Secondary Plan and Goulbourn development updates

As some of you may already know, the Ayres Building in Dickinson Square has officially been sold.  The building had been owned by the City of Ottawa since the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority vacated the space in 2007.  Normally, I would announce the sale myself but I’m quite happy that the new owner was so excited to close the sale and announce it themselves.  After all, it isn’t about me. It was just under two weeks ago that Rural Ottawa South Support Services (ROSSS) announced that they had purchased the building, allowing them to maintain the place they’ve called home for the better part of a decade.

While the Manotick Mill Quarter Community Development Corporation, along with ROSSS, finalized the deal a couple of months ago, we were awaiting the official close of the sale, scheduled for August 6th.  As soon as all of the t’s were crossed and the i’s were dotted, ROSSS was free to dispense the good news.  We were a bit more tightly lipped this time around as many of you will recall an announcement I made in December 2013 regarding the initial sale of the Ayres Building to a Christmas store owner.  That, of course, fell through prior to the closing date so I decided to try and learn from my mistake.  In the end, everything worked out and now ROSSS can continue to serve the communities of Osgoode, Rideau and Goulbourn from right here in Manotick.

With the Ayres Building sale wrapped up, the Peppermint Spa transformation of the Weaver House well underway and the development of 1125 Clapp Lane approved, the Manotick Mill Quarter Community Development Corporation has come a long way in four years.  Of course, the work is not yet done and the City of Ottawa still retains the ownership of the Carriage Shed and Dickinson House.  Community sentiment has spoken strongly in favour of maintaining the current arrangement at these two buildings and I will continue to work toward a solution that can be supported by the community and makes the most sense going forward.  In my mind, that solution needs to make sense as much 50 years from now as it does today.  No easy task but we’ve listened to the community every step of the way and I look forward to continuing that working relationship on the two remaining, and most significant, Dickinson Square properties.

Dickinson House News

Speaking of Dickinson Square, come out and visit on August 15th and 16th as there will be demonstrations of the old time Domestic Skills of Spinning and Weaving at the House. Visitors will also be able to learn about or try their hand at the techniques citizens used to cope with laundry before the advent of the automatic washer and dryer.  The House is open from 10:00am until 5:00pm daily.  This summer’s special exhibition is Tableware in Times Past in the Coral Lindsay Memorial Hall on the third floor.  As always, admission is free, and donations toward the upkeep of the House are welcome.

Further, mark your calendars and plan to come to an old-fashioned, family oriented Barn Dance at Watson’s Mill on September 5th at 7:30 pm.  There will be live folk music featuring the Ever Hopeful String Band; easy instructions on traditional circle, square and line dances; country food and refreshments.  The Heritage Country Fair, with a full lineup of traditional Fall Fair events, will be in full swing on Saturday, September 5th, beginning at 10:00am.  For information about the events, check www.rideautownshiphistory.org/dickinsonhouse, call 613-692-2241 or visit the House.

Manotick Secondary Plan Update

Back to business, the website for the Secondary Plan review has now been updated.  You can visit Ottawa.ca/manotickplan to look at the Official Plan and Zoning By-Law Amendments resulting from the current review update.  Please provide comments by September 5th on the draft proposals.  My office will also be distributing this information via mail to all Manotick residents to ensure that everyone is aware.

Development Updates in Goulbourn

There are now two development applications in the Stittsville South expansion area.  Over the last two years, the City of Ottawa has been working on an application from several firms involving the property north of Woodside Acres and south of the Hartsmere subdivision.  That application is in the process of receiving draft approval after a lengthy process that included four public meetings.  The results from that include a restriction to vehicular traffic from the new development onto Poplarwood Road and a monitoring program on structures and wells to ensure there are no negative impacts on existing homes in Woodside Acres.

Directly to the east of that proposal is another application, this one by Tartan Homes, which has just been submitted.  This is, essentially, an extension of the previous application as the road network ties in and is key to traffic management in the area.  The main roads will filter out onto Shea Road and Fernbank Road. This property is addressed as 5970 Fernbank Road and more information on the application can be found at Ottawa.ca/devapps.  As information becomes available, it will be posted at that link.  Further, there will be a public meeting scheduled to discuss this application as well.

Open Air Fire Permits

Residents are reminded that open air fires of any kind are prohibited without an Open Air Fire Permit.

An open air fire refers to the burning of untreated wood, tree limbs and branches where the flame is not wholly contained. The City’s Open Air Fire By-law prohibits the use of campfires, brush fires, burn drums, windrows and outdoor fireplaces within City limits. Barbecues are permitted.

Definitions for all these terms, and further details about Open Air Fire Permits, can be found on the City’s website, ottawa.ca.

While open air burning might seem to be harmless, it has the potential to cause visible haze, health problems, air pollution and nuisance concerns.

Even residents who possess a permit are required to call 613-580-2880 prior to burning to ensure there is not a burn ban in effect.

Substantial fines may be issued to residents who are not in possession of a valid permit or are found to be non-compliant to conditions and regulations within their permit. Fire permits are available at all Client Service Centres and Ottawa Fire Services’ Rural Administrative offices. A list of these sites, hours of operation and more information on fire permits can be found on ottawa.ca or by calling 3-1-1.

A Taste of Manotick

While Dickinson House is providing a taste of the past on August 15th, the rest of the village will be promoting the present.  The Annual Taste of Manotick is back on Saturday, between 4:00pm and 9:00pm.  This annual showcase will take place along Manotick Main Street and into the Mews. Come out and enjoy live music, delicious samples, draws and demonstrations in the heart of the village.

Also, and you heard it here first, this is a guaranteed rain free event!  That is my guarantee and I know you can trust me on this as a recent Ipsos Reid poll ranked local politicians as the least trustworthy profession.  See you there!!

*****

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.

Manotick Arena Expansion and the Manotick Secondary Plan review

In May of this year, the City of Ottawa was invited to submit projects to the Government of Canada for the new Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program (CIP 150 Fund). This Federal program supports the rehabilitation, renovation and expansion of existing public infrastructure assets. This program is linked to Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations in 2017.

Subsequent to this invitation, City Council endorsed a list of 23 projects for application under the CIP 150 Fund.  The renovation and expansion of the Manotick Arena was on the list.  This project was first identified several years ago by community members looking for expanded change rooms and more community meeting/activity space.  Through the work of the community, the project was adopted by the City of Ottawa as a future infrastructure project allowing it to be considered for the CIP 150 Fund.

This brings us to Friday, July 31st and the announcement at the Manotick Arena.  After discussing the project with myself and meeting with community leaders, MP Pierre Poilievre was in town to announce that the Manotick Arena Expansion Project had secured $880,000 to expand and upgrade the facility with the addition of four new accessible dressing rooms and a community hall.

I want to thank MP Poilievre as well as representatives from the Osgoode-Rideau Minor Hockey Association, Rural Ottawa South Support Services, Youth of Manotick Association, Manotick Village & Community Association, Manotick Culture, Parks & Recreation Association as well as representatives from the various adult hockey leagues for their work on this collaborative community effort to improve the arena facilities.  With this funding, it is expected that construction will begin in 2016.

Manotick Secondary Plan: Traffic Issues

Throughout the public meetings for the Secondary Plan review, concerns were continuously raised regarding traffic issues in the village.  You may have also read about some of these issues in recent letters to the editor in this very paper.  The challenges we continue to have in addressing these issues are directly related to the City of Ottawa’s warrant system, supported by the Ontario Traffic Manual.  In essence, new intersection signage and reduced speed limits need to meet specific criteria prior to implementation.  This has been the stumbling block for addressing community concerns.

With this in mind, I’d like to suggest hosting a public meeting this fall leading up to the Secondary Plan Review approval.  The purpose of this meeting would be to explain the warrant system as it applies to local issues, discuss the local issues in question and seek feedback from the community on a way forward for these various issues.  Some of these issues include speed limit reductions on Bankfield Road and Manotick Main Street and the implementation of a Community Safety Zone on Bridge Street and on Long Island Road.  We will also look at a variety of examples where warrants were met and why versus some intersections where warrants aren’t met.  A perfect example would be the new four way stop at Barsndale Road & Greenbank Road, which did meet warrants, and the intersection of Rideau Valley Drive & Barnsdale Road, where we have received a couple of requests for all way stop controls but that intersection does not meet warrants.

We’ll also discuss the years old issue of trucks in the village and some of things we have been working on to help reduce the pressure in the village and spread the traffic load over other nearby bridges.  It is my intention to host this meeting jointly with the Manotick Village & Community Association in late September or early October.  As soon as I coordinate with City of Ottawa staff on their schedules, I will set a date and let you know.  I will endeavour to bring forward any potential resolutions to the Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee alongside the Secondary Plan review.

In the coming weeks, feel free to contact me with issues you would like to discuss and have highlighted at this meeting.  I’m not going to pretend that we can solve all issues raised but a healthy discussion of such never hurts.

Open Air Fire Permits

Residents are reminded that open air fires of any kind are prohibited without an Open Air Fire Permit.

An open air fire refers to the burning of untreated wood, tree limbs and branches where the flame is not wholly contained. The City’s Open Air Fire By-law prohibits the use of campfires, brush fires, burn drums, windrows and outdoor fireplaces within City limits. Barbecues are permitted.

Definitions for all these terms, and further details about Open Air Fire Permits, can be found on the City’s website, ottawa.ca.

While open air burning might seem to be harmless, it has the potential to cause visible haze, health problems, air pollution and nuisance concerns.

Even residents who possess a permit are required to call 613-580-2880 prior to burning to ensure there is not a burn ban in effect.

Substantial fines may be issued to residents who are not in possession of a valid permit or are found to be non-compliant to conditions and regulations within their permit. Fire permits are available at all Client Service Centres and Ottawa Fire Services’ Rural Administrative offices. A list of these sites, hours of operation and more information on fire permits can be found on ottawa.ca or by calling 3-1-1.

*****

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.