Don’t Let The City Get Involved In Vanier: Whopper Watch



“Community Improvement Plans attract new businesses, revitalize existing businesses and stimulate economic growth. This CIP will help diversify the Montreal Road business mix and will generate much needed investments and jobs in Vanier.”

Mayor Jim Watson


This is rich.

First, Watson gives Vanier an economic anchor with the new Salvation Army homeless shelter.

Second, planning department wants to put a bike lane down Montreal Road which will take a large number of parking spaces away from businesses there. Well, it will take business away until the cyclist lobby convinces planning that you can take home a new hide-a-bed on a bike. And the pressure group will win that fight of the already-converted.

Third, does anyone still have faith that the city can turn around a neighbourhood? Westboro was already turned around until the city got involved and wrecked it. Little Italy is next to go with its skyrocketing retail rents. The only expresso you’ll be likely to get there is at a Starbucks.

In other words, this is all PR as an election approaches. When did city hall follow any kind of plan in this Houston of the North?

Given the city’s horrible record in these affairs, perhaps some advice is in order.

The municipal government should leave Vanier alone. Residents can better improve it themselves rather than the awkward local government.

Watson becomes all touchy-feely before an election, then once elected, he goes back to being hard-nosed Jim.

The press release announcing this great moment in Vanier history is below:

The City of Ottawa is considering developing a Community Improvement Plan for Montreal Road, between North River Road and the Aviation Parkway in Vanier. Once in place, the plan would stimulate urban renewal through property improvements, generate new commercial activity and improve employment opportunities in the area.



Beginning in the spring of 2018, the City will reach out to Montreal Road businesses and property owners to ask for their input on the development of a plan for the area. Based on consultations with neighbourhood stakeholders, staff will create the plan, which would then be brought to City Council for approval. If approved, the plan would happen concurrently with the planned renewal of Montreal Road’s infrastructure in 2019.

Community Improvement Plans provide incentives for property owners to invest in redevelopment of lands or buildings that are underutilized, idled or in need of repair or renovation. In addition to promoting revitalization of commercial properties and stimulating job creation, these plans can also help renew an area in a variety of ways by responding to the needs of the community. For example, a plan could focus on supporting the development of cultural assets, improving pedestrian friendliness or increasing accessibility.

These plans already exist in other areas of the city, including the recently launched Bells Corners program. In its first year, this program has already seen significant success. A $1 million three-storefront mall, including a national restaurant chain, will replace a long-vacant restaurant. Construction will begin this year on a new $20 million, six-storey, 135-room hotel, replacing two retail buildings.

The Community Improvement Plan is a commercial initiative aimed at supporting the Montreal Road business community. Several other renewal activities are also planned for Montreal Road in 2018 and 2019, including revitalizing the infrastructure, streetscape and public art, and a transit priority study.


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3 thoughts on “Don’t Let The City Get Involved In Vanier: Whopper Watch

  1. Didn’t the City put in place a plan for Carling Avenue near Bayshore, including the elimination of property tax increases for new development. Wonder how that one is going. Perhaps the one in Orleans was more successful if you ignore the fact that the first recipient of the tax break was a grocery store that had already located in the area before they were retroactively approved for the break.

    1. Andrew:

      We’re in rare agreement. Feels good.

      I just tremble when I hear that the City of Ottawa is getting involved in business.

      Not to mince words, it has no idea what it is doing.

      It’s getting murdered on light rail, at Lansdowne and all those little grants that achieve nothing.

      And then we have Mr. Public-Paycheque-For-Life Jim Watson telling Eugene Melnyk how to conduct business. The mind wobbles.

      The classic is the city music policy at $100,000 and one staff person and the municipality releases a notice saying it will make Ottawa a world capital of music.


      Please … plow my snow and pick up my garbage and if you have some bright ideas, consider them after you have the basics down.



  2. Great! More “new” stuff. How about using funds to fix up some of the problems that exist in the city now rather pour money needlessly into projects so Watson can pretend Ottawa has big-league status. A friend once wisely noted “less is more”.


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