High-Rise Report Is Covered In Sleaze: Whopper Watch



Views, vistas and landmark buildings are important attributes of the character of the public realm and the identity of the community. A high-rise building may enhance or impact the views or vistas. It may be a background building that blends into the urban fabric to frame or to form the backdrop of a view. It may also be a landmark building that stands out from the urban fabric or skyline, or situated at the terminus of an important vista.

Urban Design Guidelines For High-rise Buildings (the high-rise report)


Or a high-rise in Ottawa will most likely be a beige rectangular piece of crap that destroys the nature of traditional neighbourhoods, ruins privacy and sunlight from two-storey residential buildings next door and contributes to the overall destruction of a community over time.

However on the bright side (that is if there is any sunlight left in Ottawa if this report is adopted) developers will be able to maximize profit with too-tall buildings, developer campaign donations will cascade into the mayor’s and incumbent councillors’ kitties, and the planning department will reap gargantuan developer charges to keep themselves employed and able to buy a better brand of caviar for themselves and their concierges.

What is in this report for the citizens of Ottawa? Absolutely nothing.


Coming to Ottawa soon. The view from your backyard.


Well, actually that’s not true. There will be the devaluation of homes next to high-rises by hundreds of thousands of dollars, an ugly community, designs that will make Ottawa look like Everywhere North America, create horrible congestion and destroy vistas with big brown boxes.

Why do Mayor Jim Watson, planning committee chairwoman Jan Harder, city manager Steve Kanellakos, most of Ottawa City Council, the planning department and deep-pocketed developers not want you to know about these plans?

Because there is utterly nothing in it for the taxpayers of this city.

And if the residents of Ottawa discover what a self-serving document this is, they might vote out this mayor and council and destroy this cosy little partnership between developers, the planning department and our elected officials.

Protest this report. Throw out the mayor and supporting councillors on Oct. 22.


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7 thoughts on “High-Rise Report Is Covered In Sleaze: Whopper Watch

  1. A similar problem occurred in Toronto during the condo explosion along Lakeshore Boulevard. These structures were poorly built, obstructed views of Lake Ontario, and are currently falling apart. But at least a number of foreign investors made a lot of money.

    I always hear people from or at least people in Ottawa criticizing Toronto, their hockey team, and everything else associated with the city. In light of all this dislike, why is Ottawa striving so hard to become version 2.0 of Toronto. I know people will object to this comment, but sadly it’s true.


    1. Sisco:

      I’ve written this a number of times. The world doesn’t need another Toronto.

      You would hope that our planning department would try to create something distinctive, maybe even original.

      But that’s asking too much and there are too many self-interests to serve to be able to do the right thing.

      When I see the level of sleaze behind this report, I ask myself why I live here.

      Maybe it’s time to move to the woods and shoot my food.




        1. The Voter:

          The police won’t like that, on either count. But maybe they would make an exception this time.




  2. I thought further about this issue, Ken, and recall a conversation I had with a friend about a year ago. The city of the future is predicted to grow upwards, not outwards and small outlying villages will eventually disappear, their residents being drawn into the city. In fact, I believe I heard this is the model Ottawa will be adopting. It makes sense in some respects, because it reduces the cost to maintain the infrastructure. But my friend also noted this transition will take place slowly over decades. I’m not sure if the city planning department takes a long-term or a slap-dash approach to planning although at times it seems to be the latter. The part of this story that is very sad is the people making decisions that will impact so many people do it secretively. And sadder yet is we continue to vote them into office.


    1. Sisco:

      Ottawa’s residents are their own worst enemies.

      They don’t care unless it happens to them.




  3. Ken. Sorry. I was only allowed one up-thumb.
    To re-state that old French philosopher, “people get the government they deserve”.


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