Developers Change Their Winning Game


Has the development industry over-played its hand in Ottawa?

The development industry and its friends on Ottawa City Council must not have played much tennis.

Had they, they would know the old tennis adage: Never change a winning game.

What do you want to do when you play tennis? Win (or if you are not competitive, at least get some exercise).

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Clean Up The Planning Department

Great Bulldog commenter Ron Benn sent along this note in relation to the post, City Hall Has Gone Native.

The underlying problem within the city’s planning department is quite troubling: the complaint by the developers is that they get conflicting requirements from within the planning department.

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The Return Of The Skyscrappers

Skyscrapper imitator Al "Scarface" Capone

Skyscrapper imitator Al “Scarface” Capone

Well lookie here. Golly Wally. Catch who is back on The Bulldog.

Why the Skyscrappers who are to urban planning what Al Capone was to his enemies.

The Skyscrappers haunt That’s a pretentious lot of people who think they know everything there is to know about how Ottawa should be built. And anyone who disagrees with them is a NIMBY and an idiot.

We should all defer to their expertise in idiocy.

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Jan Harder’s New Ottawa: Top 10 List



TOP 10 LISTPlanning committee chairwoman Jan Harder is certainly changing the built nature of Ottawa.

Yes under the Barrhaven councillor’s short reign, Ottawa will have its tallest condo near Little Italy … or at least what will be left of it when the commercial rents go sky high in that neighbourhood. Can you say strip mall?

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Concierge Plan Jeopardizes Lobbyist Registry




“In my six months here, I haven’t noticed that the larger developers are having any problem navigating city hall.”

Rideau-Rockcliffe Councillor Tobi Nussbaum

Nussbaum was speaking to planning committee this week addressing the controversial concierge proposal that would see planning department employees assigned to individual developers to guide their projects through the city bureaucracy.

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Concierge Plan: What’s Up On That?

Hmmm. Wonder if the concierge plan will be raised?

This is a release from the City of Ottawa:

The City’s Planning Committee will be meeting with the Planning and Growth Management team to review the department’s 2015-2018 work plan.

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City Hiring Concierges: Top 10 List




The City of Ottawa is considering appointing staff members to be point men (or women) for the municipality’s developers.

Dubbed the concierge program (though some are calling it the ambassadors program), it gives already powerful developers even more influence at Ottawa City Hall.

The Bulldog this weekend was leaked secret documents showing exactly what characteristics senior management is seeking in hiring its new concierges. Strangely it came out as 10 points.

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Does The City Have Too Many Planners?

cityhallsmallThe city said surface light rail on the Macdonald Parkway would cost $980 million.

Then when the National Capital Commission won the Texas Cage Death Match (only one bureaucracy leaves the cage alive) 100-day negotiations with the City of Ottawa (in which the city declared a victory of compromise) by getting its demand for a Macdonald Parkway tunnel, the Watson administration said the same light-rail line with a tunnel would cost $980 million …. again.

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Concierge Planning Offers Nothing To Taxpayers

ottawa logoThis is a comment from long-time Bulldog contributor Ron Benn concerning the new concierge system that will assign city staffers to developers to speed their applications through the civic bureaucracy:

The city planning department speaks its own language, to the point where outsiders cannot hold a meaningful conversation with them, as the terminology used by planners is unknown to the great unwashed.

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City, Developers Finally Get A Room

ottawa city hall - heritage

City hall is developing a concierge system for developers.

For years, wags around city hall have been saying that if the city got any closer to developers, they’d have to get a room.

Well guess what? They just got a room.

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“The communities have ambassadors and they’re called councillors.”


– Planning committee chairwoman Jan Harder on the new concierges who will serve developers and speed their applications through Ottawa City Hall.

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Gentrification: The Urban G-Spot

Where is one of the most sensitive spots in a city?

Why gentrification of course:

Ask city-dwellers to describe what, precisely, gentrification is you’ll get an array of answers. The term is a murky one, used to describe the many different ways through which money and development enter poorer or less developed neighborhoods, changing them both economically and demographically.

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Three Great Planning Strikes

cityhallsmallWhat neighbourhoods have been under the scrutiny of Ottawa’s planning department most.

This is no scientific tally but your agent would say probably Lansdowne (and the Glebe around it), Little Italy and the old west end.

Which areas are experiencing traffic problems recently?

Why Lansdowne, Little Italy and the old west end.

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Ottawa Keeps Making Huge Planning Mistakes

Little ItalyA businessman is travelling to Little Italy hoping to get a new client to buy his products.

Parking availability is horrible in Little Italy (by the city’s own admission in a recent report) and so the businessman decides to take the advice of the municipality and use the new bike racks to park his two-wheeler. He leaves the four-wheeler at home.

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Taylor’s Low Light-Rail Expectations

WHOPPERWATCHHere comes the western light-rail spin, this time from Bay Councillor Mark Taylor:

“Through this process we have found a better option than any of us would have hoped for.”

Taylor’s standards are amazingly low.

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Harder Praises Local Planning Control

This is a release from planning committee chairwoman Jan Harder:

Statement from Councillor Jan Harder, Chair of Planning Committee.

The City welcomes the Smart Growth initiatives announced by the Ontario Government today. Streamlining the development-approval process, reducing the number of Ontario Municipal Board cases, strengthening local control over the Official Plan process and allowing cities greater flexibility to use development charges for waste diversion projects will all be very helpful to Ottawa.

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Harder On LeBreton: Top 10 List



Ahh, planning committee chairwoman Jan Harder. Yes, Jan Harder.

Glebe residents weep when they hear that name.

For Harder has that suburban ethos. Build big things all over the place as long as everyone has a driveway, a garage, four lanes of open road and a backyard.

Doesn’t matter how it looks or how it affects neighbourhoods outside her beloved mecca of autos, Barrhaven. Global warming? Piffle.

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Commercial Plan Badly Flawed: Activist

This is a comment from Hintonburg community activist Jay Baltz on the place to rezone parts of residential area to commercial:

The original goal of this study, which was to add zoning permission at specific properties to allow existing corner stores and small food outlets in residential communities to easily continue existing, was a good idea.

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Leave It To The Planning Department

Here is why people love their homes. This might come as news to city staff and a journalist or two.

Most people get married or some such similar relationship and add a couple of youngsters to the mix.

It’s a time of wonder, love and building lives together.

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The Capital’s Forgotten Plan: Padolsky Essay


Architect Barry Padolsky should be declared a heritage site or some such thing for the interesting and sometimes odd bits of history he unearths.

Padolsky is one of the great natural resources in the community. What would Ottawa do without him?

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NIMBY’s A Bad Word: Bulldog Poll Results

bulldog pollDon’t be sayin’ no NIMBY ’round here.

That’s what the Dawg Pact said in Tuesday’s poll.

NIMBY is a word that should not be raised in planning talk, according to Bulldog readers.

For the poll results, see below:

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NIMBY is a slur word

Here are more comments on NIMBY as a planning term:

Robert Roberts says:

January 19, 2015 at 5:29 PM

Citizens would like to feel that city hall is on their side. It is not. Citizen concerns are dismissed as NIMBYism.

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Should NIMBY Be Used In Planning Debates? Bulldog Poll

bulldog pollLast weekend the topic of NIMBYism was thoroughly discussed on The Bulldog.

But here’s an opportunity to express your views concerning the term used on people who live near to major projects and don’t want them.

Cast your vote: Should the acronym NYMBY be used in planning debates? And if you want to expand on your position, use the comment box at the bottom of the post.

You get one vote:

You can vote below:

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Let’s Animate Ottawa: Cohen

The National Capital Commission and Citizen columnist Andrew Cohen would like to “animate” Ottawa’s waterways. Sounds like something Walt Disney might do. Would it go something like the above?


Citizen columnist Andrew Cohen (otherwise known as the chairman of the Tobi Nussbaum for Mayor in 2018 Committee) is out tub-thumping in his column again for his favourite councillor-elect in Rideau-Rockcliffe.

Do we have to listen to four years of this kind of stuff? Why the bodies of the losing candidates in 2014 aren’t even cold yet.

Then later in his column, Cohen, urban expert, delves into what this city needs. You know the urbanist Cohen is always critiquing Ottawa as a dump with no vision that can’t hold a candle to other capital cities.

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The Skyscrappers Return

Well lookie who’s back.

The icy members of (or the Skyscrappers as we call them) who actually created a forum on their holy platform where they trashed yours truly, printed lies about your agent and libeled the aforementioned scribbler. No wonder the weather turned cold. The Scrappers have emerged from their burrows.

Such an honour because being a target of the Scrappers means The Bulldog is on the side of goodness and light.

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