Watson, Harder And Others Don’t Care What You Think


The development at 900 Albert Street was rammed through planning committee on Tuesday.

The project will be one of the biggest in Ottawa history with three towers of 65, 56 and 27 storeys and blows away zoning for the area which was set at 30 storeys.

No public consultation for this mammoth project was held. It was announced on June 29 and allowed only five business days to discuss a plan that will forever change the skyline of Ottawa. Those five business days came during the heaviest period of holidays of the year.

This shows that planning committee, save three members, don’t care what you as a taxpayer and voter think because not enough time was set aside for discussion of the issue. Most people don’t even know about it.

Second, this is an affront to zoning … at least what’s left of it. The site is zoned for 30 storeys. It was approved at 65.

Houston doesn’t have any zoning at all. If you weren’t sure before, safe to say that Ottawa doesn’t have any, too.

This means that zoning isn’t even a suggestion anymore. It has been thrown out. And property owners, who pay municipal taxes, should not be aware that zoning in your neighbourhood no long exists. The city can put 16- and 14-storey buildings beside your single-family home anytime it wants.

My advice? Sell your home and move to Brockville.

Below is the vote on whether the planning committee decision should go to council on Wednesday:



Three councillors care about what you think.

The rest do not. Once again, ponder this as you vote on Oct. 22.

Apparently a reason for the rush to get this project through council was because it wouldn’t be very nice to the developer if he had to wait for the next meeting of council to get approval.

Participatory democracy? Debate? The free flow of ideas?

No. The prime directives at city council are serving developers and getting this tricky topic out of the way so that Watson can run for re-election free and clear.

It is desperately time for a change.


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18 thoughts on “Watson, Harder And Others Don’t Care What You Think

  1. Zoning and CDP’s in Ottawa have been just a formality since 2006 when a developer “funded” a CDP because the city could not afford to do so. The result was exactly what the developer wanted, pushed through as this one was in the face of opposition since it was “what the developer wanted” and the developer wanted it sent to council.
    Democracy in Ottawa has been dealt a death blow by Watson and his ilk.


  2. The only people who should vote for Watson et al are those who can take the LRT to get to the polling station on Oct. 22.


  3. Two of the three councillors on the Planning Committee who voted against the proposal, notably College Councillor Rick Chiarelli and Kitchissippi Councillor Jeff Leiper, have wards that are at risk of this type of exploitation, either on the existing Phase I or as Phase II of the LRT pushes westward. Kudos to Rideau-Rockcliffe Ward Councillor Tobi Nussbaum for voting on a matter of principle, even though his ward is unlikely to be directly affected by the LRT intensification.

    As for the others on the planning committee, their credibility is below that of Moe, Larry and Curly, because at least the Three Stooges acknowledged their shows were a farce.


    1. Ron,

      I always heard the order as – Larry, Moe and Curly (or Larry, Moe and Shemp).

      You do the Three Stooges a disservice, they were far smarter than your council.

      A Moe poke in the eyes to the yes voters.


    1. Kosmo:

      I know that not one of them would have signed the Lansdowne deal as it is currently configured.




      1. Have they signed any good deals?

        The Amazon deal that they stumbled on is also starting to sound a little one-sided and not in Ottawa’s favour.


        1. Kosmo:

          If they hadn’t black-listed The Bulldog from city advertising, that would have been a good deal.




  4. Can’t argue that, Rick Chiarelli advertises on The Bulldog and he seems to win his riding by the largest margins.

    I have received some interesting information on how Ottawa won the Amazon distribution center being built in the east end.


    1. Kosmo,
      I made a comment or three to Ken about my suspicions. At about week three (after May 24) I asked why is there such a long delay? It was on May 24th that CBC broke the story and yet there is no official announcement by mid June? I know what scuttlebutt I heard, what did you hear? I know some backroom shananigans were taking place.


      1. Chaz:

        I had heard back at the beginning of April that a deal was done, signed sealed and delivered to have Amazon set up a distribution centre here in Ottawa. My source was 100 per cent positive of this because he was already awarded work on the project.

        I was told they broke off talks with Montreal for the center because they were too “difficult to deal with”. Montreal would not agree with the builders and/or Amazon’s demands. So they moved up the 417 and found a perfect piece of property right on the highway.

        Ottawa agreed to and offered whatever was needed to attract Amazon to Ottawa … at our expense.

        Chaz, you have anything to add to this?


        1. Kosmo,
          Only that Ottawa was being asked to give Brocolini some concessions on development charges, site planning and little tweaks that would make the highway better.


          1. Just read the morning news.
            It’s full speed ahead.
            65 and 56 are the new 30.
            $800,000.00 in forgiven interest is the new norm.

            How will the council ever be able to stick to planning rules in the future?
            How will council ever be able to charge interest to any developer in the future?


  5. It’s incredible that developers have so much power over councillors to pull a stunt like this so close to election time. What’s the point of having elected officials? Developers get the concierge service from planning department, and it doesn’t seem like council or its committee wish to have any role in what goes on in the city.


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