Action Sandy Hill notebook

Jan Finlay

The board of Action Sandy Hill met on November 26. They were without a quorum of directors so no decisions were taken.

Sandy Hill Community Health Centre

Executive Director David Gibson and Rob Boyd, the director of the Oasis drug treatment program, paid a formal visit to the ASH meeting. They reported the health centre (at Rideau and Nelson) has 13,000 clients, an operating budget of $13 million and a staff of 221. Their focus is on primary health care, and they also participate in the Housing First initiative, helping the episodically and chronically homeless.

The centre receives some funding from the City of Ottawa for programs for kids in Strathcona Heights working in partnership with Ottawa Community Housing and Viscount Alexander school.

The centre’s catchment area includes Old Ottawa East, Vanier, Lowertown and Overbrook. There are satellite locations at 95 Main St., the Youth Services Bureau and Vanier’s social paediatric hub.

The Oasis program is now 22 years old, has 38 staff members and focuses on harm reduction health and social services, including HIV and Hep C treatment, for people who use drugs and experience barriers to health recovery due to stigma, poverty, criminalization and mental illness.

Oasis offers a needle exchange and safe needle disposal program. Their latest program (active since April 2018) is SIS, supervised injection services. It now operates Monday through Friday from 9 am to 9 pm and they hope to also offer weekend services.

SIS has received 1200 visits since opening and some overdose incidents have happened.

One of the staff positions is a designated floater whose job is to check around the property on a regular basis and to be available to address any issues that might occur outside the building.

The program is currently undergoing an external evaluation by a uOttawa professor. When the report is ready, it will be available to the public.


Some items of interest:

  • The Membership report will be appended to the minutes and posted on the ASH site
  • The Planning Committee has requested information from the City on when the R4 Study Phase II will begin.
  • ASH continues to work with the Uganda High Commission on their plans for 231 Cobourg St.
  • When asked about the opening of the eastbound on-ramp to the Queensway off Lees, Councillor Fleury reiterated that the ramp is now a designated part of the transitway and won’t be open to the public until the LRT goes into operation.


Highlights from ASH’s most recent newsletter:

R4 update: Action Sandy Hill is very concerned that the City has made very little progress on Phase II of the R4 review given that the current bunkhouse moratorium ends in mid-2019.  ASH is reviewing the issue with City officials in December.  More than 3000 people have signed ASH’s petition “to protect the historic neighbourhood of Sandy Hill and to actively support its revitalization as a healthy, viable and attractive place to live, work and play”.

Public Advisory: Avoid break & enters into sheds and garages: Residents are reminded to ensure sheds and garages are properly secured and you check them regularly. An insecure garage door can facilitate entry to the residence. In the event of a break & enter, police will ask about the availability of make, model and serial numbers of stolen property, and/or unique identifiers. Photographs of items such as higher-end bikes increase the potential of successful recovery and can be quickly disseminated by the police to people in the community. Anyone with information regarding a break & enter is asked to call the Ottawa Police’s Break & Enter Unit at 613-236-1222, ext. 4533. Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), or by downloading the Ottawa Police app.

Sandy Hill Winter Carnival: Sunday, January 27, 2019 from 3 pm to 6 pm at the Sandy Hill Community Centre.  DIf you want to help out, please contact Christine Aubry at

Chat with ASH: Have a question about traffic, tenants or trees in our neighbourhood? Before all monthly board meetings, ASH Board members will be available to address issues Sandy Hill residents may wish help with on an informal basis – a sort of “office hours” time between 6:30 and 7 pm. 

Next ASH Board Meeting: There is no board meeting in December.  The next meeting is scheduled for, to be held Monday, January 28, 2019 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the downstairs Boardroom of the Sandy Hill Community Centre. Minutes from the meetings are published at the Action Sandy Hill website.