Beyond a retrofit
At the corner of Laurier Ave. E. and Range Rd., to the dismay of neighbours, only two part-walls remain after a summer of demolition at the Egyptian Embassy. Councillor Fleury confirms this was sanctioned by the City’s Heritage office and no stop work orders will be issued. “Before” picture at right dates from 2018, when a “heritage overlay” was placed on all of Range Rd.
4 Range Rd.
This very large house, built in 1910, beside the Egyptian Embassy almost at the corner of Range and Laurier is being redeveloped into an eight-unit apartment building. The new owners (the building used to house the Gabon Embassy) are keeping the outside of the building intact, other than adding a fire escape at the side because of fire regulations, and are looking to rent to professionals, including diplomats. The building should be ready for its tenants in the fall of next year.
City Council has approved new zoning regulations which will affect most of Sandy Hill after a long and frustrating consultation process where many of the proposals made by community associations, including Action Sandy Hill, were rejected. The new regulations will allow the construction of low-rise apartment buildings on more Sandy Hill lots. COVID, and the University’s decision to continue to offer the majority of its courses remotely through the winter, however, have created a glut in student housing which may slow down the construction of new low-rise apartment buildings in the near future.
Walkable Ottawa is a grass-roots initiative spearheaded by architect Rosaline Hill to promote forms of development (e.g., denser housing, better sidewalks, good tree canopy, good public transportation, accessible businesses) that would encourage more walking and less reliance on the car. Echoing the concept of a fifteen-minute neighbourhood being developed as part of the Official Plan, Walkable Ottawa has recently held a number of consultations with community organizations and representatives of various interest groups. You can learn more about this initiative at www.walkableottawa.ca/about.