Condo mania on OTrain corridor

The issue of Ottawa Business Journal (OBJ) out this past week has a major story on the development pressures along the Carling-Bayview OTrain corridor, parallel to Preston’s trendy Little Italy.

They interviewed me (tiny bit, amongst more illustrious others) following my postings about developments at the Champagne/Hickory/Carling area. You can read their story at

Last week I attended the Civic Hospital Neighborhood Assoc meeting. First item was the new development by Domicile at the corner of Hickory and Champagne Avenue (shown below). The site is now a one storey industrial building, and is zoned for 4 storey redevelopment.

A month or so ago, I heard Domicile was planning an eight storey condo tower on the site, along with six townhouses facing Hickory. The plan unveiled at the CHNA meeting was for the same six townhouses, but now a 12 storey building. I wondered where the additional height came from: the developer or the city? The proposed tower is significantly higher than the Merion Square project (9 floors, two towers) immediately adjacent, on a much larger site.

I expected there to be a lot of comment on the height of the building, as it backs onto single houses. But there was nary a peep on the issue, despite the developers architect and planners continually opening the door to the issue. Instead, all the commentary was saved for Ron Jacks, the traffic consultant, who did a fine job of dealing with the questions. The 101 condos will generate one car per 12 minutes for rush hour along Sherwood Drive, which aggravated some attendees.

 The Domicile site needs rezoning before it can go ahead. Recall that 855 Carling is also up for upzoning; and I hear the former Acquerello site has been sold to Mastercraft-Starwood, currently selling condos on Parkdale north of Scott. Alas, at the rate things are going, all the sites and heights will be determined before the City’s Community Development Plan is re-activated, and all local bargaining power lost. Also lost will be any chance of establishing view planes so each set of residents will have an unobstructed view of Dow’s Lake.