Committee hears of progress toward Official Plan objectives

Published on
July 3, 2024
Council, committees and City Hall
Planning, development and construction

The Planning and Housing Committee today received a new draft Official Plan (OP) monitoring report for 2022, showing the City’s OP is performing well in terms of economic development, mobility, intensification and land management.

The report measures the effectiveness of OP policies and assesses progress towards achieving strategic directions and objectives. It tracks a series of 19 data indictors related to growth management, economic development, mobility, urban and community design, and climate, energy and public health. Of those 19 indicators, eight are meeting or exceeding OP targets while six are showing progress but are not yet meeting targets. One indicator, which tracks the rental vacancy rate, is showing only minimal progress.

The City does not have enough information to assess performance of four indicators this year, notably those related to affordable housing, vacant dwellings, winter maintenance and natural heritage. The report establishes a baseline, however, for future measurement of these indicators. The 2023 monitoring report is anticipated to come to the Committee before the end of 2024.

The Committee approved Official Plan and zoning amendments to facilitate multiple developments being proposed across Ottawa, including the site of the former bus depot on Catherine Street, in Centretown. The redevelopment includes three towers at 32, 34 and 36 storeys facing Catherine Street, as well as a three-storey townhouse building facing Arlington Avenue. More than 1,130 residential units are proposed, as well as commercial and public spaces, including a new 1,000-square-metre public park at Arlington Avenue and Kent Street. The amendments are primarily needed to permit additional height as the current designation permits a maximum height of 25 storeys.

Near Bayshore Shopping Centre, the Committee approved amendments that would facilitate two towers at heights of 40 and 37 storeys on Woodridge Crescent. More than 510 residential units are proposed, along with 1,500 square metres of publicly accessible open space and a multi-use pathway. The amendments would permit the proposed heights and require new public space on the site.

Approved amendments would also facilitate two developments with affordable housing components. In West Centretown, the Committee approved zoning for a four-storey apartment building south on Empress Avenue North that would have a total of 41 apartments, all affordable. In Orléans, the approved amendments would permit an 18-storey building on St. Joseph Boulevard at Duford Drive with 202 residential units and ground-floor commercial space. In line with federal funding that the applicant has received for the proposed development, at least 20 per cent of units would need to be affordable.

To help address the housing crisis, Council committed to providing home builders enough opportunities to build 151,000 quality market homes by 2031 – or 15,100 per year. If Council approves, the land-use permissions that the Committee recommended today will help put applicants in a position to build 2,472 new dwellings in Ottawa. Visit for a graphic showing quarterly progress towards Ottawa’s housing pledge targets.

Recommendations from today’s meeting will rise to Council on Wednesday, July 10.