[Amendment #137, OMB Order File #PL141223 and #PL141147, March 14, 2016]
This Chapter contains a Secondary Plan for the Preston-Carling District. The purpose of this Plan is to provide more detailed area - based policy direction to guide both public and the private development, including public realm investment, within the Preston-Carling District over the next 20 years.
The Preston-Carling District is primarily an Official Plan-designated Mixed-Use Centre, a design priority area, and a target area for intensification. As part of the broad change that is occurring in the city, the District has attracted a number of ambitious development projects in recent years and has emerged as one of the most significant re-urbanization areas in the city. The Preston-Carling District will continue to attract development interest and evolve, and will become the south western edge and gateway to the city’s future larger downtown. [Amendment #214, July 17, 2018]
This Secondary Plan is intended to guide an orderly transformation of the Preston-Carling area into a future downtown District. Section 2 of this Plan describes the planning area where the Secondary Plan policies will apply. Section 3 outlines the vision for the Preston-Carling District. The Plan’s policies pertaining to land use and built form, public realm, servicing, and housing can be found in Sections 4, 5, 6, and 7. The Plan concludes with policies intended to guide its interpretation and implementation in Sections 8 and 9.
This Secondary Plan is City Council’s policy direction for all municipal actions, including public works, site plan reviews, Zoning By-law amendments, and Committee of Adjustment applications in the Preston-Carling District. The various sections in the Plan are closely linked and are not meant to be read in isolation. Proponents should review all sections of this Plan, in addition to the applicable policies in Volume 1 of the Official Plan, when considering and preparing proposals for new public and private development in the District.
2.0 Planning Area
This chapter applies to the Preston-Carling District, bounded on the north by Highway 417, and Orangeville Street, on the east by Rochester Street and Booth Street, on the south by Carling Avenue, Prince of Wales Drive and the Central Experiment Farm, and Norman Street, on the west by Bayswater Avenue, Sherwood Drive, Breezehill Avenue South, Hickory Street, Loretta Avenue South, Beech Street, and Railway Street. [Amendment #214, July 17, 2018] [Amendment #227, April 4, 2019]
The Preston-Carling District is a place with a unique history, people, and culture, surrounded by federal government facilities, family-friendly neighbourhoods and an abundant supply of beautiful open spaces. It has become one of the most important re-urbanization areas in the city in recent years, and will over time emerge as the south-western gateway to the city’s larger future downtown. With enhanced vitality and quality, the District will continue to be home to a diverse group of people, and create new opportunities for business, tourism, employment, and desirable services.
Some of the city’s tallest and finest mixed-use buildings will cluster around the Carling Avenue O-Train/future light rail transit (LRT) station. These buildings will form a new, exciting, and distinctive downtown skyline with transition towards the adjacent stable low-rise residential neighbourhoods. Facing Dows Lake and the Rideau Canal World Heritage Site, one of the most significant tourism and recreation destinations in the National Capital Region, these buildings will collectively present an image that is important not only to the City but also to the entire country.
Preston Street as well as the neighbourhood known as Little Italy are defining elements of the District’s identity. They will continue to be a human scale place to attract businesses, families, and facilitate social, economic, and cultural interaction and innovation. The enhanced public realm throughout the area will allow for festivals such as the traditional Italian Week to continuously celebrate the culture and people of this colourful District.
The development of a new hospital south of Carling Avenue will make the District an important employment magnet and a centre for community care and research. The new hospital, surrounded by the Central Experimental Farm to the west and south and by a vibrant urban context to the north and east, will be an architectural anchor in the landscape. [Amendment #214, July 17, 2018]
Greener and more urban, the District will see the return of large street trees that historically existed in the area and an expanded network of urban spaces. Ev Tremblay Park will be enhanced and expanded through design and extensive programming to service the existing and new residents and families. New urban squares and plazas with public arts will rhythmically dot the landscape. Continuous tree canopies will beautify the streets and create a much more pleasant and comfortable place to walk, bike, sit, and congregate. The O-Train/future LRT corridor will be managed and enhanced to re-stitch the City’s urban ecological fabric that reaches from Dows Lake to the Ottawa River.
A major hub on the City’s rapid transit network, accessibility and mobility will be greatly improved throughout the District. The north-south O-train will become a double-track LRT line with more frequent train services. The east-west Carling transit corridor will also be enhanced and in the long term will see an at-grade LRT. Tree-lined streets with generous sidewalks and dedicated bike lanes, multi-use pathways, new and enhanced crossings over the north-south O-Train/future LRT, mid-block passages, as well as conveniently located bicycle parking racks will make “pedestrian first” a reality and cycling a safe, convenient, efficient option for traveling. Vehicular movement will be calmed and move more slowly and accessibility for delivery and emergency services will be enhanced for businesses and residents. Public parking will be conveniently located on street and under a number of mixed-use buildings for visitors.
The Preston-Carling District has a memorable past. It is a key location for change as called for by the Official Plan and is emerging as the southern and western extent of Ottawa’s downtown area. The people and the cultural DNA that constructed the character of the neighbourhood will continue to guide the evolution of the District towards an exciting, animated, green, and highly accessible place with enhanced rapid transit services. More people will live, work, and visit this dynamic and distinctive urban destination that is important not only to the neighbourhood, but also to the City.
The former Energy, Mines and Resources Booth Street Complex will be transformed into a vibrant community hub. This unique ensemble of heritage buildings will be restored and adapted to celebrate Ottawa’s industrial past and the federal government’s historical involvement with the development of Canada’s fuel and mining industry. New buildings will be built beside old and will form a dynamic skyline. New parks, plazas and a network of narrow alleyways and shared streets will attract people, businesses, and encourage year-round activities. [Amendment #227, April 4, 2019]
4.0 Land Use and Built Form
The future Preston-Carling District will be a mixed use downtown community comprised of a number of integrated land use character areas conveniently connected by a network of streets, pathways, bridges, parks, squares and other open spaces. The District is primarily a Mixed-Use Centre designated in Volume 1 of the Official Plan. The Official Plan designates the majority of Preston Street as a Traditional Mainstreet and a portion of Carling Avenue within the District as an Arterial Mainstreet. This section provides detailed land use policies for each land use character area. It also establishes criteria for the key built form elements that are important to the community in defining the quality and characteristics of the physical environment of the Preston-Carling District. [Amendment #214, July 17, 2018]
4.1 Land Use Character Areas
The following land use policies refer to Schedule A Land Use Character Areas and Schedule B Heights and Tower Location, and provide specific directions for various land use character areas. While land use policies set out the maximum building height that may be permitted, the developments shall demonstrate that the built form criteria outlined in Section 4.2 of this Plan are met before the permitted maximum height can be approved. The developments will also be expected to contribute to the public realm improvements detailed in Section 5 of this Plan.
4.1.1 Station Area
Centred around the Carling Avenue O-Train/future LRT station along Carling and Champagne Avenues, the Station Area will incorporate a wide range of transit supportive uses and see the tallest buildings and the highest densities in the entire District. A gradual reduction in height and density from the centre towards the surrounding neighbourhoods as well as Dows Lake and the Central Experiment Farm will be necessary to provide the desirable transition. Exceptional architectural design will be required for all buildings to ensure the highest streetscape quality and to create a unique skyline that symbolizes the south western gateway of the future expanded downtown. Integration with the O-Train/future LRT station will be required for buildings immediately adjacent to the station. The Station Area will be the priority area for public realm improvement as outlined in Section 5 of this Plan. It is divided by the O-Train/future LRT corridor into two integrated areas. [Amendment #214, July 17, 2018]
Areas east of the O-Train/future LRT
[Amendment #214, July 17, 2018]
- High-rise mixed-use development with a height greater than 30 storeys and up to a maximum of 55 storeys may be permitted on properties fronting Carling Avenue east of the O-Train/future LRT and west of Norfolk Avenue with a reduction in height from the O-Train/future LRT and Carling Avenue intersection towards the north and the east.
- High-rise mixed-use development up to a height as detailed in Schedule B of this Plan may be permitted on properties south of Adeline Street.
- Low-rise predominantly residential development up to a height of four storeys may be permitted on properties on the north side of Adeline Street.
- The land use character of the Traditional Mainstreet will continue on Preston Street through the blocks between Adeline Street and Carling Avenue with continuous retail and commercial uses at grade, and these blocks will be enhanced as the entrance of the Preston Traditional Mainstreet.
Areas west of the O-Train/future LRT
[Amendment #214, July 17, 2018]
- High-rise mixed-use development up to a height of 30 storeys may be permitted at the front portion of the property bounded by Carling Avenue on the south, Champagne Avenue on the west, Hickory Street on the north, and O-Train/future LRT on the east.
- High-rise predominantly residential development up to a height as detailed in Schedule B of this Plan may be permitted along Champagne Avenue up to Ev Tremblay Park.
- Mid-rise mixed-use development up to a height of nine storeys, with a built form sympathetic to the surrounding low profile residential buildings may be permitted along Carling Avenue west of Loretta Avenue.
- Mid-rise predominantly residential development up to a height of six storeys, with a built form sympathetic to the surrounding low profile residential buildings, may be permitted at the north east corner of Loretta Avenue and Hickory Street.
- Mid-rise predominantly residential development up to a height of six storeys, with a built form sympathetic to the surrounding low profile residential buildings, may be permitted on the property facing Beech Street between Champagne Avenue and Loretta Avenue.
4.1.2 Rochester Corridor
As an entry route to both the Preston-Carling District and federal government Booth Street Complex, Rochester Street will form a mixed use urban edge between the two distinctive areas. The buildings along the west side of Rochester Street will offer a transition in height, massing, and scale between the potential future intensification in the Booth Street Complex and the low-rise neighbourhood around Preston Street.
- High-rise mixed use development up to a height of 18 storeys may be permitted along the west side of Rochester Street provided such development occupies the majority of the Rochester Street frontage between the east-west streets extending from Preston Street to Rochester Street with a minimum lot size of 1,500 square meters.
- Only one high-rise tower may be permitted on the eastern end of each street block between Preston Street and Rochester Street.
- Development shall respect the privacy and liveability of the abutting residential uses by providing proper building setbacks from the abutting properties with the high-rise tower and the upper floors stepping back from the podium and/or the base.
- The City shall work with the federal government to advance plans for the redevelopment of the Booth Street Complex and ensure that the planning vision for the Rochester Corridor will be achieved, including the introduction of public open spaces.
Despite Section 4.1.2, Policy 1, high-rise mixed-use development up to a height of 26 storeys may be permitted along the west side of Rochester Street in the block between Aberdeen Street and Beech Street. [Amendment #246, August 18, 2020]
4.1.3 Mixed-Use Blocks
The northern end of the Preston-Carling District will continuously be anchored by a successful mixed-use office development project at 333 Preston Street known as Preston Square. The vacant and/or underutilized properties in the vicinity of Preston Square offer substantial redevelopment opportunities and will add to a healthy mix of uses and functions within the District. These developments will have the potential to provide some of the much needed uses for a dynamic District and to support the broader community while respecting the neighbourhood fabric. New development shall be sympathetic to the surrounding low-rise neighbourhood and the Traditional Mainstreets in massing and scale.
- High-rise mixed-use development to a height of 15 storeys may be permitted on the vacant and/or underutilized properties east of the O-train/future LRT corridor south of Young Street to serve as a buffer between Highway 417 and the Little Italy neighbourhood.
Mid-rise and high-rise mixed-use development consisting of heights up to nine storeys and fifteen storeys may be permitted at the surface parking area located west of Rochester Street, north of Beech Street, and south of Aberdeen Street, in accordance with Schedule B – Heights and Tower Location. [Amendment #246, August 18, 2020]
- The City shall encourage the provision of a major grocery store and publicly accessible parking as part of the development at the location described in 4.1.3.b through the development review process.
4.1.4 Mainstreet Corridors
Preston Street will continue to evolve and thrive as the commercial spine of the Preston-Carling District. Branching off of Preston Street, Beech Street will be developed as a commercial link among the residential neighbourhoods west of the O-Train/future LRT, the potential development at the Booth Street Complex, and Preston Street. A broad range of uses are permitted along the two corridors, including retail and service commercial uses, offices, residential and institutional uses. Both streets will be characterized by an eclectic collection of low to mid-rise buildings.
- Low to mid-rise, up to a height of six storeys, human scale, mixed use buildings in keeping with a Main Street function and character as outlined in Section 3.6.3 of the Official Plan may be permitted along the Mainstreet Corridors as shown in Schedule A of this Plan.
- Notwithstanding policy 4.1.4.a, mid-rise buildings with a maximum height of nine storeys may be permitted on the property located west of Rochester Street, north of Beech Street, and south of Aberdeen Street.
4.1.5 The Mixed Use Neighbourhood (Little Italy)
The low-rise street blocks flanking Preston Street, known as Little Italy, is a mixed-use neighbourhood that supports families and a wide range of demographics. It will continue to evolve and intensify over time to provide liveable, affordable, and family-friendly housing options while supporting live-work alternatives and small businesses. Redevelopment in the form of infill will be encouraged to ensure the unique quality and characteristics that define the identity of “Little Italy” will not be lost in the wake of the major urban transformation around the edges of the District.
- Notwithstanding the provisions in Section 3.6.2 of Volume 1 of the Official Plan, low-rise residential and mixed-use development up to four storeys will be permitted in the Mixed Use Neighbourhood as shown in Schedule A of this Plan.
- Developments in the Mixed Use Neighbourhood will not be subject to the minimum density targets established for the Bayview-Preston area in Section 2.2.2 of Volume 1 of the Official Plan.
- The City shall protect and enhance the built form character of Little Italy by encouraging infill development that is sympathetic to the historic built form character of the neighbourhood through the development review process.
- The City will encourage creative design of affordable and liveable housing units that are suitable for families with children through the development review process.
- Mid-rise, predominantly residential development up to nine storeys may be permitted on the property located at 93 to 105 Norman Street.
4.1.6 Greenway Corridor
The O-Train/future LRT corridor will continue to be an open space and north-south transportation corridor that accommodates the O-Train/future LRT and the Multi-Use Pathways in the Preston-Carling District connecting Dows Lake to the Ottawa River. With improved pedestrian and cycling connections, the corridor will serve as a green place that unites the communities that are currently divided by the O-Train trench. The potential urban ecological function of the corridor will also be recognized and enhanced through proper management as outlined in Section 5.1.2 of this Plan.
- The City shall protect and enhance the O-Train/future LRT corridor as a continuous open space system that serves transportation, recreation, community, and urban ecological functions.
- The City shall expand the Greenway Corridor to allow for the extension of the existing Multi-Use Pathway along the east side of the O-Train/future LRT between Carling Avenue and Prince of Wales Drive and the introduction of a new Multi-Use Pathway along the west side of the O-Train/future LRT between Beech Street and Prince of Wales Drive.
4.1.7 Open Space
As the Preston-Carling District intensifies, there will be an increased demand on the provision of open spaces, including parks and urban squares. The ultimate demand for public parks will not be determined solely by the number of people living and working in the area. Special considerations shall be given to the location, size, character, and ownership of parks and urban squares as provided for in Section 5.1.1 of this Plan and the Public Realm and Mobility Study.
- The City shall retain, improve and expand Ev Tremblay Park and McCann Park through the provisions of the Parkland By-law for locally-oriented recreational facilities and seek to expand the parks as adjacent lands become available through redevelopment.
- The land use and built form design on the abutting properties shall respect and enhance the function and character of the open spaces and shall not produce adverse micro climate impacts on these open spaces.
- The City shall acquire approximately 0.22 hectares of lands as illustrated in Schedule C-2 of this Plan through parkland dedication and a new park will be developed to support the development of the Complex and the surrounding neighbourhood. [Amendment #227, April 4, 2019]
4.1.8 Hospital Area
[Amendment #214, July 17, 2018]
The Hospital Area is a diverse area, with strong ties to the Carling Avenue O Train/future LRT station in the east; Dows Lake and Prince of Wales Drive to the south and the Central Experimental Farm to the west and south. Development of a hospital and related research centre will demonstrate exceptional architectural and urban design to ensure design respects the historical, cultural and physical environment with which it is situated in and adjacent to. Integration with the Carling O-train/future LRT station will be essential for the hospital and research buildings located at the O Train line corridor, south of Carling Avenue.
- Institutional uses and related ancillary uses, for the intent of locating a hospital shall be permitted.
- The Ottawa Hospital shall work with the National Capital Commission’s Advisory Committee on Planning, Design and Realty (ACPDR) and the City’s Urban Design Review Panel (UDRP) to ensure urban design and architectural excellence of the hospital and related research facility.
- The following criteria will apply to the development of The Ottawa Hospital including a Master Site Plan:
- Inclusion of publicly accessible open spaces;
- Integration of the Carling O-Train/future LRT station into the Hospital and research facility;
- Provision of high level pedestrian and cycling connectivity throughout the site and with the surrounding areas with full accessibility for all modes of mobility.
- Provision of parking on site, including underground;
- Implementation of a parking strategy for the purpose of the impacts of off-site parking;
- Completion of a Transportation Impact Assessment and mobility strategy; and
- Urban design and architecture addressing the urban edge of Carling Avenue and Preston Street; the cultural heritage of the Central Experimental Farm and its national historic value; and the scenic edge of Prince of Wales Drive.
4.1.9 Booth Street Complex
[Amendment #227, April 4, 2019]
The former Booth Street Complex bounded by Orangeville Street, Booth Street, Norman Street and Rochester Streets has a unique character, in terms of its history, form and function. The site will undergo a major redevelopment into a vibrant destination while preserving and repurposing its most significant heritage buildings. The redevelopment will include a mixture of residential, retail, commercial and office landuses in either single use buildings or mixed-use buildings within a highly accessible and animated public realm. The tallest building shall be at the north end of the complex, close to Orangeville Street and Highway 417.
- The property shall be designated as a complex under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act. Buildings included in the designation, as identified in the Statement of Cultural Heritage Value that will form part of the Designation By-law XXXX shall remain either as free-standing structures or shall be incorporated into intensified developments in accordance with the general layout illustrated in Schedule C-2. In some instances, additions may be permitted to the buildings to either increase their footprint or their building height. All additions and interventions shall be subject to the provisions of Sections 33 and 34 of the Ontario Heritage Act, and will require the issuance of a permit under the Act.
- The property shall be designated under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act. Buildings deemed to be contributing, as identified on the Statement of Cultural Heritage Value associated with the designation By-Law shall remain either as free-standing structures or shall be incorporated into intensified developments in accordance with the conceptual layout illustrated in Schedule C-2. In some instances, additions may be permitted to the buildings to either increase their footprint or their building height.
- New development will complement the heritage elements. Built form and building design will ensure that the heritage attributes of the site, as defined in the Statement of Cultural Heritage Value, continue to define the character of the complex. Features, including the smokestack should remain visually prominent.
- New development around the outer perimeter of the block will face their public street and integrate with its surrounding urban fabric.
- Permitted maximum building heights have been identified in Schedule B.
- A network of publicly-accessible paths and spaces will be established, within the complex, as illustrated in Schedule C-2.
4.2 Built Form
The Preston-Carling District will see an eclectic mix of different building heights, massing, and typologies that are reflective of the history, the vitality, and dynamics of the place. The development within the District shall conform to the Official Plan built form policies pertaining to the Mixed-Use Centre and the Traditional Mainstreet designations. The applicable Council-approved design guidelines and policies will also provide guidance on built form design. The following policies set out detailed criteria for development projects to achieve high quality architecture and urban design and to ensure compatibility and transition.
4.2.1 High-rise Buildings (10 - 30):
The following criteria will apply to developments that incorporate a high-rise building in areas where a high-rise building is permitted as provided for in Section 4.1 of this Plan:
- With the exception of the projects along Rochester Street and the Booth Street Complex, the development site that will accommodates a high-rise building shall have frontage on public lands along three sides which could comprise of a combination of street and/or publicly-owned open spaces (i.e. frontage on three streets or frontage on two streets with one frontage on public owned open space). For lands within the Booth Street Complex, the development sites that accommodate a high-rise building shall have frontage on either public lands along three sides as described above or on privately owned publicly accessible spaces in accordance with Schedule C-2 Public Realm Plan for the Booth Street Complex. [Amendment #227, April 4, 2019]
- The podium and/or base of the development shall incorporate uses and human scale features to animate adjacent streets and open spaces.
- Point tower design shall be provided for high-rise buildings.
- Small floor plates will be encouraged with the typical floor area of a residential tower being generally no greater than 750 square meters and notwithstanding policy 4.11.14 of Volume 1 of the Official Plan, the typical floor area of an office tower being generally less than 2,000 square meters.
- Notwithstanding policy 4.11.14.a of Volume 1 of the Official Plan, a minimum separation distance of 20 metres between the towers will be required. Proposals that include separation distances less than 20 metres shall demonstrate that criteria set out in policy 4.11.14.a of Volume 1 of the Official Plan are met.
- The relationship between potential towers within the same street block shall be addressed with towers being located as shown on Schedule B Height and Tower Location and measures being introduced through the development review process to ensure orderly development of the block.
- Coordination of tower locations shall be pursued to optimize views from towers to Dows Lake, to the city skyline and other public amenities.
- Shadow and wind studies will be required for all high-rise developments in accordance with the City’s Terms of References.
- Notwithstanding the indication of tower location in Schedule B – Height and Tower Location of this Plan, it is acknowledged that Council has approved a site specific zoning for the former Ottawa Humane Society site known as 101 Champagne Avenue and this site specific zoning includes provisions would allow up to two high-rise towers of varied heights (25 and 23 storeys as was reflected on the development concept on which the zoning was based) with a separation distance between the two towers less than the requirements set out in policy 4.2.1.e of this Plan.
- Acknowledging the functional requirements for a hospital and its related facilities, the reference to Policies a, c and d, shall not apply to the lands designated ‘Hospital Area’. [Amendment #214, July 17, 2018]
4.2.2 High-rise Buildings (30+)
Some of the City’s tallest buildings may be permitted in the Preston-Carling District. These buildings will be prominent features in the skyline and landscape and will have a significant impact on the identity and characteristics of the District and the City and requires extra attention in planning and design. The following additional criteria will apply to developments that incorporate a high-rise building with a height more than 30 storeys in areas where such high-rise buildings are permitted as provided for in Section 4.1 of this Plan:
- Development proposals will be subject to a thorough view impact analysis from various vantage points defined in Annex 8A of the Official Plan and no building, part of the building, or building roof structure shall have any impact on the visual integrity and symbolic primacy of the Parliament Buildings and other national symbols; this view impact analysis shall also take into consideration the appearance and visual impact of the towers from Dows Lake and the Rideau Canal World Heritage Site and Parks Canada will be circulated for comment.
- Notwithstanding policy 4.11.14 of Volume 1 of the Official Plan and 4.2.1.e of this Plan, a minimum separation distance of 25m between the towers will be required. This requirement will be applicable to the separation distance between a tower with a height more than 30 storeys and a tower with a height less than 30 storeys. Proposals that include separation distances less than 25m shall demonstrate that criteria set out in policy 4.11.14.a of Volume 1 of the Official Plan are met.
- Development shall display design excellence and pursue distinction and variation in many aspects of design, in particular, the sculpting and articulation of the shape, the massing, and the top of the building in order to create a unique silhouette and skyline that can represent the identity of the Preston-Carling District and the image of downtown.
- Development will be subject to a specialized design review process to ensure exceptional urban design and architecture quality, and coordination in the formation of an urban skyline through variations of height and design.
4.2.3 Mid-rise Buildings
Mid-rise buildings up to nine storeys may be permitted on a number of land use character areas in this Plan and may also be built on properties where high-rise buildings are permitted. In addition to the applicable policies in Volume 1 of the Official Plan the following criteria will apply to mid-rise developments where they may occur.
- In general, mid-rise building should have a base that relates to the sidewalk and pedestrian realm, a middle portion (a height that is approximately equivalent to the width of the right-of-way) to form part of the streetwall and relate to adjacent buildings, and a top that incorporates building form articulations such as step backs and/or elevation treatments to break up building mass and allow sky-view, sunlight and transition.
- New development will be required to articulate the building mass and explore design techniques such as setbacks and step backs to avoid the canyon effect along the public street and to minimize the visual and micro climate impacts on public and private realms.
- The relationship between the new development and the abutting existing and future residential buildings shall be carefully examined and addressed to ensure liveability for existing and future residents through adequate provisions for privacy, sunlight, and cross ventilation.
4.2.4 Animated Building Edge
Animated building edges are essential for creating a safe, pedestrian-friendly, and successful urban environment in the Preston-Carling District. In addition to policies under 5.2.3 of this Plan and the guidelines provided in the Public Realm and Mobility Study, the following policies highlight key directions related to built form.
- Continuous at grade retail and commercial frontages shall be provided along Preston Street.
- Commercial and other active frontages will be required for development along Beech Street between the O-Train/future LRT and Rochester Street and Carling Avenue.
- All development projects will be required to be oriented to the streets, pathways, and parks.
- All development projects will be required to animate the public spaces they face through incorporating pedestrian-oriented uses and architecture features and details that will enhance pedestrian safety and provide visual interest to enrich pedestrian experience.
4.2.5 Transition and Neighbourhood Line
The City’s built form vision for Preston-Carling District allows for high-rise buildings at strategic locations while ensuring transition in height and density in order to protect the surrounding stable neighbourhoods and open spaces as detailed in Schedule B Heights and Tower Location. The following policies provide further clarification on how the transition should occur within the District.
- A gradual reduction in height from the tallest buildings located adjacent to the Carling Avenue O-Train/future LRT station towards the surrounding low profile neighbourhood as well as Dows Lake and the Central Experiment Farm will be required.
- A Neighbourhood Line is established along the west boundaries of the District in Ward 15 as shown in Schedule B Heights and Tower Location.
- New developments within the District along the Neighbourhood Line shall be sympathetic to the height, massing, scale, and architectural rhythm of the adjacent low-rise residential buildings.
- New developments along the Neighbourhood Line will be required to explore design techniques such as a strong expression of a two or three-storey base with ground-oriented units and setbacks at the upper floors to reduce the visual and micro climate impacts.
- New development at the northeast corner of Hickory Street and Loretta Avenue shall incorporate a podium along Hickory Street with a maximum height of four storeys in order to maintain a low-rise building profile along the north side of Hickory Street between Loretta Avenue and Champagne Avenue should a mid-rise development be pursued at this location.
- Regardless of lot configuration, the property boundaries between the existing high rise condominium located at 100 Champagne and the new mid-rise development at the northeast corner of Hickory Street and Loretta Avenue shall be treated as the rear lot lines between the two properties and proper separation between the two buildings will be required to maintain a reasonable rear yard condition to ensure adequate provisions for privacy, sunlight, and cross ventilation.
Special Transition Provisions for 93 to 105 Norman Street
- The development on the property shall respect and enhance the character of Norman Street and reflect the scale and architectural rhythm established by the low profile buildings.
- Notwithstanding policy 4.1.5.e, the maximum height for a minimum of 50 per cent of the property shall be five storeys.
- The footprint of the nine-storey component shall not exceed 50 per cent of the footprint of the entire building and the nine-storey component shall be located so as to minimize the impacts on the low-rise residential uses along Norman Street.
- The five-storey component shall incorporate a low profile base with step backs on the top floors to minimize the visual and micro climate impacts.
Central Experimental Farm Line
- A Central Experimental Farm Line is established along the southern boundary of the Hospital Area character area within the Central Experimental Farm, as shown in Schedule C-1 Public Realm Plan – Hospital Site.
- New developments within the Hospital Area character area adjacent to the Central Experimental Farm Line shall be sympathetic to the height, massing, and scale of the adjacent low-rise buildings.
- New developments within the Hospital Area character area adjacent to the Central Experimental Farm Line shall demonstrate the location of open space integrating with the existing pastoral open space of the Central Experimental Farm. [Amendment #214, July 17, 2018]
Special provisions for properties designated Mixed-Use Blocks located east of the O-Train/future LRT corridor south of Young Street:
- The maximum height of the podium and/or base of the development will be four storeys or approximately 14.5 m whichever is less.
- The portion of the development that is above the podium and/or base should set back a minimum of 10.5 m from the rear property line to minimize the impacts on the abutting low-rise development along George Street.
- Should a high-rise development be pursued, the tower portion of the development shall be located at the west end of Young Street as depicted on Schedule B.
- A reduction of the front yard and corner side yard may be permitted to facilitate a design that aims to achieve policies l. and m.
- High-rise development at this location will be required to accommodate all parking, loading, and waste management within the building envelope. [Amendment #137, OMB Order File #PL141223 and #PL141147, March 14, 2016]
The following special provisions for 425 Preston Street and 79 Pamilla Street shall apply when establishing the applicable zoning provisions:
- The rear yard setback from the eastern property line of 79 Pamilla Street may be reduced to a minimum of 1.2m to encourage a continuous building frontage along Pamilla Street.
- The yard setback adjacent to McCann Park shall be as per the current TM zone.
- Notwithstanding policy 4.1.4.a. and the maximum height provisions shown on Schedule B, the maximum height of the portion of the development on 79 Pamilla Street within 7.5m from the eastern property line shall be four (4) storeys to offer a transition to the neighbouring properties.
- No ground floor retail uses shall be permitted on the property known municipally as 79 Pamilla Street. [Amendment #137, OMB Order File #PL141223 and #PL141147, March 14, 2016]
5.0 Public Realm and Mobility
The successful transformation of Preston-Carling District will require the provision of a generous and high quality public realm that supports and attracts pedestrian movement and activities. As part of the secondary planning process the Preston-Carling District Public Realm and Mobility Study has set out key directions for improvements to rebalance streets to ensure adequate space is given to pedestrians and for improvements and additions to parks, open spaces and urban squares. Together, pedestrian space on streets, parks, open space and urban squares constitute the public realm network. The Preston-Carling District Public Realm and Mobility Study is a supporting policy document for this Secondary Plan. The strategies and guidelines in the Public Realm and Mobility Study are complimentary to the following Secondary Plan policies and will be used to guide the municipal capital projects and the review of development applications.
5.1 Public Realm Plan
The public realm within the Preston-Carling District will comprise parks, urban squares, greenway corridors, and streets. The following detailed policies set out key long-term targets for improvements to the public realm as illustrated in Schedule C and C-1 Public Realm Plan. [Amendment #214, July 17, 2018]
5.1.1 Parks and Urban Squares
- Ev Tremblay Park will be revitalized and expanded as a public park with extensive programming to serve the existing and the new residents and as a heart for the community and a centre for activities such as markets, or planned community events.
- McCann Park will be revitalized and expanded as a locally-oriented public park.
- New urban parks and squares will be created in association with major redevelopment in areas identified in Schedule C and C-1 Public Realm Plan through the development review process. [Amendment #214, July 17, 2018]
- The Station Area and Hospital Area, particularly the properties immediately adjacent to the Carling Avenue O-Train/future LRT station will be a priority area for creating new urban squares on private lands oriented to the O-Train/future LRT station. [Amendment #214, July 17, 2018]
- An urban square will be introduced at Preston Street and Highway 417 as the north gateway to the Preston-Carling District to mark the threshold of the Distinct and proud community of Little Italy.
5.1.2 Greenway Corridors
- The existing Multi-Use Pathway along the east side of the O-Train/future LRT corridor shall be improved and extended across Carling Avenue with enhancement to the open space function of this corridor through careful management of the landscape from an urban forestry perspective.
- A new Multi-Use Pathway along the west side of the O-Train/future LRT corridor between Beech Street, Carling Avenue and Prince of Wales Drive shall be introduced in association with redevelopment to improve accessibility of the Carling Avenue O-Train/future LRT station as well as the broader community.
- The landscaping as well the pedestrian and cycling connections of the greenway along the south side of Highway 417 should be enhanced.
5.1.3 Streetscape Typologies and Enhancement
- Carling Avenue will be a prominent, beautiful, and comfortable multi modal “grand street” with wide sidewalks and bicycle lanes/tracks separated from vehicular movements as well as large street trees adjacent to the sidewalk and in the median east of Preston Street. The City’s Transportation Master Plan calls for at-grade light rail transit services along Carling Avenue west of the O-Train/future LRT corridor in the long term. The implementation of this at-grade LRT may require a rebalancing of the street.
- Preston Street and Beech Street will be animated and active Mainstreets with generous pedestrian zones for walking and seasonal outdoor patios, ample bicycle parking, strategic on street parking, special furnishing, street trees and planting beds. Bus stops and shelters will be located along Preston Street.
- Rochester Street will be designed as an entry route to the Preston-Carling District with wide sidewalks, bicycle lanes/tracks, on-street parking, and generous greenery with street trees adjacent to the buildings.
- Champagne Avenue will be a shared street that prioritizes pedestrians and allows for the street to be used as a plaza and an extension of Ev Tremblay Park when closed to traffic for special events.
- Sidney Street and the dead-end streets west of Preston Street south of Beech Street should be designed as woonerfs with enhanced pedestrian amenities and greenery.
- All other local streets will aim to enhance the pedestrian experience, ensure safety, calm traffic and create a more enjoyable and welcoming public realm.
- Preston Street south of Carling will be designed as a special green corridor with generous sidewalks, painted cycling lanes, and double rows of trees on each side of the street.
- Prince of Wales Drive will continue to be a scenic entry route with wide sidewalks, painted cycling lanes, large street trees and green boulevards.
- Booth Street should be designed to consider wide sidewalks, bicycle lanes/tracks, on-street parking and generous greenery with street trees. [Amendment #227, April 4, 2019]
5.2 Public Realm Strategies
The following policies outline 16 strategies for improvements to pedestrian, cycling, and transit amenities, parks and open spaces, and streetscapes viewed through three lenses that enhance moving around, greening and activating the public realm. These strategies, as well as the associated guidelines in the Public Realm and Mobility Study will be applicable to guide the design, construction, and maintenance of all public and private projects.
5.2.1 Moving Around
Moving Around includes strategies that seek to improve accessibility, connectivity and movement throughout the Preston-Carling District. These Strategies address all forms of movement and accommodate residents, businesses and visitors.
- Walking: Continue to commit to “pedestrians-first” and provide a connected network of accessible sidewalks and pedestrian paths for access to neighbourhoods, transit, schools, parks, community facilities and businesses.
- Cycling: The City shall implement its Cycling Plan and expand the cycling network in the Preston-Carling District with the addition of shared lanes on key east west streets, as well as Rochester Street.
- Transit: Enhance the Preston-Carling District as an important transit hub in the City’s transit network by implementing the Transportation Master Plan while improving accessibility of the Carling Avenue O-Train/future LRT station and the bus service from across the District with a focus on the quality of the Station Area.
- Driving: Reduce the dependence on cars in the long term while carefully managing the necessary vehicular traffic to ensure the safety and efficiency of the existing road infrastructure and the functioning of the businesses, as well as to protect the characteristics of the residential streets.
- Loading, Servicing and Emergency Services: Accommodate efficient vehicle movement to ensure that access for loading, servicing and emergency services is not compromised.
- Parking: Recognize the importance of an adequate supply and availability of public parking to the viability and sustainability of the restaurant, retail, and commercial land uses with the completion and implementation of a local area parking study.
Greening provides strategies for increasing the urban tree canopy throughout the Preston-Carling District and ensuring the health and longevity of natural and landscaped areas.
- Parks, Urban Squares and Courtyards: Enhance and expand Ev Tremblay Park and McCann Park and provide urban squares and courtyards in association with major redevelopment.
- Street Trees: Plant the next generation of street trees to ensure a sustainable urban forest for storm water management, shade and micro climate amelioration.
- Landscapes in Parks and Urban Squares and Courtyards: Enhance the urban forest by ensuring that a diversity of trees, shrubs and groundcovers will be planted in parks, urban squares and courtyards to create resilient landscapes, define park areas, enhance trail connections and ensure park safety.
- Ecological Corridors: Enhance the ecological function of the O-Train/future LRT corridor in re-stitching the City’s urban ecological fabric through a strong landscape framework that reaches from the Ottawa River to Dows Lake.
Activating strategies seek to foster a lively and engaging public realm that supports community life. This includes animating public spaces with adjacent uses, providing spaces for play and special events and improving the pedestrian experience with amenities and public art.
- Retail at the Edge: Support the economic health of the Preston-Carling District and reinforce the role of local businesses in improving the public realm along Preston Street, Beech Street, and Carling Avenue.
- Residential at the Edge: Enhance the distinct characteristics and quality of the residential streets through strategic residential infill that complements existing buildings and supports an engaging, safe and beautiful public realm.
- Play and Activities: Plan for the improvement and expansion of play facilities throughout the neighbourhood to ensure families have safe, accessible and beautiful spaces to play in.
- Events: Ensure that the public realm of the Preston-Carling District will support the continued success of the traditional events that celebrate the local community and encourage the creation of new traditions and events, including the closure of Preston Street for important public festivals, and encourage the creation of new traditions and events.
- Public Art: Support the creation of new public artwork to further contribute to the vibrancy of the public realm, mark places of importance, and beautify streetscapes, parks and open spaces.
- Furnishings: Enhance streetscapes, parks and open spaces by integrating beautiful, accessible and functional street furniture into the public realm with new furnishings complementing the existing features while aligning with the vision for the future of the neighbourhood.
6.0 Servicing and Infrastructure
A Water and Sewer Servicing Study has been completed as part of the secondary planning process. The study indicates that the major infrastructure in the area is expected to support the projected development build-out of the Preston-Carling District. It is expected that servicing requirements can be managed on a property by property basis through the normal development review process.
- The City will require the proponents of new development to review on-site stormwater control needs in the early stages of the site plan review process. In some cases, underground storage, or non-traditional Low Impact Development measures may be required to meet control requirements.
- The City will require the proponents of new development to evaluate fire flow demands in relation to available local fire flows as part of the site plan review process. This evaluation may identify the need for local watermain upgrades, dead-end looping, and/or additional fire protection measures.
Many more people are expected to live in the Preston Carling Area in the decades ahead, and a key objective of this Plan is to ensure there is a broad range of housing choices for existing and future residents. The policies below, which are further to the policies in Section 4.5 of Volume 1 of the Official Plan, support this objective, focusing specifically on the issue of affordable housing and the protection of existing rental housing:
- The City shall include the provision of affordable housing units and the conservation and replacement of affordable rental housing as possible Section 37 community benefits.
- In recognition of the affordability problem encountered by many individuals and families in securing adequate housing, the City shall encourage, and shall determine specific means to provide for, a percentage of publicly assisted housing for persons and families of low to moderate income in major new residential developments in the Preston-Carling District. The City of Ottawa may also purchase existing housing or assemble land for housing construction, as circumstances demand, in order to further the objectives of this Plan.
- The City shall review the provisions of the Municipal Act with the intent of strengthening existing policies regarding the replacement of rental units, focusing on affordability, tenure, rent controls and administration.
This Secondary Plan establishes broad principles to guide future development in the Preston Carling District. Sections 3 to 7 and Schedules A, B, C, and D constitute the Preston-Carling District Secondary Plan.
Schedule A (Land Use Character Area) identifies various land use character areas within the Mixed Use Centre and provides policy directions for these areas.
Schedule B (Height and Tower Location) illustrates the height provision and the general tower locations of the Secondary Plan. The height limit provided for on this Schedule is the maximum permitted. The general floor to ceiling height provision is provided in Section 2.2.2 of the Official Plan. The location of the towers is approximate rather than absolute.
Schedule C and C-1 (Public Realm Plan) illustrates the overall long term public realm plan for the Preston-Carling District. It identifies the improvements and enhancements that are needed for transforming the District into a future downtown destination. The plan also illustrates the public realm improvements to be integrated into the design of a hospital, as per Section 4,1.8. These improvements include publically accessible open space and built transitional areas to the Central Experimental Farm. The design shown on the Plan, such as the landscape and the street cross sections, is conceptual and for illustration only. [Amendment #214, July 17, 2018]
Schedule C-2 (Public Realm Plan – Booth Street Complex) illustrates a general layout of how lands could be developed over time in conformity with this vision. While the land may not develop precisely as illustrated with regard to location of existing and proposed buildings, and woonerf type streets, its purpose is to provide guidance for the redevelopment of these lands. Modifications to proposed building locations or to the location of woonerf-type streets will not require an Official Plan Amendment. [Amendment #227, April 4, 2019]
Schedule D (Public Realm Priority Projects) highlights the key public realm improvements and enhancements that will be implemented within the next 20 years. The design shown on this schedule, such as the landscape and the street cross sections, is conceptual and for illustration only.
Appendix A (Preston-Carling District Public Realm and Mobility Study) is a Council-approved document and does not constitute part of this Secondary Plan. The Public Realm and Mobility Study will provide a framework against which to evaluate contribution to the public realm through development applications, including both private development proposals and public investments in parks and rights-of-ways.
Appendix B (Preliminary Public Realm Priority Projects) provides a reference to the key public realm improvement projects that will be implemented within the next 20 years. It does not constitute part of this Secondary Plan.
The policies of this Chapter provide a framework for the future development and transformation of the Preston-Carling District. The success of these policies depends on effective implementation. This section reinforces and augments the implementation policies contained in Volume 1 of the Official Plan, and describes the principal tools and actions the City intends to use to implement the objectives and policies of the plan.
9.1 General Land Use Planning Tools
This Secondary Plan shall be implemented using some or all of the following, as provided for under the Planning Act and also identified in Volume 1 of the Official Plan:
- Approval of individual draft plans of subdivision/condominium and part lot control exemptions.
- Enactment of Zoning By-laws.
- Use of density and height bonusing provisions as per Section 37 of the Planning Act.
- Use of site plan control.
- Execution of Letters of Undertaking and/or registration of site plan agreements.
- Use of the Holding Symbol “h”.
- Dedication of parkland or cash-in-lieu of parkland.
- Use of powers and incentives enabled by a Community Improvement Plan.
- Use of development agreements registered on title.
9.2 Special Provisions for the Review of Development Applications
The following special provisions will be introduced for the review of all development applications within the Preston-Carling District.
9.2.1 Holding Provisions for Zoning Amendment Applications
The City will introduce holding provisions upon considering all Zoning By-law amendment applications that feature a high profile building and may be considered for medium profile development proposals. The removal of such holding provisions will not be considered by Council until the policies set out in this Plan are implemented and met to the satisfaction of the General Manager of Planning and Growth Management Department, including the following:
- Approval of a Site Plan Control application, including the execution of an agreement pursuant to Section 41 of the Planning Act, to the satisfaction of the General Manager of the Planning and Growth Management Department, that will require the implementation of all policies of this Plan, including contributions to the public realm improvements outlined in the Public Realm and Mobility Study, and possible municipal infrastructure improvements, and fulfilling obligations specified in the relevant policies and By-laws such as the Parkland Dedication By-law.
- Execution of an agreement pursuant to Section 37 of the Planning Act, to the satisfaction of the General Manager of the Planning and Growth Management Department, including a detailed breakdown of contributions towards the priority public realm improvement projects within the Preston-Carling District as described in Section 9.4.2 of this Plan.
- Projects within the Station Area will be required to provide their proportional share of contribution to the original $200,000 set aside for the completion of the Public Realm and Mobility Study.
- Projects located within the Station Area and Hospital Area will be required to demonstrate the achievement of design excellence as required by this Plan through participation in a specialized design review process outlined in Section 9.3 of this Plan. [Amendment #214, July 17, 2018]
9.2.2 Public Realm Study for Site Plan Applications
The City will require the completion of a Public Realm Network Study by proponents of development applications as part of the application for Site Plan Control as set out in Section 5.2.1 of Volume 1 of the Official Plan to ensure comprehensive planning of the public realm network. This Study should:
- place the development application within the context of the Public Realm and Mobility Study and identify the existing and planned public realm network, including the publically accessible space that may be in public or private ownership.
- clarify how the application implements the policies in Section 5.0 of this Plan and strategies and guidelines outlined in the Public Realm and Mobility Study.
- identify the location and design of parks and public squares, including public land, publicly accessible private land, cash-in-lieu land or some combination.
- Identify how the development will be responsible for but not limited to the following improvements within and adjacent to the public right of ways: new sidewalks and special paving, street trees and understory plantings, pedestrian level lighting, street furniture, and landscaping.
9.3 Design Review
The entire Preston-Carling District is located within the Design Priority Area identified in Schedule L of Volume 1 of the Official Plan. All new development within this District will be subject to design review by the City’s Urban Design Review Panel (UDRP) with exceptions as provided for in the UDRP Terms of Reference. In addition, the Preston-Carling District will see the development of some of the tallest buildings in the City. These buildings will have a significant influence on not only the functionality, liveability, character, and aesthetics of the area but also the image of the entire city. They must therefore shoulder extra responsibilities in order to positively invigorate the area and contribute to achieving a positive image for the city.
- A specialized design review process has been established as recommended in the Council-approved Preston-Carling District Strategy Directions within the framework of the City’s Urban Design Review Panel (UDRP) process to exercise a rigorous peer review for development located within the Station Area of the Preston-Carling District that incorporates a high-rise building with a height more than 30 storeys.
- This specialized process requires proponents to engage with a sub-committee of the UDRP (comprising one UDRP member augmented by up to two additional design professionals to be selected by the UDRP) towards finalizing project designs until the final project design is deemed acceptable to the UDRP sub-committee based on the framework provided in the Secondary Plan.
- Proponents of such development will be required to bear the costs to an up-set limit of $7,000 (subject to Consumer Price Index adjustment) for each sub-committee meeting held to achieve consensus between the subcommittee and the proponent on the final project design. Any differential cost will be borne by the Planning and Growth Management Department.
9.4 Achieving Public Realm Improvement
The achievement of the public realm over time is a function of establishing the City’s objectives for its evolution and development, and working with the private sector who bears a large responsibility for delivering it. It is an important principle that new development will pay for itself, and will provide all of the necessary infrastructure required to accommodate it.
The public realm is not an “add-on” to the needs of an urbanizing community. The public realm, and its ongoing improvement and maintenance are fundamental to the functional “quality of place”, and the associated and resultant “quality of life” within an urban community.
The detailed design of the public realm shall achieve the policies and directions provided in Section 5.0 of this Plan, and will be negotiated based on the Council-approved Public Realm and Mobility Study, through zoning and site plan approval, as well as the City’s capital investment in parks and rights-of-ways.
9.4.1 A Special Public Realm Improvement District
The City shall designate the entire Preston-Carling District shown in Schedule A of this Plan as a special public realm improvement district.
- The City shall direct that all cash-in-lieu of park land collected through development applications within the Preston-Carling District pursuant to Section 42 of the Planning Act be used for the acquisition of new park land and the improvements to the existing parks within the Preston-Carling District.
- The City shall direct that all contributions collected through development applications within the Preston-Carling District pursuant to Section 37 of the Planning Act be used within the Preston-Carling District.
- The City may consider preparing an area specific Development Charges By-law for the Preston-Carling District.
- The area specific Development Charges By-law shall not require any payment in respect of the property at 125 Hickory Street for contribution to off-site transportation improvements nor in respect of the property at 486-500 Preston Street for contribution to the Hickory Street Pedestrian Bridge for any works within the Sidney Street road allowance. [Amendment #137, OMB Order File #PL141223 and #PL141147, issued March 14, 2016]
9.4.2 Priority Projects for Public Realm Improvement
Located at the convergence of the City’s major transit infrastructure and adjacent to the Dows Lake and the Rideau Canal world heritage site, the Station Area will contemplate the highest densities within the Preston-Carling District and some of the tallest buildings in the City. The current development information indicates that in the next 20 years, the majority of the growth in the Preston-Carling District will likely be concentrated in the Station Area. The Station Area will also be the priority area for public realm improvement.
- The City shall give priority to the Station Area for implementing the public realm improvement projects highlighted in Schedule D Public Realm Priority Projects in the next 20 years.
- City will implement the public realm improvement projects outside of the Station Area as outlined in Section 5 of this Plan by capitalizing on major developments outside of the Station Area should such developments occur.
9.5 Co-operation with Other Jurisdictions
The implementation of certain policies will require the co-operation of other public authorities, including the Province of Ontario and the National Capital Commission. Wherever the agreement or involvement of two or more authorities is required to implement certain aspects of the Plan, the City of Ottawa will initiate discussions with these authorities with the objective of reaching an agreement on a desirable course of action.
Schedule C-1 – Public Realm Plan – Hospital Site [Amendment #214, July 17, 2018]
Schedule C-2 – Public Realm Plan – Booth Street Complex [Amendment #227, April 4, 2019]