Public and organizational feedback requested on Ottawa's Draft Official Plan

Public and organizational feedback requested on Ottawa's Draft Official Plan
Posted on February 2, 2021 | Daniel Buckles | Written on February 2, 2021
Letter type:


engage Ottawa

Author's Note:

Author's Note:

For anyone interested in participating in the City's Official Plan public consultations... 

The City's website "engage Ottawa" ( divides the draft Official Plan into 21 topics, each with a one pager and feedback form. These are available at their site:

The feedback forms for each of these 21 topics select 2 (and sometime 1) specific policies for feedback, using an agreement scale. For example, one of the Climate Change policies is to avoid building on floodplans.  There is also a box for general comments on the topic area.  The selection of policies included in the feedback forms may be significant (ie. policies they are committed to), or it may be arbitrary (2 selected for feedback among many specific policies related to the topic).

Below, I have compiled all of the policies included in the separate feedback forms. This will give Community Associations and others an opportunity to see where emphasis is given, and consider your own feedback. One strategy would be to provide specific feedback on these policies, either supporting them, or calling for specific improvements (many could go farther and faster, and use much stronger and clearer language. The list may also help see where there are some really important gaps.

I’ve put logically related topics and policies together (nature, buildings, etc.), to facilitate reading.

Daniel Buckles

Healthy and Inclusive Communities

1.     Protection from extreme heat through requiring shade, safety from health hazards, and access to green spaces.

2.     Policies that protect housing for people living with a low income.

Equity and Inclusion

3.     Introduce a requirement for replacement units to discourage displacing people.

4.     Commit to respectful inclusion and representation of Indigenous peoples’ culture in urban greenspaces, Indigenous art and ceremonial gathering spaces.

Climate Change

5.     A growth management strategy that supports Council’s target to reduce emissions 100% by 2050

6.     Reduce flood risks by avoiding building in flood plains


7.     Directing regeneration to locations where daily and weekly needs can be accessed within a 15-minute walk, known as 15-minute neighbourhoods.

8.     Regeneration to contribute to the needs of an ageing population by enhancing access to more vibrant areas with social interaction, health services, and community facilities.

Urban Design

9.     Site design and built form policies promote development that reinforces street edges and provides strong relationships between buildings and the public realm

10.  Support partnerships resulting in the implementation of living streets, where space is reallocated from serving cars to prioritizing people.


11.  A focus on density and building form, rather than about how the inside of the building is divided up.

12.  Development standards to illustrate clear benefit to the public interest to justify how it adds to the cost of housing.

High Performance Development Standards

13.  Apply performance measures to advance the use of innovative sustainable design practices in site planning and building design.

Sidewalks and Driveways

14.  No new curb cuts to be created in the Downtown Core Transect and all areas within the Transforming Overlay.

15.  In areas within the Evolving Overlay, the policy will call for the strict minimum of new curb cuts to be created and require scrutiny on circumstances where combined accesses would be a better option.

613 Flats

16.  613 Flats - a new type of residence that has six rooms in total, one of them being a bathroom and three of them being bedrooms.

17.  613 flats designs will require trees and soft landscaping to contribute to the existing character of the street and grow the City’s urban tree canopy.


18.  Sidewalks will be required in proximity to frequent and rapid transit.

19.  Timing and phasing of new subdivisions and major development will be dependent on the timing and provision of sufficient frequent or rapid transit service capacity.

Urban Canopy

20.  Require early consideration of trees in development and infrastructure projects.

Culture and Heritage

21.  A policy framework to conserve important sites of archaeological value that link Ottawa to its past.

22.  Consider the needs of the creative cultural industries with unique land use requirements.


23.  Direct the knowledge-based jobs typically located in offices to the new Hub and Corridor designations.

24.  Allow for the establishment of new neighbourhood-scaled service, retail, cultural and leisure uses in Neighbourhood designations.

Rural Economic Development

25.  Protect farmland from uses that would impede productive farming.

26.  Support diversification of farming operations to increase local supply of value-added goods and agri-tourism appeal.


27.  Recognize bars and restaurants as essential to the vibrancy of the city and supports them in areas like Mainstreets.

Natural Systems

28.  A no net loss approach for wetlands and significant woodlands in the rural area.

29.  A no net negative impact approach for natural features that lie outside the natural heritage system.


30.  Prioritize land dedication instead of collecting cash-in-lieu for parks.

31.  Differentiate park policies by context, from the downtown to suburban and rural areas.d

Rural Transect

32.  Limiting the expansion of the City’s urban area in proximity of a village.

33.  Ensure development will be sensitive to the context and characteristics of the rural area.

Water Resources

34.  Align policies with the local Source Protection Plans and gives added protection for municipal and communal wells.

Special Districts

35.  Special Districts are identified as being distinct enough from other designations to warrant unique planning treatment.

36.  Specific objectives and policies provide guidance for the evolution of each Special District.


37.  15-minute neighbourhoods support pandemic resiliency.

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About The Author

Daniel Buckles's picture

Daniel Buckles is a resident of Kitchissippi Ward, and co-recipient of the 2020 Conservation Award from the Ottawa Field Naturalist Club for work to conserve Heritage Bur Oaks in the Champlain Park neighbourhood. ... More