Build Your Own Little Free Library

We’ve got four of these already in Hunt Club, but I’ve only found three! One in the sector between McCarthy Rd and Plante Drive, and two in the Hunt Club Woods sector. Apparently there is a third one there on Singer Place. I’ve looked for it, but can’t see it. If you find it, please post it here. So far, none in Quinterra-Woods (West of Riverside Drive) nor in Hunt Club Estates (between Hunt Club Rd + the Hydro Right-of-Way and McCarthy Rd).

So, why not erect a whole bunch more of these free little libraries throughout our community? We know we are a reading community without our own public library branch, so this is one way we can share our love of books with one another, all within walking distance.

If you are of the ‘handy person persuasion’, here are instructions to build and install your project:

https://littlefreelibrary.org/build/

Looking for more inspiration? You will find all kinds of other ideas to inspire your project here:

https://littlefreelibrary.org/little-free-libraries-shoestring-budget/

Hunt Club Road Project Construction

Notice of Lane Closure – Hunt Club Rail Bridge

As part of the Stage 2 O-Train  South Extension Project, construction of the Hunt Club Rail-over-Road Bridge is underway. The bridge is a major part of the infrastructure advancement project for the O-Train South Extension and once complete, it will not only serve to improve the rail link to communities in South Keys and surrounding neighbourhoods, but will also provide a new North / South, Multi-Use Pathway connection for residents.

What

Geotechnical monitoring is required to be completed in the westbound left lane of Hunt Club road, between the Transitway overpass and the Airport Parkway.

When

Work will take place from 9:30 to 10:30 am on March 4, 5, 8, 10, 12, 16, 18, 22, 24 and 26, pending inclement weather and schedule changes.

Why

To conduct geotechnical monitoring at the work site.

Where

In the westbound left lane of Hunt Club road, between the Transitway overpass and the Airport Parkway.

Work area shown in red.

Anticipated Impacts

  • Westbound traffic on Hunt Club Road will share the right lane around the work area for the duration of the closure. Traffic control measures will be in place.
  • Cycle lanes on both sides of Hunt Club Road through the work site will remain closed for the duration of this work due to increased truck traffic and heavy construction equipment. Cyclists will be required to adhere to signage and share the lane with other traffic.

If you have questions about this work, please contact the City’s representative:

Michael Brossoit
Stakeholder Relations, Rail Construction Program
City of Ottawa
Email: michael.brossoit@ottawa.ca
Website: ottawa.ca/stage2

Ottawa’s New Official Plan

Ottawa is in the process of finalizing its New Official Plan which embodies the concepts of a 15 minute neighbourhood where a resident can walk to all essential services like shopping, medical services, restaurants, etc. from their home.  This concept relies on intensification of new development around key services like transit stations.  In older established neighbourhoods, this might involve low rise buildings replacing single family homes. This  underlying philosophy has already been adopted and is in effect right now. I recently provided my comments on the New Official Plan to the Hunt Club Community Association (HCCA).  There’s still time for you to have your say at:  https://engage.ottawa.ca/the-new-official-plan

Here’s what I don’t like about the Plan

  • Property owners are not aware of the implications of intensification.  They are going to be surprised and angry if somebody builds an apartment building on their street. In specific examples, the Planning Committee has supported intensification despite local objections.
  • the target is 100% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2050 but this target is radical and unrealistic
  • Here’s what I like about the Plan
    • it promotes energy efficiency
    • it protects rural areas from urban sprawl
    • Hunt Club is largely unaffected by intensification because houses are relatively new

Intensification is really the only option.  It’s energy efficient and it saves rural areas from urban sprawl.   I totally agree on the need to save rural areas from urban sprawl.   I worked 30 years for the Canadian Soil Information Service at Agriculture Canada.  Urban sprawl is a threat to agriculture.   It’s on energy efficiency where the City and I disagree.  The New Official Plan takes the view that energy efficiency is needed to protect the planet.  In fact, the stated target is 100% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2050.   The target itself  admits that it is radical and unrealistic – it’s far enough in the future to relieve anyone of responsibility.  My thought is that increased energy efficiency is needed because oil is becoming harder to find and more expensive – Peak Oil.  In fact, technology advances in fracking have made oil cheaper but this effect is temporary.

My vision is to provide decent housing to the people that come here. I am inspired by the story of a building in New York City that provided people with decent housing. I met author Seymour N. Harris in New York City. Here is an excerpt from his book, ‘The Building’: “Some skeptics believed that the project would shortly become a slum, that its tenants, mostly poor and predominantly Jewish immigrants, and their families, would destroy it. Nevertheless, out of what many observers considered to be a garbage heap, there arose some of the nation’s leading entrepreneurs as well as leaders in every profession from law to medicine, from theatre to education. Given hope and opportunity, the children of the destitute emerged as captains of achievement. In every area, they helped build the foundations of a new era in the twenty-first century”

The New Official Plan talks about affordable housing. During the pandemic, housing has become less affordable. In response, the Federal Government has hugely increased the deficit but the deficit has increased the value of assets – like housing.  Housing is now less affordable.

To sum up my comments on the New Official Plan

  • the City has to go with intensification
  • Hunt Club is largely left alone

 

 

Travel Times for Library Service

As the crow flies, the nearest library branch to Quinterra and Hunt Club Woods (Riverside and Uplands), is Emerald Plaza. According to Google maps that is a 75-minute walk. The Greenboro Branch is a 72-minute walk, the Alta Vista Branch 67-minutes. Not a 15-minute walkable neighbourhood!

Recognizing the excessive distance, the Ottawa Public Library (OPL) installed a “Kiosk” at the Hunt Club Riverside Park Community Centre, a 25-minute walk. There, in normal times, you can pick up a reserved book, or return one, and select from an extremely limited selection in a vending-type machine. However, kiosk service has been unavailable for much of these times of COVID while those three branches have been open mostly for limited service.

It is quicker by bus. To Greenboro takes 33 minutes, to Alta Vista and Emerald Plaza 41 minutes. Those are mid-afternoon times which are the most popular at libraries.

Cycling takes 20 minutes to Emerald Plaza, 22 minutes to Greenboro and Alta Vista. You take your life in your hands for some of those routes along high traffic roads without a dedicated lane for cyclists.

The bus and cycling both take 8 minutes to the Hunt Club Riverside Park Community Centre. An OPL branch there would provide equitable library service to that of most of urban Ottawa for the whole of Hunt Club from the Rideau River to Sawmill Creek. We pay the same property tax rate as other areas but do not receive equivalent service.

If you favour a full range of library services for Hunt Club, like other neighbourhoods, drop an email to our Councillor who sits on the Library Board, at Riley.Brockington@Ottawa.ca or phone his office at: 613-580-2486. Just tell him you want equitable library service for Hunt Club at the community centre.

 

Notice of Night Work – Hunt Club Rail Bridge

We received a notice from Councillor Brockington that construction of the Hunt Club Rail-over-Road Bridge as part of the Stage 2 O-Train Trillium Line South Extension Project is ready to proceed.  This will involve night work over the next few weeks, planned to be completed by February 24, 2021.

Work is being conducted at night to reduce impacts to vehicular traffic, including emergency vehicles. To maintain safety, cycle lanes on both sides of Hunt Club Road through the work zone will remain closed for the duration of this work due to increased truck traffic and the presence of heavy construction equipment. Cyclists and pedestrians will be required to adhere to signage.

Work will be conducted every night pending inclement weather and schedule changes. The utmost consideration for residents’ well-being has been considered in planning this activity and everyone involved is committed to this project advancing smoothly and with respect for everyone’s comfort and safety.

Anticipated Impacts:

  • Cycle lanes on both sides of Hunt Club Road through the work site will remain closed for the duration of this work due to increased truck traffic and heavy construction equipment. Cyclists will be required to adhere to signage and share the lane with other traffic.
  • Although construction noise is not expected to exceed 85 decibels at the site of activity, reducing to 56 decibels at 30 metres from the site, the public will experience noise and some vibration associated with construction activity. Efforts will be made to avoid directing light toward residences.

Further information is available at the following link:
Stage 2 Trillium Line South Extension – Overnight Construction on Hunt Club Rail Bridge
(Note the schedule on the link may not reflect the latest update with Feb 24th completion.)

Little Libraries in Hunt Club

Hunt Clubbites are readers!  As a way to share their reading materials, skilled and creative residents have built and erected ‘Free Little Libraries’ throughout our Hunt Club community. These are basically large boxes with a door that shuts tightly, mounted on a post. People place books that they have already read in the box. Others come and take one of the books, often replacing it with one or more of their own which they have already enjoyed reading. The idea is to promote and nurture a reading community.

Here are the three ‘Free Little Libraries’ that I have spotted in our Hunt Club community: 3 photos attached.

Can you locate all three of them? (Hint: two are in ‘Hunt Club Woods’; one is in the ‘Owl Park Neighbourhood’ east of McCarthy Rd.)

Where would YOU like to see another ‘Free Little Library’ installed in our community?

 

Help Bring a Library Branch to Hunt Club

Some good news: Our return box and hold lockers are now accessible once again at our Hunt Club-Riverside Park Community Centre, with the following updated hours:

  • Monday to Friday from 7:30 AM to 8 PM
  • Saturday and Sunday from 8:30 AM to 5 PM.

This means that you can return any of your Ottawa Public Library borrowed materials here in our community, as well as pick up items that you have reserved and for which you have designated ‘Hunt Club Lockers’ as your pickup point.

Remember to bring …

  • a mobile phone with you to call the number posted on the main door of the community centre for someone to open the door to receive your returning items or to allow you access to pick up your new items from a locker;
  • a protective mask as per Ottawa Public Health regulations for public spaces; and
  • your library card to scan it in order to retrieve your held items.


Now … Imagine being able to walk to an actual library that would be as near as our community centre or our Hunt Club Centre (where the Metro and Shoppers Drug Mart are) – where you could:

  • drop off your books or pick-up reserved materials
  • sit down in a designated quiet space to read a book, a magazine or a selection of newspapers online or as hard copies
  • have rooms available for:
    • various discussion groups (ie, Canadian or world politics, arts, genealogy, community issues) or for ‘Storytime’ for toddlers,
    • for homework clubs, and so much more!
  • Have a place for culture and arts to flourish – this would change our community in such a positive way for the children, young families, youth, adults and seniors of all walks of life among us.

If you can picture the above features and would like to see improved library services in our community, please send an email letter expressing how you feel this would add value to our community to:

library@hunt-club.ca (that’s me, Christine Johnson) and I will then be in touch with you for ‘next steps’.

Please provide your name and street in Hunt Club where you live, then explain how a small library branch within walking distance from your home would contribute to you, your family and our community.   Many voices with the same message become quite loud and together we can make a difference in achieving our dream of having our own little library branch!  If you would like more information or need help with your letter writing, please email me:

Christine Johnson
Chair, HCCA Library Services Committee
library@hunt-club.ca

Your Community Association is Looking for You!

Ever wonder why things are the way they are, why things in your neighbourhood just aren’t to your liking. Why there are cars speeding. Why there are developments springing up that you weren’t aware of? How can you find out about these things? One way is to get involved in your community. I know you’re busy, you’ve got the kids activities, you work, you’re running ragged. But it doesn’t have to take a lot of your time.

The Hunt Club Community Association (HCCA) is your voice to your Councillor, Riley Brockington and to the City of Ottawa. As a group we can have a bigger impact than as an individual.

We are the focal point for information and consultations on projects. For instance, the HCCA has provided comments on the New Official Plan for the City, provided input on proposed developments on Hunt Club at the Airport Parkway and at Riverside and Hunt Club. We host special events like the Fall Festival and Art in the Park. We are planning a Community Garden and sit on some inter-organizational committees working together on issues like Food Security and the Environment.

Keep in touch with what is going on in your neighbourhood, your city. Join us, attend meetings, maybe even join the board.

We meet at 7 pm on the 1st Monday of the month from September through June. Our Annual General Meeting is in November.