Westboro residents upset trees cleared for LRT construction without consultation

Some residents who live near the Kìchì Sìbì transit station are upset after trees were cleared from a patch of land just south of the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway as part of light rail construction.

Community members say they were consulted about some, but not all cleared trees

A member of the LRT construction crew cuts down a tree south of the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway on March 15, 2022. (Francis Ferland/CBC)

Residents in Westboro are upset after trees were cleared from a patch of land near Kìchì Sìbì station to prepare for construction of the LRT. 

The City of Ottawa said approximately 25 trees and shrubs were removed with approval from the National Capital Commission (NCC) after it was determined the current pedestrian pathway needed to be moved south to make space for future light rail infrastructure. 

Bob Thomson, who lives in an apartment building just south of the cleared area, said the community west of downtown wasn't consulted about the clearing of trees on Tuesday. 

"We had a consultation about cutting down this part of the woodlot right here two years ago, and it was agreed that up to that fence, they would cut it," he said, indicating an area that had already been cleared. 

"But we only heard about a week and a half, at most 10 days ago, about the fact that they're going to go in there and cut it further back."

Bob Thomson lives in an apartment building near Kìchì Sìbì station and is upset the community wasn't consulted about further tree removal for Stage 2 of the LRT construction. (Francis Ferland/CBC)

Thomson said residents use the green space for walking, taking their dogs out and also said it was a noise barrier from the parkway for those who live in buildings nearby. 

"It's an important park space for people living in this area, and this area is growing very fast because of the LRT," he said. 

What used to be Dominion station became Kìchì Sìbì station as part of the Confederation Line's western extension to Moodie Drive and Algonquin College.

Birds nesting at this time of year

Debra Huron represents a group of community organizations called Big Trees of Kitchissippi. Her main concern, other than the loss of green space, was for migratory birds nesting along the Ottawa River. 

"These trees are being cut at a time when it is not OK to be disturbing birds," she said.

"It seems crazy to me that this piece of green space is just being ripped apart, and there's no concern whatsoever for the habitat that's being lost." 

WATCH | Concerns over tree loss near the Ottawa River:

More trees cleared for LRT construction, leaving residents wondering what happened to consultation

1 year ago
Duration 1:08
Daniel Buckle and Debra Huron, green space advocates who live near Kìchì Sìbì station, say they’re concerned about the cumulative impacts of losing mature trees along the Ottawa River due to LRT construction.

Huron lives in the area and echoes Thomson's complaint that the trees were cut without consulting the community. But she's also worried about the cumulative effects of removing green space from around the city. 

"All along this part of the parkway, from Island Park to Woodroffe, innumerable trees have been cut on what's supposed to be a natural corridor along the Ottawa River," she said. 

In a statement, the city said the trees that were removed "have been added to the Stage 2 LRT Confederation Line Extension Tree Compensation Plan which requires two trees be planted for every one removed along the alignment."


  • A previous version of this story used the former name of Kìchì Sìbì station, which was renamed in 2020.
    Mar 16, 2022 8:42 AM ET