City touts tax plan to boost business on Montreal Road
'It's Vanier's time,' councillor for area says
The City of Ottawa could is putting its money where its mouth is in an attempt to boost business development in Vanier.
On Wednesday, Mayor Jim Watson and Rideau-Vanier Coun. Mathieu Fleury proposed a property tax incentive for business owners setting up shop on Montreal Road, the neighbourhood's main thoroughfare.
'I really believe that it's Vanier's time.'- Coun. Mathieu Fleury
Under the community improvement plan, business owners who redevelop a commercial property can apply for a 75 per cent rebate on any tax hike resulting from the property's increased value. They must invest at least $50,000 to improve the property, and would be able to apply for the tax relief for up to 10 years,.
Certain developments may qualify for a full reimbursement of tax paid on the added value, including properties with space for affordable housing, cultural activities or social enterprises.
Watson said Montreal Road has too many tattoo parlours and payday loan outlets, and needs to attract new kinds of businesses.
"You need to get some anchors on Montreal Road that act as a magnet for the rest of the city to come and visit," he said, pointing to Mountain Equipment Co-op store in Westboro as an example.
"I believe Vanier and Montreal Road is going to be the next 'it' neighbourhood that people are going to want to invest in," Watson said.
Anger over shelter
Fleury echoed the mayor's confidence.
"I really believe that it's Vanier's time," he said.
City council came under heavy fire from many Vanier residents after approving a move of the Salvation Army homeless shelter from the ByWard Market to Montreal Road.
If council signs off on the tax incentive, it will come into effect just as Vanier is undergoing a major infrastructure renewal project, Fleury said.
"We have put all the tools the city has at its hand into this. We believe in the importance of renewing Montreal Road," he said.
- A previous version of this story identified the shelter moving to Montreal Road as belonging to the Shepherds of Good Hope, not the Salvation Army.Mar 23, 2019 4:03 PM ET
With files from Radio-Canada's Stéphane Leclerc