Proposed hospital parking lot encounters opposition
Nearby residents say 2-storey garage would create safety hazards
The Ottawa Hospital's Civic campus is encountering some opposition from nearby residents as it plans to build a new two-storey parking garage.
More than 100 concerned residents attended a public meeting about the plans Monday night.
The hospital hopes to turn the surface lot next to the University of Ottawa Heart Institute into a parking garage that will provide 400 additional spaces.
It's often difficult to find a space in the existing, surface-level parking lot off Carling.
Residents call garage a safety hazard
"It is going to create safety issues for the neighbourhood’s children, the elderly and the people who bicycle in this area," said Kathryn Williams, who lives just blocks away from the civic campus.
"They come to give us information on what they're going to do, and pretend that it's a consultation," said resident Vince Gilpin, who also attended the meeting.
But hospital officials said people coming to the hospital need the extra spaces.
"This parking development associated with the Heart Institute development will allow us greater capacity to give patients and families more access to parking," said Ottawa Hospital senior vice-president Cameron Love.
Hospital hopes to start construction this fall
The land in question had been a park until it was turned into a parking lot in the late 1950s.
Following that development, the City of Ottawa and the hospital had promised not to build a garage on the site until at least 2020.
The hospital now hopes to start construction as early as this fall, ahead of the Heart Institute expansion in 2014.
City officials will make the final decision.
Despite concerns from some who live nearby, others in the area hope the garage will go ahead.
"People with appointments, they drive around for half an hour trying to find any kind of place to park," said Eli Mckhool. "Something’s got to be done."