Ottawa

Eastway Gardens could see big changes from mixed-use complex

A major multi-use development could bring hundreds of homes and thousands of workers to federal lands just east of the main Ottawa train station.

Could bring hundreds of homes and thousands of workers

A Canada Lands Corporation representative speaks to people at the public consultation on 530 Tremblay Road Monday evening. (Matthew Kupfer/CBC)

Some Eastway Gardens residents fear a major multi-use development on federal land would clog their alphabetized avenues near the main Ottawa train station.

The Canada Lands Corporation is proposing a mixed-use development on the 10.5-hectare property at the corner of Tremblay Road and St-Laurent Boulevard that could bring hundreds of homes and thousands of government workers to the area.

There were three 24-storey federal office towers in the proposal at a public consultation Monday night, along with a mix of low, mid and high-rise residential buildings.

MJ Beauchamp, who lives on Avenue P, said she's worried about traffic and construction.

"It's going to completely change our little hidden gem neighbourhood," Beauchamp said.

The Canada Lands Corporation, a federal Crown corporation, owns the land and will find a government tenant for the three office towers it is proposing for 530 Tremblay Road in the next couple of years. (Matthew Kupfer/CBC)

The mid-century neighbourhood has about 250 homes.

Beauchamp said people are easily able to walk on its dead end streets with their strollers or dogs, but that could change once hundreds of homes are added in the proposed development.

MJ Beauchamp, who lives on Avenue P in Eastway Gardens, said residents are concerned about the change to their neighbourhood brought by major residential developments. (Matthew Kupfer/CBC)

Mary Jarvis, executive director of real estate development at Canada Lands, said the proposal follows the city's zoning for transit-oriented development.

It includes a pedestrian bridge over Highway 417 to bring people to the transit hub at the St-Laurent mall.

The Canada Lands Corporation presented this plan for 530 Tremblay Road, including 24-storey office buildings (in grey) and a mix of residential and commercial developments. (Matthew Kupfer/CBC)

Beauchamp is sceptical the focus on transit will keep cars away.

"On one hand you're saying we want you to take transit, but on the other hand we're building four-storey parking garages," she said.

"The culture in the city has to change from being dependent on their cars to becoming dependent on LRT and buses. We're not there yet when you look at the number of cars driving the Queensway."

Jarvis said the parking facilities meet requirement for federal offices where employees might need work vehicles or to receive clients and other visitors.

Mary Jarvis (at centre), executive director of real estate development at Canada Lands, says the 530 Tremblay Road development would tap into transit and include a pedestrian bridge to the St. Laurent LRT station to improve accessibility. (Matthew Kupfer/CBC)

Jarvis said the buildings closest to Eastway Gardens will go up from four to nine storeys and then to the maximum 24 storeys at the east end of the site, closest to St. Laurent Boulevard.

"We are sensitive to the Eastway Gardens community and have … [maximized] the buffer between the new development and the existing community," she said.

Absorbing traffic

Alta Vista Coun. Jean Cloutier said change is coming to the neighbourhood and the LRT, pedestrian and cycling paths are all meant to absorb some of the traffic impact.

"It's always been an enclave that's been a little bit isolated. The 417 on one side, the railway track on the other [and] St. Laurent," he said.

"With its proximity to an LRT station, with roads, it's becoming a little more susceptible to this type of development."

Cloutier said the city would consider traffic calming measures, including blocking certain avenues, to reduce through-traffic.

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