Eastway Gardens could see big changes from mixed-use complex
Could bring hundreds of homes and thousands of workers
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.