Rural settlement strategy (Mar 2007 – Jun 2008)

The Greenspace Alliance was sent an invitation to a workshop on the City’s Rural Settlement Strategy.  The workshop took place on Saturday, March 24, 2007.  An “As it was heard” summary is found here: [no longer online]

Amy Kempster reported later:

I attended the workshop on rural planning issues on Mar. 24th. Have been waiting for the official report to give a report on this. Attended the ward meeting for West Carleton in the morning (felt I knew that area better than the others) and the session which included country lot estates in the afternoon. There Iola and I tried to get the idea of protecting rural features at least mentioned. I then signed up for the ongoing sessions on sustainability (which will include this topic) with the idea that if someone else from the Greenspace Alliance could attend then I would pull out. So my question is can anyone else commit to this? These sessions may help decide what happens in the Official Plan. I believe that the staff will take what comes out of this as their guide regardless of what is “good planning” as the staff seems to have decided to cater to the rural loud voices. Please let me know if you can volunteer for these sessions.

It was interesting that there were some voices at the workshop which were more reasonable … Carp area rural people were very strong on protection of water sources.



Second Workshop – November 3, 2007

A Workshop to discuss the Rural Discussion Papers occupied most of Saturday, November 3. Also on the agenda, unexpected by this participant, was staff’s White Paper on Compensation Options for Wetlands and Other Environmental Lands. Somewhere between 50 and 100 people (staff included) attended.

A representatives from each of the Rural subgroups briefly reviewed the group’s paper. Then everybody rotated from table to table, a facilitator (often a city staff member) dutifully taking notes about everything that was being said. It is difficult to say where it all went or what it means. There was no plenary presentation of what was heard. What did strike me is that several rural residents at tables I attended spoke out very much in favour of environmental protection of the land.

Erwin Dreessen

Update: A summary of this workshop is now posted on the City’s web site here: [no longer online]
[There was] a direct link to download a 35-page document (315 KB).


From the Citizen, January 23, 2008, by Joe Banks:

What we do know is that the development lobby has been hard at work this past year, telling the city it needs more land for more subdivisions to provide more affordable housing.
This is, of course, contrary to what the rural folk have been saying at the consultation meetings, and it’s in direct opposition to the city’s current plan, which is to intensify development inside the Greenbelt. The idea is to avoid the need for building grossly expensive roads and services out to the hinterlands, and thus stabilizing commuter traffic. Oh, and it’s what people who are already living out here want.


Onwards to Rural Summit II – April 5, 2008
Derrick Moodie, the City’s Rural Affairs Officer (613-580-2424 x15134, Derrick.Moodie ( at ), writes on January 18:

I look forward to seeing many of you over the coming weeks as we kick off Rural Summit II – Building on Success. For those of you that I do not know yet, I hope we will have a chance to meet at the community meetings taking place on:
January 22            Metcalfe Community Centre                         7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
January 29           West Carleton Community Complex             7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
January 30           Richmond Legion                                          7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
January 31          Navan Memorial Centre Arena                      7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

For more information about Rural Summit II – Building on Success, please visit

The specific web page for the Summit is
The Summit will be held on April 5, 2008.

An interesting <column by rural affairs columnist Joe Banks> in the Ottawa Citizen of January 23, 2008, page B4: “Please, Not Another Rural Summit.”


Update: Agriculture Vision paper published
The final Rural Discussion Paper written by community volunteers is now available: <A Vision for Agriculture in Ottawa>.

Erwin Dreessen


Greenspace Alliance comment on Agriculture Vision paper
On March 10, Amy Kempster wrote to Bruce Finlay on behalf of the Alliance:

… I wanted you to know that the Greenspace Alliance has approved the following comments on the paper about Agriculture. On the whole we were pleased with that paper. …
The Greenspace Alliance would like to express its approval of the main land use recommendations of the Agricultural Paper. We believe they will work to ensure protection of Agricultural operations.

In Section 1, Impact of Land Use Decisions, we fully approve recommendations re Issues A (Erosion of land base), B (Minimum Separation Distance) and C (Restrictions on farm expansion).

We are not familiar with changes made to parcels in West Carleton just prior to amalgamation (Issue D) but the recommendations seem reasonable if the situation is as noted.

With regard to other issues we agree generally with the recommendations re improving economic viability (Issues E, F, G and H) and fully support the recommendation re farmers’ markets being confined to sell only locally grown farm products (but a definition of local may be necessary – perhaps 100 miles or 100 kilometers) and for the continuation of the farmers market in Lansdowne Park.

We are not supportive however of the recommendations in the Section Links to Other Working Groups as we note that these were not supported by all members of the Working Group.


Rural Summit II update
On March 11, 2008 the Rural Affairs Office advises:

Rural residents are getting down to work discussing the issues raised at recent Rural Summit II meetings held recently in rural parts of the City.

All four rural Ward consultation meetings have been completed in preparation for the Rural Summit II and working groups are will be meeting throughout the month of March. In total, there were several hundred ideas put forward by the people that volunteered an evening of their time to let the City know where we should be making improvements.

Some very important issues were discussed at the community meetings. These covered a wide range of topics including: ParaTranspo services, the process to obtain a burn permit, ways to improve local involvement in decision making and the condition of the City’s road and drainage network. Among these and other issues mentioned, the City also received a few compliments on our accomplishments since the first Summit held in 2005. For more information about what was talked about at the community meetings visit the Rural Connections website – – and read the complete discussion notes that have now been posted.

The Rural Summit Steering Committee, which is made up of representatives from a variety of rural groups and communities, met recently to pour through the issues and figure out the best way to lump them together in themes that can be assigned to working groups. The consensus was to build the issues into four main themes that working groups would follow. These themes are: Governance; By-laws, Permits and Processes; Infrastructure; and Services. More information and progress reports will also be posted on the Rural Connections website.

Register now for Rural Summit II

As the working groups flesh out the issues, they will be looking for solutions that will work for rural residents, businesses and farmers. These solutions will be presented at Rural Summit II on April 5 at Confederation High School (1645 Woodroffe Avenue). Since lunch will be provided we are asking that people register in advance, either by completing the registration form at, calling 3-1-1 or by visiting any Client Service Centre. Registration for Rural Summit II runs from March 3 to March 31.


Rural Summit II: Report
The Rural Affairs office reports on April 25, 2008:

Rural Summit II update

Approximately 200 residents, City staff and rural councilors participated in Rural Summit II to discuss rural issues and find solutions to improve services to Ottawa’s rural communities.

Prior to the Summit, community consultations were held in each rural ward resulting in over 700 documented issues and suggestions. The Rural Summit Steering Committee, a community-led working group, undertook the task of reviewing the consultation feedback and putting the information into four main categories that would form the agenda for Rural Summit II. Comments related to planning and development, including water and wastewater infrastructure, were forwarded to the Rural Settlement Strategy team. A parallel undertaking to Rural Summit II, this strategy will reflect the contributions of Ottawa’s rural community and will recommend changes to the City’s Official Plan.

The categories

Governance: Including localized decision making; localized access to community facilities; and communications
Rural Services: Such as Para Transpo; fire services; social services; and libraries
Infrastructure: Such as roads; ditches; telecommunications; and energy infrastructure
Bylaws, Permits and Processes: Including burn permits; forestry practices; and building permits.

Working Groups, composed of residents who had volunteered their services during the community consultations, were then formed for each of the four categories. These groups reviewed the comments from the community consultations and put forward “Options for Solutions” to address the concerns of rural residents.

During the Summit, participants could attend three facilitated sessions. At these sessions, they reviewed the Options for Solutions developed by their fellow residents in the Working Groups and individually voted on their priorities for action. The solutions and comments provided will allow the Rural Affairs Office to determine the most pressing issues affecting residents of rural Ottawa.

Refer to the vote results as identified by Rural Summit II participants: [no longer online]

Governance: <>
Rural Services:<>
Infrastructure: <>
Bylaws, Permits and Processes: <>

“Parking Lot” issues:

Parking Lot issues are additional issues and comments from participants attending the Rural Summit II.

During the Rural Summit, the “Parking Lot” process was used to ensure that these important off-topic issues were captured and that the facilitated discussion groups remained focused on the issues and solutions brought forward by the rural residents who volunteered on the pre-summit working groups. [no longer online]

Participants Feedback:

Feedback form results – comments for Rural Summit II. [no longer online]

See also: (You need an OPLibrary card number to access this article)

“City is better, councillors tell summit – Rural representatives say wards have benefitted and talk of de-amalgamation ‘almost dead'”, by <Patrick Dare, Ottawa Citizen, April 6, 2008>, page A3.


Rural Settlement Strategy Workshop 3 – May 31, 2008
Planning staff advises:

City planning staff have developed preliminary proposals for managing growth in the rural areas based on the 2007 Rural Discussion papers and input from rural residents.

You are invited to find out more about the recommendations and their impact on the City’s Official Plan by attending a workshop on May 31.

The recommendations are contained in the report “Review of the Official Plan and Infrastructure Master Plan – Preliminary Proposals” tabled at Planning and Environment Committee on April 22, 2008.

For more information, or a copy of the report, please contact:
Bruce Finlay
City of Ottawa
Planning, Transit and the Environment Department
110 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1
Tel: 613-580-2424 ext. 21850
E-mail: bruce.finlay (at)


Amy reports:

I was at the meeting on May 31. After the speeches by the member of the Rural Council and a representative of the Carleton Landowners at the start, they left and the meeting went relatively well as we checked on the document with the staff responses to the workshop recommendations. (This document listing recommendations and staff responses was sent our prior to the meeting but was not available in printed form prior to the meeting so we were given a bit of time to consult it).

Staff was in agreement with the villages working group recommendations so there was no problem there. There was general agreement with the agricultural recommendations as well. When they came to the outside villages working group, staff had modified their response somewhat as now allowing country lot subdivisions of the conservation type so I stated opposition to any country lot subdivisions. That got a few responses on the other side talking about choice etc.

The strongest disagreements were about severances and compensation.

June 16, 2008

Joe Banks, in the Ottawa Citizen of June 11, had a colourful story about this, also reflecting the anger at the Conservation Authorities having scheduled a meeting on farmland drainage at the same time. (Note: You need an OPLibrary card number to access this article.)