Happy spring! We made it through the winter. It has now been just over one year since we have been apart from our loved ones and from each other, and we will need to keep it up for a while longer until we are vaccinated. However, the warm weather has given us a wonderful opportunity to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine and hope for an end to this pandemic and the isolation that it has brought to so many. We will get there together!
On the subject of fresh air and sunshine, I am working with City staff, local businesses, and the National Capital Commission to open up space on our streets to pedestrians and other active transportation users this summer. This will give us more room to walk, shop, and exercise while staying physically distant. I look forward to seeing you out and about!
At the same time, Ottawa Public Health continues to vaccinate hundreds more people every day. Currently, anyone over 70 years of age can be vaccinated. Please see more details and important links below.
I know that this has been a trying time for so many and I share in your frustration with what seems like a slow roll out of vaccines and increasing COVID cases, but we will look back on today and celebrate how strong we are together. And that will happen soon!
Catherine McKenney City Councillor, Somerset Ward
Vaccinations continue to increase across the City, with anyone age 70 or over now eligible. As the federal and provincial governments provide more and more vaccines to Ottawa, we hope to see these numbers go up quickly. We are aware that the provincial booking has reached capacity and we have been told that it will reopen to new reservations in the near future.
In Somerset Ward, there is a permanent vaccination clinic at Ottawa City Hall and pop-up clinics at Plant Community Centre
Please remember: you must find out if you’re eligible for the vaccine before making an appointment by using thescreening form.
As I'm sure you know, the Province of Ontario is under a lockdown order for four weeks, in an effort to reduce COVID infections, and in particular those caused by the more harmful strains. This will continue to be a necessary hardship for many people, including those are already isolated and those businesses that depend on in-person customers.
I am working with businesses and community members to look toward our post-pandemic City and how we can help small businesses rebuild. More on that soon.
HOLD THE DATE: Town Hall - Long-Term Care May 6, 2021 at 6:00 pm
I will be holding a virtual Town Hall on Long-Term Care to be held on May 6, 2021 at 6:00 pm in coordination with CARP Ottawa (Canadian Association of Retired Persons).
Our Keynote Speaker is André Picard, health columnist at The Globe and Mail and the author of six books, including the current bestseller “Neglected No More: The Urgent Need to Improve the Lives of Canada’s Elders.”
The event will also feature a panel discussion focused on transformative culture change in long-term care homes and increasing awareness about the existing innovative models which I recently wrote about in the Centretown Buzz.
Please stay tuned for further details which I will share soon on the website, through my newsletter, in Centretown Buzz, and social media channels.
School safety zones
We all play a role in making our school zones safer. Walking to school is a great way to get fresh air and exercise that benefits our mental and physical health as well as the environment. According to the Envirocentre,recentdata shows 80% of Ottawa families are choosing active and sustainable transportation.
If you do need to drive, please park a little farther away and Walk-a-Block to reduce congestion and improve safety around your child’s school. You can find maps that show 5- and 10-minute walk zones to schools here.
Have a school zone concern or request? Review this helpfultip sheet!
Dalhousie Community Association AGM
The Dalhousie Community Association (DCA), which covers the Chinatown, Little Italy, and Lebreton Flats neighbourhoods, is holding their Annual General Meeting onWednesday, April 7 from 7-9 PM. Join for an opportunity to discuss how the community should grow as large-scale and infill developments continue, and to find out how you can get involved with the DCA.
The City of Ottawa has received Zoning By-law Amendment and Site Plan Control applications for 406-408 Bank St, a vacant property at the corner of Bank St and Florence St. The applicant proposes a 6-storey mixed-use building with commercial units on the ground floor and 30 residential units above. The development will feature 15 underground bicycle parking spaces and one vehicle parking space at-grade.
This month’s Centretown Buzz has informative articles on the proposed vacant home tax; the upcoming Anne Frank exhibition; managing growth in the city; and an interview with new CCA President Mindy Sichel.