TEWIN DEVELOPMENT: New suburban community remains on new official plan endorsed by city hall

The Council’s decision on the official plan, which will need approval from the province, cannot be appealed to the Ontario Land Court.

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The controversial Tewin project in rural eastern Ottawa will be part of a new official plan that will guide development in Canada’s capital for the next 25 years.


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Fifteen of the 23 council members on Wednesday opposed a motion by the Coun. Riley Brockington to remove the Tewin lands from the expanded development area in the official plan.

Coun.  Riley Brockington.
Coun. Riley Brockington.

Tewin’s vote came before the council overwhelmingly approved the new official plan, securing a 1,281-hectare urban boundary expansion and an aggressive 51 percent residential intensification target, rising to 60 percent in the last five years of the plan ending in 2046.

It means that more than half of all new homes will have to be built in existing communities. The city needs to make room for 194,800 new homes in Ottawa to accommodate a population increase of 402,150.

Tewin, a development partnership between the Algonquins of Ontario (AOO) and Taggart Investments, received the most attention on the council’s final day of debate on the official plan. A 445 hectare satellite community, requiring a significant extension of city services, is ready to be established near Carlsbad Springs.


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“Adding the Tewin lands to the urban boundary is not a sensible planning decision,” said Brockington.

But Coun. Catherine Kitts, who represents Tewin’s future development area, said it was a better option than distributing urban sprawl land in an area like South Orleans, which she said was seeing infrastructure overwhelmed by the rapid pace of development.

Kitts said Tewin was an attractive opportunity to build community from a “blank slate.”

Coun.  Catherine Kitts
Coun. Catherine Kitts jpg

AOO has a membership of 10 communities that negotiate a land claim with the provincial and federal governments. The Pikwakanagan Algonquins are the only federally recognized First Nation among members.

Approving Tewin would be an act of indigenous reconciliation by the city of Ottawa, AOO has argued.


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Algonquin First Nation communities north of the Ottawa River have disputed the position of the AOO. The mayor and councilors were pressured by the Tribal Council of the Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation to reject Tewin’s proposal.

Acting Big Chief Savanna McGregor wrote to city council members on Tuesday, explaining that allowing massive development would not be considered an act of indigenous reconciliation on the part of all the people of Algonquin. Work to develop a civic protocol on consultation with the Algonquins “is now in jeopardy due to the lack of respect and understanding of our Algonquin Anishinabe Nation,” McGregor wrote.

According to McGregor, “the city should have known better and should have reached out to the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation when this project began, especially when it boasts of this project as an act of reconciliation.”


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But Mayor Jim Watson fully supported the AOO / Taggart partnership in building the satellite community, saying it would be “condescending” for the council to think it knows more than AOO and Wendy Jocko, head of the Pikwakanagan First Nation Alqonquins.

“I support them. I support his vision, ”Watson said.

City staff will not know until there is a master services study the cost of providing municipal services for the Tewin lands.

Coun. Scott Moffatt, co-chair of the council’s planning committee, said allowing Tewin was a good decision compared to piling up parcels of land around suburban edges to accommodate new homes.

While Brockington asked to reinsert the land near Kanata North into the urban boundary to offset some of the Tewin land, he received a rejection from a rural colleague to the west.


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Coun. Eli El-Chantiry urged the council not to approve new development land on the edges of Kanata North, citing challenges with servicing the area and the already busy March Road that connects his West Carleton-March neighborhood to the city.

The approval of the official plan by the Council ends a long process of public consultations and committee meetings. Many residents have been particularly concerned about how the escalation will affect the character of their neighborhoods.

Staff were instructed by the council to generate metrics to measure the effect of intensification on communities, including the impact on tree canopies.

The Council’s decision on the official plan, which will need approval from the province, cannot be appealed to the Ontario Land Court. When the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing approves, the city can begin the multi-year work of drafting a new zoning statute to ensure that the property-specific rules match the new official plan.


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The council’s final clearance of the official plan occurred in two votes, with a 15-8 vote on the urban sprawl lands (including the Tewin lands) and a 21-2 vote on the remainder of the plan.

This is how the 23 council votes came in.

In the Lands of Urban Expansion – In Support: Jean Cloutier, Scott Moffatt, Glen Gower, Jan Harder, Laura Dudas, George Darouze, Eli El-Chantiry, Catherine Kitts, Tim Tierney, Keith Egli, Carol Anne Meehan, Riley Brockington, Matthew Luloff, Allan Hubley, and Jim Watson. In opposition: Theresa Kavanagh, Jeff Leiper, Rick Chiarelli, Catherine McKenney, Diane Deans, Rawlson King, Shawn Menard and Matthew Fleury.

On the rest of the official plan – In opposition: Rick Chiarelli and Jeff Leiper. All other members supported.

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