Heart of Orléans BIA

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Orléans spoke and the City of Ottawa listened

The return on investment of planning the spaces we live, work, and play in – in other words, our cities – is incalculable. But worth every penny. To name just a few benefits, well-planned cities lead to better health and social development outcomes, more solid education and transportation systems, and beautiful parks and walk/cycling paths. All of these outcomes, and more, lead to happier, healthier, more stable and prosperous communities. 

The decisions to attain this must be driven by a combination of voices: experts in urban planning and design, business owners, residents, healthcare professionals, among many others. 

Here in Orléans, the City of Ottawa listened to the many, varied voices and responded with an excellent, actionable plan. 

In fact, the Heart of Orléans BIA Board of Directors met with Robin van de Lande and his team at the City of Ottawa’s Planning Department several times to discuss the short and long-term strategy for Orléans. In these discussions, the BIA shared results of resident and business surveys and plans created in the past, while taking into consideration the new LRT and expansion. Executive Director, Tannis Vine says, “Orléans is a success story built on the community’s heritage, hard work, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. While acknowledging this success, Robin and his talented team furthered our vision to move Orléans forward through their updated corridor study.”

The result is the Orléans Corridor Secondary Plan Study. According to the study, it will “guide intensification and revitalization to create compact and walkable neighbourhoods centered around the O-Train stations and St Joseph Blvd where residents and visitors can walk, cycle or take transit to daily destinations.” 

The goals of the plan:

  • To benefit from “15 minute neighbourhoods” 
  • Build density around rapid transit 
  • Make enhancements to public spaces and climate resilience 
  • Incorporate a more bikeable and walkable environment to support healthy living and reduce greenhouse gas emissions  
  • Ensure new building meshes well with public spaces and active transportation 

At the foundation of this plan is the belief that Orléans deserves a main street. And, the roadmap to get there is substantial and solid, including a strategic, feasible plan, with a multi-phase rollout, including: 

  • Shifting to a more pedestrian-oriented approach supported by a new Concept Plan to guide investments
  • Ensuring the street is more lively with increased residential builds and more jobs (through building permissions
  • Establish more pathways, parks, and green spaces 
  • Creating an urban main street that’s a pleasant place to live, work, and shop, and that forms the basis for a central hub for the residents of Orléans

More detailed information about the implementation of the Plan will become available in the coming months and will be covered here in the next issue of The Beat. Stay tuned!