Urban Lanes

Co-chairs: Wendy Dennys, Robb Wainwright

Contact: info@overbrook.ca


Formed in June 2013, this Ad Hoc committee guides and oversees, in collaboration with Ward 13 City Councillor and all affected homeowners, the process of purchasing the City-owned laneways running through the community.

Terms of Reference Urban Lanes Committee

Accomplishments in 2013

  • 18 April – Community meeting with Planning staff on the implications of the City’s “Urban Lanes Encroachment & Management Policies”
  • April/May – Affected homeowners were canvassed and a legal fund of approximately $2,000 was established.
  • 16 May – Councillor Clark commits to work with the OCA to find a way for homeowners to purchase the laneway property
  • 11 December – Councillor Clark submitted a Notice of Motion before Council to allow a pilot block to apply for closure and purchase of the lane

Accomplishments in 2014

  • 22 January – Councillor Clark’s motion passed by Council, namely “…that Council direct staff to prepare a report on the feasibility of a Pilot Project to offer such rear lanes for sale to abutting residential landowners for a nominal payment where the City has determined that there is no prospect for the lane to serve a public purpose and that the lanes in Overbrook, between Prince Albert Street and Queen Mary Street be the focus of this report.”
  • May – Homeowners on the Pilot Block were being canvassed for “an expression of interest to purchase the Lane from the City of Ottawa.”
  • June – Application to close the lane on the Pilot Block submitted to the City
  • October – Application approved; Pilot Block lane officially closed!
  • October 16 – Presentation at OCA meeting: Urban Lanes presentation 16 Oct 2014

Accomplishments in 2015

  • February 19 – OCA Board of Directors approved Position Paper: POSITION PAPER
  • June 29 – Staff report (see 22 January 2014 above) to be presented to the City’s financial committee (FEDCO) at 9:30 am. A delegation will attend the meeting.
  • Based on the fact that the advanced copy of the staff report was, according to Councillor Nussbaum, “not helpful,” it was pulled from the FEDCO agenda.
  • July 6 – The Committee requested that Councillor Nussbaum seek from City staff a purchase price and costs for the pilot block homeowners. We also asked that the City add the purchase costs to their property tax bills over a ten year period (in a manner similar to Property Improvement Taxes).
  • July 8 – Council passed a motion to extend the September 2015 closure deadline on the pilot block to 31 December 2015.
  • October – Councillor Nussbaum’s office sent us figures in a range from minimum to maximum of the “estimated cost for each property owner.” They included land value, survey and legal costs.
  • October – We were informed that the City treasurer’s office, responding to our request to add the costs to our tax bills, said that such a “loan arrangement” could only be made if Council considers it to be “in the interests of the municipality, which does not appear to be applicable in this instance.”
  • November 5 – A letter from the Committee updating everyone on the situation was delivered to all homeowners on the affected blocks, asking them to attend the OCA’s Annual General Meeting at 6:30 pm on Thursday, 16 November at the Overbrook Community Centre, 33 Quill.

Accomplishments in 2016-7

  • Worked to get agreement of homeowners on Pilot block to purchase all 18 parcels of City-owned laneway land.
  • Deadline set by City Council to get agreement – 31 December 2017.
  • Homeowners on the block agreed to purchase 16 of the parcels, not enough to go forward with the pilot project.

Planned in 2018:

  • A report will be sent to Councillor Tobi Nussbaum on the results of our work. A motion with then be presented at an OCA meeting to disband the ad hoc Urban Lanes Committee.