Councillor’s Corner: Recovering our urban tree canopy

A man running for city council wears a blue shirt and stands next to campaign signs taped to a door.
Kitchissippi Coun. Jeff Leiper at his third campaign launch in Aug. 2022. File photo by Charlie Senack.

Submitted by Jeff Leiper, Kitchissippi ward councillor

Spring has truly sprung, Kitchissippi! I hope you’re all enjoying the beautiful weather IN OUR ward’s beautiful outdoor spaces. 

As we recover and take stock following the ice storm in April, I’ve heard concerns from many of you about the impact on our tree canopy. We lost many big branches across the ward, and our friends at Ecology Ottawa have already begun thinking about how we can support the recovery of our urban forest. You can read more about it on the Ecology Ottawa website, and keep an eye out for news about the possible return of their tree giveaway program this year. 

In late March city council voted to settle the dispute over whether the NCC could build an “embassy row” in the open space north of Burnside in Mechanicsville. The settlement between the City, the NCC, and the Mechanicsville Community Association will allow the embassies to be built, but with some key wins for the community: a limit of five lots and five principal buildings, considerations on placement and visibility of parking, limited rezoning to Minor Institutional, and the addition of a sidewalk on the north side of Burnside Ave. The result secures active transportation links, and protects a larger open space on the east side of the property as parkland. 

The Kitchissippi Community Yard Sale will be back this summer! This June residents of Westboro, Mechanicsville, Champlain Park, Civic Hospital, Hampton Iona, Hintonburg, Island Park, McKellar Park, and Wellington Village are encouraged to participate in this ward-wide event. For more information visit

As planting season starts I want to remind everyone that the Goldenrod Community Garden is seeking people from the ward to get involved in supporting the success of the garden. There are a number of roles available, including the Vole Patrol (which aims to share information and strategies to manage the garden’s vole infestation) and the
Events Committee! Email for more information.

Finally, I want to share a few engagement opportunities in which you may want to participate. The City’s Wildlife Strategy, which seeks to manage human-wildlife conflicts in Ottawa with a specific focus on addressing human-coyote interactions is being reviewed for the first time since its creation in 2013. You can view the current strategy and provide feedback until June 30. Additionally, the new Urban Design Guidelines for Low-rise Infill Housing are being developed for Council approval in 2023; this will involve many engagement opportunities where you can review the guidelines and have your throughout 2023.

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