Ottawa Neighbourhood Study (ONS): Vanier Boundaries

ONS Data is now used extensively by the City.

As you can imagine, assumptions are made on basis of the ONS maps and indeed in our experience have extended to utilize them as a base for City programs for example in the BBRN (Building Better Revitalized Neighbourhoods) program which when presented came out to cover  a rather amorphous area called Vanier South/Overbrook.  The planning staff had used the data sets to justify the program but realized quickly that in talking to the Vanier community it made little sense.

As you know, in the ONS maps, Vanier South covers only about half of Vanier south of Montreal Road.  Overbrook covers the west sector of Vanier south of Montreal Road and New Edinburgh covers the west sector of Vanier north of Montreal.  The latest maps which you indicated on Twitter would be consulted with community associations seem to incorporate large parts of another ward and two separate neighbourhoods, Forbes and Overbrook.

The ONS is a valuable resource but it needs to fit with policy needs including by the communities it attempts to describe.  In your neighbourhood descriptions you appear to create problems for your own work and public and municipal confusion.  For example, in the ONS description of Overbrook-McArthur which covers a large area of Vanier south of Montreal Road and west of Olmstead there is no mention of Vanier and the only history is about some visit by the royal family, nothing about Cummings Bridge, Janeville etc which are the area’s origins.  Concerning community associations, there is no mention of the Vanier Community Association.  The Lindenlea-New Edinburgh neighbourhood map includes a large part of Vanier north of Montreal Road west of the Vanier Parkway.  The description makes no mention of Vanier.  Nor is the Vanier Community Association listed.  It helps to explain why city planners regularly neglect to notify the VCA concerning planning applications and are confused by the community’s boundaries. Yet Vanier is only a square mile with boundaries which have been fixed for over 100 years.

It is really quite simple as far as Vanier is concerned.  Post amalgamation, the former City of Vanier with its clear boundaries became the Quartier Vanier (Vanier neighbourhood).  Its population is not entirely clear because of lack of accurate data concerning its large aboriginal population among other considerations.  But it is officially around 17,000.  I understand from your presentation you are defining neighbourhoods at around 7000-8000, so I recognize that you may want to split the neighbourhood with an appropriate explanation/disclaimer.

We are asking that the map or maps of our neighourhood respect its boundaries which also correlate to the ward of which the community is one of 3 neighbourhoods of relative high density.  As mentioned, the neighbourhood boundaries have been fixed for over 100 years. If there is need for a split related to data purposes, we can discuss where that split might occur.  It could simply be Montreal Road or if necessary depending on population numbers use of a split along the lines of Montreal Road and the Vanier Parkway.

Finally, the list of organizations for Vanier is rather short and does not include key social agencies which are key neighbourhood assets we retained after amalgamation including the Vanier Community Service Centre, Wabano etc.  We can provide you a more complete list.

As for the data sets covering Vanier we would like to start with a combined Village in 100 infographic to present at our public board meeting.  Data needs which continue to emerge in our policy and programming discussions internally and with the city, especially related to the Montreal Road Revitalization project, BBRN, public transit, housing, public safety and social policy considerations include walkability, accessibility, community diversity, transit use, crime, official languages, availability of social and health services, aboriginal services and supports, access to green space, numbers of pay day loans etc.