Engagement Summary - Workshop Discussion Questions

The following summarizes the comments received through the Workshop component of the virtual and in-person Open House and Workshop events, held on June 12 and 13, 2023, respectfully. There were approximately 40 participants during the virtual Zoom event and approximately 35 participants during the in-person event, which was held at The Broom Factory, 305 Rideau Street.

What you told us…

Question 1: What do you think about the building forms and heights proposed within the intensification areas? For example, many areas along Montreal and Rideau Streets will be permitted to have a base building up to 6 storeys in height, with a maximum “streetwall” height of 4 storeys. Select locations will be permitted tower-podium style buildings up to 12 storeys in height at specific "nodes".

Supportive comments included:

  • The revised approach to the ‘Building Height Map’ and ‘Intensification Areas Map’ provides greater clarity than the previous corridor approach.
  • The ‘Intensification Areas Map’ clarifies that a number of underutilized parcels are being contemplated for redevelopment.
  • Tall buildings make sense around the Montreal Street and John Counter Boulevard intersection given the height and concentration of existing multi-storey buildings in proximity to this intersection.
  • The Montreal Street and John Counter Boulevard intersection can function as a gateway into NKT.
  • Agreement that NKT should be promoting and permitting a variety of building typologies and mix of uses in different parts of the study area.
  • General acknowledgement that the Outer Station lands possess significant redevelopment potential.
  • New commercial space makes sense in ground floors of larger redevelopments and would help support the broader residential neighbourhoods.

Concerns included:

  • Too much density being shown around intersection of Montreal Street and John Counter Boulevard.
  • Some participants were not supportive of 12 storey building heights, however some were open to tower forms provided they are designed thoughtfully.
  • Preference for a 6 storey height maximum, rather than 12 storey towers.
  • 12 storey buildings around Belle Park seem too intensive and would overlook the park and the existing low-rise residential areas on the east side of Rideau Street.
  • Some concerns related to the public realm, including a lack of green space shown within the intensification blocks.
  • Concern that the plan will increase the cost of housing for existing residents.
  • Concern that Montreal Street is not wide enough to support building heights of 12 storeys and would result in shadowing and sense of enclosure.
  • Concern that the amount of intensification and density would increase traffic on Montreal Street and through existing neighbourhoods.

Constructive feedback and suggestions:

  • In contrast to concerns about too much height/density, there were also comments that the height permissions may be too restrictive or inflexible, limiting developers from building taller on these sites in the future. The size and location of many of the intensification areas contemplated for 12 storeys could support additional height without impacting surrounding uses.
  • Pedestrian experience would be enhanced through increased building setbacks and stepbacks, rather than widening the road allowance.
  • Minimum parking rates should be reduced so that fewer parking spaces are required.
  • Above and below grade parking options should be permitted, with greater attention to the screening and design of the parking areas rather than focusing on one specific approach.
  • Additional density may be required to offset the expense of underground parking.
  • Parking will be required to serve new commercial uses, along with a safe, efficient cycling network.
  • New buildings should incorporate green roofs and other green spaces/ features.
  • Desire to include/encourage multi-family buildings, co-operative/co-housing models with shared spaces and amenities.
  • Attention is required to ensure privacy for existing uses adjacent to new, taller development.
  • Pedestrian and cycling connectivity is important and needs to be enhanced along streets but also through development sites. Generally, there needs to be more sidewalks and pathway networks.
  • Greenspace should be considered as a method to buffer existing homes from new development.
  • One participant voiced concern about their property being identified as a potential Intensification Area and understanding any potential impacts.
  • The City needs to improve their development approvals process to ensure buildings can be constructed efficiently, especially considering the scale of development envisioned in NKT.

Question 2: Are there uses other than housing you would like to see within your immediate neighbourhood such as corner stores, groceries, community spaces, or other services? What are some successful examples of where these uses have been or can be located within residential neighbourhoods?

Land use mix and priorities:

  • Desire for enhanced gathering places for community functions, arts festivals, etc. The Broom Factory was offered a good example for indoor events but the community requires more outdoor spaces as well. Examples were offered from within the Williamsville area for formal and informal gathering spaces.
  • The trend in cities is mixed use, walkable, human scale communities. Things like local corner stores, professional offices, social agencies, daycares, etc. should be included through the study area.
  • More convenient, shopping options within short walking distance are needed. The “Store Famous” at Barrie and York Streets was offered as a good example.
  • A centralized grocery store within walking distance would be supported by the community.
  • Strong commercial-at-grade policies or incentives are needed. Developers want to turn these spaces into residential units if they are unable to make retail work.
  • There needs to be a way to better encourage retail and services to happen as there is a lot of potential near major intersections.
  • There is significant redevelopment potential associated with Providence Manor for adaptive reuse to include housing options and complementary uses or services, such as libraries or cultural facilities.
  • NKT needs to consider how public spaces and open space can be used to help mitigate climate change, such as enhancing tree canopy.
  • The public realm needs to be inclusive and contemplate more than just spaces associated with commerce, such as restaurant or café patios.
  • Support for adaptive re-use of existing buildings such as schools or the former Beer Store for community use.
  • Co-location of health and social services, e.g., doctor’s/medical offices and pharmacies near seniors housing.
  • Support for smaller scale retail and neighbourhood commercial uses within in residential area, which needs to be facilitated in the zoning by-law. This would also include additional institutional, commercial and professional service uses within the neighbourhoods, provided they were small scale.
  • Determining factor should be size/scale of a proposed non-residential use and whether it’s appropriate for existing parcel fabric, building character, etc. Plazas or strip malls would not be appropriate within residential areas, but single occupancy, small format uses could be.
  • There are employment and economic development opportunities for arts and cultural spaces, specifically for music or movie production studios, practice spaces or venues. These uses would need to be appropriately located with affordable rents or rates.
  • The Outer Station lands can become a cultural and community hub with inclusive uses, opportunity to grow food, a market, restaurant, etc., similar to Evergreen Brickworks in Toronto. There will also be a requirement to consider the federal heritage designation and the role of Canadian National Railway in this property.
  • The plan should seek to incorporate and diversify the use of water beyond typical recreation uses. For example, marine plants, medicinal uses and significance for indigenous populations.

Parks and public space:

  • Future development will need to ensure adequate parkland and communal amenities, while considering climate change.
  • Depending on the design, small parkettes can provide active transportation crossings.
  • Consideration should be given to improving the health and safety of parks and public spaces, such as along the K&P Trail and around Belle Park with proximity to encampments and risks associated with debris and discarded needles.


  • Build the types of housing that people need, including affordable. The Plan should specifically identify mixed income housing.
  • The plan needs to consider a mix of housing types, affordability levels, and tenures. Consider what is the appropriate mix of market and non-market housing.
  • Interest in attracting “creative class” people by permitting creative uses.


  • Need to improve safety for pedestrians and people with accessibility challenges. Providing intentional, convenient access for non-vehicular modes of transport improves safety overall.
  • Bike lanes were recently added to the area of the proposed ‘Main Street’ designation along Montreal Street, which has created a conflict with on-street parking serving the businesses. There is also a speeding issue within this section of Montreal Street, which requires traffic calming, especially at the intersection of Raglan Road and Montreal Street.
  • Parking is important for people visiting the area to shop, walk around, see the waterfront, etc. Additional parking opportunities should be explored for visitors, but is less important for future residential uses being established within the study area.
  • There is a significant opportunity to expand cycling network in industrial area along the old rail corridors.

Question 3: Considering NKT’s history, and its physical and cultural heritage, are there any specific sites, buildings or other features you believe are especially important to conserve? Do you have any ideas on how such places could be enhanced, celebrated or integrated with new uses?

Outer Station site:

  • Significant interest in the Outer Station as a cultural heritage site and there is a strong desire for the structure to remain ‘in-situ’.
  • There needs to be more clarity on the federal government’s plan for the site.
  • Future development adjacent to the Outer Station needs to be compatible.
  • Interest in preserving the old train station trails north of Hickson Avenue for active transportation purposes.

Additional locations:

  • Adaptive reuse of The Broom Factory was identified as a good example of conservation and re-use.
  • The ‘Brant Lands’ should be better recognized and commemorated, there could be interpretation plaques and acknowledgment of Brant’s contributions.
  • The Providence Manor site was discussed, with questions raised about land use designations for the site.
  • Suggestion to recognize connections through Belle Park that are used for walking, cycling and meeting places by the community.

Other comments:

  • Protection of specific view corridors was discussed, such as views to the river and to heritage buildings. The plan should build upon those views already identified in the Official Plan.
  • Former factory sites should be identified and commemorated as they were integral to many people who used to live and work in the area.
  • Informal gathering spaces, such as areas for ice skating and tobogganing (e.g., Patrick Street), were acknowledged for their cultural significance.
  • Acknowledgement of natural heritage features is also important, not just built heritage features. Protecting and re-naturalizing the shorelines and waterbodies, creates and preserves natural ecological habitats that are an important part of area’s history.
  • Future developments should be configured to protect public access to valued features.
  • There are a number of two-storey red brick character buildings that should be designated as they are important to the character to the community.
  • There should be improvements to accelerate the heritage designation process.
  • Consider carrying the ‘old style’ block network and street grid from the southern portion of the study area into the employment lands in the northern portion of the study area.
  • It is important to continue the agricultural aspects in the NKT area, with more intensive forms of horticulture and allotment gardens.
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