Letter to Russell Mills, NCC Chair

708-370 Dominion Ave.,
Ottawa ON K2A 3X4

Russell Mills,                                        June 24, 2013
N.C.C.
Ottawa, Ontario

Dear Mr. Mills,

Please allow me to reminisce a little before I get to the nuts and bolts of my letter. In 1961 I came to Canada as a teacher, having taught children in England about the wonderful country that was Canada. Geographically a most beautiful place with a remarkable capital city. In 1966, my husband and came to Ottawa to live. Our relatives and friends have come many times from all over the place to visit us: from Australia, the U.S.A., Ireland, England and France, to name a few. All were envious of our special location, Ottawa on the Ottawa River. Here we are, in 2013, facing what I consider a very serious situation regarding our beautiful river, its heritage, and the green space that has been a part of it for centuries. Living in the West End, the Ottawa River was a favourite place for picnics, paddling and watching the logs and loggers travelling the waterway.

Time does march on, however, but I feel that the current plan of the City of Ottawa to run a rapid transit rail line along the Parkway is a major error if it is not fully underground. Being from London, England, I am fully conversant with underground rail travel. There is a Hyde Park Station but the train is not running across Hyde Park. It is UNDERGROUND. The same can be said of such other green spaces there … Green Park, Pall Mall, Kew Gardens. The N.C.C. has always held to its mandate that it speaks for all of Canada when it protects the Capital Area from “progress” that could deface it. While I personally feel that another route would be a more sound and less destructive option. I would hope that the N.C.C. and yourself will continue to oppose the “preferred” route as it is presently proposed. Over the years it has been admirable that your organization has been so diligent in keeping the capital region so “green”, maintaining the unique and picturesque atmosphere. Congratulations on a job well done!

Should the City be successful in its intentions, berms and removal of trees and parkland would be a huge step backwards for the Ottawa River itself. If the project has to be, then why not place the rail line in an underground tunnel between or closer to the Parkway roads? At the Open House at City Hall last week it was stated by the Planning Committee that traffic will be greatly reduced and that we could manage with only one road instead of two. Why not use under the second road for the tunnel and stations? Cities all over the world protect their unique places. I put my trust in yourself and you colleagues. The priority must be your continued protection of our centuries old Ottawa trees, river and parkland.

Very sincerely,

Ellen Crossan

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