Ottawa eyes more commercial space in Hintonburg

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More stores and restaurants, more cycling infrastructure and more patios — all are part of a vision for the future of Armstrong Street.

On Tuesday Ottawa’s planning committee accepted a report looking at a street that spans the city’s trendy Hintonburg and Wellington West neighbourhoods.

The report was a partnership between the Wellington West Business Improvement Area, the Hintonburg Community Association and Kitchissippi Coun. Jeff Leiper.

“The vision calls for a secondary commercial opportunity in the neighbourhood,” said Randy Kemp, a local property owner who voiced his support at the meeting.

“Take Kensington Market in Toronto and Granville Island in Vancouver and mix them up and create a hybrid. There are a lot of vacant lots on Armstrong, so there’s an opportunity for new ideas and new development. There’s also an existing old stock dating back to the 19th century that can be converted into commercial.”

Kemp emphasized that the neighbourhood can offer reasonable rental rates for new businesses that are within walking distance of the built-up Wellington West main street. The goal is to mirror that commercial success and bike- and pedestrian-friendly feel on the neighbouring street.

The consultation process lends community support to earlier zoning changes that would increase the height allowance to six stories on the south side of the street while the north side of Armstrong would have the current low-rise residential status protected.

The report also showed strong community support for increased cycling infrastructure and small patios or “café seating” along the street.

This story originally appeared in Metro News.