Algonquins of Ontario Tewin project team soothes concerns - but still a lot of unknowns.

Carlsbad Springs residents (mostly those that live west of Hwy 417) have been contacting the Carlsbad Springs Community Association since the news hit that the City of Ottawa will be approving a large area west of Hwy 417 to be included into the next phase for a future urban expansion. City of Ottawa Councillors will be voting on February 10 during the next Council monthly meeting. What we know already is that Councillor Catherine Kitts representing the area where the Tewin project will be situated and Councillor George Darouze who will be representing the area (in Osgoode ward) after the next municipal election in 2022 have voted in favor of including the Tewin land into the urban expansion during the Planning Committee and Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee on January 26. Mayor Jim Watson has also indicated his approval of this location for a new community for urban expansion cited reconciliation as the main reason. The Carlsbad Springs Community Association has asked numerous questions to the Tewin group (Taggart and the Algonquins) and awaiting details.


We welcome additional questions (please email us at CJROFM@rogers.com)


The questions are:


  1. It says the trickle water system would be replaced by a pressure water system. Would it be replaced for all homes on the system? Or just the homes that are west of Hwy 417? This system is old and sometimes problematic and many residents would be happy if they could get rid the trickle water system.

  2. We presume natural gas will be coming with this urban expansion, to what extent it will be offered to the homes in the “Tewin” area? and also to the village of Carlsbad Springs? As you know this has been a service that many would be happy to acquire.

  3. Residents are saying that a lot of the so call Tewin property is not own by the Algonquins, such as on the map below (properties that are in yellow are not own by the Algonquins). Can you confirm where the project will be situated exactly? There are large pockets that are in pink (own by Algonquins of Ontario) but they are not side by side so how will this be done if you plan to develop up to 445 hectares eventually?

  4. And the big question, if the Councillors vote in favor of this urban expansion for Tewin land on Feb 10, for these lands below to be included in the urban expansion, when can we expect this project to start? Are we talking in a few years? 5 years? Or just in 10 to 15 years from now? As we all presume it would not be before 2026 before it gets approved will Taggart / Algonquins proceed right after it is approved? As in the presentation to the planning Committee last week they insisted many time that the “time is now”.

  5. We noticed on the map below that some Algonquin properties will not be developed (from what we understand from a CBC News report the ones in pink with lines in them are natural areas where it would be difficult to build and they will stay natural). Is that the case? Could you share with the community where the project will be situated? And what will stay the same?


Below is the article (from Jan 29) that was published in the Ottawa Citizen. The Algonquins and Taggart explains some of the concerns.


The rural-east land eyed by the Algonquins of Ontario for a new community could bring heavy costs because of a lack of water and wastewater infrastructure, no nearby public transit and highly sensitive ground conditions for construction, according to a city analysis of the site.


Those were some of the reasons why city planners marked the area as Category 3 land requiring “significant research, analysis and investment” if council wants to wrap the urban boundary around the site.


Lands judged as being Category 1 land were recommended for inclusion in an expanded urban boundary, largely because of less demand on city services.


This week, a joint committee of city council’s planning leaders decided the Algonquin lands should be treated like Category 1 land and brought inside the urban boundary as an acknowledgement of the city’s reconciliation efforts with Indigenous peoples.


The Algonquins of Ontario and its development partner, Taggart Investments, believe costs to municipal taxpayers will be mitigated by their own funding and creative development-related charges to cover public transit costs.


A closer look at the staff evaluation of the land — generally located south of Highway 417 between Bank Street and Boundary Road — reveals why city planners believed there would be significant challenges to building a new community in the area.

The Algonquins of Ontario and Taggart want to build a community called Tewin (which means “home”) using the guiding values of the Algonquin culture. The community could have 35,000-45,000 residents. The cornerstone of the Tewin development plan is a focus on being a One Planet Living community of sustainability. The city considers 2,100 hectares of the 3,600 hectares of Tewin land “developable,” though the Algonquins of Ontario have told councillors it needs 500 hectares as part of the current urban boundary expansion. The joint committee is recommending that council assign 445 hectares to Tewin.

In an evaluation of the land, the city observed there was no nearby water transmission main or sanitary collection system. The ground conditions, which include marine clay, would require all homes to have sump pumps, the city observed. Stormwater runoff would empty into a watercourse with “sensitive valley slopes and insufficient outlet downstream,” the evaluation said.The city pointed out a “very expensive and challenging construction” for water lines, which would add up to 20 kilometres of pipe.


“During the initial buildout of the community water quality would be a concern, which would result in greater operational costs and significant wasting of water due to the expected system flushing requirements,” the evaluation said. Staff also said a roughly 8.3-kilometre-long sanitary sewer would come with additional maintenance costs early in the build-out because of low flows and sedimentation.

When it comes to transportation, the evaluation noted that the Tewin site is located far from existing and planned high-capacity public transit. Highway 417 would be a big help for motorists, and potentially buses, but some rural roads would need to be brought up to the standard of an urban arterial road, including in the greenbelt, the evaluation said.


The Tewin project team addressed the concerns on Thursday, saying there will be infrastructure costs covered by the project team, including costs related to the watermain system and any necessary quality management.


Upgraded water infrastructure will eliminate the existing trickle feed system, save the city million of dollars in maintenance costs and put an end to chlorinated drinking water pouring into the watershed, the project team said.


When it comes to the sanitary sewer, the project team said “the proposed trunk sewer connection to the South Ottawa tunnel takes advantage of one of the most under-utilized pieces of existing wastewater infrastructure in Ottawa.” The existing tunnel has reserve capacity for a development like Tewin and fulfills the original design intent from the 1970s, and there will be an operations plan, the project team said.


There will be no cost to municipal taxpayers for water or wastewater servicing, according to the project team.


As for the delicate soil conditions, the project team said they’re similar to communities like Half Moon Bay in Nepean, Avalon in Orléans, and Eastboro in Navan.


Two engineering firms agreed that “Tewin is capable of being engineered from a geotechnical perspective similar to what has been previously undertaken in those and many other communities,” the project team said, adding that the requirements for sump pumps would be determined through the planning process.


The project team said it would assume costs related to constructing stormwater management facilities while pointing out the One Planet Living philosophy calls for sensitivity to watercourses.


And, the project team believes it has come up with a way to help fund OC Transpo service to and from Tewin.


“The Tewin Transit Strategy commits to excellent transit service, day one, supporting a culture of transit ridership at no added cost to the taxpayer. Tewin will pay for this service through a first-of-its-kind area-specific transit development charge,” the project team said.


The Tewin plan envisions the community to integrate with the larger transit network and become part of an east-end transit loop.


Councillors have heard from residents and advocacy groups about the dangers of allowing development in far-reaching parts of the city. When the joint committee met in May 2020 to consider expanding the urban boundary, it heard from several public delegates warning the city about the cost of urban sprawl.

Council will decide on Feb. 10 if the Tewin lands should be included in the urban boundary expansion as part of a new official plan.

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