Creative Neighbourhoods

Recent Projects

Wellington West Business Improvement Area (BIA) Market Research, 2014-Ongoing

The Wellington West Business Improvement Area (WWBIA) is funded by the Ottawa municipality and allows local businesses and property owners to collectively market and promote the area. The WWBIA represents over 500 businesses in the Hintonburg and Wellington West Village neighbourhoods.

Creative Neighbourhoods has helped the WWBIA develop and implement annual surveys of business owners and visitors to the area since 2014. These initiatives were designed to strengthen the capacity of the WWBIA in its use of research and development as a means to support local business development.

The business members survey is conducted to update and improve the business directory, as well as maintain and establish new/existing business in the area. In 2016, a voluntary questionnaire was added to the business survey to access the neighbourhood’s level of local economic activity and interest in BIA-wide programs. A visitor survey conducted annually between 2014 and 2017 2016 was used to help the Board of Directors and the WWBIA office better target their marketing, beautification, and business development efforts.

"Breaking Ground Without Breaking Community"| An Affordable Rental Housing Strategy for Ottawa’s West Centretown | The Planning Collective, Fall 2018

West Centretown is a diverse neighbourhood, with a large immigrant population, a high proportion of low income residents, nearly 15% of the city’s social housing units, and the highest concentration of rooming houses in Ottawa. There is already a high proportion of residents spending 30% or more of their income on housing – a trend that will likely worsen over time given the rapidly increasing rents and new luxury developments planned for the area, leading to uncontrolled gentrification.

The Somerset West Community Health Centre, in collaboration with Creative Neighbourhoods Inc., contracted The Planning Collective to create an affordable rental housing strategy for the West Centretown neighbourhood of Ottawa. The Planning Collective is a five-person team of graduate students from McGill University's School of Urban Planning. The project included an in-depth demographic analysis of the local area, a policy scan of affordable housing strategies from municipalities across Canada, stakeholder interviews, a public engagement event, and development of potential future scenarios based on existing trends and planned developments in West Centretown. The resulting strategy comprised six primary recommendations, followed by three secondary recommendations. The strategy will be a useful advocacy tool to promote affordable housing initiatives in Ottawa’s West Centretown.

McGill Team: The Planning Collective (Olwen Bennett, Cameron Bourne, Meghan Doucette, Chantal Gougain, Anna Sokolowski)

Affordable Rental Housing Strategy for WC PDF (~23MB)
SWCHC Final Presentation PDF(~8MB)
The Planning Collective Situational Report PDF(~15MB)
The Planning Collective -Proposal PDF (~11MB)

Armstrong Street. Engaging Community | Realizing Potential, Fall 2015

Atelier, a four-person team of students from McGill University's School of Urban Planning, undertook a land use and transportation study for Armstrong Street in Ottawa, Ontario. Under the guidance of the Wellington West Business Improvement Area, the Hintonburg Community Association, the Office of the City Councillor, and Creative Neighbourhoods, Atelier developed recommendations on the appropriate range and mix of commercial and residential uses and the appropriate heights and massing for buildings; identified solutions to facilitate the development of incubator space for new businesses that complement the more established businesses on Wellington Street West; developed strategies for development on empty lots and parking lots; recommended appropriate zoning on "through lots" that abut Armstrong Street and Wellington Street West; and proposed measures to facilitate and improve the use of Armstrong Street as an active cycling and pedestrian route, and to improve the streetscape.

The study included an analysis of the area, a review of planning documents, research on best practices, and consultation with various stakeholders and local residents.

McGill Team: Atelier (Joshua Adams, Zoé Poirier Stephens , Ryan Lo, Kristín Una Sigurðardóttir)

Final Report Atelier December 2015 PDF (~15MB)
Situational Report_Atelier_Final PDF(8.3MB)
McGill Studio III Scope of Work Armstrong Street Ottawa Fall 2015_FINAL PDF (542KB)

"Backing Business" Local Economic Development in Wellington West, Fall 2014

Urbanworks Consulting, a team of four students from McGill University's School of Urban Planning, delivered a project focused on local economic development in the Wellington West Business Improvement Area (WWBIA). The final report recommends specific actions for the WWBIA to strengthen its relationship with the business community, thereby fostering the neighbourhood as a premier shopping, food and arts destination in Ottawa's west end.

The recommendations are based on a review of the legal framework governing the BIA, an analysis and mapping of the demographic factors and the commercial character of the BIA, and a review of best practices in business organizations throughout Canada, the United States, and England. The report concludes with a prioritized set of seven recommended programming interventions, relating to the areas of Marketing, Business Support, Event-related, and Member Outreach.

McGill Team: Urbanworks Consulting (Jordan Rockerbie, team leader; Nour el-Saheb community-based research; Angie Ning, GIS and spatial analysis; Eleni Taye, research, analysis and policy development.)

Backing Business - Final Report PDF (12.5MB)
Urbanworks Situational and Progress Report PDF (7.8MB)
Terms of Reference PDF (900kB)
Project Proposal (1.5MB)

Wayfinding Wellington West, Fall 2013

A team of four students from McGill University School of Urban Planning prepared a comprehensive wayfinding strategy for the Wellington West Business Improvement Association (WWBIA) that builds on the ideas presented in the 2012 Public Spaces Enhancement Plan. ID Collaborative's Wayfinding Wellington West plan addresses the WWBIA's goal of strengthening the area as a unique and trendy shopping destination by recommending the implementation of an integrated wayfinding system. Physical and digital elements incorporated into the streetscape are complemented by streetscape improvements and the provision of public wireless Internet access across the commercial area of Wellington Street West. Wayfinding Wellington West facilitates better connections to local services and attractions and encourages residents and visitors to further explore the area.

The recommendations provided in this plan are two-tiered:
a) short-term solutions which can be implemented in a year or two
b) long-term vision for the area with design and placemeaking features

ID Collaborative was tasked with preparing three to five detailed designs for select sites along Wellington Street West in order to enhance the quality of the neighbourhood's social gathering spaces. To achieve its mandate, ID Collaborative hosted a design charrette with local residents, business owners and stakeholders. The final design schematics for the "urban oases" incorporate ideas generated at the charrette, in addition to innovative elements from urban design precedents.

McGill Team: ID Collaborative (S. Megan Albinger, Heritage Specialist, Christian Binette, Community Planning Specialist, Cara Fisher, Active Transportation Specialist, Kate-Issima Francin, Urban Design+Graphics Specialist)

Terms of Reference PDF (~0.95MB)
Workplan PDF (~4MB)
Full Report PDF (~21MB)

Wellington West Business Improvement Area (BIA) Market Research Baseline Study, 2013

Creative Neighbourhoods managed a project that designed and launched a multi-phase comprehensive wayfinding program aimed at improving the visibility of the Wellington West area and encouraging visitors to stay longer and explore local businesses and amenities. Work in 2013 included preparing a business plan, designing and delivering a market research study validating the value of the wayfinding strategy, and evaluating visitor awareness of the BIA and its products and services. The survey reached 386 respondents through in-person and online methods. Creative Neighbourhoods also prepared procurement documents to implement a multi-year wayfinding program.

PLAY WELLington, Fall 2012

The Wellington West Business Improvement Area commissioned a team of second-year graduate students from the School of Urban Planning at McGill University to develop a Public Spaces Enhancement Plan (PSEP) for the area of communities of Hintonburg and Wellington Village
The team hosted a charrette with local stakeholders to produce a set of urban design interventions aimed at improving livability and strengthening Wellington West as cultural and commercial destination in Ottawa's west end.
The design strategy included creative public space interventions including a strong wayfinding system, temporary pedestrian zones, sidewalk patios, edible landscaping, bike corrals, and street furniture.
McGill Team: plaYce (Emma Chow, Mike Angrove, Spencer Sloan, Keharn Yawnghwe, Pauline Lambton, Blessy Zachariah)

Proposal PDF (~3.8MB)
Progress Report PDF (~11.7MB)
Preliminary Plan PDF (~77KB)
Visioning Session PDF (~809KB)
Full Report PDF (~32.5MB)

Adaptive Re-use of 7 Bayview Road, Fall 2011

The Hintonburg-Mechanicsville Neighbourhood Planning Initiative Continuity Task Force and the Wellington West Business Improvement Area (WWBIA) commissioned a team of second year graduate students from the School of Urban Planning at McGill University to create a plan for 7 Bayview Road in Ottawa. The sites consists of a vacant building owned by City of Ottawa Public Works and a portion of the adjacent lot and is surrounded by municipal operations.
The team prepared four possible site plans that include recommendations to reconnect historic Mason Street, green the site, provide active transportation pathways, create opportunities for community gardening, create attractive and intimate public spaces, minimize parking requirements, ensure additional buildings are mixed-use and feature human scale elements. The preferred plan recommends the creation of a public square framed by a restored and extended public works building, and two new buildings; one consisting of 10-12 storeys and one of 4-6 storeys.
McGill Team: Strata Planning (Cynthia Jacques, Jordan Kemp, Kaela Schramm, Megan Shrubsole)

Full Report PDF (~11.7MB)
Full Report (to print) PDF (~10.5MB)
Reference Document PDF (~31.7MB)
Reference Document (to print) PDF (~32MB)
Letter to Client PDF (~0.2MB)


Marco Polo Mixed Use Urban Village Concept Plan, Oak Street Complex Fall 2010

In partnership with the Preston Street Business Improvement Area, Creative Neighbourhoods hosted a team of 2nd year graduate students from McGill University's School of Urban Planning to develop a concept plan and governance model for the Marco Polo Mixed-use Urban Village. The proposed mixed use infill development is intended for the Oak Street Complex site located within the boundaries of both Little Italy and the West Centretown neighbourhood.
The team incorporated fresh food sources, provisions for active and affordable transportation choices, sustainable building design, affordable housing options and community gathering and art spaces into the final concept plan. The team also prepared five case studies of comparable, successful public markets located in major urban centres in North America.
McGill Team: Groundwork (David Beitel, Jill Lance, Megan Rolph, Emily Sangster, Maxim Wells)

Full Report PDF (~35MB)
Progress Report PDF (~8.4MB)
Project Presentation PDF (~5MB)


Parkdale Avenue Corridor Plan, Fall 2009

Creative Neighbourhoods employed a team of Urban Planning students from McGill University to produce a Parkdale Avenue Corridor Plan, identifying long-, medium - and short-term opportunities & actions, relating to local issues such as - but not limited to - land use, streetscaping, traffic management, and air quality monitoring.
McGill Team: Abode (Angela Brinklow, J. Adam Dudeck, Brendan Pinches, Rafael Villarreal-Pacheco, Molly Wilson)

Full Report PDF (~9MB)
Project Presentation PDF (~27MB)
Project Presentation Boards PDF (~15MB)


Urban Greenspace Reclamation Concept, Fall 2008

This project consisted of the creation of an inter-institutional green space reclamation concept plan for an inner block greenspace in Ottawa’s Hintonburg neighbourhood. Specifically, the mandate involved configuring the physical design of the greenspace, as well as the challenges of increasing accessibility to a private space, dealing with security and safety within the space, and ensuring a harmonious co-habitation for all potential users. In addition, the concept plan will addressed short, medium, and long-term operation, maintenance, funding, and management schemes.
McGill Team: Urban Routes (Tyler Baker, Asumpta Cerda, Kendra Ferguson, Lisa Kastelberger, Niki Roehrig)

Full Report PDF (~15MB)
Project Pamphlet PDF (~5MB)
Project Presentation PDF (~3MB)


Streetscape and Façade Design Guidelines for Wellington Street West, Fall 2007

During the fall of 2007 Creative Neighbourhoods, in conjunction with a team of Urban Planning students from McGill University and the Wellington Street West Business Improvement Area (B.I.A.) Steering Committee, set out to determine how property and business owners along the Wellington Street West corridor can make a positive impact on their neighbourhood through small scale streetscape and building façade design.
McGill Team: UrbanISA (Ilja Green, Sherry Hergott, Andrew Charles)

Full Report PDF (~3MB)
Project Presentation PDF (~2MB)


City of Ottawa Neighbourhood Planning Initiative, 2007

Creative Neighbourhoods became actively involved in facilitating citizen participation in the City of Ottawa’s Neighbourhood Planning Initiative (NPI). The NPI seeks to increase citizen participation in a better-coordinated planning process. The initiative begins with the Wellington West Mainstreet District in a year-long pilot project.

Full Report PDF (<1MB)


Investigation into a GIS-based Community Monitoring System for the Wellington West Mainstreet District, Fall 2006

In an effort to support local planning Creative Neighbourhoods (in conjunction with a team of Urban Planning students from McGill University) researched and propsed a GIS-based Community Monitoring System as a useful tool to facilitate communication between citizens and policy makers and to encourage local participation in the community’s development.
McGill Team: Appleseed Consulting (Fiona Akins, Rebecca Foon, Jacob Ritchie, Sara Tabatabaie, Guoying Zeng)

Full Report PDF (~7MB)

© 2019 Creative Neighbourhoods