I am happy to share that as of December 14th, the City has taken possession of 1245 Kilborn. 

Both the environmental site assessment and the building condition report were accepted prior to the purchase being finalized. These reports found that the city could maintain the current building, although repairs will be required. Staff are now beginning to undertake further assessment of the property to scope out required renovations. Hydro at the facility will remain connected after purchase for security monitoring, while heat and water are in exploratory phases for resumption of service and work is currently in planning stages. In coming months, my office will work with staff and various stakeholders to develop a process for consultation on the long-term use of this site. Community engagement would occur prior to any use of the building. I understand there is speculation and interest about this property. Please know that I am sharing the most up to date information and am committed to continuing to ensure the community has the most up to date information. 

Property Purchase

Why was notification of the purchase only made available  to the public on August 24th?

The purchase of the Diocese was an item on the Finance and Corporate Services Agenda for the September 5th meeting. The City’s procedure by-law, a requirement under Section 238 of the Municipal Act, provides for public notice of meetings. Accordingly, Section 82 of the Procedure By-law states that notice of a regular meeting of a Standing Committee/Commission shall be given by means of posting a notice on the City’s website no later than the Friday immediately prior to the meeting. This would have meant that documents needed to be posted as of September 1st. However, documents were posted as soon as the disclosure agreement expired, on August 24th. The disclosure  agreement was required by the seller of the property for all interested parties, in order to protect confidentiality while the sale price was under negotiation.

Why was a referendum not held for the community to decide if the City should purchase the building? The purchase should have been delayed until every resident had the opportunity to weigh-in as to whether or not the City should proceed.

The purchase of land by the City is governed by the City’s Real Property Acquisition Policy and by the City’s delegated authority by-law. The acquisition policy does not require public consultation when acquiring land for a City need, as this is a business transaction. Because the delegated authority by-law requires any land acquisition over $2M to be approved by Council, the item was raised to committee and then to Council. As such, the public discussion on this item occurred through correspondence with the councillor’s office after information was made available on the city’s website and through our newsletter, and through the delegation process at committee as is standard procedure. There will be fulsome consultation with the community on the future use and planning of the site, once the sale is finalized through the engage Ottawa website and with our office.

Has a building inspection been done as well as an environmental assessment of the lands?

The City’s offer for the Diocese was made subject to a set of conditions, which expire January 14, 2024, each of which if not completed to the satisfaction of the City would render the offer null and void. The conditions are:

  • The City to have time to review and satisfy itself with the title to the Lands and all related encumbrances.
  • The City to have time to review and satisfy itself with the environmental condition of the Lands. In that regard, a qualified consultant has been retained to complete Phase One and Two Environmental Site Assessments to ensure that the acquisition of the Property does not pose an environmental liability to the City. A review of the available reports provided by the Owner indicates the presence of petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated soil; therefore, completion of soil remediation will be required as part of the redevelopment of the site.
  • The City to have time to review and satisfy itself with a Building Condition Audit (BCA). In that regard, a qualified consultant was retained to complete a BCA in order to provide options to Housing Services as to any future use of the improvement (mothball, demolition, renovation and repair).  The report will provide an estimate of the life span of the building’s elements and systems and determine the repairs/renovations required in the short- and long-term.  It will also provide an estimate of the costs for each of the options.
  • The Owner to have time to receive approval by the appropriate Papal authority following approval by Council.

Will the building audit and environmental assessment be made public?

Anyone interested in either document would need to file an MFIPPA request with the City.  MFIPPA information including how to make a request can be found here.

Why is the City spending $18.5 million on this property and not putting the money into other city needs? How was the price decided?

The money that was allocated to the sale was part of the money that has specifically been earmarked in the City’s 2023-2026 Affordable housing Capital Strategy Update . The full report on the planned use of these funds over the current term of council was recently presented to the Planning and Housing Committee, and will rise to Council on September 13th, 2024. This report can be read here.

Are the two appraisals that were completed  available for the public to review and comment on?

As these appraisals contain commercial information, they are classed as confidential and are not available to the public. The appraisals were done using a direct comparison approach which means comparable sales were used.

Future Plans and Development of Site

The long-term vision for the site that is being proposed is a “hub” with different types of housing and community services onsite. The exact nature of that housing and services is still to be determined. The only specification so far is that one of the many components be supportive housing. This use and development of this site beyond supportive housing will be determined through discussion and consultation with the community and city staff, if the purchase is finalized.

What is supportive housing

Supportive housing is a community-based, person-centred model of providing affordable, permanent accommodation that provides a range of services and supports based on an individual’s needs. Support service providers assist tenants in attaining their optimum quality of life by providing services such as referrals, assistance with life skills, assistance in maintaining housing, and opportunities for peer support and community involvement. Supportive housing units are permanent residences, typically rentals. Tenants pay rent as with any other rental building, the difference being that supports are available on site.

Supportive housing provides assistance to a variety of populations such as seniors, youth, women fleeing violence, pregnant people, those with physical or mental disabilities, all who are able to live independently thanks to supports provided onsite.

Is supportive housing the same as a shelter?

No, supportive housing is not a shelter. It is permanent residences, typically rentals. Tenants pay rent as with any other rental building, the difference being that supports are available on site, and residents always have access to their units.

Why is Alta Vista the only community getting supportive housing? Other communities should be doing their share as well.

There are over 20 supportive housing developments scattered across the city in addition to long term care homes and other facilities that are not registered as supportive housing with the city, but are in fact supportive housing. More information can be found here from pages 18-21: