Faircrest Heights Community Association
It has been some time and with the departure of the
FHCA President Ken Pole (who is moving out of province and
to whom we wish the best), we are going to start our FHCA executive
election process, which begins with a nomination of candidates for
the position of President (one person) and two Vice-Presidents
(Directors). Dowload the nomination forms for both positions (President,
Vice-President) . If you are interested, please print off your
nomination form and have it signed by a minimum of 10 adults living
or owning a home in Faircrest Heights.
If you are interested in supporting a strong and
vibrant Faircrest Heights community, we recommend you put forward
your candidacy to join the FHCA executive. We are a small and
well-respected community association that has been successful in
advocating on behalf of our residents for almost 30 years.
Nomination forms must be received by
After that, candidate names & bios will be posted on the FHCA
website, followed by an election via digital ballot within three
Candidates Election Debate
A group of Community Associations within the ward
(Alta Vista Community Association, Canterbury Community Association,
Elmvale Acres Community Association, Faircrest Heights Community
Associations and Riverview Park Community Association) is hosting a
Provincial Candidates’ Election Debate on
Thursday, May 19th
at Jim Durrell Arena. The event will take place from 7-9pm.
Planning Updates including new application adjacent
to Faircrest Heights
As some of you are aware there are a number of large
development applications and ongoing projects within a few minutes
of Faircrest Heights. The Trainyards high rises are beginning
construction. A new residential tower is going up at Elmvale Acres
Shopping Centre with more to follow (including an application to add
a new tower on Othello) as well as several new residential high
rises on the west side of St. Laurent (including the sites of the
current gas station and St.Hubert as well as the Burger King). The
Federal Study Centre on Heron is subject of an application for
several new mid-rise buildings. Likewise there are plans for massive
development at Confederation Heights (the lands to the west of
Billings Bridge Plaza from the RA Centre to Heron Road). As well
there is are applications to build two high rises (26 storey) on
either side of the corner of Bank and Riverside as well as a high
rise at 1400 Bank Street (Langdon Flowers across from Kilborn).
should therefor not come as a surprise that there is a new
application that is now in the system that is adjacent to Faircrest
A new development application was submitted late last week for two
buildings in the north side parking lot at the Riverside Hospital.
The proposal has been submitted on behalf of Schlegel Villages, who
proposes the development of an 8 storey long-term care facility with
256 beds, a 15 storey retirement home with 270 suites and amenities
as part of a village setting. The hospital and medical building will
remain. The parking spots will go from 744 to 393. The development
application is available through on the City of Ottawa’s
. There are a number of attachments and so I would guide you to the
Application Summary (last document). Comments can be sent directly
via this application or via email to
If you do send an email please cc myself at
and if you would like our Councillor Jean Cloutier at
This is just the beginning of this process that FHCA will follow
closely and provide ongoing updates.
With respect to the
Official Plan, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing did
not approve Ottawa’s new Official Plan (along with other new plans).
They may likely be tied to a recent provincial bill that amended the
Planning Act that would go well beyond the new Official Plan. It
is not yet clear how the next steps will unfold and how this will
impact the upcoming City of Ottawa Zoning Review. We will continue
to watch this closely.
Alta Vista Farmers’ Market and Activities
Sharing news of a great initiative from our sister
Community Association (the Alta Vista Community Association (AVCA)
who has organized an on-site Alta Vista Farmers’ Market that is set
to open on Saturday, June 25th
9-1 and run on Saturday mornings at the Saint Thomas Church. There
is also an online order option via
Stay tuned for the announcement of our new executive
who will send out details of our next meeting and membership drive.
the meantime do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any
questions or comments with the above.
Judy Korecky (Director)
MEETING OF SEPTEMBER 27 2021 FOCUS: REVISED DRAFT NEW OFFICIAL
PLAN (OP) What will this mean for Faircrest Heights?
Click here to see the presentation.
Reminder - Sept 29 at 6:30 PM the City of Ottawa is hosting in Open
House on the Official Plan. It is an opportunity to ask questions and to
learn more about how this Plan will guide the future and set the rules
for development, among other issues.
The revised draft of the Secondary Plan for Alta Vista/Faircrest
Heights/Riverview Park Secondary Plan has
just been released.
can be viewed at:
The revised Secondary Plan states that development in the
Secondary Plan area will be low-rise
(maximum 4 storeys) and that micro-retail or local commercial outlets and
other and neighbourhood services will be considered at key corners along
Mainstreets and Minor Corridors (as long as these establishments are not
car-oriented and intended for a walking clientele).
Secondary Plan also introduces a series of new provisions related to
prioritizing walking, cycling and transit over cars. Concretely this means
limits on the numbers of driveways (may be prohibited on small or narrow
lots), retail must be active transit friendly and prohibiting certain
businesses that are automobile-oriented. These active transit provisions are
being applied to entire inner urban area and exceptionally to Alta Vista
Ward (the sole outer urban ward to receive these provisions).
Please join us for a Faircrest Heights Community Association
zoom meeting to discuss the revised Official Plan and its potential
implications on Monday September 27 at 7:00 pm.
Ottawa’s Official Plan Open House – on
September 29 at 6:30 PM
Official Plan is the City’s document that provides a vision for the future
growth of the city and a policy framework to guide its physical development.
As you may recall Ottawa released a revised version of the new Official Plan
in August, and is holding an Open House on
September 29nd at 6:30 PM. It’s an opportunity to ask questions and
to learn more about how this Plan will guide the future and set the rules
for development, among other issues.
To register for the Open House:
Go to https://engage.ottawa.ca/the-new-official-plan to
register for this event, access links to the revised Official Plan
documents, and submit questions in advance.
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From Judy Korecky:
I would like to share with you some of the key highlights of the City of
Ottawa Planning Department meetings on the Outer Urban Transect of June 23rd
and the Inner Urban Transect of June 28th.
As you may recall the majority of the Ward is now Outer Urban with Billings
Bridge, Hurdman and Tremblay Stations and surrounding area being Inner
Both meeting were attended by impacted Councillors, key staff from Planning
Department, residents and special interest groups, with a total of around
100 people in attendance for the Outer Urban Meeting and 200 people in the
Inner Urban Meeting. The majority of the meeting reiterated the “What we
Heard Report” as well as the “Ward Specific Reports” followed by a Q&A
(links to these reports can be found in the email below). Thankfully
participants were able to ask live questions (as opposed to previous
Key takeaways impacting Faircrest Heights are:
Confirmation that the vast majority of the ward will be outer urban
(except around major transit hubs), that single family homes can be
re-built, that there will be no density requirements, and that the timelines
of Council consideration in mid-September have not changed
Active Transit –further to a large number of comments from the ward
related to active transit, the ward will receive inner urban treatment in
this respect and this will be embedded in our Secondary Plan. This will mean
that pedestrians and cyclist will be given priority over motor vehicle
access, no new curb cuts (so if a property is severed into two there can
still only be one driveway (presumably shared) while this is positive in
that it will protect greenery the corollary is that it may lead to more on
street parking (although it was suggested that on street parking might be
reduced). There was also some reference to inserting new paths into the
existing block structure (how this would be achieved absent expropriation of
private property is unclear). Sidewalks will be installed on existing
streets as they are rehabilitated.
There is some chatter during the meetings (and in other discussions with the
City) of “road diets”, for example consideration to narrowing Riverside
around Bank Street to two lanes, and to narrowing Walkley to two lanes from
Bank to Riverside
Speed limits may decrease on neighbourhood streets
Density the outer urban density targets [no longer requirements] are now
to be 40 (not a minimum) to 60 (not a maximum) dwelling units per hectare
(Faircrest Heights is currently around 10-20 units per hectare). This will
be measured at the neighbourhood and possible street level and will not take
into account density on hubs and corridors. There were a number of
references that density is required to support retail, in particular decent
sized grocery stores (that many residents indicated they wanted in their
neighbourhoods in the City of Ottawa’s 2020 15 minute neighbourhood survey).
Retail is being limited in our Secondary Plan to specific important
intersections and this limiting of retail to key streets and intersections
is mirrored in other wards
Tree Canopy sadly it was clear that the 40% applies across the City and
not at the Ward level – how increased tree protections will be implemented
remains to be seen, however the no new curb cut rule will protect some
greenery, and may potentially protect some front yard trees
Height limits on corridors (closest to us Pleasant Park, Kilborn and
South side of Smyth) will be low rise (so up to four storeys – although FHCA
and AVCA had advocated for 3 storeys). Four stories tracks the treatment of
corridors in other outer urban areas and corridors in certain inner urban
Zoning (which will occur in 2022 to 2024 after the Official Plan is
flesh out many of the above matters. Officials stated that zoning will
be at the street level and spoke to the need to provide more permissions
across the City to create more housing options. You
should be aware that this could possibly/likely translate to a shift from an
R1 zoning (single family homes) to R2/R3 or R4 zoning depending on
context (this could possibly include a single family home with a granny
suite and a secondary dwelling unit/coach house in the back), to decreased
lot size minimums and/or allow severances as of right in certain
circumstances (613 flats that meet certain parameters). For broader context,
there is a move in a number of different jurisdictions across North America
to do away with R1 zoning, and to create more housing options in
neighbourhoods. This shift to a more permissive planning framework has been
implemented in different manners in different jurisdictions and has met with
varying degrees of uptake. Of course, the devil will be in the details.
The City states that zoning will increase tree protections and there will be
design guidelines to preserve the “character” and “streetscape of the
Question from FHCA:
“We have noticed that infill housing is often twice as large and costs up to
twice as much as existing housing stock (even if only occupying half the
original lot) and that infill pricing will have knock on effects on the
taxable rate of neighbouring houses. If the City is serious about creating
more housing options that should be reasonably priced, can Planning
Department point to any hooks in the draft Official Plan in this regard?
FHCA also pointed out that some jurisdictions have addressed the concern of
increasing housing prices by requiring that smaller lots have smaller
housing envelopes.” Planning Department was not able to respond with any
examples of such hooks, however stated that indeed there are hooks in the
Next steps on the draft Official Plan
FHCA will be following up with City officials to understand better what
changes are being proposed to our Secondary Plan and to liaise with zoning
staff in the coming weeks. I will report back via email in the next update.
A revised track-changed version of the Official Plan and key documents will
be released through July and first half of August as they are finalized.
In an earlier email I had suggested that we could consider holding a virtual
FHCA meeting on the Official Plan after the release of the City and Ward
What we Heard Reports and the Transect meetings. These documents were
released and the meetings took place later than originally anticipated and
now we are in summer. I
am happy to hold a meeting if there is sufficient appetite. If you are
interested in having a virtual meeting, please send me an email in this
regard and advise when you would like this meeting to take place (either
in the coming weeks (perhaps after discussions with the City on the
Secondary Plan), or only after the release of the revised draft Official
Plan and Secondary Plan sometime in August/early September (before Council
Consideration of the Official Plan in mid-September).
I will continue to share important information with you as I receive it over
the course of the summer, and I am happy to engage with any of you via email
or telephone if you have any questions or concerns about any of the above.
We Heard It” Report was released this afternoon.
There are a number of concerns with the first draft that have
been addressed, notably:
• Alta Vista has shifted
to Outer Urban!
density requirements will only apply to Hubs and Mainstreets,
leaving flexibility for Neighbourhoods and Minor Corridors to
instead reach a target
family homes can be rebuilt (not prohibited)
• Height limits will be
revised on Mainstreets.
secondary plan that requires a lower height would also take
precedence. (The current draft of the applicable
secondary plan would limit Smyth Road to low-rise (aka 4 storeys).
Official Plan Timelines
Here is what you can expect as
the City moves forward on the New
Ward Specific reports – released as they
are completed in the coming weeks* AFTER THE
RELEASE OF OUR WARD REPORT, WE WILL CALL A
FHCA MEETING TO DISCUSS WHAT WE LIKE, DON’T
LIKE AND NEXT STEPS
Transect Meeting on Outer Urban Area – June
23, at 7 pm. To register go to: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/transect-outer-urbanapproche-du-transect-le-secteur-urbain-exterieur-tickets-158592427219
Full release of next iteration of the Draft
OP – prior to mid-August (tentative)
Public open house – No date set
Joint Planning / ARAC committee – September
13, 14, 15
Council – Fall 2021
Smyth Road Cycling Improvements and
Neighbourhood Bikeway Modifications
Engagement Opportunity from June 9 -23 (you
can also phone in comments!)
Go to https://ottawa.ca/smythcyclingimprovements to
see the design drawings. Of most import
to FH is that the City is proposing
unidirectional bike sharrows (street
markings) and signage on Billings Road,
a pedestrian crossover on Lynda Lane at
Billings Road, and curb and sidewalk
modifications on Rodney Crescent and
Pleasant Park near the train tracks.
Meeting with City Project Team: Wednesday,
June 16th at 6:30pm
Walkable Ottawa Alta Vista 15 Minute
For those who participated in either of
the Workshops of March 20 or March 27,
the draft report has been circulated to
participants for comments. Please
contact me if you did not receive
a copy of the draft. We have until
Monday June14th to provide comments. I
will share a version of the final report
with this distribution once it is
New Official Plan - Interim As We
Heard It Report
Click here for the FHCA submission on the draft of the Official Plan - March 12
Follow-up to February 24 FHCA meeting on the draft Official Plan
OF THE PRESENTATION
Some of you have asked if you could share the
presentation with other AV neighbours. Please do. One thing that is
important to note is that Alta Vista has been separated into Inner Urban
(West of Lynda Lane, Grasshopper Hill and the Greenspace down to Heron),
and Outer Urban (east of that line).
Click here for the Presentation for the Zoom meeting
WIDE EVENT AND OPPORTUNITY FOR ENGAGEMENT WITH PLANNING DEPARTMENT
Attached find an email that contains the details about
the March 2nd 2021
Jean Cloutier Ward Wide event on the draft Official Plan. Apparently
already over 200 people have signed up.
I have had confirmation that Alain Miguelez the manager
responsible for the draft OP will give a presentation and that a number
of planners will be online to respond to questions. ACTION
ITEM: With that in mind, please let me know if there is still appetite
to set up a meeting with Planning Department. If so, happy to do so.
AND ADDITIONAL ISSUES
I am attaching a copy of Wednesday evening’s chat. The
comments will be fed into the FHCA presentation (including about the
impacts of COVID, set backs, trees, including the comment of one
resident supporting the density targets but that it should be in
conjunction with increased services and transit). I have some
responses/comments to questions posed:
Click here for chats
from February 24 FHCA meeting on the draft Official Plan
Development near the rapid bus/rail lines at Smyth and
The draft OP definition of rapid transit in the draft OP
does not include
bus rapid transit that is not fully grade separated. Therefore, it
would appear/may be possible that the rapid transit station designation
would not apply for the Smyth and Pleasant Park Stations. This needs to
The draft Secondary Plan states that regeneration on
Corridors would remain low-rise (maximum 4 storeys). The Secondary Plan
trumps the Official Plan.
The Ottawa zoning bylaw is silent on development near
The Ontario Planning Act has minimal reference and it
appears that there is only interplay if the proposed development is
within 300m of the rail line.
There is a push to have some standardized policies around
building near rail lines: see https://www.proximityissues.ca/
Thanks for additional data. I will confirm re densities
(my numbers came from an academic piece).
Historically the City views the petition as a single
voice so experience has shown us that individual submissions carry much
The concerns about overspill from the hospital are noted.
Additional related items that I did not raise at the
meeting that may be of interest:
Both Policy and Zoning have raised the notion of street
parking permits to address cars that cannot park on properties.
No new curb cuts: This was
also not raised in the presentation however you should be aware that any
severances or new builds can not create a new driveway. (Draft OP
This was noted as a recurring interest for residents –
more community centers, smaller more local community centers. One useful
suggestion was that there could be consideration for a Community Center
on the DND lands. This is something to earmark at this point.
Maximum lot coverage
I have reviewed the current zoning bylaw – lot coverage
is not addressed expressly written into the bylaw for the overwhelming
majority of residential subzones. Alta Vista lots do not have lot
coverage provisions. Requesting maximum lot coverage provisions is
another element for consideration in submissions to the City.
Thanks for those who have already sent comments to the
City and to Council members. I been CCed on some and they are very
strong. Please keep them sending your comments up to the March 12th deadline
Please send any direct emails to my
Hotmail account Judy Korecky.
I am only using this account now to ensure that the attachments reach
Hydro Ottawa Tree Maintenance
vegetation ensures the hydro corridor is safe for public use, keeps the
lights on, and gives our crews access to the power lines for regular
maintenance and emergency repairs.
Our work has
now entered the execution phase. Our Forestry Technician is scheduled to
return next week to begin to mark trees and vegetation for trimming or
removal. Trees will be marked with blue to identify trimming, and orange to
vegetation has been marked, our crews are anticipated to begin executing the
work. To complete this work, our crews will use hand held equipment, such as
pruners and chainsaws, and support vehicles, such as bucket trucks.
Herbicides may be applied to certain cut stems to prevent re-growth. Hydro
One will always seek property owner permission before applying herbicides.
that originally Hydro One had identified the need to mechanically remove
trees and other vegetation in the hydro corridor just south of Smyth Road,
however, work in this section has been re-assessed. Our crew will manually
remove and trim certain trees and other vegetation that will pose a risk to
the electrical system.
of the Faircrest Heights Community Association have any questions, please do
let me know.
When’s the last time you ordered take-out from a restaurant?
I haven’t personally used any of the sundry “services” which pick up and deliver
your meal. Those of you who do often are charged a delivery fee but were you
aware of the impact on the restaurants?
I wasn’t until last week when we decided to order some takeout, something we
generally do once a week. It was from one of our favourite restaurants on Bank
Street which provides not only great food but also great service.
Like most restaurants in Ottawa -- and in many other places -- it is limited to
take-out. When I drove down to pick up our order, the place was understandably
deserted. It fronts on the sidewalk and there is literally no room for a patio.
There was an Uber Eats driver ahead of me. The restaurant owner told me that in
the 30 minutes or so which had elapsed since I called, he had had seven other
orders, all to be picked up by Uber Eats.
When I said business seemed steady, he said he was considering shutting down,
which took me aback. It seems that Uber
Eats takes 30 per cent of the cost which, as anyone familiar with the
hospitality trade, essentially leaves him profitless!
I knew there obviously had to be some additional cost associated with Uber Eats
(and similar services) but feel that 30 per cent is, frankly, extortionate.
So, the next time you opt for take-out and the restaurant, regardless of its
ethnicity, is fairly close, a drive or bicycle trip could help to ensure that
the place is still in business the next time you feel the urge.
INFORMATION FROM COUNCILLOR JEAN CLOUTIER
As Ottawa Public Health and the City of Ottawa continue to
move forward in our response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), we are writing
to provide greater clarity on a number of communications and ask for your
support in sharing information with members of your community.
It is important to recognize that the COVID-19 situation is evolving very
quickly. Please refer to OttawaPublicHealth.ca/Coronavirus to
stay up-to-date on the latest information. For
information relevant to businesses and workplaces, please visit:
Ottawa Public Health is urging everyone
to practice physical (social) distancing. More information on
physical (social) distancing for you and your family can be found on our
The province of Ontario is ordering
non-essential workplaces to close-down as of Tuesday March 24, 2020 at 11:59
p.m. Further details can be found on the OPH
website for workplaces.
Our efforts are needed as a community.
The actions you take will affect not only you but your loved ones and our
community’s most vulnerable residents. While we appreciate that people
are thinking of their loved ones, now is not the time to visit them in
person. Luckily, we have technology on our side, which enables us to communicate
in other creative ways like video chats and group phone calls.
Physical (social) distancing by all is
IMPERATIVE to limit transmission in the community, to protect older adults,
vulnerable populations and outbreaks in institutions. We must “flatten the
curve” so we don’t see spikes in cases. This means that we want to slow down
transmission of the virus and reduce the number of cases in the community that
happen at the same time, so that our health system continues to work properly. Here
are some ways that you and your family can practise
physical (social) distancing:
- Talk to your supervisor, manager, or employer about
the possibility of working from home where possible.
- Avoid visiting elderly friends or relatives. Use the
telephone, video chats or social media to stay connected unless the visit
is absolutely essential.
- Avoid all non-essential trips outside your home.
- Keep the windows down if you have to go into the
community for an essential trip via taxi or rideshare.
- Cancel group gatherings and limit your contact to
those within your home.
- Hold virtual meetings or get-togethers.
- Spend time outside and in settings where people can
maintain a two-metre (six feet) distance from each other.
Take precautions to
maintain distance in shared spaces in multi-unit dwellings;
Avoid crowded elevators
(wait for an empty one if you can).
Avoid using the mail
room or laundry room at the same time as other residents (keep to a small number
at a time to maintain distance).
Physical (social) distancing does not mean
emotional distancing. Check in with others by phone or other technology. Check
in with yourself. It’s ok not to be ok. Please know that help is available, and
we encourage you to reach out to Distress Centre of Ottawa to connect with
someone at 613-238-3311 if needed.
Many people are returning home from March Break or winter
travel and will need groceries and essential items. It is imperative
that all returning travellers self-isolate for 14 days, so groceries and
essential items should be picked up by a family member or friend, or through
on-line ordering options. Visit our website for further guidance on
self-isolation. We have been working with
the Ottawa International Airport to ensure this is being communicated clearly to
You also need to self-isolate if you
live with, provided care for, or spent extensive time with someone who has tested
positive for COVID-19, OR is suspected to have COVID-19, OR who has respiratory
symptoms (fever, cough, or shortness of breath) that started within 14 days of
travel outside of Canada.
Human Needs Taskforce
partners are working together through the City’s Human Needs Task Force for
those requiring assistance. The task force is receiving, assessing and triaging
all social and human needs inquiries, while mobilizing and supporting community
organizations to address urgent community needs. The Human Needs Task Force
aligns internal city resources, external partners, existing funding and new
funding to community need.
to Isolated Seniors
Good Companions’ Seniors Centre Without Walls has expanded its services with
a focus on outreach to vulnerable and isolated seniors and other populations.
Emotional and practical support is provided via telephone. In addition, they
have trained 20 agencies (32 staff) to do similar outreach calls through various
Rural Ottawa Support Services is working with Good Companions to provide
similar telephone outreach and practical supports to isolated seniors through
A Friendly Voice program, which does wellness calls connecting seniors to
local services and programs.
Ottawa Community Housing has facilitated
wellness check phone calls to approximately 2,700 residents, focusing on people
identified on the Fire Evacuation List.
Ottawa Food Bank is supporting the emergency food centres and are
coordinating with other task force members to sort and deliver food where
needed. Demand has increased by 30 per cent across community food banks. They
are working with the Salvation Army to support distribution of food hampers
offered by local restauranteurs. The City is providing facility space for safe
storage of food hampers.
Meals on Wheels has been increasing offers of frozen food for seniors in the
Ottawa area and connecting with Ottawa Food Bank to provide hamper supplies and
deliveries. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, they are delivering 100 fresh and 700
frozen meals daily. These services have ensured a supply of full dinners for
those individuals in need.
Working with other non-profit
organizations, the Good Companions and Champlain Community Support Network are
coordinating urgent transportation to medical appointments, assessment centres,
and food centres/grocery stores for those with financial constraints,
transportation difficulties, and/or health and mobility issues.
Services can be accessed by contacting
Good Companions website or by telephone at 613-236-0428.
The City and United Way of Eastern
Ontario are developing a plan to support volunteer coordination during the
Volunteer Ottawa has established a pool of pre-screened volunteers and will
continue to accept new applicants.
Information is changing rapidly and Ottawa Public Health is
working around the clock to provide information to the public as soon as
Please share this information and receive the latest
- Follow us
on Twitter: twitter.com/ottawahealth
Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/ottawahealth
Reduce the spread of germs
including the flu and COVID-19
Wash your hands often with soap
and water, or use hand sanitizer.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
unless you have just cleaned your hands.
Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue or
into your arm, not your hand.
Stay home if you are sick.
Thank you for your partnership.
Coyotes: here to stay? Bet on it.
One Faircrest Heights
resident reported seeing a pack of five coyotes in her back yard
last month and, more recently, another encountered a pack of
four strolling down Briar Avenue while he was walking his dog.
Then, this past Monday evening, I saw a lone coyote dart across
Highridge Avenue at Crestview before disappearing between two
houses abutting Billings Park.
This evidently is part
of an increasing presence of Canis latrans in urban areas
as municipalities push out their boundaries and it seems to be
most prevalent in the south end of Ottawa, where coyotes have
been spotted rooting through garbage. This could be due to a
reduced inability to catch their usual prey, such as rabbits and
mice, because of the snow and ice buildup in our parks and other
Should you be
concerned? Some wildlife experts say otherwise but it’s a good
idea to take precautions with children and small pets. Is it
coincidence that we seem to have an increased number of cats
reported “missing” in Faircrest Heights in the past year or so?
I don’t think so, even though cats generally aren’t normal prey
for coyotes. But, again, there is the coyotes’ apparent
difficulty in capturing their usual prey.
Coyotes will take feral
cats or the occasional domestic one which has been left outdoors
or insists on being out. And they will go after small dogs. So
if you hear one barking in your neighbour’s back yard, it might
be worthwhile letting them know about this.
Like other parts of
our municipality, Faircrest Heights has a lot of greenspace
which is an effective corridor for coyotes, which don’t need a
cohesive area such as a single park. They thrive if there’s
enough food and shelter and can have ranges of 40 square
The Urban Coyote
Initiative, which monitors the animals throughout North America,
says that research with more than 1,400 scats indicated that
“the most common food items were small rodents (42%), fruit
(23%), deer (22%), and rabbit (18%).” Only about 2% of the scats
had human garbage and 1.3% showed evidence of cats. “Apparently,
the majority of coyotes in our study area do not, in fact, rely
on pets or garbage for their diets,” the UCI researchers said.
acknowledged that coyotes have become habituated and overly bold
– such as the pack wandering down Briar recently. The homeowner
who saw them said they were almost going door-to-door to check
out whatever might smell good.
John Pisapio, formerly
with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources & Forests (OMNRF)
and now senior wildlife biologist with the Newfoundland &
Labrador Department of Environment & Conservation, once told
The Ottawa Sun that upswings in coyote populations are a
natural phenomenon. "These animals are regarded as being highly
intelligent and adaptable,” he said. “They are here to stay.
They're part of the ecosystem, and they've been part of the
urban landscape for a number of decades too."
OMNRF cautions against
feeding squirrels because as those rodents proliferate they
attract larger predators. A male coyote can weigh up to 20
kilograms, a female up to 18kg.
So what to do if you
encounter a solitary coyote or a pack? For one thing, don’t
approach them. If there’s any indication of interest on their
part, shout and make yourself as “large” as possible. Carry an
umbrella which can be used to frighten the animals when you open
it. Consider a ski pole as a deterrent. And walk away slowly if
that’s a option. Never run because that, as with just about any
canine, is an invitation to chase.
In cases where coyotes
pose a clear threat to you or pets, homeowners can hire an
approved agent (the OMNRF doesn’t do it) to destroy a coyote if
it poses an obvious threat. You can check out that option at
That said, you are legally entitled to protect yourself, family,
pets or property but there’s a catch: Ontario law states that
this must be done “humanely”. The only real option there is a
gun but the OMNRF points out that there are bylaws against
discharging firearms within the City, so they recommend calling
the police if there is an imminent danger.