This interview was originally published in the Spring/Summer 2022 issue of Ottawa Magazine as part of a series on neighbourhood planning entitled “15 Minutes to the Future”. Find more articles in this package here.
Rhea Sabatine really likes her neighbourhood near Algonquin College for its friendly green spaces, but says transit is unreliable and the area still suffers from a lack of shade following the 2018 tornado.
What do you love about where you live?
My neighbourhood is full of green spaces, walking paths, bike trails, and recreational facilities that help with staying active and getting outside and into nature, something I really appreciate. The safety, quiet streets, and friendly neighbours are a major plus: if we’re walking our dogs, everyone says ‘hi’ even if they don’t know you.
What do you dislike about your neighbourhood?
Being within walking distance of more restaurants and entertainment like movie theatres would be a plus. Access to downtown via transit is hit or miss, which is a major downfall: sometimes the buses come, sometimes they don’t; they might be on time or they might not.
What changes would you like to see, short and long term?
In the short term, nearby Medhurst Park is the place to gather in the summer but it lacks shade because the 2018 tornado took out so many trees. There have been trees planted but they take a while to grow. Take-away shaded buildings with picnic benches for the summer would help draw more people into the park rather than go somewhere else in the city for the day. Long term, better transit to other neighbourhoods would be a plus.