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Besserer Park
The entrance of Besserer Park. Photo: Emilie Azevedo/Fulcrum
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Action Sandy Hill wants to continue focus on preserving and creating more green spaces

After a months-long fight against the City of Ottawa and TCU Development Corporation, community efforts to preserve Besserer Park in Sandy Hill have finally proven successful. The development corporation has abandoned plans to pave the park for the creation of a pathway to a parking lot for a residential building that has yet to be built. 

TCU formally revised its site plans to exclude the green space at 244 Fountain Place. The revised plan states that rear private parking spots will no longer be created in the park and their plan to have Besserer Street extended to cut through the park will be abandoned. 

The number of units in the proposed development has been reduced from 20 to 16 as well. 

Action Sandy Hill (ASH) was thrilled to announce this update after organizing a petition which garnered over 750 signatures. 

ASH Board member Hilary Duff was pleased with the development: “Sandy Hill was really excited to hear from city planners on October 28th that the design consultants who work for TCU development had submitted updated site plans for 244 Fountain Place,” said Duff in an interview.

The preservation of green spaces in the Ottawa region is a cause that Duff and ASH will continue to fight for. “The new location of the Ottawa Hospital has been quite contentious as well, and there have been a number of groups that have been hoping to preserve the green space near Dow’s Lake, where now the city has approved for that new hospital to be constructed,” said Duff. 

“But I think the issue is not only about protecting the green spaces that we have, but also advocating for new developments to have green spaces associated with them. How can we increase the number of social services and increase the number of parks and green spaces? Our goal is to protect, but the long term goal is also to just advocate for more space.”

In terms of the next steps for Besserer Park itself, ASH intends to focus on regreening the entrance to the park, which is currently paved. 

“Now that the site plans have been updated, that could allow us to potentially go forward with that, and maybe a request for a couple of park benches to be put into the park and just really focus on making that space what it is — a spot of community refuge and the gathering spot for neighbours,” said Duff.

For those interested in further details about the development application, please visit the City of Ottawa’s development applications website.