Ottawa Residents Distressed by Construction Debris from Highrise Development

Winona Avenue resident James Hayes stands in front of the 2070 Scott St. highrise development construction site. (Matthew Kupfer/CBC)

Residents living near the Azure Westboro highrise construction site at 2070 Scott St. are expressing growing frustration over the impact of the development on their neighborhood, particularly following a recent incident where homes and vehicles were splattered with concrete, as reported by CBC News.

The Incident and Ongoing Issues

The construction of the over 20-storey building has significantly disrupted the quiet Winona Avenue, culminating in a recent episode where residents found their properties covered in construction debris. “It kind of looked like mud on the cars, on windows of our house, on skylights,” said James Hayes, a local resident, describing the aftermath of a sandblasting operation at the site. Another neighbor, Ken MacInnes, echoed these concerns, pointing out the lack of proactivity from the developers in addressing these issues.

James Hayes took these photos of his car, which was splattered with construction material in the driveway of his home. (James Hayes/Submitted)

Residents’ Struggles and Developer’s Response

According to residents, compensation for damages, such as car wash vouchers, has only been offered after complaints were made. “We have to be constantly vigilant every day to protect our homes and property,” MacInnes stated, emphasizing the need for better organization and regulation of the worksite. Azure Urban Developments, the developer behind the highrise, responded by stating they have provided carports, car covers, and paid for cleaning services. They asserted their commitment to finding practical or financial solutions to any inconveniences caused by the construction.

MacInnes says his windows and freshly-detailed car were splattered with construction material. (Ken MacInnes/Submitted)

Long-Term Concerns

With more mid-rise and highrise projects planned for the area, residents like Hayes worry about the ongoing impact of construction in their rapidly intensifying neighborhood. The developer, while acknowledging the disruptions, described these as “necessary inconveniences” for the broader benefit of building a walkable community near a future LRT station.

City’s Role and Councillor’s Input

Area councillor Jeff Leiper has been criticized by residents for the city’s response. While acknowledging the challenges, Leiper admitted that the city lacks the resources and legal powers to address such disputes effectively, despite his office’s efforts to mediate between residents, builders, and the city. He has previously proposed the idea of an ombudsman for such disputes but noted the city’s limitations in creating such a role.