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On the builder sites and in the news: What’s new with Ottawa’s home builders and more

On the builder sites is a compilation of the regular updates we get on what’s happening on (or about) new-home builder sites across the region as well as news on housing issues that are important to our readers. Lot releases, project launches, new models, the latest developments in the housing market and more — these bits and bites are listed as we get them. Check back often.

Last updated: July 17, 2024

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Forecourt at Greystone Village

July 17, 2024 — eQ Homes is launching Forecourt, its final release of townhomes and semi-detached townhomes at Greystone Village in Old Ottawa East, on October 19. The 30 modern-themed homes will include open-concept interiors and upscale finishes. Information and registration here.

Finding affordable — and available — rentals

June 12, 2024 — A CBC analysis has found that there’s a dearth of rentals across the country. Using the most recent census and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s latest rental market survey, its research shows that less than one per cent of rentals are both vacant and affordable for the majority of renters. The analysis looked at more than 1,000 neighbourhoods in Canada’s largest cities.

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New eQ Homes community in Riverside South

builder sites eq homes tapestry on the rideau Ottawa new homes

June 11, 2024 — eQ Homes is launching a new community in Riverside South called Tapestry by the Rideau on Sept. 21. It will be an enclave of bungalows in the established Riverside South neighbourhood, touting proximity to nature, the Rideau River and the many amenities of not only Riverside South, but nearby Manotick and, just across the Vimy Memorial Bridge, Barrhaven. Post updated July 17, 2024.

Bank of Canada finally cuts its key interest rate

June 5, 2024 — For the first time in more than four years, the Bank of Canada has lowered its key interest rate, dropping it to 4.75 per cent from the five per cent it had been at since July of last year. Although expected by economists, Bank of Canada governor Tiff Macklem also stressed he would be taking a cautious approach toward further cuts. The move prompted several banks to lower their prime lending rates. Details.

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Richcraft launches new Thrive towns

June 1, 2024 — On June 8, Richcraft Homes is launching Thrive, a new townhome line starting at $589,900, at Mapleton in Kanata, Riverside South, and Trailsedge in Orléans. The contemporary-themed towns feature up to four bedrooms with the possibility of additional finished recreational spaces, bedrooms and bathrooms. Thrive towns include European-inspired cabinetry quartz countertops, Energy Star efficiency elements such as tankless water heaters, LED lighting and more. More here. Richcraft is also releasing its new line of bungalow towns at Mapleton and Riverside South June 22 (the towns are already at Trailsedge).

Little Italy and Plouffe Park update

builder sites Little Italy Plouffe Park
The city’s revised plan.

May 27, 2024 — The ongoing debate over how to fit the city’s proposed mixed-use redevelopment of a site in Little Italy that threatens popular Plouffe Park continues, with the city recently releasing an updated plan that saves the park, but that still does not meet fully with community approval.

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The city wants to add a mix of affordable and market-rate housing, a new building for école élémentaire publique Louise-Arbour, a new recreation facility, extra green space and a district energy system for the site at the corner of Preston and Somerset streets.

The problem has been how to retain Plouffe Park, one of the few green spaces left in the neighbourhood. While the city’s revised plan saves the park, the school will sit between it and the new green space that’s proposed, which disrupts the “green swath,” says the local community association. But this is likely as good as the plan will get, according to the neighbourhood’s councillor. Details.

New Minto community in Almonte

May 27, 2024 — Minto Communities is launching a new community in Almonte this year, with a focus on attainably priced homes, small-town life and proximity to nature, including the Mississippi River, which runs through the town. Weavers Way — the name is based in part of Almonte’s history as a textile town — will comprise Avenue townhomes, Executive townhomes with up to six bedrooms, and three collections of single-family homes, from three-storey singles to others built for multigenerational living. In total, 200 homes will be built. Weavers Way is planned to launch this year.

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Housing starts down again

May 22, 2024 — Ottawa housing starts were down significantly in April, the third straight month of decline despite a general uptick in sales since December, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. There were 331 housing starts in the City of Ottawa last month, down 64 per cent from the 904 starts in the same month last year. A large decline in new rental starts spurred last month’s decline. While the drooping numbers cast more doubt on the city’s ability to hit the provincial target of 151,000 new homes by 2031, the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association’s CEO Jason Burggraaf said ups and downs are to be expected and he feels the provincial target remains within reach. More here.

Harmony expands to Riversbend at Harmony

May 22, 2024 — The original, popular Barrhaven development of Harmony may be sold out, but Minto Communities has a new, nearby community on the way later this year. Riversbend at Harmony, being developed close to the Jock River, will see more than 500 Avenue and Executive townhomes built. The community is surrounded by trails and green space.

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Development charges slashed but still increasing

May 15, 2024 — Proposed chunky increases to City of Ottawa development charges — fees paid by builders on new homes to help cover infrastructure costs — have been slashed by more than half from 28 to 11 per cent. The cut, recently approved by council, means charges on single and semi-detached homes inside the Greenbelt will increase to $55,678, while outside the Greenbelt they will be $63,337. Development charges on other homes will increase according to housing type. The city approved the new charges just a week before the deadline set by Under Ontario’s Development Charges Act, which requires municipalities to update their development charges bylaw at least every five years. Read more.

New addition to Riverside South includes bus rapid transit. Image: DCA A Group of Architects

Further growth in Riverside South receives committee approval

April 30, 2024 — A plan to build 1,400 new homes, create 9,000 jobs and add a school, park and other amenities in Riverside South has been approved by the city’s municipal planning and housing committee. The transit-oriented plan, which includes a bus rapid transit (BRT) network connecting the growing community of Riverside South to LRT stations at Limebank and O-Train stations, is to be reviewed by city council May 1. Committee also approved a zoning amendment for the construction of a six-storey mixed-use building with 45 residential units on Bank Street in Old Ottawa South and okayed a nine-storey, 113-unit apartment building next to the former All Saints Anglican Church in Sandy Hill. More here.

72% of buyers sitting on the fence

April 29, 2024 — Almost three-quarters of hopeful homebuyers in Canada say they will wait until rates drop before considering a home purchase, according to a Bank of Montreal survey. The 72 per cent of respondents in the survey who say they will wait is up four per cent from last year. And while 62 per cent of those polled feel owning a home is a key life goal, more than half think it is unattainable in today’s economic and financial climate.

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Overhauling Ottawa zoning bylaws

April 29, 2024 — The city has released the early draft of a huge zoning bylaw amendment that will be the largest overhaul of building and development regulations since amalgamation in 2001 — and called by one councillor a “tsunami that’s coming.” The proposed changes will affect everything from density to parking and the tree canopy, with public consultations expected to take place over the next several months. More on this.

Claridge proposes tower near Museum of Nature

builder sites claridge homes museum of nature ottawa development
Claridge is proposing a 27-storey residential tower and adjacent public space across from the museum.

April 16, 2024 — Claridge Homes is proposing a “landmark” development with a 27-storey residential tower and a public space across from the Museum of Nature downtown. The project would take up much of the block bounded by Metcalfe and McLeod streets and Gladstone Avenue. The project would require the demolition of three buildings currently on the site. More.

There’s lots new at The Commons

builder sites glenview homes the commons ottawa new homes
Glenview’s new model at The Commons includes a main-floor guest suite. Photo: Justin Thomason / West of Main

April 13, 2024 — Glenview Homes has released the next phase of The Commons in Orléans, along with opening a multi-generational model home and introducing new floor plans.

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New towns at Riverside South

hn homes ottawa new homes townhomes

April 11, 2024 — HN Homes is introducing urban towns (three-storey, back-to-back freehold homes) to its lineup at Riverside South. The homes are designed in collaboration with Simmonds Architecture, HN’s longtime design partner, and range from 1,480 to 1,594 square feet. They come with covered balconies, main-floor laundry and two bedrooms.

Brigil proposes almost 2,000 units for March Road

brigil kanata north ottawa new homes development

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April 8, 2024 — Developer Brigil is looking to build almost 2,000 housing units near the Marshes Golf Club on March Road in Kanata North. In a planning application filed with the city, the builder proposes up to eight low-rise buildings, four mid-rise buildings of six storeys, two 15-storey towers, 32 townhomes and 19 singles across 50 acres, totalling 1,908 units. There would also be commercial space in the mid- and high-rise buildings, three parks and room for a school. No timelines for the project have been indicated. Details.

Local builders’ association calls for major zoning changes to increase housing construction

Photo: depositphotos.com
Photo: depositphotos.com

March 31, 2024 — A recent white paper from the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association calls for significant zoning changes to increase the pace of housing construction and the supply of affordable housing. Among the changes proposed: unlimited building heights within 800 metres of transit stations and allowing the market to dictate building height.

The paper was released as the city reviews its zoning bylaws — a first draft of which is expected this spring — and in light of the $4 billion federal Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF), of which Ottawa will get more than $176 million.

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The paper also calls for removing parking spot minimums and permitting the market to dictate need as well as allowing front yard parking. The association’s white paper supports allowing up to four residential units on any lot serviced by the city and recommends other initiatives.

More on this.

New phase being released at eQ’s eQuinelle

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March 19, 2024 — eQ Homes is launching Encore, a new phase of Kemptville’s eQuinelle development, on March 23. Encore features new two-storey singles, bungalows and townhomes.

The towns and singles, which start in the low $500s and range up to seven bedrooms, feature “exclusive lots with exceptional golf course views,” according to an announcement from eQ.

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Minto to release phase 2 of Anthem

builder sites minto communities metro towns anthem barrhaven Ottawa new homes
Metro Towns by Minto Communities at Anthem in Barrhaven.

Feb. 27, 2024 — Minto Communities will release phase two of its Anthem development at 11 a.m. Mar. 2. Anthem is an enclave of Minto’s stacked back-to-back townhomes — called Metro Towns — in Barrhaven.

“The first phase of Anthem has been so well received in Barrhaven that it is nearly sold out after only a few months,” the builder says in an email to those on its registration list. The homes are two-bedroom condo towns that offer an attractive price point for first-time buyers and investors.

Anthem launched in the fall next to Chapman Mills and will see about 600 homes built. For more on Anthem, see our development summary.

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$176 million to speed up Ottawa housing construction

Feb. 16, 2024 — There’s been a lot of chatter this week stemming from the announcement of Ottawa’s $176-million share of the federal government’s $4-billion Housing Accelerator Fund. The money is meant to help the city fast-track more than 4,400 housing units over the next three years and more than 32,000 in total over the next decade.

The Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association, which is the voice of Ottawa’s housing industry, said in a newsletter to its members this week that it will “work with city staff on the implementation of action items in the agreement intended to streamline approvals and enhance services to industry.” More on the announcement.

Glenview to release phase 2 of The Commons

glenview homes the commons ottawa new homes townhomes builder sites

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Feb. 8, 2024 — Glenview Homes is set to release the next phase of The Commons in Orléans. Phase 2 will launch March 2 with five new townhome floor plans.

The new floor plans will range from 1,806 to 2,286 with three or four bedrooms and contemporary exteriors. Select models will offer an optional fifth bedroom, double car garage or flex spaces for an office, loft or bedroom.

The Commons launched in 2021 and will see about 300 singles and towns when finished. For more on The Commons, see our development summary.

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Towers next to Experimental Farm approved

theberge homes experimental farm baseline development ottawa residential towers
Rendering of the three towers proposed by Theberge Homes along Baseline Road and Fisher Avenue.

Feb. 8, 2024 — Ottawa city council has approved rezoning for two residential towers proposed by Theberge Homes that raised concern over the shadow effects they would create on the neighbouring Central Experimental Farm.

The buildings are part of a three-tower development at the corner of Baseline Road and Fisher Avenue, on the site of the original Lone Star restaurant. The first tower, further south on Fisher, was given rezoning approval last fall. The project would see two towers of 24 and 32 storeys facing the farm and the third tower with 24 storeys facing Fisher. Almost 1,100 units are planned, along with commercial space.

“The zoning approved today allows for flexibility in design changes to minimize shadowing on the (farm) while maintaining the proposed density,” the city says in a release.

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900+ more units coming to LeBreton Flats

Jan. 29, 2024 — The National Capital Commission (NCC) has taken another step forward in its development of LeBreton Flats, announcing Jan. 25 that it has signed a deal with developers Avenue 31 Capital Inc. and Cogir to develop four parcels of land (1.63 hectares) within the Flats District to “create a new sustainable and inclusive residential-focused community.”

The deal with see the addition more than 900 homes, including affordable residential units and units with at least three bedrooms. The NCC says the net-zero-carbon buildings will sit in a neighbourhood of pedestrian-friendly streets with transit and active transportation as the preferred modes of travel and will connect to a future district energy system.

Redeveloping Legion House

builder sites legion house Ottawa development
Rendering of the proposed 27-storey tower for Kent Street.

Jan. 24, 2024 — Ottawa City Council has approved an application to redevelop the site of Legion House on Kent Street. The proposal by Taggart Realty Management would see the dismantling of the historic five-storey building with part of the façade reconstructed into the 27-storey residential tower to be built in its place and part of the façade reinterpreted.

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“Once reconstructed, (Legion House) would be integrated with the new building, and the ground floor of Legion House would be used for institutional or community purposes,” the city says in a release. Two houses on the development site are also to be restored and integrated into the overall landscaping and site design.

The new residential building will see 289 units.

Gateway is at the gate

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Jan. 22, 2024 — Gateway, a new sub-community at Richcraft Homes‘ west-end Mapleton development, launches Feb. 3 with two-bedroom, low-maintenance flats. The flats start at $399,900 and feature open-concept interiors, designer kitchens and private decks. Learn more.

$50,000 off select homes

Jan. 21, 2024 — Cardel Homes is reviving its 50th anniversary promotion from 2023 of offering $50,000 off select homes. The homes are located in the builder’s communities of Blackstone, Ironwood, Richardson Ridge and EdenWylde. Conditions apply; check with Cardel for details.

New lot releases by Minto

Jan. 22, 2024 — On Jan. 27, Minto Communities is releasing single and townhome lots at Mahogany in Manotick. For more on Mahogany, check our development profile.

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Minto  also recently released Urban Townhome lots for the first time at Parkside at Arcadia in west Kanata along with Metro Towns. Parkside is a new enclave of 368 townhomes across the street from Minto’s Arcadia development.

Minto is currently offering its final release of Avenue Townhomes in Phase 4 of Quinn’s Pointe. The master-planned Barrhaven community will eventually see 2,000 homes built.

Low-rate mortgage offer at Trail View

builder sites metric homes townhomes trail view

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Jan. 16, 2024 — Builder Metric Homes has arranged an offer for mortgages well below the going rate on three of its townhome lots at Trail View in Kanata. For lots 6B, 6C and 6D, buyers can secure a three-year, fixed-rate mortgage at just 3.99 per cent, amortized over 25 years. Terms and conditions apply and buyers are encouraged to contact Metric for details.

Construction has begun on the homes, with occupancy expected in late summer 2024. Prices start at $731,900.

Ottawa Urban Design Awards announced

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Dec. 15, 2023 — A mid-rise rental project in The Glebe by Minto Group is one of nine winners of the 2023 Ottawa Urban Design Awards. Held every second year, the awards recognize Ottawa’s best in urban design in five categories, including urban infill, public places and civic spaces, visions and master plans, and others.

Minto won in the urban infill category for its Fifth + Bank project, a boutique apartment building at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Bank Street. Ottawa Community Housing also won in the urban infill category for its Rochester Heights Redevelopment Phase I, and Regional Group received an award in the public places and civic spaces category for its walking/biking corridor along the Rideau River at Greystone Village. More winners here.

Canadian housing affordability hits 41-year low

Dec. 15, 2023 — Housing affordability in Canada hit its lowest level in more than four decades during the last quarter, according to the Bank of Canada, as housing prices and mortgage rates continued to rise. The latest bad news on the housing front arrived as the federal government announced an updated version of its post-Second-World-War strategy to build more homes faster in an effort to ease the affordability crunch (see next item).

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A report from the National Bank of Canada last month likewise noted a “significant deterioration” in housing affordability during the third quarter of the year and pointed to a “chronic lack of supply” in the housing market coupled with high demand caused by population growth.

Bringing back the post-war home catalogue idea

Dec. 13, 2023 — A post-war effort to quickly house returning veterans using a catalogue of pre-approved homes is seeing a revival. The federal government announced this week that work will begin next month on developing a 21st-century version of the initiative to help combat Canada’s housing crisis.

There will be an emphasis on multi-unit developments such as small low-rise multiplexes with a goal of fast-tracking approval and promoting factory-based construction to significantly reduce the time it takes to approve and build new homes. The government is aiming to have the catalogue ready next year.

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New rental buildings for Westboro

Dec. 8, 2023 — Azure Urban Developments is bringing two new rental apartment buildings to Westboro, the 26-storey Azure Westboro at 2070 Scott St., which will have 254 units, and the six-storey Posthouse at 377 Winona Ave. It will have 60 units.

Azure Westboro is slated to sit on a red-brick podium and include a wide lobby designed for co-working and a coffee and wine bar.

Posthouse takes design inspiration from New York City warehouse conversions and the home of the property’s original owner, who served as a Westboro postmaster. It, too, will feature a red-brick façade and will include a bespoke French restaurant.

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Leasing is expected to start next summer, with move-in as of Sept. 1.

Minto opens three-storey single models

builder sites minto communities three-storey singles

Nov. 28, 2023 — Minto Communities has opened two single-family model homes that are three storeys high and meant for 28-foot lots.

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The floor plans were introduced at Abbott’s Run this fall, with the two models built at its Barrhaven sales centre to help buyers visual the spaces. They are now available for touring.

Mortgage payments for a year

Nov. 27, 2023 — Valecraft Homes is holding a promotion in which one buyer will win up to $25,000 towards their mortgage payments, specifically $2,050 a month for 12 months.

The contest is open to homeowners who have or will have a mortgage on their Valecraft home in Shea Village or Place St. Thomas in 2024.

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The draw will take place July 4, 2024.

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