Plans to build new Larga Baffin residence in Ottawa paused

City staff determining how application can be modified, says councillor

An application to build a new Larga Baffin patient boarding home for Nunavummiut receiving health care in Ottawa has been paused. The proposed 220-room residence, pictured here in an architectural drawing, would be built in Ottawa’s Upper Hunt Club area. (Image courtesy of Larga Baffin)

By Madalyn Howitt

An application from Larga Baffin to build a new 220-room residential care facility in Ottawa has been paused to let developers consider feedback from the community.

Larga Baffin is a boarding home that provides community and medical care for Nunavummiut while they seek health treatment in Ottawa. The organization had submitted an official plan and zoning bylaw amendment in November to build a new residence on Hunt Club Road to accommodate the increased demand for its services.

According to a Dec. 9 report by the Ottawa Citizen, last year some neighbours started a petition to protest the development plans, citing concerns about increased traffic, noise and pollution, and community safety.

Ottawa city planner Sarah Ezzio said in an email that following confirmation Tuesday from the legal counsel of applicant Fotenn Design + Planning, the application has been paused.

“It is unknown at this time how long the applications will be temporarily paused. The applications can be reactivated by the applicant once confirmation to resume has been received by the city,” she said.

Julia Yeast, spokesperson for the office of Ottawa Coun. Diane Deans, who represents the Gloucester-Southgate ward where Larga Baffin has proposed building the new facility, confirmed that Deans’ office had been notified of the decision.

She clarified that the pause does not mean the application is being withdrawn.

“Rather, it will provide the applicant with more time and an opportunity to consider feedback from the community and city staff to determine how the application could be modified,” Yeast said.

In an email on Jan. 20 to her newsletter subscribers, Deans said she was notified that the applicant had paused the proposal, and that a virtual public meeting to discuss the proposal originally scheduled for Wednesday has been cancelled.

While the official planning process has been halted, Deans said she will continue to work to establish a resident working group to “facilitate dialogue between the community and Larga Baffin to foster a greater understanding of the organization, its operations, and the important role they play in our health care system,” she said.

“I think we can all agree that the services Larga Baffin provides to the residents of Nunavut are needed,” Deans added. “Ottawa is proud to be a host city for medical treatments that are not available in the North. However, this is a significant development in this community and resident engagement is an important part of the process.”

Larga Baffin president Malaya Zehr did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

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(9) Comments:

  1. Posted by Northern Residents on

    One would hope that this new Larga would be designed with Northern Residents mental health in mind. It just looks like an ugly Residential School type building.

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    • Posted by Bert on

      Build it in Vanier.

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  2. Posted by Patrick Sageaktook on

    These are the words from one of the people who are opposed the building of Larga Baffin in “her” neighbourhood:

    “I live 80 metres away. It will impact me in a massive way,” Sarah Rahme said. Rahme and her husband and their newborn baby moved into the community four months ago. They learned about the Larga Baffin project from a neighbour.

    “We were horrified that the city did not bother consulting us,” Rahme said. “This is a massive 350-bed hospital project. What do you think is going to be the impact on our small, family-friendly community in terms of safety? Of security? Of overwhelming traffic?

    “This project is completely incongruent with an insulated community like Upper Hunt Club (which is) made up of detached single houses. We spent our life savings to be able to afford this house in an environment that we thought would be suitable to raise our children.”

    It sounds like Sarah Rahme thinks Inuit are a safety concern to when the are in any community. This NIMBY BS is racist and needs to be called out.

    Here is the story from December about the project. https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/new-220-room-larga-baffin-residence-proposed-for-upper-hunt-club.

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    • Posted by Call Out Indeed on

      You are so out of touch it is shocking. Wow. NIMBY definitely, but racist? No, not in the least.

      A huge facility like this is going to have a massive effect on the local residents. It wouldn’t be welcome many places, regardless of the type of patient, purely due to the change in traffic patterns.

      It is your attempt to take offence that needs to be ‘called out’.

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    • Posted by nanuk on

      Good for you for reprinting this disturbing deliberately-alarmist Facebook posting from one of my neighbours in Upper Hunt Club. The involved Ottawa City Councillor (and announced Mayoral candidate), Diane Deans, has formed an advisory committee to advise her – BUT Deans did not communicate whatsover with Upper Hunt Club residents to solicit interest from homeowners on serving on that committee. She simply and secretly selected folks she already knew. She has not publicly communicated the names of those she picked. If and when she does, I would be surprised if any of her chosen candidates are among the actual Inuit who have owned homes here in Upper Hunt Club for many years, or from other Qallunaq UHC residents who have lived in Nunavut or Nunavik and/or who have been employed by Inuit -owned and controlled organizations.

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    • Posted by Try Again on

      NIMBY for sure, not in any way racist though.

      There is nothing to ‘call out”.

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  3. Posted by Colin on

    I wonder whether the huge tract of open land next to the Queen Elizabeth Public School on St Laurent could be made available, Many Inuit live nearby who could provide the support of friends and family in Ottawa. It’s also a short distance from the Inuit health centre and from the St Laurent shopping centre that many would want to visit. It’s also a reasonable distance from the troublesome area of Vanier. Like previous Larga locations, the proposed site has few advantages apart from half-reasonable proximity to the airport.

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  4. Posted by Name Withheld on

    Anyone knows who own’s or has the contract to operate this for Nunavut patients?

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