Community group files appeal against Larga Baffin build

Hearing before Ontario Land Tribunal set for Dec. 14

The Upper Hunt Club Community Association has filed an appeal against Ottawa city council’s decision to approve an application from medical care facility Larga Baffin to build a new centre in the Hunt Club neighbourhood. Pictured here is an architectural rendering of the proposed building. (Image courtesy of DTAH Architects)

By Madalyn Howitt

Updated Oct. 14 at 4:40 p.m.

Plans to build a new Larga Baffin facility in Ottawa have hit a snag.

The Upper Hunt Club Community Association, a neighbourhood group, has filed an appeal with the Ontario Land Tribunal in a bid to halt development of the planned six-storey, 220-room complex at the intersection of Hunt Club Road and Sieveright Avenue.

The proposed centre, to service Nunavummiut receiving advanced medical care in Ottawa, would accommodate up to 350 clients.

That’s a jump up from the 195-visitor capacity at Larga Baffin’s current location on Richmond Road, which is often over capacity with clients having to bunk in nearby hotels instead.

In July, developers cleared a big hurdle when Ottawa city council gave the greenlight to the application by amending a city bylaw, paving the way for a year-long site plan approval process to begin.

But the appeal, filed in August, means the site plan approval process cannot begin until after the OLT holds a public hearing and publishes its decision, said Larga Baffin spokesperson Bill McCurdy in an email to Nunatsiaq News.

This is not likely to occur until next year, he said, provided the appeal is unsuccessful.

In the 31-page appeal filed with the OLT, the community association cites a dozen concerns about Larga Baffin’s application.

The list includes increased traffic, a lack of procedural fairness by council and developers and “irrelevant decision factors considered by council so as to unduly influence the decision outside of planning act matters.”

“The UHCCA is appealing the decision to the Ontario Land Tribunal based on land planning issues,” said association president Sylvie Lee.

“As the matter is in front of the court, we cannot comment further.”

In June, Lee shared her concerns before Ottawa’s planning committee, describing the size of the proposed building as “massive.”

The OLT has scheduled a one-day case management conference for Dec. 14, where it’s expected to clarify the issues in dispute and decide who will have standing to participate in the hearing later.

Plans to build a new building for Larga Baffin in the neighbourhood have been met with resistance from residents. In April, a public meeting organized by outgoing city councillor Diane Deans drew hundreds of participants and at times became heated.

Many people cited concerns about traffic and the impact of the height of the building on surrounding properties, but drew criticism from others who support the build that their disapproval amounted to a not-in-my-backyard attitude.

This story has been updated with comment from UHCCA president Sylvie Lee. 

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(20) Comments:

  1. Posted by Shawn on

    The public housing system is worse

  2. Posted by Concerned on

    This is more than not in my Backyard. it is outright racism. Baffin Larga’s clients are exclusively Inuit many of them Children) from Baffin Island requiring medical treatment not available in Nunavut. This is out right racism against an indigenous group. So much for Ottawa, our Nations Capitol, being an inclusive safe place. Racism is alive and well in this Hunt Club neighborhood. Unfortunately not the only one in Ottawa.

    • Posted by Inuk from Nunavik on

      Same thing happend to the Ullivik centre in Dorval . They wanted to put it in a residetal area, people in that area objected , now its in a industrial area/park.

      • Posted by Look at ullvik now on

        Yes, indeed a similar story with ullvik of Nunavik. A borough of Montreal didn’t want it in their neighborhood, and it was built instead in an industrial area near the Dorval airport. Good bad or indifferent, the truth is, the reputation and image of Inuit is not good, in too many areas. There’s documentation of very troubling behaviour and outcomes behind the reasons people are forming these negative attitudes of Inuit. So many issues. It’s not easy to judge how someone else judges and makes their decisions. I don’t need to point out the facts, it’s in the media for anyone to search and see. It’s unfortunate. City planning my big toe, it’s about the negative attitude formed of inuit, this is sad for all, especially people needing medical care. I want to say to anyone not behaving well, others will judge you and those closes to you. I want to say to those forming attitudes based on behaviour of some, to understand it’s not all people, and use your heart in your decisions.

        • Posted by Authentic comment on

          The most insightful comment on this issue, right here.

    • Posted by Unconcerned on

      Sounds like a the usual textbook play from Larga proponents.
      People do not want this in their neighborhood whether it’s a facility for Inuit or exclusively for other races as well. People in Nunavut have a hard time understanding this as only a small segment own property and understand how zoning impacts value and enjoyment of the property.
      Inuit should consider it racism that they need to travel to Ottawa at all. It is racism to be put in a facility at all rather than put up at the accommodation of your choice and being reimbursed.

      • Posted by Kim Menard on

        It’s true that better health/medical services should be provided in the North closer to home for Inuit. As that is not an option at this point there needs to be appropriate accommodation in the community that is not in motels or hotels. A well constructed and Inuit culture sensitive accommodation would be better for the people receiving services. Hunt Club isn’t the best location but it does offer ready access to transit, amenities and services. Nothing is ever perfect however if Larga works closely with the community to resolve concerns hopefully tensions can be eased and the project proceeds without further unnecessary delay.

        • Posted by Unconcerned on

          This is a for profit enterprise. Culturally these facilities offer next to nothing that a motel cannot offer. You should know that only Inuit are placed in Larga. Non Inuit are not. I and many in my department traveled for medical and not one of us was placed in Larga while Inuit staff were. Nunavummuit should choose where to stay and get reimbursed.

  3. Posted by Neighbourhoods on

    Opposition to this project is neither racism nor NIMBYism, it is about city planning integrity. Look at the map and streetview – this is a neighbourhood of privately owned, mostly two-story, residences. Families invest with confidence that an area’s character is protected by city development plans and bylaws. In many areas of Ottawa, a six-story, 220 room building serving 350 clients would not invite a second glance – this is not one of them. This is an intrusive facility that compromises the district’s character by its size and round-the-clock bustle, provides negligible benefit to adjacent residents, and is a breach of promise by the City. The community deserves better.

  4. Posted by Why not in central location on

    I find that both a residential area and an industrial area are odd locations for such a facility. I would think that a more central area would be more appropriate so that temporary residents can easily have access to medical services, shopping, buses, various services.

  5. Posted by Trafficnews on

    Can someone let me know how the traffic will be affected? These people are there for medical, they are picked up at airport by a driver and taken to Larga who also drive them to and from appointments. They do not have cars!

    • Posted by Must Be a Mental Midget on

      You answered your own question. The drivers for Larga will be the traffic. And with the other building being at capacity with nearly 200 individuals, that’s a LOT of daily to and fro from an area that would otherwise have none.

  6. Posted by Jeez on

    i know the logo alone I wouldnt want in m y backyard. Boobs or Butt, I cant tell

  7. Posted by Name Withheld on

    Baffin patients should be sent to Wpg? It only make sense as it’s closer to Nunavut ?

    • Posted by Will Turner on

      Nooooo!!! N.I.M.B.Y.

  8. Posted by Northern Guy on

    No homeowner wants to see a 220-room boarding home plonked in the middle of their single-family residential neighbourhood. Compounding that are very legitimate concerns regarding the increased tempo of the associated vehicular traffic and the problematic behaivour of some of the folks who make use of the facility. One need only look at the patchy record of the existing Larga facility to know that this is not an issue of race but a genuine and legitimate concern for the safety and integrity of their neighbourhood.

  9. Posted by Taxpayer on

    The average price of a house in this neighborhood is $592,000. Residents need not be racist is opposing a supportive housing development in their neighborhood. Their opinion may be solely based on the assumption that this development will lower the value of their property, which for most Canadians, is the most valuable thing that they own. It is not their racism that is the worry, it is the potential racism of whoever may want to buy their house. Housing market research indicates that building supportive housing can lower the value of a nearby residence by up to 10%. It may, or in may not, but for residents of this area it is a $59,000 question. How many people, Inuit included, as tolerant as tolerant can be, are happily willing to chance losing that much money from their own net worth to allow a medical transient center next to them?

  10. Posted by A Fair and Transparent Process is Required on

    Upper Hunt Club and Solera are multi-cultural neighborhoods that are neither racist nor nimby. These communities simply want a fair and transparent land planning process, and they want to work with the developer on something that makes sense for everyone involved, not something that makes economic sense for Larga Baffin (a for profit company).

    A few points that will come out in the land tribunal process:
    1. Future Land Use Study – the developer was required to work with the city to consult with the community early in the process, to complete a comprehensive future land use study. The developer will claim that the April 26th, 2022 public meeting was consulting the community, but this was simply part of the planning process. It was one sided (they presented what they want), and providing justification for it, nothing more.
    2. Transportation – the transportation impact assessment did not consider the appropriate assumptions. This is not a nursing home – this is a full service boarding home with a fleet of vehicles that will be travelling in-out constantly through the day – vehicle trips by Larga Baffin were not considered in the transportation analysis! The current impact analysis (without the appropriate traffic assumptions) already shows traffic infrastructure either at capacity or near capacity.
    3. Building Heights and Existing character- this building will stick out like a sore thumb. It is surrounded on three sides by single family homes. It is absolute nonsense to have a building that high in that area.

    Dean Tester – instead of spreading misinformation and negativity, why don’t you adjust your messaging and encourage everyone works together on mutually beneficial outcomes. The majority of the community supports Larga Baffin’s cause, and supports Inuit getting the appropriate medical services they need. The majority of the community would likely support having them. What you are doing is incredibly divisive, toxic and simply untrue. Stop.

    • Posted by John K on

      This appeal was submitted by the “Upper Hunt Club Community Association”, which was formed in March of 2022. They are incorporated at a law firm in downtown Ottawa, and all of the listed directors own properties near the proposed site. This is not a legitimate community association, but an abuse of the system to shield individuals from public consequences of their selfish acts. One of the directors works for Indigenous Services Canada in First Nations and Inuit Public Health, for God’s sake.

      There is a “Hunt Club Community Association” that has existed for longer and it not associated with this appeal.

      All it takes is three people and $200 to file an appeal that can hold up development for at least a year with a vexatious complaint.

  11. Posted by Anne Lipman on

    As a home owner in Upper Hunt Club, I support and welcome Larga Baffin. Sylvie Lee does not speak for all community association members and it would be unfair to say that the entire community is against the development. There are many who are supportive but would like the city to address concerns related to increased traffic and insufficient parking.


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