Taggart’s Tewin = Sprawl & Potential tax hit

The City of Ottawa is poised to give Taggart’s Tewin subdivision 1/3 of the City’s infrastructure budget.

On June 20, Councillors at a joint meeting of the Planning and Housing Committee and the Environment and Climate Change Committee approved a draft of the $2-billion master plan that lays out how the city will manage drinking water, sewers and storm water runoff for decades to come. Ottawa developer Taggart is poised for approval of nearly $600 million for new water and wastewater infrastructure to service its Tewin community. This amount represents nearly one-third of the total budget for Ottawa’s Infrastructure Management Plan. The high cost is due primarily to the distance from existing services and does not include extending public transit and roads to this remote area and the ongoing costs of maintenance.

Although Tewin has promised cover costs, this is by no means certain and presents a risk to taxpayers. The Tewin subdivision is counter to Ottawa’s policy that prioritizes intensification where there is existing infrastructure. The plan is to oversize the infrastructure to service additional expansion in the area, thus encouraging further urban sprawl in an area declared by City staff as among the least desirable for expansion. This makes no sense environmentally or financially. 

Furthermore, the decision to allocate these funds is being made before all of the relevant studies have been completed. Area residents have concerns about flooding and the instability of the area’s Leda clay, but are expected accept the results of the developer’s studies.

Please take a minute to write to your councillor today!
Here’s a sample email and here’s where to find the email address for your city councillor.

You can also sign a petition calling on city councillors to abstain from voting on issues relating to real estate development if they received campaign contributions from people connected to the development industry.

More history

Tewin is a 445 hectare parcel that Council approved for inclusion in the urban boundary in 2021, despite staff rating the area among the least preferred for urban expansion due to difficulty in providing infrastructure and environmental concerns. Tewin promised to pay for infrastructure and other costs such as transportation, if the area was included.

City staff then developed  “Principles of a Memorandum of Understanding” in which Tewin would pay regular development charges and additional Area-specific Development Charges.

The land was purchased by the Algonquins of Ontario (AOO) with financing from the Taggart Group. The pitch to include the area in the urban boundary emphasized Indigenous values and reconciliation. However, not revealed at the time was that the Taggart family, through two of its companies, owns about two-thirds of the land; the AOO one-third. Also worthy of note is that Horizon Ottawa’s research into campaign donations revealed that individuals connected to the Taggart Group collectively donated over $70,000 to various candidates during a single municipal election — more than any other developer.Find more on the ReImagine Ottawa and Horizon Ottawa websites.

Press release from concerned grassroots organizations