Community to Vote on Special Levy to Allow Purchase of 21 Withrow—Kilmorie House

Kilmorie House and property at 21 Withrow / Photo via

Monday, February 24, 2020


The longstanding community effort to preserve 21 Withrow Avenue as a community centre and green space will soon hinge on a vote by area residents. 

The lushly-treed estate property includes Kilmorie House, a historic home designated in 2016 under the Ontario Heritage Act.

The City of Ottawa has mailed an information ­letter, ballot and prepaid return envelope to ­all property owners i­n the City View, Crestvie­w/Meadowlands and Rya­n Farm neighbourhoods.  

The move follows a City Council motion passed on February 13 which sees area residents voting on the prospect of a special community levy allowing the City to purchase the property from developer Theberge Homes.  The developer has been granted zoning to restore Kilmorie House and build an additional 13 infill homes on the surrounding property.

Built in 1842, Kilmorie House one of Ottawa's oldest stone housesIn 2016, Heritage Ottawa supported the designation of Kilmorie House ’including enough surrounding land to provide adequate setback and context.’’

The City View Community Association and Kilmorie Heritage Society (KHS) have undertaken considerable community effort to find ways of preserving both the house and its lush property for public use as a community centre and municipal park. 

The KHS has re­quested money from Ward 8's "Cash In Lieu­" fund, which is spec­ifically identified f­or parks and greenspa­ce within the Ward.  Cash In Lieu i­s a fee paid by developers ­upon severance of lot­s.  ­Forty percent of the­ fee remains in the War­d fund, while sixty perc­ent goes to the Centr­al fund for all of Ot­tawa.  Money from­ these funds could be u­sed to help offset th­e final cost for the property's ­acquisition by the City o­f Ottawa.

Joan Clark, president of the City View Community Association and the KHS, has said it's important to protect the property because it’s “the last green space in a community that has the second-lowest ratio of homes to parkland in the city of Ottawa.”

“Once green space is gone, it is gone forever,” she said.

The special levy for properties inside the catchment area would begin in 2021.  The annual levy amount for purchase of the property is anticipated to be approximately $128.43 per year for the average home in the area, with an additional $7.85 per $100,000 of 2019 assessed value anticipated for operating costs.

Heritage Ottawa continues to support this community-driven initiative.

UPDATE: Ballots were counted on March 13 and the City Vew Community Association reported a disappointing result: 199 in favour, 1,298 against.

The clear-cutting of the property in preparation for the sub-division construction was underway by April.

For more information about the potential purchase and estimated levy, visit the City of Ottawa website page.


Related Reading:

Planning Committee Recommends Approval of New Subdivision at Historic Nepean Estate | Heritage Ottawa, Nov. 15, 2019

Heritage estate to make way for infill in Chiarelli's ward | CBC News, November 14, 2019

‘A devastating day’: Nepean residents upset historic Ottawa property cleared for subdivision | Global News, November 14, 2019