Transportation committee endorses Barrhaven LRT route, despite opposition from renters

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Supported by advocacy group Ottawa ACORN, Manor Village tenants have rallied against the city’s plan to remove rental homes occupied by low-income families in favour of the LRT extension, which would require an elevated guideway along Woodroffe Avenue between the college and Nepean Sportsplex.

Alison Trowbridge, a single mother a seven-year-old boy, has lived in Manor Village for seven years and she told the committee about the importance of her community and neighbours.

“They have acted as safety nets when my hands weren’t enough,” Trowbridge said, calling Manor Village a “family of families.”

Some residents said they’re paying in the range of $1,200 in monthly rent for a two-bedroom townhouse, a price that’s hard to find anywhere else in Ottawa.

“Many will have to leave Ottawa and some may end up on the streets because they can’t afford new homes,” Manor Village resident Clark Hill said.

Consultants who worked on the Barrhaven LRT route considered a rail tunnel between Algonquin College and the Sportsplex but concluded it was too risky considering the ground conditions, sewer locations and the high financial cost. The elevated option is easier to build and optimal for station locations, they decided.

Consultants also looked at the option of building the LRT line on Woodroffe Avenue. However, that option would require road reconstruction, reduce capacity for all transportation modes and introduce curves in the rail line, which could produce noise and lengthen travel times.