boutique-inspired condo living at Gow’s


So the rumours were true! We’re getting “boutique-inspired” (hoity-toity and cramped) condos in Bells Corners (bonus – the land there probably isn’t contaminated!).

Mr. Gow has sold his beloved retro Chinese restaurant Bells Corners landmark, near Bells Corners’ most dangerous spot, to an undisclosed “local” developer.

Who is the developer targeting with his “slick” website? Affluent boomers looking to downsize? Families? Seniors? Homeless people? Mural lovers?

The marketing images provide some clues.

They’re targeting good-looking young hipsters with solid jobs in the defence industry/the Harper government/politics and a strong appetite for shopping. The archetypal consumer Northside Developments Inc. is aiming at likes his booze and his coffee, loves his corporate shopping opportunities, has a fondness for junk food and sex, and possesses a healthy disposal income.

Prices? What’s your best guess for boutique-inspired condo living at Gow’s?


I’m NOT saying that Northside Development Inc. is the big bad wolf, mind you. We NEED more residents in Bells Corners (especially young ‘uns with good hair).

Can we trust the developers and the politicians, the slick spin doctors and the marketers? Personally, I’d feel better if our councillor wasn’t so quick to take cash from certain developers at election time. In return for what?

What they call a “site plan” is really just an architect’s promotional drawing. Is this a deliberate error?

They managed to get the phone number wrong on the huge promotional signs, so that doesn’t exactly inspire confidence either.


I don’t think that too many locals would call the sad Northside strip “the heart of Bells Corners” but at least they got one thing right – Bells Corners IS a great place to live.

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14 Responses to boutique-inspired condo living at Gow’s

  1. margaret says:

    and no one knew about this last week for the BC community association meetings? interesting ….

    • margaret says:

      they’re a little out of date with their ‘neighbourhood’ amenities map … some have gone already .., some have changed names … and some have been left off completely – looks very non-ethnic to me … interesting how the LCBO and Beer Store sit on top of the list!

      hope they don’t drive

      a better place would be the old Lynwood Centre – space there for apartments

      like the way they say ‘4-storey’ building but don’t include the first floor … floor of what?

      agree- we need more residents – real residents, not transient ones

      but can’t see it working there without some major modifications in the road for in/out access… how many units? 1-3+ bedrooms?

      • Sarah says:

        Not so “out of date”. The Spa is located at 2027 Robertson Road. http://www.wpbsecure.com/TheSpa/html/index.cfm

        - I love the Spa even though I was only a customer once – back in the 80s a friend offered me a gift certificate as a birthday present.

        I went reluctantly (macho guys didn’t normally go for facials and pedicures back in those days).

        I had a very pleasant experience – it’s an awesome heritage building and everyone was super nice and friendly.

        But, to be honest, I would NEVER return as a paying customer. Why put lipstick on a pig?

        Plus the whole vanity thing…

        The Spa is a VERY IMPORTANT Bells Corners heritage building. I’m glad it’s prospering in spite of the nasty vandalism by drunken louts..

    • Tim says:

      The L.V.C.A. meeting was on the 26th of September and the sign for the condo development went up October 1st. But more importantly, how is it of any concern to the L.V.C.A.?

      - Maybe it isn’t.

      But if the zoning needs to be changed for this proposal to become reality then the public will have to be consulted – residents/taxpayers get to express their opinion in our system of municipal government, either as individuals or through their community associations.

      It’s like the American ideal of “checks-and-balances”.

      Community associations (as opposed to “recreational associations” whatever that means) are sent site plans (not little files but huge paper posters) so that they can inform the community of what’s coming down the pipe and then represent the community’s wishes (as interpreted by the community association’s executive).

      That’s the ideal anyway, but you know as well as I do that it doesn’t work this way in the real world.

      A community association can ignore this responsibility if it wants, by throwing consultation documents straight into the recycling bin, and no one can be criticized.

      You’re all just volunteers giving selflessly of your time, and no has has the right to say to a VOLUNTEER “you should be working harder.” Plus who really gives a fig about site plans, or has the time to give a fig?

      Community associations are the bottom level of our democratic system, and all politics are local, so it’s important that “elected” CA board members be representative of the community and independent of the politicians and the City bureaucrats. Or at least APPEAR to be so.

      Most importantly – holding public office is an important responsibility, so make sure you’re not profiting personally from holding office. Power is intoxicating but be careful about abusing it.

      Transparency, accountability, democracy, efficiency, honesty, respect for the taxpayer, and the rule of law – these are core Canadian values.

      Back room deals, payoffs, intolerance, political corruption, lies and dirty tricks – not so much.

  2. Whatever says:

    It’s nice to hear good news about Bells Corners. We need more residential property development.

    More residents = healthy local businesses = a stable environment

    This is a win-win situation.

  3. Tim says:

    Alrighty…Yes, a zoning change is required for 42 Northside Road to be used for residential purposes. It is currently zoned as GM-9 which is the following.
    GM9 SUBZONE

    In the GM9 Subzone:

    187(1) says; allow residential, commercial and institutional uses, or mixed use development in the General Urban Area and in the Upper Town, Lowertown and Sandy Hill West Character Areas of the Central Area designations of the Official Plan;

    the uses listed under subsection 187(1) are not permitted and the following non-residential uses only are permitted:

    animal hospital
    bank
    bank machine
    community centre
    community health and resource centre
    day care
    diplomatic mission, see Part 3, Section 88
    drive-through facility (OMB Order #PL080959 issued March 18, 2010)
    emergency service
    instructional facility
    library
    medical facility
    municipal service centre
    office
    place of assembly
    research and development centre
    training centre

    There is no provision for residential use so public consultation must be held and any concerns addressed. In this case requests for public input are lagging behind the selling of completed apartments. It would appear that even the most vigilant community association member would not have seen that property development on the horizon. Since the developer already seems to think the rezoning is in the bag, it brings up the question of futility. So while I am sure that the huge paper poster is being rushed to someone from somewhere, bringing with it a maelstrom of yelling, confusion and table pounding, at the end of the day it will be built.

    Lastly, for your much inspired call to civic conscience, if absolute power corrupts absolutely then certainly no power is a volunteer…

    - I’m not suggesting that there will any opposition to the developer’s plans – who could argue that we don’t need more residents in Bells Corners?

    But that doesn’t mean that the process doesn’t have to be followed (and maybe this time we can have a more authentic process than the Bells Corners Timmys “pseudo-consultation”.)

    It doesn’t really matter that the dough-nutty fiasco was held in Centrepointe, rather than in Bells Corners, since Rick forgot to notify the community about it (except for a select group of Westcliffe residents).

  4. TonyL1 says:

    I’m surprised that our councillor hasn’t called up Doug Hempstead at the Sun to order up a fluff piece on how Rick deserves all the the credit for the amazing ongoing transformation of Bells Corners.

    – Maybe it’s too soon to bother going to all that trouble – the election isn’t for another two years, and, now that Rick has reestablished control of both BC community associations, he can turn his gaze to “other” interests.

  5. Development is good. The more people in Bells Corners the better for the local businesses.

    Residential real estate in most of Ottawa is headed for decline and years of stagnation, so hopefully they move fast on this. If they procrastinate it might not make as much sense for the developer.

  6. Jayme says:

    I think the decline will be older units and houses, not so much new ones.

    - Would you care to elaborate?

    Bells Corners is NOT in decline.

    In fact we’re sitting VERY pretty, especially the residents.

    The business community – not so much.

    The Chiarelli/Lewis tax is definitely a disincentive for small entrepreneurs to invest in our community. It was supposed to raise all boats, but from my perspective only the Big Boys have benefitted from the tax dollars that Rick and Alex control, and the number of empty businesses has roughly doubled since Rick vowed to deal with the problem.

  7. Jayme says:

    It seems people are more interested in buying new units in terms of condos and not so much older units, so I think we will see a relative decline in the value of older buildings compared to new builds.

    Some of the “older buildings” (for example a Teron bungalow in Lynwood Village, a Garand two-storey in Westcliffe, or a condo in Lynwood Manor) are really a better buy than new housing units.

    They may be old but, back in the good old days of Nepean, homes were built to last by experienced craftsmen with quality materials – can you say the same about some of the new builds?

    I agree with you that people want new, but they should also look past the slick marketing for value for their money.

  8. wookie says:

    Great- a posh area for the posh generation. Or should I say the poor “lost generation” who think they’re so hard done-by.

    Horsefeathers!

    Double-double latte anyone?

    Only the richies can afford those boxes!

    How about putting up a few more nursing homes that people can afford, instead of building homes in the $5000-$6000 range for richies only!

    But as Mr. Wonderful would say “It’s the MONEY!”

    Just think of all the wonderful extra traffic at an already dangerous intersection, where people run the red almost daily.

  9. open-minded says:

    I think that a ‘slick’ new condo building on Northside will go a long way towards revitalizing that section of BC.

  10. local dude says:

    Bottom line: Putting capital at risk to improve our community is a win-win for everyone.

    I too am no fan of Rick’s – but instead of bitching will remain on the high road in applauding any project that brings an ounce of revitalization into the community.

    • margaret says:

      can agree about putting money into our community if it is to make it better, we just need to look at the community as a whole rather than doing a bit here and a bit there with no real plan …. without a plan that is when mistakes are made and problems arise

      we do need more residents in BC if only to keep the schools and the shops open
      and we fortunately do have everything we really need within the community which is a great selling point for real estate

      this kind of development in this site just doesn’t fit because of the traffic problems it could cause – yet it could just the other side of Larkspur in the plaza
      from what I understand there are not enough parking spots for 1 per unit, so visitor parking would be on road … where ?

      - The developer is providing the required number of parking spaces for owners in the underground parking lot. The visitors’ parking will be at grade off of Thorncliff, but with only two spots instead of the required three – that’s one of the variances he’s asking for.

      Or is it three spots instead of the required four? I forget.

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