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Ground breaking excitement for the Housing Project for Bells Corners

Churchwarden Peter Hunt joined the Rev. Canon PJ Hobbs (who knows the parish well), Incumbent Archdeacon Kathryn Otley and Bishop Shane Parker for the groundbreaking.
Churchwarden Peter Hunt joined the Rev. Canon PJ Hobbs (who knows the parish well), Incumbent Archdeacon Kathryn Otley and Bishop Shane Parker for the groundbreaking.
By on January 1, 2021
The new project will provide housing for up to 57 people in 35 units.
The new project will provide housing for up to 57 people in 35 units.

Officials from all three levels of government and the diocese gathered on Nov. 13 at Christ Church Bells Corners (CCBC) to break ground for the affordable housing project that will be built in the place on the ground where the church’s rectory now stands.

“This is a milestone moment in a project that has been the dream for many over a number of years,” said the Rev. Canon PJ Hobbs, Director of Community Ministries, welcoming those who had gathered in the church’s parking lot for the event on behalf of Bishop Shane Parker and Archdeacon Kathryn Otley, Incumbent of Christ Church Bells Corners, who were also on hand. The new facility will provide affordable housing for up to 57 people in 35 units, “as well as providing space for community services, creating a hub of partnership, service and collaboration on this parish campus,” Hobbs added.

MPP Lisa MacLeod and MP Chandra Arya helped break ground.
MPP Lisa MacLeod and MP Chandra Arya helped break ground.

Chandra Arya, MP for Nepean, said he was pleased to announce that “the federal government and the Ontario provincial government jointly are providing $4 million, that includes the federal government component of $2.72 million and the Ontario government component of $1.28 million.”

Christ Church Bells Corners’ parish has launched a $1.6 million fundraising campaign and has already raised $400,000.

“Along with the affordable housing that will be provided here, on the main floor will be a purpose-built space for the Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre, which has been working out of this house for many, many years, services provided to senior members of our community,” Hobbs pointed out. “Joining the WOCRC, will be FAMSAC, a local ecumenical food bank that has been providing emergency food assistance to this community for over 50 years. As you can see, this is truly a community partnership.”

Lisa MacLeod, MPP for riding of Nepean, also spoke on behalf of her cabinet colleague, Steven Clark, the Ontario Minister for Municipal Affairs and Housing, and praised the project’s multi-modal approach. “I think it’s amazing that we are going to see support for FAMSAC, which we’ve all supported for many years, here at this facility,” she said. “New affordable housing is much needed in our community and I want to thank the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa for their hard work.”

Hobbs noted that “the City of Ottawa has played a key role in making this project happen.” He thanked Counsellor Rick Chiarelli, “whose early support and championing of this project was essential to getting it off the ground.” 

Hobbs also said that the parishioners of CCBC had embraced this project as central to their mission. “The reality of the pandemic is such that only a few of us can gather here today, so I am mindful of the many, many people who are working to make this project happen—volunteers, staff, our political leaders, professional service providers, community members and this list can go on. Their support of this project is inspiring. If this gathering happened in a pre-pandemic world, I can assure you this parking lot would be full. We are thankful to all of those who are working to bring this exciting project to fruition.”

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