Dec 2nd, 2021
Construction Update: Community Improvements on St. Laurent Blvd
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OCH’s senior’s building at 800 St. Laurent Boulevard is one of our most recent properties to receive a makeover.
Staff, partners and tenants worked together to identify areas in need of improvement – resulting in more than a $100,000 investment in the community.
Seniors living in the building are now enjoying new flooring and a fresh coat of paint on every floor. Improvements were made in other areas, including adding new furniture in the lounge and cosmetic touch-ups in the lobby, corridors, and stairways. Tenants and their guests are also safer in their home thanks to improved stairwell lighting (with LED bulbs), yellow visibility strips and better signage.
The success of this project can be attributed to tenants and their ongoing engagement in improving their home and community. Engaged tenants voiced their concerns and thoughts on solutions to a variety of safety concerns during meetings with OCH’s Community Development team, Tenancy Support Workers, Community Safety Services, the Property Manager and OCH’s onsite partner, Aging in Place.
In addition to building updates, OCH will continue to address challenges identified during the safety meeting through a collaborative approach with tenants and partners.
Ottawa Community Housing’s Senior Property Manager, Jeff Wilkie, said beautification projects such as this can often get passed over in favour of maintenance on building systems. But, due to COVID-19 restrictions, there was some deferred maintenance, which freed up a budget for community improvements.
“This is the type of upgrade that Property Managers identify during their building walks and community tours but is outside of their budget to fully implement. Sometimes competing priorities for capital projects mean that work of a more aesthetic in nature is deferred for building systems and envelope upgrades,” he said. “We had the opportunity to direct capital dollars to three building upgrades such as this in 2021. The coordination and collaboration between the different departments have really highlighted how successful we are when working together.”
Increasing Pride of Place
In addition to improvements inside the building, thanks to funding from OCH Foundation for Healthy Communities and Multicultural Arts for Schools and Communities (MASC), local artist Kseniya Tsoy painted garden boxes outside the building, increasing pride of place.
Making a difference
Aging in Place operates in the community and provides residents with 70 frozen meals a month to address food insecurity.
Connected Canadians has been working with residents on computer literacy – thanks in part to 15 surface pro tablets provided by OCH’s IT department. Now there’s a digital lending library. It offers devices to tenants for as long as a month at a time. The devices allow them to participate in virtual meetings and do things like banking or attend virtual doctor appointments.
The program has been so successful that it is growing to include residents of 540 Thomson Terrace.
It is amazing what happens when staff, tenants and partners come together to build better communities.
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