July 27, 2035

Residents in three apartment complexes, located along Heron lightrail line in the Herongate neighbourhood, have been given notice of eviction, following the decision by Twigstream to demolish the buildings due to them no longer being livable.

Twigstream has only owned the property for five years, during which time residents claim it was mismanaged and repairs were seldom done. Residents are looking to the city to help fight the demolition, as for many it’s been their only home in Ottawa and they have built a strong community there.

The neighbourhood has long been a hub for U.S. immigrants fleeing the Second American Civil War, and residents fear the community they have built will be diluted by dispersion.

Heron Gate Apartments are in need of more than just a lick of paint. Image: Adam Ashby Gibbard

When contacted for comment a Twigstream representative said via Brainbook that they “are going to do whatever we can to help people find places to live,” but that the apartments needed to be torn down to make way for a new build.

The once luxury apartments originally touted, back in 2018, as “a premium, active adult-oriented rental community meant to offer resort-style living” have now become a shadow of their former selves. The original buildings had 348 units, a common green space, indoor pool, gym and a retail ground floor with restaurants, a cafe and retails outlets.

Over time the original site’s owner, Timbercreek, was blamed for constant negligence allowing the site to slowly deteriorate over time.

Many blame the original construction for many of its problem. When it opened its doors to new renters in 2019, people complained about the quality of the apartments, with some people requesting repairs on their first day of occupancy.

Randy Munchton, a long-time resident, remembers the early days when the pool was filled and the common green space had plants. “Back then it was a lovely place to live, but over time you could see the neglect. It started with plumbing issues, then water damage and then the bugs came. We were hit hard by the invasions of tropical termites in the mid-2020s.”

Many of the tenants still love the place for the community that they have built there and want the City of Ottawa to step in and get Twigstream to do the renovations needed to bring the apartment blocks up to code.

Shai Tenlon said that “the apartments aren’t completely lost. It’s just that Twigstream aren’t willing to put the money in to make the repairs and renos needed. They’d rather knock it down to make way for some fancy ultracondo or something. Just in it for the money I guess.”

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