Free Essay

Led Marketing

In: Business and Management

Submitted By CaroleLair
Words 7690
Pages 31


Prepared by: 2PHASE3

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Business Consultants




The Cupcake Lounge was established in 2011 by Claudia Arizmendi and her husband Bill McGuiness to solve a void in the Byward Market sector of Ottawa – the existence of a gourmet cupcakery. The Cupcake Lounge has, since May 2011 grown into a fast-growing boutique cupcake shop catering to not only the tourists who flick to this historic sector, but to the numerous locals who work and shop in this area.

To develop and master the variety of products sold within the store, Claudia has banked on her skills honed while completing her studies in baking and pastry art at Algonquin College. A testament to her skills in pastry art and specifically gourmet cupcakes, The Cupcake Lounge was rated the #1 cupcake taste champion in Ottawa by celebrity Hilary Duff as illustrated in the of Local Tourist Ottawa magazine on May 31/2012. A celebrity endorsement in a city like Ottawa brings attention.

The Cupcake lounge presently has one location in the Byward Market and is planning to work operational efficiencies into its corporate identity in order to open a second location in the very near future. This fiscal year, The Cupcake Lounge is on target to exceed $600,000 in gross sales with over 50,000 guests being served.
2Phase3 has been hired to develop an operational efficiency plan (RABO) which will help move The Cupcake Lounge (TLC) into a growth and sustainable business phase.


The current rise and popularity of ‘cupcakeries’ (new world term) has not been as meteoric as one may envision. Cupcakes, as an alternative to the muffin crazed, donut gratifying quick snack food has taken the North American populous by storm – albeit over ten years in the making. The slow significant growth leads one to understand that this is not entirely a fad or craze but a stable long term fixture with a high indulgence factor for millions of North Americans.

This pop-culture trend can trace its roots to the California market- significantly to Los Angeles where “Sprinkles” has been toted as being the first cupcake bakery, in North America. With well over 20 corporate owned locations throughout the US it is viewed by the industry as the foundation upon which cupcakeries are built. Magnolias Bakery in Manhattan (promoted in the TV show “Sex and the City”) consistently draws thousands of local New Yorkers and tourists to its fives NYC locations as well as three other locations in LA, Chicago and Dubai. Magnolias has plans to open as many as two hundred stores over the next five years.

The expansion and notoriety of these two established cupcake businesses has helped pave the way for numerous entrepreneurs to dive into the cupcake business even though statistics in the industry are showing growth within “the cake decoration stores industry is expected to slow to 3.7 percent annually over the next five years”, in an October 2011 report from research firm IBISWorld. This represents a drop from the 4.9 percent growth that the industry has enjoyed during the past five years.

2Phase3 is working with the owners of TCL to drive performance, expansion and to instill sustainable business practices to fuel similar growth opportunities.

In Canada

Cupcakes are following the uptake seen in the US as consumers are seeking fun, delectable alternatives to forge through the tough economic times. Consumer behaviour patterns fall into various economic categories, two of which are present day situations; recession weariness and affordable indulgence.

Building on the behavourial habits of treating oneself in times of need, stress or frustration, recession wary consumers often succumb to the urge and need to ‘get away’, ‘take a break’, ‘de stress’, and to generally be a bit selfish.

The price point of a gourmet cupcake is a small treat or indulgence which plays well during recessionary times. We see this as a continuing element which will help serve TCL into expansionary times over the next few years.

Gourmet cupcakes may also fall into the buying habits of consumers who can afford luxury unnecessary purchases simply due to income levels. Canada has seen a rise in Gross Domestic Product - per capita income levels during the recessionary period beginning in 2008 ($39,100 to $40,300 in 2010) leading a strong Canadian economy versus G8 counterparts. This has bode well for luxury business items and consumer spending. TCL is well suited in an industry which has upside from a consumer discretionary spending perspective.

Supermarkets such as Loblaws and Metro are eying the upscale cupcake bakery segment and are starting to participate in upscale cupcakes. Many in-store bakeries are already obtaining a respectable percent of the products consumers purchase through outside vendors. A good example is in-store baked breads: the vast majority comes in frozen and partially baked. The store can use unskilled labor to complete the baking and have the enticing aroma of baked bread wafting throughout the store. Freshly made from scratch cupcakes with assorted flavors and retro design appeal will drive the affordable indulgence on its own merit. In other words the supermarket world will never gain that footage especially the hand to mouth impulse sales and GPR ratio. At the end of the day let’s not forget it’s also all about the tangible importance of LOCATION! LOCATION! As well! Upscale cupcakes and affordable indulgence are here for a long time. However I foresee the cupcake wars will settle down to a more sustainable rate of growth which is good for the category health and good for all of us who enjoy these delectable treats!

An example of where we are pushing TCL towards is to gain notoriety in various publications such as writer Meghan Walsh of the Canadian MOORE MAGAZINE who recently rated the following cupcakeries as being the TOP CUPCAKES establishments in Canada.

Best cupcakes - #1- The Cake Box


The Cake Box - Moncton, NB Best cupcakes - #2- Crave

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Crave – Calgary, AB
All in the family Best cupcakes - #3- Cupcake Conspiracy

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Cupcake Conspiracy - Saskatoon, SK
Operation gluten-free Best cupcakes - #4- Les Glaceurs

Les Glaceurs - Montreal, QC
Let them eat cake Best cupcakes - #5- Little Cakes

Little Cakes - Ottawa, ON
Growing up is sweet Best cupcakes - #6- Miss Cora's Kitchen

Miss Cora's Kitchen - Toronto, ON
Toronto's best cupcake Best cupcakes - #7- Ooh La La

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Ooh La La - Victoria, BC
Putting on the ritz Best cupcakes - #8- Susie's Shortbreads

Susie's Shortbreads - Halifax, NS
Cupcakes on the go Best cupcakes - #9- Sweet Impressions

Sweet Impressions - Winnipeg, MB The cupcake trend is still in its infancy and we see a lot of new development opportunities in Ottawa and surrounding area. In the world of cupcake bakeries as well as any other retailer for that matter strategic GROWTH is KEY to survival and success. Whether it’s through internal sales expansion or new locations the business needs to maintain growth at all times. The main question the present owners of TCL are required to ask is “What makes The Cupcake Lounge different from every other cupcake shop?” Being able to answer that question comfortably with true differentiating factors will begin to move and boost the confidence of ownership to thinking ‘greatness’ and ‘expansion’. TCL must begin to think ‘corporate’ ‘big’ and develop strategic directions to improve performance in order to achieve sustainability. Differentiation makes a business memorable and credible. A business seeks to have a client be able to quickly understand what you do and what sets the business apart from competitors.

Here are a few keys to your differentiator:

What do your customers really appreciate about your products/service?

Why are long term customers still with you?

What was one of the nicest things a customer ever said about how you conduct business?

What are some of the positive comments you’ve received from customers?

The challenge for service retail businesses such as TCL is to clearly identify what you do best in a way that is visible to your target. You need to stand out by really understanding what you do best and exploit it. Or come up with something unique that adds value over your competition that you can offer.


Create offers that are too hard to ignore.

Package your cupcakes to add so much value that people just have to have it. (It’s not always about the pricing but the presentation – a delivery proof packaging such as tulip shells for each single cupcake not only selected ones)

Design a (small arrangement) dozen ‘Red Cupcake’ substitutes for a dozen Red Roses – delivered in a damage proof artsy colorful box (Valentine, Xmas, Easter, Mothers day etc.) A creative promotion delivering uniqueness to your brand

Offer benefits that are free for you but add value or convenience for your prospects. Provide access to you via Instant Messaging or Email 24×7.
A note of caution: Try not to differentiate on price. Who really wants to be the cheapest? People flock to buy higher priced products, stay at five star hotels or buy brand names. Why? Because top of the line projects value. You get what you pay for is a statement based in reality. Cheaper can evoke perceptions of lower quality, less breadth of knowledge, or a less stable business environment.


The following SWOT analysis identifies TCL’s organizational strengths and weaknesses as well as outside threats and opportunities that can be expounded upon.
• Location (Niche Market) • Ingredients are Fresh Baked and Local • Loyal Customer Base • Cupcakes are Unique in Design and Flavors • Growing Social Media Presence
LOCATION: The present location offers excellent traffic flow- from daily local visitors and especially tourists during the high demand tourist seasons. Byward Market St. is a pedestrian link to all of the fashionable bars and restaurants in the area. Traffic flow is consistent and steady. However there is a slight draw back to the position of the storefront wedged between the Blue Cactus Bar and the Magazine Shop. The store front windows reflect the bright trendy interior but at nighttime it lacks intensity. We would recommend adding strategic lighting above the canopy headers. The additional lighting will add more exposure from a distance. The current signage is adequate and the glazing should be kept clean and bright at all times. This will help pull additional traffic from the intersection.
Niche Market – To that end, TCL fills a very exclusive need/want in their community. The audience that they are targeting, though they are open to all, is sometimes targeted more towards gourmets who enjoy inspired baked creations. Having an assortment of restaurants within range of the shop is beneficial since customers may pass on dessert after eating a meal. And we know that it’s all too common to get hungry again after walking about 20 minutes or more. TCL is located in an area that can meet the cravings and fill this niche.
FRESH INGREDIENTS: Freshly baked made from scratch flavorful and artistic cupcakes are what differentiates TCL with cheap (Freeze & Thaw) supermarket high end cupcake imitations. It’s imperative the message comes across at first glance when customers walk into the store. Appropriate signage and colorful images need to convey the necessary message. It needs to scream FRESHNESS and WHOLESOMENESS.
CUSTOMER LOYALTY: Presently, TCL has a steady customer base. It’s difficult to measure the exact percentage especially when the product is more or less an impulse product line. We need to conduct a Customer Satisfaction Survey- it can be on-line or hard copy at the store level.

Drivers of CUSTOMER SATISFACTION • End Results – Product/Service Quality, Process Outcome / Decision • Timeliness – Speed and Timeliness of Service • Information – Quality and Completeness of Information • Staff Competence – Professionalism, Expertise • Reliability – Performance of Service , Goods and Staff • Staff Attitude – Courtesy, Politeness, Friendliness • Fairness – Honesty, Justice, and Fairness of the Organization • Access – Availability of staff, Service, Products • Look and Feel – Appearance, Comfort of Environment, Facilities, Staff • Safety and Security – Customer Safety and Confidentiality • Convenience – Ease of Obtaining Products • Value and Cost – Value of the Product Compared to Cost
We will be discussing the Customer Service Package – further down the report.
UNIQUE CUPCAKES: There is more then one challenge to uniqueness whether it’s a house, or a cupcake. First and foremost it needs eye appeal, freshness, color, and exclusive design. Secondly if possible, a tempting scent and a taste that sets all others apart. Thirdly having multiple varieties of products displayed in your showcase will in effect create more of the eye appeal allure. Keeping your showcase abundantly full during peak hours is extremely important. The faze down period during the evening is just as important as the peak time because you don’t want to give the impression that your out of business two hours before closing. Expendable shrink is needed at times in order to maintain the business reputation as a leader in its field. First time customers may show up 20 minutes before closing. The last thing you want to do is disappoint.
The Cupcake Lounge should promote a single SIGNATURE CUPCAKE that represents the creativity, taste and visual appeal that is both distinctive and embodies the culture of the business. SOCIAL MEDIA – The Cupcake Lounge does have a strong presence on both Facebook and Twitter. We suggest an easy link to both off the home page of the web site. We also suggest that tweets and posts on Facebook engage the user community to be more interactive with the business. An example would be to often suggest flavors, creations from the online community. Have an online contest to name a cupcake; create a cupcake with associated prizes (gift certificates) to the winning entries. Make the online community have fun. There are presently close to 700 followers on Twitter. Engagement with these users could create more attention in the online community. As for Facebook- only 47 ‘likes’ at present; again more interaction , a home page link and in store links on all promotional materials and engagement of front line staff to have users ‘follow’ and ‘like’ will create an online buzz – at little cost. The benefit is to increase exposure to the consumer community locally- and to corporate businesses where TCL is pushing its distribution

WEAKNESSES • Brand differentiation is unclear in a competitive environment • Distribution Channels are limited • Customer Service Inconsistencies • Very focused category not a broad list of items for sale • Limited Production Space

BRAND DIFFERENTION: What is BRANDING? Your image is you’re Brand. Building a brand is crucial to corporate identity. A recent success story in the same space as TCL is Sprinkles Cupcakes.
Pre Sprinkles, a cupcake was nothing more than a homemade or store bought treat baked mostly for school children for snacks and birthday parties. In 2004 cupcakes began its move as a must have baked gourmet product with the opening of Sprinkles first store in Beverly Hills. By developing a strong brand and image of quality and success, Sprinkles brought mainstream cupcakes in to the gourmet leagues where $39.00 a dozen simply meant quality, fun, uniqueness. There a few elements of where Sprinkles has tapped into, helping steer its brand and lasting image.
The Story: The owner’s family history identifies with her grandmother making pastries in a San Francisco restaurant in the 1930s. This establishes tradition. The history links to her customers with a reference to the tasty treats of childhood recreated in her store. This brings nostalgia and more of a personal connection to clients. We suggest TCL develop a story using Claudia’s background and history. Make TCL personal.
The Product: A mix of simple polka dots on the top of each cupcake tell you what flavor it is. Different flavors are featured on different days of the week, some standard and others more unusual. We suggest more experimentation with unusual combination of flavours- suggested by customers through social media- as well as in store. Unique designs, exotic flavours, natural base, organic can help define the identity of TCL.
The Shop: Sprinkles shops are designed to create a feel of old style European bakeries. The stores reflect a trendy cupcake style. An architectural style that will define all TCL stores not only helps to develop the brand and image but will bring efficiencies in development/design/building costs as TCL moves into future expansion.

The Extras: Packaging, the website, its social media presence, Cupcake Wars on Food Network, all combine to keep the Sprinkles brand in the limelight. The gourmet cupcake industry began in earnest with Sprinkles as it has defined the industry with a strong, identifiable brand. Even tough they were the first to market; TCL can be first as well. Branding is image and image helps build a brand – and builds a company. A strong mission and vision is often part of the image and brand. We suggest TCL use its clients to help define what TCL is to be. The strong mission and vision statements of TCL provide an excellent base. Let the customers know what they are by having them in the store- on the walls- on promotional items.
Distribution Channels: At present, distribution is conducted in store at the store front. We shall investigate the distribution of TCL product line in our marketing analysis later in this report. The store front location, with its less than ideal visibility has nonetheless provided excellent revenues and returns during the fist fiscal year of operation. We are looking at avenues to further distribute product with low cost alternatives which shall compliment the store front location.
Customer Service: Customer service is associated with staff having a keen understanding of TCL values, mission, and vision in association with ongoing training. Service should be infectious, continuous contagious. TCL requires a more formal training program of staff at the service level to ensure client engagement, up selling of product and a repeat clientele. In our on site visits at various times, and days we have experienced inconsistencies with the service delivered both as a client and in cursory inspections. 2Phase3 shall provide a training program to improve customer service through a guide to service as well as training procedures. These shall be illustrated further in this report.
Limited Production Space: The current location does not offer the space efficiencies to grow the business. Expansion in any capacity is limited by the size of the production area in the back of the retail location. The equipment can only provide limited production which is near capacity at the present. This is a weakness to growth. Any expansion of TCL from a one store location cannot be achieved without a formal production facility off site ideally in an industrial park setting (Ottawa Business Park) in south Ottawa. The lease rates at the retail Byward location are simply too expensive for production use. A leased wrapped (promotional/logo/ web site/ social media tagged) van should be used to distribute the product daily from the production the store location(s). We shall investigate lease rate ranges further in this report.

OPPORTUNITIES Sales Development through direct wholesaling: TCL must work with selected product lines of cupcake for distribution into the wholesale network. Selections should begin with the most popular items (Red Velvet as only one example) initially to gain a sense of TCL’s ability to produce en mass and to deliver fresh product on a daily basis. As TCL has not tapped into this line of sales, there exists great up-side to an increase in revenues and product/brand exposure. We believe TCL must enter into this market only when its production facility (discussed in this report) is running and operating at efficient levels to sustain large distribution. (more to expand on) Strategic Sales (Mobile, Market Carts, New Categories; at present, TCL markets solely through its storefront with an initial penetration into selected hotels and with a local college (Algonquin College) as a store in store concept. These efforts are young and in initial stages of development. We agree with this direction however a constant effort must continue to penetrate and continue brand exposure. The mobile concept whereby a cart or mobile van circulates selected areas of the city is a strong and viable model to increase sales and brand recognition. We initially suggest working with a local- Byward market general location roadmap utilizing a low cost branded cart. The cart concept will offer TCL a testing ground to see how the operation will handle the product offering (to maintain freshness as an example) in a mobile environment. Discussion from the owners has centered around a mobile van. We believe this will be an excellent branding avenue however suggest a low cost cart to initialize the mobile direction for the company. Both suggestions are included in visuals in Appendix “?? to this report. New Location: TCL will see growth continue once the operation is optimized and following suggestions from this report. The new location (locally Westboro is prime) will further identify TCL as the premier cupcakery in the City of Ottawa and can lead to expansion outside of the City once levels of sales are achieved. There is strong upside to a new location however we emphasize that this route should only be considered once operational efficiencies, lines of distribution and more branded marketing efforts are instilled for at least one?? fiscal year “Knock your socks off” Customer Service Program: TCL as indicated requires a full training program centred on customer service and sales from front line staff in particular, but throughout all staff of TCL. Sales growth in the 14+ months of initial operations has shown a large appetite fro the product. 2Phase3 believes with a program of “knock your socks off” customer service sales and client traffic shall increase substantially and lead to optimized performance. Cupcakes are not available in the different flavors in existing bakeries: There exists a large void in the market to expose the quality, service and uniqueness of TCL products by virtue of the limited offerings in mass produced cupcakes. Existing bakeries are not focused solely on cupcakes but in numerous product offerings; these fit the European bakery concept and attract a certain clientele. TCL can further expand its market penetration based on the customer preference for cupcake variety, taste and freshness as offered through TCL.

THREATS • Risk Management Policy • City Road Construction • Tourism (deflation) • Competition (direct) • Food Cost

COMPETITION – Competition according to microeconomic theory, no system of resource allocation is more efficient than pure competition. Competition, according to the theory, causes commercial businesses to develop new products, services, and technologies. This gives consumers greater selection and better products. The greater the selection typically causes lower prices in some cases or higher valued items for the price. It’s not always about pricing or based on affordability it’s also about innovation and filling the needs of consumerism.
There will always be someone, somehow, somewhere that will be in direct competition with you at one point in time or most often always. You need to know what everyone is doing that is the ones’ that are in direct competition with you. It wouldn’t be surprising to find that a competitor is looking to expand as well and looking in the same area or quite possibly the same site you have interest in. There are (2) types of businesses – one that makes DUST and one that EATS’ DUST. You want to be in front moving forward at all time’s therefore making dust is a must. Knowing what your competitors are up too is as easy as looking up their website. All the information is there and conducting a site visit is very important so that you may get a feel for what they are doing or where they are going.
Turning your back away and doing your own thing without any concerns as to what your competitors are up to would be very careless and could be detrimental to your business. Never take success for granted – never let your guard down for a moment and most importantly never under-estimate your competitors. There’s always someone out there that wants what you have. The Cupcake war is still on but it’s winding down a little and will eventually settle down until the next craze comes about. It could be DONUTS, FRENCH PASTRIES or COOKIES but one thing is certain if you’re on top of your business regardless of craze or habits you will be able to counter, refine and welcome any changes that may affect your business with efficiency and effectiveness. And in your sector CUPCAKE will always rule and you will make sure of that.


With the closure of Glitz Cupcake located on Murray St. has left the Cupcake Lounge the only operational Cupcakery on the Byward Market. However this doesn’t mean that another cupcake shop won’t open in the area but does presently gives the business more footing with the walk by trade. This is a glorious time and opportunity to focus on the sales expansion through wholesaling and event planning participation.
There are numerous BAKERIES in and around the Byward Market but they are not specializing in CUPCAKES alone. The wholesale end of the business is more competitive and numbered. Establishing contacts with potential clients such as Hotels, Government, Organizations, Chambers of Commerce, Associations and Embassies is a must. There are numerous potential for community outreach in this sector as well as the private entity.
Still working on this – need a lot more


Cupcake Lounges’ Target Audience is broad especially within the Byward Market & Lower Town demographic boundaries. However women are your biggest customers. It’s the collective summary of a group of people who share similar interest, demographics and world views.
We have created personas for the following target market: • Tourism (Male / Female all ages) • Students (Male / Female) 18-24 years • Professional Working Women 32 Years + • Career Mom 40 Years + • Upscale Mature Women 50 Years +

Market Segmentation
Target market consists of 3 groups:
The Wedding Group
The wedding industry is booming and should focus on this group for whom a premium price can be charged for specialized and custom made cupcakes.
The Event Group
This group will probably pre-order a variety of flavors; however it could be a labour intensive order depending on the event. May require more space (work area)
The Individual Buyer or “Walk-in” Group
The location premises on the Byward Market, is a very popular destination because of the areas historical architecture for weekenders and tourists, which makes this your biggest sales push.
Industry Analysis
Market Study
In 2011, supermarket sales of cupcakes increased 18.3 percent along with a 17 percent increase in unit sales according to the Nielsen Perishables Group. The most popular flavor of Cupcake was red velvet showing an increase of 131 percent. Comments on the Cupcake trend are given by Jonna Parker, director of account services at Nielsen Perishables Group and Mike Busley, founder of Grand Traverse Pies. "Convenience Drives Cupcake Sales," by Chris Balzer in InStore Baker, March 2010, (Vol. 5, No. 2), p. 18-20. Overview of instore cake sales, which averaged $2,710 per store per week, an increase of 2.3% from the year previous. Cakes represented 28.5% of total instore bakery dollar sales. Decorated cakes and dessert cakes combined represented 51% of cake sales. Cupcakes represented 9.9%.
This is a supermarket overview and its representation may not necessarily reflect your business directly but it’s interesting that the cupcake market is growing and that the supermarket is capitalizing on the influx by introducing new cupcake lines.
The Cupcake Lounge competes in the Food Services Industry. In addition to competing with other specialized cakes bakeries, it competes with all restaurants, delis, bakeries and supermarkets for a share of its customers' food expense. However The Cupcake Lounge should be more concerned with competitors who differentiate their products and services with a creative and arty focus.
Because this group is so large, we have chosen to limit its analysis to other specialized cupcake bakeries.

Competition and Buying Patterns
Currently there are a number of bakeries that provide specialized cakes and cupcakes: (LOGO)
Strengths: Stocks freshly baked cupcakes and cakes. Well- established bakery in town. Sells cakes in local grocery stores.
Weaknesses: Does not provide a wide selection of flavours. Furthermore the texture and flavor of their cakes is very dense and lacks zest. (LOGO)
Strengths: Makes cakes and brownies every day. Will make custom-ordered non- gluten cakes.

Weaknesses: Does not produce a wide selection or large quantity of cupcakes. Their main focus is traditional flavour large cakes. Strategy and Implementation Summary
The strategic focus on serving a niche market with quality goods should be within your direct community base pool. By establishing and becoming part of your community your business will becomes as much of the community as a church or local grocery store. To achieve these goals, you will need to provide the following:
Friendly, neighborhood-feel atmosphere
Maintain consistent quality baked goods
Ensure that your visually presentation is attractive and focused on your main category cupcakes
Promote Coffee sales all year around but more so in the in winter and fall months, and for summer months sales of assorted juices and water. Get involved with you BIA and community organizations.
Need more info

Competitive Edge
Your main competitive edge is your quality of goods by ensuring that you only use products of the highest quality that create incredibly delicious cupcakes that can’t be matched. You should also focus mainly on whimsical and modern flavors and designs. The other bakeries in the area focus on more traditional approach. Sales Strategy
First and foremost your SALES strategy needs to focus on building a customer base by providing a “knock your socks off customer experience”. With the addition of the coffee bar and beverage your sales are quite limited. However, coffee sales could be substantially improved by providing additional coffee and tea flavors. ( ) You can’t make your shop a one-stop destination for breakfast or lunch but you can make it indulgent heaven destination. Additional outdoor visual signs will also help.
Lots more info coming soon / after on-site visits


Byward Market, Ottawa, Ontario


Average Household Income $61,502 Average Property Price $351,423

Top Ethnicities • 28% Canadian • 17% French • 08% Chinese • 07% English • 05% Irish





Households 7,688

Total Own 1,923 - 25% Total Rent 5,765 - 75%





Residential Predominance

It is envisioned that Lowertown will evolve, over time, into an attractive pedestrian-oriented predominantly residential urban village neighbourhood, with a significant heritage component.
With housing remaining as the predominant use, the Lowertown will feature a mix of uses within heritage and sensitively designed newer buildings, which respect the character and scale of nearby heritage buildings. Under utilized and vacant sites will infill, consolidating and revitalizing the neighbourhood. This trend to intensification will also include much needed community-serving uses which will support housing and help to create a sense of neighbourhood for the area. With its pedestrian orientation, residents of Lowertown will support, and enjoy convenient access to the shopping, entertainment and employment opportunities offered by the nearby ByWard Market, Rideau/Congress Centre and Rideau Street areas.

The Scale

The scale of development in the northern part of the Lowertown will be predominantly low profile, respecting individual heritage buildings and the scale and texture of traditional lot development patterns in the area. Some attractive medium to higher profile buildings will develop within the southern part of the Lowertown, between the south side of York Street and Rideau Street, and along its eastern edge. This will create a transition to the high profile commercial node envisioned at the east end of Rideau Street, and an edge along King Edward Avenue, which will frame this future gateway and Lowertown.

Mixed Uses

Predominantly residential uses will be provided within Lowertown, including the residential-only enclave along Clarence Street, while a compatible mix of residential, commercial and street-level retail uses will evolve in the areas to the south and east, and along arterial roads. More vibrant activity, such as popular entertainment uses and restaurants, will be focused at street-level in the southerly area, providing a sense of vitality and an area of transition to similar uses in the ByWard Market and Rideau Street areas.
A limited number of neighbourhood commercial uses will exist at grade on Cumberland, Murray and St. Patrick Streets, mainly in heritage buildings, offering a mix of quiet pedestrian-oriented uses serving primarily local needs and providing opportunities for neighbours to meet. Uses which have a wider community focus, such as a grocery store, will be oriented mainly south of York Street on Cumberland.

York Street

York Street will serve as an important pedestrian promenade and entrance way to the ByWard Market, with distinctive streetscaping in keeping with its historic context. This attractive streetscape will particularly be oriented to the needs of the Lowertown as it passes through the neighbourhood, with area residents taking full advantage of casual seating and landscaped areas.

Support Facilities Community Amenities

Lowertown will continue to serve as a model of community support and integration. A relatively high level of social service facilities and housing which serve the needs of small households will be maintained and protected. However, facilities and amenities will also be established which serve the needs of, and promote interaction among the entire community. For example, small green landscaped open spaces and gathering places, like courtyards and pocket parks, will provide community meeting places for casual interaction and organized events.

Street Environment

The area's harsh street environment will soften through abundant tree planting and streetscape improvements which respect heritage resources in the area, stemming from a growing sense of neighbourhood identity and pride, and a conscious effort to preserve and enhance the urban forest. Secure, inviting, pedestrian corridors will result, creating a sense of cohesiveness with neighbouring areas. In particular, efforts will focus on improving pedestrian safety and access across King Edward Avenue, thus reuniting the Lowertown community, along with significant enhancement of the street and reforestation along the boulevard. In addition, the Waller Street mall pedestrian link to Rideau Street will be animated and connected to pedestrian corridors in Lowertown. Striking public views, such as those of St. Brigid's Church and the Parliament Buildings, will be maintained and enhanced.

Traffic Calming

The livability of the area will be enhanced through traffic calming measures which discourage inappropriate traffic movement within the predominantly residential part of the neighbourhood, thus reducing carbon emissions, and promoting an enjoyable pedestrian and cycling environment.
A concerted effort will also be made to ensure adequate safety and security in the area, particularly in the public environment.

Integrated Developments

Along suitable edges of the area, a limited number of sensitively integrated mixed-use developments with short-term parking facilities may develop which also support adjacent areas while traffic impacts are controlled.
As exciting redevelopment and environmental improvements are introduced, and a social framework established, Lowertown will come to be regarded as an ultimate neighbourhood for a variety of residents.

1.8.2 Objectives

Predominantly Residential Neighbourhood

a. To encourage the evolution of the Lowertown as designated on Schedule B - Central Areas Character Areas and Theme Streets, as a distinct, predominantly residential, pedestrian-oriented neighbourhood, which contributes to the vitality of the Central Area. a. Protect Heritage a. To protect and enhance the heritage character and features of the area and ensure sensitive new development.

Improve Livability

a. To improve the livability of the Lowertown and permit the provision of social services in the area.

1.8.3 Policies

Residential Emphasis

a. City Council shall permit predominantly residential uses within Lowertown, as well as limited commercial uses while having regard to the following criteria: i. residential only along Clarence Street with the exception of mixed-use development at 138-140 Clarence Street;] ii. limited pedestrian-oriented neighbourhood commercial uses at-grade on Cumberland, Murray, and St. Patrick Streets, especially in heritage buildings which serve primarily local needs and do not attract large volumes of vehicular traffic, such as confectioneries, personal and business services and small stores; iii. predominantly residential mixed use development on the eastern edge of Lowertown; iv. mix of uses in the southern part of Lowertown, featuring residential uses, and more vibrant commercial uses at grade, such as retail, restaurant and entertainment uses, which provide an appropriate transition to similar uses in the ByWard Market and Rideau Street areas; and v. public and institutional uses, especially in heritage buildings, which serve neighbourhood needs, and where appropriate, wider needs.

Heritage Conservation and Enhancement

a. City Council shall protect and enhance the heritage resources, character and features of Lowertown, and shall ensure sensitive development which respects the character and scale of nearby heritage buildings.

Profile of Development

a. City Council shall permit infill development, in accordance with the following building profile criteria: i. predominantly low profile development within the northern part of Lowertown, which respects its heritage scale and character in accordance with Policy b) above; and ii. medium, and where appropriate, limited high profile development in the eastern and southern parts of Lowertown, which creates an edge along King Edward Avenue and complements the high profile node in the vicinity of King Edward Avenue and Rideau Street.

Residential Design Criteria

a. City Council shall take into account the design criteria identified in Ottawa Official Plan Section 2.5.1 and 3.6.6, and in particular as reflected below, when reviewing proposals for residential development within the Lowertown: i. treatment of the lower floors of high to medium profile buildings to create visual interest; ii. setting back the upper storeys of high to medium profile buildings to create a human scale and minimize overpowering and overshadowing effects; iii. where appropriate, providing a transition from lower profile to higher profile buildings, and vice versa; iv. the creation of an identifiable entrance and a strong transition from the public right-of-way; v. minimizing sun, shadowing, and undesirable wind conditions at-grade; vi. the provision of usable private and common outdoor landscaped amenity areas; vii. the provision of adequate privacy and sunlight for residential units; and viii. the provision of a tree planting corridor/area.

Heritage Sensitivity

a. City Council shall ensure that regardless of profile, residential development respects, and is sensitive to nearby heritage buildings and maintains a sense of human scale.


a. City Council shall ensure that the livability of Lowertown is improved by enhancing the pedestrian environment and/or through the provision of community-serving uses, through such measures as the following: i. Pedestrian Environment - identifying and enhancing pedestrian corridors and links with appropriate streetscaping treatment, including tree planting corridors and elements which complement the architectural context of abutting properties, particularly heritage sites; ii. Animate Waller Street Mall - animating and enhancing the Waller Street mall pedestrian link and connecting it with pedestrian corridors in Lowertown; iii. Community Uses - providing community and leisure facilities and open spaces such as social activity centres, sports facilities, rooftop terraces, and green pocket parks linked to pedestrian corridors; and iv. Social Services - providing social services such as emergency shelters and drop-in centres.

Gateways and Distinctive Streets

a. City Council shall ensure the revitalization and enhancement of gateways and distinctive streets in Lowertown; in particular, Council shall ensure that: i. King Edward Avenue - King Edward Avenue is developed as a boulevard and major gateway into the Central Area, with prominent streetscaping, secure and visible pedestrian crossings and strong visual links to Ottawa City Hall; and ii. York Street - York Street is enhanced as a distinctive street and entrance to, and promenade through, the ByWard Market, while ensuring that where it passes through Lowertown, it is oriented to the needs of the neighbourhood, such as through the provision of pedestrian amenity space in keeping with Policy m) ii. below. [Amendment 24, May 25, 2005] a. City Council shall treat Dalhousie Street as a mainstreet with local and destination retail, services, restaurants and boutiques.


a. City Council may permit, within mixed use development along suitable edges of the Village, sensitively integrated short-term public parking facilities which may also serve adjacent areas. Council shall ensure that traffic generated by such parking does not exceed the capacity of connecting roadways, and shall minimize potential vehicular impacts on nearby residential uses.

Traffic Calming

a. City Council shall investigate the potential use of traffic calming methods in the Lowertown, particularly in the central part of the area, in order to improve the livability of the neighbourhood, in support of Policy f) above.


a. City Council shall protect and enhance significant public views. In particular, Council shall ensure that the York Street view corridor, and views of St. Brigid's Church and Parliament Hill are maintained. City council shall protect the views of the Parliament Buildings from two locations at Beechwood Cemetery, as identified in Annex 12 in Volume 1 of this plan. [Amendment 69, November 26, 2008]

Safety and Security

a. City Council shall ensure the review of all development proposals and public improvements within the Lowertown to take into account appropriate safety and public security considerations, including adequate street lighting.

Targeted Strategies

a. City Council shall consider undertaking the following targeted strategies (see Annex 10) to implement the Downtown Ottawa Urban Design Strategy: i. Eastern Market Re-Urbanization Area - an area plan for the Eastern Market Area (bounded by Dalhousie, St Patrick, King Edward and Rideau), to provide design guidance for future development and investment in the public realm, including streetscape improvements along Cumberland Street and a re-image of York and George Streets; ii. Re-image York and George Streets - as part of the Eastern Market area plan, a York and George Streets streetscaping plan to help create a unique street-related open space image that emphasizes their key role in the re-urbanization of the Eastern Market area; iii. Dalhousie as a Mainstreet - as part of the Eastern Market area plan, reinforcement of Dalhousie Street as a mainstreet, with: all new development fronting onto the street and maintaining the existing low-profile building scale; the removal of surface parking lots; and streetscape enhancements, including soft landscaping. [Amendment 24, May 25, 2005]


10 Point Website Optimization Checklist

Here are ten components of website optimization:

1. ( Meta description and Meta keywords even though Meta descriptions are no longer an important ranking factor, that doesn’t mean they don’t have their place in website optimization. Think of your Meta description like ad copy. Those 150 characters have to convince a searcher to choose your listing over another. The search spiders can still read and highlight related keywords, making your description stand out even more.
2. ( Title tag the title tag should be a unique description of the content on that page. In addition to targeting related keywords, the title tag lets your visitor know exactly what that page is about so they know if it will have the information they are looking for. Your title tag should be no more than 70 characters (best practice tip).

3. ( Page content
Content is the most important factor of a website’s long term SEO success. Not only do the search spiders read your page content to determine if you site matches a user’s search query, your content is ultimately what is going to convert your traffic. You should always write content that is human-friendly first, then go back and properly optimize it.

4. ( Headlines (H1 tags)
Headlines break up page content and help visitors find exactly what they are looking for. H1 tags are a great place to target relevant keywords.

5. ( URL structure
The URL should describe the page and (preferably) contain a few relevant keywords. A short URL is easy to remember and looks better to the user. Which URL would you prefer: or

6. ( Internal linking structure
It’s important that you lay out a predetermine path of conversion for your visitor once they arrive on your site. A well-developed internal linking structure is going to make it easy for them to navigate your site, find the information they are looking for and eventually convert. Linking related pages helps keep your visitor engaged longer and makes for a much more pleasant user-experience.
7. ( Footer
The footer could be considered part of the internal linking structure. However, the footer should not directly copy your high level navigation. The footer is an excellent place to put links that you need to have (like a privacy policy page) but don’t want cluttering up your top level navigation structure. The footer is also a great place to target local keywords (with your address and phone number) as well as “Connect with Us” links to your social profiles.
8. ( Image tags since the search spiders can’t see images, an image tag lets them know what the picture is of. Try to limit the amount of alt text on you have on page as it can clutter your website and detract from the overall user-experience.
9. ( Page load time
Google has freely admitted that page load time is one of the factors they look at when determining how well a site will rank. A good rule of thumb is to keep your page load time under 5 seconds. Exceptions to the rule might include an e-commerce sites that relies on a lot of graphics or videos. Just keep in mind that most of your visitors aren’t willing to sit around and wait for your site to load.
10. ( XML Sitemap when you are completely done with your website optimization, create an XML sitemap and submit it to the search engines. This will ensure that all the pages of your site are properly indexed.

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