Keeping people safe & well

United Way 2007 Community Builder Award for NCLB


EPIC Award 2007


Banff/Ledbury Avenue Community

Neighborhood: A Model of Hope
August 25, 2005


The City of Ottawa's latest murder is distressing on two distinct fronts. Not only has a family pre-maturely lost young Mohamed Jassem Zalal, but the tragedy has also brought Banff/Ledbury Community face-to-face once again with the nightmare it had successfully fought.

Like individuals, it is not easy for a community to get rid of the stigma of crime and violence associated with it. Banff/Ledbury neighbourhood was again in the news without any mention to the fact that Zalal had long left the community.  For the Banff/Ledbury neighbourhood, this stigma remains to be a nightmare when a gang name “Ledbury Banff Crips” continues to slander a thriving community.  By naming the gang member(s) “Ledbury Banff Crips” in the media, viewers and readers immediately associate the neighbourhood, Banff/Ledbury as a gang infested community.  And this is so far from the truth.

Over the past few years, so much energy has been put into addressing community’s issues and this continues to plague its growth.  

But the name “Ledbury Banff Crips” remains forefront regardless of the amazing transformation the community has accomplished.  Contrary to the prevailing myths, the community has emerged as a model for social development and fighting crime especially in the past year with an initiative called No Community Left Behind (NCLB).  

The NCLB community-based strategy is an innovative, comprehensive multi-agency approach to law enforcement, crime prevention, and social development. The strategy involves a two-pronged approach: law enforcement agencies and the community cooperating in weeding out the criminal elements along with public agencies and community-based private organizations collaborating to seed much-needed coordinated services, including prevention, intervention, treatment, and neighborhood restoration programs.   

The NCLB is a National Crime Prevention Centre funded collaborative program, implemented by a number of service providers, including Ottawa Police Service, South East Ottawa Centre for a Healthy community, City of Ottawa, Boys and Girls Club, Ottawa Community Housing and Youth Services Bureau, just to name a few.  However, the credit for the community transformation must go to the tenants who have formed a Tenants’ Association, along with the support of the Banff Avenue Community House, for their active role in taking back their neighbourhood.  They are implementing a number of programs and services to address crime and violence in general and building on its existing community capacities.  

The signs of a community taking back their neighbourhood are very visible. The Tenants’ Association is thriving in an area where people were threatened and intimidated. In collaboration with the Community House, the TA has empowered the community to respond and address growing concerns. Social cohesion and an environment of trust has returned as a result.

Police officers are apart of the growth of the community and not just as law enforcement.  The successful model in Banff/Ledbury has recently been expanded to Heatherington, Confederation Court and Russell Heights communities. This will increase effectiveness of the partners and the overall impact of the initiative due to inter-connectedness of these communities in many ways.

The residents of Banff/Ledbury Avenue deserve credit and encouragement not misconstrued perceptions. Fighting this stigma associated with the community has been the biggest challenge and continues to hinder its growth. And we wanted to clearly identify a community that has achieved a balanced approach that comprises police, corrections, crime prevention and a safer community.


© 2005-15 South - East Ottawa Community Health Centre
Centre de Sante Communautaire du Sud Est D'Ottawa

Contact: Abid Jan Tel./ Tél: (613) 737-5115 Ext. 2403  Fax/Télé: (613) 739-8199

NCLB matters because neighbourhoods matter