NeXT makes TripAdvisor’s list of Canada’s top 10 restaurants

Stittsville’s NeXT restaurant has cracked TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice list of the top ten restaurants in Canada.  Here’s an edited interview with owner and chef Michael Blackie on what the recognition means for his business.

“They [TripAdvisor] publishes the list annually and they choose top 10 in the country, and it’s based on some kind of algorithm to make that list. It’s mostly Quebec centric. There’s one from Whistler, you have us, and pretty much everyone else is Montreal and Quebec City. In the last five years Beckta has always gotten that title. Continue reading


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LETTER: Stittsville Lions launch this year’s fundraising campaign

At this time of year, the Stittsville District Lions Club conducts its Annual Fundraising Campaign, raising funds to help the less fortunate. The club supports various groups such as the Stittsville Food Bank, Salvation Army, Ruddy-Shenkman Hospice, local hospitals, children’s camps for blind, diabetic, cancer and patients on dialysis as well as local sports teams. We also support individuals such as post-secondary students with scholarships, people in need of basic utilities and those in need of glasses, special foot wear, expensive drugs and much more.

This year we are supporting a young Stittsville man that has been diagnosed with a rare, serious and painful eye disease. We need $25,000 to help him get the needed medical help in the United Kingdom. 100% of the funds raised go directly to the causes we support. The money we seek for this cause will go directly towards the treatment, travel and accommodations abroad. This is a considerable increase over previous year’s donations. Please help spread the word, we rely on the community to help us, help others.

For a minimum donation of $125, received before November 15, 2017, we will recognize your support with a personalized sign displayed at the Village Square Park at Abbott and Stittsville Main Street. The Lions Club also takes care of lighting this park over the Christmas season.

Any size donation is most appreciated.  An Income Tax Receipt will be provided upon request. For more information please contact me at darryl.metzger@edwardjones.com or 613-831-8028

Lion Darryl Metzger
Annual Fundraiser Committee Chair


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Committee of Adjustment considers two Stittsville applications on October 18

The City of Ottawa’s Committee of Adjustment will consider two applications for properties in Stittsville when it meets on October 18.

The first is at 6243 Abbott / 34 Manchester: “The Owner wants to demolish the existing detached dwelling and shed and to subdivide its property into two separate parcels of land to create two new residential lots for future development.”  This is a long piece of land that stretches all the way from Abbott to Manchester, with a house fronting Abbott. With this application, the owner wants to split the property in two and have two houses; one facing Abbott and one facing Manchester.

The second application is for the Stittsville Walk (formerly Reverie) development at 1491-1493 Stittsville Main Street, for the townhouse development that’s currently under construction: “The Owner wants to subdivide the property to create twenty-four individual freehold Parcels of Tied Land (POTLs’). Twenty-two of the proposed POTLs will contain townhouse dwellings, one is proposed to contain stacked dwellings which are to be registered as a Standard Condominium in the future, and one is proposed to contain a retail and residential mixed-use development. “

For more information about these applications, visit: http://ottwatch.ca/meetings/meeting/7223


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LETTER: “We thought it was an earthquake”

Re: NOTEBOOK: Mystery blasting could be from nearby quarry

I am a new resident with a house on Carp Road near Rothbourne. Two weeks ago, the house shook and we thought it was an earthquake. However it was too short and no after shocks.

Last Friday I noticed that the drains in the house were making strange noises. On the weekend, the kitchen sink would not empty so I went downstairs and it looked like the septic tank was backing up. Continue reading


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LIBRARY: Halloween, model railroad, Yap & Yarn & more

(via Ottawa Public library, Stittsville branch)

There are four special programs coming to the Stittsville branch in October, and November, 2017.

On Sunday, October 22, 2017.  1:30 – 4:43 p.m. is a Children’s Hallowe’en Workshop called “Mansion Mayhem.”  This program is hosted by staff from the Goulbourn Museum for children ages 6-11 years.  There will be edible haunted hourses to decorate; creepy crafts and to make, and ghoulish games to play.  A fee to cover the cost of materials is payable to the Goulbourn Museum.  $25.00 per child.  ($20 for Kits’ Club Members).  Please register at:  register@goulbourn.ca  or call, 613-831-2393. Continue reading


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FOOD: The Jack Ketch set to open Saturday, October 21

Great to see that the long-awaited The Jack Ketch restaurant on Stittsville Main Street (next to the municipal parking lot) is finally set to open on Saturday, October 21.

Co-owners Allison Pearce and Kevin Conway made the announcement on their Facebook page on Friday evening, and says they’ll be taking reservations for opening night via email.  It’s a cozy spot with 26 seats available for dinner. (They’re also planning some private dinners for family and friends later this week to get ready.)

Allison and Kevin gave me a tour inside back in September. They’ve completely transformed the space (it was previously a daycare) and have lots of plans for future expansion, including a patio out back.  (The opening is a bit later than originally planned thanks to some construction-related surprises, but I’ll save those stories for later.)

I talked to Conway last February about what they have planned:

“A contemporary rustic cosy nook kind of place where people can come and relax,” he said. “Something different for Stittsville – a little bit higher-end.”

The menu will include some French Canadian-inspired dishes and a lot of locally-sourced ingredients. Conway grew up in Stittsville and has worked at a number of restaurants in Toronto and Ottawa.

“I’ve been working for a lot of great chefs, and this opportunity came up to come back home. I’ve been trying to open something in Stittsville for years and years now. ”

Put some art up!!

A post shared by Jack (@jackketchfood) on

Date a #chef #restaurantlife #openingsoon, trout, lentils, mussels. #yummy

A post shared by alli pearce (@allifpearce) on

Final logo. Credit goes to @greatblue73. Can't thank you enough

A post shared by Jack (@jackketchfood) on

 


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City asks for feedback on “Kavanagh Green” proposal

(via City of Ottawa)

The City of Ottawa Commemorative Naming Committee is conducting public consultations for a commemorative naming proposal for a future park located at the corner intersection of Hazeldean Road and Stittsville Main Street as “Kavanagh Green”.

In recognition of the Kavanagh family’s historical significance to the community of Stittsville, a proposal to name a future park at the southwest corner intersection of Hazeldean road and Stittsville Main Street has been submitted to the Commemorative Naming Committee. For nearly a century, Kavanagh family members have made important contributions to the community of Stittsville and surrounding areas which include owning and operating the popular Stittsville Flea Market for 25 years and volunteering with the Food Bank, Holy Spirit Church and the Ruddy-Shenkman Hospice.

More info…


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Stittsville’s link to a religious procession celebrating Our Lady of Fatima

The statue on a visit with Monsignor Muldoon, Holy Spirit Parish, Stittsville May 2017.
The statue on a visit with Monsignor Muldoon, Holy Spirit Parish, Stittsville May 2017.

(This article was submitted by Jacinta Cillis-Asquith. As you’ll read below, her family has an important connection to this Friday’s procession. Readers may also remember Cillis-Asquith’s nature photography that we’ve featured several times on this site.)

A Marian procession will be held on Friday, October 13 in downtown Ottawa to  mark the 100th year since the miracle of Fatima (miracle of the sun) occurred in Fatima, Portugal.

The festivities will begin with an outdoor, rosary and candle procession with a life-like statue of Our Lady of Fatima, the title given to the Virgin Mary who appeared to three little shepherd children, once a month for six months, in Fatima, Portugal in 1917. Continue reading


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Committee approves zoning for housing and commercial developments

(via City of Ottawa)

The City’s Planning Committee today approved commercial and residential zoning amendments in Stittsville.

Once it is confirmed that the existing infrastructure has the capacity to support new development, the Poole Creek Village subdivision could grow by three residential lots. The currently vacant land was previously in a floodplain, where development is not permitted. The Poole Creek floodplain was updated in 2016, making the land available for development. Continue reading


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OCT 11: Bryanston Gate Community Association AGM

The Bryanston Gate Community Association will be holding its’ Annual General Meeting this week.

BGCA Annual General Meeting
Wednesday, October 11, 2017 7:00 PM
Carolark Canine Training Centre, corner of Hartin St. and Hazeldean Rd.
Guest Speaker: Councillor Shad Qadri
Everyone Welcome!

Come out and join us to see what your community association has accomplished this year. How are your funds being used? What issues can we address moving forward? What matters to YOU?

We are looking for new voices and new ideas to help us represent Bryanston Gate in the year ahead.

Councillor Qadri will be speaking to the issues concerning our neighbourhood and the city in general. If you have questions or concerns, this is your opportunity to get the facts and share your ideas.

We look forward to seeing you!

The Executive of the Bryanston Gate Community Association.


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NOTEBOOK: Carp-Hazeldean collision stats, 2011-2015

(ABOVE: Collision at Carp and Hazeldean on September 25, 2017. Photo via Wendy Wright / @wrightofwayCFRA)

Stittsville Councillor Shad Qadri says he’s asked the city’s traffic department to review resident concerns about the Carp-Hazeldean intersection.  But if you read between the lines, it doesn’t look like this intersection is dangerous enough to warrant any immediate changes.

In his weekly newsletter published on Thursday, Qadri shared the most recent collision data available from 2015.  The Carp-Hazeldean intersection had 10 reported collisions, ranking it 167th on the list of intersections with the most reported incidents. (By comparison, the intersection of Hunt Club and Riverside was the worst in the city with 60 collisions.) Continue reading


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TransCanada drops plans for Energy East pipeline

TransCanada announced today that it has cancelled plans for the Energy East pipeline. It would have would have carried 1.1-million barrels of crude oil each day across the country, including a stretch on the western boundary of Stittsville.  (The photo above shows the part of the pipeline route, looking south from Jinkinson Road.)

Here’s a press release from Ecology Ottawa, who have been campaigning against the project for several years:

Ecology Ottawa is celebrating TransCanada’s announcement earlier today that officially terminated the company’s proposed Energy East pipeline project. Energy East, which would ship 1.1 million barrels of diluted bitumen across Ottawa, posed a direct threat to the city’s water, land and climate. Since the pipeline project was announced in 2013, Ecology Ottawa has been working in communities across Ottawa to mobilize resistance to the pipeline.

“TransCanada will tell you it has abandoned Energy East because of technical reasons. They will cite the price of oil and the additional burden of new National Energy Board requirements as the reason for scuttling the project,” says Robb Barnes, Ecology Ottawa’s Acting Executive Director. “More important still is the fact that Energy East lost on political grounds. Like other communities along the pipeline route, Ottawans rejected this project because it threatened the health of their city and was completely incompatible with our community doing its fair share to fight climate change.”

Ecology Ottawa volunteers have been working for years to raise awareness and mobilize opposition to the proposed pipeline project. Since 2013, over 8,000 residents of the city signed a petition opposing Energy East. Volunteers have been knocking on thousands of doors in their communities, holding information sessions, engaging with their elected officials and staging rallies to demonstrate their opposition to the project.

“The end of Energy East is a moment to reflect on the real energy priorities of the 21st century,” says Anthony Garoufalis-Auger, Ecology Ottawa’s Clean Energy Organizer. “Instead of dirty pipeline projects that benefit massive transnational companies and produce few jobs, we can now renew our focus on the renewable energy transition, where the jobs are more plentiful, more local, and don’t threaten the environment. Ottawa can play a leadership role in this transition, but we need to see consistent leadership from our elected officials.”


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Richmond Village Association meets on October 18

(via Richmond Village Association)

OnWednesday Oct. 18th at 8:00pm, the RVA will be holding their monthly board meeting at the Richmond Community Centre (upstairs at the Arena) in which the public are welcome to attend.

Cydney Green, Chair of the 2018 Organizing Committee, will be presenting an update on Richmond’s 2018 Anniversary.

So, mark your calendars and drop by to learn more about the status of this memorable celebration being planned for next year.


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Police search for damaged sedan after Highway 7 hit and run

Did you hear sirens racing down Hazeldean Road towards Highway 7 this morning around breakfast?  They were heading to the scene of a vehicle rollover on Highway 7 near the Hazeldean intersection.

O.P.P. are now searching for a second car believed to have fled the scene.  Here’s a report from the Ottawa Sun:

Ottawa OPP officers are looking for a sedan with a crushed driver’s side panel after a motorist fled a crash that sent another vehicle flying into the ditch on Hwy. 7 Wednesday morning.

The crash happened at about 7:04 a.m. at Hazeldean Road when two westbound vehicles collided.

One vehicle was sent into the centre median, rolling several times.

The driver was taken to the hospital in Ottawa with injuries that aren’t believed to be life-threatening.

The suspect vehicle is described as a silver or blue late model four-door with damage all along the driver’s side. It was last seen heading towards Carleton Place.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Const. Steven Stewart at 613-270-9171.


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Registration open until October 8 for Stittsville ball hockey tourney

(via Stittsville RAMS)

On Saturday, October 14 from 2-5 pm, the Stittsville RAMS Minor Atom hockey team will be hosting a 3 on 3 ball hockey tournament for Novice, Atom and Peewee teams (kids born between 2005 – 2010) at the old Stittsville flea market lot on Hazeldean Rd. near the corner of Main Street. Continue reading


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Driver extracted from rollover at Eagleson and Fallowfield

From Ottawa Fire Services:

17:48 Ottawa Fire Services received a call from Ottawa Police Services reporting a single vehicle rollover at this intersection

Upon arrival confirmed vehicle was on its’ side with lone occupant of the vehicle was trapped

Extrication began at 17:58
Person was extricated at 18:11
Person extricated now in care of Ottawa Paramedic Service

 


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ALIAS GREG: Stittsville artist featured in CBC/Netflix miniseries

(PHOTO: Greg Banning with some of his sketches, in the dining room at his home in Stittsville. Photo by G. Gower.)

You can see Stittsville artist Greg Banning‘s courtroom sketches in the first few seconds of this trailer for Alias Grace, the tv adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s novel on CBC and Netflix.

Besides his artwork, Banning will also appear on screen in the series as a courtroom sketch artist. As he explains below, the television gig came as a result of his work as a courtroom artist for the Mike Duffy trial.

***

On how his work came to featured in the miniseries…
The book is about Grace Marks. She’s convicted of murder with an accomplice, and what the book and movie is trying to do is decide whether she did it or not.  I did the court sketches that were involved in the trial itself.  Because of my background with the Duffy trial, they heard of me… I got a call out of the blue one day and they asked if I’d like to do some court sketches for the film.

They said they just wanted a copy of the sketches that were originally done for the trial.  But I thought, “that’s probably a very different style than the way I draw”.  They sent me a copy, and I took a look and thought, “I can’t emulate this…”  They said, “just give it a try, see if you can match it, and the director will have a look to see if he can use it”.

So I did the best I could with charcoal and did a copy of it, scanned it into the computer and did a couple of changes in Photoshop and I sent it in. They were really happy with it, and then it evolved to, “can you try to put the actor’s faces in that style in that clothing, so we can use it as a prop?”

Some of Greg Banning's courtroom sketches for the Alias Grace miniseries.
Some of Greg Banning’s courtroom sketches for the Alias Grace miniseries.

 

So I did that, and I thought that was going to be it. But they really wanted me to come in and film me doing the drawing.  Up to the point that I actually left to go to the shoot, I didn’t know how they were going to do this.  I’ve got these finished drawings – but how am I going to make it look like I’m doing the finished drawing?

The day of getting to the set, I went to a window with the original drawing I made and traced onto a piece of paper. So then when they filmed me I could make it look like I was sketching it out. They brought the camera right in on me, and another camera in the back of me. I’m looking at nothing — the actress was long gone, and everybody in the courtroom.  I was literally the last shot of that day in the courthouse.

It was a fantastic experience – right around my birthday – and they paid for most of my trip to glamorous Brampton. That was a year ago.

I haven’t seen my part yet. I’m kind of nervous.  I need glasses to draw and to see — I have progressive lenses.  I mentioned that I needed glasses, and they ended up giving me these little Benjamin Franklin glasses, and David Cronenberg supposedly used them in one of the scenes too. So the set director said, “be very careful, David Cronenberg used these glasses”.  I felt kind of awkward, looking up and looking down as if I was drawing…

I don’t know if I’m going to make the movie or not, but they’ve used my sketches in the opening scenes. It was a fun thing to do, I never thought I would be in a production — I’m usually on the other side, working with directors. Normally I do storyboards, mostly commercial work — car commercials and things like that.

 

Greg Banning's sketch of actress Sarah Gordon created for the Alias Grace miniseries.
Greg Banning’s sketch of actress Sarah Gordon created for the Alias Grace miniseries.

***

On how he became a courtroom sketch artist…
It was not my ambition to set out to be a court artist, and I don’t think you can make a living being a court artist. It was just really lucky. One thing can lead to something else. The Duffy thing led to this, and I’m really grateful.

I lived in Toronto for 20 years, and then I moved here… a local illustrator recommended me to the Citizen, and they called up and asked if I would want to do sketch art at the court. I’d never thought of doing it, but I figured I’d get paid to work on my drawing and it was fascinating. That’s how it started, doing work for the Citizen.

Patrick Brazeau’s trial was happening, and CTV called and asked if I would want to do that for them.  I did a job for CTV, and they were really happy. The Duffy trail was on the heels of Brazeau, and CTV called, and the Citizen called, then Global called and asked if I could do this… I had no idea how big this was going to be, or how long it was going to be, but it almost became a full time job for me. I was there every day for the trial except to see my son’s Christmas pageant show… I find it very interesting to be in the court and having the opportunity to witness all this stuff.

The first job I ever did, I brought in my laptop and Wacom tablet and sat down on the back bench in the gallery and drew the guy on the computer. The judge didn’t even bat an eyelash.  My first one was completely digital.

I thought, if I get into another trial where there’s a lot more people I won’t be able to do this.  I thought I’d bring my sketchbook, and scan it, and colour it in the computer. That’s how the process is now. I’ll do a quick little sketch, make remarks about what they’re wearing, the colour of their shirt, their jacket. I’m in and out pretty quick. I get the idea down, and I do the majority of the drawing in the media room at the courthouse, which is like a closet. I scan the sketch into the computer, and then I colourize it in Corel Painter – an Ottawa-based company – and then all I have to do is email a high-res jpeg to the Citizen or whatever other media outlet I might be doing it for.

On why he became an artist…
I’ve always liked drawing, since I was my son’s age, and I just got better and better, and nothing else was panning out for me. I wasn’t going to be the baseball player I always wanted to be – so I ended up sticking with art…. I wasn’t sure if I could make a living out of it. When I was 19 I went to the High School of Commerce just to see if I liked it, and fell in love with it. I found different avenues of art you can make a living in. I went to Sheridan College, did the illustration program there, and found that I was more suited for advertising.  So I got my start, unfortunately during the recession in the 90s. All the agencies at that time were downsizing and getting rid of their art departments.  I stuck to it, and started getting a job with one agency, next thing you know I got another job. I worked at the last art house in Toronto, TDF, as a junior artist, and when that closed up I went out on my own and I’ve done everything. I’ve worked in advertising, illustrated children’s books, covers, magazines. I did a Maclean’s cover, I’ve worked in video games, I’ve designed coins for the Mint.

It’s wide-ranging. This fits in with my background. I go from the Duffy trail to drawing in a televised movie! I’ve been lucky enough to experience a lot of different facets of the art world and things like this — working on Alias Grace — was exciting. No regrets!


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Grand opening this week for Altitude Gym on Palladium Drive

Altitude Gym is officially inaugurating its new climbing center at 501 Palladium Drive this week with two public events.

On Thursday, October 5, they’ll host a special event for climbers from 6:00pm to 10:30pm, and on Saturday, October 7, there’s a family event from 10 am to 5 pm.  During both events, they’ll celebrate with activities, music by a DJ, door prizes, and many surprises. More info…

(The gym is at the corner of Palladium Drive and Silver Seven Road, just a bit across the Kanata-Stittsville border.)


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Public meeting for future Blackstone development on October 12

There’s a public meeting on October 12  for Mattamy’s proposed plan of subdivision at  5505 Fernbank Road. There’s an open house at 6:30pm followed by a presentation at 7:00pm at the Goulbourn Recreation Complex (Hall A), 1500 Shea Road.  The land includes future phases of the Blackstone development.

The Plan of Subdivision proposes the development of approximately 950 residential units, with 425 detached dwellings, 27 blocks for townhouses, and one block for condominium apartments or stacked units. The subdivision includes lands for an elementary school and a high school. Two 1-hectare parks are proposed as well as pathway blocks to provide connections to the Monahan Drain and throughout the site. More info…


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