Kanata councillor’s town hall includes presentations about upcoming developments near Stittsville

Kanata North councillor Marianne Wilkinson is holding a town hall meeting next week that includes a presentation about the plans for several new projects just north of the Queesnway near Stittsville:

  • Phase II of Tanger Outlets
  • The Bridge Church expansion
  • Cabela’s Sports and other new retail

Here’s a notice from Wilkinson’s monthly newsetter.

COMMUNITY TOWN HALL MEETING
Monday February 23, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Kanata Senior’s Centre – Owen Prince Room
2500 Campeau Drive

The February Town Hall meeting will follow a different format with the first part being presentations on new developments for the Tanger Mall and Cabela’s and the Bridge Church. The second part will consist of a brief outline of the City Budget for 2015 and the impact on Kanata North followed by a discussion on the budget (to be approved on March 11) and on what should be included in term of Council priorities (which will be debated in May). The agenda will follow these lines:

  • Upcoming community activities
  • Community Policing Report
  • Tanger Mall Phase II – Hotel and six restaurants, presentation by Miguel Tremblay and Paul Black of Fotenn
  • Presentation on Cabela’s Sports Store and other retail stores coming near Tanger Mall
  • The Bridges Church Expansion
  • Presentation on City Budget for 2015 (including Kanata North
  • Projects such as Klondike construction, a new bus route,
  • Knudson traffic calming and more)
  • Information on term of Council priorities, including a multi-use path for Campeau
  • Table discussions on the budget and Council priorities

All issues, suggestions and concerns regarding Kanata North are welcome and will be noted and referred where appropriate. Come and join in on the conversation about your community and support me in dealing with issues, concerns and the future needs in Kanata North.


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Fight breaks out between trainer and ref at Stittsville hockey game

CBC Ottawa is reporting about an ugly alteration between a referee and a trainer at the end of a hockey game at Johnny Leroux Arena on Wednesday night.

Police were called but nobody was arrested and no charges were laid. The trainer has been suspended for seven days pending an investigation, according to CBC.


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More public pressure is needed to get a high school, says Scott

(Above: Public board trustee Lynn Scott.)

Over 50 people were at Johnny Leroux Arena Thursday night to hear the latest about the push for a public high school in Stittsville.

A dozen buses a day transport Stittsville teenagers to South Carleton High School in Richmond.  For nearly 10 years, the public school board has identified a Stittsville high school as a priority, but so far they have not received funding from the province.  The project currently #2 on the board’s priority list. Continue reading


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Munster Elementary to remain open, for now

Public school board trustee Lynn Scott says she’s concerned about the viability of delivering an effective program at Munster Elementary School next year.

“Given the small numbers of students, especially in some grades, it will be difficult to organize the classes to optimize instruction for the students,” she wrote in an email to StittsvilleCentral.ca.

At last night’s Committee of the Whole meeting, Scott put forward a motion to close the school and redirect students to either A. Lorne Cassidy or Richmond Public School starting in 2015-2016.  The committee voted against the motion, meaning that Munster Elementary will continue to operate as an English-only school next year.

“The vote last night means that the Committee of the Whole is sending no recommendation regarding Munster to the Board for ratification,” says Scott. “Unless someone gives notice of raising the motion again at Board, or offering a different motion, no action will be taken, and we will be left with status quo for Munster.”

“At this point, given the vote last night, I’m not inclined to try to move the motion again, but I haven’t yet completely decided yet.  If Munster stays status quo, I’m very concerned for next year.”The school currently has the lowest enrolment of any public school in Ottawa: only 54 students in a school that has capacity for 219.

More reviews of school boundaries and population projections are expected to be conducted in the upcoming months.


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Jock River project wins prestigious national conservation award

(Press release from the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority)

The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority, the Ottawa Chapter of Muskies Canada, National Defence Headquarters Fish and Game Club and Ottawa Flyfishers Society are thrilled to announce that they have just won the Top Canadian Fishing Industry Conservation Project Award for 2014.

The Jock River Habitat Embayment Creation Project saw the creation of 1,000 square meters of new spawning, nursery, rearing and feeding habitat at the Richmond Conservation Area (Richmond, Ontario). This transformation will support the 40 plus species of fish that reside in Ottawa’s Jock River — including muskellunge and northern pike. The shoreline wetland will also provide important habitat to other species such as birds, amphibians and turtles and increase overall biodiversity. It will also improve shoreline stability and protect water quality in the river.

“We saw the opportunity to convert a barren grassed park area in to something alive and productive,” says Jennifer Lamoureux, RVCA Aquatic and Fish Habitat Biologist. “We are delighted with the project results and are thrilled to receive this award — it is the result of wonderful partners and the hard, diligent work of supportive volunteers.”

The Spring Fishing and Boat Show’s award recognizes the top Canadian fishing industry conservation project. The winner is determined by a vote of the members of the Canadian Fishing Hall of Fame.

Lamoureux along with project partners Peter Levick and Ken Taggart from Muskies Canada attended the official presentation at the Industry Breakfast Friday, February 13 at the Spring Fishing and Boat Show at the International Centre in Mississauga.

“Muskies Canada – Ottawa Chapter is delighted to be part of this rewarding habitat enhancement project,” said KenTaggart, Chair of Muskies Canada (Ottawa Chapter). “This is another example of how we can accomplish so much more by working together in partnership than we ever could by ourselves.”

This project was made possible by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnership Program), along with the generous support of other community partners including the Community Foundation of Ottawa, Fendock Inc, Muskies Canada (Ottawa Chapter), National Defence Headquarters Fish and Game Club, Ottawa Flyfishers Society, Rideau Valley Conservation Authority, Rideau Valley Conservation Foundation and Shell’s Fuelling Change Program.

Project Highlights:

  • 1,000 square meters of new spawning, nursery, rearing, and feeding habitat to support the 40 species of fish that reside in the Jock River
  • 9 days of construction in October 2014
  • 108 truckloads of fill removed from the floodplain of the Jock River
  • 100 metres of new shoreline created by re-grading the existing slope and planting a shoreline buffer around the perimeterof the new embayment feature
  • 294 volunteer hours invested in the construction of the embayment

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LETTER: A snowmobiler’s perspective

Re: Police say enforcing snowmobile rules on Trans Canada Trail is a challenge

I understand the ban on the Trans Canada Trail, as there are signs that say you’re not allowed snowmobiles on it. The only option snowmobilers have to get to the real snowmobile trails which starts off of West Ridge is to take the TCT.

Although it is not allowed, I believe it is much safer on the trail than driving on the side of Abbott, one of Stittsville’s busiest streets. Snowmobilers technically aren’t allowed on public roads, but it is generally accepted if they are on route to a trail.

Lots of people use the portion of the banned trail to walk their dogs, or get to school, so I understand the worry many citizens have about having snowmobiles occupying the same trail as them. However, this portion of the TCT is not plowed or maintained, and snowmobile tracks make it easy to walk on for those who use it.

Snowmobilers have a hard time with a lot of things. Snowmobile trails around Stittsville towards Ashton, Carp, Almonte and Arnprior, use private property with permission from the land owner, and a few immature riders can ruin it for the rest of us. In the past few years, many trails have been re-routed or closed due to property owners being unpleased with snowmobilers. Immature actions include using loud exhausts, littering, and driving off of the groomed portion of the trail.

Like anything, it comes down to respect. When I pass a dog walker or cross country skier, usually on the real trail away from West Ridge, I slow down and move to the side, safely passing the person. Riders who drive on soccer fields and drive fast or loud machines on the banned portion of the trail ruin the image of the majority of responsible riders.

Another comment I have concerns where the real trail starts, which is between West Ridge and Jenkinson road, along the TCT. This is a real snowmobile trail, and riders pay expensive yearly trail passes to maintain trails, including this portion, which includes grooming the trail, and running a “limb cutter” which cuts tree branches that grow into the trail. On this portion, which is a real trail, I have still have skiers and dog walkers get mad at me for riding along it, yet I am sure they don’t know that myself and other snowmobilers are the ones actually spending money which makes that portion of the trail so enjoyable for those activities.

A good example of a dog walker would see a snowmobile coming, grab the dog and stand off to the side of the trail, which is responsible and safe. People using this portion of the trail should wear reflective clothing, because it is sometimes hard to see them. This is my example of playing devils advocate.

Overall, myself and many other Stittsville residents love snowmobiling during the winter months. We bring a lot of revenue to places that would otherwise not receive it, especially in northern parts of Ontario. A great local example of this is the Aston Pub, you would be hard pressed to pass the restaurant during the winter and not see several snowmobiles parked outside.

When my father and I go snowmobiling up north, around the areas of Deep River, Chalk River and Mattawa, we make sure to buy our gas there to support the local economy. I am enjoying your coverage of my favourite winter pastime, and encourage you to broaden your articles on snowmobiling to include other aspects of the sport.

My suggestions would be the snowmobile license procedure – individuals as old as 12 can take a course which allows them to operate a snowmobile, which is what I did before I had a G license. Maybe this could encourage some interested people into trying or getting involved with snowmobiling.

Kyle Wilson, Stittsville


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Alice’s Village Cafe and Gourlay Ruins win architectural conservation awards

(From the City of Ottawa.)

The Ottawa Architectural Conservation Awards recognize excellence in the preservation of the City’s architectural heritage. Submissions were received in the following categories: Restoration (returning a heritage resource to its original form, material and integrity); Adaptive Re-Use (modification of a heritage resource to contemporary functional standards while retaining its heritage character); Additions (new additions to historic buildings); Infill (new construction within an historic context) and Other (conservation of engineering works, gardens, landscape features). A jury of three heritage professionals reviewed the submissions and awarded both Awards of Excellence and Awards of Merit in all five categories. The full list of winners is here… Continue reading


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Jazz guitarist Robert Wannell performs at Gaia Java on Friday

Robert Wannell
Robert Wannell

You may well have heard Rob on some of his previous forays in our shop.  These started back when he was at Nepean High School and already amazing his music teachers with very advanced guitar (and keyboard) capability, and an understanding of chord voicings way beyond his years!

He takes familiar standards and gives them an impressive new structure, without losing the elements you recognise. Now Rob is at Humber College (a mecca for musicians!) in Toronto, studying jazz guitar, and a glimpse of his abilities when he was back here around Christmastime showed that he is finding some very positive influences there.

So come along this Friday and relax to some cool jazz sounds! Don’t come for Rob’s long-winded introductions with anecdotes etc – it will probably just be “this is All The Things You Are” and that’s it! May not even be that long!

Wannell plays at Gaia Java on February 20 at 7:00pm.

ALSO – preview event for ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ by Sacred Heart Student: Feb 22nd 3-5pm at Gaia Java Coffee Company

If you can make it in from the cold next Sunday afternoon, you will have a chance to see a promotion event organized by Students from Sacred Heart High School. They will preview a few scenes from their upcoming production of the iconic Harper Lee play, and these will be interspersed with some musical entertainment from students at the school. They are also hoping you will drop by and buy some tickets to the show, which will be running from March 4th to March 7th at the School. So drop by and support the entertaining groups from Sacred Heart High School.


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Citizen Advocacy looks for volunteers to make a difference in the lives of Stittsville residents

Citizen Advocacy is a small, but powerful, registered charity in Ottawa. It establishes matches between volunteers and people living with a disability to ensure participation in weekly activities, offer companionship, involvement in community life, provide emotional support and practical everyday help.

As a result, those supported through a match experience reduced isolation and vulnerability. This has a positive and profound impact on everyone involved. Citizen Advocacy supports people with all types of disabilities: physical, intellectual, mental, psychiatric or age-related disabilities.

In Stittsville there are three residents with disabilities who are currently matched with volunteers who meet with them in the community each week. However, Citizen Advocacy is now looking for more volunteers to be matched with people in Stittsville on their waiting list.

For example, Pete is 30 years old; he lives in Stittsville and is well supported by his mother and personal support workers. However, he does not have what we all take for granted, a friend to spend time with him outside his home. Although he has limited communication abilities, he loves people and would really benefit from hanging out with a buddy who shares some of his interest such as playing Nintendo games, music, swimming and animals. Pete has been waiting over four years for a volunteer.

If you enjoy spending time with people and have an hour or two a week to spare Citizen Advocacy would love to hear from you. As a volunteer you need to be over the age of 18 and be able to make a minimum commitment of 12 months to this role.

For the person with a disability, being matched results in increased self-esteem, higher participation in community life and a reduction in isolation. They feel accepted for who they are.

If you are interested in being becoming a volunteer the first step is to attend a one-hour, no-commitment information session at Citizen Advocacy’s office at 312 Parkdale Ave. The next few sessions are as follows:

  •  Thursday February 26th – 6:00 pm
  • Tuesday March 10th – 12:30 pm
  • Monday March 23rd – 6:00 pm
  • Wednesday April 8th – 6:00 pm

 Visit Citizen Advocacy’s website for more information or contact Maria Redpath, Community Engagement Coordinator, at mredpath@citizenadvocacy.org or 613-761-9522 ext. 222.

(Maria Redpath is a Community Engagement Coordinator with Citizen Advocacy, and a Stittsville resident.)


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100th Regiment seeks new recruits in Ottawa, just like in 1808

Newspaper clipping from the Canadian Gazette, January 1808.
Newspaper clipping from the Canadian Gazette, January 1808.

 

Here’s a real throwback. Just like the regiment’s newspaper advertisement in January 1808, the 100th Regiment is once again seeking new recruits in the Ottawa area.

You do not need anything to start and its free to try with no obligation to join. Shoulder a musket, play a drum, play the fife, or maybe take on another role. No experience necessary.

Private Soldier: Wear a red coat and learn the British foot & arms drill of the Napoleonic period and how to handle and safely fire a musket.

Drummer (drum or fife): Wear a deep yellow coat and play the regiment’s duty calls along with a variety of popular music from the period.

 

Who We Are
Established in 2013 and based in Ottawa, we recreate the 100th Regiment during the 1813 to 1815 period. We are all volunteers who enjoy history, re-enacting, meeting new people, and having fun.

Throughout the year, we take part in regular training and attend community events, parades, heritage days, and battle re-enactments. The majority of these events are in the Ottawa area however we do travel to attend events in other parts of Ontario, Quebec, and New York State.

How to Join
It’s easy to get things rolling. Just give us a call or send an email about your interest in the regiment. Once you have spoken to a member of our recruiting party, you will be invited to attend a practice.

Eligibility
Enlistment in the regiment is open to all able-bodied men and women willing to take on the challenge and who meet the necessary requirements. Members who are at least 18 years of age may participate fully in regimental activities. Youth members have some restrictions and must be at least 15 years of age with parental approval to join.

New members begin as either private soldiers or drummers and with training and experience have the opportunity to be promoted.

More information can be found on our website at recreated.100thregiment.org . You can also contact Ken at 613-831-8207 or William 819-209-0711

100th Regiment

 


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LETTER: Latest solution for Munster school is only a band-aid, not a fix

Re: New solution emerges to keep Munster Elementary open

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Letter writer Eryn Konkle says she’s part of a group of nearly 20 families including about 40 kids within Munster Elementary School’s boundaries. Based on current and projected enrolment numbers, they don’t support keeping the school open.  Konkle was also part of the school board working group that gave feedback to school board staff last year.)

Last month, after extensive consultation with all potentially affected communities and with the goal of ensuring that the educational experience of students is its first priority, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board staff made the difficult recommendation to close Munster Elementary School (MES) starting in the 2015-2016 school year.

Or so we thought.

In a surprise move, Trustee Lynn Scott asked the Planning Department to look at yet another scenario despite the Planning Department’s recommendation. This new scenario was never brought forward to the working group that spent months going through scenarios and running numbers for the initial four scenarios.

Essentially, Ms. Scott has sent the Planning Department back to square one. The question is why? And why weren’t all members of the working group consulted about the new scenario? Simply put, the facts speak for themselves. Although new information has been presented regarding a development by Talos homes, this is falsely represented information used as a defense tactic to keep the school open. The City of Ottawa will not consider discussions with Munster regarding development before 2018.

Many EFI families are extremely disappointed with recent activities, from Ms. Scott’s new, out-of-the-blue scenario to disparaging comments and actions towards them from the Munster community. Those living within the four quadrants of Munster who do not agree with this “save MES at any cost” campaign have been ostracized in their community. They feel that the new scenario is short-term and a temporary band-aid solution.

The only way the EFI program at MES has a chance at being viable is to have every child in the “gray zone”, including Richmond students, choose MES every year.

Our EFI families are fighting for the quality of their children’s education first and foremost – not for keeping a building open – and feel that the board has failed them. Fighting this hard for quality programming for our children is appalling. In fact, if Ms. Scott’s new scenario is voted in, many families will leave this board and go to the Catholic board.

Eryn Konkle, Ashton

 


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LETTER: Complaints about all-day kindergarten are ironic

Re: All-day kindergarten hits local daycare centres hard

It is ironic that Brown Bear is complaining about full day kindergarten. I ran a home daycare in Stittsville for seven years until Brown Bear, three daycares, and the multitude of other daycares started opening. Then our supply of children went way down because of those daycares and I had to close my daycare and find work outside of the home.

As a coincidence I found that work as a RECE in full day kindergarten, so it seems they are now feeling the sting that the home daycares felt when they opened their three daycares, and now they have to adjust like we did.

Debbie Langford, Stittsville


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Police say enforcing snowmobile rules on Trans Canada Trail is a challenge

Ottawa Police do monitor the Trans Canada Trail for illegal snowmobiles, but they say enforcement of the rules is a challenge.

Reader Patrick Publow recently contacted us about his concerns with snowmobiles on the Trans Canada Trail. They’re not permitted on the trail, and city councillor Shad Qadri recently asked residents to report any sightings to the police.

“The snowmobilers don’t affect me personally as I don’t live on the trail,” wrote Publow in an email to StittsvilleCentral.ca. “In our previous home, they used to ride across our lawn parallel to the street.  And there were always snow mobile tracks on the paths in Bell Park which made me nervous walking there in the winter time with our dog.  So I do find it irritating the way they flaunt the laws and potentially people’s safety. ”

Publow noted that snowmobilers are able to easily access the trail eastward off West Ridge because they can just drive around the small bar/gate at the entrance. Continue reading


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Zoning change request for new private school on Huntmar

The owners of a property at 180 Huntmar Drive have submitted a zoning amendment change to allow construction of a private school  and medical facility.

In the application, the private school is listed as Kanata Academy School, which has an existing facility on Beaverbrook Road in Kanata. (We’ve reached out to them for more information but haven’t heard back yet.)

The land is on the east side of Huntmar, about halfway between Maple Grove and Palladium. It’s currently zoned “Development Reserve”, but they owners wanted a “Mixed Commercial” zoning that would allow for the new uses.  (You can read all the supporting documentation here.)

The proposed private school would be two stories, and includes a half-size soccer field on the site.  A second phase of development would add a third storey to the school, and a third phase of development would include the separate medical building.

There’s currently no water or sewer hook-ups to the site, so the owners are proposing using an existing well for water and installing a private septic system.

Bird's eye view of 180 Huntmar, via Bing Maps.
Bird’s eye view of 180 Huntmar, via Bing Maps.

 


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New solution emerges to keep Munster Elementary open

(Guest post from Jessica Breckenridge, the Munster Community Association School Liaison.)

The public school board has posted a memo with another option to keep Munster Elementary School (MES) open in 2015.

The option would bring early french immersion (EFI) to the school with the addition of two optional enrollment areas: between the Trans Canada Trail and Fallowfield; and Richmond. Continue reading


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MUST WATCH: Cool video of city snowplow operations

Who knew snow clearing could be so dramatic?  Hien Hoang put together this video of city snow removal in the Fairwinds neighbourhood from earlier today.

It’s full of dramatic shots of heavy equipment, phalanxes of dump trucks, and sweeping aerial shots of plows in the neighbourhood.

“I came home for lunch and got trapped in by the whole production,” he says. “So I decided to capture some ground and aerial footage of it all. Its pretty amazing!”

Continue reading


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New school start times in 2015 for some Stittsville-area schools

The hours for several Stittsville schools will change in the fall of 2015. The Ottawa Student Transportation Authority (OSTA), the agency that manages school bus service for the english public and catholic boards released the new times earlier this week.

The time changes are due to the amalgamation of Public and Catholic school buses to save money by reducing the number of buses on the road. Continue reading


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List of City of Ottawa Family Day schedule changes

The City of Ottawa would like to remind residents of the following schedule changes for Family Day, Monday, February 16.

Recreation services:

  • Sens Rink of Dreams, located on Marion Dewar Plaza at Ottawa City Hall, is open daily from 6 a.m. to11 p.m. The heated changing facility is open daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Mayor Jim Watson invites residents to join him for the Mayor’s Annual Family Day Skating Party, complete with winter fun from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will include special guests and free hot chocolate.

 

  • Skating Court, located at Lansdowne Park, is open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., and the heated changing facility is open daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., weather permitting. Visit ottawa.ca to confirm if the facility is open.

 

  • Most recreation facilities will be modifying their hours of operation on Monday, February 16. There may be changes to schedules and program cancellations in order to provide special programming. Additional swimming and skating sessions will be offered at many sites. Please check schedules atottawa.ca, or with the facility of your choice.

 

Client services:

 

  • The City’s Provincial Offences Court, located at 100 Constellation Crescent, will also be closed. Business will resume as usual on Tuesday, February 17.

 

  • The City’s 3-1-1 Contact Centre will be open for urgent matters requiring the City’s immediate attention. Call 3-1-1 or 613-580-2400 to speak to a customer service representative. For individuals living with a hearing-related disability, call (TTY): 613-580-2401.

 

Garbage, green bin and recycling collection:

  • There will be no curbside green binrecyclinggarbage or bulky item collection on Monday, February 16. Family Day’s pick-up will take place on Tuesday, February 17. In addition, the collection of green bin, garbage and recycling materials will be delayed by one day for the week of February 16. For curbside collection inquiries, refer to the collection calendar tool.

 

  • There will be no multi-residential bulky items, green bin and recycling container collection on Family Day. Family Day’s pick-up will take place on Tuesday, February 17. Collection will also be delayed by one day for the week of February 17. However, multi-residential garbage container collection is not delayed and collection will take place on its regularly scheduled day during the week of February 16.

 

  • The Trail Road landfill site will be closed.

 

Transit service:

  • OC Transpo will operate a revised weekday schedule on Family Day with minor reductions. Special school trip routes numbered in the 600s and Routes 196 and 201 will not operate. A family may travel all day with a DayPass which can be purchased for $8.10 from the bus operator when you board. A family includes up to six people with a maximum of two individuals aged 13 or older. Call 613-560-1000 or text 560560 plus your four-digit bus stop number for automated schedule information. For more information, holiday schedules and travel planning, phone 613-741-4390, or visit octranspo.com.

 

 

  • The OC Transpo Telephone Information Centre (613‑741‑4390) will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • The OC Transpo Customer Relations Department (613-842-3600) will be open from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

 

  • Para Transpo operations:

o    Customer service (613-842-3681) – open regular hours

o    Administration (613-244-1289) – open regular hours

o    Taxi coupons (613-842-3670) – open regular hours

o    Reservations (613-244-7272) – open regular hours

 

Parking:

  • All City of Ottawa parking regulations and restrictions will apply during this time.

 

Ottawa Public Health:

  • The latest Food Premises and Personal Service Settings (tattoo and body piercing studios, hairdressing and barbershops, nail salons, electrolysis and various other services) public health inspection reports are available online 24/7.

 

 

 

  • SITE program – SITE office at 179 Clarence Street will be closed; however, the SITE Mobile Vanwill be operating on a regular schedule from 5 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

 

 

Cultural services:

  • Shenkman Arts Centre, Barbara Ann Scott Gallery, Karsh Masson Gallery and OAG Annex at City Hall are open for Family Day events.

 

  • City of Ottawa Archives, arts centres, galleries, theatres, Cumberland Heritage Village Museum, Pinhey’s Point Historic Site, Nepean Museum and Billings Estate National Historic Site will be closed. However, clients should check with ottawa.caor their facility to confirm holiday hours, as some exceptions may apply.

 

Archives Services:

  • The City of Ottawa Archives Reference Services and Gallery 112 will be closed on Saturday, February 14 and Monday, February 16 for the Family Day weekend.

 

Municipal child care services:

  • City-operated Child Care Centres will be closed.

 

Library services:

  • All branches and services of the Ottawa Public Library will be closed. Regular hours will resume Tuesday, February 17.

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All-day kindergarten hits local daycare centres hard

EDITOR’S NOTE: Since October, at least three long-standing daycare facilities in Ottawa have shut down: Mini Muffins in Kanata, Tupper Tots in Nepean, and St. Elias Child Care and Family Resource Centre in Mooney’s Bay.

The exact reasons behind each closure is different, but a common thread is the recent introduction of all-day kindergarten (ADK) into Ontario schools. ADK has syphoned 3-, 4- and 5- year olds away from private and public daycare facilities and into the school system. Many daycare centres have been struggling to cope with the loss of clientele, because fees from older children help offset the cost of care for infants and toddlers, which is much more labour-expensive to provide.

Tamara Brown owns three Brown Bear Day Care facilities in Stittsville. In She says that ADK is just one of several major changes in policy that is affecting local daycare centres. Other challenges include new provincial licensing standards, and different rules for non-profit vs. private centres in how funding and subsidies are allocated.

We’d like to hear from other parents and childcare providers about their experiences with daycare, and how the various changes are affecting you. You can email us at feedback@stittsvillecentral.ca or add your comments below.

Photos by Barry Gray. Continue reading


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