Paddlers get set for annual race down the mighty Jock

Organizers Ian Mockett and Gaetan Plourde are ramping up for this year’s Jock River Race, an annual paddling event down the Jock River that was first run in 1971.

This year’s race is set for April 11 at noon, although that could be moved to April 25 due to the cold spring so far.
UPDATE: Due to river conditions the race has been rescheduled to Saturday, April 25.  Early bird registration will be open until April 18.

The event typically draws between 100-200 paddlers from Ontario and Quebec and has become a rite of spring for the community.  The top racers in each category win a medal, and any racer who completes the course under one hour gets their name on the official Jock River Race trophy.

This will be the second year that Mockett and Plourde have organized the event. They took over from John Hiley, who kept the race alive for nearly two decades with help from volunteers and support from local businesses.

They’ve introduced a new bib sponsorship package this year, where business can buy one or multiple bibs for $25 each.  Paddlers wear the bibs over their life jackets, and then at the end of the race the signed bib is divided into two pieces, one for the racer and the other for the business owner to proudly showcase in their establishment.  The deadline for sponsorship support is April 4.

The event started in 1971 and was known as the “Lower Jock River Race”, starting in Richmond Park and ending at the Rideau River.  In 1997, the race moved to the upper part of the river, starting on Munster Road near the Jock Trail, and continuing into Richmond Village. This year’s course is 12.5km.

Next year will mark the 45th year the race has been run, and the organizers are looking at potentially bringing the race back to the Lower Jock River in addition to the Upper Jock, and making it a full-day event for those who wish to participate in one or both events.

Mockett and Plourde say they love paddling and they want to share and grow the sport in the community as a full-family sport engaging all ages and skill sets.

Early bird registration is $15 per paddler until April 4, and then $25 after that. For more information about the race, check out

Jock River Race. Photo by Leon Switzer.
Photo by Leon Switzer.
Jock River Race. Photo by Leon Switzer.
Photo by Leon Switzer.


House fire and stand-off on Snowy Owl Trail on Tuesday afternoon

From the Ottawa Sun:

A standoff at a Stittsville youth home has ended with the removal of a young woman. Ottawa fire crews, police and paramedics were called to the Snowy Owl Trail home just before 1 p.m., when the residence was set on fire.

Crews arriving at the scene were originally not able to get inside, but once they did gain entry they were quickly able to douse the flames,. As this was going on, they also ended up dealing with a female on the roof of the home who was screaming and throwing objects at them.

Police and a woman at the scene were able to get the female calmed down enough to remove her using a fire department aerial truck.

She was taken by police for assessment. The investigation continues.


Stittsville’s Alexander Sanghwan critically injured by car in Miami

Alexander Sanghwan, via Facebook
Alexander Sanghwan, via Facebook


From CBC Ottawa:

Police say a 22-year-old Ottawa tourist is in critical condition after being struck by a car in Miami, Fla. Miami-Dade police say Alexander Sanghwan was walking on the edge of a road around 5:30 a.m. on Sunday when he was struck.

His mother Patricia Sanghwan told CBC News Tuesday the University of Ottawa graduate was trying to hail a taxi after leaving a downtown nightclub when he was hit from behind. The family was on vacation in Florida when Alexander and his older brother went to Miami for a music festival, she said. Patricia said they live in the west-end community of Stittsville and Alexander was in the process of applying to medical school.

Read the full report…


Eight closet spring cleaning tips

A well-organized closet.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Jason Allen is a Stittsville-based expert on getting organized. He runs Tailored Living, a business that specializes in organization solutions. With warmer weather finally on the horizon and people starting their annual spring cleaning rituals, I asked him to share some tips with our readers.

1. Separate out heavier winter clothes, outerwear and boots. These items can be easily stored in baskets or bins to free up room inside the closet. Bulky sweaters take up too much hanging space and are better stored folded either on a shelf or sliding basket.

2. Move lighter hanging garments to the front of the closet where they are more easily reachable. These are the items you will be wearing on a regular basis for the upcoming season so make sure they are accessible.

3. Integrated shoe racks are ideal for keeping shoes from piling up on the floor. Creating a designated area allows the shoes to remain organized and frees up floor space.

4. Consider casual items like shorts and t-shirts to be kept in a drawer or pull out basket. There are many ways to fold or roll up these items so you can maximize how much you can store in an area neatly.

5. Evaluate clothing that you have not worn for a few years. The odds are if you are keeping something for future consideration you probably will never wear it. These items are perfect for donation or consignment.

6. Store items in need of repair in a separate location other than your closet. You are more like to get the repairs done in a timely manner.

7. Evaluate orphaned items like missing socks or gloves. If enough time has passed its best to move on and discard the items in question.

8. Most importantly make full use of your closet. If you are struggling to stay organized make sure you are using all the available space you can. If you were dealt with only a single pole and shelf consider what a custom designed closet can offer you. Accessories for ties, belts, jewellery, and laundry are all available and help create organized spaces.

How do you get organized? Share your tips in the comments below or email


Ottawa Museums and City Archives go virtual with their collections

(Press release from the City of Ottawa.)

Accessing information about Ottawa’s history just got easier with the launch of the Ottawa Museums and Archives virtual Collections Catalogue.

You can check out the Collections Catalogue at

Deputy Mayor Mark Taylor, Councillor Diane Deans, Chair of the Community and Protective Services Committee and Kathryn Jamieson, Chair of the Board, Ottawa Museum Network, today unveiled the Collections Catalogue at the City’s James K. Bartleman Central Archives.

“This collaborative initiative between the City of Ottawa and the Ottawa Museum Network is an amazing online tool that lets users easily discover the history of our city at their fingertips,” said Deputy Mayor Taylor.

The virtual catalogue includes digitized records and artefacts from the City Archives, City Museums, and the following community museums: Bytown Museum, Diefenbunker, Canada’s Cold War Museum, Goulbourn Museum, Muséoparc Vanier Museopark and the Osgoode Township Museum.

“This project was a massive undertaking by many community partners,” stated Chair Deans. “Not only is it a great resource for our residents, it will also benefit researchers who are looking for specific period pieces or studying a particular time period”.

“At present we have over 34,000 records active on the website, and as we continue to digitize more records and artefacts they will be added to the growing collection,” said Ms. Jamieson.

Each entry in the catalogue provides a description, which may include the time period in which the record or object was created; a digital copy of a photo or image of the artifact; the name of the manufacturer, and other information. The site is presented in both official languages and is fully accessible.

The Museums and Archives Collections Catalogue was part of the City’s 20/20 Heritage Plan, which called for a city-wide collections data base.


Kungfu Bistro re-opens after weekend break-in

Margarita Chen from Kungfu Bistro sent along this note.  They were closed on Sunday due to an overnight break-in.
We are OPEN today!  It’s business as usual with a lot of prepping to be done.  The culprits took off with a lot of EGGROLLS and CHICKEN BALLS (you heard right) …Even thieves love our food!  We can’t give out the details as the investigation is ongoing but I’d say that we are thankful for our security systems. This may have slowed us down but it won’t stop us from feeding the school kids this morning (a program that we’ve been working on to help schools raise money).

We’re sorry we had to turn away so many customers yesterday but are thankful for the well wishes of everyone. Come visit us if you can or call us to for dinner!


Firefighters save a cat from fire on Pretty Street

(Photo via Ottawa Fire / Todd Horricks.)

Ottawa firefighters responded to a fire on Pretty Street early Monday morning.

Todd Horricks from Ottawa Fire says that two occupants were displaced.  The fire was under control by 5:30am and a cat was rescued.

Police and firefighters are still on the scene this morning investigating as of 7:45am.

Fire on Pretty Street, March 30
Photo via Ottawa Fire / Todd Horricks



COMMENT: Higher election contribution rebates would reduce the need for corporate donors

EDITOR’S NOTE: One of the issues in the 2014 municipal election last fall was whether or not candidates should be allowed to accept corporate or union donations.  In April, city council is expected to debate a motion from Rideau-Rockliffe councillor Tobi Nussbaum to ask the province for permission to prohibit those types of contributions. 

Here’s an interesting perspective from Phil Sweetnam on the individual donor rebate program.  It was introduced over ten years ago to encourage more donations from individuals, as opposed to corporations.  The rebates are funded from the city’s reserve funds as well as surpluses from candidate campaigns.


A ban on corporate and union contributions would be made more effective by increasing rebates to encourage individual contributions.  Increased contributions from individuals would mean that candidates would not have to accept money from corporations in order to run their campaigns.

Companies can circumvent disallowing corporate donations by having corporate executives, their spouses, and even children contribute their own money. These contributors can be rewarded by generous company benefits such as tickets to sports and theatre events or travel rewards. This practice would not be as prevalent if candidates were able to fund their campaigns from a wide spectrum of citizens.

Individual contributions would increase if rebates were augmented to the level provided by Toronto. Toronto raised their limits when they banned donations from corporations. In Toronto, a 75% rebate applies up to $300 beyond which it drops to 50% rebate.

In Ottawa, for the 2014 election donors received a rebate of 50% on sums from $25 to $100, and 25% on sums from $100 to $200. The maximum rebate available was $75.

The presumption for banning corporate contributions is that large contributors gain extra influence. I have not personally experienced that. Nevertheless, one way to have electors believe that individuals have an equal voice with their municipal politicians is to have equal contributions coming from private individuals.

I predict that many electors would be prepared to make a $300 contribution, which really only costs them $75 after the rebate, to assist an associate trying for municipal office who they have seen perform well in other volunteer roles.

This change would encourage individual voters to contribute to election campaigns, thereby permitting these voters to finance a larger portion of municipal campaigns.

Phil Sweetnam is the past president (and current vice president) of the Stittsville Village Association, a long-time Ottawa developer, and has contributed to a variety of campaigns.


Kungfu Bistro closed Sunday due to break-in

The management at Kungfu Bistro asked us to share this update with our readers:

We had a break-in last night and so to ensure the health and safety
of our clientele we are cleaning and checking everything thoroughly. We are currently closed tonight (Sunday) but have been been given the OK to open tomorrow!  Thank you to all our customers for their patience and understanding.


Police ask for help to find 16-year-old Seija Smolmander from Stittsville

(Press release from the Ottawa Police.)

UPDATE: Police have located the teenager and she is safe and sound.

The Ottawa Police Service is asking for the public’s help in locating a missing 16 year old female.

Seija SMOLMANDER was last seen at 5:30 am in the area of Snowy Owl Trail in Stittsville.  She is described as being a white female, 5′-6″, 170 lbs, with black shoulder length hair, very pale skin, wearing possibly a purple ski jacket and black winter boots. A photo is attached below.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Ottawa Police at 613-236-1222. Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-222-8477(TIPS) or by downloading the Ottawa Police iOS app.

Seija SMOLMANDER was last seen at 5:30 am in the area of Snowy Owl Trail in Stittsville
Seija SMOLMANDER was last seen at 5:30 am in the area of Snowy Owl Trail in Stittsville


Local engineer’s historic ride on the last train through Stittsville

EDITOR’S NOTE: In January, we published a photo of the last train that travelled through Stittsville. The photo shows a man waving at the train as it’s about to cross over Stittsville Main Street. The man waving was Phil Barton, and he was greeting his best friend Lorne Blackburn, the train’s engineer. Here’s a story about that final train trip.

Continue reading


Rogers is upgrading infrastructure along Stittsville Main

(Update from city councillor Shad Qadri.)

This proposed Rogers work is an upgrade to the existing system with 803m of conduit installed by trenching and boring.  All the work is on Stittsville Main Street, mostly on the east side, between Hobin Street and Neil Avenue.  The work will commence as soon as the approval is given and take approximately 3 months. This is an extension of the work that was done in 2013.


Stittsville Junior B Rams advance to EOJHL finals

The EOJHL Finals are set in stone as it will be the Metro-Valley Champion Stittsville Rams squaring off against the Rideau-St. Lawrence Champion Casselman Vikings for the D. Arnold Carson Memorial Trophy.  The Rams advanced as they defeated the Gatineau Mustangs 7-4 on Friday night in Buckingham, PQ in front of 529 spectators.

Talmadge Farnes led the way with 1 goal and 2 assists, while Jordan Boutillier, Cole Carter, Parker Aimers, Matt Veaudry, Scott Gervais, and Riley McGuire also scored.  Goaltender Matt Couvrette stopped 20 of 24 shots to pick up the victory.

Gatineau was led by Mikael Gervais who picked up 2 goals, while Raphael Grandmaison and Maxime Belley added singles.  Justin Malette-Trottier did all he could between the pipes but the Stittsville offense was on point as he finished with 27 saves on 34 shots.

The final series opens on Thursday.

(This article originally appeared on Overtime Sports Nation.)


New fitness club could be coming to Carp Road

The City of Ottawa has received a site plan control application for 6303 Hazeldean Road (at Carp Road): “The application is proposing to revise two buildings previously approved, which have not yet been constructed, in order to accommodate an athletic facility in one building and a restaurant, retail store or bank in the other.”

Architectural drawings for the athletic facility include signage for a Goodlife Fitness. The building would be located on the north end of the site near where Kungfu Bistro is today. The other building is describe as being “similar in size to the Tim Horton’s.” The site is owned by Crombie Property Holdings Limited.

The City of Ottawa is accepting comments from the public about the plan. Click here for more info…


Nail biting end of the season for the Atom B6 Blackhawks

(PHOTO: Front Row (from the Left): Ben Woelfle, Chaz Church, Sam Noseworthy, Brayden Salminen, Cameron Cheslock, Marco Flores, Nathan Bond and James Smith. Middle Row (from the Left): Kyle Gnaedinger, Chris Gunn, Ethan Beuree, Owen Carr, Nathan Meilke, Marc-André Vallières and Ashton Hoare. Back Row (from the Left): Mark Hoare (Trainer), Jerry Beuree (Head Coach), Karl Cheslock (Assistant Coach) and Steve Smith (Assistant Coach). Missing from the photo: Luke O’Toole.)

The Stittsville Blackhawks (Atom B6) ended their season in glory! They took home the Playoff Championship for their division line. This was a well earned win against the Osgoode Rideau Senators (Atom B1), to which all the team contributed wholeheartedly.

Game 1 of the Playoffs found the Blackhawks trailing 3-2 in the second period, but the team rallied to tie the game at 3-3. The Senators still had the momentum on their side and quickly regained the lead making it 4-3. With a minute left in the third period, the call was made by Stittsville to pull the goalie in a last ditch effort to tie the game. The gamble paid off in spades! The team rallied together and scored with 20 seconds left on the clock. This was a hard tie, even with home ice advantage.

The following week The Senators were home for Game 2 of the Playoffs and the players from both teams came out with determination to win the game. The Blackhawks had the lead and the momentum this time going into the second period. The Senators, not to be out done, pulled together to tie the game at 2-2. They did a great job holding back the Blackhawks that night!

The March break was now upon us. It would be a week before the two teams would meet again. The Blackhawks entered their final tournament of the year in Kingston during this time. This was the first away tournament for most of the kids and energy and excitement sparked through the air like lightening!

Nervous and excited the Blackhawks entered their first game against the Cumberland Dukes (Newman) and won! The next game was against Athens Aeros (Atom B2), which ended in a loss for the Blackhawks. The coaches wouldn’t let this get the team down though. Points were made on what was done well and what needed to be improved upon. As we approached Game 3 of the tournament against Arnprior (Atom 1) we found out that the Blackhawks still had a shot at the semi-finals. It was a tough game, no question about it but the Blackhawks took the victory once again! The speech was not wasted on the kids, the team played in unison and won the game. They were determined to have that second chance against Athens. This win allowed them to advance into the Semi-Finals the very next morning.

The following day their wish was granted and there was a deep contrast in their style of play. The Blackhawks took the lead in the first period. Athens came back to tie it in the second; the third period was scoreless. In overtime, Athens caught a break when the puck bounced off the post and into the net. The Athens coach congratulated the Blackhawks on their game and said “you should have won that game”. High praise from another team is not easily given, nor was it wasted on the Blackhawks. This just enhanced their pride, not only in what they did, but what they could accomplish going forward.

Game 3 of the playoffs approached on Monday March 23 in Beckwith. The Blackhawks were once again on home-ice. At times, the parents and coaches were more nervous than the kids. The game was very intense! The entire Blackhawks team gave it everything they had. No one gave up, and no one quit! They took the lead in the first period, but the Senator’s wouldn’t let that goal go unanswered and tied it up shortly thereafter. In the second period, the Blackhawks had a break away that allowed them to regain the lead once more. This ended up being the winning goal as the third period was scoreless.

Some of the Blackhawk’s best hockey this season was played during the playoffs. All of these games were close and could have easily gone either way. The team never gave up and gave it everything they had right until the end. The coaches and the parents couldn’t be prouder of this bunch of kids. From the very beginning these kids worked and practiced as hard as they played.

Congratulations Stittsville Blackhawks! You earned it!!


PHOTOS: Car flips over on Hazeldean Road near Farm Boy

UPDATE: Photographer Paul Dawson shared his photos of the crash with He says:

“At 9:30pm a single vehicle driving East on Hazeldean Rd in Kanata hit the median and light post causing the vehicle to flip over. The driver, an 18-year-old male escaped without serious injuries. The police and emergency crews were quick to respond. My wife and I heard the crash while in our house and quickly ran to help. After emergency crews arrives and I knew no one else was hurt, I went and grabbed my camera. My wife waited for the driver’s parents to come onto the scene and help console his mother as she passed the crash.”

Car crash on Hazeldean Road, March 26, 2015.
Photo by Paul Dawson
Car crash on Hazeldean Road, March 26, 2015.
Photo by Paul Dawson
Car crash on Hazeldean Road, March 26, 2015.
Photo by Paul Dawson
Car crash on Hazeldean Road, March 26, 2015.
Photo by Paul Dawson
Car crash on Hazeldean Road, March 26, 2015.
Photo by Paul Dawson


Update from the Ottawa Police:

Road Closure In Effect
Ottawa Police and Fire Services are on the scene of a single motor vehicle collision on Hazeldean Road between Eagleson Road and Castlefrank Road.
As a result of this collision, an electrical pole was damaged and subsequently caught fire. City of Ottawa Traffic and Hydro crews are responding.
Hazeldean Road between Eagleson Road and Castlefrank Road will remain closed until repairs can be made to the electrical pole.
There are no life threatening injuries as a result of this collision.
It is unknown how long this closure will remain in effect.. When the roadway is reopened, media will be advised.

A car took down a utility pole and flipped over on Hazeldean Road in Kanata on Thursday night just east of the Farm Boy plaza. We have an unconfirmed report that one person is injured.

Hazeldean is closed between Castlefrank and Eagleson.

Car Flipped over on Hazeldean Road
Photo by Matt Robinson


Stittsville rapper pays tribute to Main Street Pub with new EP

Above: Proper’T. Photo ©Brett Colpitts

EDITOR’S NOTE: By day, Stittsville’s Tanner Foster works as a gold buyer at Westgate Shopping Centre.  In his spare time, he’s pursuing a passion for music as a rapper known as Proper’T.  He’s performing this Friday at Ritual Nightclub downtown and is releasing a new EP soon titled Mainstream Pub, a tribute to Stittsville’s famous watering hole.  Here’s an edited interview I did with Proper’T earlier this month. Continue reading


Ottawa Business Journal: “Local biz owner pushes for BIA”

From the Ottawa Business Journal:

The 18 business improvement areas within Ottawa’s city limits currently span from Orleans in the east to Carp Village in the west, but Stittsville is nowhere to be found on that list.

John vanDyk would like that to change.

The owner of the Covered Bridge Brewing Company says a BIA would give small businesses in the west-end community a boost by helping spread the word that there’s more to the area than just big-box stores.
“I think it’s a great way to sort of raise awareness in the community for local businesses, but also for local businesses to connect,” he says from his brewery on Iber Road.
Mr. vanDyk, a former Health Canada employee who took a leap of faith into the beer business in late 2013, says his products are now served in about a dozen pubs around the city and at his own retail outlet.
He sold about 50,000 litres of suds in his first year of operation and forged successful partnerships with a number of other locally owned enterprises. For example, Covered Bridge produces a coffee-flavoured beer using beans from the Gaia Java Coffee Company, located a short drive away on Main Street.
“We find that those connections have really worked well for us because, you know, they might have a slightly different clientele than us, but it helps to expose us to their clientele and vice-versa,” Mr. vanDyk says. It’s a great way of just supporting each other.”


Read the full article, including comments from Amy Walker (Walkerworks Picture Framing), councillor Shad Qadri and editor Glen Gower.


Stittsville student’s leadership a key part of “Unlock Change” fundraiser

(Article via the Let’s Unlock Change organizing committee.)

Chris Carroll
Chris Carroll

When Chris Carroll applied to be treasurer of the Algonquin College Public Relations students’ “Let’s Unlock Change” campaign in support of The John Howard Society, he included the following detail on his resume: “My friends always make me be the banker in Monopoly.”

Carroll’s professors were impressed by his sense of humour—and his solid track record as a PR student. He got the job, and has been handling the campaign’s funds ever since.

Carroll has lived in Stittsville since he was six, attending Holy Spirit Elementary, followed by Sacred Heart High School. Before landing at Algonquin, where he is pursuing a post-graduate diploma in public relations, he studied communications at Carleton University.

An active community leader, Carroll studies martial arts at Pathways Jiu Jitsu and every Sunday and he can be found at Holy Spirit Parish church, where he serves as a lector. He has been a lector since he was 12 years old, and was the youngest serving lector at the time.

Carroll credits his involvement with Holy Parish with helping him to become more open-minded and compassionate.

These qualities have served Carroll well has he and his classmates prepare to host 13 different fundraising events for the John Howard Society, which offers a range of programs and services for people involved in the court system. The Let’s Unlock Change campaign has an ambitious fundraising goal of $23,500.

Let’s Unlock Change runs from March 25 to April 14. Carroll’s team is planning a trivia night on April 8 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at The Lieutenant’s Pump on Elgin St.

“I’m incredibly excited to be hosting this event,” Carroll says. “Trivia nights have always proven to be lots of fun, and when it’s for a good cause like the John Howard Society, everyone wins.”

Carroll’s classmates credit him for his strong leadership qualities and his smooth, confident speaking style, which can capture the attention of any audience. As Alex Scantlebury, one of his classmates, puts it: “Chris would be able to sell sand while standing on the beach, and still turn a profit.”

If you can’t make it out to the trivia night, there are many other campaign events to choose from. There is also an option to donate online if you want to help Carroll and his program reach their fundraising goal. Visit their website at or join the conversation on social media with the hashtag #LetsUnlockChange.