Trustees vote to send Munster elementary students to new schools this fall

(Summary provided by the Ottawa Carleton District School Board.)

A Special Board Meeting was held to deal with the redirection of current Munster Elementary students to either  A. Lorne Cassidy Elementary School or Richmond Public School for September 2015.

Trustees voted to approve the redirection of the students as the projected level of enrolment at Munster Elementary School for September 2015 was deemed not sufficient to provide students with an enriched educational experience.

The projected staffing structure for Munster Elementary School for September 2015 would have resulted in one junior kindergarten and senior kindergarten class, a grade 1 to grade 3 triple split, and a grade 3 to grade 5 triple split.

The complete approved motion is below:

  1. THAT all current Munster Elementary School students (attending the school in 2014-2015) be given a one-time option to attend either A. Lorne Cassidy Elementary School or Richmond Public School for the regular English program in September 2015;
  2. THAT the younger siblings (born in 2014 or earlier) of all current Munster Elementary School students be given a one-time option to attend either A. Lorne Cassidy Elementary School or Richmond Public School for the regular English program;
  3. THAT revised English and Middle French Immersion program attendance boundaries for A. Lorne Cassidy Elementary School, Richmond Public School, and Goulbourn Middle School as shown in Appendix A of Report 15-057, effective for September 2015, be approved;
  4. THAT current Munster Elementary School Grade 5 students (attending the school in 2014-2015) residing north of Fallowfield Road be given a one-time option to choose to attend Goulbourn Middle School in September 2015;
  5. THAT a transition planning team be created immediately should the above recommendations A through D be approved; and
  6. THAT the Munster Elementary School facility continue to be made available for Community Use of Schools activities until further notice.

The meeting followed the regular Committee of the Whole Meeting. Trustees voted ten in favour and two abstained.


FOOD TRUCKS: Sandwich sorcery at The ‘Wiches Cauldron (with video)

(Above: Monique Haugen and Craig Beaudry from The Wiches Cauldron. Photo by Jordan Mady.)

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Stittsville’s The ‘Wiches Cauldron  is in its third season and business is bubbling. In this issue, the first in a series about Stittsville food trucks, you’ll meet the married, university-educated duo behind the delicious sorcery.  The couple pumps out sandwiches and soups on the daily, and they’re constantly brewing up something new. Visit them at their Carp Rd. location just south of Hazeldean Road  and you’ll find yourself wanting to be friends with them instantly.) Continue reading


Celtic harp duo Acacia Lyra are at Gaia Java this week

Acacia Lyra is not your average harp and voice duo. Janine Dudding and Susan Sweeney Hermon sing in English, French, Spanish and Gaelic, accompanying themselves on Celtic harps and guitars. Their programme is a colourful journey of traditional and contemporary tunes, including their own material, from the Scottish highlands to the Peruvian Altiplano.

Janine and Susan began performing as a duo in 2006. Each has a wealth of songs from different sources, and their musical collaboration has resulted in new compositions and fresh arrangements for harp, guitar and voice, and two CDs, Harmonic Curves (2007), and Aqsarniit – Northern Lights (2010). These two CDs were launched to sold out audiences at the National Arts Centre Fourth Stage. A third CD, Silver Sun, was released in November 2011.

They also play around the region with other musicians, and in fact Susan was one of the stalwarts who showed up to create a spontaneous Ceilidh a few months ago when our planned musician was called to Ireland for a bereavement. Within the folk community of Ottawa Acacia Lyra have a great reputation for their musicality and the wonderful sounds they create. Don’t miss this rare chance to hear them again/

Visit their webpage at and have a listen to some of the wonderful sounds they create, then make sure you come in on Friday to see them play live at Gaia Java! Big thanks to Ottawa folk guru Sjef Frenken for introducing me to the music of Janine and Susan, as well as several other great folk artists who will be playing at the shop this month.

Acacia Lyra plays Gaia Java on Friday, May 22 at 7:00pm.


Stittsville Public School’s grade six students present Charlie Brown musical

(Article by Taylor and Rachel, grade six students at Stittsville Public School.)

Since the end of December, the grade six students of Stittsville Public School have been working very hard to bring you this wonderful production of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown!” Continue reading


Harvey & Vern’s Lime Soda flavour at Brown’s #supportlocalstittsville

Brown’s Independent on Stittsville Main Street has about 50 cases of the new Harvey & Vern’s Lime Soda. When I went in on Saturday it was right at the front next to the sushi bar.

Harvey & Vern’s is produced and bottled locally, and owner Paul Meek lives in Stittsville.

You can also get a bottle at Quitters and at the Cheshire Cat.

Found these at Brown's Independent on #Stittsville Main. #supportlocalstittsville

A photo posted by Glen Gower (@glengower) on


Read this before you set off fireworks this weekend

(Above: The Phat Boy fireworks truck is parked in front of the Rona on Hazeldean Road.  Last year they were on Stittsville Main Street and this year they have a brand new truck.  They’ll be back leading up to Canada Day as well.)

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Someone was setting off fireworks at 1:00am on Saturday morning near our house. Not only is it inconsiderate to neighbours, it’s also against the law. I love fireworks but I prefer them a little earlier in the evening!  Here’s a list of what’s allowed — and what’s not — when you’re setting off fireworks in the City of Ottawa.)

  • Consumer fireworks may be discharged on the day of, day before or the day after Victoria Day — Monday, May 18.
  • They must be discharged by someone 18 or older, and on private property, with permission of the property owner.
  • Minimum safety distances as indicated on the fireworks product must be maintained from spectators, buildings and vehicles.
  • The fireworks display must not cause danger or nuisance to any person or property.
  • The sale of consumer fireworks, except on Victoria Day and the seven business days immediately preceding Victoria Day, is prohibited in the City of Ottawa.
  • Display fireworks, such as those on Parliament Hill, and smaller-scale versions at public parks on holiday weekends, may only be discharged by someone over 18 who holds a permit issued by the Ottawa Fire Chief. Applications for these permits must be submitted 30 days before the intended display.
  • Firecrackers are prohibited from being used or sold in the City of Ottawa or Province of Ontario. Anyone selling, purchasing or using firecrackers within the City of Ottawa is in violation of the Fireworks By-law as well as provincial law.

Please review Ottawa’s Fireworks By-law on for further details. Violations of the Fireworks By-law can be reported to 3-1-1.


City splash pads are now open

(Press release from the City of Ottawa.)

Just in time for the long weekend, the City of Ottawa has opened the majority of its splash pads that will operate from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily through to September. To view splash pad locations, visit

Splash pads in or very close to Stittsville include Bandmaster Park (230 Mistral Way), Upcountry Park (310 Upcountry), and Walter Baker Park (100 Walter Baker off Terry Fox).  A full list of the city’s splash pads can be found here. A new splash pad is being built in Jackson Trails later this year.

Please note that all splash pad sites are unsupervised.

To report that a splash pad is not working properly, please call 3-1-1.


Public high school teachers expected to make “partial withdrawal of service”

(Press release from the OCDSB.)

The Ottawa Carleton District School Board has received notice of strike action in the form of a partial withdrawal of service beginning on Thursday, May 21st.  The partial withdrawal mainly affects administrative duties.  Regular school operations will continue for secondary schools. All field trips and extracurricular activities scheduled will proceed as planned.

Our secondary teachers and occasional teachers (OSSTF) are in a legal strike position. The OCDSB is one of seven Ontario school districts which OSSTF targeted for strike action. Currently strike action (full withdrawal of service) is underway by OSSTF at the Durham District School Board, Rainbow District School Board, and the Peel District School Board.

OSSTF has now provided notice of planned strike action to the OCDSB. That notice explains that the strike action will be a partial withdrawal of service.  According to the notice, secondary teachers and occasional teachers will:

  • Report only marks, no comments, no learning skills;
  • Take part in “solidarity days” – ex. wear OSSTF colours, or arm bands, etc.
  • Picket at lunch (voluntary);
  • Not act as “Teacher in Charge” or “Acting VP” assignments (current assignments may continue);
  • Not attend staff meetings, department meetings, department head meetings, or school/board committee meetings;
  • Not distribute Board materials/communications to students;
  • Not take part in credit recovery referrals and/or complete credit analysis forms;
  • Not complete Annual Learning Plans;
  • Not participate in any aspect of School Improvement Plans, Board Improvement Plans, School Effectiveness Framework, etc.
  • Not take part in Learning Communities (PLCs, etc); and
  • Not participate in curriculum/course writing (classroom teachers).


Local bargaining is continuing. The school district remains committed to negotiating fair and fully funded collective agreements with all of our employee groups.

Elementary – Schools will be open. Regular classes are scheduled. All field trips and extracurricular activities scheduled will proceed as planned.

The Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario (ETFO) is undertaking strike action in the form of a partial withdrawal of service.  This action affects the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) and all other English language public school boards in Ontario.

The partial withdrawal of service began on Monday, May 11th. All OCDSB elementary schools will be open and regular classes are scheduled. Field trips and extracurricular activities will proceed as planned.


Bus shelters, better express routes among suggestions at OC Transpo meeting

OC Transpo representatives met with Stittsville residents at the Goulbourn Recreation Complex Wednesday night to update them on route changes as well as discuss concerns about current bus service.

Residents were presented with the latest service numbers concerning Stittsville such as capacity and on-time performance. They were then introduced to a new route, the 162, as well as the 96A’s transformation into the 92.

After the formal presentation, residents split up into groups to voice their concerns to OC Transpo staff. These ranged from adding more bus shelters to Stittsville, to frequency improvements, to inquiries about better express service.

OC Transpo staff says requests for increased frequency of service are difficult to meet based on current capacity. As it stands, route 96 leaves Stittsville with 34 per cent capacity at peak operating times in the morning.


Katie MacKenzie, a mother of three twenty-year-olds, said Stittsville bus service isn’t good enough.

“I’m constantly driving them because that’s the only way they can get anywhere on time,” the 49-year-old said.

MacKenzie also said the current service inhibits her daughters from getting student night jobs outside of Stittsville, such as serving in a bar where shifts can finish after midnight. Service from Kanata’s Terry Fox station via route 96 to Stittsville doesn’t run past 12 a.m. on a Saturday, for example.

“People have said ‘well, you live in Stittsville, you can afford to buy your kids a car,’” she said. “Really? Just because I live in Stittsville, I can afford to buy three children a car? No, I don’t think so.”

Residents shared feedback and ideas on Stittsville transit service with OC Transpo staff. Photo by Jordan Mady.
Residents shared feedback and ideas on Stittsville transit service with OC Transpo staff. Photo by Jordan Mady.


Councillor Shad Qadri said this type of issue is relatively new for Stittsville.

“I remember back in 2004 or 2005 when people in Stittsville didn’t even want OC Transpo service to be included as part of the community,” he said. “As the community expands, new requests come in and that’s what we’re working towards with this meeting going forward.”

Qadri acknowledged that Stittsville lacks local service. He said the transformation of the 96A into the 92 will help this as well as confusion associated with similar stop numbers.

“The 92 will serve not only parts of Stittsville, it will also serve parts of Kanata and enhance that service to Tanger mall and other parts of Kanata, also. That is due to the request by young people in terms of where they’re working and not being able to commute home when their shifts end.”


The status of Stittsville’s express service was also discussed, namely routes 261, 262 and 263.  Some residents would like to see more direct routes to downtown with fewer stops in between.

OC Transpo representatives took note of resident feedback and said they’ll consider it for any future action.


New route maps were on display for the 92 and 162. Photo by Jordan Mady.
New route maps were on display for the 92 and 162. Photo by Jordan Mady.


  • Route 162 will operate between Terry Fox Station and Stittsville via Palladium drive, servicing Huntmar Drive, Maple Grove Road, Johnwoods Street, Hazeldean Road and West Ridge Drive.
  • The re-numbered 92 will travel on the same streets as the current 96A, with the exception of driving along Campeau Drive instead of Katimavik Road.
  • Both of these changes will take place in June 2015.


UPDATE: Bear may be looking for honey in Richmond

Here’s a note posted to the Richmond Facebook Group.

“There has been an adult male bear in the woods, back of the houses at Ottawa and Fowler Streets. It may be interested in the bee hives there but there is now an electric fence around the hives which should deter it once it’s snout has been zapped. It has also pulled down a bird feeder. It was seen about 3 days ago and has been seen today as well (Tuesday). Bear sightings do happen around Richmond every year so it likely will leave soon.”

A bear (maybe the same one) was spotted near South Carleton High School and Richmond Public School earlier this week.

Richmond bear sighting, via Facebook


CITIZEN: Stittsville mom recovering from flesh-eating disease

The Ottawa Citizen has a story about Stittsville’s Susan Brayshaw, who is recovering from flesh-eating disease:

A Stittsville mother recovering from flesh-eating disease wants nothing more than to carry her seven-week-old baby.

Susan Brayshaw, 38, ended up in the hospital with knee pain four days after she gave birth on March 22 to her son, Jackson, at home with the help of two midwives and a doula.

Doctors don’t believe the disease is linked in any way to the birth and wasn’t passed on to her baby.

“It’s hard because I can’t do the little things,” Brayshaw said Wednesday evening. “I can’t walk up and down the hall. I can’t go for a stroller walk with him.

“Everything a mother wants to do I can’t. He doesn’t know any difference, but it still hurts.”

Read the full story…

Ottawa Citizen: Ottawa woman recovering from flesh-eating disease. May 13, 2015.
Ottawa Citizen: Ottawa woman recovering from flesh-eating disease. May 13, 2015.


PHOTOS: Creative cakes raise over $2,400 for Stittsville Public School

This fundraiser really takes the cake.

This year’s annual Cakewalk at Stittsville Public School raised $2,455 and featured 286 cakes.

Parents donate the cakes (both home-made and store-bought), and then students and staff can buy raffle tickets for a chance to win their favourite creations.

The event is organized by the school’s parent council, and money raised goes towards classroom equipment (they recently helped purchased iPads and projectors for all classrooms, cultural and learning events (like Scientists in School) and other supplies and activities.

All photos by Shannon Helleman.

Stittsville Public School 2015 Cakewalk. Photo by Shannon Helleman. Stittsville Public School 2015 Cakewalk. Photo by Shannon Helleman. Stittsville Public School 2015 Cakewalk. Photo by Shannon Helleman. Stittsville Public School 2015 Cakewalk. Photo by Shannon Helleman. Stittsville Public School 2015 Cakewalk. Photo by Shannon Helleman. Stittsville Public School 2015 Cakewalk. Photo by Shannon Helleman. Stittsville Public School 2015 Cakewalk. Photo by Shannon Helleman. Stittsville Public School 2015 Cakewalk. Photo by Shannon Helleman. Stittsville Public School 2015 Cakewalk. Photo by Shannon Helleman. Stittsville Public School 2015 Cakewalk. Photo by Shannon Helleman. Stittsville Public School 2015 Cakewalk. Photo by Shannon Helleman. Stittsville Public School 2015 Cakewalk. Photo by Shannon Helleman. Stittsville Public School 2015 Cakewalk. Photo by Shannon Helleman. Stittsville Public School 2015 Cakewalk. Photo by Shannon Helleman. Stittsville Public School 2015 Cakewalk. Photo by Shannon Helleman. Stittsville Public School 2015 Cakewalk. Photo by Shannon Helleman. Stittsville Public School 2015 Cakewalk. Photo by Shannon Helleman. Stittsville Public School 2015 Cakewalk. Photo by Shannon Helleman.


House fire on Maestro Avenue in Fairwinds North

Ottawa Fire Services responded to a 911 call today shortly after 2:30pm about a fire on Maestro Avenue in the Fairwinds North area.

The 911 caller reported seeing black smoke coming from a second storey vent.  The home was empty and no injuries were reported.

The Ottawa Fire Department initially reported the fire as being at 101 Maestro Avenue, but a resident says that it was in fact at 103.

An Ottawa Fire SUV was parked in the driveway in front of the homes on Wednesday evening.  The upstairs windows at 101 and 103 Maestro Avenue were wide open but there was no visible damage on the outside.  At least one family has been temporarily displaced.

The townhome is in a newer area of Fairwinds North, and homes have only been occupied for the past few weeks. A neighbour told that the people at 103 Maestro were renters and were renters and were in the process of moving in when the fire started.

Ottawa Police, Ottawa Paramedics, Hydro One and Enbridge Gas were all tiered to the call to assist, and the fire was reported as under control by 3:00pm.   Crews remained on scene working to extinguish the fire.


Betty Ann Bryanton is at Gaia Java on May 15

Betty Ann Bryanton
Betty Ann Bryanton

Betty Ann began singing as a young girl in the church choir in her hometown in PEI. At Bishop’s University, she studied Business and also did a voice minor. She’s sung with the National Youth Choir, Ottawa Choral Society, the Orpheus Musical Theatre Society and the Savoy Society; she has taken years of private classical voice lessons; sung in Music Festival competitions.

Betty Ann played the surdo drum in Samba Ottawa; has sung solos at weddings, in church and in jazz bands at local restaurants and bars. She loves to sing classical music, but since 2006 she has been concentrating on jazz voice. Currently, Betty Ann takes private jazz vocal lessons with Christine Duncan in Toronto; sings in the NAC Orchestra’s affiliate choir, the Ottawa Festival Chorus; and is preparing for upcoming gigs with jazz pianist Miguel de Armas Laferte. She is married and works full-time as a Senior Systems IT Analyst in the federal government. She is quite busy playing gigs in the region, and recently appeared at Zola’s in Bells Corners, accompanied by Gaia Java alumnus Pierre Monfils.

For this Gaia Java performance she will be accompanied by guitarist Nathan Corr.

Nathan Corr has been playing music since he was 5, starting with piano and continuing with guitar for the past decade. He is a recent Bachelor of Music graduate from Carleton University. Although starting in a high school R&B band, and joining indie rock band Alexy & The Other Side in their Live 88.5 Big Money Shot venture, Nathan has been steadily drawn into jazz. In university, he concentrated in bebop studies under Tim Bedner and Roddy Elias. Despite his specialization, Nathan has an affinity for any music that grooves — if it shakes or shimmies, Nathan is all over it.

Betty Ann Bryanton plays Gaia Java on Stittsville Main Street at 7:00pm on May 15, 2015.


Stittsville Appreciation Award winners announced

Namitha Abraham, Robin Derrick, Cathy Skinner, Brown’s Your Independent Grocer were all announced as winners at the Stittsville Appreciation Awards tonight.

Jim Watson and Shad Qadri were on hand to congratulate 25 nominees in four categories.  Nominees and winners are listed below.  (Biographies of the nominees are included below.) Continue reading


LETTER: Community involvement points way towards a better planning process

Re: City and developer agree on further study of 6279 Fernbank

The unusual and unexpected adjournment and the conditions show the advantages to communities of having a party status at the hearing. Without this, I doubt if we would have been included at this point.

As the designated party, I put a huge amount of time and effort into preparing for the hearing, as did every member of our committee — my husband Gerry Kroll, The McKims, Diana Trudeau, and Glen McDonald. Those who could were witnesses for us, as well as Bob White and researcher and retired librarian, Faith Blacquiere of Glen Cairn. Jillian McKim also cross-examined the witnesses for the other Parties, as did I on the first day, before my voice abandoned me in the dry atmosphere of the hearing room.

We are glad of the opportunity to take part in discussions and studies over the summer and into September. Our involvement gives us a chance to support the applicant’s studies into what really happens to the water that runs through the site — where it comes from, its route and ponding, and where it goes — and to influence the final decision on whether or not this development should go ahead, and what form it should take if it does. While we don’t have power of veto, we will still have the right to present our summations, and, if the City and applicant reach an agreement that we don’t like, we will be able to include our reasons for disagreement in our final summation, for consideration by the Ontario Municipal Board.

I hope this experience will lead to a better way of doing things than is now current in the City of Ottawa. In many jurisdictions, it is normal for the community to be consulted and for a feasibility and viability study to be done for both the site itself and the surrounding community and lands, before an application ever goes into the city or municipality, especially for a site that does not fit normal parameters for development, such as this piece of wetland. Such consultation here could have saved thousands of dollars and months of hard work.

I’m not sure if the activities during this adjournment will take us to the conclusion that the surrounding community believes it should come to, but I hope that at the end there will at least be better understanding of the site, and cooperation among all parties going into the future. I commend the City and the applicant for including community representatives, and I look forward to having the future of this site finally resolved.

The site does, after all, perform a natural water management function within the surrounding communities and adjacent UNF (Urban Natural Feature), and between Fernbank Wetland and the Poole Creek Watershed. It may or may not support housing on an artifical 3.5 meter-high plateau without causing harm to existing lower-level houses — in my mind, it probably won’t. But it could definitely be a lovely wetland and woodland park for wildlife, much of which has called it home for many years, and people wishing to walk around a trail and boardwalk and enjoy some peace away from the hustle of the road, absorbing the calm of nature among the trees of this very special area.

Keldine FitzGerald, Stittsville


Bear sighting near South Carleton High School


South Carleton High School was briefly under a “Shelter in Place” status this morning after a bear was spotted near the school.

“A community member contacted us and Richmond Public to indicate a bear had been sighted near the Jock River earlier this morning,” principal Colin Anderson told Continue reading