West end councillors want faster arrival for light rail

(PHOTO: “Take the O” by Payton Chung. Used under a Creative Commons license.)

Councillor Shad Qadri says he fully supports a motion put forward by fellow councillor Allan Hubley to look at extending light rail transit past Bayshore before 2031.

Under the city’s current transportation master plan (TMP), light rail transit (LRT) for areas west of Bayshore like Kanata and Stittsville isn’t under consideration until after 2031.

Hubley’s motion, presented at Monday’s FEDCO (Finance and Economic Development Committee) meeting at City Hall, asks staff to at least study the cost and feasibility of extending LRT to the west end prior to 2031.

“We are in the fastest growing part of the City and it only makes sense to be included in the discussion,” wrote Qadri in an email to StittsvilleCentral.ca. “Especially when you consider that we house one of the largest tenants in the City, the Canadian Tire Center.  Having LRT sooner may encourage the CTC to stay where it is.”

“I think there could be significant savings found from what we’ve done to date that will help move this forward. As we heard today from the airport there’s partners out there that want to work with us on this,” said Hubley in an interview on CFRA.

(Ottawa airport officials indicated this week they may be able to help fund an LRT extension that would serve the facility.)

“Many of this around this council table have a vision of mass transit across the city, Orleans to Kanata,  all the way south,” said Hubley.

“In his remarks of thanks and closing to committee yesterday Councillor Hubley recognized and confirmed our focus and partnership as west end councillors in our joint efforts on both the Transit and Transportation committee to improve transportation for our communities going forward,” wrote Qadri.

Hubley’s motion was approved unanimously by FEDCO members, and will be considered by city council next week.


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Community groups write open letter about Carp Road landfill concerns

EDITOR’S NOTE: Seven Stittsville and West Carleton community associations have written an open letter to City of Ottawa officials about the development of the Carp Road landfill near their communities.  The entire letter is republished here.

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Qadri files revised election financial statement due to “arithmetic error”

UPDATE JULY 10: The election audit committee decided today that they will not proceed with a compliance audit on Qadri’s financial statement.  A compliance audit will be done on the financial statements for Mark Taylor and Eli El-Chantiri.

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Shad Qadri has filed a revised financial statement with the City Clerk due what the councillor calls “an arithmetic error”.

In a cover letter included with the revised statement, Qadri writes: Continue reading


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City council approves naming of “Kemp Woodland”

Kemp Woodland. Photo by Coreen Tyers
Kemp Woodland. Photo by Coreen Tyers

From Shad Qadri’s weekly email newsletter:

This week at City Council approved the proposal to name a woodland area on Abbott Street East, adjacent to Sacred Heart High School, the “Kemp Woodland”. As our community grows I feel it is very important to retain the historical significance of the area and honour those who were part of creating the community we now call Stittsville.

Born in 1838 in what is today called “Stittsville”, John Kemp was the son of William Kemp, one of Goulbourn’s early Irish settlers. John Kemp was a prominent 19th century Stittsville tavern keeper, railway contractor, and Goulbourn Township reeve from 1887 to 1894. He is best known as the builder and owner of the stone mansion Kemp’s Tavern, which now houses Cabotto’s Restaurant on Hazeldean Road. John Kemp purchased Lot 25, Concession 10 sometime before 1879. Today, an 8.9 hectare cedar forest lies within this lot, which is adjacent to the Trans-Canada Trail and Sacred Heart High School. The forest is owned by the City of Ottawa and is a designated Natural Environment Area.

The Ottawa Stewardship Council submitted this naming application and has been working to develop a community environmental stewardship project for the City owned forest located to the west of Sacred Heart High school and east of Caribou Street. This grove is comprised of 8.9 hectares of over 100 year cedar forest. The purpose of this project is to restore and provide sustainable care for this natural space.

There are some existing informal trails and this project will enhance these trails with formal entrances and interpretative signage will be placed throughout the area. This project is in conjunction with the City of Ottawa and Stittsville Village Association and it will also engage Sacred Heart High School in ongoing ecological monitoring of the site. This project is ongoing and is anticipated to be should be completed this year.

(Previously: Sacred Heart students to help care for 100-year-old forest)

Approximate location of the Kemp Woodland behind Sacred Heart High School. Via Bing Maps.
Approximate location of the Kemp Woodland behind Sacred Heart High School. Via Bing Maps.

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Stittsville skateboard park doesn’t do the trick, says local dad (with video)

(ABOVE: Stittsville dad John Hughes wants to see an upgrade or an entirely new skatepark in Stittsville. And sooner rather than later. Photo by Jordan Mady.)

John Hughes, 47, looked around at the skateboard park next to the Goulbourn Recreation Complex (GRC) as three young girls used one of its drop-in ramps as a slide.

There wasn’t a skateboarder in sight. Hughes said his kids, 13 and 10, don’t use the park, either. Continue reading


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Fireworks by-law will be enforced for Canada Day week, says City

(Press release from the City of Ottawa.)

To ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable holiday, the City reminds anyone planning to use fireworks to celebrate Canada Day do so in a safe and courteous manner and to comply with the City’s Fireworks By-law.

The Fireworks By-law outlines the rules around fireworks use.

The City recommends that you not attempt family fireworks or informal neighbourhood displays, but rather plan to attend fireworks displays hosted by municipalities and operated by professionals who are trained to handle and discharge fireworks safely.

Consumer fireworks may be discharged on the day of, day before or the day after Canada Day — Wednesday, July 1. 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 Canada Day and the seven business days immediately preceding Canada 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 ottawa.ca for further details. Violations of the Fireworks By-law may be reported to 3-1-1.


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FOOD TRUCKS: Sink into cheesy goodness at Culinary Meltdown (with video)

Spunky,  determined, energetic. Those are three words we’d use to describe 44-year-old Corinne Carroll (above, photo by Jordan Mady), owner of the Culinary Meltdown food trailer in Stittsville. She sends out gourmet comfort food favourites on the daily in the form of bacon mac & cheese and caramelized onion grilled cheese sandwiches. Visit the Carp Rd. (at Rothbourne) location and you’ll have a meltdown like never before. Are you drooling yet? Check out the video at the end of the article to see how the bacon mac & cheese is made.  This interview is part of our continuing series on Stittsville food trucks.

Heads up: the food truck is at the Dragonboat Festival until June 30 , but back at their usual location on Carp Road after that.  They’re also at Bluesfest from July 8-19.

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Vandals torch play structure in Glen Cairn

UPDATE – JUNE 26: Ottawa Police and Crimestoppers are offering a reward of up to $2,000 for information on the vandalism that leads to an arrest.  Police say this fire was set around 10:30pm, and received reports of another play structure with burn marks nearby at Glen Cairn Public School.  If you have information regarding the identity of the suspects responsible or witness any suspicious or criminal  activity in the parks call Crime Stoppers 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

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A small fire on a play structure in Rickey Place Park in Glen Cairn has left behind a big bill for the City and a big inconvenience for kids.

Late last night, neighbours noticed flames coming from the play structure.  Damage was limited to a hole burned through a plastic tunnel on the structure, but the whole tunnel has to be replaced. Continue reading


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New Brunswick artist shows collection at Jabulani Vineyard in Richmond

Watercolour by Rainer Wenzl

Rainer Wenzl, an artist from Port Elgin, New Brunswick, will be exhibiting a collection of his work at Jabulani Vineyard and Winery in Richmond.

Over the past six months I have been working on a series of paintings,” says Wenzl.  “‘Tequila and Fish Stories’ is a collection of watercolour paintings that illustrate the daily lives of the people that live by the sea, both in the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico and in Maritime Canada.”

“The figures are captured while they are involved in their everyday routines from fishing to relaxing, selling fruits and vegetables to enjoying the scenery. Each figure in each piece is painted on newspaper clippings taken from either an editorial or opinion article of a local newspaper from the same time period at which the painting was created. As a result, each person in each painting has his own individual story to tell.”

This collection will be on exhibit and available for sale at Jabulani Vineyard & Winery starting the weekend of June 26-28.  Stop by the vineyard to view and purchase art, as well as, sample and take home some of the award winning wines of Jabulani. You can check out their website at http://www.jabulani.ca

In addition to the watercolour paintings, Wenzl be exhibiting some of my gum-bichromate photographs and leaded glass lanterns.

“Gum-bichromate photographic process is a 200 year old developing process whereby dichromate salts (light sensitive) are mixed with watercolours and gum arabic and which is coated on watercolour paper. A large full size negative is then contact printed using sunlight. This process is repeated using negatives of different densities for each colour that is printed. The result is a painterly look,” he explains.

Watercolour by Rainer Wenzl


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LINKED: Yet another reason to amalgamate the school boards

James Gordon writes in the Ottawa Citizen today about how Stittsville’s lack of a public high school illustrates a need to get rid of separate school boards. Here’s an excerpt:

Every so often, we get yet another reminder of just how absurd Ontario’s public school system is.

The latest flareup is in Stittsville — now 30,000 people strong after a 25 per cent bump in population since 2009 — where parents are agitating for the community’s first public high school after being ignored for the past decade or so by the Liberal government.

Well, the community’s first publicly funded, non-religious school, anyway. Stittsville is home to Sacred Heart Catholic school…

Sacred Heart is also over capacity already, because people actually want their kids to be able to walk or bike to a building in their own city. Those who wish to stay in the regular ol’ public system currently have to bus their kids down the highway to Richmond…

This is the choice Stittsville (and other) parents of all faiths and beliefs still have to make in Ontario in 2015: either surrender and send your children to learn under the symbols and auspices of a taxpayer-funded, faith-based administration … or send them to school in another town and quit whining.

It’s wrong, and it needs to change.

Even if Sacred Heart were a secular public school, which it should be, the Stittsville area would still be woefully under-serviced. Still, at least parents would have the option to send their children to an overcrowded neighbourhood school free of religious moral codes and intimidation.

Read the full column…


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OC Transpo makes major service adjustments June 28

(Photo: “A window on transit in Ottawa” by Jamie McCaffrey. Used under creative commons license.)

On Sunday, June 28, new OC Transpo summer schedules begin, along with route improvements and adjustments to routes travelling along a section of the Transitway, which will close between Blair and Hurdman Stations for construction of the O-Train Confederation Line. Continue reading


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Swinging blues and bluesy swing at Gaia Java this Friday

Roland Doucet is a real gentleman! Back in March he was scheduled to play a shared evening at the shop, but then the other musician was taken ill and unable to come in, so Roland gallantly stepped up to the plate and entertained us very well for the whole 2 hours! So here is back again with a full evening to himself. Those who were here to hear Greg Kelly a couple of weeks ago will have heard a delightful preview of Roland’s talent during Greg’s set. Continue reading


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A Company of Fools brings Shakespeare to Alexander Grove Park

(Press release from a Company of Fools. Photo by Justin Van Leeuwen / JVL Photography)

A Company of Fools is back with the ever popular Torchlight Shakespeare – bringing Shakespeare to Ottawa parks all summer long! This season’s production is the farcical play The Comedy of Errors.

When: July 4, 2015
Time: 7:00pm
Where: Alexander Grove Park
Cost: Pay What You Can, suggested donation of $15/person
More info and to see other dates and locations visit www.fools.ca

About The Comedy of Errors
When two sets of identical twins separated at birth are brought to the same town by circumstance, mistaken identities abound! Antipholus of Syracuse and his servant, Dromio of Syracuse, arrive in Ephesus, which turns out to be the home of their twin brothers, Antipholus of Ephesus and his servant, Dromio of Ephesus. When the Syracusans encounter the friends and families of their twins, the result is a series of wildly comical mishaps which challenge the notion of truly knowing one’s friend, spouse, neighbour and self!

Meet the Fools – Our Cast and Crew
Directed by Catriona Leger, this season’s case includes Warren Bain, AL Connors, Scott Florence, Gabrielle Lazarovitz, Geoff McBride, Katie Ryerson. Featuring costume design by Vanessa Imeson and set design by David Benedict Brown.

Do good things really come in pairs?  Will the real Antipholous please stand up?  Double the trouble means double the fun in The Comedy of. Bring a lawn chair or blanket, bug spray and your sense of humour. Pass-the-hat donations are collected at the end of the performances and can be submitted in the form of cash or check  More information and a detailed park schedule can be found at www.fools.ca or by phoning 613-863-7529.


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A call for new voices for the West Ottawa Ladies Chorus

(Press release from the WOLC.)

Singing repertoire that includes a wide variety of music arranged for a traditional ladies choir sung in three and four part harmony can be fulfilling and rewarding. The West Ottawa Ladies Chorus (WOLC) is a friendly, welcoming group of 40 women who love to sing and spend time together. Membership draws singers from Fitzroy Harbour to Kanata, Old Ottawa East to Barrhaven, Stittsville to Munster, and North Gower to Carleton Place. Under the leadership of talented director, Robert Dueck, they blend their voices to deliver a solid performance. With a new season starting in September, there are a few openings available.

Rehearsals are offered twice a week—many members attend both but are asked to commit to one. Rehearsals are blocked in 10-12 weeks periods leading up to each performance—one at Christmas and one in the spring. Learning MP3’s and music are provided with the expectation that rehearsals are just that, a time to fine tune the musical numbers.

WOLC was formed in 2012 and grew rapidly from 12 to 40. A few places are available for women with choral experience singing a designated vocal part (1st Soprano and/or 2nd Soprano, 1st Alto and/or 2nd Alto). Each member must have a basic understanding of music theory; basic to intermediate sight reading skills; straight tone singing or minimized vibrato; ability to match pitch and blend with other singers. WOLC strives for excellence—this is your opportunity to get involved. Check out the West Ottawa Ladies Chorus on Facebook and on Youtube. Interested? Email the music director at LadiesChorus@bell.net to arrange an audition.

We welcome new voices.


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Firefighters greet Max on his Big Ride through Stittsville

Ottawa firefighters helped welcome Max and his dad Andrew Sedmihradsky to Stittsville on Sunday. They’re on a 600-km bike ride from Ottawa to Hamilton along the Trans Canada Trail to raise money for research into a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Four-year-old Max has been diagnosed with the disease.  You can learn more at Max’s Big Ride.

(Photos via Todd Horricks / Ottawa Fire Department.)

Firefighters welcome Max's Big Ride Firefighters welcome Max's Big Ride Firefighters welcome Max's Big Ride Firefighters welcome Max's Big Ride


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Carp Road businesses on edge about roundabouts

(Above: Peter Kondruss, owner of Kondruss Galleries on Carp Road. Photo by Barry Gray.)

A public meeting on Wednesday night will give residents and businesses a chance to weigh in on plans to widen Carp Road between Hazeldean and the Queensway, including whether traffic lights or traffic circles are a better choice.

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