Explore the city this weekend at Doors Open Ottawa

(Press release from the City of Ottawa.)

This weekend, June 6 and 7, explore your city during Doors Open Ottawa.

This event offers an opportunity to discover the secrets that lay hidden inside many of Ottawa’s finest buildings, from Carp to Cumberland. Visitors will have free access to a total of 129 buildings, including 22 new additions to this year’s roster.

New additions include the Rideau Club, which will unlock 150 years of history and tradition, the Canadian Blood Services Processing Plant, the newly renovated Festival House, which houses the RBC Bluesfest, and the Advanced Research Complex at the University of Ottawa.

Stittsville buildings include the Sterling Howie Firehall on Stittsville Main Street (Saturday only) and the Goulbourn Museum (Saturday and Sunday).

The complete list of buildings celebrates the city’s culturally, historically and functionally significant buildings, offering a mix of modern and heritage architecture, municipal facilities, government buildings, private businesses, artists’ studios, places of worship, and embassies and high commissions of countries across the globe.

You can find tools to help map out your route as you prepare to join the 75,000 people expected to attend. A guide to participating buildings is available at all Bridgehead coffee locations or online at ottawa.ca/doorsopen.

The guide also includes information about the free OC Transpo shuttle bus, sponsored by the Ottawa Citizen. More than 50 participating downtown buildings are easily accessible from the shuttle loop, making it a convenient and efficient way to explore participating buildings.


Please share your #doorsopenottawa experiences on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Special Investigations Unit investigates collision at Huntmar & Hazeldean

UPDATE: Roads in the area have re-opened as of about 4:30pm.  Also, the SIU has suspended its investigation into the crash.



Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) is investigating a collision this morning involving a police car at the intersection of Huntmar and Hazeldean roads.

Police are advising residents to avoid the area due to ongoing road closures.

The SIU says the crash happened at about 9:20am when an Ottawa police officer was responding to call.

Ottawa paramedics say they responded to a serious two-vehicle t-bone collision and treated two people at the scene.  A male police officer in his 30s was treated for a serious head injury. He was initially unconscious but regained consciousness soon after paramedic’s arrival. He is in serious but stable condition in hospital.

An 52-year-old female was treated for hip, spinal leg injuries. The woman was trapped in her vehicle and required extrication by Ottawa Fire Services. She too is in serious but stable condition in hospital.

J.P. Trottier of the Ottawa Paramedic Service says that as of 10:20am, both victims were awake and in serious but stable condition in hospital.

The SIU says they’ve assigned seven investigators, two forensic investigators and a collision reconstructionist to probe the circumstances of this incident. Anyone who may have information regarding this case is asked to contact the lead investigator at 1-800-787-8529 ext. 2293.


Volunteer firefighters continue 70-year tradition in Stittsville

(Above: Stittsville’s volunteer firefighters in front of Station 81. Photo by Barry Gray.)

Stittsville’s main fire station is still staffed by volunteers, who are part of a community tradition that dates back to the 1940s.

Brian Bedard, a volunteer since 1977 and now captain of Station 81 on Stittsville Main Street, was the guest speaker at a talk hosted by the Goulbourn Historical Society on May 16. Continue reading


Liberal candidate and supporters help clean up Stittsville Main Street

(Press release from the Chris Rodgers campaign team.)

Federal Liberal candidate Chris Rodgers led a group of supporters on Stittsville Main Street this past Sunday as they participated in the Tim Horton’s Cleaning the Capital campaign.  Conspicuous in their Liberal-red attire, the troupe filled numerous bags with the garbage strewn along Stittsville Main Street.

Most of the items collected were discarded drink containers and cigarette butts.

Stittsville is part the new riding of Carleton where Rodgers will run in the 2015 federal election.

Chris Rodgers and his campaign supporters clean up Main Street. (Supplied photo.)
Chris Rodgers and his campaign supporters clean up Main Street. (Supplied photo.)


Double bill: jazz guitar/trumpet and a capella group at Gaia Java

This week we have the pleasure of bringing you two different performance groups in one evening. First a jazz duo of guitar and trumpet, secondly a local group that specialises in full vocal harmony arrangements of contemporary songs.

Robert Wannell (left) and Michael Henley.)
Robert Wannell (left) and Michael Henley.)

Robert Wannell on jazz guitar with Michael Henley on trumpet. Robert and Michael have both played in the shop on previous occasions and have seriously impressed listeners with the maturity and proficiency of their performances. Both are success stories of the encouragement of jazz in the Ottawa High School community as players in the high-calibre Nepean All-City Jazz Band, and they were each recipients of scholarships to Ontario jazz mecca Humber College in Toronto. Now well into their College studies they are back home in Ottawa for a few days, and we are fortunate to be able to welcome them for a duo reunion at Gaia Java this Friday. Come along and hear how their skills have evolved as a result of playing with other jazz greats from across the province.

Harmonic Generation
Harmonic Generation

A cappella contemporary vocals from Harmonic Generation. This group specialises in taking contemporary (i.e. ‘pop’) tunes and adapting them to be performed with voices only, which is known as a cappella since they used to perform that way in the chapels of early churches back in the middle ages. But they didn’t sing pieces by the Beatles, Sting, Daft Punk or Michael Jackson back then. So times and styles have changed, and the singers of Harmonic Generation have a lot of fun working up these complex arrangements of favourites from the last few decades (and occasionally beyond!). This Friday at Gaia Java they will be giving an acoustic preview of some of the songs to be performed at their upcoming concerts in Bells Corners and Arnprior (for more details of those see www.harmonicgeneration.ca ). Come along and compare the faces in the photo with the current line-up; you may recognise the odd coffee-shop owner in there (and I do mean odd!) and enjoy some familiar toe-tapping tunes. You could either go and see Pitch Perfect2 at the movies or you could come to Gaia Java and hear some a cappella live. Or do both.

Robert Wannell on jazz guitar with Michael Henley on trumpet, and Harmonic Generation on Friday June 5 at 7:00pm at Gaia Java.


First Music ROX Fund 2015 recipients chosen by Stittsville’s U-Rock Music School

(Press release from U-Rock Music School.)

Two aspiring young musicians have been selected to receive this year’s Music ROX Fund from Stittsville’s U-Rock Music School.

Kate Magnan, 13, and Shiane Marie Rawlings, 13, both met the selection criteria and will each receive eight private lessons in vocals, guitar or drums during the 2015 summer lessons session.

“Music is our life. My mom says I’ve been singing since I could make sounds. I don’t think I’ll ever stop singing. If someone gave me free lessons, I would be very thankful,” wrote Shiane Marie Rawlins in her winning application.

The Music ROX fund was established this year to provide music education to promising young musicians who might not otherwise have access to private lessons.

U-Rock Music School’s founder, Cathy Hallessey, explains why this fund is important to her community. “It’s our way of giving back to a community that’s been so supportive of our music school. Offering free summer lessons to our two deserving young singers helps us encourage their music education by providing opportunities they might not otherwise have had. We want to share our passion for music every chance we get.”

Shiane & Kate will attend U-Rock’s summer rock concert on June 21st at The Brass Monkey to watch the school’s talented performers and will be officially introduced and given their Music ROX Fund packages at this event.

U-Rock Music School has been grooming young rock stars since 1997.

For more information please visit www.u-rockschool.com


What can be done about Stittsville’s dog waste problem?

This image was shared by Stittsville resident Kristin Harcoff.  It shows a pair of concrete barriers at the end of Maple Grove Road near Alon Street, at the edge of the Jackson Trails and Bryanston Gate.

Harcoff writes:

“Dear neighbours of Bryanston Gate and Jackson Trails.  This is not a garbage can, and especially not one for your dog’s shit. Take it home with you.  Not only am I embarrassed, being a dog owner myself, I am completely disgusted that I had to move your dog’s shit bags so I could just barely squeeze my stroller between these cement blocks.  You can’t possibly live far if you are waking here, and since you have been so kind to bag your poop, perhaps you could be so kind not to leave it on a path I regularly use.”

Improperly disposed dog waste is a big stinking problem in Stittsville and across Ottawa — this is just one example.  Not only is it unpleasant to look at, but it’s also a health issue too.

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM OUR READERS: What constructive ideas do you have to deal with the problem? Have you seen solutions that work in other communities? Share your comments below or email us at feedback@stittsvillecentral.ca

Dog waste at the end of Maple Grove.

Cheryl Dewar via email:
“I was in the UK recently and noticed they have containers for bagged dog waste.  They are a dog friendly nation. This is an interesting site.

A few comments so far from Facebook and Twitter:

  • Tim Harcoff: People just need to be more responsible for their own mess. Put your own dog’s crap in your own garbage like I do.
  • Melissa Paterson: Having waste disposal receptacles at popular dog walking spots around Stittsville would at least ensure that dog waste is contained and not left around.
  • Sandy Reely: NOT putting “no dog waste” on already available garbage cans in parks would help.
  • Suzanne Bird: There is an awesome company that puts up stations with biodegradable bags and trash cans. Would love to see the city work with them at dog parks more.
  • Wendy Killeen: I am also embarrassed by this since I have two dogs. What is also disgusting is when people bag the poop and hang it in a tree, I see this a lot along the trails. What’s the point of that?


LETTER: Bring light rail to Stittsville

Re: Ottawa infrastructure lags behind, says Stittsville transit commissioner

I hope now that Stittsville is fortunate enough to have one of our own on the city transit commission that this gent will demand the extension of light rail to the Stittsville /Kanata community, instead of having it end at Bayshore or Moodie Drive. How is it that Orleans gets light rail in the first round of rail expansion but the best we get is bussing to Bayshore?  This area  has been screwed!

This issue doesn’t seem to much concern area councillors Wilkinson, Hubley and Qadri, but I think we deserve much better!

Mike Bryan, Stittsville


New co-prime minsters elected at Sacred Heart

Students at Sacred Heart Catholic High School voted today on May 28 to decide who would become their new co prime minister of student council.

Paul Smith and Jessica Dassanayake (pictured above) will represents students as co-prime ministers during the 2015-2016 school year.

Several grades of students were called down to the school auditorium separately, for 3rd and 4th periods, to attend presentations by all three male candidates, and the sole running female candidate.
The four candidates who presented their platforms were:
  • Braden Garvey
  • Daniel Pageau
  • Paul Smith
  • Jessica Dassanayake

(As the only female running, Dassanayake is thus guaranteed the position of female co-prime minister.)

The current prime ministers, Steve Hickson and Taylor Cavanaugh, came out to say a few words. This was disrupted for a few minutes until technical difficulties with the microphone and speaker system could be resolved. Once it was they implored the audience to vote based off who they think has the best platform, instead of “who gave you the most stuff.”

Immediately following the opening, Braden Garvey took the stage to begin his own presentation.

Braden opened his speech with his inspiration for running. He said that one of his friends is Head Boy at Woodroffe High and invited him to the first school dance they held in about four years. Being the first dance the students there had attended, it was “kind of like high school musical.”

Braden then discussed how it was “what Sacred needs” going on to say he wants to make the school a more fun place, if elected. He said he has many ideas on how to do this and raise school spirit. One of the plans he raised was bringing back pep rallies, which according to him have not been done in over four years at Sacred Heart. He closed his speech by saying “let’s do high school like our parents, and let’s do it better.”

Before leaving the stage, he was joined by two campaign assistants to perform a techno dance to “Sandstorm” by Darude.

After Braden Garvey came candidate Daniel Pageau. He began his speech with a brief dance and the words “if you can dream it, you can do it.”

In his presentation, he discussed his active history in the school community, making the point that he shares a cumulative 15 years in the Sacred Heart community with his sisters, and his heavy participation in school sports and activities. He also talked about his activities in school clubs, such as the Tennis club and Science club he co-created.

He went on to his platform, and said that he will work very hard to make the school spectacular, and promised to have a spotless attendance record for all school events, and stated his platform is partially based off of being in touch with students, so they can give feedback and make suggestions. He closed by saying “it has been said great events make great leaders, so let’s make next year a great event.”

Afterwards, Paul Smith took the stage to discuss his campaign, saying his primary concern was students not having a voice, and it seems “school spirit has fallen and can’t get up, but I am here to be your LifeAlert button.”

He continued to say that he will usher in a new student council that is easily reachable by students. He said he “isn’t here to promise anything like having coffee shops in the school, canceling exams, having escalators instead of stairs – althought that would actually be really cool – or having a hype corner at church – although that would be sweet”, adding that he wants to do things that are realistic and actually possible.

He also touched up on bringing back buyouts (an event where classes bring money for charities and “buy out” the period to attend school sporting events) in order to raise school spirit. He closed by saying “no more asking what the school can do for us, but what we can do for our school.”

Following right after, Jessica Dassanayake appeared on stage, and after showing a video montage of people saying her campaign slogan “Yes to Jess” she delivered her speech. In it she touched on her eight years on student council to-date, and her heavy participation in the school community, ranging from peer mentoring, leadership camp and help designing posters for school plays.

She then moved on to her platform, also discussing how she will bring better communication to students with student council, reiterating that the “point of student council is to make the things that you, the students, want to happen, actually happen.”

She also said that she wants to usher in better and more engaging advertising for school events, and increase the amount of spirit days (days where students do something like wear pajamas or dress up like a character).  She finished by saying she “has a lot of great ideas” and has the work ethic to make them happen for the students.

After her presentation students were released back to class, and voting took place shortly after 2:00pm on a class by class basis. Results were announced the next morning.

(Devyn Barrie is a student at Sacred Heart High School