Section of Rideau Trail south of Kanata closed due to wild parsnip

Wild parsnip growing along the ditch on Huntley Road south of Stittsville. Photo by Barry Gray.
Wild parsnip growing along the ditch on Huntley Road south of Stittsville. Photo by Barry Gray.

Part of the Rideau Trail has been closed south of Kanata due to wild parsnip.  From the Rideau Trail Association web site:

Regrettably we will be closing a portion of the Rideau Trail, approximately 3.2 kilometers in total, that being unopened road allowances east and west of Eagleson Road (south of Rushmore Road) and west of Richmond  Road due to the danger posed by wild parsnip growth.  We have contacted the City of Ottawa public works manager who has advised that they are looking into the situation but cannot yet provide us with a definite time as to when the wild parsnip will be eradicated. We will be posting signage in the near future redirecting members to an alternate route. In the interim, we ask your co-operation to avoid  this area.

It grows in the ditched along the roads, just off our soccer fields and along our walking and bike paths. It looks pretty with it’s golden flowers, but it is nasty!

The City of Ottawa says: “Wild parsnip is an invasive plant that is increasingly common within the City of Ottawa in areas of uncultivated land, roadside ditches, nature trails, as well as on and surrounding rural and residential properties. Wild parsnip may pose a health risk to humans. The plant sap contains chemicals that may cause skin and eye irritation and make the skin prone to severe burning and blistering when exposed to the sun. The blisters typically occur one to two days after contact with the plant. This can result in long-term scarring of the skin. The best way to avoid contact with wild parsnip is to become familiar with what the plant looks like so you do not accidentally get burned.” (You can learn more about how the city is combatting the problem here…)

Be careful! It is out there… everywhere.

Wild parsnip growing along the ditch on Huntley Road south of Stittsville. Photo by Barry Gray.
Wild parsnip growing along the ditch on Huntley Road south of Stittsville. Photo by Barry Gray.


City staff want conversation with culvert blockers

(PHOTO: Stones blocking the culvert under the Trans Canada Trail, October 2014.  Photo courtesy of Phil Sweetnam.)

City officials want to know who keeps plugging up a culvert under the Trans Canada Trail, and why they’re doing it.

“We initially thought it was just kids throwing stones in,” says John Kukalis, Manager of Surface Water Management for the City. “Somebody keeps going back in there and blocking the culverts up with stones and trying to create an impoundment of water.” Continue reading


Firefighter Frank Muraca Turns up the heat with new food trailer

(Above: Frank Muraca and his two boys, Giovanni (left) and Dante (right) at the Muraca On Fire food truck in the Rona parking lot on Hazeldean Road. Photo by Barry Gray.)

From Italy, to the fire station, to the streets of Stittsville. Muraca On Fire owner Frank Muraca is taking his experience cooking for hungry, fearless firefighters, dropping in a fist-full of family-first Italian heritage, and turning it all into tasty, affordable street food. His sons are also getting in on the action, which includes an unreal veal sandwich. You heard us … a veal sandwich from a food truck! The Muraca On Fire trailer is at the Rona parking lot on Hazeldean Rd.  This is part of our ongoing Stittsville food truck series. Continue reading


Stittsville Krown aims for world record to support Children’s Wish

(via Krown Rust Control)

On Saturday between 9:00am and 2:00pm,  Stittsville’s Krown Rust Control centre will attempt to break the world record for the most vehicles washed by an organization in one day, along with other Krown centres across the country.

As part of the Krown Wash for a Wish Car Wash, for $10, Canadians will receive a hand car wash at any participating Krown Rust Control location across the country and 100 per cent of money raised will be donated to regional chapters of Children’s Wish. Funds raised at the car wash will help make the wishes of local children with life-threatening illnesses come true.


Krown is on Cedarow Court just off Hazeldean, across from Cabotto’s.



PHOTO: Car in ditch closes Huntmar south of Palladium

Huntmar Road was closed for part of Thursday evening as tow trucks hauled a vehicle out of the ditch.

Several vehicles were involved in an accident on Huntmar just north of Maple Grove around 8:00pm.  There were paramedics and fire crews on the scene but it didn’t look like anyone was hurt.  No airbags were deployed in the vehicles.

Construction crews were working late just a few steps away at Huntmar and Maple Grove, prepping for new traffic lights at the intersection.


LINKED: Huntmar overpass unfriendly to bikes, pedestrians

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Besides running, I’m also president of the Fairwinds Community Association.  CBC reported today on an issue that we’ve been pursuing around pedestrian safety on the Huntmar bridge.  The bridge has been deemed too narrow for pedestrians to cross safely, and there’s no plan to widen it until 2026.  We wrote a letter to councillors last month with a simple, inexpensive solution: make the bridge one-way for cars. That’s where CBC picked up the story. -GG.)

Residents who live near the Tanger Outlets mall and the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa are calling for better pedestrian access across Highway 417.

The Huntmar Drive overpass connects the two Kanata landmarks but it was designed and built before thousands of people moved into homes nearby.

The narrow thoroughfare lacks sidewalks and is dangerous to bike across, said Joe Boughner of the Fairwinds Community Association.

“[It] was never designed with pedestrian or cycle traffic in mind,” said Boughner, whose group wants the city to convert part of the overpass to alternating one-way traffic.

Read the full article…



Hope Side Road in Kanata closed until July 27

(Press release from the City of Ottawa)

Hope Side Road will be closed between Eagleson Road and Richmond Road beginning Friday, July 17 at 7 p.m. and ending Monday, July 27 at 6 a.m. The closure is necessary to allow for the reconstruction of the Monahan Drain Stormwater Facility.

A signed detour will divert motorists to Fallowfield Road for the duration of the closure.

With all of the construction-related activities underway, residents are encouraged to be flexible with commuting times, stagger work hours or use alternative means for travel. The public is asked to consider options such as transit, walking, cycling or carpooling.

During construction, there will be a greater need for all road users to share the road in a safe manner. When navigating through a detour or a construction area, be cautious and watch out for pedestrians, cyclists and other motorists. Signage along the detour will emphasize the need to slow down and share the road.

The City of Ottawa has tools to help motorists and transit users plan their routes and manage their commute, including:

Further details and other information concerning City road works are available on


Carol Tieu and Stephane Klander at Gaia Java July 17

A great night was had by all back in April when Carol and Stéphane entertained us previously. People even started dancing!! They clearly enjoy playing and singing together and their choice of repertoire resonated very will with the audience present, covering standards and familiar ballads from the mainstream of contemporary music. Continue reading


“Finding Holly” trail cam damaged… and the culprits are caught on camera

UPDATE – JULY 14: Volunteer Lisa Gallant tells that as of this afternoon, volunteers believe that they’ve identified three of the four people in the photos, thanks to tips from social media. It’s still unclear if charges can or will be laid.

“We would like to see restitution for the cam as well as some labour,” she says, such as clean up services or providing help to an animal rescue organization.



Posted today to the Finding Holly Facebook page:

We have a couple of trail cams up in different locations hoping to get a glimpse of the elusive Holly. One of those cams was located on private property belonging to Sunset Farms. They have graciously allowed us to place the cam there, leave a food cage, and periodically check it. Continue reading


Stittsville’s Grace Lachance wins Bluesfest music contest (with video)

Grace Lachance, a Grade 9 student at Sacred Heart High School, won Bluesfest’s She’s The One Female emerging artist competition.

“It was such a great opportunity to be chosen even in the top 10 for the competition. All the girls were amazingly talented. it was a really big honour to win. I was definitely surprised,” she told from her cottage in Pembroke. Continue reading


Fires nearby in Katimavik, Richardson Side Road

Ottawa Fire responded to two calls near Stittsville this afternoon:

  • A fire at a two-storey home at 8 Forbes Avenue in Katimavik was called in just after 2:00pm.    The homeowner got out safely along with a pet dog and birds. Damage is estimated at $225,000 to the structure and $25,000 to the contents.
  • Also this afternoon, a fire at 2173 Richardson Side Road, just east of Carp Road.  Ottawa Fire Services responded to multiple 911 calls reporting a fire in a three-sided, 2,000 square foot recycling shed.  Upon arrival fire fighters confirmed the fire in rubble in the large shed. The main body of the fire was under control by 2:30pm. 



Stittsville has fewest million dollar homes in Ottawa

Breakdown of property assessment values by ward, according to the Ontario’s Municipal Property Assessment Corp. Data via the Ottawa Citizen.
Breakdown of property assessment values by ward, according to the Ontario’s Municipal Property Assessment Corp. Data via the Ottawa Citizen.


The Ottawa Citizen published data from Ontario’s Property Assessment Corp. (MPAC) showing a steep rise in the number of million dollar homes in Ottawa over the past few years.

What’s interesting from a Stittsville perspective is that not only are we the ward with the fewest million-dollar home assessments, we’re also the only ward where the number has gone down.   Continue reading


Councillor to install bat boxes in Kanata North to combat mosquitoes

You may have read in the news this week about residents who live near Kizell Pond in Kanata who want the city to do something to reduce the number of mosquitoes in their area.

CBC Ottawa reported that over 300 people signed a petition asking the city to take action.  “When you open your screen door or get out of your car, it’s just instantly, you get a [swarm] of mosquitoes just attacking you,” said Lianne Zhou, who started the petition.

Councillor Marianne Wilkinson revealed a few plans of her own in in an email update to residents:

Although mosquitoes are an increasing nuisance in the communities surrounding the Kizell Wetlands, this provincially protected wetland cannot be stripped clean of producer species (such as mosquitoes), which sustain the food chain. Chemical spraying would require provincial licensing and agreement by all the affiliated landowner(s), including the wetlands in question which are designated as provincially significant. According to GDG (a company that is hired by the City to treat catch basins and storm water ponds for mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus, an immediate solution is not possible for a treatment option – it would be at least a year away.

However there are some things that can be done now.  I have obtained 20 bat boxes that will soon be installed along the edge of the wetlands so that the bats (that are already in the area) will eat mosquitoes closer to people’s homes.  We may also be able to increase the number of dragonflies, although they eat many types of insects so it isn’t a total solution.  Individual homeowners can take action as well by ensuring no standing water (check your rain barrels, eavestrough, wading pools etc to ensure they are dry or have a screen at the surface to stop mosquitoes from laying larvae.  Commercial products such as the Mosquito Magnet, concentrated garlic spray, fogging materials are available at local hardware stores.

I contacted a senior entomologist in Winnipeg (mosquito capital of the world!) and I am getting some information on another effective way for homeowners to get rid of most of the mosquitoes. I will pass on that information once received.

I have met with City staff and they have agreed to move forward to build the Kizell Wetlands pathway but construction will not happen until at least next year. The first step – activating the project – is now underway. The other pathway, between Kanata Estates and Richardson Ridge, which will connect to the Kizell Wetlands pathway, is to be built by the developers of the Richardson Ridge community.