NOTEBOOK: Kanata dog park, new mini-roundabouts, Bradley-Craig Farm

Last fall we reported on a proposed fenced dog park in Kanata at Insmill Park near Terry Fox Drive. Here’s an update from Kanata North Councillor Marianne Wilkinson: “Thank you to everyone who provided feedback about the proposed fenced dog area for Insmill Park. I will be meeting with City staff later this month to review your concerns and to consider alternative locations. The NCC has been approached about a dog park on their lands and I hope to have more information on that soon.” Continue reading


Kirtan fundraiser for multiple sclerosis at Blue Bamboo Yoga Sunday

(via Blue Bamboo Yoga)

Join Blue Bamboo for a charity event benefiting the MS Foundation.

Kimberly Mantas will guide you to sing together in an easy and uplifting  “call and response” format traditionally known as Kirtan. Have fun and raise funds for MS!

No singing capabilities required! Minimum donation is $10. Your generosity is gratefully appreciated.

Register online at: or by phone at: (613) 435-9447.  Blue Bamboo is in the Jackson Trails plaza on Hazeldean Road.


GAIA JAVA: Return of the great Joe Brownrigg on Friday

It is now almost two years since Joe Brownrigg last came and performed at the shop, and that was a memorable evening. My 2014 introduction about his music is still true even this year, and brings a perspective that we may not live in but which enriches our understanding of what makes a community, and the Gaia Java philosophy is very focussed on our community. Continue reading


Andrew King reimagines the Bradley-Craig Farm

Does suburban commercial development always have to be so bland? Why do builders tend to bulldoze everything and start from scratch? What if we applied a bit of vision and imagination to our commercial areas?

Richcraft has applied for a demolition permit so that they can dismantle the big red barn at the Bradley-Craig Farm on Hazeldean Road, and move it to Munster to be re-assembled at Saunders Farm. (The city’s Built Heritage Sub-Committee has already voted against the plan, and the Planning Committee is set to debate the issue on Tuesday, January 26.)
Continue reading


Jim Bryson adds second show at Quitters in February

UPDATE: The second show also sold out really, really quickly, so Jim has added a third show on Saturday, February 20.  Check his web site for ticket info.

Jim Bryson’s show at Quitters on Friday, February 19 sold out in a matter of minutes, so he’s added a second show the night before. But you’ll have to act fast.

Tickets for the new show on Thursday, February 18 go on sale Tuesday morning, January 19 at 10:00am at Continue reading


PHOTOS: Early winter morning (Part 3)

Winter is a beautiful time to get outside and take some photos (as long as your camera’s batteries don’t die.) Here’s a series of shots from the past week from Stittsville photographer Barry Gary.

“The morning light is always so wonderful on cold crisp days so I shot everything back light just as the sun was coming up,” he says.

(Part 2 is here…)
Continue reading


Warriors banquet auctions set a new record

(via Warriors Football Club)

The Bell Warriors Football Club has reached out to Warriors families, supporters and local businesses and the response was better than could have been expected Saturday (January 9/16) at their Team Banquets. Two Club banquets were held. One for the two youngest teams (Tyke ages 8-10 and Mosquito ages 11-12) and one for the Warriors two oldest teams (Pee Wee ages 13-14 and Bantam ages 15-16). In addition to the big day of banquets, the Warriors hosted their 4th Annual Silent Auctions, one with each banquet. In all, the Warriors Club raised over $5,000 which will go directly back towards purchasing new football equipment for our players and ensuring their sport is affordable for all.

“Football has never been bigger in Ottawa. This increased awareness of our great sport has led to a paralleled increase of support of our Warriors football programs. One of our primary goals as a club is to focus on player safety by upgrading our equipment and re-certifying our existing equipment annually. Unlike other sports, keeping our sport as affordable as possible is essential. What we offer our young players is far too important to have financial barriers limit enrolment. It’s a constant challenge to balance. We introduced Silent Auctions to our banquets three years ago and with this year’s proceeds, we have raised approximately $20,000. To put that into perspective, this could cover the purchase cost of over 60 new helmets or registration fees for over 60 player,” says Paul Stewart, Bell Warriors President and Bantam Head Coach.

Stewart continues: “We rely heavily on community support to offer our football programs. Most people do not realize that less than 50% of our proceeds come as a result of player fees. So much of our Warrior volunteers’ time is dedicated to hosting winter conditioning sessions; fielding our tackle football teams and girl’s spring touch football teams. Over the last few years, more sponsors have recognized our financial challenges and have stepped up with financial and in-kind support. We truly thank our 2015 Bell Warrior sponsors:


Gold Sponsors                      Scotiabank (Richmond);   Primo Self Storage; Ontario Iron Works; The Glen (Stittsville); Ottawa Valley Kitchens (Richmond)

Silver Sponsors                    Yasmin Fues; RCMP Officer’s Mess; King’s Independent

Bronze Sponsors                 Jill Dulmage; Battle River Bison Co.; Bradley’s Commercial Insurance; Don Cherry’s Sports Grill; Danby’s Bar & Grill (Munster/Richmond); BMO Global Asset Management; Rona (Stittsville); Stittsville News

Friend of the Warriors    Mike Polito (Stittsville); Janet & Mike Keenan (Stittsville); Susan & Rick Rabb

Sponsors                                  (Richmond); Grant & Cathy England (Stittsville); David Rheaume (Toronto); 1951 West Kitchen & Bar (Nepean)

 The Warriors volunteer over 5,000 hours a year because we are committed to instill the importance learning the value of hard work, respect, responsibility, commitment, sportsmanship and leadership in our local youth. Our motto, ‘Warriors For Life’, represents our dedication to be there for our youth on and off the field and long after their playing days are done.

Special Guest Speaker at this year’s Warriors Banquets was Justin Phillips of the Ottawa REDBLACKS. Mr. Phillips went to Laurier University where he won the Vanier Cup. He went on to play for 7 years for the Calgary Stampeders where he won a Grey Cup before becoming the Ottawa REDBLACKS’ first free agent signing. In his ninth year in the CFL this year, Justin started his playing career with the Bell Warriors Football Club. In 2013, he became the Bell Warriors inaugural inductee into the Bell Warriors Hall of Fame.


PHOTO: Wedding photos at Village Square Park

We were getting lunch at Quitters, when an OC Transpo bus stopped next door. Out came a wedding party, who walked over to Village Square Park and stopped in front of the old log house for some photos. (Photo courtesy of J. Baillie)

UPDATE: The bride and groom are Sarah and Trevor Kennedy. Sarah writes: “I happen to be the very lucky bride in that photo. My handsome groom Trevor Kennedy is a real prince. Thanks for all the great thoughts and comments! We had an amazing, unforgettable day. BEST day of our lives. Didn’t my girls rock those outfits?”

This pic was posted to Stittsville Neighbours on Saturday afternoon and within a few hours has over 200 likes, which is likely the most popular photo ever on the group.


PHOTO ESSAY: Johnny Leroux Arena turns 45 years old

The Johnny Leroux Stittsville Community Arena turns 45 years old this month.

The first skate was on the evening of January 16, 1971, the result of a massive community effort to raise funds and literally raise the building itself.  Stittsville’s first indoor arena was financed entirely by the community, with no help from the municipality. Barbara Bottriell tells the story of the rink in her book Stittsville: A Sense of Place:

“…in the Fall of Centennial year, a group of adult hockey players got together and decided that Stittsville needed an arena and that they were going to build one themselves.  They acquired a piece of land beside Alexander Grove sometime during the winter of 1968, and began their fundraising activities in the Spring.”

By the end of 1968 they had raised $25,000 and volunteers went to work clearing the land with chainsaws, dropping by after work or on weekends.

“The cleared the land, stumped it, put in the footings and four feet of crushed stone before the contractor started in 1970.  The contractor framed the building and put the roof and then the volunteers began their work again, putting up the siding on the outside and the cement blocks inside.  They put polyethtylene over the crushed stone and flooded the surface, even working on Christmas Eve to prepare the ice surface for the new year.”

On January 16, 1971, the committee members – including Ian Colpitts and Sterling Warner – went for a skate on the new ice, but aside from the rink, four walls and a roof, there wasn’t much more to the arena.  There was no seating and only temporary dressing rooms. Fundraising continued while they finished the building.  (Warner died in 2000; Colpitts died in 2012.)

Tens of thousands of dollars were raised by a variety of individuals and community groups over several years as the building continued to be developed.  (John Curry wrote a detailed summary of fundraising efforts and arena costs in the Stittsville News a few years back.)

The building was named after Johnny Leroux in 2011. Leroux has been involved in local sports for years, including as a coach and referee for local hockey and baseball teams. He continues to be an active member of the Stittsville Legion and can often be seen in the stands at the arena that bears his name.

Photographer Barry Gray dropped by recently to snap some photos of the old barn.

We’d love to hear from our readers: Were you part of the fundraising and efforts to build the rink?  Do you have any favourite memories from playing hockey there?  Add a comment below or send us a link at

Plaque inside the arena recognizing Sterling Warner and Ian Colpits, who were instrumental in the community fundraising and contruction of the arena. Barry Gray (for StittsvilleCentral)
Plaque inside the arena recognizing Sterling Warner and Ian Colpitts, who were instrumental in the community fundraising and construction of the arena.
Trophy display case in the lobby of the arena. Barry Gray (for StittsvilleCentral)
Trophy display case in the lobby of the arena.
The arena ice surface, just cleaned ready for skating. Barry Gray (for StittsvilleCentral)
The arena ice surface, just cleaned ready for skating.
Rams hockey jacket in the display case honouring Johnny Leroux who the arena is now named after. Barry Gray (for StittsvilleCentral)
A Stittsville Rams hockey jacket in the display case honouring Johnny Leroux, who the arena is now named after.

Banners inside the arena. Barry Gray (for StittsvilleCentral)

Banners inside the arena. Barry Gray (for StittsvilleCentral)

Plaque inside the arena for Charles Fraser, the first arena manager. Barry Gray (for StittsvilleCentral)
Plaque inside the arena honouring Charles Fraser, the first and long-time arena manager.

Lobby of the arena. Barry Gray (for StittsvilleCentral)

Lobby of the arena. Barry Gray (for StittsvilleCentral)

The first skate happened at the Stittsville arena on January 16, 1971 with no fanfare or ribbon cutting. Over 200 people showed up that evening. Barry Gray (for StittsvilleCentral)
The first skate happened at the Stittsville arena on January 16, 1971 with no fanfare or ribbon cutting. Over 200 people showed up that evening. Barry Gray (for StittsvilleCentral)


Stittsville rallies to raise funds for Michael Meehan

The Stittsville community continues to rally to raise funds for Michael Meehan, the nine-year-old Stittsville boy who’s been diagnosed for the second time with Leukemia.

Next up is a benefit on Saturday, January 23 at the Johnny Leroux Arena. It’s sponsored by Brown’s Your Independent Grocer, with bar services provided by the Stittsville Lions Club and entertainment from Quality Entertainment.

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased by emailing Peter Vukovic at He’s a member of the Guardian Angels School Parent Council.

Friends of the family have also set up a GoFundMe page, and as of Friday night they’ve raised over $12,000 of their $20,000 goal. He’s undertaking clinical trials as part of a new treatment in Montreal, and the money raised will help reduce the financial stress on the family during this time.

Here’s a note from the GoFundMe page:

Michael Meehan was born with Down Syndrome and a rare brain malformation, Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum. He was first diagnosed with leukemia in January 2013 after complaining about pain in his side. Michael had just started ski lessons so his parents at first thought it was simply some kind of related soreness. But when the pain persisted, they took him to the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, where he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Despite that treatment, which demanded two-and-a-half years of chemotherapy, Michael managed to help raise more than $45,000 for CHEO, and represent both the hospital and the Canadian Cancer Society as a community ambassador. That work earned him national recognition in March as one of five “heroes” selected by the Canadian Down Syndrome Society.

Earlier this year, with his cancer officially in remission, Michael had his implanted medicine port removed and rang the end-of-treatment bell at CHEO.

But during a routine blood test in mid-October, doctors discovered Michael’s leukemia had returned. Michael began painful Chemotherapy sessions at CHEO hospital.

Recently, the Meehan’s discovered that Michael wasn’t reacting to the Chemotherapy. The doctor’s suggested Michael begin a new treatment called CAR-T cell therapy which is offered in Montreal, Quebec.

Michael and the Meehan family are now preparing for yet another long and painful fight with new treatment and hopes for Michael’s recovery.

During this entire battle Michael has had a smile on his face and has inspired many of us to stay positive and keep fighting until the battle is won.

Meehan benefit flyer/poster


Ottawa Police conduct two-day school zone traffic blitz

(via Ottawa Police)

With students returning from winter holiday break, the Ottawa Police Traffic sections, assisted by School Resource Officers, conducted city-wide proactive traffic enforcement blitzes in school zones.

The two-day enforcement campaign, which took place January 13th and 14th , focused on traffic safety in and around school zones. In particular, officers looked for:

* speeding in school zones,
* failing to stop, failing to yield to pedestrians at school crossings,
* failing to obey crossing guards,
* failing to obey school bus signs,
* distracted driving.

As a result, a total of 127 Provincial Offence Notices were issued during this enforcement campaign.

The Ottawa Police Service continues to remind drivers to be alert when driving; this especially applies in school zones.


NOTEBOOK: Flewellyn-Jones house could be home to a PTSD wellness centre

Interesting discussion today at City Hall around the impacts of heritage designation, and a great example of a creative compromise.

A group of seven therapists want to transform the Flewellyn-Jones house into a wellness centre, treating people with post-tramautic stress disorder (PTSD) including Canadian soldiers.

The therapist group was close to finalizing a purchase of the property from the Jones family late in 2015,  but put the deal on hold when they found out that city staff was recommending heritage designation for the 19th century stone house and adjacent apple orchard.

Continue reading


Stittsville Aces bring home the gold

Photo: Front row (lying down) left to right: William MacNeil, Luke Yelle. Second row, left to right: Evan Moo, Tyler Hannah, Cameron Stone, Grady Lowthian, Patrick Bonini, Austin Sykes, Christopher Perron. Third row, left to right: Eric Exley, Sam Booker, Thomas Wainwright, Erik Wilson, Wei-Wei Fan-Saschenbrecker. Back row, left to right: Assistant Coach Marc Hannah, Head Coach Rob Stone, Assistant Coach Mark Wilson, Trainer Frank Wainwright. Missing from photo: Conner Howard.

The Stittsville Aces took home gold from the St. Isidore Peewee House B tournament last weekend with a decisive 6-1 victory over the Cornwall Colts to win the championship game.

The team started the day with a 7-0 win over Montreal’s MWH Knights and followed up with an intense game against the Canterbury Bulldozers that was decided in overtime with Stittsville’s Thomas Wainwright scoring the game winner. Continue reading


LEGION: Valentine’s Cabaret and more upcoming events

On Friday, January 29th  Guy will be serving his French Onion Soup.  It will be served from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. for only $5.00.
On February 3rd the next bus trip to the Slots at the Rideau Carleton Raceway organized by the 55 Plus Club of the Legion. The bus will leave the Johnny Leroux Stittsville Community Arena at 11:30 a.m.  To reserve a seat or for more information call Marion Gullock at 613-836-5254.

Continue reading


LETTER: City’s vision for garbage stinks

“Look, we all know that garbage happens… The City of Ottawa’s performance in this area frankly stinks.”

Carp Dump II has the passed the Environmental Compliance Application (ECA) and the so called “West Carleton Environmental Centre” is now all but certain.

Frankly, I am more than just a little surprised how little I’ve read about this inevitability.

When the first dump was opened in Carp the early 1970s, it was essentially for local use and it was in the middle of nowhere. Now, some forty years later, the new dump (which will be beside the old one) happens to be in the middle of growing suburbia, and for the use of all of Ontario.

We all know that garbage happens. What is necessary is a well laid plan that is environmentally sound and economically viable. The City of Ottawa’s performance in this area frankly stinks.

Plasco and Orgaworld were both whiffs of legendary proportion, and yet here we are continuing to move forward without a viable 30 year plan.

Operating without a plan continues to cost us money and will have a negative effect on some of our residents’ quality of life.  It could also harm our environment, and it will devalue property.

I think we all know that landfills are not the answer. It’s the way of a bygone era. No one wants them except the companies that make a fortune operating them.

Yet, despite lingering complaints about the first dump, the City of Ottawa is on the verge of adding two more landfill sites.   We already have four!

That’s not very green for a supposedly very green city.


Landfills are not the way of the future, but unfortunately, it seems to be the way of our city.

Moving forward, transparency is a must, and clearly our neighbours should all be entitled to live in an environment that is clean, safe and healthy.

Jonathan Mark
Dunrobin, Ontario

(Jonathan Mark is a broadcaster, Chair for the Ward 5 Citizens’ Council (W5CC), and a candidate for West Carleton Ward in the last municipal election.)


Folk musician Jared Lewis at Gaia Java on Friday

Jared Lewis is a folk musician from New Brunswick. He has played many professional establishments, including most recently in Montreal L’Escogriffe, L’Escalier,  and the Yellow Door (the oldest coffee house in Canada). He sings and plays the harmonica (though not at the same time!) accompanying himself on electric/acoustic guitar. He plays at Gaia Java on Friday, January 15 at 7pm.

Jared Lewis
Jared Lewis

After quitting his job to become a full time busker on the Main St. of Moncton N.B. in the summer of 2011, Lewis moved on to bar performing that fall and has since played an eclectic range of bars, speakeasies, bookstores, houses, and other locations in Eastern Canada. “Can’t Sleep (My Niece is Too Hipster)!,” “Lougarou Woman,” and more traditional themed music, such as “Movin’ into (& Through) the Rhythms of her Heart” are just some of the songs that make up his all-original live show and showcase his songwriting originality.

Jared has also self-published a book of essays about New Brunswick call centres. When he isn’t working on his weekly “stream of consciousness” radio show on, Lewis is continuously writing songs and organizing new material to share with his audience, whom he has affectionately dubbed “the puppy pack,” in his live shows and on the “radio.” Jared is looking forward to playing at Gaia Java and is excited to share his music and stories with a fresh new audience of young and old puppy packers!

Things are looking ever more positive that Gaia Java will continue to serve Stittsville and offer music nights in 2016 – which will be great news! I will email again when all is formalised.

So do come by and support the shop and these great musicians as they bring their talents and music to Stittsville.

-Paul Jay


FIRESTONE: Short term pain, long term gain if Sens ever move

(ABOVE: A screen capture from an early 1990s video. Bruce Firestone talks to reporters on the Huntmar Bridge overlooking the farmer’s field that would eventually become the Palladium, now known as Canadian Tire Centre.)

Ottawa Magazine published an excerpt of Bruce Firestone’s new book, “Don’t Back Down”.  Firestone is the founder of the Sens, and the book chronicle the behind-the-scenes quest to bring a franchise to Ottawa.  Here’s what Bruce thinks will happen to our community if the Sens ever end up moving to Lebreton Flats.


OK then, let me ask you again, what will happen to CTC and Kanata? Will it be an economic disaster?

The simple answer is yes, and no.

Yes, in the sense that animation (i.e., more development) around Canadian Tire Centre will have to wait until uncertainty about future plans are settled —  either they are going to LeBreton Flats or they are not.

I mean, would you build a new hotel or condo next to an arena that might go dark in a few years — its lead tenant having absconded to greener pastures? No, you would not.

The answer is also, “No.” It will not be an economic disaster, and I can prove it to you.

Wal-Mart said that one of their biggest mistakes was not building bigger (much bigger) in Kanata. The repurposing of old Maple Leaf Gardens for a superstore (Loblaw) and Ryerson University’s MAC Centre has been a huge success. Something similar could be done with Canadian Tire Centre — at least the big box part.

I would really like it if (Eugene) Melnyk would call me up, and ask me to lease CTC for him to two or three superstores.

Basically, it’s my belief that Eugene might actually make more dough from having two superstores occupy his building than from having the Sens as his lead tenant.

And from west-end Ottawa’s viewpoint, it might make very little difference other than losing some prestige from hosting an NHL team.

Using Wal-Mart as an example, their total customer count each week is about 100 million people visiting one of their 4,255 stores. This works out to an average of 23,502 visitors a week, or 1.22 million people per year. If the other superstore sees the same kind of numbers, then total attendance at a new, rebranded CTC might be around 2.44 million people per annum.

That’s even more than visit the building now.

Kanata will be fine, maybe even better off economically than it already is.

Read the full excerpt here…