All posts by Devyn Barrie

Devyn Barrie is a journalism student at Algonquin College and lives in Stittsville.

Sacred Heart adds a new life to Night of the Living Dead

(Photo: From left, lead actor Daniella Atkinson, drama teacher Matt Muirhead and student director Nicholas Rocque.)

If you wanted a story about a zombie apocalypse, you could just watch the Walking Dead. But Sacred Heart’s upcoming school play adds something new to the formula.

Night of the Living Dead, the original ‘60s George Romero classic, is coming to the centre stage of Sacred Heart high school from March 29-31 April 19-21 in a specially adapted version.  Continue reading


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Multiple charges and arrests after raids at Magna Terra marijuana shops

(Inside Magna Terra on Iber Road. File photo.)

The owner of the Magna Terra marijuana dispensary chain is among seven arrested and charged after police raids on his two Ottawa dispensaries and a private home on Tuesday.

The raids resulted in the seizure of a loaded .44 calibre Desert Eagle handgun, marijuana and other drugs, cash, documents and computers and cell phones, according to Ottawa Police.   Continue reading


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SWAT team responds to “public safety concern”; one man arrested

UPDATE, FEB 1: The Ottawa Citizen reports: “…a barricaded man was arrested after allegedly threatening to shoot his roommates. Police believe the man was intoxicated and had access.”

UPDATE, 10:00pm: Police released the following statement to the media: “The Ottawa Police Service responded the area of Elm St and Cypress regarding a public safety concern, the situation was successfully concluded and one male was taken into custody and no further information is being provided at this time. The matter is being investigated and charges pending.”

***

Ottawa Police tactical squads descended in the area of Elm Crescent Tuesday night and arrested one man, which police said was because of public safety concerns.

The incident started around the supper hour and wrapped up before 9 p.m.

Police said there was no immediate threat to the public, although their reaction was warranted. The police response included a SWAT team, armoured vehicles and police dogs. Paramedics were also on the scene.

“The response was appropriate,” said police inspector Sandra Mclaren, who added there was no immediate threat to the public. She said the suspect was arrested without incident.

More to come…

A CTV cameraman on scene with a member of the police tactical squad. Photo by Devyn Barrie.
A CTV cameraman on scene with a member of the police tactical squad. Photo by Devyn Barrie.

 


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Sacred Heart student hits the road for Montreal Rubik’s cube competition

Matthew McMahon, 17, is a student at Sacred Heart High School with an interesting hobby – Rubik’s cubes. He is a certifiable cubing fanatic and it is rare to not see him fiddling with one of his cubes, wherever he may be.

He’s entered to compete in an official World Cube Association event, the Montreal Open Winter 2017, on Feb. 4. We caught up with him recently to chat about the hobby. Continue reading


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SPECIAL REPORT: Neighbours express mixed views on Iber Road pot shop

(ABOVE: John O’Dacre lives in Granite Ridge, near the Magna Terra marijuana dispensary on Iber Road. He says he doesn’t oppose marijuana itself but wants a legal framework in place before dispensaries are allowed to open. Photo by Devyn Barrie.)

When Vèronique Pourbaix-Kent, principal of Ecole Paul-Desmarais, learned a marijuana dispensary had opened down the road from her school, she fired off an email to Councillor Shad Qadri to voice her displeasure.

“A shop of this nature should obviously not be near a high school,” she wrote. “I am sure that when the dust settles, the laws and bylaws surrounding the sale of pot will make it illegal for a [dispensary] to open near a school and they will have to close.” Continue reading


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PHOTOS: GRC gym renamed after Erica Wiebe

Erica Wiebe dropped into town Tuesday for the christening of the “Erica Wiebe Gym” in the Goulbourne Recreation Complex.

The renaming was proposed in August by Councillor Shad Qadri after Wiebe took gold in wrestling during the 2016 Rio Olympics. It received unanimous approval from council.

“It’s incredible, it’s so surreal,” said Wiebe. “It just seems like yesterday I was in Rio, on the mats, having the best day of my life and then today to have a gymnasium named after me in my community, it’s an honour.” Continue reading


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“A GREAT PLACE TO BE”: ALC anniversary a trip down memory lane

Mike Mackay opened the door and turned on the lights. As his eyes scanned the room, his only thought was to say “interesting.”

It was the first time Mackay, the original principal of A. Lorne Cassidy Elementary School, had seen his office since his retirement 21 years ago. A lot has changed in both his office and the school over the years. The changes, and similarities, were front and centre Friday at the school’s 25th anniversary celebration.

Continue reading


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BATTLE BUDDIES: How Stittsville fundraising is helping veterans with PTSD

(PHOTO: Shawna Church Roy with her second service dog, Loki.)

SHAWNA CHURCH ROY WAS WALKING BACK FROM SOME ERRANDS WHEN SHE SAW IT: flames shooting out the roof of her family’s house.

She dropped her bags and ran up to the driveway. That’s when her biggest fear was confirmed – her kids were still inside, screaming for help. The doors were locked and the windows too hot to touch. As the tower of smoke rose into the air and the screams became louder, Roy realized she was completely powerless to save them. Continue reading


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Stittsville’s Grace Lachance releases first single, Anymore

A little more than a year since Grace Lachance won the Bluesfest She’s The One contest, the 15-year-old singer from Stittsville has released her first single through a record label.

“Anymore” hit iTunes yesterday.

Previously: Stittsville’s Grace Lachance wins Bluesfest contest.

Her big radio debut was naturally in Ottawa back in July, with JUMP 106.9. Since then, she’s made the rounds on other stations across the province.

She was even on TV!

(This post originally appeared on our sister site, OttawaStart.com)


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Curl up with a book and coffee at Värdera Café and Lounge

(PHOTO: Vardera Cafe is owned by (left to right) George Dion, Ellie Dion and Allan Atwan. Photo by Devyn Barrie.)

Quitters. The Grounds. Gaia Java.

Add one more to that list: Värdera Café and Lounge.

The latest addition to Stittsville’s indie coffee scene is set to open Friday in the Jackson Trails Centre, between Blue Bamboo Yoga and Lucky Dragon. Continue reading


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BUILT UP: Increasing density both a positive and a challenge

(Photo: Aerial photo of Fairwinds. Photo by @TwitchxB)

With a couple of proposals for low-rise apartment buildings along Robert Grant (Haliburton Heights, Livery Street), and a multi-story retirement complex along Hazeldean (Wellings), we wanted to find out what Stittsville could look like with more high-density developments. Continue reading


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FOOD TRUCKS: Keeping it cool with Mellow Yellow

(Photo by Devyn Barrie.)

The Stittsville food truck scene already has a good amount of variety. Anne Wilby (pictured above) plans to add a lot more with Mellow Yellow.

Wilby is no stranger to the food business. Growing up with an Italian father and Polish mother, her family was always cooking. In the 1980s, she ran a hospitality training program for at-risk youth in Stittsville. She was also manager of Lousiannie’s on Main Street for 14 years, before it closed and burned down. Continue reading


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THIS OLD HOUSE: Lytle family puts Stittsville Main Street home up for sale

(ABOVE: Cathy Lytle stands in front of her family’s home at 1495 Stittsville Main Street. Photo by Devyn Barrie.)

After more than a century on Stittsville Main Street, the Lytle House is up for sale.  The asking price is $499,000 according to Brent Taylor of Brentcom Realty. “Redevelopment ideal for retail, service commercial, office, residential and institutional uses, including mixed-use buildings, and excluding auto-related uses,” says the listing.

It’s a large lot, 100 feet along the street and 160 feet deep.

Cathy Lytle says the house has been standing since at least 1900, and it’s been in her family for 64 years. While it doesn’t have a heritage designation, it is on the city’s heritage registry. That doesn’t give it any protection, but if a future owner applies to demolish it, the City could do a review that could lead to full heritage designation.


DEVYN BARRIE: What can you tell me about the history of the house?

CATHY LYTLE: It was built in 1900 from a bachelor and it was sold four years later to a young couple… he was a tinkerer and they raised their daughter, Evelyn. She took cancer and died and then the father died of old age and the mother died after she sold the house to my parents… she lived with my parents for five years, she had herself written into the deed, for one bedroom and three meals a day and they got along fine, until she passed away.


Ab & Gwen Lytle's house, 1976. Photo from the Goulbourn Township Historical Society archives via Lesley McKay.
Ab & Gwen Lytle’s house, 1976. Photo from the Goulbourn Township Historical Society archives via Lesley McKay.

 

DB: It must have been something to grow up here and watch the town change all around it, hey?

CL: It’s not the [same] town anymore. Doesn’t matter which window you look out, it’s not the same at all. It’s funny, we were just saying I can remember all the places we used to go and play and climb trees and whose farmer fields we used to run through. And I said, now people look at you and say “well no, there was something else” or “No, no that was just all field.”

But yeah, [there have] been changes, it’s been hard on some of the older ones to see some of the changes.

DB: What’s it been like for you?

CL: I’m okay with some of the change, I just don’t like people coming in and telling me how to live. They want certain things changed here… but you’re taking away the essence of a small town.

DB: Why sell the house?

CL: Oh, we can’t afford to keep everything up. [My mother is] 87, she’s not well. My dad was a small contracting excavator, he left her a little bit of money, she was only on old age pension, she can only do so much. I only work part time and I work a minimum wage job… I can’t afford it. So, we decided to go to something that we both can manage and enjoy.

Lytle House, June 2016. Photo by Glen Gower.
Lytle House, June 2016. Photo by Glen Gower.

DB: How does it feel to have to leave this house behind?

CL: I’m okay. I’m ready. And I think she’s ready too. She’s had [a longer time] here, she’s raised her family and I was born here. We’re all business and everybody else has gone out and done better, this will help pay for some medical bills coming down the road…

… It’ll be sad in a way, but we have our memories, we have our pictures and they can’t take that away from us.

DB: Any idea what might happen to the house if it does get sold?

CL: We’ve had a business here for 40 years, like everybody else on Main Street. They had their house and their business right there. Last 20 years my dad’s been dead and we got rid of the business, so it’s kinda nice to think that somebody else will come in and make a go of it… maybe put something in like an ice cream store or something that reflects the core, not an office building or something. But it’s up to them.

DB: What do you think about the state of Main Street in general today?

CL: Well, when I grew up there was no sidewalks. It was a main highway… the traffic was heavy but now… you can’t sit outside, it’s hard to hear outside, the dust picks up, people come in on either side of you… it’s changed a lot compared to what I used to play, run and climb every tree in this place. It was a lot different… I watch the kids over in the park, but it’s not the same. We used to like the trains coming in and watching the people and wave, you don’t do that anymore. You can’t, there’s nothing there. And these people who are using the park don’t understand what was really there and I think they would have enjoyed it a lot better.

This interview was originally heard on Stittsvegas. Click here to listen to the full interview…

Lytle House, June 2016. Photo by Glen Gower.
Lytle House, June 2016. Photo by Glen Gower.

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New barbershop blends old style with new features

(ABOVE: Photo by Devyn Barrie.)

After a collective 22 years at Heads Up Barbershop on Stittsville Main Street, two local barbers are going it alone with their own enterprise, the days-old Stittsville Barbershop.

Rick Lamondon and Steve Baroud, with a combined 50 years of barbering experience, have had a steady stream of customers since opening their doors at 1540 Main Street a few days ago. Continue reading


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