All posts by Glen Gower

Court upholds fine, orders rehabilitation of Rothbourne Road wetland

A provincial court has ordered a company and its director to rehabilitate a provincially significant wetland on Rothbourne Road that they damaged over five years ago.

On Thursday, Justice Diane M. Lahaie of the Ontario Court of Justice in Ottawa upheld an appeal initiated by the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MCVA), and issued a court order to a numbered company, 1634088 Ontario Inc., and its director, Rodolfo Mion, to rehabilitate and restore the wetland on Rothbourne Road near Highway 7.

Essentially, the judge ruled that the original $7,500 fine imposed wasn’t much of a punishment (or a deterrent) for bulldozing a wetland to create developable land.

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A pair of Jane’s Walks planned for Stittsville on May 6

(PHOTO: Jane’s Walk 2016 on Stittsville Main Street. Photo by Barry Gray.)

Two Jane’s Walks are planned for Stittsville on Saturday, May 6. One is focused on the W.J. Bell Rotary Peace Park, and the other is a walk along the central part of Stittsville Main Street. Continue reading


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“MY CARP RUNNETH OVER”: Pathway flooding is perfectly normal, says City

Carp River, April 8, 2017. The Arcadia neighbourhood is in the background.

(Thanks Karen for the headline pun.)

The mighty Carp River overflowed its banks during the first week of April, covering the adjacent floodplain and recreation paths with water.  Officials say that’s completely normal.

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NOTEBOOK: Congestion pricing, cell phone tower, patio season

CONGESTION PRICING BACK ON THE RADAR
Looks like the debate over “congestion pricing” might be coming to City Hall in the near future. That’s the idea of using financial incentives (or disincentives) to decrease car use and increase transit ridership, particularly from the suburbs of Ottawa into the downtown core.

The four downtown councillors – Chernushenko, Leiper, McKenney and Nussbaum – commissioned a study that was presented at a symposium last week.

The study looks at the potential effects of four pricing models: highway tolls, “cordon” charges (a toll to enter downtown), parking rate changes and a gas tax increase. The authors conclude that raising the cost of parking downtown would be the most cost-effective tool: “The report concludes that while a cordon charge to enter the Ottawa central area could be more effective at accomplishing the stated objectives, the implementation costs given today’s technology would make it impractical. Tolling the highways was evaluated to be less effective given the possibility of leakage onto parallel arterial roads and the inability to address north-south traffic. The study notes important jurisdictional and other challenges regarding the feasibility of raising the gas tax and concludes that focussing on parking charges would be more useful in addressing congestion and increasing transit ridership. Although high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes were not examined in detail, the report suggests their feasibility could increase in light of provincial highway expansion plans.

“Managing congestion using pricing tools is increasingly recognized by cities worldwide as a way to increase transit ridership, lower greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality and address commuting frustration” says Chernushenko. “Our goal in commissioning this research and analysis from CPCS is to contribute to an ongoing conversation about how to best to encourage sustainable transportation and support our significant investment in LRT. This is a very important discussion for Ottawa to have.”

There are no immediate plans to move forward on any recommendations in the study, but it’s a debate that Stittsville commuters will want to keep an eye on in the months to come.

You can read the report here…

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CELL TOWER PROPOSED FOR IBER
Via Councillor Qadri: “Shared Network Canada (SNC) is proposing a 50m tri-pole communication tower to be constructed at 145 Iber Rd. The tower will be used to offer space to multiple cellular carriers to enhance and support their networks. A small fenced area with a walk-in cabinet will be constructed at the base of the installation. A public meeting will be held at the Main Hall of the Goulbourn Recreational Complex (1500 Shea Rd) on Wednesday, April 12th to help answer resident questions and concerns regarding the project.” There’s more info about the meeting here…

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590 HAZELDEAN ROAD ZONING
On April 11, the City’s planning committee will be considering a zoning bylaw amendment for 590 Hazeldean Road.  Currently zoned as agricultural land, the proposed change would allow for a residential development with parks, a school and commercial areas.  The initial consultation for the zoning change happened way back in late 2013 / early 2014, but the item is only now coming in front of councillors.

The staff report prepared for the meeting describes the land as “vacant”, but that’s not really accurate. The word suggests empty, worthless land.  In this case it’s quite the opposite. Until a few years ago it was home to an active farm, and the Bradley-Craig heritage house and barn are still standing along Hazeldean Road.  (The barn is supposed to be relocated soon to Saunders Farm.)

You can read the background documents here…

SIGNS OF SPRING


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UPDATE: Committee approves re-zoning for farmers’ market

Good news: The City of Ottawa’s Planning Committee unanimously approved re-zoning for Village Square Park that will allow for a farmers’ market to operate starting this June.

Leading up to the meeting, city staff received 15 comments from the public about the re-zoning, with all in favour except for one. That may not sound like a lot of feedback, but it’s actually quite high for a relatively benign zoning change. Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: LRT open houses, pedestrian safety upgrades, more

LRT OPEN HOUSES
Watch for a open house events in June and November for updates on plans to extend light rail transit west past Moodie Drive towards Kanata and Stittsville.  Kanata North Councillor Marianne Wilkinson shared the news in a newsletter update: “An evaluation of alternative corridors and selection of a preferred corridor and station locations will be discussed… on the technically preferred plan, which will go to Transportation Committee and Council for approval in March 2018.  Construction of this section cannot occur until after the LRT reaches Moodie in 2023 and a funding source is obtained.” Continue reading


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Book chronicles dreams and fears of original settlers

The life of 19th century Canadian immigrants was rough, and quite often deadly.  Their eventual triumph over natural and human-made adversity, and the foundation they laid for our community, is downright incredible.  That’s my takeaway from Olive Caldwell Lee’s 2015 book, “Living Out The Dream” .

The book is historical fiction, but has a solid footing in fact.  Lee weaves together her own family’s oral history with letters, official documents and heaps of genealogical research to tell the stories of George Argue and Forest Caldwell as they escaped brutal conditions in Ireland for the promise of a better life in Canada in the early 19th century.

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Carp landfill facility gets ok for Quebec garbage, despite City’s objections

As Lando said in the Empire Strikes Back…

You might remember hearing back in September that Waste Management applied to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment for permission to bring construction and demolition waste from Quebec to the landfill facility on Carp Road. Continue reading


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Jo-Jo’s Pizza provides land for a new community garden

Here’s another interesting project in the works for Stittsville Main Street: The Kassis family, owners of Jo-Jo’s Pizza, are partnering with a group of local volunteers to help establish a community garden on Stittsville Main Street.

The family will maintain ownership of the property but allow volunteers to build and maintain the the large plot of land behind Jo-Jo’s as a “potager” or “kitchen” garden with clean, geometric lines, and will be known as “Jo-Jo’s Community Garden”.

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COMMENT: Let’s start saying light rail to Stittsville

(ABOVE: Artist’s rendering of the Rideau LRT station downtown. Via City of Ottawa.)

It was great to see City Council approve plans for Phase 2 of light rail transit (LRT) today. The $3-billion project includes an extension of the rail line west from Bayshore to Moodie Drive by 2023. That’s good for all west end commuters.

But there’s one thing that’s bugging me: I keep hearing councillors and other officials use the phase “bringing light rail closer to Kanata”. Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: New RMT on Stittsville Main, a lost building’s rich retail history

NEW RMT ON STITTSVILLE MAIN

Holly Milliner
Holly Milliner

Holly Milliner has moved her registered massage therapy practice, Syner-G Massage Therapy and Wellness Centre to the little white house at 1535 Stittsville Main Street, just south of Orville.

“It’s a great spot to catch the action on Main Street, and I’m really looking forward to the foot traffic that Quitters and Story Art will hopefully bring this summer,” she says.

“I grew up in Glen Cairn and always remembered Stittsville for the Sundays we’d spend at the Flea Market.  Then I moved with my folks in 2006 to Timbermere and started seeing this community a little differently, as an adult and thinking it would be a great place to raise a family.

“This location is also a bonus as I live on Elm – you can’t beat a 5 minute walk to work,” says Milliner.


A LOST BUILDING’S RICH RETAIL HISTORY
Last month I wrote about the the property at 1520 Stittsville Main Street that’s up for sale. Until 2014, it was home to 19th century heritage building that most recently was home to the Louisiannie’s and NOLA restaurants.

John Bottriell fills us in on some of the businesses that called the building home over the years: “This building has had many uses over the years… The Royal Albert Tea Room, Pixie’s Florists, Toomey’s Photography and of course Bradley’s dry goods store. I have memories of the early 1980’s walking our children to the Stittsville Nursery School and stopping with them to view the stuffed animals displayed in the window.”

Bradley's General Store at 1518 Stittsville Main Street. Date unknown.
Bradley’s General Store at 1518 Stittsville Main Street. Date unknown.

MEANWHILE, NORTH OF THE QUEENSWAY
Daniel Kucherhan lives in Arcadia and reports back from a meeting he had with Kanata North councillor Marianne Wilkinson:

  • Officially, we’re still looking at a 10-15 year horizon for the province to build pedestrian infrastructure across the Queensway at Huntmar. In the meantime, Kucherhan says Wilkinson is working on a plan to construct a pedestrian/bicycle overpass, and will ask the provincial and federal government to pitch in on the cost – roughly $15-million.
  • The Campeau Bridge over the Carp River, linking Huntmar all the way to Terry Fox, is likely still at least two years away.
  • The Arcadia Community Association is hoping to raise $50,000, 25% of the funds needed to build a splash pad in their community.
    More from Kucherhan’s meeting here (FB)…

WICHES CAULDRON AND COVERED BRIDGE CELEBRATE ST. PATRICK’S DAY

Covered Bridge Brewing and Wiches Cauldron are teaming up for a St. Patrick’s Day party. featuring dinner (Irish stew, soda bread and stout cupcakes, 12 oz beer of choice, and live music. Tickets ($30) must be purchased in advance, available at the brewery. Email kathy@coveredbridgebrewing.com for details.


NEW TOWNHOMES PROPOSED FOR BLACKSTONE AREA
There’s a new site plan control application to build 20 freehold townhomes at 502 Dressage Street in the Blackstone subdivision, off Oxer Place. The City of Ottawa is accepting public comments on the proposal.  Click here for more info…


SHOE COMPANY DISCOVERS STITTSVILLE
A social media post listing the new Hazeldean Road Shoe Company location as being in Kanata drew the ire of a few Stittsville residents, prompting the company to update their post.

“We’ve updated the location! Thanks for clarifying for us David! Sadly we’re not local to the store so didn’t realize it fell within Stittsville, not Kanata. What we do know is we are excited to be at our new location, and hope to see you soon,” they wrote.

That’s reminiscent of the situation a couple of years back when a couple of large home builders agreed to update their marketing that promoted Poole Creek Village as being “in the heart of Kanata”, when in fact they are a part of Stittsville.

For the record, Carp River is the boundary between Kanata South and Stittsville along Hazeldean Road.

Shoe Company Facebook post

 


MORE FROM SOCIAL MEDIA…

#mystittsville #westwindps grade one project

A post shared by Amanda Mariscak (@amandamariscak) on

 


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NOTEBOOK: Keg restaurant could arrive as soon as November 30

One of the most-visited articles in the StittsvilleCentral.ca archives is about a proposal to build a Keg restaurant on the corner of Hazeldean and Huntmar. And one of the most frequently asked questions received: “When is that Keg finally going in anyways?”

Councillor Shad Qadri provided an answer last night at the Fairwinds Community Association Annual General Meeting. Construction is scheduled to being April 15, with an opening date targeted for November 30 of this year. Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Pickleball, putting green part of proposed park plan

Shuffleboard, pickleball, a covered picnic table, a bocce court and a putting green are all part of a “age-friendly” park being proposed for the corner of Stittsville Main Street between Hazeldean Road and Neil Avenue.

Think of it as a playground for seniors.  The park would be adjacent to the new Hazeldean Gardens retirement home, surrounding the existing “Welcome to Stittsville” sign. Continue reading


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Former Louisiannie’s land up for sale at $925,000

(ABOVE: Bradley’s General Store at 1518 Stittsville Main Street. Undated photo.)

A significant piece of land at 1520 Stittsville Main Street just south of the Trans Canada Trail is up for sale at $925,000.

The 0.69-acre parcel of land, across the street from Quitters, is mostly vacant except for a small 3-bedroom home at the back of the lot and a large storage shed.

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Here’s what you should do if you meet a coyote in Stittsville

One of my favourite things about summertime is Stittsville is sleeping with the windows open and hearing howling coyotes in the distance.

Up until a few weeks ago, I’d never seen one.  Then one day while driving down Huntmar, I saw a pair of small coyotes hanging out in the field north of the Arcadia subdivision.

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SECRETS OF GOULBOURN: Ghosts, murder, cemeteries and other unknowns

(ABOVE: A sign installed on a post at the scene of the murder of Robert McCaffrey.)

This sounds interesting: “Have you heard stories about ghosts, murder, cemeteries and other unknowns in your community? Attend this event on February 18 to discover in full detail all of the grisly or odd activities that have taken place right here in your own backyard. There will be displays with court records, photos and written accounts of these unknowns.”

Local researcher Lesley McKay is helping to organize the event and she sent along a preview of some of the “secrets” that will be on display.  They’re all rooted in what was known as Goulbourn Township, a large area that included Richmond, Munster and Stittsville prior to being amalgamated into the City of Ottawa in 2000.

Some of the stories are rather dark:

  • A love triangle that led to a murder in 1882. (Commemorated by a sign installed on a post at the scene of the murder, pictured above.)
  • The KKK’s presence in the area starting in the 1920s. (“‘It’s a forgotten part of Canada’s past, and conveniently forgotten. Everybody knows about the Klan in the United States, but if you tell Canadians what happened here, they say – ‘What, us?'”)
  • A few ghost stories, including an abandoned pioneer cemetery in Marlborough Forest. It was discovered by municipal surveyors in the 1990s.

….while some of the stories are a little more light-hearted:

  • Stittsville native Ken Doraty, who played for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins in the 1920s and 1930s.  He was the smallest man to ever play in the NHL, at 133 lbs and a height of 5’7”.
  • How a Montreal millionaire financed a school garden in Richmond – part of a radical idea to change Ontario education.
  • Goulbourn’s booming cheese industry.  (“After the 1938 Richmond bank robbery, it was concluded that the three robbers knew that the bank was holding more than the usual amount of cash. This was surmised because three of our local cheese factories had issued cheques for milk supplied, hence making for a profitable robbery.”)
  • Lost quarries and watering holes, where kids used to cool off in the summer long before air conditioning and water parks.

The event is on Saturday from 1:00pm-4:00pm at the Stittsville Library, as part of Heritage Day activities. More info here…

Hazeldean Cheese Factory
Hazeldean Cheese Factory

Stittsville's Ken Doraty played for the Toronto Maple Leafs in the NHL.


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NOTEBOOK: New restaurant on Stittsville Main, OC Transpo suburb service, more

Stittsville Main Street is getting a new restaurant this spring. Kevin Conway and his partner Allison Pearce plan to open a 30-seat restaurant called Jack Ketch at 1536 Stittsville Main Street. Most recently, the building was home to Brown Bear Daycare.

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UPDATE: More about Stittsville sidewalks

Last week we published a list of ten spots in Stittsville in need of sidewalk or pedestrian upgrades. We asked readers for your suggestions and heard from a lot of you. Here’s a sampling:

“I live in Traditions area. Why is there not a sidewalk from Fernbank to Elm Street along Stittsville Main Street? Where the church is. Children who want to walk from Traditions to where the gas station is, have to cross at Fernbank, go across a busy street, then go past the library, and cross at the light there. We need a sidewalk on the west side of the road there.” -Lori Claringbold Continue reading


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MIS-STEP: A list of mysteriously missing sidewalks

(ABOVE: Walking down Stittsville Main Street during Jane’s Walk 2016. Photo by Barry Gray.)

The Ottawa Neighbourhood Study gives Stittsville a walkability score for of 54% for pedestrian infrastructure. That’s slightly above the city average of 50%, but it suggests there are a lot of places where we can do better. Here’s a list of 10 spots in need of an upgrade for pedestrians.

Stittsville walkability score
Ottawa Neighbourhood Study, 2016.

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NOTEBOOK: New zoning required for farmers’ market at Village Square

Who knew starting up a farmers’ market would be so complicated?

The Ottawa Farmers’ Market — the group that runs the weekly market at Lansdowne Park — wants to bring a weekly market to Stittsville starting this spring. The plan is to bring a Friday market to Village Square Park (corner of Stittsville Main & Abbott) that would run from 12:00pm-6:00pm from June to October.

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