All posts by Glen Gower

NOTEBOOK: Farmers’ Market update, more thefts at Carp Road Park & Ride

FARMERS’ MARKET UPDATE
There’s still no date set for the opening of the “official” Ottawa Farmers’ Market at Village Square Park, but Suzanne Bird is forging ahead anyways with a mini market next door at “The Barn”.  Bird owns the old log building on the east side of Village Square Park. The first event will be on Friday, June 30 from 4:00pm-7:00pm, and will feature two Ontario CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farmers. More info here…

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MORE THEFTS AT CARP ROAD PARK & RIDE
Last month Devyn Barrie reported on a man who had all four of the wheels stolen from his car during the day while it was parked at the Carp Road Park & Ride. This week, there were reports of two thefts of catalytic converters from cars. In one case, thieves sliced through the vehicle and took the catalytic converter, a section of the exhaust system and cables from a 2017 Nissan Titan.

Councillor Shad Qadri wrote in his newsletter this week that city officials are looking into the feasibility of adding security cameras to the lot. (The lot is technically in Rideau-Goulbourn, not Stittsville.)

Meanwhile, the City is planning to pave the lot, and increase the number of spaces from 115 to 150.

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UPDATED PLANS FOR 5505 FERNBANK
The City of Ottawa has posted applications for a Draft Plan of Subdivision and Zoning By-law Amendment for a new phase of the Blackstone subdivision. You can read about the plans here, and submit comments and questions to City of Ottawa staff.

The piece of land is at the southeast corner of the Fernbank area, adjacent to the Walmart. Cardel and Mattamy are the developers, and the plan is to develop 950 housing units, including detached homes and townhouses, and apartments. The proposed development includes two parks, a stormwater management block, a public elementary school site and a future Catholic high school site.

It’s probably worth pointing out that even though there’s land designated for future schools, there’s no guarantee they will ever be built, and there’s a window of at least seven years for the school boards to exercise their options on the land. The master plan for the entire Fernbank area includes land for 11 schools, including a public high school further west.

Plan of subdivision for 5505 Fernbank


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NOTEBOOK: More honours for Tysen, Poole Creek blasting, coyote meeting, more

CONGRATS TYSEN!
This week at the Spirit of the Capital Youth Awards, Stittsville’s Tysen Lefebvre received the Max Keeping Award for Personal Strength and Courage. It’s awarded annually to an individual who has demonstrated a tremendous passion for life by overcoming personal obstacles. Tysen’s goal is to raise one million dollars for Make-A-Wish. He’s over $600,000 so far. Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Kanata-Stittsville LRT study will look at three route options

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

It occurred to me on the drive home from Monday night’s LRT open house that we just spent a lot of time and money on consultants to tell us that the best route for LRT is along the Queensway, like we’ve been planning all along.

Still, consultants and planners will spend the next few months evaluating three options (down from 13 shortlisted routes) for the potential future Kanata-Stittsville LRT extension, from Moodie Drive to Palladium. Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Infill on Jonathan Pack, Haliburton Park plans, noise bylaw changes

INFILL ON JONATHAN PACK
On June 7, Ottawa’s Committee of Adjustment will consider a request to subdivide a piece of residential property at 28 Jonathan Pack Street. Currently it’s a large lot with a single home, and the proposal seeks to divide the property in half, keeping the house on one lot and using the other for a new house. (You can find more info here…)

The property in question is typical of many on Jonathan Pack, with large lots about 30m wide at the front stretching back about 60m. The lots on Forest Heights and Stitt Street, which run parallel to Jonathan Pack, are quite a bit narrower and considerably denser.

I don’t know enough about this application to say if it’s good or bad for the street, but I do know that we’re seeing more and more large, older properties in Stittsville been subdivided for infill development. If you’re not a fan of endless suburban sprawl, infills like this one can be a way that sprawl can slowed. What’s important is getting the design right, and ensuring that the scale of the infill is compatible with the existing neighbourhood.

Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Three reasons why OMB reforms are good for our community

Great to see that the Ontario Government is pushing ahead to reform the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), with a proposal to replace it with a Local Planning Appeal Tribunal. Three quick thoughts on why this will be good for our community – both Stittsville, and more broadly, all of Ottawa. Continue reading


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Barbara Bottriell recognized with Roger Griffiths Memorial award

Great to see Barbara Bottriell recognized as the Roger Griffiths Memorial Citizen of the Year last night at the annual Stittsville Volunteer Appreciation Awards.  Other recipients included the Stittsville Seniors’ Community by Revera for Business of the Year, Caitlin Bauer for Youth Citizen of the Year, and Patricia Warford for Senior Citizen of the Year. A full list of nominees is included below.  We’re lucky to have so many dedicated volunteers who give back to their community in a big way. -GG. Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: We’re the guinea pigs for building better suburbs

The City of Ottawa sent out a press release earlier this week about progress on a long-term project called “Building Better and Smarter Suburbs”. (You can read the full press release below.)

Suburbs are changing, and the city’s policies, bylaws and planning/design guidelines need to be updated to adapt to the evolving environment. The Building Better and Smarter Suburbs project contains a series of strategies covering all sorts of issues. Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Owners want to axe Palladium Autopark capacity limit

Oh the irony.

A planning consultant says that a luxury auto dealership planned for Palladium Drive will be pedestrian friendly.

I’ll admit, a lot of the information contained in the Proposed Zoning By-Law Amendment Planning Rationale for 2499 Palladium Drive, 2500 Palladium Drive and 675 Autopark Private is over my head, but I know enough to read these documents with a certain degree of skepticism.

Continue reading


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PHOTO: Turtle near Poole Creek

We spotted this guy (or gal?) on a path near Poole Creek on the weekend.  It's a snapping turtle, and they're a common sight in Stittsville near creeks and marshes at this time of year.  Don't get too close though - these guys won't hesitate to snap if they feel threatened.  In late May and early June, you'll start to see mother turtles burying their eggs in the sand at local playgrounds, and then the turtles hatch in September.
Photo by Glen Gower

 

We spotted this guy (or gal?) on a path near Poole Creek on the weekend.  It’s a snapping turtle, and they’re a common sight in Stittsville near creeks and marshes at this time of year.  Don’t get too close though – these guys won’t hesitate to snap if they feel threatened.  In late May and early June, you’ll start to see mother turtles burying their eggs in the sand at local playgrounds, and then the turtles hatch in September. More photos & stories about Stittsville turtles here…


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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.

Continue reading


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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.

Continue reading


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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”.

Continue reading


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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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