All posts by Glen Gower

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.

Continue reading


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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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NOTEBOOK: Stories we’re watching in 2017

Let’s take out the crystal ball and look ahead at what 2017 may have in store for Stittsville…

CANADIAN TIRE CENTRE
Earlier this year we should hear from the Ottawa Senators about what they have in mind for Canadian Tire Centre once the Sens leave for Lebreton Flats. Last year, team owner Eugene Melnyk teased that the development would be an “entertainment-driven” transformation.  Whatever it is, any change will have a major impact on Stittsville and Kanata for jobs, transportation and economic development. Continue reading


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Heritage house on Stittsville Main gets new life as interior design studio

(Photo:Jennifer McGahan in front of the building on Main Street that she has purchased and will renovate for her business. Photo by Barry Gray.)

After over a century as a private home, the old brick house at 1495 Stittsville Main will soon become the home of Jennifer McGahan Interiors.

McGahan made the announcement last week on Facebook: “I am thrilled to announce the next big step for Jennifer McGahan Interiors Inc. We are relocating the office to our new Stittsville Main Street location. We plan to restore this important heritage building to its original, and rightful beauty in the heart of the village. We plan to be respectful and true to the bones of the building, while improving the streetscape by adding our modern design touch. Opening April 2017!”

McGahan says she loves the history of the building and the family story connected to it.  She says that structurally the building is in good shape, and many original features remain. “We’re going to try keep as much as possible while we renovate. We want to keep it intact.”

The house belonged to the Lytle family for over 60 years.  Cathy Lytle told reporter Devyn Barrie about the history of the house in an interview last summer:  “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.”

The house doesn’t have official heritage designation, but it is on the City’s heritage registry, which lists buildings of historical importance.

McGahan takes possession in January, and hopes to have the renovations finished by April.  I’m thrilled to hear that this charming piece of our village history will get the attention and care it deserves. Congrats Jennifer!

1425 Stittsville Main Street, December 30, 2016. Photo by Barry Gray
1425 Stittsville Main Street, December 2016. Photo by Barry Gray.
1425 Stittsville Main Street, December 30, 2016. Photo by Barry Gray
1425 Stittsville Main Street, December 2016. Photo by Barry Gray.
1425 Stittsville Main Street, December 30, 2016. Photo by Barry Gray
1425 Stittsville Main Street, December 2016. Photo by Barry Gray.
1425 Stittsville Main Street, December 30, 2016. Photo by Barry Gray
1425 Stittsville Main Street, December 2016. Photo by Barry Gray.
Lytle House, June 2016. Photo by Glen Gower.
Lytle House, June 2016. Photo by Glen Gower.
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.

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2016 REWIND: Looking back at the ups and downs in local heritage

(Above: Barn at the Bradley-Craig farm. Photo by Steve Garecke.)

There was bad news and there was good news for heritage buildings in Stittsville in 2016.

First, the bad. In January, I took part in a multi-hour marathon in front of Planning Committee at City Hall where residents and community groups tried to convince councillors to stop the demolition and relocation of the Bradley-Craig barn to Munster. The debate was so long that councillors ordered in pizza, and one fell asleep. In the end, the committee and City Council voted to allow the barn’s owner, Richcraft, to dismantle the building piece-by-piece and move it to Saunders Farm. A new development, probably big box stores or a strip mall, will be built in its place. Continue reading


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