All posts by Glen Gower

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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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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2016 REWIND: It happened on Stittsville Main

(The Stittsville Jane’s Walk makes a stop in front of Hudson’s Insurance on Stittsville Main Street. Photo by Barry Gray.)

At the start of January of this year I wrote: “Compared to this time last year, I’d say the prospects for Stittsville Main Street are definitely looking up.” The same thing could be said today as well.  It’s been an encouraging year. Continue reading


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2016 REWIND: The forests, creeks and animals that call Stittsville home

(Barred Owl (also known as a hoot owl, for its distinctive call) in Fairwinds North, photo by Desiree McCarthy.)

If you ask me, the best thing about living in Stittsville is the abundance of nature right at our doorstep — and sometimes, right at our bus stop.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJQvgUfete8 Continue reading


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2016 REWIND: Welcoming new shops to our community

(PHOTO: Just Shawarma owner Nedal Atieh.)

With an exploding population, it’s no surprise that we’ve also had lots of interesting new businesses open up in Stittsville in 2016. Many of them were related in some way to food.

Robert Kinsman, Donna Kinsman and Patrick Caicco from The Grounds. Photo by Barry Gray.
Robert Kinsman, Donna Kinsman and Patrick Caicco from The Grounds. Photo by Barry Gray.
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NOTEBOOK: A small step to better protect our forests from development

One of my biggest complaints about suburban development is how builders often take a “bulldoze and build” approach, stripping away long-standing forests and natural areas. While there are some restrictions to prevent this, there aren’t always enough measures in the City’s policy toolkit to provide the necessary protection.

So I was really encouraged this week to see City Council unanimously approve a change to the Official Plan that should do more to proactively protect “significant woodlots” in the urban area.  Continue reading


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Where to see some great Christmas light displays in Stittsville

Grab some hot chocolate, pack the kids in the car, turn the Christmas tunes up loud and take a tour around Stittsville to check out the lights. Here are some suggestions for great displays in our area.

Do you have a neighbour with an epic Christmas light display?  Tell us about it or snap a pic and send it to feedback@stittsvillecentral.ca so that we can share it with our readers!


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