All posts by Glen Gower

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!


Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Stocking Project launch, Brummell’s retiring, more

(PHOTO: Volunteers Crystal Smalldon (aka Mother Elf) and Natasha Sidwell (aka Baby Elf) at the grand opening launch of The Stocking Project on Thursday night.)

STOCKING PROJECT LAUNCH
I dropped by Hazeldean Mall earlier this evening for the official launch of The Stocking Project. Volunteers are aiming to deliver 1,000 stockings to deserving individuals in Stittsville, Kanata and Carp.

They’ve taken over a 2,000-square foot space at the mall across from The Source, where they’ll be accepting donations and then sorting and packing the stockings. Organizer Crystal Smalldon (aka Mother Elf) says the response so far has been incredible, with 200 volunteers helping out and enough gifts already to fill about 200 stockings — that’s all thanks to word of mouth, email and Facebook posts over the past couple of weeks.

You can drop off donations at the mall during regular business hours.  To get involved as a volunteer, or for more information visit their Facebook page.

Continue reading


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COMMENT: Opportunity, momentum and passion for a revitalized Stittsville Main

About 45 people packed into Quitters on Monday night to take part in a panel discussion called Re-Inventing Stittsville Main.
I organized the event along with the Stittsville Village Association, the West Ottawa Board of Trade and Rick Tremblay from Quitters, with a goal of starting a conversation about the future of Stittsville Main. Continue reading


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UPDATE: Flewellyn-Jones house project seeks re-zoning

(ABOVE: Flewellyn-Jones House, November 2013.)

Last January, City Council approved heritage designation for the Flewellyn-Jones House on Fernbank Road, just east of the Shea Road roundabout. I noticed that a lot of the brush and overgrowth had been cleared away from the property recently and I was curious about the status of the redevelopment plans. Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Thanks to firefighters, art at Gaia Java, wild turkeys, more

A THANK YOU TO STATION 81 FIREFIGHTERS
Stephanie Poff
sent us a letter thanking volunteer firefighters for their activities here in Stittsville on Halloween: “I just wanted to share my support for the volunteer station in Stittsville, they were out last night with music playing handing out candy.”

Firefighters from Station 81 cruised the streets blasting the Ghostbusters theme song on October 31. Photo by Erika Adams Mozota.
Firefighters from Station 81 cruised the streets blasting the Ghostbusters theme song on October 31. Photo by Erika Adams Mozota.

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WENDY RUSSELL’S ART AT GAIA JAVA
A couple of weekends ago I ran into Kanata artist Wendy Russell hanging some of her new paintings at Gaia Java. Her work will be on display until the end of this week and it’s definitely worth checking out. You can also see her work at The Gift of Art in the Mlacak Centre on November 19 & 20 in Kanata.
You can also see some of her work soon at Värdera Café.
(Photos via Wendy Russell)

Wendy Russell's art at Gaia Java Wendy Russell's art at Gaia Java Wendy Russell's art at Gaia Java

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NEW IMAGING CLINIC
Stittsville Medical Imaging Centre, a new x-ray and radiology clinic, is open in the medical building at 1601 Stittsville Main. It’s a nice complement to the DynaCare laboratory in the same complex that opened earlier this year. Services include ultrasound, obstetric and vascular ultrasound and x-ray diagnostics, with walk-in appointments available. They’re online at www.stittsvilleimaging.ca

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TWEET TWEET


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NOTEBOOK: Marijuana dispensary cited for zoning violation

(Photo: Inside Magna Terra on Iber Road. Supplied photo.)

The Ottawa Citizen reports that the Magna Terra marijuana dispensary in Stittsville has received a notice of a zoning violation from the City of Ottawa.

“Two dispensaries have received notices of zoning violations for operating ‘retail stores’ in industrial zones. City inspectors are also investigating the take-out window in a boarded-up pot shop to see if the operation violates the building code, ” writes Jacquie Miller in Saturday’s Citizen. Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: 9RunRun attendance boost, Jinkinson re-zoning, Kungfu lunches

9RUNRUN ATTENDANCE BOOST
The final fundraising tally for last week’s 9RunRun won’t be available until November but the attendance numbers are encouraging. Organizer Brenda Tirrell says that combined, the three races had about 1700 registrants, up by about 400 from last year’s race. Continue reading


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