Category Archives: Health

How a food blog evolved into a ready-to-eat meal service

(Above: Philip Munk and Alana Thomson. Photo by Barry Gray.)

What began as a personal online cookbook has turned into Stittsville’s new healthy meal prep service, Healthy Balance.

Alana Thomson was a personal trainer before she started focusing more on nutrition. Thomson created a food blog that soon received a large following begging her to provide them with more recipes and healthy creations. When she connected with her business partner Philip Munk, a professional chef and an amateur athlete, Healthy Balance was created. Continue reading


PHOTOS: Sacred Heart relay raises nearly $17k

Sacred Heart High School students hosted their first-ever Relay for Life fundraising event on Friday and it was a big success, raising at least $16,800 for the Canadian Cancer Society. Despite cold and windy weather, participants walked laps draped in blankets and huddled together to stay warm.

The day started off with an opening ceremony where a few survivors from the community shared their cancer stories and led the first lap around the track.

A luminary ceremony started once it got dark that had almost everyone in tears. Students shared what it was like to watch their loved ones battle cancer and in some cases die from the disease.

“It was very emotional and touching to see how many students are affected by cancer and it just goes to show how all the participants were there for the right reason: they were there to fight back, to honour the survivors and remember those who lost their battle,” wrote Grade 12 student Anna Ploeg in an email to

“By the end of the evening all participants felt close as if we were all a little family. Students approached me and thanked me for the amazing day and told me that they were for sure going to participate again next year and recruit more of their friends to join too,” wrote Ploeg.

“The relay committee and myself owe a big thank you to our corporate sponsors. To OzDome for their fantastic facility and being so incredibly accommodating, they have already promised to host Sacred’s Relay event next year! To Giant Tiger who were so willing and excited to help the cause, Giant Tiger donated a generous amount and Friendly the tiger stopped by to say hello to all the students. And finally Combat Networks who also gave a generous donation and helped sort the cans for the food banks that students brought with to the sign in tent, staff from the company stopped by several times throughout the evening and offered to help with anything that needed to get done,” wrote Ploeg.

Although the event is over, students are still collecting donations. people can still donate online.

Sacred Heart students raised nearly $17,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society at this year's Relay for Life.
Anna Ploeg speaks to Relay for Life participants.

Sacred Heart students raised nearly $17,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society at this year's Relay for Life. Sacred Heart students raised nearly $17,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society at this year's Relay for Life.

Sacred Heart students raised nearly $17,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society at this year's Relay for Life.



CITIZEN: Stittsville mom recovering from flesh-eating disease

The Ottawa Citizen has a story about Stittsville’s Susan Brayshaw, who is recovering from flesh-eating disease:

A Stittsville mother recovering from flesh-eating disease wants nothing more than to carry her seven-week-old baby.

Susan Brayshaw, 38, ended up in the hospital with knee pain four days after she gave birth on March 22 to her son, Jackson, at home with the help of two midwives and a doula.

Doctors don’t believe the disease is linked in any way to the birth and wasn’t passed on to her baby.

“It’s hard because I can’t do the little things,” Brayshaw said Wednesday evening. “I can’t walk up and down the hall. I can’t go for a stroller walk with him.

“Everything a mother wants to do I can’t. He doesn’t know any difference, but it still hurts.”

Read the full story…

Ottawa Citizen: Ottawa woman recovering from flesh-eating disease. May 13, 2015.
Ottawa Citizen: Ottawa woman recovering from flesh-eating disease. May 13, 2015.


Students cut teacher’s hair at Stittsville Public School

Students in Mme Reed’s Grade 4 class at Stittsville Public School managed to get away with cutting a teacher’s hair.

Students in her class raised $80 for Hair Donation Ottawa, more money than any other class in the school.  As a reward, they got to hack away sixteen inches of kindergarten teacher Liz Aitken’s hair on Wednesday, with help from Helene Hutchings of Hair Donation Ottawa. Continue reading


Residents reminded of how to safely dispose of used needles

(Press release from Ottawa Public Health.)

With warming spring temperatures, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is reminding residents about how to safely dispose of used needles and other hazardous materials that may be found in their neighbourhoods.

For health and safety reasons, it is against the law to dispose of sharp objects, such as needles and syringes, in the garbage, recycling or by flushing them down the toilet. Garbage is compacted during collection, so even when placed in a puncture-proof container, needles, crack pipes or glass stems can be exposed and pose the risk of injuring someone.

There are several ways for residents to properly dispose of needles and other used hazardous materials. It’s important to treat these as contaminated and to follow important safety precautions before disposing them at these locations:

  • Putting them in a one of 65 Needle Drop Boxes located throughout the City of Ottawa.
  • Dropping them off at select pharmacies.
  • Dropping them off at Household Hazardous Waste Depots or at a retailer who accepts returns of household hazardous waste by using the City’s Waste Explorer.
  • Larger containers of non-commercial used needles can be dropped off at Ottawa Public Health locations at 100 Constellation Drive or 179 Clarence Street.

Children should never touch a discarded needle or crack pipe. If a needle or other hazardous material is found, residents can also call 3-1-1 to make arrangements to have the City pick up a needle or other hazardous material immediately.

For additional information, visit or call Ottawa Public Health Information at613-580-6744 (TTY: 613-580-9656). Connect with us on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Tumblr.


Housing counsellor gives an objective perspective to seniors housing

Choosing a retirement home can be an emotional experience for seniors and their families. Stittsville’s Suzanne Mondoux wants to make the process of finding a senior’s residence less stressful for everybody.

Mondoux is a housing counselor with Visavie, a Quebec-based housing advisory service for seniors and their families that helps them select a retirement home. She meets with families to assess their needs, recommends a short list from over 60 accredited homes in the Ottawa area, and shows the facilities to the families.

“I’m there as an advocate, and to champion, and to make sure the right questions are asked and the right questions have been asked,” says Mondoux.

“It’s comparable to a real estate agent. As a housing counsellor, this is a very emotional journey that we take someone through. I’ve seen people cry from the adult children to the seniors themselves,” she says.

“And it’s not always a bad reason. Sometimes it’s relief that ‘finally I’m going to have someone look after me, I’m going to have acceptance’.”

There’s no charge for families to use the service. Visavie earns a commission from retirement homes that that they have a contract with.

Mondoux says there’s a wide variety of homes in Ottawa to match a wide variety of needs.

“It’s finding the geographic area, the financial needs and medical needs as a person progresses. It can range from $2,000/month to $10,000/month. Care-wise, there are differences. Some help with laundry, some don’t. Some do meds administration, some don’t. Some will have cognitive care units, some will have more of a physical care unit, some may have both,” she says.

Canada’s aging demographic is creating new challenges and opportunities for businesses, says Mondoux.

“We’re five team members plus a regional director. We are growing because the need is there. If we work together we can help the seniors in our community,” she says.

Mondoux, originally from Nova Scotia, used to work at a retirement residence as a leasing and marketing manager. She believes there is a need for more retirement residences in the Stittsville/Kanata area.

“Some have higher occupancy than others. That could be due to many things like pricing, or somebody needing a specific care that another doesn’t offer. I do think there can be more, and I think we’ll see focus to more higher-care needs because people are living longer,” she says.

You can reach Mondoux at 613-897-7069 or


Use of e-cigarettes and ‘vaping’ not permitted on City properties

(Press release from the City of Ottawa.)

The City of Ottawa would like to inform residents that use of e-cigarettes and “vaping” on all City properties is prohibited, including on OC Transpo buses and properties, in City parks and outdoor municipal properties and on any other City properties.

Use of e-cigarettes and “vaping” on OC Transpo buses or properties is subject to enforcement action under Section 19(2)(h) of the Transit By-law, which prohibits anyone from interfering “with the comfort or convenience of any other person.” This restriction applies to City employees as well as members of the public. Users may be subject to enforcement action, including fines of up to $5,000.

In June 2012, City Council amended the City’s Parks and Facilities By-law to broaden the definition of “smoke” or “smoking” to capture a wider array of activities. This expanded definition effectively prohibits the use of e-cigarettes and “vaping” in City of Ottawa parks and on other outdoor municipal properties.

The use of e-cigarettes is also prohibited in City facilities or workplaces, by both employees and members of the public. Ottawa’s City Manager has directed that the City’s Smoke-Free Workplace Policy be revised to extend the current prohibitions on smoking to the use of e-cigarettes. Additionally, the Government of Ontario’s Bill 45, Making Healthier Choices Act2015, is currently before the Provincial Legislature and, if passed, would prohibit the use of e-cigarettes in enclosed workplaces and public places.


Ottawa Public Health launches new online parenting initiative

(Press release from the City of Ottawa.)

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) launched a new interactive web portal today to help parents access relevant, reliable and local parenting information online.

The Parenting in Ottawa portal was developed in response to the increasing use of the web to find information, support and community resources. Research shows that a large majority of parents are using online channels to find information and to stay connected with other parents. Parenting in Ottawa is designed to cover everything from planning for a family to getting through the teenage years.

“This newly launched Parenting in Ottawa portal will complement many of the services already offered to Ottawa parents,” said Councillor Shad Qadri, Chair of the Ottawa Board of Health. “Ottawa Public Health is a national leader in providing timely and relevant online health information to residents, and this new tool is a great addition to their toolbox.”

Parenting in Ottawa provides access to credible, evidence-based information in easy-to-navigate formats. Parents and families will learn about local community resources and events and be able to connect virtually with experts from various organizations. Furthermore, parents will also have access to the recently launched and very popular Parenting in Ottawa Facebook page; where parents can interact live with other parents and with a Public Health Nurse weekdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“For parents, each stage in a child’s development has new rewards, but also new challenges. We wanted to create an online space that supports all parents, is highly interactive and is easy to use,” said Sherry Nigro, Manager of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at Ottawa Public Health. “Another of our objectives is to connect people with local community resources.”

“As a first-time mom, I’m always looking for great parenting and health-related advice. The Parenting in Ottawa Facebook page provides a reliable resource to parents in Ottawa,” said Sara Zahiri, active user of the Parenting in Ottawa Facebook page. “It’s nice to have a local resource that parents can depend on to get accurate, current information on parenting issues.”

This web portal will provide access to parenting information on subjects such as:

  • pregnancy
  • breastfeeding
  • the growth and development of your child
  • mental health
  • when to worry, when not to
  • healthy eating
  • immunization
  • how to talk to your child and teen about alcohol, tobacco and other drugs
  • how to talk to your child and teen about puberty and sexuality
  • community services for your family

For more information on pregnancy and parenting, please visit or call the OPH Information Line at 613-580-6744. You can also follow OPH on TwitterFacebook and Tumblr.


Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre proposed for West Carleton

Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre wants to build a new facility at 1883 Bradley Side Road.  The City has received new proposals for a zoning by-law amendment and official plan amendment that would allow for a 30-bed facility for youth aged 13 to 21 years of age with substance abuse issues.

Bradley Side Road is just northwest of the intersection of Richardson Side Road and Huntmar Drive, backing onto the Thunderbird soccer domes and golf course. Continue reading


16 treated in hospital after carbon monoxide poisoning at Iber Road arena


The Ottawa Sun has more on the story here…


Updated site plan for 630 Eagleson housing complex for people with dementia

Most site plan proposals that we see in this area relate to retail or housing developments.  This site plan is different. Here’s how it’s described in the site plan proposal:

“The purpose of this application is to allow for the development of a single-storey building 4,875 sq. m. in size containing 71 rooming units that will be used for residents suffering from dementia. Six courtyards will be constructed in the interior of the building to allow for secure outdoor spaces and natural lighting within. The site will be accessed from Eagleson Road along the southern property line sharing an access with the existing Tim Horton’s. Parking in the form of 24, at-grade spaces, loading, garbage and drop off areas will be between the front of the building and a retaining wall set back 3 metres from the property line abutting Eagleson Road.”

The facility is referred to in one document as a “Memory Care Facility”. There’s an PDF document about the proposed facility here. You can read the full site plan proposal here.

Concept plan for the Memory Care facility
Concept plan for the Memory Care facility