(via City of Ottawa)
The City of Ottawa Commemorative Naming Committee is conducting public consultations on four separate naming proposals for Stittsville:
- Name a meeting room at the Ottawa Public Library (Stittsville Branch) “Grace Thompson Meeting Room”
- Name Cypress Gardens Park at 33 Elm Crescent “Mary Durling Park”
- Name a future park in the Abbottsville development “Lee Boltwood Park”
- Name a future park in the Abbottsville development “Susanna Kemp Park”
Grace Thompson Meeting Room
In recognition of Grace Thompson’s historical relevance to the community of Stittsville, the City of Ottawa has been asked to name a meeting room in the Ottawa Public Library, Stittsville Branch, the “Grace Thompson Meeting Room”.
Grace Thompson was born on August 29, 1913. She was very involved in the community of Stittsville and was instrumental in the formation of many Stittsville societies that still exist today. Mrs. Thompson was also a historical author, having published many accounts of Stittsville’s historical roots and those of its founding families, including her own, dating back to the 1800’s.
Keen to contribute to her community, she helped form the Stittsville Goulbourn Horticultural Society (SGHS), the Goulbourn Township Historical Society, the Goulbourn Jubilee Singers, and the Greely Players Theatre Group. She also volunteered with many organizations, including the Stittsville branch of the Ottawa Public Library and St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Women’s Missionary Society.
Mary Durling Park
In recognition of Mary Durling’s extensive community service, the City of Ottawa has been asked to name Cypress Gardens Park located at 33 Elm Crescent in the community of Stittsville “Mary Durling Park”.
A longtime resident of Stittsville, Mary Durling was well known within the community where she canvassed and campaigned on behalf of numerous charities and foundations, in addition to donating her time through her own extensive volunteer efforts.
Named Stittsville Senior Citizen of the Year in 2009 for her contribution to Stittsville life through her charity work and as a member of the Ladies’ Auxilliary of the Royal Canadian Legion (Branch 618, since 1970), she was also a beloved member of the Legion’s Dart League, a faithful supporter and parishioner of Holy Spirit Catholic Parish, and could be seen at many local community events where she was considered by many to be the ‘heart and soul of Stittsville’ and an inspiration to those around her.
Lee Boltwood Park
In recognition of Lee Boltwood’s extensive community service, the City of Ottawa has been asked to name a future park in the community of Stittsville “Lee Boltwood Park”.
Lee Boltwood and her husband moved to Ottawa in 1966 and settled in Stittsville in 1973, where her passion for gardening grew into an accreditation as a Certified Master Gardener. It is in this capacity that she has been an integral part of Stittsville life, providing gardening advice at venues including the Central Experimental Farm, Carp Farmers’ Market, Richmond Fair and many events in Stittsville’s own Village Square Park.
Aside from her passion for gardening, Ms. Boltwood has also served on the Boards of the Goulbourn Middle School Parents’ Council, Goulbourn Library and Goulbourn Historical Society.
Susanna Kemp Park
In recognition of Susanna Kemp’s historical significance to the Stittsville community, the City of Ottawa has been asked to name a future park in the community of Stittsville, “Susanna Kemp Park”.
Born in 1807 in Tipperary, Ireland, Susanna Clarke emigrated with her parents to Canada in 1819. In 1827 she married William Kemp and a year later, they began to farm the land that William had received as a Free Grant Military Emigrant. Sadly, by 1841 at the age of 34, Susanna became a widow and was left to tend to the farm and to raise seven children on her own.
To help support her young family, Susanna began offering rooms and food to travellers in her log home. She was so prosperous that the 1861 census listed her occupation as ‘Innkeeper’. Their finely-crafted stone house still stands today as Cabotto’s Restaurant on Hazeldean Road. Susanna remained on her family’s land until her death in 1890. Her home is truly one of Goulbourn Township’s architectural gems.
Update from Councillor Qadri:
I am happy to announce that the 60 day comment period has ended and the renaming of Bell Memorial Park to the W.J. Bell Rotary Peace Park will now be presented to the City’s Community and Protective Services Committee (CPSC) for approval. After which time, it will be submitted to City Council for final approval.
The CNC also approved consideration for the commemorative naming applications: Mary Durling Park (formerly Cypress Gardens Park) located at 33 Elm (Brae) Crescent, Lee Boltwood Park and Susanna Kemp Park to be located at future parks in the Abbottsville Development, and the Grace Thompson Meeting Room at the Stittsville Library.
Each application will be undergoing a 30 day consultation period and pending committee approval, will then be presented to the CPSC and City Council for final approval with the exception of the Grace Thompson Meeting Room which will be presented to the Ottawa Public Library Board meeting for final approval following consultation period.
I am particularly thrilled about this set of commemorative naming proposals as many of them were submitted by residents of the Stittsville community during submission process of the Stittsville Street Renaming Project. As such, I encourage all residents to share their thoughts.
Comments will be accepted online and must be received no later than March 8th, 2017. To submit your comments and to review biographies of the individuals being commemorated, please visit the City of Ottawa website here.