Sens move to downtown would create opportunity for Kanata/Stittsville, says planner

(Above: Workers install the new Canadian Tire Centre sign in August 2013.)

The lead planner of the master plan for Kanata West says that if the Sens ever move to Lebreton Flats, it could present a big opportunity for the area.

Ted Fobert is a partner with Fotenn Consultants and was the lead planner and program manager for the Kanata West Concept Plan. That plan was created in the late 1990’s to guide the development of west end of Kanata, centred around the NHL arena (now Canadian Tire Centre). Continue reading


LETTER: Fernbank and Flewellyn have always been wet

Re: Property values drained by wetland designation

I’m 60 years old. I grew up in Stittsville. When I was a young boy we didn’t have garbage pick-up in Stittsville. On weekends I would often go with my father in the family car on Fernbank Road west of Stittsville to a Goulbourn Township dump in the far west part of Lot 16, Concession 10, on the northerly side of Fernbank Road to get rid of our garbage. Continue reading


PHOTO: Fire Station #46 makes a donation to the Stittsville Food Bank

The crew from Fire Station 46 on Iber Road visited the Stittsville Food Bank earlier this week to make a donation. The holiday season is one of the busiest times for the food bank, and any non-perishable items or cash donations are appreciated. For more info visit


Council adopts key dates for 2015 budget process

(Press release from the City of Ottawa.)

The City of Ottawa has finalized key dates for the 2015 budget timetable and multi-ward public consultations.

2015 tax-supported budget timetable

The City’s 2015 draft operating and capital budgets will be tabled with City Council at a special meeting on Wednesday, February 4. Council will also receive draft budgets for each Standing Committee as well as Police, Transit, Public Health, Library, Crime Prevention and Committee of Adjustment.

City Council has directed that the 2015 draft budget for all City tax-supported programs be prepared on the basis of a maximum 2 per cent tax increase.

Before Council considers final budget recommendations on Wednesday, March 11, there will be several opportunities for public consultation.

  • Mayor Jim Watson will launch an online pre-budget public consultation starting in mid-December, asking residents to provide input via email at and through Twitter by using hash tag #ottbudget.
  • Residents will be invited to attend one of four regional public consultations hosted by the City, to learn more about and comment on the proposed budget, dates and locations to be announced.
  • All Standing Committees of Council, along with the Transit Commission, Police Services Board, Library Board and Board of Public Health, will hold meetings to consider the 2015 draft budget for their respective areas and listen to public delegations on the budget:
  • Environment Committee – Tax-supported – Tuesday, February 17
  • Transit Commission – Wednesday, February 18
  • Community and Protective Services Committee – Thursday, February 19
  • Police Services Board – Monday, February 23
  • Planning Committee – Tuesday, February 24
  • Finance and Economic Development Committee – Tuesday, March 3
  • Transportation Committee – Wednesday, March 4
  • Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee – Thursday, March 5
  • Audit Committee – Date to be announced
  • IT Sub-committee – Date to be announced
  • Public Health Board – Date to be announced
  • Ottawa Public Library – Date to be announced

2015 rate-supported (water and sewer) budget timetable

The Environment Committee will consider the draft budget for the services supported by water and sewer rates during the same time period as the tax-supported budget. The Committee will listen to public delegations and deliberate on both the tax- and rate-supported budgets on Tuesday, February 17. The Environment Committee recommendations on the draft 2015 rate-supported budget would then rise to Council for its consideration on Wednesday, March 11.


Double-bill of Christmas music this Friday at Gaia Java

This week Gaia Java brings you two groups singing a cappella music for the holidays – both with strong local interest.

If you are there at 7pm you will hear the cheerful group of youngsters pictured above. They’ve been busy for the last several weeks learning a number of traditional Christmas songs (Jingle Bells, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer etc.) under the direction of Katelyn Osmand-Deveraux at our local West End Music School here in Stittsville. So please come in and encourage them in their vocal aspirations and seasonal spirit.

Then around 7:30 you will have a chance to hear one of the Gaia Java owners singing! Paul Jay and his wife Susan, one of our regulars John, and one of our erstwhile baristas Derek, get together weekly and learn tunes with nine other friends in the cappella group HARMONIC GENERATION.

On Sunday 14th at 2:30pm we are giving a concert of our pop and Christmas repertoire, singing in the  generous acoustic of the chapel at St Paul’s University in Ottawa. Tickets are on sale at the shop, and we will be sharing the proceeds of the concert with Gaia Java’s favourite good cause: the AZBGC Community project in Kamengo, Uganda through CACHA.

So on Friday we will preview for you some of our pop/folk arrangements as well as some of the Christmas songs we are planning for Sunday. We plan to include a new song for which we just did a video with a local star who will be a guest at our Sunday concert! Check out the video:

Coming up on December 19: a return performance from Keli Jay and Mollie Roy (back from their vocal studies at Queens Univ) PLUS an info session and update of our ongoing support of the community project in Kamengo, Uganda through the gifts of your spare change and donations.


New winter golf studio launched in Stittsville

(Above: Chris Bernard has more than 40 years of experience in the golf industry. Photo by Ron Patey

The new Chris Bernard Golf Academy Winter Studio is up and running in the heart of Stittsville.

“We’re open and welcoming golfers at 1498 Stittsville Main St. where players of all levels will be able to swing away in three hitting bays, use a state-of-the-art putting green and we will view and record swings on the latest FlightScope and V1 Swing technology,” said Bernard, who recently joined the staff at the Canadian Golf and Country Club. Continue reading


Petition to rename Palladium Drive to Alfredsson Way closes in on 2,000 signatures

Alfie's back!
“Alfie’s Back” – photo by Derek Mellon, from the OttawaStart Flickr Group. (Click for full size.)

A fan petition to rename Palladium Drive that started only five days ago already has nearly 2,000 signatures.  Organizers want to name it in honour of former Sens player Daniel Alfredsson, who retired last week. Continue reading


OPINION: Closing Munster school would be detrimental to community

Stittsville resident Omar Sultan attended Wednesday’s public meeting about the future of Munster Elementary School.  He is the president of Munster Cooperative Nursery School.


Approximately 180 people turned out December 3 to discuss the future of Munster Elementary School, located in the little Hamlet of Munster.

The school is currently experiencing all-time low enrollment numbers.  A study was commissioned to bring forth valid options to increase numbers. The most likely option was to make EFI programming available in this currently all-English school. Continue reading


Recommended listening: Jim Bryson’s Instant Holiday Album

I ran into Jim Bryson last week at Quitters during the Parade of Lights and we chatted briefly about his Christmas EP, Instant Holiday Album.

Bryson’s a Stittsville-based singer-songwriter who’s well known in Canada’s indie music scene. He’s also a frequent collaborator with Quitters owner Kathleen Edwards.

He released it two years ago as a fundraiser for Shepherds of Good Hope and the Royal Ottawa Hospital.  The name of the album is a nod to the fact that all the songs were recorded in a single day — over 15 in hours, to be exact, at Little Bullhorn Studios.

You can download the album here…

The album features a lengthy roster of local singers and musicians and has a cozy, mellow feel.  It’s perfect for a cold December afternoon with the fire going and a warm beverage by your side.

Favourite tracks: Good King Wenceslas, Mary New Year’s Eve, Silver Bells, Walking in a Winter Wonderland.


If you want to see Bryson perform live, he’s doing a show at the Black Sheep Inn on December 20.


PHOTOS: Mount Pakenham opens for skiing this weekend

Above: Alex Weir adjusts the snow gun near the top of  a trail at Mount Pakenham. Hill workers have been busy preparing for this weekend’s opening of the ski season.

Mount Pakenham opens for skiing this weekend, 9:00am-4:00pm on Saturday and Sunday.  Lift tickets are $18.  The ski resort is about a 30 minute drive west of Ottawa. Continue reading


LETTER: Please no modern high-rise on Main Street!

(Above – the heritage building near Abbott and Stittsville Main, before it was demolished.)

Re: It came in like a wrecking ball: 1518 Stittsville Main Street demolished

You are asking for opinions on what the residents would like to have built at the site of Karl Skoff’s store. (You are calling it Bradley’s store when in fact, it was purchased by Karl Skoff in the early 1970’s.)

Mr. Skoff is now deceased, but it is still owned by his wife, Stasia, and I believe that as owner she has the say in what she wants built there.

PLEASE no modern high-rise. Let us have a new building of maximum 3 storeys that ties in with the heritage buildings along the Main Street, complete with gingerbread trim, etc.

The Stittsville Villa is gorgeous and the Poole Creek Manor is lovely also, so please give us more of that and much less of the terrible eyesore condos on Abbott St., and beside the Legion. (Also the hideous red and blue container-looking house on Main St.)More brick  and less plastic siding.

We’ve always been proud of our “little village” feel and would like to keep it that way. Quitters coffee shop blends in quite nicely, but let us keep the “container condos” to a minimum. Thanks for letting us voice an opinion.

Joan and Roy Palmer


CBC: Stittsville priest charged in 2008 sexual assault of teen

UPDATE / MAY 2, 2017: Ottawa priest found not guilty of sexually assaulting teen boy

CBC reports:

An Ottawa priest has been released on bail after being charged with sexually assaulting a teenage boy inside a west end Catholic church in 2008.

Stephen Amesse, 56, was charged with two counts of sexual assault and two counts of sexual interference involving a child under 16.

Amesse was suspended from all ministry and his position as pastor at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Fallowfield after he was charged on Thursday, according to his archdiocese.

Ottawa police believe there could be other victims. None of the allegations has been proven in court.

Amesse was well-known in Stittsville’s Catholic community.  He had a nine-year tenure at Holy Spirit Catholic Church before his departure in 2009, and has been involved with Sacred Heart High School.

Reaction to the report has been mostly shock and disbelief.  Here’s some of the reaction from Facebook and Twitter.  Many appear to come from students so we’re keeping the identity of the posters anonymous.

  • “Just because someone said father Steve did this and he got charged doesn’t mean he actually did it… he’s a dope guy regardless.”
  • “Father Steve was charged, he is not yet convicted. Stop jumping to conclusions.”
  • “Father Steve man literally what’s your buzz… Thought you were the man, that’s messed.”
  • “Literally talked to father Steve 2 weeks ago…. Last thing I’d EVER expect.”
  • “Father Steve made mass bearable in elementary school… I’m so shocked.”
  • “Lets see how justice prevails….i just find it hard to believe knowing him personally for many years”
  • “He baptized me and my son and married my husband and I. In all my interactions with him he’s always seemed to be such a wonderful Christian man. It’s so hard to believe.”
  • “Father Steve was such a great priest in the community. I am shocked to hear this.”
  • “Woooooah Father Steve charged. NOOOOOO I thought he was an exception to the stereotype.”


QUARRY QUERY: Do industrial operations on Jinkinson affect water levels in the area?

EDITOR’S NOTE:  The network of streams and wetlands surrounding Stittsville have been changing over the past few years. Landowners say they’ve seen a dramatic rise in the amount of water on their land during a period that has coincided with Stittsville’s expansion.

In Part 1 of this series, we highlighted water issues along Flewellyn Road.  Homeowners there believe that quarries are one of several factors contributing to the water changes.

In Part 2, we look at concerns of the landowners who live right next to the quarries.  One of those landowners is Len Payne, who’s raised the ire of government and conservation officials for some of the changes he’s made to his property to try to drain his land.  We’ll examine those issues in a later story in this series.  Today’s story starts with a tour of his property between Jinkinson Road and the Trans Canada Trail. Continue reading