COMMENT: Safety before shortsighted politics

I just read “Sidewalk scuttled in south Kanata, an article by Jessica Cunha in the Kanata Kourier-Standard and I am incredulous.

The article is about how a sidewalk project for Chimo Drive in Kanata South has been cancelled because some homeowners complained to their councillor Allan Hubley about it.

I am absolutely appalled that politics is getting in the way of pedestrian safety. There are residents on several streets in Stittsville that are clamouring for sidewalks, and I really can’t understand the mindset of these Kanata residents who complained. The councillor’s justifications for cancelling the project just don’t make sense.

Let’s break down the article and arguments:
(Text in italics is from the original Kanata Kourier-Standard article.)

Of the 28 affected homes that would see a sidewalk take up a portion of the city’s right-of-way at the foot of their front yards, 18 homeowners contacted Kanata South Coun. Allan Hubley’s office to oppose it. Only three said they were in favour.

“I’m not going to build something to satisfy three people,” said the councillor in a phone interview. “I was not pro or against the sidewalk. I was going to do what the majority of them wanted.”

I appreciate a councillor wanting to appear like he’s listening and reacting to residents.  A better response might have been: “Politicians need to do the right thing, which may not always be the most popular thing. Let’s talk about why we need this sidewalk on your street.”

(Also: Opposition from 18 of 28 homes is a slim majority of just 64%. Not exactly a strong consensus.)

Moore’s eldest child Annaka, 12, walks to Katimavik Elementary School and delivers the Kourier-Standard to her neighbours. “

In summer it’s not really that bad because you can go onto the grass a few neighbours down. But in winter, the snow piles up and you can either walk in the snow … (or) walk beside it,” on the road, she said.

Moore said she’s seen plenty of fender-benders and near misses on Chimo, which has a bend on a hill and a stop sign that some drivers ignore. Flex stakes in the middle of the road, used to reduce speeds, cause drivers to crowd the side of the road.

“I think, at some point, a child is going to get hit and killed,” she said.

Pedestrian safety, she said, should trump losing a portion of driveway.

Jen Moore is absolutely right. I wonder how many of the dissenting homeowners have kids, or are seniors, or have mobility issues?  The City should be prioritizing equitable options for everyone, whether they have a car or not.

Another thing: The portion of driveway that homeowners are losing is part of a municipal right-of-way.  The City has every right to build a sidewalk, even if a few homeowners object.

Chimo Drive is classified by the city as a collector road, yet has no sidewalk on either side.

According to the city’s website, “Collector roads require a sidewalk on both sides of the roadway. The requirement becomes increasingly important when the corridor is a public transit route, leads directly to public transit, fronts onto schools, parks, community facilities and/or leads directly to these amenities.”

The Katimavik transit corridor, Katimavik elementary school, as well as at least five parks, are all accessed from Chimo. The road also leads directly to a number of other parks and the Kanata Leisure Centre.

Not every street needs a sidewalk, but clearly sidewalks on Chimo would benefit residents who live on the road and the surrounding streets. It should have had sidewalks when it was built in the 80’s. This project is a chance to fix that blunder.

Hubley acknowledged in his letter that pedestrian safety is an issue and people should instead be using the pathway system that runs near Cattail Creek Park.

“Safety concerns are still very real for pedestrians along Chimo Drive,” he wrote. “Please continue to encourage others to use the pathway network and we will work with you to try to address the speeding along Chimo with you.”

The pathway is a big reason many residents opposed the sidewalk.

“The feedback from the majority of residents was that they did not want that sidewalk there because they have a pathway,” said Hubley. “They saw this as a waste of tax dollars, duplicating the pathway. You can actually see the pathway from the street. It’s very close.”

The councillor’s argument really falls apart when he suggests that the recreation pathways are a good alternative to sidewalks. The walking distance is longer, the lighting is poor, and people still have to walk on the road to reach the paths!

The paths also offer safer walking conditions, particularly in inclement weather, said the councillor.

“When the roads are slippery, for example, cars can slide up on the sidewalks,” he said. “It’s not the safest place to have people walk, certainly not like the pathway. The pathway is as safe as it gets.”

Yes, you read that correctly. Sidewalks are not safe for pedestrians. I guess it’s best if we all stay inside, unless we’re safely enclosed by a car.


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WOCRC launches online booking tool for services

The Western Ottawa Community Resources Centre (WOCRC) has launched a new online booking tool for their community support services. Clients can now make appointments and service requests online, rather than calling in.

Current services include transportation, Meals on Wheels, foot care and Diners Club.  You can access the online service request here: https://wocrc.communitysupportservices.ca/

You have to be a registered client to use the services.  If you’re not a current client but would like service call (613) 591-3686 option 3.

The Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre is a not-for-profit organization that provides health and social services to communities in far west Ottawa.

WOCRC online booking service


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Early bird registration is now open for GLAD Cleaning the Capital

(via City of Ottawa)

The City of Ottawa is pleased to announce the annual GLAD Cleaning the Capital fall campaign will take place from September 15 to October 15. Early bird registration is now available.

Registration is quick and easy:

  • Go to ottawa.ca/clean, or call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401) to register for the cleanup. The interactive map on our website will show you which locations have already been claimed, allow you to register your own project site and choose the cleanup supplies that you need.
  • Select a location such as a park, ravine, shoreline, bus stop, pathway or any public area that requires litter pickup or graffiti removal.

 

Win prizes

Volunteers who register their cleanup project before September 14 have a chance to win one of many early bird prizes donated by our generous sponsors. Volunteers who submit a final cleanup report by October 31 will be eligible for more prizes.

GLAD Cleaning the Capital is a city-wide event that brings together neighbours, communities and friends to help keep Ottawa clean and green! Last year alone, 72,000 volunteers collected more than 58,182 kilograms of litter from 1,300 projects.

This is a great opportunity for families and friends to work together on community cleanup projects that help make Ottawa clean, green, graffiti-free and litter-free. Cleaning the Capital is also an excellent way for high school students to earn their community volunteer hours.

For more information on City programs and services, visit ottawa.ca or call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401). You can also connect with us through FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


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Horticultural Society is accepting photo contest entries

(ABOVE: “Through The Garden Gate” by Brian Carson, Best in Show winner for 2017.)

The Stittsville-Goulbourn Horticultural Society is accepting entries in their annual photo competition.

Class 1: We See Thee Rise – a spring garden
Class 2: Glorious and Free – a summer garden at sunrise
Class 3: With Glowing Hearts – autumn’s full colour
Class 4: The True North – a winter scene – your interpretation
Class 5: Stand on Guard – the Maple – showing a tree, a branch or a leaf
Class 6: Garden Pollinators– close-up of a pollinator(s) on a bloom
Class 7: Fun with Foliage – capture texture on garden foliage
Class 8: Rushing Water – stream, water fall or fountain; must include vegetation
Class 9: Rocks and Roots – a rock garden
Class 10: Trans Canada Trail – Leaves, trees, wildflowers and bushes
Class 11: Richmond Fair – Outstanding fall arrangements, vegetables, flowers and houseplants
Class 12: Local Beauty – barns, silos, buildings in Richmond, Stittsville, Munster landscape.

You must be a member to enter. Memberships cost $15.00 for individuals and $25.00 per family. Five dollar 1st prize for each class. Stittsville Goulbourn Members can also enter the District 2 2018 Competition in March.

Rules:

  • Entries and membership information must be submitted by Sunday February 4/2018.
  • One entry per image.
  • One entry per class.
  • Photos will be accepted in digital format only. Digital photos can be e-mailed to SGHortcultural@gmail.com.
  • Entries will be judged by an independent judge.  Entries will be judged with 40% to horticultural value, 40 % to photographic value and 20% to appearance.
  • Colour and balance can be enhanced. Removal or addition of images into a photo results in disqualification.
  • The judges decision is final.
  • Prizes will be awarded Tuesday February 20, 2018 meeting.
  • We reserve the right to show images at our meetings, in our newsletters or on display at the Goulbourn Recreation Complex display case or at other events for the society.

For more information visit https://sites.google.com/site/sghortsoc/

Class 2 Winner Jim Gillick 2017 Stittsville Goulbourn Horticultural Society Annual Photo Competition
(Photo by Jim Gillick. Class 2 Winner from 2017.

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LINKED: Ottawa tech companies recruiting to fill thousands of jobs (CBC)

Interesting article from CBC about job growth in the Ottawa area. Invest Ottawa says 10,000 positions will be filled by 2019, with around 3,000 in the Kanata North area. That will impact the Stittsville area, where many of those Kanata North employees may end up calling home:

The Kanata North BIA said the tech sector in the region has to fill 3,000 positions in the coming months as BlackBerry QNX and Ford hire for the autonomous vehicle hub and existing companies expand.

Invest Ottawa predicts nearly 10,000 new jobs in the city by 2019 and said those jobs will come in a range of technology fields.

James Baker, CEO of recruiting company the Keynote Group, said he’s receiving calls from four to five new clients a week who are looking to hire new talent.

One challenge has been finding people with certain skill sets outside Ottawa’s traditional strengths from a decade ago.

“We’ve moved to development. We were a hardware city, we’re moving into a software city,” he said. “Now the self-driving car is coming as well, which is a whole other spin on what we can do in Ottawa.”

Larger companies like Shopify, Amazon and BlackBerry QNX are forcing companies to compete for people with specializations in software as a service, automatic vehicles and artificial intelligence.

Read the full article…


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Local nutritionist & mom shares ideas for healthier breakfasts

(Thanks to Stittsville-based holistic nutritionist Melanie Reid for contributing this guest post to StittsvilleCentral.ca.)

I’m a mom of four, wife and nutrition coach on a mission to improve the health of children and families through proper nutrition. I’m also a long time resident of Kanata and Stittsville and love meeting families who want to make health changes in their lives. Continue reading


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GRC pool closed for maintenance August 21-September 8

(PHOTO: Goulbourn Rec Centre, May 2015. Photo by Barry Gray.)

(via Councillor Shad Qadri / City of Ottawa)

The Goulbourn Rec Complex (GRC)’s annual maintenance will take place later this month.

As such, the swimming pool will be closed from August 21-September 8. Additionally, the gymnasium / weight cardio room will be closed from August 28-September 4th.

This annual maintenance is important for ensuring the facility remains in good shape for all users throughout the year.

As a reminder, office hours at the GRC front desk remain Monday-Friday from 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM and Saturday/Sunday from 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM. The GRC will be closed Labour Day – Monday, September 4th. The rink will remain open during this time.

The GRC staff would like to thank residents for their patience at this time. For any questions, please call (613) 580-2532.


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Fairwinds Community hosts outdoor movie night (August 25)

(via Fairwinds Community Association)

The Fairwinds Community Association presents our annual outdoor movie night on Friday, August 25.  This free family event takes place at Rosehill Park (Rosehill Ave @ Helm Circle) starting at approx. 8:30pm. Popcorn and bottled water will be available by donation, with funds going to Lamitta’s Wish.

(If the weather isn’t co-operating, we’ll move the event indoors to the gymnasium at Kanata Academy at 180 Huntmar.)

Special thanks to our event sponsors Geoff & Bobbie McGowan. And thanks to Councillor Shad Qadri and the Kanata Academy for their support.

Volunteers needed!  Email info@fairwindscommunity.com if you’d like to help!

Fairwinds Movie Night poster


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PHOTOS: Stittsville Legion Golf Tournament winners

The Stittsville Legion’s golf tournament fundraiser was held on August 12 at the Canadian Golf and Country Club. Funds raised will go toward’s the group’s building fund.

iane Doran (Closest to the Pin).  Tracy Boss (Ladies Longest Drive). Mike Enos ( Men's Longest Drive).  Chris Carnochan (Organizer of the Tournament and Sports Officer)  Missing is Bob Trudel (Men's Closest to the Pin). Stittsville Legion Golf Tournament / August 2017.
iane Doran (Closest to the Pin). Tracy Boss (Ladies Longest Drive). Mike Enos ( Men’s Longest Drive). Chris Carnochan (Organizer of the Tournament and Sports Officer) Missing is Bob Trudel (Men’s Closest to the Pin). Stittsville Legion Golf Tournament / August 2017.
Mike Enid presenting trophy to Diane Doran, Sue Doran, Rick Doran and Brian Doran  - Tournament winners with 9 under par. Stittsville Legion Golf Tournament / August 2017.
Mike Enid presenting trophy to Diane Doran, Sue Doran, Rick Doran and Brian Doran – Tournament winners with 9 under par. Stittsville Legion Golf Tournament / August 2017.

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NOTEBOOK: New bike repair station at Village Square Park

Nice to see this new bike repair station added to Village Square Park this week, along the Trans Canada Trail near Stittsville Main.  It’s a good spot for it, with hundreds of cyclists passing by each week.

(This would have come in handy a few weeks ago when my wife blew a bike tire on Abbott street just past the park!)

Safer Roads Ottawa (SRO) is setting these up at parks, libraries and other public areas around the city, but there aren’t too many yet in the suburbs.  According to SRO: “Each self service bike repair station includes a work stand, an air pump and the following tools:

  • Philips screwdriver and stand
  • 2 steel core tire levers
  • pedal wrench
  • 2 cone wrenches (8/10 mm 9/11 mm)
  • Torx T-25
  • Hex key set
  • The air pump includes heads to fill both Presta and Schrader valves.

Information on how to use the repair station and tools can be found at www.Ottawa.ca/bikerepair

UPDATE: City staff will be at the repair station to give tips on bike maintenance and safety on Monday, August 21 at 6:30 p.m.

***

Anecdotally, I’ve heard about more and more cyclists from outside of our community coming to visit Stittsville by bike. For example, blogger Andrea Tomkins and her husband Mark, who biked in from Westboro a few weeks back.  That’s about 50km round trip, and you can do it entirely on recreation trails.  More evidence: the bike rack behind Quitters is usually overflowing on a sunny weekend day.

Stittsville as a cycling destination?  Sounds good to me.

Now let’s hope we see some safer bike infrastructure on Stittsville Main Street in the near future too.


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CBC: Anonymous donor gives family $60K for Ottawa girl’s U.S. surgery

From CBC Ottawa:

Lamitta El-Roz’s parents went to sleep last Friday night with a huge worry — how to pay for the $140,000 surgery that could help their six-year-old daughter take her first steps.

When Canadian doctors didn’t consider Lamitta a good candidate for surgery, the family turned to the United States.

The Stittsville girl was born with spastic cerebral palsy, a condition that prevents her from walking, crawling or rolling over on her own due to damaged nerves in her lower spine. She is travelling to the St. Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri at the end of this month for selective dorsal rhizotomy surgery.

Now, that worry that kept them up at night is gone. A donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, gave the family $60,000 to help pay the bills.

Lamitta’s mother, Maya Taleb, won’t reveal any details about the donor but said she’s overwhelmed.

“We went crazy and we said there are angels on earth and we are so grateful to them forever. It’s amazing news,” she said.

“The good news is now her surgery is covered and the five or six months of physiotherapy after the surgery.”

Read the full story here…


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How a knight in a shiny tow truck saved the day with a bottle of Coke

Having just finished a yoga class I was pretty relaxed when I discovered that my car wouldn’t start.  Greeted by silence apart from an almost inaudible click when I turned the key, it was obvious I wasn’t going anywhere.

With the help of receptionist Amy at Beyond Yoga, I calmly contacted my emergency roadside assistance number.  I was told I would receive a call from the towing company to tell when they would be there to rescue me.  While I waited I checked out the bus times, found the towing company’s phone number, knowing that once the studio closed I would no longer have internet connection.

It was almost closing time and I hadn’t received a call, so it was obvious that the studio would close before tow truck arrived.  Concerned about me having to wait alone and get home by bus Amy offered to drive me home.  However, a call to Sharkey’s thwarted that plan as they don’t tow unattended cars.  So it became a matter of waiting and taking my chances that they would get the car started instead of towed, thereby avoiding a bus ride home and a very late night.

Fortunately I didn’t have to sit in the car for too long before my knight in shiny tow truck arrived.  I had deduced that it wasn’t a battery problem and thought it might be the starter motor.  I  wasn’t far off.

It didn’t take Kyle long to figure out the root of the problem with the hood up, as he watched and listened while I turned the key.  Yes, it was an issue with the starter motor.  At first he was going to tow the car to my garage.  However, he hesitated because he thought he just might be able to get it started, but no promises as he went to his truck for the necessary tools.

Only the tools proved to be nothing more than a bottle of Coke.   “Your not going to pour that over the engine are you?” I asked in disbelief, but as he began to explain that the problem was corrosion, I soon clued in.  “You mean you are going to use it the way they use Coke to clean pennies?”

“Exactly, the contacts are copper,” he replied.  He shone the torch on the green corroded contacts and pointed them out to me.  (I later took a photo of the area while he kindly pointed once more, to ensure I would recognize that part of the engine again and he demonstrated exactly what I had to wiggle).

One bottle of Coke later, when I turned the key, the engine roared into action without hesitation.  The Coke was rinsed off with a bottle of water to remove the residue.  What an amazing trick.

At this point, I could have had the car towed to the garage but Kyle advised that it wasn’t really necessary now and I too could start the car this way as long I was prepared, with a couple of bottles of Coke and a bottle of water.  How simple and how effective.  He even gave me a pair of latex gloves to keep in the glove compartment, so I am ready for action should the need arise in the future.

So thoughtful, and how appreciative I am.   After all, he could have just towed the car to the garage resulting in a repair bill, leaving me to find my way home by bus.  Instead he went that one step further, to try a simple solution that would allow me to drive home and perhaps even avoid a trip to the garage for a job that, obviously, I could do for myself.

So all this to say a great big thank you to two people in our community, who went beyond the call of duty, proving that a little kindness goes a long way.

Amy Pham at Beyond Yoga on Hearst Avenue, Kanata, who was prepared to drive me home, called emergency road assistance for me twice, and stayed later than she normally would.

And Kyle Abraham, on night shifts at Sharkey’s Towing, Iber Road, Stittsville, who did not take advantage of a damsel in distress, but instead solved the problem and gave her a useful lesson in simple, albeit unconventional, emergency auto mechanics.

Janice Blain's car in front of Beyond Yoga in Kanata.
Janice Blain’s car in front of Beyond Yoga in Kanata.

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No injuries in small fire on Cardevco Road

(This information is via Ottawa Paramedics Service.  Cardevco Road is near the intersection of Carp Road and Richardson Side Road, and most of the businesses are industrial.)

At 16:42, Ottawa Fire Services received a call from the alarm company reporting alarms at 132 Cardevco Road. Upon arrival, crews reported a haze of smoke in the building and declared a working fire. The fire was brought under control by 17:14.

No injuries have been reported at this time. An Ottawa Fire Investigator has been dispatched to the scene. No dollar loss has been reported at this time.


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CBC: Family upset government won’t cover out-of-country surgery

CBC Ottawa did a story about a Stittsville family raising money to pay for surgery in the United States. Lamitta El-Roz is six years old and has been denied funding for dorsal rhizotomy surgery that’s only available in the United States.

The family has launched a fundraising campaign called Lamitta’s Wish to Walk to cover the surgery and follow-up treatment.

Lamitta El-Roz, 6, and her family hope surgery in the U.S. will allow her to walk and help ease her chronic pain. (Laurie Fagan/CBC)
Lamitta El-Roz, 6, and her family hope surgery in the U.S. will allow her to walk and help ease her chronic pain. (Laurie Fagan/CBC)

Lamitta El-Roz loves comic book super heroes — especially Spiderman.

When asked what super powers she’d like to possess, she doesn’t hesitate. Continue reading


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Part of Fernbank Road closed from August 14-28

(via Councillor Shad Qadri’s office)

Please note that Fernbank Road will be closed from Shea to Robert Grant between August 14th and August 28th.

The contractor, Taggart Construction, will be installing a box culvert across the roadway for future storm water management.

Notification signs will be posted in advance of the closure with additional signs posted during the affected period. Local and emergency vehicle access will be maintained. A detour will be signed from Shea>Abbott>Robert Grant.


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NOTEBOOK: A fenced dog run, more cash for road repairs, ice cream at Quitters

FENCED DOG RUNS PLANNED FOR STITTSVILLE SOUTH NEIGHBOURHOOD

Valecraft Homes recently tweeted out the design of a park and stormwater pond in their new Rathwell Landing neighbourhood, (located south of the existing Westwind neighbourhood). Continue reading


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REVIEW: Danby’s breakfast is worth the road trip to Richmond

If you know where the Richmond Bakery used to be, you know where Danby’s Roadhouse is now. There is a Danby’s in Munster too (Danby’s Bar and Grill) but for this trip we went to the Richmond location, at 6127 Perth Street.

Not our first visit, it seemed unusually quiet when we entered around 11:15am. The restaurant/bar area at the back is darker and offers booths but tends to be noisier, so we headed for a table by a window in the bright restaurant part at the front, where there was one lone diner. However, that didn’t last long as other people began to arrive. Families, couples, and friends. The quiet restaurant soon became filled with animated voices and every plate that went by looked delicious. Our own meals were no exception.

Three of us each chose a different breakfast from the specials on the board and the extensive two sided menu which includes a children’s section. This offers smaller meals at smaller prices, for those 9 and under.

The pancake lover chose strawberry and chocolate pancakes (pictured above), one of the two breakfast specials. A previous breakfast special had been banana and chocolate pancakes, with the banana cooked in the batter. However, today’s plate came with three chocolate chip pancakes heaped with fresh strawberries and a generous dollop of whipped cream. The pancakes were described by my friend as “chocolate chips with pancake”. No shortage of chocolate chips here and the strawberries were so good he shared them to prove his point. This enticing plate was priced at $10.

Danby’s traditional two egg breakfast comes with a choice of bacon, sausage or ham plus your choice of two sides, from a list of nine options. Home fries and a pancake were selected on this occasion, costing a mere $7. Today was a first time at Danby’s for this friend, and she was impressed.

Danby's traditional two egg breakfast. Photo by Janice Blain.
Traditional two egg breakfast. Photo by Janice Blain.

For an extra $1 each, one or both of your side choices could be from the eleven upgraded sides offered, or you could even indulge in breakfast poutine for an extra $3. Maple syrup is one of the upgraded sides, should you want that for your pancake instead of the corn syrup on the table. I had to count again, but yes, 21 side options available at different price points.

I chose the three egg veggie omelette, loaded with mushrooms, onions, peppers and tomatoes, plus sides of mushrooms and fresh fruit. Fresh sautéed mushrooms and real fresh fruit! I am always disappointed when a menu offers mushrooms which turn out to be canned. And more so, when fresh fruit is not fresh fruit but a mix of fresh fruit and fruit from a jar or can. Or worse, no real fresh fruit at all. At $9, this meal didn’t disappoint on any level.

Danby's three egg veggie omelette. Photo by Janice Blain.
The three egg veggie omelette. Photo by Janice Blain.

Coffee or tea is included with all breakfasts making this restaurant, in my opinion, unbeatable for choice and value for money. Three excellent breakfasts, quality food, with coffee for under $30!

The servers were very attentive and pleasant, while the kitchen staff proved their efficiency by delivering a wide range of food in good time.

Clean bathrooms and attractive decor round out the package causing Danby’s Roadhouse to become one of my favourite weekend brunch stops.

Breakfast is served on Fridays and Saturdays from 8-11 and on Sundays from 8-12, after which the menu changes and lunch is served.


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Jabulani supports Richmond’s 200th anniversary

The Richmond 2018 Organizing Committee thanks Jabulani Winery for their generous support.

Tom and Janet Moul, proprietors of Jabulani Winery presented a cheque to the Richmond Village Association for $717.00 at their recent South African dinner event. They were thrilled to have sold all 717 bottles of the 1818 wine they produced in such a short time. In Janet’s words “they flew off the shelf” A generous donation was made to the 200th Anniversary of $1.00 from each bottle. Now that is community spirit! Continue reading


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