CITIZEN: Former Stittsville volunteer Mary Durling honoured with park name

From the Ottawa Citizen:

On Friday, Stittsville’s Cypress Gardens Park, on Brae Crescent and just two blocks from the house where Mary lived for 48 years until her death in 2015, will be renamed Mary Durling Park, to honour her decades of community service.

“I think this is beautiful,” said her son Neil, one of four boys she raised, “because Mom did so much and never wanted acknowledgement or credit, or even anybody to know.

“She didn’t like the attention. She was pretty humble. She put everybody ahead of herself. But it’s wonderful that they’re remembering her and doing something for her.”

Named Stittsville’s Senior Citizen of the Year in 2009, Mamie, as she was known to her family, volunteered with and raised funds for numerous charities and community groups. An avid dart player and gardener, she was an active charter member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Royal Canadian Legion 618 branch and longtime supporter of its Wednesday night bingo. She was also involved with Holy Spirit Catholic Parish, where she attended, and canvassed door-to-door for such charities as the Canadian Cancer Society, March of Dimes and the Kidney Foundation.

Cypress Gardens Park was, at most, a glint in a developer’s eye when Neil was a youngster, although he frequented its forested precursor and built forts and rafts there. But he recalls his mother visiting the park regularly after it was built in 1991, with the numerous neighbourhood children she babysat to help make ends meet.

“So, yes, it’s pretty special that it’s this park,” he said. “It wasn’t here when I was a kid, but when my daughter, Rachel, was growing up, there’s be a skating rink here in the winter and I’d bring her and her friends here, and they loved it.”

Read the full article…


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Jack Ketch chef returns to his Stittsville roots

(PHOTO: Kevin Conway and Alli Pearce, co-owners of The Jack Ketch on Stitttsville Main. Photo by Barry Gray.)

It’s been a long time coming, but Kevin Conway and Alli Pearce are finally set to open The Jack Ketch restaurant on Stittsville Main Street.

They’ll work out the kinks with two friends-and-family nights on Thursday and Friday, and then open to the general public on Saturday night, October 21.

The restaurant is in an old building formerly occupied by Brown Bear Daycare.  Conway and Pearce have turned it into a 30-seat restaurant that they describe as a “contemporary rustic cosy nook kind of place”.  The menu is contemporary, including some French Canadian-inspired dishes and a lot of locally-sourced ingredients.  Continue reading


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OCT 25: Information session about Huffing And Puffing Ottawa Seniors Fitness

Huffing And Puffing Ottawa Seniors Fitness Association (HAPO SFA), in conjunction with Ale Amberwood Lounge & Eatery, are Hosting a Coffee & Tea Information Session, to be held @ the Ale Lounge on the 25th of October 2017 @ 2:00pm.

HAPO SFA is affiliated with Huff N’ Puff SFA which is a Non Profit Association for Seniors providing both numerous social & fitness programs. HNF SFA in London, Ontario is a highly successful SFA which provides programs and Fitness facilities to over 2000 London Ontario Seniors. The North London Optimist Centre has just undergone a refurbishment of their facilities, which is to a great extent been made possible by the money generated by the HNP patronage. London HNP uses 3 major facilities and numerous other facilities, including ice rinks, sports parks, schools, legions, curling arenas, etc. Please visit thier web site to see more about thier programs and facilities: http://www.huffnpuffsfa.com/


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NeXT makes TripAdvisor’s list of Canada’s top 10 restaurants

Stittsville’s NeXT restaurant has cracked TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice list of the top ten restaurants in Canada.  Here’s an edited interview with owner and chef Michael Blackie on what the recognition means for his business.

“They [TripAdvisor] publishes the list annually and they choose top 10 in the country, and it’s based on some kind of algorithm to make that list. It’s mostly Quebec centric. There’s one from Whistler, you have us, and pretty much everyone else is Montreal and Quebec City. In the last five years Beckta has always gotten that title. Continue reading


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LETTER: Stittsville Lions launch this year’s fundraising campaign

At this time of year, the Stittsville District Lions Club conducts its Annual Fundraising Campaign, raising funds to help the less fortunate. The club supports various groups such as the Stittsville Food Bank, Salvation Army, Ruddy-Shenkman Hospice, local hospitals, children’s camps for blind, diabetic, cancer and patients on dialysis as well as local sports teams. We also support individuals such as post-secondary students with scholarships, people in need of basic utilities and those in need of glasses, special foot wear, expensive drugs and much more.

This year we are supporting a young Stittsville man that has been diagnosed with a rare, serious and painful eye disease. We need $25,000 to help him get the needed medical help in the United Kingdom. 100% of the funds raised go directly to the causes we support. The money we seek for this cause will go directly towards the treatment, travel and accommodations abroad. This is a considerable increase over previous year’s donations. Please help spread the word, we rely on the community to help us, help others.

For a minimum donation of $125, received before November 15, 2017, we will recognize your support with a personalized sign displayed at the Village Square Park at Abbott and Stittsville Main Street. The Lions Club also takes care of lighting this park over the Christmas season.

Any size donation is most appreciated.  An Income Tax Receipt will be provided upon request. For more information please contact me at darryl.metzger@edwardjones.com or 613-831-8028

Lion Darryl Metzger
Annual Fundraiser Committee Chair


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NOTEBOOK: City moves a step closer to protecting part of Shea Woods

(PHOTO: Mayor Jim Watson and Councillor Shad Qadri joined local residents on Tuesday to announce plans to protect the Shea Woods. Photos by Frank Cianciullo.)

The City of Ottawa hosted a media event today to announce a $1.5-million agreement to conserve part of the Shea Woods, a cedar forest located southeast of Holy Spirit Church and a popular spot for dog walkers.

The forest is currently owned by CRT Developments, who are planning a housing development in the area.  A City of Ottawa press release (included below) outlines how the City intends to protected the forested area. Continue reading


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SHEA WOODS: ‘More than just a forest’

(PHOTO: Afternoon in Shea Woods, January 2017. Photo by Glen Gower.)

“…fallen branches become magic wands, old rotting tree trunks become balance beams that they must cross while escaping from some imaginary, forest-dwelling bad guys. They have favourite trees with perfect climbing branches. The Shea Woods really is more than just a forest…”


Mayor Jim Watson, Sabrina Kemp, and Stittsville Councillor Shad Qadri at Tuesday's announcement. Photos by Frank Cianciullo.
Mayor Jim Watson, Sabrina Kemp, and Stittsville Councillor Shad Qadri at Tuesday’s announcement. Photos by Frank Cianciullo.

 

(This is an edited version of Sabrina Kemp’s remarks at today’s Shea Woods announcement.)

I was first introduced to the Shea Woods just over 10 years ago. A friend suggested it as a wonderful spot to walk our new puppy. We were newly married and new to the Stittsville Community. I quickly realized how lucky we were to have such a beautiful natural space right in our community.

During my quiet walks there, I was enchanted by the mature cedars, the fern beds that grow in the open, sunlit areas of the forest floor and the old stone fences that border the woods – left behind, I would imagine as I walked, by one of Stittsville’s early settlers.

As the seasons change, so do the Shea Woods – from the apple blossoms in the spring, to the warm colours of the sugar maples in the fall and the dusting of snow on the trails in the winter.

In my early days of walking there, I met a gentleman who told me he was one of the first neighbours to start marking trails through the Shea Woods. At that time, he had already been walking there daily with his dog for years. Clearly, this was a special place for more than just me.

Soon, we started walking through the Shea Woods with our children. The minute they step into the woods, their imaginations soar – fallen branches become magic wands, old rotting tree trunks become balance beams that they must cross while escaping from some imaginary, forest-dwelling bad guys. They have favourite trees with perfect climbing branches.

The Shea Woods really is more than just a forest. In the middle of the woods, there is a tree where neighbours hang plastic containers filled with dog treats to share. The tree is decorated each year at Christmas.

There are daily meet-ups at the big rock and springtime clean-ups. In the age of IPhones and PlayStations, the Shea Woods is a meeting place for neighbours, a place to catch-up with old friends, and meet new ones.

It is an easily accessible natural space for our children to explore and as adults, a place to quietly walk, listening to the birds and the wind in the trees.

We all know that trees and natural green spaces are important. We know that trees filter the air we breathe and help prevent roadside runoff from getting into our waterways. We know that trees help reduce flooding, fight soil erosion, cool the air, muffle urban noise and increase property values.

We are also starting to learn more and more about how important time in natural spaces is to both the physical and mental health for adults and children alike. It has been shown to reduce stress, improve cognitive function and feelings of well-being.

Today, we celebrate moving from knowledge and planning to concrete action. Accessible green spaces like the Shea Woods are one of the things that makes Stittsville such a wonderful community to live in. Thank you to Councillor Qadri, Mayor Watson and the City Planning Team for their efforts in making this a reality.

The Shea Woods, September 2017. Photo by Glen Gower
The Shea Woods, September 2017. Photo by Glen Gower.

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Committee of Adjustment considers two Stittsville applications on October 18

The City of Ottawa’s Committee of Adjustment will consider two applications for properties in Stittsville when it meets on October 18.

The first is at 6243 Abbott / 34 Manchester: “The Owner wants to demolish the existing detached dwelling and shed and to subdivide its property into two separate parcels of land to create two new residential lots for future development.”  This is a long piece of land that stretches all the way from Abbott to Manchester, with a house fronting Abbott. With this application, the owner wants to split the property in two and have two houses; one facing Abbott and one facing Manchester.

The second application is for the Stittsville Walk (formerly Reverie) development at 1491-1493 Stittsville Main Street, for the townhouse development that’s currently under construction: “The Owner wants to subdivide the property to create twenty-four individual freehold Parcels of Tied Land (POTLs’). Twenty-two of the proposed POTLs will contain townhouse dwellings, one is proposed to contain stacked dwellings which are to be registered as a Standard Condominium in the future, and one is proposed to contain a retail and residential mixed-use development. “

For more information about these applications, visit: http://ottwatch.ca/meetings/meeting/7223


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LETTER: “We thought it was an earthquake”

Re: NOTEBOOK: Mystery blasting could be from nearby quarry

I am a new resident with a house on Carp Road near Rothbourne. Two weeks ago, the house shook and we thought it was an earthquake. However it was too short and no after shocks.

Last Friday I noticed that the drains in the house were making strange noises. On the weekend, the kitchen sink would not empty so I went downstairs and it looked like the septic tank was backing up. Continue reading


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LIBRARY: Halloween, model railroad, Yap & Yarn & more

(via Ottawa Public library, Stittsville branch)

There are four special programs coming to the Stittsville branch in October, and November, 2017.

On Sunday, October 22, 2017.  1:30 – 4:43 p.m. is a Children’s Hallowe’en Workshop called “Mansion Mayhem.”  This program is hosted by staff from the Goulbourn Museum for children ages 6-11 years.  There will be edible haunted hourses to decorate; creepy crafts and to make, and ghoulish games to play.  A fee to cover the cost of materials is payable to the Goulbourn Museum.  $25.00 per child.  ($20 for Kits’ Club Members).  Please register at:  register@goulbourn.ca  or call, 613-831-2393. Continue reading


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PHOTOS: Sunday evening’s storm cuts power to thousands in Stittsville

High gusts of wind and torrential downpours hit Stittsville around 6:00pm on Sunday evening, cutting power to over 10,000 homes. About 20 minutes later, Environment Canada issued a wind warning for gusts up to 100km/h, and a gust of 97km/h was reported at the Ottawa Airport – the highest recorded wind speed in 20 years. Here are some of your photos from during and after the event.

Do you have a photo from today’s storm? Send it along to feedback@stittsvillecentral.ca Continue reading


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FOOD: The Jack Ketch set to open Saturday, October 21

Great to see that the long-awaited The Jack Ketch restaurant on Stittsville Main Street (next to the municipal parking lot) is finally set to open on Saturday, October 21.

Co-owners Allison Pearce and Kevin Conway made the announcement on their Facebook page on Friday evening, and says they’ll be taking reservations for opening night via email.  It’s a cozy spot with 26 seats available for dinner. (They’re also planning some private dinners for family and friends later this week to get ready.)

Allison and Kevin gave me a tour inside back in September. They’ve completely transformed the space (it was previously a daycare) and have lots of plans for future expansion, including a patio out back.  (The opening is a bit later than originally planned thanks to some construction-related surprises, but I’ll save those stories for later.)

I talked to Conway last February about what they have planned:

“A contemporary rustic cosy nook kind of place where people can come and relax,” he said. “Something different for Stittsville – a little bit higher-end.”

The menu will include some French Canadian-inspired dishes and a lot of locally-sourced ingredients. Conway grew up in Stittsville and has worked at a number of restaurants in Toronto and Ottawa.

“I’ve been working for a lot of great chefs, and this opportunity came up to come back home. I’ve been trying to open something in Stittsville for years and years now. ”

Put some art up!!

A post shared by Jack (@jackketchfood) on

Date a #chef #restaurantlife #openingsoon, trout, lentils, mussels. #yummy

A post shared by alli pearce (@allifpearce) on

Final logo. Credit goes to @greatblue73. Can't thank you enough

A post shared by Jack (@jackketchfood) on

 


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City asks for feedback on “Kavanagh Green” proposal

(via City of Ottawa)

The City of Ottawa Commemorative Naming Committee is conducting public consultations for a commemorative naming proposal for a future park located at the corner intersection of Hazeldean Road and Stittsville Main Street as “Kavanagh Green”.

In recognition of the Kavanagh family’s historical significance to the community of Stittsville, a proposal to name a future park at the southwest corner intersection of Hazeldean road and Stittsville Main Street has been submitted to the Commemorative Naming Committee. For nearly a century, Kavanagh family members have made important contributions to the community of Stittsville and surrounding areas which include owning and operating the popular Stittsville Flea Market for 25 years and volunteering with the Food Bank, Holy Spirit Church and the Ruddy-Shenkman Hospice.

More info…


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Stittsville’s link to a religious procession celebrating Our Lady of Fatima

The statue on a visit with Monsignor Muldoon, Holy Spirit Parish, Stittsville May 2017.
The statue on a visit with Monsignor Muldoon, Holy Spirit Parish, Stittsville May 2017.

(This article was submitted by Jacinta Cillis-Asquith. As you’ll read below, her family has an important connection to this Friday’s procession. Readers may also remember Cillis-Asquith’s nature photography that we’ve featured several times on this site.)

A Marian procession will be held on Friday, October 13 in downtown Ottawa to  mark the 100th year since the miracle of Fatima (miracle of the sun) occurred in Fatima, Portugal.

The festivities will begin with an outdoor, rosary and candle procession with a life-like statue of Our Lady of Fatima, the title given to the Virgin Mary who appeared to three little shepherd children, once a month for six months, in Fatima, Portugal in 1917. Continue reading


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Stittsville company’s invention deployed in downtown bike safety pilot

(An invention from Stittsville’s SmartCone Technologies is being deployed as part of a pilot project on O’Connor street in downtown Ottawa. Here’s a press release from Ottawa Police Services about the project.)

Safer Roads Ottawa and the Ottawa Police Service have launched a new cyclist detection system on the O’Connor bike lanes at the corner of Waverley.

Safer Roads Ottawa engaged with SmartCone Technologies Incorporated, a local start-up company in Stittsville, to implement their innovative prototype sensor technology on O’Connor Street.  Continue reading


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Committee approves zoning for housing and commercial developments

(via City of Ottawa)

The City’s Planning Committee today approved commercial and residential zoning amendments in Stittsville.

Once it is confirmed that the existing infrastructure has the capacity to support new development, the Poole Creek Village subdivision could grow by three residential lots. The currently vacant land was previously in a floodplain, where development is not permitted. The Poole Creek floodplain was updated in 2016, making the land available for development. Continue reading


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