After moving to Stittsville from Nepean I was looking forward to the many trails and green space available for walking. It was a surprise to learn that Stittsville has no “fenced-in” dog parks available. Yes, there is an “unauthorized” off leash dog park according to Councillor Qadri’s office but being “unauthorized” means there are still folks that prefer having dogs on leashes and will state that fact if walking a dog in these unauthorized trails and they are right in stating this.
You can never be too careful when it comes to walking off leash. I personally do not let my dog off leash unless he is in a safe area. I now travel to Barrhaven or Carleton Place to visit fenced in parks. Many people with dogs in Stittsville would love a fenced in park where they can socialize and let their pets run free. Surely there must be an area such where this can become a reality with the help of the City and the Community, possibly off Westridge where there are a few possibilities.
Jonathan Seguin sent along some photos and warning about wild parsnip along the trails south of Abbott Street and east of Shea. Colloquially known as the “Abbott Street Dog Park”, it’s a very popular area for dogwalkers, even though it’s on private property.
The yellow weed is all over the place in our area, especially near ditches, pathways and fields. The plant’s sap can cause skin and eye irritation, and make the skin prone to burning and blistering when exposed to the sun. (It’s not as big a risk for dogs, although sap could be transferred from their fur to human skin.)
Seguin knows all about the dangers of wild parsnip: he works for one of the companies the City has contracted to do the spraying. “I’ve had the rash multiple times so I’m just looking out for the Stittsville locals so they can avoid it. It is not fun and gets quite bad unless you know how to handle it,” he says.
The City of Ottawa is spending close to $200,000 to combat the weed this year, including mowing, herbicides and a public awareness campaign. If you see wild parsnip on public property, you can report it to the City by calling 3-1-1.
The Abbott Street land is private property, so the city won’t touch it. (And technically, dog walkers are trespassing.) Wear shoes, long pants and long sleeves, stay out of the weeds, and if you do come in contact, wash the contaminated area as soon as possible. See a doctor if you notice any skin irritation. More about wild parsnip here…
“They’ve told me that they can finally enjoy their backyards, eat outside and encounter no mosquitoes rising out of the grass when they’re cutting it,” she wrote in a recent email to residents.
Every household had a levy of about $20 added to their tax bill this year to pay to spray larvicide in wetland areas to prevent mosquito larvae from hatching.
I live in the north east part of Stittsville and I’ve noticed fewer mosquitos buzzing around my porch and backyard this year.
Meanwhile, the City of Ottawa, university of Ottawa and G.D.G Canada are collaborating on an ecological impact study to better understand the effects of the larvicide treatment on insects closely related to mosquitos. You can read about that research here…
Thanks to Kim Bonin for snapping this pic of Jessica Phelan while she passed through Stittsville along the Trans Canada Trail on Saturday. She’s on a 9,000km trek across Canada called Jess Bikes Canada, raising money for Gillian’s Place, a shelter for abused women. You can read more about her trip here.
KANATA CENTRAL BIA IN THE WORKS
Businesses in Kanata Centrum and the surrounding area are looking at forming a Business Improvement Area (BIA). The group would be known as the Kanata Central BIA and include shops and businesses in Kanata Centrum, Signature Centre and Kanata Commons, along with Canadian Tire and the Marriott hotel. They have a Facebook page set up here and an email address, email@example.com.
KANATA DOG PARK UPDATE
Last fall we reported on a proposed fenced dog park in Kanata at Insmill Park near Terry Fox Drive. Here’s an update from Kanata North Councillor Marianne Wilkinson: “Thank you to everyone who provided feedback about the proposed fenced dog area for Insmill Park. I will be meeting with City staff later this month to review your concerns and to consider alternative locations. The NCC has been approached about a dog park on their lands and I hope to have more information on that soon.”Continue reading →
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Welcome to our new canine affairs correspondent, Roscoe. He’s an eight-month-old boxer – pictured above – with some strong opinions and a love of peanut butter. He’ll be writing from time to time about pressing dog issues.)
I’m usually a pretty happy guy. There are only a few things I get mad at. Squirrels. The Crate. And the lack of fenced-in dog parks in Ottawa.
Kanata North councillor Marianne Wilkinson is hosting a town hall meeting next week that will include details about a proposed fenced dog park on Terry Fox Drive between Campeau Drive and Kanata Avenue. Continue reading →
DOG PARK SIGNAGE
Earlier this year we published a map of off-leash dog parks in Stittsville, using data pulled from the City of Ottawa’s web site. Recently, a reader pointed out that signage in several of the parks did not match the information from the city’s web site.
We asked the city about it, and it turns out that some of the signage in parks may in fact be wrong. Here’s a response from the City, attributed to Roger Chapman, Chief, By-law and Regulatory Services:
“By-law and Regulatory Services will review the web information and the history of the designation of Coyote Run, to confirm the approved designation, and make any necessary adjustments accordingly.”
The City says that the online information is correct, and takes precedence over the signage.
Over 80% of eligible voters in Carleton cast ballot in Monday’s election, the third-highest in Canada.
Overall voter turn-out in Canada was 68.49%, the highest since 1993.
6279 FERNBANK UPDATE FOR PLANNING COMMITTEE The City’s Planning Committee will get an update Tuesday on zoning & plan of subdivision for 6279 Fernbank. Usually reports are posted with the meeting agenda but not this time – the agenda notes that the “Report to be issued separately prior to the meeting.”
Jillian McKim, who represented the community that surrounds the development property, gave us an update last week and says that the developer and the City appear to have resolved the disagreements that led to an OMB hearing last spring.
570 HAZELDEAN ROAD DEVELOPMENT APPROVED
Shad Qadri reports that Mattamy’s proposed residential development at 570 Hazeldean Road, north of the Trans Canada Trail in the Fernbank area, has been approved. It will include 600 residential units including detached homes and townhomes.
I like to walk around the paths and there are dogs running loose and ahead of their owners. These animals are larger dogs (huskies, collies, German shepherds, etc.), they are naturally trying to protect the owners. With the growling and barking it is quite disturbing. Continue reading →
UPDATE: One of our readers asked about the status of the park on Hartsmere. Although the City’s web site (and this map) lists it as off-leash allowed, there a signs posted at the park indicating that dogs need to be leashed.
Roger Chapman chief of by-law and regulatory services explains:
As a result of a re-designation process undertaken at the request of the community, Trustee M. Curry Park, at 85 Hartsmere Drive, has a mixed designation.
Dogs are allowed on leash from May to August, Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to noon. Dogs are also allowed on leash from September to April, Monday to Friday8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dogs are allowed off-leash all other times. The signage is currently being designed and fabricated. The website will be updated to reflect the changes.