Tag Archives: editorial

New Brunswick artist shows collection at Jabulani Vineyard in Richmond

Watercolour by Rainer Wenzl

Rainer Wenzl, an artist from Port Elgin, New Brunswick, will be exhibiting a collection of his work at Jabulani Vineyard and Winery in Richmond.

Over the past six months I have been working on a series of paintings,” says Wenzl.  “‘Tequila and Fish Stories’ is a collection of watercolour paintings that illustrate the daily lives of the people that live by the sea, both in the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico and in Maritime Canada.”

“The figures are captured while they are involved in their everyday routines from fishing to relaxing, selling fruits and vegetables to enjoying the scenery. Each figure in each piece is painted on newspaper clippings taken from either an editorial or opinion article of a local newspaper from the same time period at which the painting was created. As a result, each person in each painting has his own individual story to tell.”

This collection will be on exhibit and available for sale at Jabulani Vineyard & Winery starting the weekend of June 26-28.  Stop by the vineyard to view and purchase art, as well as, sample and take home some of the award winning wines of Jabulani. You can check out their website at http://www.jabulani.ca

In addition to the watercolour paintings, Wenzl be exhibiting some of my gum-bichromate photographs and leaded glass lanterns.

“Gum-bichromate photographic process is a 200 year old developing process whereby dichromate salts (light sensitive) are mixed with watercolours and gum arabic and which is coated on watercolour paper. A large full size negative is then contact printed using sunlight. This process is repeated using negatives of different densities for each colour that is printed. The result is a painterly look,” he explains.

Watercolour by Rainer Wenzl


EDITORIAL: Good neighbours need to communicate, even developers

(Above: Part of the land cleared recently at 6279 Fernbank Road, south of Elm Crescent. Photo taken February 14, 2015.)

If I’m going to build a new deck in my backyard, or put up a fence, or cut down a tree right next to my neighbour’s property, I’m going to tell them about it first.  We’ll probably have a discussion.  My neighbour will want to know why I’m doing the work, and how it’s going to affect them.

Good neighbours communicate.

And when they don’t, you end up with situations like the one we’re seeing on the development property at 6279 Fernbank Road. Neighbouring residents in the Cypress Gardens area are upset because a huge swath of trees is being cleared so that the developer, J.P. Chenier,  can conduct environmental testing.

To be clear, the developers (J.P. Chenier, along with Cavanagh Construction who is assisting in the process) appear to have done everything by the book. They’ve submitted engineering plans for the testing and received a tree cutting permit from the City of Ottawa. As required under city rules, they notified residents about the work in advance by dropping a letter in their mailbox.

But while they may be fully compliant with all the regulations, they’ve failed to have a meaningful dialogue with residents to address their concerns.

Residents have contacted the developer several times since receiving the tree cutting notice to ask questions and have asked for a meeting. They want an explanation about what work is involved and why it’s being done.  They have safety concerns about the number of trucks coming through the area, the amount of noise the construction work is causing, and potential damage to wildlife habitat.

While they agree that some trees need to be cleared for testing, they believe the area being cleared is far bigger than what’s absolutely necessary.

Even if the work is completely justified, the residents still deserve an explanation. The lack of engagement from the developers is only breeding distrust, stress and anger amongst the neighbours.

“If they would even discuss or advise us of the schedule, it would help,” wrote one neighbour in an email to us earlier this week.

StittsvilleCentral.ca was able to obtain an answer to one of the residents’ questions this week, through a lawyer representing the developer. (Read more here.)

But it shouldn’t take a journalist’s request to get neighbours to talk to one another.

Note: This article was updated to include clarification of Cavanagh’s role in the development.

Residents in the area are planning a meeting on Monday, February 23 to form a community association in advance of the OMB hearing. The meeting is at 7:00pm at Stittsville United Church (corner of Fernbank and Stittsville Main). More info here…

What do you think?  Add your comments below or email feedback@stittsvillecentral.ca


StittsvilleCentral.ca launches sustainable crowdfunding campaign

Your support of $5/month or $50/year will help us hire a part-time reporter for StittsvilleCentral.ca.  To get started, pick your level of support and click “Subscribe”.  You’ll be prompted to set up an account in Paypal, the payment system that we use to manage this campaign.

If you prefer to pay by another method (cash, cheque, etc.) please contact us at feedback@stittsvillecentral.ca.

Choose your support level


Letter from the editor about the Sustainable Crowdfunding campaign



Your support of $5/month or $50/year will help us hire a part-time reporter for StittsvilleCentral.ca.  To get started, pick your level of support and click “Subscribe”.  You’ll be prompted to set up an account in Paypal, the payment system that we use to manage this campaign.

Choose your support level

If you prefer to pay by another method (cash, cheque, etc.) please contact us at feedback@stittsvillecentral.ca.


What am I supporting here?
You’re supporting a sustainable crowdfunding campaign to hire a freelance community reporter for StittsvilleCentral.ca.  A reporter will help us continue to grow and sustain a unique voice in your community.

How much does it cost?
A supporter subscription costs $5/month or $50/year.  That includes 13% HST.

Is this like a Kickstarter?
Yes, except that in this model the funds are continuous and sustained over a large period of time. A similar model has been used to support public radio television in the United States (ie, NPR and PBS).  A community radio station in Nova Scotia has successfully used a similar model as well.

Do I get anything special for subscribing?
For supporting StittsvilleCentral.ca, you will be helping to sustain a unique and special community voice in your very own neighbourhood. We are relatively new and support is continuing to grow. As it grows, and with more hands to help in its evolution, we’ll look to offer special events and benefits to subscribers, such as business discounts, special events, etc.

Is the site going behind a paywall?
No!  We intend to keep StittsvilleCentral.ca free for everyone without restrictions.  The supporter subscription is your way of showing your support for this community initiative.

What is Paypal?
Paypal is a secure online payment system that we’re using process the payments and manage the subscriptions.  We chose Paypal because it is simple to use and they have low merchant fees.

Do I have to use Paypal?
If you prefer to be invoiced or to pay by cash or cheque, please contact us at feedback@stittsvillecentral.ca.

How long does my subscription last?
Your subscription is ongoing (either monthly or yearly, depending on your selection). You can cancel it at any time.

How much are you hoping to raise?
Our goal is 200 monthly supporter subscriptions by the end of March, which would mean $1,000 per month towards a freelance reporter.

What if you don’t raise your goal?
We’re confident that we will!  The money will stay in a holding account until we reach our goal. If we don’t reach the goal by March 31, we will give supporters the option to receive a refund.

Who owns StittsvilleCentral.ca?
The web site is run by Stittsville resident Glen Gower, under a publishing and marketing business called OttawaStart Internet Services.  Glen has a background in marketing and communications, and has a Bachelor of Journalism degree from Carleton University.

How will your hire a reporter?
We will be posting a job posting in the coming weeks. Ottawa has three great journalism programs at Algonquin College, Carleton University and University of Ottawa. Plus there are many freelance writers in the area.

If there’s enough interest from the community, we will also be setting up an editorial board made up of volunteers who can help shape the stories and focus of StittsvilleCentral.ca.

I’m a reporter. Where can I send my resume?
Please contact us at feedback@stittsvillecentral.ca


Please send any other questions to feedback@stittsvillecentral.ca



UPDATE: When is a sidewalk not a sidewalk?

Why can’t snow be cleared from the sidewalk on the Eagleson Road overpass?

The Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) and the City of Ottawa are both blaming each other for what’s become a very dangerous situation for pedestrians who use the bridge that connects Kanata North and Kanata South.

We asked city councillor Marianne Wilkinson and the MTO about a few of the issues. Their responses are collected below.

Continue reading


EDITORIAL: City and MTO need to get in the same lane

The sidewalk on the Eagleson Queensway overpass in Kanata is closed for the rest of winter because it’s too narrow for sidewalks to plow the snow.

That’s right, the same bridge that just re-opened after months of repairs, the same bridge that is right next to the Eagleson OC Transpo Transitway stop, is now closed to pedestrians until the snow melts. Continue reading


BRADLEY-CRAIG BARN: Just what does heritage designation mean anyways?

(ABOVE: “Red Barn” – Photo by Joe Newton.)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Earlier this week, we published an editorial calling for ideas to re-purpose the Bradley-Craig barn on Hazeldean Road. It’s the big red barn that’s been a landmark in our area for over 140 years.

We’ve received dozens of comments on our site, via Twitter, and on Facebook, including some great examples of similar barns that have been succesfully renovated for different uses across North America.  We’ll share those later this week.

Also thanks to Joe Newton for sharing some incredible photos of the old barn, like the photo at the top of this page.  You’ll see more of his work in the coming days.

Continue reading


EDITORIAL: We need a business idea for the old red barn on Hazeldean Road

SEE ALSO: Just what does heritage designation mean anyways?

How can we make sure we don’t lose the big red barn on Hazeldean Road?

I’ve had a lot of people ask me about what’s happening to the old house and barn, across from the Bushtakah/Lowe’s.

The land they’re on will be developed by Richcraft. Both the house and the barn are included in the plan of subdivision, and will soon be surrounded by new houses and businesses along Hazeldean.

The farm and barn are known as the “Bradley-Craig Farmstead”, and are among the oldest buildings in the area. They were built just after the great fire of 1870 that wiped out pretty much everything in the area.  We know the barn was built in 1873, making it a Stittsville landmark for over 140 years old.   (More here about the history of the farm.)

The Bradley family owned the land on Lot 29, Concession 11 from the 1820s to 1970s, and the Craigs owned it from the 1970s until mid 2000’s. The buildings have been vacant for about five years.

The farmhouse (also built early 1870s) is in great shape.  The barn is another story.  It’s not in imminent danger of collapse, but one city official told me privately that there are concerns about the structure. The longer it sits unused, the worse it gets.  And empty buildings are a magnet for vandals and arsonists.

In the Ottawa Citizen last year, a planner for Richcraft said they are maintaining the building, but indicated that it wouldn’t be restored unless there was a viable business use. “We’re not going to restore it just so someone can look at it,” said Kevin Yemm.

I want to challenge our readers to offer up some suggestions as to what kind of business might be able to use a barn like this.  Could it be a community centre?  A performance hall?  A sports facility?  A museum? A restaurant?

It’s not an insurmountable challenge.  Just south of Almonte, two business partners have converted a 150-year-old barn into a music hall, opening later this month.  Are there any entrepreneurs who can step forward and pull off something like that in Stittsville?

Add your ideas below, or email me at feedback@stittsvillecentral.ca

Bradley-Craig Barn on Hazeldean Road. November 2013. Photo by Glen Gower.
Bradley-Craig Barn on Hazeldean Road. November 2013. Photo by Glen Gower.


EDITORIAL: Dave Lee is waking up the neighbours

(ABOVE: A cake at Dave Lee’s election night party. Photo by Glen Gower.)

I remember the first time I talked to Dave Lee.  It was September 12, the morning after he filed his nomination papers and entered the race to become Stittsville’s city councillor.  There are three things I remember about that conversation:

  1. He was surprised at how quickly word got around that he was running. “My phone’s going wild,” he said.  “That’s the fastest I’ve ever seen the city work.”
  2. He was focused on the Orgaworld / green bin topic. He must have talked for a good 10 or 15 minutes about it.
  3. He wasn’t focused on winning so much as he was focused on getting people engaged and aware about city issues (particularly Orgaworld).

Lee came a long way from that early morning conversation, winning an impressive 39% of the vote on Monday night against two-term, eight-year incumbent Shad Qadri.

He ran a very effective campaign. With the help of some experienced volunteers, he blanketed the ward with his distinctive black and red signs, attracted around 100 people to a meet-and-greet at the Main Street Pub, knocked on doors, debated, fielded phone calls and emails, and interacted with residents on Facebook and Twitter.

He took his original beef with Orgaworld and turned it into a broader complaint about process and financial oversight at City Hall.  I didn’t agree with where he stood on many of the issues but at least he gave us the opportunity, as a community, to discuss them.

The feisty public debate at Johnny Leroux Arena struck me as being out-of-character for the normally subdued Village of Stittsville.  One veteran politician told me it reminded her of some of the old meetings at Goulbourn Township council, where (in her words), there was a tradition of “loud and action-packed debates”.

We need more of that kind of discussion in Stittsville.  This community is growing fast and changing quickly and we need more leaders like Dave Lee to step up and get involved in shaping our future.

You don’t have to run for office to get involved. Read up on the issues, talk about them with your neighbours, volunteer for a community group, come out to public meetings, write an email to your councillor, comment on this blog. Dave woke Stittsville up, now it’s up to us to keep the momentum going.