Tag Archives: kanata north

COMMENT: Let’s start saying light rail to Stittsville

(ABOVE: Artist’s rendering of the Rideau LRT station downtown. Via City of Ottawa.)

It was great to see City Council approve plans for Phase 2 of light rail transit (LRT) today. The $3-billion project includes an extension of the rail line west from Bayshore to Moodie Drive by 2023. That’s good for all west end commuters.

But there’s one thing that’s bugging me: I keep hearing councillors and other officials use the phase “bringing light rail closer to Kanata”. Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: New RMT on Stittsville Main, a lost building’s rich retail history

NEW RMT ON STITTSVILLE MAIN

Holly Milliner
Holly Milliner

Holly Milliner has moved her registered massage therapy practice, Syner-G Massage Therapy and Wellness Centre to the little white house at 1535 Stittsville Main Street, just south of Orville.

“It’s a great spot to catch the action on Main Street, and I’m really looking forward to the foot traffic that Quitters and Story Art will hopefully bring this summer,” she says.

“I grew up in Glen Cairn and always remembered Stittsville for the Sundays we’d spend at the Flea Market.  Then I moved with my folks in 2006 to Timbermere and started seeing this community a little differently, as an adult and thinking it would be a great place to raise a family.

“This location is also a bonus as I live on Elm – you can’t beat a 5 minute walk to work,” says Milliner.


A LOST BUILDING’S RICH RETAIL HISTORY
Last month I wrote about the the property at 1520 Stittsville Main Street that’s up for sale. Until 2014, it was home to 19th century heritage building that most recently was home to the Louisiannie’s and NOLA restaurants.

John Bottriell fills us in on some of the businesses that called the building home over the years: “This building has had many uses over the years… The Royal Albert Tea Room, Pixie’s Florists, Toomey’s Photography and of course Bradley’s dry goods store. I have memories of the early 1980’s walking our children to the Stittsville Nursery School and stopping with them to view the stuffed animals displayed in the window.”

Bradley's General Store at 1518 Stittsville Main Street. Date unknown.
Bradley’s General Store at 1518 Stittsville Main Street. Date unknown.

MEANWHILE, NORTH OF THE QUEENSWAY
Daniel Kucherhan lives in Arcadia and reports back from a meeting he had with Kanata North councillor Marianne Wilkinson:

  • Officially, we’re still looking at a 10-15 year horizon for the province to build pedestrian infrastructure across the Queensway at Huntmar. In the meantime, Kucherhan says Wilkinson is working on a plan to construct a pedestrian/bicycle overpass, and will ask the provincial and federal government to pitch in on the cost – roughly $15-million.
  • The Campeau Bridge over the Carp River, linking Huntmar all the way to Terry Fox, is likely still at least two years away.
  • The Arcadia Community Association is hoping to raise $50,000, 25% of the funds needed to build a splash pad in their community.
    More from Kucherhan’s meeting here (FB)…

WICHES CAULDRON AND COVERED BRIDGE CELEBRATE ST. PATRICK’S DAY

Covered Bridge Brewing and Wiches Cauldron are teaming up for a St. Patrick’s Day party. featuring dinner (Irish stew, soda bread and stout cupcakes, 12 oz beer of choice, and live music. Tickets ($30) must be purchased in advance, available at the brewery. Email kathy@coveredbridgebrewing.com for details.


NEW TOWNHOMES PROPOSED FOR BLACKSTONE AREA
There’s a new site plan control application to build 20 freehold townhomes at 502 Dressage Street in the Blackstone subdivision, off Oxer Place. The City of Ottawa is accepting public comments on the proposal.  Click here for more info…


SHOE COMPANY DISCOVERS STITTSVILLE
A social media post listing the new Hazeldean Road Shoe Company location as being in Kanata drew the ire of a few Stittsville residents, prompting the company to update their post.

“We’ve updated the location! Thanks for clarifying for us David! Sadly we’re not local to the store so didn’t realize it fell within Stittsville, not Kanata. What we do know is we are excited to be at our new location, and hope to see you soon,” they wrote.

That’s reminiscent of the situation a couple of years back when a couple of large home builders agreed to update their marketing that promoted Poole Creek Village as being “in the heart of Kanata”, when in fact they are a part of Stittsville.

For the record, Carp River is the boundary between Kanata South and Stittsville along Hazeldean Road.

Shoe Company Facebook post

 


MORE FROM SOCIAL MEDIA…

#mystittsville #westwindps grade one project

A post shared by Amanda Mariscak (@amandamariscak) on

 


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Your letters and feedback on OC Transpo’s service changes

At the start of this year, OC Transpo replaced express busses – and the premium express fare – with new “connexion” routes.  The connexion buses ferry passengers between suburbs like Stittsville and downtown bus stations, as part of a transition to light rail.  Here’s what we’re hearing from our readers about the changes.

Shirley Butler wrote to us about the pros and cons of the new system:

I have used the peak hour 261 route in both directions for the last ten years.  First, the positives:

1. Bus pass fares are uniform for all riders other than seniors.

2. Regular pass holders are now able to ride the more direct (old “express”) routes and are not forced to ride buses that take anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes longer than the regular routes.

3. Stittsville old “express” routes no longer stop at any stops between Tunney’s Pasture and Bayshore making the trip a few minutes faster.

The negatives:

1. Express buses between the hour of 6:45 and 7:25 are very full.  Most days by the time the bus gets to Canadian Tire Centre there is barely standing room.

2. Express buses between 4:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. are very full.  The bus starts at Rideau and by the time it arrives at Kent there is standing room only – that is three stops away.

In the ten years that I have lived in Stittsville (and while rush hour express riders were paying a premium for a bus pass) only one additional trip to routes 261 and 263 was added to the route (in the morning and in the afternoon) in spite of the exponential growth that Stittsville has experienced during the last ten years.   I know that a number of trips were added to the 262 route.  That said, if OC Transpo were to change the timing of the 263 so that it hits Fairwinds at around 7:20 a.m. that would alleviate some of the congestion.  Additionally if there was a 263 trip that started at Rideau at 3:55 p.m. that would spread the 4:00 p.m Fairwinds/Stittsville crowd between the 261 and 263.  As well sending a short 261 at 4:00 p.m is most ludicrous.

All to say OC Transpo charges some of the highest fares when compared to other cities and provides less than adequate services to its users.  I have changed my evening commute to catch the 4:40 261 as it is not as full.  However it is not as convenient.  If that bus does not show up I have to wait for a full 40 minutes before another 261 shows up. 

Although these are not unsurmountable problems I see that OC Transpo will lose ridership, causing fares to go up and service standards to go down. Is anyone looking into the problems and is anything going to be done?

Yes, OC Transpo and Councillor Shad Qadri say they are listening following up on feedback.  “I just wanted to let you all know that I am fully aware of your concerns. I am working with OC Transpo and will get back to you with a follow up within the next two weeks,” Qadri posted to Facebook on January 16.

Meanwhile in Kanata North, OC Transpo officials and Councillor Marianne Wilkinson will be attending a public meeting on Thursday, February 2 to discuss concerns about bus service to that community.  (The meeting is from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Richcraft Recreation Complex Kanata, 4101 Innovation Dr., in the Minto Room.)


What do you think of the new OC Transpo services changes? How can service be improved for Stittsville? Add a comment below or email feedback@stittsvillecentral.ca


Not everybody sees the changes as a negative. Here’s a note we received from resident Linda Norton:

I take the 263 bus and in the morning see no change in the bus schedule or number of people taking the bus ( there are always too many people that have to stand for the entire trip downtown). With the removal of 4 stops on the downtown to Stittsville afternoon route the 263 has become a bus for those heading to Bayshore and west, not a bus for people who can take any bus for a short trip. This means that more Stittsville residents get a seat for the trip home. In my observation the changes to the 263 route are not material.

Positive comments were few and far between. Greg Stapledon’s review of the service was one of many we received in the same vein:

261 is atrocious. It’s a milk run in the morning and a cattle car in the evening. The last 2 days, the 4 PM bus left people at the bus stop after Lebreton. Before Christmas, there was rarely anyone getting on the bus after it left Stittsville in the morning. Now there are people getting on and off all along the route before Tunney’s. It’s added about 10 minutes to my normal commute. Coming home I have to walk up to an earlier stop just in hopes of getting a seat. Lately there seems to be an issue having a long bus on the 4pm run.


What do you think of the new OC Transpo services changes? How can service be improved for Stittsville? Add a comment below or email feedback@stittsvillecentral.ca


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Petition opposes tree cutting from South March Highlands

(PHOTO: South March Highlights. Photo by Denise Deby.)

Trees are again being cut down in Ottawa’s South March Highlands. KNL is removing trees from 75-100 hectares of land in the Highlands, one of Ottawa’s most biodiverse areas, in preparation for construction. They’re required to take measures to mitigate against harming species at risk (including Blanding’s turtles, Least bitterns and butternut trees) and other wildlife. Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Wild parsnip, mosquitos, and a cross-Canada bike trip

DOG WALKERS BEWARE

Wild parsnip south of Abbott Street. Photos by Jonathan Seguin

Wild parsnip south of Abbott Street. Photos by Jonathan Seguin

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…


BUZZ KILL

Kanata North Councillor Marianne Wilkinson says her ward’s Nuisance Mosquito Control Program is working.

“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…


JESS BIKES CANADA

Jess Bikes Canada / Photo by Kim Bonin
Jess Bikes Canada / Photo by Kim Bonin

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, kanatacentralbia@gmail.com.

Stittsville doesn’t have a BIA in place, although Councillor Shad Qadri met with business owners last November to talk about establishing one.

Kanata Central BIA boundary
Proposed boundary for the Kanata Central BIA.

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Business leaders ask mayor to accelerate light rail to west end

(PHOTO: “Take the O” by Payton Chung. Used under a Creative Commons license.)

West end business leaders say that Kanata’s poor transit service is hindering their ability to attract talented employees, and they’re asking the mayor to extend light rail to Kanata before 2031.

Earlier this month the Kanata North BIA sent a letter to Mayor Jim Watson, co-signed by other business associations, west end politicians, and a bevy of business executives including Sir Terence Matthews.   (There are nearly four pages of signatures attached to the end of the letter, which you can read below.) Continue reading


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BUZZ OFF: Mosquito control measures begin soon in Kanata North

(via City of Ottawa)

To control nuisance mosquito growth in Kanata North and the surrounding areas, larvicide will be applied throughout the summer, beginning with ground applications April 21, and ending September 15.

Kanata North Nuisance Mosquito Control Program deals with treating mosquito larvae in wetlands so they won’t hatch. No part of the program involves targeting adult mosquitoes.

Contractors, hired by the City of Ottawa, will do daily ground applications of a liquid larvicide in selected areas throughout the program. The application of granular larvicides through the air, by helicopter, is expected to take place sometime in the next two weeks.

The program will use Bti, (Bacillus Thuringiensis Israelensis) and Bs (Bacillus Sphaericus), which are naturally-occurring bacteria, that is dropped directly into the water where the larvae are found. Feeding larvae draw it in with the water, which stops them from becoming adult mosquitoes.

The Health Canada Regulatory Agency states that Bti and Bs have no effect on humans, birds, fish, animals or other insects, but destroys the stomachs of mosquito larvae that hatch in water.

Quality control includes weekly monitoring at five sites. There will also be post-treatment larva surveillance and extra applications of larvicide if needed.

The treatment area map and program details can be found on ottawa.ca. For further information about the larvicide application contact GDG Environnement or call, toll free: 1-877-227-0552.


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BUZZ KILL: Kanata North votes for mosquito control

UPDATE (FEB 24): Councillors approved the “mosquito levy” today at City Council.

Our neighbours in Kanata North have voted in favour of a mosquito control program that will add about $20 to their yearly tax bills.

Here’s a note from Councillor Marianne Wilkinson:

On January 25, 2016 Canada Post was provided envelopes containing information, a ballot and return envelope to deliver to homeowners in Kanata North.  Each Envelope had BALLOT ENCLOSED FOR MOSQUITO PROGRAM IN KANATA NORTH printed diagonally across the envelope in heavy type.  Residents were to return their ballot, one per household, by February 16, 2016.  Continue reading


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COMMENT: Developer’s plan won’t benefit species at risk in Kanata Lakes

ABOVE: The Blanding’s Turtle is one of the species at risk in the Kanata Lakes North land.

After intensive negotiations with the provincial Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Kanata Lakes North Development Inc. (KNL) has applied for a permit to destroy up to 124 hectares of Blanding’s Turtle habitat, remove up to 120 Butternut trees and “kill, harm and harass” Least Bittern — all species designated as either endangered or threatened. Continue reading


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Notice to Kanata North residents re: mosquito control program

(via Councillor Marianne Wilkinson)

IMPORTANT NOTICE RE: NUISANCE MOSQUITO CONTROL PROGRAM And Change in Meeting Dates (For Residents of Kanata North Only)

NEXT WEEK A MAILING WILL BE PROVIDED TO CANADA POST FOR DELIVERY TO ALL HOMES IN KANATA NORTH (except for high rise buildings).  This mailing should be received early in February.  Several meetings will be held to discuss the contents of that mailing and to provide information on the voting procedure for this program.  The meeting dates have been changed from earlier dates and additional meetings will be held if needed.

Note: If you do not receive the mailing in your mailbox by February 3rd (the envelope is marked “BALLOT ENCLOSED FOR MOSQUITO PROGRAM IN KANATA NORTH”), please contact my office.  Completed ballots must be returned by February 16th at 4 pm, so if you are mailing, do so by February 9th.

While we don’t generally think about mosquitoes in winter, when spring comes, they will be back!  The Carp River Restoration Project, now under construction, includes four new wetland areas, adding potential mosquito breeding grounds. Traps were used last summer to measure mosquito populations. Large numbers were found all across the Ward.  Parks, including soccer field areas, had particularly large numbers.  Hence, work is required throughout the Ward to reduce numbers of mosquitoes and to retain property values.

The program is explained in the mailing and you can link to it on my website (click here).  Similar programs have been underway in other communities for over 30 years.  I strongly recommend that you attend one of the meetings to find out more.  GDG Environment – the company that won the procurement, subject to a community vote, presently does a similar program in our area specifically for mosquitoes that carry the West Nile Virus (we have about 40 different types of mosquitoes in this area). At the meetings GDG will provide details on programs they have implemented in other cities, including Gatineau.

Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Bradley-Craig, Reverie, wetland trial, mosquitos

Bradley-Craig Barn, October 2015. Photo by Barry Gray.
Bradley-Craig Barn, October 2015. Photo by Barry Gray.

 

BRADLEY-CRAIG FARM UPDATE
I was part of a small group of residents from Stittsville and beyond who met with Councillor Qadri this week about the Bradley-Craig Farm.

We’ve also started a working group called “Friends of the Bradley-Craig Farm”, including representatives from Heritage Ottawa, the Stittsville Village Association, and the Federation of Community Associations and the Ottawa Farmers’ Market.

The group is developing ideas for how the farm can be repurposed for business or community use, as well as pushing for the City to enforce the property standards bylaw in relation to heritage properties. (The owner is required to maintain the exterior and the structure of the barn and house under the bylaw.)

The city’s Built Heritage Sub Committee will consider a motion to demolish the heritage barn next Thursday, December 10. Councillor Qadri has said that he supports Richcraft’s plan to dismantle the barn and move it to Saunders Farm in Munster. Continue reading


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DOG BLOG: Time to include dog parks in community planning

(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.)

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Roscoe the Boxer, our canine affairs columnist
Roscoe the Boxer, our canine affairs columnist

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.

You should have seen my tail wagging on the weekend!  I found out that Kanata North Councillor Marianne Wilkinson wants to build a 1.5-acre fenced-in dog park at Insmill Park near Terry Fox Drive.  Finally!
Continue reading


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