Tag Archives: qadri

DIRT OFF YOUR SHOULDER: Carp Road shoulder paving starts Friday

(via Stittsville councillor Shad Qadri)

I am pleased to share that the City will be paving the shoulders on Carp Road from Kittiwake Drive to Westbrook as of tomorrow, November 17th. This is a project that has been greatly anticipated by residents for some time. Originally, the shoulder-paving project was only planned from Rothbourne to Westbrook but working with the City, I was able to extend the project to start at Kittiwake as the shoulder was needed to be done in this section as well.   Continue reading


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COMMENT: Johnwoods closure comes too soon

Closing Johnwoods might make sense years from now when more of Stittsville’s planned road and transit infrastructure is in place, but it doesn’t make sense now.

I made this video in May 2016 ahead of a public information meeting hosted by the City to explain what’s going on.  Watch this: Continue reading


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North section of Johnwoods permanently closes on November 15

Councillor Shad Qadri shared an update about the closure of the north end of Johnwoods on his web site earlier today.   The plan is to turn that section of road into a linear park with a recreation path running north-south, and re-route traffic via Rosehill and Santolina to-and-from Maple Grove.

Here’s how the City explains it: “This work must be completed to satisfy a condition in Mattamy Homes’ Fairwinds West subdivision agreement. The idea to downgrade Johnwoods Street from a major road to a local street has long been supported in several Council-approved documents like the Official Plan, Transportation Master Plan, Kanata West Concept Plan, Cycling Plan, and Pedestrian Plan.
Historically, Johnwoods Street has experienced issues with cut-through traffic as population growth has outpaced the development of the arterial road network in the community. The construction of the Huntmar Drive extension and the Hazeldean Road widening have helped to alleviate some of these concerns. The partial closure of Johnwoods Street will further improve the situation.”

Despite all those council-approved documents, news of the closure will likely surprise many residents in the area, particularly in the Bryanston Gate and Fairwinds neighbourhoods.  It was a surprise to many of the 100 people who showed up at a raucous meeting in May 2016, after which the City of Ottawa’s planning department apologized for poor communication about the project.

Here’s what’s happening in the next few weeks:

  • Starting around November 8, concrete barriers at Rosehill near Warmstone will be removed, and temporary traffic calming measures will be installed. (Just what those measures are hasn’t been revealed.) Then on November 15, Johnwoods will be closed for construction. Removable bollards and barriers will be in place to stop vehicle traffic.
  • The park will be landscaped with a 3-metre asphalt path, four new benches, post and rail wood fences at the Maple Grove and Rosehill entrances, and small trees and shrubs.  The existing street lights along Johnwoods will be retained for park lighting. A letter to residents says that a future pathway could be built by the City to connect to Bryanston Gate via the pumping station property on Mika.
  • The closure will also result in a change for the 162 bus route.  They’ll travel along Santonlina beween Maple Grove Street and Rosehill Avenue, with two new bus stops on Santolina Street, one close to 151 Santolina Street and the other behind 346 Astelia Crescent.

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Here’s the update from the councillor’s web site:

Starting on Wednesday, November 15, 2017, Johnwoods Street will be permanently closed to vehicular traffic from Maple Grove Road to Rosehill Avenue and will be rebuilt as a multi-use pathway for pedestrians and cyclists.

This work will add a safe and accessible recreational amenity, more greenspace and direct connections for pedestrians and cyclists in your community. The pathway will also enhance privacy and livability for nearby residents by reducing vehicle traffic noise and headlight glare.

I encourage residents to please review the following documents which have also been mailed to residents in the immediate area.

Johnwoods Closure Notice 2017

Johnwoods Closure Frequently Asked Questions 2017 

Johnwoods Linear Park Design


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COMMENT: Committee should have deferred Maple Grove decision

A shout out to CBC for continuing to focus on Stittsville development issues this week. Here’s an excerpt (in red) from an article by Laura Osman published today, along with my comments.  I’ve added some additional context based on my work with the Fairwinds Community Association.

Bottom line: If councillors and city staff really believe in the importance of public engagement, this case illustrates how far they still have to go to ensure transparency and trust in the development process.

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Residents not allowed to weigh in on big subdivision, councillor says
Councillors approve application to build 945 residential units on Maple Grove Road after decade of holdups
by Laura Osman, CBC Ottawa

A large new subdivision in Stittsville has been approved, despite the fact the last public consultation meeting happened more than a decade ago.

As far as I can tell, the last public consultation for this zoning bylaw amendment was in December 2004, when most of the area was still farmland.

The planning committee approved the rezoning for Richcraft to build 945 residential units on Maple Grove Road.

The last update we heard about the project was in December 2013, when a plan of subdivision was submitted for around 800 residential units.

The development has been in the works since early 2004 but was held up by an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board. Richcraft then filed an appeal against the city because it’s taken so long for the city to make a decision.

Coun. Shad Qadri asked the committee to hold off on the decision on behalf of the neighbouring Fairwinds community, which didn’t exist when the initial public consultations were done.

“The area now didn’t really have the opportunity to put their comments in,” Qadri said, adding that planning documents were also not posted online.

Qadri lost the vote seven to one.

Usually when there’s a zoning bylaw amendment in front of Planning Committee, it’s easy to search the city’s web site to find background documents like planning rationale, transportation plans, environmental studies, etc.  We couldn’t find anything on the city’s DevApp web site, or on the councillor’s web site, or even on alternate sources like ottwatch.ca.

The Fairwinds Community Association asked Councillor Qadri to put forward a motion to defer a decision on the file until next month’s planning committee, to at least give residents time to access and review the documents.

Planning committee chair Jan Harder said the public had the opportunity to be heard at Tuesday’s meeting.

The committee received two written statements responding to the report that was tabled last week.

They would have received more than two written statements if there was a more proactive effort to alert residents about it. I stumbled upon it last week when I was reading the agenda. I doubt that many of my neighbours make a routine of reading the weekly agenda updates!  Besides that, how can we provide proper comments without the full information to work from?

(I would have loved to attend today’s meeting, but work commitments kept me from taking the morning off work to trek downtown.)

If the committee held off on making a decision, the developer would simply withdraw the zoning application and go through the OMB instead, Harder said.

“And then we’ll have a made-in-Toronto decision that may not be that great,” said Coun. Rick Chiarreli.

Chiarelli didn’t want the decision to be made by the OMB because there’s no way to appeal it, he said.

The developer has been working toward this subdivision for 13 years, and the city should not be holding up the process any longer, he added, comparing the application to a criminal trial. Serious charges would be dismissed after such a long period without a decision, he said.

I don’t know how accurate this is.  If the threat of an OMB decision is so significant, why did the report from planning staff attached to the agenda not call this out as a potential legal risk?  The document refers to previous OMB hearings but it doesn’t explain the relevant background or approval timelines for this application.  After 13+ years, what’s the rush to get this zoning approval through?  Shovels can’t hit the ground until next year at the earliest.

The proposal includes townhomes, detached houses and low-rise apartment buildings. It also includes some commercial development along the south side of Maple Grove Road, which is currently entirely residential.

During the initial public meeting in 2004 the city received six responses, including concerns about the Carp River restoration project and the timing of the development.

Back in 2004, the Stittsville Village Association did submit comments about transportation impacts. Current president Tanya Hein says that they did receive advance notice of the meeting, but just barely: “By chance, I found out late yesterday that a paper notice dated October 13th was mailed to David Jenkins (a former SVA member). I think he was on record from the original application, before email was the standard means of circulation. That, in itself, might suggest a more modern public consultation is warranted.”

Part of the development is expected to be built on the former floodplain of the Carp River, which is currently under construction to alleviate flood concerns.

The development must still be approved by city council.

The Carp River restoration … commercial development on Hazeldean Road … residential development in Fairwinds and Fernbank … an evolving mass transit plan … pending departure of the Senators… These are just a few examples of major changes in our area since 2004, and reason enough in my view to treat this zoning application with more scrutiny.

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Another person who sent comments to councillors about the zoning bylaw amendment was Faith Blacquiere, a retired research librarian who reviews planning documents as a hobby.

She submitted nine pages of detailed technical notes to the committee, which are included below. She really gets down in the weeds of the planning process. I haven’t fact-checked the document, nor are all of her concerns necessarily within the scope of this zoning amendment. Still, I believe she’s identified enough inconsistencies and concerns with the published staff report to justify a deferral. Or at the very least, more scrutiny from on the Planning Committee today.


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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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NOTEBOOK: Mystery blasting could be from nearby quarry

(ABOVE: File photo.)

City staff think they’ve identified the source of some mystery blasting that’s been felt by residents in communities like Jackson Trails, Bryanston Gate and Fairwinds in the north part of Stittsville.

Here’s what one resident posted on August 31: “Was that blasting in the Potter’s Key development that just shook everyone up like mad? There was no warning to the people in the area, none of the ‘warning whistles’ leading up to the blast… and holy cow I am touring my house for damage. That was nuts!” Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Work begins on commercial development at Iber and Hazeldean

In an update on Facebook today, Councillor Shad Qadri advises that tree clearing work started today on the site of a new commercial development owned by Huntington Properties at Iber and Hazeldean:

“Tree Clearing Starting today for development at south west corner of Hazeldean/Iber. A tree permit has been approved for the construction of a mixed retail, commercial and office to be located at 5734 and 5754 Hazeldean Road and 2 Iber Road. Unfortunately, the parking and building layout do not allow for more tree retention. Approximately 140 trees are scheduled for planting within and surrounding the development. Approximately 117 trees will be removed. 44 trees are to be retained on or adjacent to the developed areas. The tree permit issued for this address is issued under Part II of the Urban Tree Conservation By-law. Huntington Properties is developer of the site and have advised they are finalization of the leasing and pre-construction plans for the site and will provide more information in the future which I will share with the community.”

The original site plan for this development was submitted nearly four years ago in October 2013, with approval granted in 2015. Continue reading


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Councillors to host 2018 budget consultation on October 5

City councillors are co-hosting a pre-budget consultation on October 5 in Kanata as part of the City of Ottawa’s 2018 budget development process.

The event will be hosted by Allan Hubley (Kanata South), Marianne Wilkinson (Kanata North), Shad Qadri (Stittsville) and Scott Moffatt (Rideau-Goulbourn)


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NOTEBOOK: Jack Ketch update, Carp Rd landfill contaminated soil

THE JACK KETCH RESTAURANT PLANS AUGUST OPENING
John Curry
wrote a great overview of some of the historical buildings on Stittsville Main Street recently in the Stittsville News.  The piece starts with a brief history of the yellow house at 1536 Stittsville Main Street: “The two-storey building… was built in the 1890s as the home of Miss Rebecca Stitt, a dressmaker who worked at the Mann General Store in the village. It was passed on to her sister Elizabeth, who was a nurse. It was the home of Sterling and Grace Howie for 27 years until they sold it in 1992 for use as the hair salon for Precision Cut Hair Styling. It later served as a day care centre and is now being renovated to be a restaurant.”

The new restaurant will be known as The Jack Ketch, a 30-seat restaurant run by Kevin Conway and his partner Allison Pearce. Conway says they plan to open the restaurant sometime in August.  For some hints as to what’s in store, check out their a teaser web site, Facebook page and Instagram.

Trout with lentil ragout and mussels

A post shared by Jack (@jackketchfood) on

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WASTE MANGEMENT APPLIES TO PROCESS CONTAMINATED SOIL
Waste Management has filed paperwork with the Ontario Government to amend their Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA) so that they can process contaminated soil at their Carp Road landfill facility.

Here’s how minutes from a public liaison committee meeting describe the proposal: “application is to construct a soil treatment pad to treat hydro carbon impacted soils, these materials once they meet strict soil analysis would also be used on site for the same purposes as above and including cover material for the landfill/waste operation, none of this material would leave the site.”

Hydro carbon impacted soils include soil contaminated by petroleum products like oil and gas.  Waste Management’s application seeks permission to process and store up to 120,000 tonnes of contaminated soil per year, above and beyond any previously approved landfill capacity.

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RADAR GUN & DEER RUN
I jotted down a couple of quick notes at last night’s Stittsville Village Association meeting:  1) Councillor Shad Qadri says that part of this year’s $40,000 traffic calming budget for Stittsville Ward will go towards a radar gun. The gun will be available for community associations to borrow to measure traffic speed on neighbourhood streets.  (I wonder if baseball teams can borrow it to measure pitches too?)  2) Qadri also mentioned that construction of the new splash pad at Deer Run Park is progressing well and could be finished by mid-August.

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PEAK PARSNIP
We appear to be in peak Wild Parsnip season. The yellow weed is growing along pathways, fields and ditches all over our community. This is the third year that the City of Ottawa has been spraying herbicide in public areas.  If you’re wondering about what to look for, or how to safely get rid of the plant on your property, check out this article from our archives in 2015…

Wild Parsnip. Photo via the City of Ottawa.
Wild Parsnip. File photo via the City of Ottawa.

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CELEBRITY NEWS
If you were at NeXT restaurant on June 27, you might have spotted Michael J. Fox having dinner there with his family. He was in Ottawa to receive a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award at Rideau Hall the next day.


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Rainy weather and park fees spoil plans for Stittsville farmers’ market

(file photo)

Despite having strong community support, the Ottawa Farmers’ Market (OFM) couldn’t muster enough vendor support for a market in Stittsville this year to make economic sense.

But the president of the OFM said that they will try again next year.

“We are still open to looking at this as a future possibility,” Greer Knox told StittsvilleCentral.ca on Wednesday. “We’re all disappointed.” Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Farmers’ Market update, more thefts at Carp Road Park & Ride

FARMERS’ MARKET UPDATE
There’s still no date set for the opening of the “official” Ottawa Farmers’ Market at Village Square Park, but Suzanne Bird is forging ahead anyways with a mini market next door at “The Barn”.  Bird owns the old log building on the east side of Village Square Park. The first event will be on Friday, June 30 from 4:00pm-7:00pm, and will feature two Ontario CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farmers. More info here…

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MORE THEFTS AT CARP ROAD PARK & RIDE
Last month Devyn Barrie reported on a man who had all four of the wheels stolen from his car during the day while it was parked at the Carp Road Park & Ride. This week, there were reports of two thefts of catalytic converters from cars. In one case, thieves sliced through the vehicle and took the catalytic converter, a section of the exhaust system and cables from a 2017 Nissan Titan.

Councillor Shad Qadri wrote in his newsletter this week that city officials are looking into the feasibility of adding security cameras to the lot. (The lot is technically in Rideau-Goulbourn, not Stittsville.)

Meanwhile, the City is planning to pave the lot, and increase the number of spaces from 115 to 150.

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UPDATED PLANS FOR 5505 FERNBANK
The City of Ottawa has posted applications for a Draft Plan of Subdivision and Zoning By-law Amendment for a new phase of the Blackstone subdivision. You can read about the plans here, and submit comments and questions to City of Ottawa staff.

The piece of land is at the southeast corner of the Fernbank area, adjacent to the Walmart. Cardel and Mattamy are the developers, and the plan is to develop 950 housing units, including detached homes and townhouses, and apartments. The proposed development includes two parks, a stormwater management block, a public elementary school site and a future Catholic high school site.

It’s probably worth pointing out that even though there’s land designated for future schools, there’s no guarantee they will ever be built, and there’s a window of at least seven years for the school boards to exercise their options on the land. The master plan for the entire Fernbank area includes land for 11 schools, including a public high school further west.

Plan of subdivision for 5505 Fernbank


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Tree cutting allowed east of Echowoods, as long as they’re skinny trees

Here’s a update from Councillor Shad Qadri after recent resident inquiries about why trees are being cut down on land east of Lloydalex/Echowoods and north of Jackson Trails and the new Potter’s Key subdivision. (The land doesn’t have a municipal address, and is not subject to any active development applications.) Qadri says the owners of the property are not in violation of the Urban Tree Conservation By-law as long as trees being removed do not have a diameter of 10cm or more.

Residents have inquired about tree cutting on this piece of land east of Lloydalex Crescent. Map via Councillor Shad Qadri.
via Google Maps

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I have recently been contacted by residents in the area regarding some activity they have noticed on the lands within the Ward 21 Urban Expansion Area that is located north of Jackson Trails and Potter’s Key.  I am still waiting for additional information with respect to any plans for the property in the future but did want to share the following information with residents. Continue reading


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Planning primer aims to demystify development

If you’ve ever wondered about the difference between a site plan and a zoning amendment, or tried to decipher acronyms like CDP, CoA and OMB, there’s an event in Stittsville on Thursday, April 6 that will be right up your alley.

Councillor Shad Qadri and City of Ottawa planning staff are hosting a Planning Primer at the Goulbourn Recreation Complex (Hall A) from 6:30pm-9:30pm.

The three-hour session will be a condensed version of a two-day workshop that usually runs downtown at City Hall.  (This may actually be the first time that they’ve brought such an event to the suburbs.)

Qadri says planning staff will be explaining a variety of common topics specific to Stittsville including the process behind tree removal, the implementation of the Fernbank Community Design Plan (CDP), and an overview of the Ontario Municipal Board’s appeal process, to name a few. (Here’s an agenda.)

Seating is limited and will be provided on a first come, first serve basis. Reserve your spot by emailing Shad.Qadri@ottawa.ca before March 31, 2017.


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Cardel Homes seeks naming rights for Goulbourn Rec Complex

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

The GRC could soon be known as the CRG if city councillors approve a $600,000 naming rights deal with Cardel Homes.

Next week, the City of Ottawa’s Community and Protective Services Committee will consider a proposal to change the name of the Goulbourn Recreation Complex to “Cardel Rec – Goulbourn”.  In return, Cardel would pay the City $40,000 for the next 15 years. Continue reading


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Suburban coyotes a low risk to residents, says City of Ottawa biologist

(ABOVE: Coyote spotted in the Fairwinds neighbourhood, near Khamsim Street, mid-February.)

A City of Ottawa biologist says that coyotes in Stittsville pose a low safety risk to residents.

Dr. Nick Stow met with residents on Hesse Crescent in Wyldewood and councillor Shad Qadri on Friday morning to address concerns from residents about frequent coyote sightings in their neighbourhood and around Stittsville. Continue reading


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LETTER: Time to fix Terry Fox-Cope intersection

(Peter Vukovic and his family were on their way to church on Sunday morning, when they were involved in a serious collision at the intersection of Terry Fox Drive and Cope Drive near the Walmart. He posted this photo and open letter to Stittsville councillor Shad Qadri on Facebook. We’re republishing it with his permission. He says his family is shaken, but were not seriously injured. “Thankfully, my daughter asked my wife to sit in the back seat with her for some reason. And everyone was belted. Guardian Angels at work.”)

Councillor Shad Qadri I am begging you to please petition the city to make the intersection of Terry Fox and Cope Drive a fully controlled intersection.

After seeing many near misses and having a few of my own at that intersection over the years, my luck ran out this morning on the way to church. My whole family was transported to hospital by ambulance and the driver of the other car was transported as well.

Continue reading


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New route numbers and bigger buses for OC Transpo this spring

OC Transpo will have a bit more room for Stittsville riders starting April 23, along with new numbers for two of the routes.

According to Councillor Shad Qadri’s web site, bus route 92 will become the 62, and route 96 will become route 61. Times for route 62 (currently 92) and on route 262 will be adjusted to improve convenience and better match the travel needs of customers in Stittsville. The capacity on Route 261 will be increased with the use of a higher capacity double-decker bus in the afternoon.

Here’s a chart showing other route number changes across the city.

OC Transpo route number changes
New route numbers come into effect April 23. (via Councillor Qadri)

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NOTEBOOK: Keg restaurant could arrive as soon as November 30

One of the most-visited articles in the StittsvilleCentral.ca archives is about a proposal to build a Keg restaurant on the corner of Hazeldean and Huntmar. And one of the most frequently asked questions received: “When is that Keg finally going in anyways?”

Councillor Shad Qadri provided an answer last night at the Fairwinds Community Association Annual General Meeting. Construction is scheduled to being April 15, with an opening date targeted for November 30 of this year. Continue reading


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