Great to see that the Ontario Government is pushing ahead to reform the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), with a proposal to replace it with a Local Planning Appeal Tribunal. Three quick thoughts on why this will be good for our community – both Stittsville, and more broadly, all of Ottawa. Continue reading →
Thanks to everyone who joined us for a very rainy Jane’s Walk on Stittsville Main Street aka UmbrellaFest 2017. Lots of optimism and potential about the future of the neighbourhood! Jane Jacobs wrote “The Death and Life of Great American Cities” over half a century ago, and it is incredible how relevant her ideas are today when we’re talking about how to create healthy, sustainable, people-centred neighbourhoods. -GG.
(PHOTO: Jane’s Walk 2016 on Stittsville Main Street. Photo by Barry Gray.)
Two Jane’s Walks are planned for Stittsville on Saturday, May 6. One is focused on the W.J. Bell Rotary Peace Park, and the other is a walk along the central part of Stittsville Main Street.Continue reading →
Good news: The City of Ottawa’s Planning Committee unanimously approved re-zoning for Village Square Park that will allow for a farmers’ market to operate starting this June.
Leading up to the meeting, city staff received 15 comments from the public about the re-zoning, with all in favour except for one. That may not sound like a lot of feedback, but it’s actually quite high for a relatively benign zoning change. Continue reading →
Here’s another interesting project in the works for Stittsville Main Street: The Kassis family, owners of Jo-Jo’s Pizza, are partnering with a group of local volunteers to help establish a community garden on Stittsville Main Street.
The family will maintain ownership of the property but allow volunteers to build and maintain the the large plot of land behind Jo-Jo’s as a “potager” or “kitchen” garden with clean, geometric lines, and will be known as “Jo-Jo’s Community Garden”.
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.”
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.
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 email@example.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.
Over the past 6 years I have done everything to try to keep this business running for all of us. Unfortunately with all the increases in expenses and rent I am not able to continue Dandelions Consignment. Over past 6 years, I have not taken a salary for myself in order to continue to give you the best service possible. My family and I are deeply grieved at this closure.
First Priority to you our Consignor
It is in my best effort to be the fairest to you my faithful clients. I am unable to do any payouts due to lack of revenue. However we do not want you our consignors to be at a total loss, so we are offering you store credit in lue of money. Consignors will have the opportunity to use store credit on items in the store. I will be opening the store on Tuesday and Wednesday to consignors only. We hope to see you on these days so we can convey our deepest apology to you in person. We will be closed on Monday
We are closed this Monday in order to put aside all of the consignment that is belonging to you the consignor. This will be placed in bins and labeled for you to pick up. The only items that will be sold are the items that are the property of Dandelions.
If you have further concerns please contact me via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Stittsville Main Street is getting a new restaurant this spring. Kevin Conway and his partner Allison Pearce plan to open a 30-seat restaurant called Jack Ketch at 1536 Stittsville Main Street. Most recently, the building was home to Brown Bear Daycare.
Who knew starting up a farmers’ market would be so complicated?
The Ottawa Farmers’ Market — the group that runs the weekly market at Lansdowne Park — wants to bring a weekly market to Stittsville starting this spring. The plan is to bring a Friday market to Village Square Park (corner of Stittsville Main & Abbott) that would run from 12:00pm-6:00pm from June to October.
(ABOVE: Screenshot from one of the worlds created during the pilot project.)
Ottawa Public Health is hoping that Minecraft will lay the building blocks to getting kids engaged in their community and its health.
A pilot project recently wrapped up at the Stittsville and Centrepointe libraries, where youth aged nine to 17 attempted to re-imagine and build a part of their local community in the popular building game Minecraft. Continue reading →
Let’s take out the crystal ball and look ahead at what 2017 may have in store for Stittsville…
CANADIAN TIRE CENTRE
Earlier this year we should hear from the Ottawa Senators about what they have in mind for Canadian Tire Centre once the Sens leave for Lebreton Flats. Last year, team owner Eugene Melnykteased that the development would be an “entertainment-driven” transformation. Whatever it is, any change will have a major impact on Stittsville and Kanata for jobs, transportation and economic development. Continue reading →
(Photo:Jennifer McGahan in front of the building on Main Street that she has purchased and will renovate for her business. Photo by Barry Gray.)
After over a century as a private home, the old brick house at 1495 Stittsville Main will soon become the home of Jennifer McGahan Interiors.
McGahan made the announcement last week on Facebook: “I am thrilled to announce the next big step for Jennifer McGahan Interiors Inc. We are relocating the office to our new Stittsville Main Street location. We plan to restore this important heritage building to its original, and rightful beauty in the heart of the village. We plan to be respectful and true to the bones of the building, while improving the streetscape by adding our modern design touch. Opening April 2017!”
McGahan says she loves the history of the building and the family story connected to it. She says that structurally the building is in good shape, and many original features remain. “We’re going to try keep as much as possible while we renovate. We want to keep it intact.”
The house belonged to the Lytle family for over 60 years. Cathy Lytle told reporter Devyn Barrie about the history of the house in an interview last summer: “It was built in 1900 from a bachelor and it was sold four years later to a young couple… he was a tinkerer and they raised their daughter, Evelyn. She took cancer and died and then the father died of old age and the mother died after she sold the house to my parents… she lived with my parents for five years, she had herself written into the deed, for one bedroom and three meals a day and they got along fine, until she passed away.”
The house doesn’t have official heritage designation, but it is on the City’s heritage registry, which lists buildings of historical importance.
McGahan takes possession in January, and hopes to have the renovations finished by April. I’m thrilled to hear that this charming piece of our village history will get the attention and care it deserves. Congrats Jennifer!
(Above: Barn at the Bradley-Craig farm. Photo by Steve Garecke.)
There was bad news and there was good news for heritage buildings in Stittsville in 2016.
First, the bad. In January, I took part in a multi-hour marathon in front of Planning Committee at City Hall where residents and community groups tried to convince councillors to stop the demolition and relocation of theBradley-Craig barnto Munster. The debate was so long that councillors ordered in pizza, and one fell asleep. In the end, the committee and City Council voted to allow the barn’s owner, Richcraft, to dismantle the building piece-by-piece and move it to Saunders Farm. A new development, probably big box stores or a strip mall, will be built in its place. Continue reading →
(The Stittsville Jane’s Walk makes a stop in front of Hudson’s Insurance on Stittsville Main Street. Photo by Barry Gray.)
At the start of January of this year I wrote: “Compared to this time last year, I’d say the prospects for Stittsville Main Street are definitely looking up.” The same thing could be said today as well. It’s been an encouraging year. Continue reading →
(PHOTO: Story Art owner Mel Richer stands in the front from of the old Bell House at the corner of Stittsville Main Street and Elm Crescent. The main floor will be a boutique and showcase for local art. Photo by Barry Gray.)
Stittsville residents can look forward to having a new spot to be inspired and creative. Set to open on December 6, the owner of Story Art Creative Centre & Boutique wants it to be a gathering place for the local arts community.
“Why not a hub to spark creativity and have a place for arts in the community?” says owner Mel Richer. “We are excited, hopeful and hope the community will rally around us.”
Located in the old Bell House on Stittsville Main Street (most recently home to the Brown Bear Daycare), the beautiful house has found new life.
On the main floor, there is the crystal nook, filled with gorgeous rocks and crystals as well as jewelry. Rocks have a personal meaning for Richer.
“They help inspire my art work – the texture, the colour – they are beautiful,” she says.
Opposite the crystal nook, the room will be filled with curated art as well as vintage and retro antiques. Richer is looking for artists to display their art – and the definition of art is broad.
“Anything in the creative world,” said Richer. “I have a voice and something to share. I really want to help others share their stories.”
The boutique part of Story Art will open before Christmas. In the New Year, classes in the Creative Centre will begin. The second floor of the house will be dedicated to creative classes and will also have a space for children’s birthday parties.
The basement, which will be finished over the next few months, will be a space that available for rentals.
All of this is the brainchild of Richer. Born and raised in Kanata, Richer said she always knew that she wanted to be both a writer and an artist.
As a teenager, she studied art at De La Salle Secondary School and then photography at another school. After high school she headed to Algonquin College and that lead to a career working in marketing and communications.
So Richer’s dream to work as a writer had come true. The artist part of the dream was still a work in progress.
As life goes, art was on the back burner for Richer. Then, one day, she saw a call for applications for artists at the Ottawa Airport Community Art Program.
Much to her surprise, her application was successful.
“Oh my gosh. What have I done,” Richer says of her reaction. “But let’s go!”
And go she did. After the exhibition she had 25 pieces of work sitting around and Richer was wondering what to do with them.
Her son Oliver had the answer and suggested she hang them in the wall of her office. And she did. Having the art around sparked her creativity.
From there, she had an opportunity to submit some of her work for a fundraiser, so she decided to look at creating some work that was more accessible.
“What could I do that would be smaller or easier?” she says.
Looking into her yard, she took inspiration from the larch cones scattered across the lawn. She cleaned them and incased them in resin to create jewelry. After this successful jewelry creation, she started creating other resin jewelry using materials like dried flowers, mica and buttons.
As Richer’s art grew, so did her passion for sharing it. Soon she was looking for a retail outlet.
“This feels like a good space for me” she said. “We are thrilled to be a part of Stittsville Main Street,” she says.
Now, Richer’s dream of being both a writer and artist have come full circle. A good friend and business advisor, Irene Jaroszuk of Savvy Sage Consulting, says “she’s had this vision forever.”
If you were standing in front of Quitters during last Saturday’s Parade of Lights, you might have seen a little bit of holiday magic. Josh Gibeault, a volunteer firefighter from Stittsville’s Station 81, proposed to his longtime girlfriend Megan Faulkner, a nurse at the Granite Ridge Care Community.
On Monday, November 21st, I was pleased to attend the Stittsville Village Association event, “Reinventing Stittsville Main Street”. The discussion focused on potential business growth in the heart of our community and raised some insightful discussion amongst business owners, landowners and residents in the area. Continue reading →
About 45 people packed into Quitters on Monday night to take part in a panel discussion called Re-Inventing Stittsville Main.
I organized the event along with the Stittsville Village Association, the West Ottawa Board of Trade and Rick Tremblay from Quitters, with a goal of starting a conversation about the future of Stittsville Main. Continue reading →