LRT OPEN HOUSES
Watch for a open house events in June and November for updates on plans to extend light rail transit west past Moodie Drive towards Kanata and Stittsville. Kanata North Councillor Marianne Wilkinson shared the news in a newsletter update: “An evaluation of alternative corridors and selection of a preferred corridor and station locations will be discussed… on the technically preferred plan, which will go to Transportation Committee and Council for approval in March 2018. Construction of this section cannot occur until after the LRT reaches Moodie in 2023 and a funding source is obtained.”Continue reading →
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.
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.
(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 →
On Thursday September 15th my office in conjunction with Councillor Marianne Wilkinson and Councillor Allan Hubley are holding a Budget 2017 public information session. The session will begin at 7:00 p.m. upstairs in the Kanata Recreation Complex 100 Charlie Rogers Place (formerly Walter Baker Place). The purpose of the public session is a part of our ongoing efforts to increase public understanding and engagement around the municipal budget.
The budget is the blueprint that defines how the City resources are collected and allocated. The overall budget comprises two main components – the Operating Budget and the Capital Budget. During development of the operating and capital budgets, Council has some flexibility for reallocating or reprioritizing funds between programs and services to address emerging issues. Given these limits on discretion and the financial realities of limiting tax increases to residents, it is difficult to address all these issues or to implement significant changes from year to year. Therefore it is important that we hear from you so that we may engage as your city representatives in the 2017 budget process going forward.
I do hope that you can make the time to participate and provide your input. Should you be unable to attend the September 15th session and would like to learn more about the budget process you can visit the City website here .
This year there is new tax tool that has been developed for residents to use to figure how a dollar of taxes shifted will and does have implications on the budget. You can visit here for details.
I also welcome you to share your comments and suggestion by sending me an email (Shad.Qadri@ottawa.ca).
“IN LESS THAN 24 HOURS IT WAS GONE,” wrote reporter Debbie Lawes in the Kanata Standard on Wednesday, June 8, 1988, a week after a wrecking crew tore down Hodgins House at the corner of Hazeldean Road and Terry Fox, to make way for a shopping plaza.
It was an unexpected and bitter end to a two-year effort by local residents to save the historic building, a stone mansion built in 1881 by William T. Hodgins, a Member of Parliament from 1891-1900 and one of the most influential landowners in the area in his day.
Here’s the story of the house, and how the community tried – and failed – to save it.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 →
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 →
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.
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.)
(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.
(Photo: The 2015 draft budget includes $150,000 for two new arena dehumidifiers at the Goulbourn Rec Centre. Photo by Barry Gray.)
Mayor Jim Watson wants us to judge the City budget on how much (or how little) more tax we’ll pay. Limiting the tax increase in 2016 to 2% is a good thing, but putting so much emphasis on this one metric makes me wonder what we’re not being told.
For example, your water and sewer charge will be going up by six percent, adding nearly as much to your yearly household bill as the tax increase will. Watson left that part out of his budget speech. (A 6% water bill increase adds about $49 to the average yearly bill. A 2% tax increase translates to about $72 more in municipal taxes for an urban home assessed at $375,300.)
Here are a few questions I have for Mayor Watson and his finance team:
The draft budget includes $40,000 per ward for traffic calming, but how many speed bumps or flex-signs does that actually pay for? Is it enough to address the many neighbourhood problems that we have in Stittsville?
What exactly is being cut? And how will the cuts impact services? Here’s a concern raised by Kitchisippi councillor Jeff Leiper, who says that the draft budget lacks transparency in explaining how “efficiencies” are being found: “We’re going to need a lot of answers between now and when the budgets are debated at committee to understand whether this budget is as advertised: a balance between a low tax increase and no impact to services. I don’t feel comfortable that we have enough information to determine whether we’re putting our future ability to do public works at risk given how much of our reserves we’re spending.”
Is the budget good for the long-term financial health for our city? Veteran councillor Rick Chiarellibrought this up in an interview with the Ottawa Citizen recently: “We are currently only investing a fraction of what our dedicated public service and outside accountants advise is the optimum level of investment in repair, maintenance and lifecycle replacement to achieve the mid and long range lowest cost to taxpayers. Failure to invest enough in these elements of the budget are false savings… Every dollar we evade spending on these things can create a bill of 10-50 times that amount in avoidable future costs when, instead, we have to reconstruct the asset.”
Are we getting our fair share in the suburbs? Citizen columnist David Reevely offers a cogent analysis on “assessment growth”, and how tax revenue from new condos and communities gets incorporated into the city budget: “Coun. Marianne Wilkinson, who represents Kanata North, has complained for years that new neighbourhoods in her ward have been denied transit service they deserve. Mainly, OC Transpo has stretched its existing service to cover more territory rather than putting more buses on new routes. If you live in Kanata Lakes or Morgan’s Grant (or any of Ottawa’s newer suburbs outside the Greenbelt), and you wonder why the bus isn’t better, the cannibalizing of assessment-growth money is one reason. “
Councillor Shad Qadri told StittsvilleCentral.ca in an email last week that he was generally pleased with the draft budget.
“There are a number of important items for Stittsville and I will continue to work on other items that I also feel require funding in our community,” he said. (Although he wouldn’t elaborate on what those other items may be.)
You can find more information on the budget and how it impacts Stittsville on Qadri’s web site. You can send comments to email@example.com. And if you can fit your comments into 140 characters, tweet them using the hashtag #ottbudget.
I’ve had a lot of people ask me if I knew what was happening with the old stone house at Terry Fox and Richardson Side Road in Kanata North.
That’s the Richardson farmhouse, perched part-way up the hill, surrounded by new housing. I heard a few rumours about what the developer might have planned (a lawyer’s office? a private residence?) but recently its future use has been confirmed: a clubhouse for the neighbouring condo development.
TRAFFIC’S KEY FOR MINTO PLAN
City planner Patricia McCann-MacMillan sent out an atypically frank email to residents who submitted comments on Minto’s proposed Potter’s Key development. The email summarized what’s next for Minto and the City. Continue reading →
City councillors Shad Qadri and Marianne Wilkinson are co-hosting a pre-budget consultation on September 29 at Mlacak Centre.
It’s part of a new consultation approach to the city budget being adopted this year, where councillors have the option of holding pre-budget meetings in their wards to hear from residents. All comments presented at the meeting get forwarded to city staff.
The consultation will happen at 7pm on Tuesday, September 29 at Mlacak Center (Halls C&D), 2500 Campeau Drive in Kanata North.
OC Transpo and councillor Marianne Wilkinson are hosting a public meeting on Thursday, September 27 at 7:00pm at the Richcraft Recreation Complex in Kanata North about a new Park-and-Ride.
Here’s a note from Wilkinson:
Join me in the Minto Room for an update on the Park and Ride Expansion in Kanata, where staff will present the plans for the total project and demonstrate the work for Phase I that is to be built in 2016. Phase I work includes new traffic lights at the bus entrance off Terry Fox, an entrance with traffic lights off Innovation, a connection to Goulbourn Forced Road and approximately 300 additional parking spots. Timing for Phase II, to add more than 600 extra parking spots, will be based on demand. OC Transpo staff will be present to discuss potential bus route changes when the Park and Ride opens. OC Transpo has set up a webpage providing information about the Park and Ride: http://ottawa.ca/en/innovation-park-and-ride-overview