Category Archives: Business

Stittsville Business Association launches survey to decide direction

Survey results gathered from nearly 70 Stittsville business owners who attended a breakfast meeting at ALE Tuesday morning are being compiled to determine the future direction of a voluntary business association in Stittsville.

Tentatively dubbed the Stittsville Business Association (SBA), the group aims to support local business interests as well as the community as a whole. How that takes shape, however, will be up to the association’s membership, said meeting organizer Allan Ryan in his comments Tuesday. Continue reading


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Habitat for Humanity “ReStore” coming to Iber Road

Habitat for Humanity is opening a “ReStore” location on Iber Road in 2018, and they’re giving a sneak peek with a pop-up furniture sale this weekend.

The ReStore will be inside a warehouse at 3 Iber Road near Hazeldean. The store accepts donation of new and gently used items and salvageable building materials, then resells them to the public at a reduced cost.

Continue reading


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Local real estate web site wins marketing award

(press release)

Real estate professional Nancy Ceresia and Communicarium are pleased to announce the website www.nancyceresiarealestate.com has won a Gold MarCom Award, which honors excellence in marketing and branding while recognizing the creativity, hard work, and generosity of industry professionals.

“The website is fulfilling my goal of creating a first step in my introduction to potential clients. They receive a clear message about what they can expect and what sets me apart: professional, personal service for the transaction and throughout home ownership,” states client Nancy Ceresia. “I am finding new clients are coming to me for advice and guidance and I am building a reputation as a reliable and insightful resource to homebuyers. Communicarium created a perfect platform that really allows me to grow my business and brand.” Continue reading


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New Stittsville Business Association meets for breakfast on November 14

Out of the ashes of the Stittsville Business Improvement Area comes a new Stittsville Business Association.

You may recall earlier this year when a group of local businesses proposed establishing a Business Improvement Area (BIA). That would have been a local management board made up of local business members, and funded via a property tax levy. Continue reading


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Jack Ketch chef returns to his Stittsville roots

(PHOTO: Kevin Conway and Alli Pearce, co-owners of The Jack Ketch on Stitttsville Main. Photo by Barry Gray.)

It’s been a long time coming, but Kevin Conway and Alli Pearce are finally set to open The Jack Ketch restaurant on Stittsville Main Street.

They’ll work out the kinks with two friends-and-family nights on Thursday and Friday, and then open to the general public on Saturday night, October 21.

The restaurant is in an old building formerly occupied by Brown Bear Daycare.  Conway and Pearce have turned it into a 30-seat restaurant that they describe as a “contemporary rustic cosy nook kind of place”.  The menu is contemporary, including some French Canadian-inspired dishes and a lot of locally-sourced ingredients.  Continue reading


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FOOD: The Jack Ketch set to open Saturday, October 21

Great to see that the long-awaited The Jack Ketch restaurant on Stittsville Main Street (next to the municipal parking lot) is finally set to open on Saturday, October 21.

Co-owners Allison Pearce and Kevin Conway made the announcement on their Facebook page on Friday evening, and says they’ll be taking reservations for opening night via email.  It’s a cozy spot with 26 seats available for dinner. (They’re also planning some private dinners for family and friends later this week to get ready.)

Allison and Kevin gave me a tour inside back in September. They’ve completely transformed the space (it was previously a daycare) and have lots of plans for future expansion, including a patio out back.  (The opening is a bit later than originally planned thanks to some construction-related surprises, but I’ll save those stories for later.)

I talked to Conway last February about what they have planned:

“A contemporary rustic cosy nook kind of place where people can come and relax,” he said. “Something different for Stittsville – a little bit higher-end.”

The menu will include some French Canadian-inspired dishes and a lot of locally-sourced ingredients. Conway grew up in Stittsville and has worked at a number of restaurants in Toronto and Ottawa.

“I’ve been working for a lot of great chefs, and this opportunity came up to come back home. I’ve been trying to open something in Stittsville for years and years now. ”

Put some art up!!

A post shared by Jack (@jackketchfood) on

Date a #chef #restaurantlife #openingsoon, trout, lentils, mussels. #yummy

A post shared by alli pearce (@allifpearce) on

Final logo. Credit goes to @greatblue73. Can't thank you enough

A post shared by Jack (@jackketchfood) on

 


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TransCanada drops plans for Energy East pipeline

TransCanada announced today that it has cancelled plans for the Energy East pipeline. It would have would have carried 1.1-million barrels of crude oil each day across the country, including a stretch on the western boundary of Stittsville.  (The photo above shows the part of the pipeline route, looking south from Jinkinson Road.)

Here’s a press release from Ecology Ottawa, who have been campaigning against the project for several years:

Ecology Ottawa is celebrating TransCanada’s announcement earlier today that officially terminated the company’s proposed Energy East pipeline project. Energy East, which would ship 1.1 million barrels of diluted bitumen across Ottawa, posed a direct threat to the city’s water, land and climate. Since the pipeline project was announced in 2013, Ecology Ottawa has been working in communities across Ottawa to mobilize resistance to the pipeline.

“TransCanada will tell you it has abandoned Energy East because of technical reasons. They will cite the price of oil and the additional burden of new National Energy Board requirements as the reason for scuttling the project,” says Robb Barnes, Ecology Ottawa’s Acting Executive Director. “More important still is the fact that Energy East lost on political grounds. Like other communities along the pipeline route, Ottawans rejected this project because it threatened the health of their city and was completely incompatible with our community doing its fair share to fight climate change.”

Ecology Ottawa volunteers have been working for years to raise awareness and mobilize opposition to the proposed pipeline project. Since 2013, over 8,000 residents of the city signed a petition opposing Energy East. Volunteers have been knocking on thousands of doors in their communities, holding information sessions, engaging with their elected officials and staging rallies to demonstrate their opposition to the project.

“The end of Energy East is a moment to reflect on the real energy priorities of the 21st century,” says Anthony Garoufalis-Auger, Ecology Ottawa’s Clean Energy Organizer. “Instead of dirty pipeline projects that benefit massive transnational companies and produce few jobs, we can now renew our focus on the renewable energy transition, where the jobs are more plentiful, more local, and don’t threaten the environment. Ottawa can play a leadership role in this transition, but we need to see consistent leadership from our elected officials.”


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A holistic approach to health and exercise at Barres and Wheels

(All photos ©Tiffany Kristen Photography)

(I met up recently with Marie Boivin, a long-time Stittsville resident who recently opened Barres and Wheels, a fitness studio on Stittsville Main Street, in the strip mall next to Brown’s and Tim Hortons. The business brings together her love of ballet, a strong business background, and her personal focus on fitness and nutrition as a way to overcome life’ challenges. -GG.)

GLEN GOWER:  When I walked in, I was amazed at how bright and open this space was. How would you describe the space to someone who hasn’t been here before?

MARIE BOIVIN: First of all you don’t feel like you’re in a strip mall in Stittsville. It’s an impression of open space, lots of natural light, the barn wood, the cork floors, the wooden table. So all the elements are brought back together and I have a feeling of grounding. I believe it’s a grounding space and this is what I tried to emulate.

GG: I know there was a fitness studio here before also doing barre fitness. What’s changed from the previous business that was here?

MB: From a structural point of view, not much has changed. I re-configured the space, I separated the large studio space into a spinning studio. I kept the beautiful skylight and the rest of the space as a barre studio. I built an office. All the furniture is brand new. We painted and added some art on the wall, and we put our touch into the space.

GG: Describe some of the different things that you offer here.

MB: My passion has always been in dance and ballet, so as a little girl this was my dream to become a ballerina.  Obviously it did not materialize! But I always danced as an adult as a hobby in classical ballet. After I had my last child, my little guy who’s now five, I could never really go back to ballet. My body changed, and I turned to barre fitness which I believe is an unbelievable workout.

The concept of bar is really small isometric movements, and holding the positions for a really long time so it really fatigues the muscles, and then we stretch it out with nice, deep stretches. So you really combine ballet, yoga and pilates.  All of that combined together brings an unbelievable workout.  It’s very low impact — not prone to injuries — and it builds the nice long lean muscles that ballerinas have.  It really improves posture… it really tones everything.

GG: And you’ve combined that with the bikes.

MB: Exactly, I believe that barre fitness is absolutely wonderful, but I thought that there was a component missing, which was the cardio.  So by bringing on the cycling, which is also low-impact, the two of them combined together brings an amazing offering for overall fitness.

On the barre side, we try to incorporate yoga, which I think is very important for the mind. So we have very calming classes, like Wednesday night candle-lit yoga.  Sunday morning we have the sun salutations. When I see the space and I see the skylights above the barre studio, there’s nothing like it. So you set your week right, set your intentions, and it really energizes you afterwards.

We also do combined classes, so 45 minutes of spinning, followed immediately by yin yoga. It’s a lot of nice, deep long stretches so it opens up the hips, and all the places where you are typically tight, like we hold a lot of stress into our shoulders, or for runners who typically have very tight hips, it really releases.

GG: I want to talk a bit about the business environment. We’ve seen Movati open out here in the west end, and Goodlife.  A lot of people say, “how are some of the smaller businesses going to survive”?  Where’s the niche for a smaller studio like this? How do you fit in and run a business with so much competition?

MB: I believe there’s a place for everything. This would be considered a boutique fitness studio, where we offer something very specific. We don’t have personal trainers or other things that larger studios would offer.  With all the competition maybe we’ll have the fittest people in Ottawa in Stittsville!  What we offer is unique in the sense that every exercise is low-impact. It’s for literally everybody at any fitness level. We can have a high-performing athlete on a bike, and a beginner on the next bike. Every single class can be catered and modelled and adapted to any fitness level.

GG: And do you live in Stittsville? What’s your background?

MB: I do, I’ve lived here for over 15 years.  I have 20 years in corporate business, mostly in finance. I’ve transitioned in the past year over a very stressful phase of my life, and once I had resigned from my previous position, I found myself wondering what was next.

Throughout my life, and throughout some very stressful times what kept me going was fitness and nutrition. I had to focus on this, and I set myself small objectives on a daily basis, and that’s what kept me going in every other aspect of my life to help me manage stress. So that’s why I wanted to create a space that was calm, non-threatening, appeals to all the senses, and people come here and they set their own objectives and we help them carry it through.

Marie Boivin, founder of Barres and Wheels. © Tiffany Kristen Photography

GG: What’s your vision for where this goes in the future?

MB: We want to fill in the classes!  We want to have people come in and sign up, and eventually we might grow and thing of studio number two. We want to make sure the concept is strong and developed here and we can evaluate what the next phase is going to be.

GG: Anything else you want to share with Stittsville?

MB: I love Stittsville. This is my town, this is where my kids are still growing. I have two kids in university and my little guy goes to Jean Paul II. So we love to feature local artists, we love to help out. This is a community space and I let people come in and do their workshops. So we have nutrition workshops, Kate Rickman features her art here, and we try to feature local businesses as well.

The studio runs two classes a week for new moms (it’s called Baby Barre) where they can bring their babies either in a carrier or place on a mat in front of them. These classes are free on a donation to CHEO. We suggest $10 per class and a donation receipt will be issued by CHEO at the end of the year. My son Leo had an open heart surgery at birth so we have always donated back since he was born. I wish to continue this tradition with the new business!

(Barres and Wheels is located at 1261 Stittsville Main Street. For more info visit barresandwheels.com)

Front entrance of Barres & Wheels
Photo by G. Gower.

Photo ©Tiffany Kristen Photography

Photo ©Tiffany Kristen Photography


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Local shops lament landlord, low foot traffic at plaza

(PHOTO: Jhoanna and Nick Prinzo stand in front of Classy Kids, their retail store on Stittsville Main Street. Photo by Devyn Barrie.)

Call it the tale of two plazas.  Dollarama and Shoppers Drug Mart may seem like big attractions for the Stittsville Shopping Centre at 1300 Stittsville Main St, but a former store owner said they hardly send any customers to the other businesses in the plaza.

“It’s ridiculous, you wouldn’t think so, but it is,” said Sandy Edwards, former owner of Dandelion Consignment, which closed earlier this year.

Continue reading


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Princess Auto opens September 19 in Kanata

(press release)

Princess Auto will open its 45th Canadian location in Kanata North on September 19.

“It’s a no-brainer to open a store in Kanata, really” comments Ken Larson, Princess Auto’s Senior Vice President of Customer Experiences. “Our Ottawa location is already super busy serving the area, which includes our Quebec customers across the river. But people living further southwest of Ottawa had to make one heck of a road trip to access our products – the next closest store is in Kingston – so it made sense to set up a Kanata location.” Continue reading


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COMMENT: Welcome to Stittsville, Amazon

(PHOTO: Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle include three “biospheres” filled with plants and endangered species. Photo by brewbooks, used under a Creative Commons license.)

You may have heard this week: Amazon is looking for a major North American city where they can establish a second world headquarters.

Their original campus is in Seattle, where 40,000 people walk to work every day. They’ve launched an RFP process, inviting cities across North America to make a pitch to become a new home for Amazon. Continue reading


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Stittsville Childcare Centre transitions to not-for-profit model

(PHOTO: From June 2017, following the Stittsville Childcare Centre’s 10th Annual BBQ and Raffle Fundraiser for Cancer Research held at our centre. Each year, for the past 10 years, our staff volunteer their time and offer a family oriented, fun event to raise funds for cancer research through donating all money raised to the Ottawa Hospital in honour of those parents we have lost to cancer as well as those in our community who continue the fight. Photo by John Curry, republished with permission)

(article submitted by the Stittsville Childcare Centre)

Stittsville Childcare Centre first opened its doors as a private childcare in September 2004. Initially licensed to provide care for children from babies up to six years of age, over the years the services expanded to incorporate a school age program as well.

Two best friends, sharing the same dream and a passion for children, began the journey together excited to offer Stittsville a unique childcare experience, one with a fundamental belief in the power of family and community. This belief has held true to this day. Each day when anyone enters our program our hope is that they feel immediately welcome and that this centre will grow to become an extension of their family and home. Continue reading


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LINKED: Ottawa tech companies recruiting to fill thousands of jobs (CBC)

Interesting article from CBC about job growth in the Ottawa area. Invest Ottawa says 10,000 positions will be filled by 2019, with around 3,000 in the Kanata North area. That will impact the Stittsville area, where many of those Kanata North employees may end up calling home:

The Kanata North BIA said the tech sector in the region has to fill 3,000 positions in the coming months as BlackBerry QNX and Ford hire for the autonomous vehicle hub and existing companies expand.

Invest Ottawa predicts nearly 10,000 new jobs in the city by 2019 and said those jobs will come in a range of technology fields.

James Baker, CEO of recruiting company the Keynote Group, said he’s receiving calls from four to five new clients a week who are looking to hire new talent.

One challenge has been finding people with certain skill sets outside Ottawa’s traditional strengths from a decade ago.

“We’ve moved to development. We were a hardware city, we’re moving into a software city,” he said. “Now the self-driving car is coming as well, which is a whole other spin on what we can do in Ottawa.”

Larger companies like Shopify, Amazon and BlackBerry QNX are forcing companies to compete for people with specializations in software as a service, automatic vehicles and artificial intelligence.

Read the full article…


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How a knight in a shiny tow truck saved the day with a bottle of Coke

Having just finished a yoga class I was pretty relaxed when I discovered that my car wouldn’t start.  Greeted by silence apart from an almost inaudible click when I turned the key, it was obvious I wasn’t going anywhere.

With the help of receptionist Amy at Beyond Yoga, I calmly contacted my emergency roadside assistance number.  I was told I would receive a call from the towing company to tell when they would be there to rescue me.  While I waited I checked out the bus times, found the towing company’s phone number, knowing that once the studio closed I would no longer have internet connection.

It was almost closing time and I hadn’t received a call, so it was obvious that the studio would close before tow truck arrived.  Concerned about me having to wait alone and get home by bus Amy offered to drive me home.  However, a call to Sharkey’s thwarted that plan as they don’t tow unattended cars.  So it became a matter of waiting and taking my chances that they would get the car started instead of towed, thereby avoiding a bus ride home and a very late night.

Fortunately I didn’t have to sit in the car for too long before my knight in shiny tow truck arrived.  I had deduced that it wasn’t a battery problem and thought it might be the starter motor.  I  wasn’t far off.

It didn’t take Kyle long to figure out the root of the problem with the hood up, as he watched and listened while I turned the key.  Yes, it was an issue with the starter motor.  At first he was going to tow the car to my garage.  However, he hesitated because he thought he just might be able to get it started, but no promises as he went to his truck for the necessary tools.

Only the tools proved to be nothing more than a bottle of Coke.   “Your not going to pour that over the engine are you?” I asked in disbelief, but as he began to explain that the problem was corrosion, I soon clued in.  “You mean you are going to use it the way they use Coke to clean pennies?”

“Exactly, the contacts are copper,” he replied.  He shone the torch on the green corroded contacts and pointed them out to me.  (I later took a photo of the area while he kindly pointed once more, to ensure I would recognize that part of the engine again and he demonstrated exactly what I had to wiggle).

One bottle of Coke later, when I turned the key, the engine roared into action without hesitation.  The Coke was rinsed off with a bottle of water to remove the residue.  What an amazing trick.

At this point, I could have had the car towed to the garage but Kyle advised that it wasn’t really necessary now and I too could start the car this way as long I was prepared, with a couple of bottles of Coke and a bottle of water.  How simple and how effective.  He even gave me a pair of latex gloves to keep in the glove compartment, so I am ready for action should the need arise in the future.

So thoughtful, and how appreciative I am.   After all, he could have just towed the car to the garage resulting in a repair bill, leaving me to find my way home by bus.  Instead he went that one step further, to try a simple solution that would allow me to drive home and perhaps even avoid a trip to the garage for a job that, obviously, I could do for myself.

So all this to say a great big thank you to two people in our community, who went beyond the call of duty, proving that a little kindness goes a long way.

Amy Pham at Beyond Yoga on Hearst Avenue, Kanata, who was prepared to drive me home, called emergency road assistance for me twice, and stayed later than she normally would.

And Kyle Abraham, on night shifts at Sharkey’s Towing, Iber Road, Stittsville, who did not take advantage of a damsel in distress, but instead solved the problem and gave her a useful lesson in simple, albeit unconventional, emergency auto mechanics.

Janice Blain's car in front of Beyond Yoga in Kanata.
Janice Blain’s car in front of Beyond Yoga in Kanata.

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NOTEBOOK: Local businesses invited to BIA info meeting on Tuesday

UPDATE: About 50 people attended the meeting on Tuesday night to hear about the BIA proposal, ask questions and share concerns.  The steering committee plans to keep educating the local business community on what the proposal is all about, and there’s a survey on the City’s web site for local business owners to complete.

***

Local businesses are being encouraged to attend an information meeting on Tuesday, July 18 to hear about plans to create a Business Improvement Area (BIA) for Stittsville. The meeting happens at 7pm at the Goulbourn Recreation Complex, Hall A.

A group of around half a dozen local business owners have formed a steering committee to drum up interest and support in the plan.  (The group includes a variety of owners and management from Walkerworks Framing, Jo-Jo’s Pizza, Huntington Properties, Stittsville IDA, Covered Bridge Brewing, and Warmstone Dentistry.)

From the group’s Facebook page: “Stittsville is such a dynamic community with incredible opportunity. The growth we’ve experienced and will continue to experience at an increasingly rapid pace needs direction. The Stittsville BIA proposal is here to exhibit the power of BIAs and how we can help unlock untapped potential for all Stittsville business owners. We need to support each other and our businesses through an organized effort. Shop the Stittsville is movement. Come enjoy some pizza courtesy of Jo-Jo’s and voice your opinion – it matters!”

Continue reading


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Demolition day at Quitters Coffee

It’s quitting time for the ugly old pigeon-riddled structure at the back of Quitters Coffee on Stittsville Main Street.

The coffee shop is temporarily closed to day so that they can demolish the structures out in the back lot.  Here are some pics shared by the coffee shop so far.

(They’re also doing a live video on Facebook.) Continue reading


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Two Stittsville engineering students selected for work-study program in China

(PHOTO: Students visit Parliament Hill before their trip to China.)

(Press release via HUAWEI)

HUAWEI, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of ICT and telecommunications equipment, has announced 20 university engineering students selected to participate in its “Seeds for the Future” program, and two are from Stittsville.

Allison Sherwin and Kyle Bjornson both grew up in Stittsville and are now third-year engineering students at Carleton University. They were among the 20 students who gathered in Kanata last week for two days of preparation at HUAWEI Canada’s Research Centre before departing for China for a two-week professional and cultural trip.

Now in its third year, ‘Seeds for the Future’ provides students an opportunity to experience firsthand the incredible advancement taking place in China’s technology industry. Designed for Canadian engineering students, the program aims to build links between Canada and China, promote a greater understanding of career opportunities in the telecommunications sector, and to encourage participation in the international ICT community.

“We are proud to offer this opportunity to another talented group of engineering students from across the country,” said HUAWEI Canada President, Sean Yang. “This award-winning program has grown in popularity and we’re happy to see that nearly half the students participating this year are women. This hands-on experience provides students with a once in a lifetime work and cultural exchange, with an opportunity to see China and its industry-leading innovation.”

“Our partners at HUAWEI have been fantastic. We look forward to continuing to develop these bright young minds and set them on these promising future career paths,” said Jose Pereira, Director, Engineering Career Centre, University of Toronto.

Students selected for ‘Seeds for the Future’ will be given first-hand learning opportunities through interactions with HUAWEI staff and visits to HUAWEI laboratories where they will witness live demonstrations of advanced communications technologies. The program also includes an opportunity to experience Chinese culture, and will include a visit to some well-known landmarks, including the Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City.

Feedback from students who have been through the program has been extremely positive. “This program was a life changing experience in every way,” said Karl Tanguay-Verreault a student at Carleton University who participated in the program last year. “Not only did it open my eyes to the beauty of Chinese culture but it also gave me hands-on experience with the technologies that will power the future of ICT.”

 


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