COMMUNITY NOTES: from the desk of Councillor Gower

Another week has quickly passed, with a variety of updates from Councillor for the upcoming week and further on the calendar. The fluctuating temperatures from mild to record-breaking extreme cold have brought about concerns for our homeless. Many warming shelters are being offered by the City, an Ottawa Public Health interactive map of locations and the Salvation Army Mobile Outreach Van which Councillor Gower shares. Snow clearing is continuing in Stittsville visit Councillor Gower’s facebook page for all updates on the streets to be cleared. Sadly, a family on Kittiwake Drive lost their home to fire over the weekend and Councillor Gower extends his thanks to all of the emergency responders. He provides comments on the need for doctors and the upcoming roundtable discussion at city hall hosted by Mayor Sutcliffe at which he will participate. He shares a VUT update, his multicultural calendar for February and some courtesy reminders. Don’t forget to register for the Councillor’s budget Q&A on February 13th at 7:00pm. Blasting will be starting at the 585 Bobolink site of Taggart Construction. CNIB Guide Dogs will be trained on riding a bus thanks to a decommissioned bus from OC Transpo. And, as usual, if you need some assistance, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Councillor Gower’s office at the contact information provided below.

Snowed in. Photo by Barry Gray.

The snow situation
A huge thanks to Ottawa’s snow clearing crews for their non-stop work over the past few weeks to clear snow from our streets. Crews are working day and night to take the snow away to municipal snow dumps.

We get a daily list of streets scheduled to be cleared about 12-24 hours in advance that we post to our Facebook page at (You don’t need a Facebook account to see the updates.) Progress depends on weather and other factors, and sometimes crews are unable to complete all streets on the list.

Unfortunately, we don’t have a schedule beyond the next 24 hours. Crews are out clearing every day and night, so they will get to your street soon! Watch for the “No Parking” signs and please remove your vehicle so that crews and move as efficiently and safely as possible.

We’re also asking residents to be a “hydrant hero” and keep your local fire hydrant clear of snow. If you are unable to clear the hydrant on your property, please call 3-1-1 for help.

Canada Post is responsible for clearing snow from in front of community mailboxes. You can submit a service ticket online if you encounter any problems.

Extreme cold
We had a couple of dangerously cold days last week and we’ll likely have more before winter makes way for spring. We’re all concerned about the health and safety of people experiencing homelessness during this extreme weather.

Ottawa has six emergency shelters that are available to those who may be experiencing homelessness. The Salvation Army operates a Mobile Outreach Van and responds to calls made to 3-1-1. They encourage people to seek indoor shelter and are able to transport them to places they can seek refuge such as emergency shelters. In addition, they have warm clothing and other resources. 9-1-1 is the number to call for emergency situations.

Ottawa Public Health has an interactive map of places to warm up during the day in Ottawa on the OPH Cold Weather website. OPH issues Frostbite Advisories (-25 windchill or colder) and Warnings (-35 C windchill or colder). More information is available on the OPH web site.

A fire on Kittiwake
An early morning fire on Kittiwake Drive on Saturday has left a family without a home. Five people were home at the time, and they all got out of the house alive. One adult was treated for a minor burn, and several were treated for frostbite. Firefighters rescued a frog, lizard, gecko and bird from the fire. The cause of the fire is not known as this time.

A big thank you to first responders including firefighters and paramedics for their response. Although the one home is a total loss, firefighters were able to minimize damage to the two neighbouring homes.

It’s a good reminder to check your smoke alarms and look into the option of a monitored smoke alarm.

Shortage of family doctors and access to primary care
Last week at our Board of Health meeting we discussed a report from Ottawa Public Health that estimates there are at least 100,000-150,000 people in Ottawa without access to primary care. That estimate is based on data from 2020, and it’s almost certain that the number is higher now with many family doctors retiring or cutting back on hours.

The report says the problem is more acute for people living in low-income areas, high deprivation areas, areas with a high proportion of visible minorities or those who are recent immigrants to Ontario.

This is a huge problem in our city and although primary care is a provincial responsibility, we’re in such a dire situation right now that every level of government needs to be working on solutions.

On Monday I’ll participate in a roundtable discussion at city hall hosted by Mayor Sutcliffe to explore ways that we can start addressing barriers to primary care access in Ottawa. We heard from several local doctors and experts and I’m looking forward to working on some of the ideas that they shared. More to come.

Vacant Unit Tax update
As of last week 246,000 residential property owners have completed their Vacant Unit Tax declaration, representing 76% of all properties in Ottawa. If you have yet to make your declaration, head to and take a few minutes to do so online. Deadline is March 16. Please call or email me if you have any questions or run into any problems completing the VUT.

Multicultural Calendar for February
Check out the latest edition of our multicultural calendar with info about Black History Month, World Hijab Day, and Ash Wednesday. It is one of the actions arising from our Diversity Project, an initiative to address the emerging needs and issues we see in our community.

Courtesy reminders

  • If you’re skating on one of our outdoor community rinks, please take your garbage home with you or leave it in one of the park waste bins. Our rinks are run 100% by volunteers and they would appreciate your co-operation.
  • A few dog owners seem to think they don’t need to pick up after their pets in the winter! A reminder that you must pick up dog waste throughout the year. Bring the waste home and leave the bag in your green bin to keep it out of the landfill.

City tables draft budget for 2023
City Council tabled the draft budget last Wednesday and there are some important investments for Stittsville. These include money for the detailed design of the Carp Road upgrade, funding towards the Fernbank District Park and Shea Woods Park, several new accessible bus stops and much more. Click here for details…

A reminder to join us for our online budget Q&A for Stittsville residents on Monday, February 13 at 7pm. Click here to register…

Controlled Blasting signage

585 Bobolink: Construction impacts & blasting
Taggart Investments is starting construction on eight new, three-story buildings containing back-to-back townhomes, located at the northwest corner of Robert Grant and Bobolink. We’ve shared a summary of construction plans and potential impacts to resident here…

Blasting is expected to begin in the coming days and last approximately three months, with up to eight blasts per day planned as part of excavation work. See details at

OC Transpo making it easier for people with guide dogs to travel on public transit
A decommissioned OC Transpo bus is on its way to CNIB’s Canine Campus in Carleton Place, creating a new life and purpose for a bus that once transported thousands of customers across Ottawa. After many years in service, this bus will now help CNIB Guide Dog Trainers enable future guide dogs to learn the procedures for boarding, traveling, and exiting public transit. Read more…

Get in touch!
If we can help in any way, please email me at or leave a voicemail at 613-580-2476. Please call 3-1-1 if you require immediate assistance. – Councillor Glen Gower


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