COMMUNITY NOTES: from the desk of Councillor Gower

This week, Councillor Gower extends his holiday greetings to residents. He also shares information on the new winter bus routes; City of Ottawa free play recreation activities for families and youth; Ottawa Police crime and prevention tips; and, the importance shared by Ottawa Public Health on getting your flu and COVID vaccinations. He also provides a re-cap of details for the recent Transit Commission and Light-Rail Sub-Committee.

Happy holidays from all of us at Team Stittsville. As we reach the end of 2023, our team would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a safe and happy holidays. We hope you get a chance to celebrate and spend some time with your loved ones.

We are lucky to live in such a great community and we are thankful for the generosity and spirit we see every day from the residents of Stittsville.

Please note our office will be closed from December 23-January 1 for the holidays, and on reduced office hours from January 2-5. Please call 3-1-1 if you need immediate assistance.

OC Transpo winter service changes
To improve service reliability for customers, schedule adjustments will be made to some routes starting December 24. Check the Travel Planner to see your route’s schedule.

In response to rider feedback, Routes 261 and 263 will be adjusted to operate via Palladium Drive to Highway 417. This will shorten the trip times to & from downtown by a few minutes and improve service to the Connections community surrounding Derreen Avenue.

As part of this change, these routes will no longer service the Canadian Tire Centre bus loop. Service to the Canadian Tire Centre and the Park & Ride lot there will be maintained on Routes 62 and 162.


  • Special holiday service (Monday, December 25 to Friday, January 5) will operate on a reduced schedule to reflect lower ridership during the holidays. OC Transpo will be providing free service on New Year’s Eve after 6:00 p.m.
  • Severe Storm Schedule will be implemented for buses on weekdays when 31 cm or more of snow is expected.
  • The Rack & Roll winter program is now permanently year-round! OC Transpo buses will continue to be equipped with a bike rack through the winter.

Play Free drop-in activities are back with more in 2024
Beginning Monday, January 1, children and youth of Ottawa can participate in the 2024 lineup of Play Free activities. These free drop-in activities include gym sports, swimming, museums and skating.

These free programs allow more children and youth to participate in City programs and appreciate the associated health and social benefits of these activities. The City of Ottawa also offers financial support through the Ottawa Hand in Hand participant subsidy program.

Stay Safe This Holiday Season with Crime Prevention and Safety Tips
With the holidays coming up, the Ottawa Police Service is advising residents to be vigilant, safe and most importantly, exercise caution during this festive time of the year. Read more…

Ottawa Public Health and local hospitals urge residents to get their updated COVID-19 and annual flu vaccines
Ottawa Public Health (OPH) and local hospitals including: The Ottawa Hospital, Queensway Carleton Hospital, Hôpital Montfort, CHEO, Bruyère, The Royal and the University of Ottawa Heart Institute are urging eligible residents, especially those at higher risk, to receive their updated COVID-19 vaccine and annual influenza (flu) vaccine as soon as possible.

This reminder comes as OPH is noting that the highest rates of hospitalization and death from COVID-19 continue to be in older adults. Wastewater levels of COVID-19 and hospitalizations are higher now than they were at this time last year. Additionally, OPH is now declaring the start of the flu season in Ottawa. Declaration of flu season is based on influenza test percent positivity surpassing the threshold of 5% for two weeks in a row. Read more…

NOTEBOOK: Recap of Transit Commission and Light Rail Sub-Committee on December 14
Transit Commission and Light Rail Sub-Committee held a joint meeting o receive progress updates on a variety of transit projects completed this year in the works for 2024, including:

  • Winter readiness plans
  • New bus shelters at Tunney’s and Hurdman
  • Improvements to real-time customer information & Transit app
  • On-demand pilot project update
  • Update on LRT wheel bearing issue
  • Ridership & performance indicators
  • Update on Stage 2 LRT

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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