COMMUNITY NOTES: from the desk of Councillor Gower

It is February 1 and Councillor Gower shares his weekly updates which are happening in and around the City and Stittsville. From the kids returning to school, to Ottawa Public Health introducing COVID-19 information in both Somali and Arabic languages, updates on local development projects and mental health help available at Counselling Connect, Councillor Gower provides all the information.

Return to school
“We want to prioritize schools as the essential work of children.” That’s what Dr. Etches told CBC Radio last week.  What a great message to underscore how important it is to get students back into the classroom. The return to in-person learning is welcome news for students and parents. On Tuesday at a special update to City Council, I asked Dr. Etches for her thoughts about vaccines, schools, and returning to class. You can read her answers here…

Ottawa Public Health via WhatsApp
Do you speak Somali and/or Arabic? You can now contact Ottawa Public Health by text or voice clip on WhatsApp for information about COVID-19. Somali number: 613-229-3373 Arabic number: 613-229-3359

Parlez-vous somali ou arabe? Vous pouvez maintenant contacter Santé publique Ottawa par message texte ou vocal sur WhatsApp pour avoir de l’information sur la COVID‑19 dans votre langue. Numéro pour info en somali : 613‑229‑3373; numéro pour info en arabe : 613‑229‑3359.

New development updates

1518 Stittsville Main
Inverness Homes wants to build a mixed-use building with a two-storey restaurant/office space along Stittsville Main Street next to the Trans Canada Trail, along with a four-storey 33-unit residential apartment in behind.  We’re hosting an info meeting about this proposal on Wednesday, February 10 at 6:30pm through Zoom. More info…

24 Iber @ Hazeldean (No Frills plaza)
The City of Ottawa has received a Site Plan Revision application to change the use of one building from a two-storey office building with retail uses at grade to a four-unit service-commercial building (including a restaurant use with a drive-thru). More info…

5725 Fernbank
The City has received a subdivision and zoning by-law amendment application for a new phase of CRT Development’s Westwood subdivision at 5725 Fernbank Road (at the northwest corner of Fernbank Road and Robert Grant). More info…

Construction at Hazeldean & Victor
The builder of the Hazeldean Crossings development has shared a construction schedule for February and March:

  • February  1-15: Fence installation, tree clearing and office trailer setup
  • February  15-22: Blasting operation
  • February 22-March 1: Excavation of water storage and tanks installation plus water, sewer and storm services along Victor St.
  • March 1-15: Excavation of Building No. 1
  • March 15: Start pouring Building No. 1 foundation

Free counselling & mental health help

The pandemic is taking a toll on our mental health. Quick access to free counselling is available to residents of the greater Ottawa area through Counselling Connect in both English and French. It’s open to all ages without a waiting list.

The Counselling Connect website links people of all ages to a counselling session with one of 16 Ottawa social services, including Centretown Community Health Centre, Youth Services Bureau, Family Service Ottawa, Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization, Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health and more. 

Stay informed on City initiatives by subscribing to Councillor Gower’s e-newsletter at‘. You can also contact him by telephone at 613-580-2476 or email Follow him on the web –


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