COMMUNITY NOTES: from the desk of Councillor Gower

Councillor Gower shares some pertinent community information for the week of March 1. Read about school zone safety, a vaccines update, what the City Parks and Rec department are offering for the school April break and more. Don’t forget to participate in the Stittsville Zoom presentation on March 1 at 7:00 pm with Nick Stowe who will share his knowledge and tips for living with coyotes. Join the presentation followed by a Q&A session for residents:

School zone safety reminder

Last week I met up with crossing guard Verna Mitura, and Shari Black, CEO of the Ottawa Safety Council.  We met on Hartsmere Drive in front of Westwind Public School and had a good chat about school zone safety. I also had the chance to observe pedestrians and drivers during the morning drop-off period. (There was one cyclist too!)

(Councillor Gower met with crossing guard Verna Mitura and Shari Black the CEO of the Ottawa Safety Council in front of Westwind Public School to discuss school zone safety. Photo: provided)

I’d like to ask all residents to take greater care when you’re driving in school zones. Slow down, pay attention to your surroundings, and follow the directions of the crossing guards. Be courteous to neighbours on the street and follow the parking rules in place. Please don’t block driveways, and park only in permitted zones. Even better, park a few blocks away from the school and walk the final distance. It’s great exercise and it will help reduce the number of vehicles near our schools.

For more tips and info about road safety, visit

March Break has been rescheduled to April – The City’s recreation team has moved their popular in-person camps to April and added virtual activities that you can do from home. Check out the April Break Camps eGuides at and get ready to register on Thursday, March 4 at 9 pm.
Residential Vacant Unit Tax – The City is looking for feedback from residents as it considers a residential Vacant Unit Tax, which would help the City fund more affordable housing. Go to to fill out the brief survey – it is quick and easy. The deadline is Wednesday, March 31.

COVID-19 vaccine updates

Ottawa Public Health has launched an updated COVID-19 vaccine page that includes info on the COVID-19 vaccines, answers to your FAQs and information on vaccine distribution in Ottawa. The page will be updated regularly as the vaccine distribution continues. 

To date, more than 49,000 doses of vaccines have been administered in Ottawa.  Ottawa completed the first dose offers of COVID-19 vaccines to eligible residents at all 82 retirement homes last week.

Once the vaccine supply allows, community clinics will open for other residents born in or before 1941 and residents who are receiving chronic home care services. This is expected to take place later in March.

Visit the City’s COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution page for more information and check out our FAQs page for answers to questions frequently asked by residents.

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


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