COMMUNITY NOTES: from the desk of Councillor Gower

A number of items of interest for Stittsville residents are in this week’s update from Councillor Gower. This past week Councillor Gower had a call with Dr. Vera Etches in which she shared some advice for the community; the Councillor shares the letters that Dr. Etches sent Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and to local school boards; vaccine updates; items of interest for the community from basketball nets to blasting; transit changes; and local development items.

Back to basics

Last week I had a video call with Dr. Vera Etches. In addition to her updates at City Council and the Ottawa Board of Health, she also meets regularly one-on-one with Councillors to hear about community concerns and answer our questions.

(Dr. Vera Etches, Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ottawa.)

She asked me to remind residents about the simple things that we can all be doing to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community.  They’re the same simple things that have been fundamental since the pandemic started a year ago: Wash your hands, wear a mask, isolate when sick, and stay two metres apart from others. Stick with people from your own household.

The places COVID spreads the most continue to be private gatherings such as parties, barbecues and after-work get-togethers and team sports, even outdoors, where public health measures like physical distancing and mask wearing are not followed.

This is simple advice that I’m asking all Stittsville residents to remember and follow over the coming weeks.


Please continue to check and watch your inbox for updates about vaccine availability. I’ll share any information that I receive as quickly as possible with the community.  To date, more than 140,000 people in Ottawa have received their first vaccine dose, representing more than 15% of the adult population.

Dr. Etches wrote a letter to the Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario, Dr. David Williams, requesting strengthened public health measures to turn the COVID-19 curve. You can read the letter here…

Key points from the letter:

  • A request for the province to issue a province-wide stay-at-home order.
  • Review all businesses and services presently defined as essential.
  • Legislate the emergency provision of paid sick days to supplement the existing Federal income supports.
  • Move schools to online or hybrid learning where local jurisdictions’ school outbreaks are significant and capacity to manage is stretched.
  • Every possible effort be made to rapidly secure more vaccine for Ontario and supports be put in place to ensure administration in the areas of greatest need.

Dr. Etches also wrote a letter to local school board to provide more information about school safety and COVID-19.  You can read the letter here…

In short, she is not recommending that Ottawa schools close now, because the situation with COVID-19 and schools in Ottawa is currently manageable.  As of Tuesday, 98% of schools are free of an outbreak, and most school outbreaks have been limited to only 2 or 3 people.  “Keeping schools open remains a priority for the health of the population, as we know children and families rely on the supports provided by schools to ensure they can work and their basic needs are met,” she wrote.

Other Updates, Beyond COVID-19:

  • Basketball nets, tennis nets, and overall park maintenance and clean-up starts in the next week or so. The same City crews that are part of snow clearing and potholes are now shifting to their spring/summer roles in the parks department. This can’t come soon enough with the warmer weather!
  • Traffic calming (flex stakes, signage, etc.) will be installed in the coming weeks. In the meantime, please take care on City streets and obey all speed limits and signage. Please report unsafe driving behaviour to Ottawa Police via Police use this information to focus extra enforcement, and the data is helpful to me to continue to advocate for increased enforcement and safety measures in Stittsville.
  • Blasting operations are complete at Hazeldean Crossings (Hazeldean & Victor).  The Victor Street road closure has been extended to April 14. More info here…
  • Later this month, the City is beginning maintenance work on the Carp River bridge on Hazeldean Road, just west of Terry Fox.  There will be lane closures and I’ll be sharing additional information in next week’s newsletter.

Our local businesses need your support more than ever.  If you can, order take-out from one of our Stittsville restaurants this weekend, or order from a local shop instead of a big box store.

Last week at Transit Commission were reviewed service adjustments due to changing ridership patterns during the pandemic.  For Stittsville, this will mean reduction of 200-series peak hour routes to 30 minute intervals. It will also mean a significant increase to service on Route 62:

  • Extending service from Terry Fox to Stittsville on most runs
  • New later weekday evening service
  • New Saturday and Sunday service

The result: better bus service for commercial and industrial areas along Iber Road and Hazeldean Road – one of my priorities for transit service in Stittsville. Read more…

Local Development / Projets d’aménagement dans le quartier

Here’s a list of recent development applications and upcoming information meetings for Stittsville. You can find information about development application in Stittsville at

21 Huntmar (NEW): The City has received a Site Plan Control application for 21 Huntmar Drive, across from the Food Basics, for two six-storey, u-shaped apartment buildings with 344 apartments. If approved there would be new traffic lights installed as part of the development at the Food Basics entrance, plus a new sidewalk built along the entire west wide of Huntmar Drive. We’ll be holding an info meeting later this spring.

5725 Fernbank: The City held a Public Meeting last night for this plan of subdivision. Thank you to residents who took the time to attend and ask questions. You can watch the video here….

1837 Maple Grove: The City has received a subdivision and zoning by-law amendment application from Mattamy Homes for 90 townhomes (28 three-storey townhomes and 62 three-storey, back-to-back townhomes). We’re holding an info meeting on April 27.

6111 Hazeldean Road: We’re hosting an information session about this application on Thursday, April 15 at 7:00pm via Zoom for this Site Plan Control application.  The City has received an application to construct four commercial buildings (a Halo car wash, a Mr. Lube, a drive-through Starbucks and a commercial/retail building).

Keep in touch with Councillor Gower by following him on Twitter, Facebook or visit his website. You can also send comments, questions or concerns in an email to or give his office a call at 613-580-2476.


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