COMMUNITY NOTES: from the desk of Councillor Gower

This week Councillor Gower thanks the people of Stittsville for the donations provided to the Ukraine effort and St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. He also shares a note that Reverend Doug Kendall shared with him. Stittsville’s kindness stands out again.

The Councillor shares information on his Volunteer Connect list; the establishment of a Diversity Committee for Stittsville; COVID updates; coyotes in our community; news on developments and upcoming construction; tree removal at Westwind Public School; and, an art exhibit at the Stittsville Library.

(Just some of the donations received by St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Stittsville to support the people of Ukraine.)

Donations for Ukraine
Last week, Rev. Doug Kendall from St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church on Stittsville Main Street contacted me to share that the church was establishing a drop-off location for Stittsville residents to leave donations for relief efforts in Ukraine. After a very busy day on Saturday, Doug sent me this follow-up note:

“There has been a wonderful and overwhelming response to the Ukraine Relief Appeal. I have been keeping in touch with the Canadian Ukrainian Congress and they say they are overwhelmed with donations for Ukraine right now as well. They are stopping the receiving of physical donations until Wednesday in order to get caught up. We are going to hold off on new donations until we hear more from them about what they specifically need. We will sort through our donations at the church and get the medical and shelter related donations to them as soon as possible for shipping on Monday.”

Thank you to Stittsville residents for supporting these collection efforts, and thank you to everyone at St. Andrew’s who had a hand in organizing this. For more information about how you can help and what donations are required, please visit https://standrews-stittsville.ca/.

Stittsville Volunteer Connect
We want to make it even easier to for volunteers to connect with other residents and organizations in need. We’ve created a new email notification list for volunteer opportunities in our community. Please click here to subscribe. We’ll send out occasional alerts when there’s a need for volunteer assistance. Students and adults are welcome to sign up. We won’t share your email address or phone number without your permission, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Diversity committee
We’re establishing a committee of community members who represent Stittsville’s diversity. The goal is to have an ongoing discussion about community concerns, and improve services and support. On March 21, we’re hosting a first Zoom meeting for the group with the topic: “Supporting newcomers in our community”. If you’d like to participate and share your views, please email me at glen.gower@ottawa.ca.

Some notes from Dr. Vera Etches
After two years of living with COVID-19, many of us have various losses to grieve – the loss of loved ones, employment, social celebrations of important milestones, educational achievements. The losses are unique, and some have been harder hit than others. Recognizing this grief, I call on Ottawa residents to be compassionate and kind to one another as we make the transition to shifting public health measures, and we turn to recovering our well-being. 

Some of us may need additional supports at this time, including those impacted by the war in Ukraine and other conflicts and people recovering from traumatic experiences with the unlawful protests and trucks in their neighbourhoods. Ottawa Public Health will continue working with the community and with partners to address concerns raised by people most affected, while we share information and resources on how to address harms caused by crises and emergencies that affect people across the city.

Update on local COVID-19 situation
The COVID-19 measures that Ottawa Public Health monitors have been showing a steady decline since early January; however, we are seeing that decline begin to level off. As we navigate the changes in provincial guidance, a shift to individual risk assessment and risk mitigation is key. This means – especially if you or someone you live with is at risk for severe COVID-19 illness if infected – that you can still decrease the chances of infection by being vaccinated with a booster dose, wearing a mask in indoor spaces, practicing physical distancing and being careful about your number of close contacts, and time in crowds and in closed spaces. Please visit the Ottawa Public Health COVID-19 vaccination dashboard for more information about vaccinations in Ottawa.

Lifting of provincial measures, proof of vaccination
Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is no longer required for all settings, though businesses and other settings may choose to continue to require proof of vaccination.  

Getting a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine provides the best protection against hospitalization and death. At this stage in the pandemic, two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine does not provide sufficient protection and we strongly recommend booster doses for everyone eligible. 

Ottawa Public Health will continue to closely monitor key indicators, such as how our hospitals are managing severe COVID-19 illness and new variants, and we will continue working with community partners to support people at higher risk of serious COVID-19 illness.

Coyotes in our community
Coyotes become more visible in the late winter and early spring because of the lack of vegetation cover and because their mating period peaks around this time of year.  The Stittsville area, and in particular the Poole Creek corridor, provides very good coyote habitat.  Coyotes are always among us and will almost always seek to avoid human contact. Check out this video and tips about coyotes in our community…

Shea Village Development application heads to Planning Committee
The City of Ottawa Planning Committee will consider a Zoning By-Law amendment at the addresses of 5957 and 5969 Fernbank Road during their meeting on Thursday, March 10. The amendment would allow the development of the Shea Village subdivision, between CARDELREC and Fernbank. More info…

Beechfern/Poole Creek pedestrian bridge replacement – tree removal notice
The City will remove 24 trees in the forest between Holy Spirit Elementary School and Beechfern Drive starting this month. The cutting is happening in advance of the Beechfern/Poole Creek pedestrian bridge replacement project planned for this summer. The replacement of the bridge over Poole Creek and planting new trees and shrubs will take place from July to August 2022. More info…

UPDATE: 360 Bobolink Ridge development proposal
Last fall, the City received a site plan control application from Broadstreet Properties to construct four six-storey apartment buildings and a two-storey commercial building at 360 Bobolink Ridge, in a project called “Blackstone Village”. In February, City staff completed their initial review of the proposal, and public feedback received so far. Read more…

620 Bobolink: Traffic and pedestrian safety analysis
In 2021, we hosted an information meeting to discuss Richcraft’s development proposal for 620 Bobolink Ridge. Richcraft has requested wants to build a planned-unit development (PUD) of seven four-storey stacked townhomes with 12 units each (84 total new homes). One of the issues that came up in the public information meeting was traffic and pedestrian safety. Richcraft has now provided a more detail traffic analysis at my request. Read more…

Committee approves tax on vacant residences
Last week, the City’s Finance and Economic Development Committee approved a residential vacant unit tax to be charged on non-principal residences left vacant for more that 184 days in a year. The tax is meant to encourage them to occupy, sell or rent their properties to help increase housing supply in Ottawa. The tax would be added to the final property tax bill each year, and net revenues from the tax would fund affordable housing. It is anticipated to generate about $6.6 million per year. Read more…

Westwind Public School tree removal
I am disappointed to hear that the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board will be removing some of the trees at the rear of Westwind Public School. I know that their intent is to create more open play space for students, but it is extremely unfortunate that trees will be lost. I have asked the school board to identify other areas on the Westwind school property where new trees can be planted to compensate for the loss of tree canopy. Read more…

(Perpetua Quigley)

Art exhibit at the Stittsville library
Check out the collection of 11 watercolour sketches, haiku, photostories and colouring pages on exhibit at the Ottawa Public Library on Stittsville Main from March 1 – 31, 2022. The exhibit will feature  Homesteads, History, Haiku by Perpetua Quigley. Motivated by an appreciation of landmarks and historical homesteads in Stittsville and Kanata, her objective is to use watercolour sketches to share their stories. The works were originally published on StittsvilleCentral.ca last year.

Get in touch!
My team and I are working every day to answer your questions and connect residents with the resources they need. If we can help in any way, please email me at glen.gower@ottawa.ca or leave a voicemail at 613-580-2476. You can alsomessage us on WhatsApp at 613-277-0193 – Councillor Glen Gower.


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