NOTEBOOK: Ecole Paul-Desmarais opens next week, new Gaia Java owners, more

Bievenue a Paul_Desmarais

ECOLE PAUL-DESMARAIS OPENS MONDAY: It’s been a busy week of preparation at Stittsville’s new French Catholic high school. Students toured the school this week (photo above) to find their new lockers and get ready for the first full school day on Monday.  (The official opening will be on Thursday, February 4.)

One local mom, whose 12-year-old son had been attending Pierre-Savarda Catholic school in Barrhaven for the first half of the school year, described his reaction when he visited the new school this week: “He came home so excited. Three gyms, giant atrium with the cafeteria inside and a yard that is ‘insane’,” she said.

This year “Ecole Paul-D” will welcome students in Grades 7, 8, and 9, and then over the next three years they’ll add a grade each year until they’ve done a full transition to a Grade 7-12 school.

We’d love to hear from any students or parents attending the new school. Let us know how you’re feeling at

The beat goes on at Gaia JavaNEW OWNERS AT GAIA JAVA: Dan Godkin and Bernie McNaught will be taking over Gaia Java on February 1 from owners (and founders) Paul Melsness and Paul Jay. We’re hoping to have a profile of the new cafe owners soon.


MARK SAUNDERS HEADS ON B.C. BARN TOUR: Saunders Farm owner Mark Saunders is en route to British Columbia next week to Vancouver, Abbottsford and the Fraser Valley on a farm tour.  He says he goes to about five conferences each year to visit farmers and rural communities, and estimates he’s visited thousands of barns, farms and heritage buildings across North America and the United Kingdom.  This week City Council approved a plan to move the Bradley-Craig barn on Hazeldean Road to Saunders Farm within the next two years.


Flewellyn-Jones House, February 2015.
Flewellyn-Jones House, February 2015.

FLEWELLYN-JONES HOUSE: Planning Committee voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve heritage designation for the old stone house at Fernbank and Shea.  It goes to City Council on February 10 for final approval.


Boyd House, Fall 2013
Boyd House, Fall 2013.

BOYD HOUSE: On Wednesday, Council unanimously approved heritage designation for the 19th century Boyd House at 173 Huntmar Drive. They also approved a zoning by-law amendment to permit “a mixed-use development with residential and commercial uses”.


WHAT’S NEXT FOR CANADIAN TIRE CENTRE? We might be getting ahead of ourselves here, but with hockey arenas included in both of the Lebreton Flats redevelopment proposals, it looks more and more likely that the Sens will be moving out of Stittsville within a decade.  So what’s next for the old “Palladium”?  The Senators are expected to announce redevelopment plans in the coming week.  I’m hoping it’s a) not a casino and b) more imaginative than a Walmart.


2 thoughts on “NOTEBOOK: Ecole Paul-Desmarais opens next week, new Gaia Java owners, more”

    1. I agree. The OCSB seems unreasonably reluctant to put a high school in Stittsville. Of course, in general, I’d rather see one board service all categories of schools including English, French, Catholic and others, all going to school together.

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