UNWELCOME: Graffiti to be removed from Stittsville Main Street wall

Welcome to Stittsville. Photo by Joe Newton.

ABOVE: Welcome to Stittsville, early 2015. Photo by Joe Newton.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: We’ve been wondering for a while if that “Welcome To Stittsville” graffiti on Stittsville Main Street was intentional or an act of vandalism. While it’s a nice message, the artistic execution leaves a lot to be desired. Devyn Barrie made some calls and came up with an answer.)

One local business tormented for years by graffiti is hoping for a permanent solution as it prepares to once again cover up an unwanted message on its property.

A concrete retaining wall beside the Harris law office has bore the greeting “Welcome to Stittsville” for at least a year now, but that’s not going to last forever.

Aubrey Harris tells StittsvilleCentral.ca the wall has been a graffiti magnet for around five years, usually with a more obscene message. Every year, she paints over it.

“I feel like I’m just giving them a new canvas,” said Harris.

The business of running a law office has prevented her from painting over the current message for some time, although she hopes to do it soon.

Welcome to Stittsville, late March 2016
Welcome to Stittsville, late March 2016

Graffiti isn’t the only annoyance for Harris – in the past the office lawn has been a popular gathering place, often leaving her to clean up beer bottles and cigarette butts left behind. She said that problem has been mostly stopped with the installation of a security camera, which she hopes will stop the graffiti as well. “I’m going to have to do something about it,” said Harris, “…maybe [put up] a sign that says there’s a camera here.”

In the meantime, Harris will get out the paint and cover up the graffiti once again.

(Devyn Barrie is a student at Sacred Heart High School and runs 960 News, a Stittsville blog and podcast.)


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7 thoughts on “UNWELCOME: Graffiti to be removed from Stittsville Main Street wall”

  1. The only thing that will prevent more graffiti is to have someone paint an actual mural on the wall. It would be a win-win; no more graffiti and the streetscape would be enhanced by new artwork. Personally I find “welcome to stittsville” a lot better than most of the graffiti out there, and the artistic style isn’t that bad really.

  2. OH, I love that sign! I think it says exactly what Stittsville is and has always been, a very welcoming place. What is wrong with the graphics? It looks like it was painted from the heart. Please take a poll of residents before you cover it.

  3. Thanks Stephane and Joan for your comments. Others have suggested that high school students could paint a new mural, perhaps even keeping the “Welcome to Stittsville” message.

  4. The ‘so-called’ graffiti has been on that wall for quite some time now and is far more ‘welcoming’ than some I have seen around Stittsville. Perhaps some of the very talented, artistic students from the Stittsville Alternative School (practically across the street) could do something tasteful to jazz up the wall, but leaving the ‘Welcome’ message in place as it gives character to the wall. It would be worth contacting the school to see if they could do this.

  5. I like the “Welcome to Stittsville” sign and I have never considered it graffiti. I always thought the owners did it. I would rather this than a mural, unless of course the mural is of what the building used to look like. When I was 10 or 12 the building was vacant and we used to sit on the grassy hill and eat our candy that we bought at the “Children’s Shoppe” next door; just like kids did from 100 years ago when the candy was purchased at the nearby general store. I peered into the building and it looked like it was once an electronics shop. It might have had radios or TV’s in there, can’t remember for sure.

    1. You’re correct about it being an electronics store. It was MacDougall’s Sales & Service and Mrs. MacDougall (Marg) was the local piano teacher. Doug Rathwell was a long-time employee making deliveries and repairs. Everyone from Stittsville and area went there to purchase their TVs, stereos (hi-fis), radios, etc. and for all repairs. They even made house calls for repairs. They had the first colour TVs in the ’60s – how exciting that was! I still have my parents Hi-Fi that was purchased there in the ’50s and it still works! Prior to that it was the Methodist Church and was used by the Methodist Camp when it was here. Hope this helps with some background on the building. You do bring back some fond memories of Mrs. McEvoy and her ‘candy’ palace the Children’s Shoppe.

      1. Karen – it’s always great to read your rich memories and recollections of what Stittsville was like when you were growing up.
        Lesley – any chance you have any photos of MacDougall’s or the Methodist Church that were there previously?

        I’ve also always wondered about the hill that the building sits on. Was it created artificially for the church or is it a natural part of the landscape?

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