Kitchissippi Times April 2020

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City Councillor conseiller municipal

2020 • HOM 9 • April

Caring during COVID-19

Jeff Leiper


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April 2020




HELLO, SPRING A Canada goose takes a leisurely stroll in Remic Rapids on March 15. PHOTO BY MAUREEN MCEWAN.

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KITCHISSIPPI TIMES 250 City Centre Ave., Suite 500 Ottawa ON K1R 6K7 Kitchissippi, meaning “the Grand River,” is the former Algonquin name for the Ottawa River. The name now identifies the urban community to the

Kitchissippi kindness in a time of need

west of downtown Ottawa. EDITOR Maureen McEwan


April 2020 • 2





his was an unexpected first month on the job. When I started on March 2nd, there wasn’t a great toilet paper shortage, “social distancing” wasn’t in our vocabularies, baby boomers and millennials weren’t debating about the War Measures Act, and we weren’t following Dr. Teresa Tam’s every move on Twitter. In a matter of weeks, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our day-to-day lives significantly. As I write this, many of us are working on surviving week three or four of isolation. This is a complex and uncertain time. With the virus spreading in Canada, citizens are concerned about their own health and the health of their loved ones. For vulnerable populations — medically, financially, socially or otherwise — COVID-19 may be particularly frightening. The Canadian economy is facing unprecedented challenges and all levels of government are working overtime to manage the crisis. Anxiety about the future, and now fatigue from that anxiety, can be consuming. As someone who spends their day plugged into pandemic news, let me offer three small pieces of advice (and try to follow them myself): Stay safe, stay informed and stay positive. First, and foremost, stay safe and stay healthy. The virus has spread to all Canadian provinces and territories except Nunavut and it is vital that we flatten the curve. To help fight COVID-19, stay home as much as possible. Practice physical distancing — try to maintain at least two metres away from others. It is important to stay informed on COVID-19 as the situation develops in Canada. For up-to-date news, check reliable sources like your local or regional health

authority, the Public Health Agency of Canada and the World Health Organization. Ottawa Public Health (OPH) has been working hard to provide information to city residents. If you are looking for local information on the virus, visit their website and social media channels. Dr. Vera Etches, the Medical Officer of Health for OPH, is another source I cannot recommend highly enough right now. If you are looking for the latest political news, tune into the prime minister’s daily COVID-19 briefing. Trudeau usually speaks at 11:15 a.m. and provides Canadians with updates on the virus and measures to fight it. Premiers and municipal and communitylevel leaders have been giving press conferences regularly as well. Finally, remember to stay positive. The news is grave right now but Canada will come through the pandemic. When you can, take breaks in your day and do something restorative. Practice good self-care in selfisolation. Go for a long walk, do a difficult puzzle, read a great book or reconnect with an old friend. In this month’s paper, our stories largely cover how Kitchissippi was impacted by the pandemic and how the community is responding. The community news section covered a lot of local business updates this month. You’ll find two stories on how the non-profit community is managing the COVID-19 demands and how the business community has been impacted by mandated closures and operating restrictions. We also said goodbye to Mrs. Tiggy Winkle’s in the last weeks. The beloved toy store has decided to close after 43 years of business in Ottawa and KT checked in with the Anisman family. We heard about virtual karaoke and the Third’s efforts to engage customers despite the social distance. And we celebrated the one-year anniversary of The

Yard, Ottawa’s only indoor skatepark. In Early Days, we apply a historic lens to the COVID-19 crisis and review how Ottawa fought the Spanish flu pandemic in 1918. For Humans of Kitchissippi, we caught up with local resident, and business owner, Summer Baird and what’s happening at Hintonburg Public House. Our columnists all addressed the pandemic — how the different levels of government and local institutions are adapting and discussed new measures and important upcoming events. We had a long-time Westboro resident submit a letter to the editor on curing the COVID-19 blues. The simple answer? Embrace the wonder of spring. We’re still running our Biz Roundup and Community Calendar, but they’ve both been adjusted to reflect the current circumstances. And we’ve got our special Homes and Condos section with stories on building an indoor garden, advice for first-time buyers and basement renovation tips. Enjoy this month’s KT and thanks for reading. On a last note: For three years, I lived on Ward 15’s eastern border. At the time, there was no better place to go for a great cup of coffee and walk than the winding route of Wellington Street West through to Richmond Road. I think it’s easy to like this community when things are good but, I’ve got to tell you, it’s easy to love it when times are tough. In the last weeks, the kindness and generosity of Kitchissippi’s residents has been astounding. I’m honoured to take on the role of editor and to be a part of the KT team and community. There are big shoes to fill — I’ve taken this position over from former editors who cared deeply and maintained the paper’s role as a “knowledgeable neighbour.” I have said this before, but I view journalism fundamentally as a public service. We’ll work to be there for you, Kitchissippi. Take care, M. McEwan CONTRIBUTORS Dave Allston, Ellen Bond, Charlie Senack, Hollie Grace James and Ted Simpson. PROOFREADER Judith van Berkom ADVERTISING SALES Eric Dupuis 613-238-1818 x273 CREATIVE DIRECTOR Tanya Connolly-Holmes GRAPHIC DESIGNER Celine Paquette FINANCE Cheryl Schunk, 238-1818 ext. 250 All other enquiries 613-238-1818 Distribution A minimum of 15,000 copies are distributed from the Ottawa River to Carling Avenue between the O-Train tracks and Sherbourne Road. Most residents in this area will receive the Kitchissippi Times directly to their door. If you did not receive your copy, or would like additional copies, please contact us. Bulk copies are delivered to multi-unit dwellings and retail locations. Copies are available at Dovercourt Recreation Centre and Hintonburg Community Centre. The Kitchissippi Times is published by

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HUMANS OF KITCHISSIPPI Humans of Kitchissippi is a special street photography project designed to introduce readers to some of the people who live, work and play in Kitchissippi. Each instalment of HOK contains three elements: a photo, a name and a quote from the subject that reveals a little bit about who they are. Go to to view our ongoing collection of humans.

April 2020 • 4




Meet Summer Baird “I was born and grew up in Stratford, Ontario. I attended the Stratford Chef School and then moved to Vancouver Island where I worked as a chef. When I moved to Ottawa, I opened a casual fine dining restaurant with a business partner on Second Avenue in the Glebe called The Urban Pear. When I left that business, I opened a home daycare so I could stay home with my infant daughter until she went to school. In order to save the capital required to open another foodie venture, I bought, renovated and sold houses. Eventually, I moved to Hintonburg and began looking for a space to open a new business. I really missed the social interaction I found in running a restaurant and noticed there were a lot of fine dining restaurants and taverns, but not many restaurants in between. I wanted to provide a place that people could come to a couple of times a week, without breaking the bank, for quality food made from scratch. So I found a space and opened The Hintonburg Public House in 2011. I came from a small town, and I love how Hintonburg feels the same way. I can get everything I need in the area, and yet it has elements of a big city close by. I lived in a few different areas of Ottawa when I was flipping houses and I found this area the friendliest. People are neighbourly and go out of their way to help others, which I appreciate and love about our community. During this time of social distancing, my partner is busy redoing the floors at the restaurant. He is an artist and is putting some hidden treasures into the renovations. I am also catching up on things that I never have time to do and will be taking some time to refine our menus. Not having time to dine out, and with the extra time, I am falling in love with cooking again. When we do reopen, I highly recommend our pan fried halloumi cheese, fresh arugula and baby tomato salad with a roasted red pepper puree. It’s my favourite item on our current menu.” Collected by Ellen Bond


Building a healthy, active and engaged community through recreation


Fond farewell to beloved toy store BY HOLLIE GRACE JAMES

Please respect the direction of our public health officials.

We miss all of you


450 CHURCHILL AVE., N OTTAWA 613.627.2762

5 • April 2020



Should you wish to register for upcoming programs, including spring programs and summer camps and swim lessons, online registration is available.


For over 30 years, we’ve been a busy community hub. But for now, our centre is closed and quiet.





any community members are lamenting the loss of Mrs. Tiggy Winkle's, a beloved local toy store, that closed after 43 years in the capital. The Westboro location shut its doors at 315 Richmond Road on Feb. 29 followed quickly by the original location in the Glebe at 809 Bank Street on March 20. Owner Maida Anisman and her son Simon, who was heavily involved in the daily operations, cited the reason for closure as “changing economic times.” Maida, “a fun and quirky lady” according to Simon, opened Mrs. Tiggy Winkle's in 1977, selling antique toys. While the business expanded to multiple locations, the eclectic atmosphere continued to be reflected in the store’s offerings. With an anti-violence policy, toys remained traditional. Those interested in electronics — like Nintendo or computerdriven toys, like Tamagotchi — were hardpressed to find such things there. Simon reminisced about his mother's firm stance on how her business was run.

“She never sold Barbies. GI Joe never made it into the store. I grew up very much wanting to play with GI Joes but they weren’t available to me,” he said. The toy store was a core component of his upbringing. The Bank Street location opened the same year that 42-year-old Simon was born. “Our lives revolved around my mom working and making it work and everything that went along with being independent owners back in the day,” he explained about the unique upbringing of himself and his two siblings. But don’t think for a second that it was all work and no play. There were certainly perks, he said regarding his job as toy tester. “It could have been way worse,” he said. “Out of all the things she could have owned, I have no complaints.” Simon’s passion for the world of toys continued into his adult years. He spearheaded Tiggy’s sister company Lost Marbles, a toy store geared towards “the big kid.” The standalone location opened in Westboro almost twenty years ago and the Anismans went on to add a Tiggy’s next door a few years later. Although larger competitors aren’t necessarily to blame, he admits that they just couldn’t compete with online retailers, who sell the very same products for a fraction of the price. Simon credited the community as the reason that the business successfully ran for as long as it did. “The problem is that it’s a little bit here, and a little bit there and a lot to online,” he said. “It was expected, but I feel like it happened quicker than anyone imagined. That doesn’t surprise me though, when Amazon is building warehouses like they built here.” The future remains uncertain for Simon, and it’s been a difficult time for the Anismans, but he still sees the brighter side. “I look at it more as 43 years that my mom was in business. It’s such an achievement for her. It was such a great run, most businesses don't get half that time,” he said. 613.798.8950

A sign at Happy Goat Coffee on Laurel Street welcomes customers with new COVID-19 updates.

2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

What you need to know to help you and your family stay healthy. • Only visit an assessment centre if you have been referred by a health care professional.

COVID-19: Local businesses navigate new waters

• Avoid non-essential travel. • Monitor for symptoms after travel. • Avoid large gatherings. • Be prepared, but avoid panic stocking. • Caring for those who are ill? Take precautions.

April 2020 • 6


A cashier stands behind a plastic guard at Metro on Wellington West to stay safe at work T:4.75" while helping customers. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE WELLINGTON WEST BIA.

• Clean high-touch surfaces regularly. • Order your prescription medication. • Practice cough and sneeze etiquette in transit.

If you have symptoms, take the self-assessment at Or call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 (TTY: 1-866-797-0007) or your public health unit.

Paid for by the Government of Ontario



he Ontario government's order to close all non-essential businesses in the wake of COVID-19 has hit some in the Kitchissippi community hard as they find new ways to bring in revenue. The March 23 announcement meant businesses had to close within 36 hours — a move to keep people indoors and practicing physical distancing. Restaurants had to close their dining rooms but could continue with delivery, drive through and walk-in services. Other places like hairdressers, pet grooming salons and many family-run community businesses were forced to close their doors all together. T:5.143"





Even before the government implemented the safety restrictions, the Westboro Village BIA was looking at ways community businesses could continue to bring in revenue while keeping their employees on the payroll. “Our number one focus is revenue generation for our members,” said Westboro Village BIA Executive Director Michelle Groulx. “A far second, at the same time, is to alleviate the expenses they are paying right now despite the fact they can’t make any money.” "As a BIA, we are trying to encourage all of our businesses who aren't currently online to do so," she added. “That will give them the ability to be able to sell gift cards online and to also support businesses who

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”As a BIA, we are trying to encourage all of our businesses who aren’t currently online to do so.”

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donation was made early and was bumped up a little, Gareth said. Down the road at Petit Bill's Bistro, located at 1293 Wellington Street West, owner Randy Fitzpatrick decided to close altogether on March 15, predicting the province would soon mandate the decision. Randy made a point of having his staff self-isolate for 14 days, and re-opened for delivery-only on April 1. “I think because we all self-isolated for two weeks before reopening for takeout should make everybody feel that much more positive about the product we are selling and the process we are taking,” he said. The restaurant will be open for takeout from Tuesday to Saturday for the next few weeks as they settle into this new normal. Randy said takeout usually accounts for less than 25 per cent of their business, but hopes the public will listen to the BIA’s call to support local. Randy was forced to lay off his team of roughly 20 staff when they closed for two weeks, but some will now be hired back to help with take out services. “If it is not going to bring in enough revenue to cover out costs then it is not worth doing it,” he said. “But we are trying to cover our costs, at the same time as paying at least a couple of our staff.” The closure of non-essential businesses will last at least 14 days which means they won’t re-open until April 7 at the earliest. But as the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 escalates in the province, the premier said he’s already willing to extend if needed. The City of Ottawa has rolled out the first phase of its new buy local campaign which aims to help businesses during this challenging time. For more information, visit

have modified the work that they are doing.” One of the businesses that has increased its online presence is Maker House, located at 987 Wellington Street West. The shop is known for its active role in the community, donating two per cent of all sales to a community non-profit every three months through their Craft Change initiative. Owner Gareth Davies said they used to receive one to two online orders a day, but now they’re receiving roughly 10 since they were forced to close their doors. "We are really lucky to have a really good website we have invested in over the years, and we are now trying to transform the in-store experience online," he said. Gareth decided to close up shop on March 16 after a busy weekend. He felt people weren’t listening to the warnings from Ottawa Public Health to stay home and didn’t want to contribute to the problem. Three part-time staff members had to be temporarily laid off, but will be immediately hired back on once this crisis is over. Including himself, Gareth said four full-time staff were able to stay on to fill any online orders. “I don't see this shutdown lasting longer than the amount of time we are able to retain our full time staff,” he said. “We have a wood welder building furniture— working in self isolation in his woodshop — and then we have two managers in the store working safely and distant from one another filling online orders.” From January to March, Maker House decided to donate their Craft Change program earnings to Highjink, a social enterprise which helps people in the community through unconditional giving. As a result of COVID-19, the

COMMUNITY NEWS Looking back on year one with The Yard BY TED SIMPSON

April 2020 • 8

Adam Dion defies gravity on his scooter.

Anthony Bereznai is the owner, operator and mastermind behind The Yard.

Other skaters watch as Isaiah Lang rules the half-pipe.

Oliver Bereznai does BMX tricks on the ramps. actually makes for a very interesting track, with an almost infinite number of lines you can take, especially the more creative you get.”

The services offered at The Yard are designed to cater to people of all ages and all skill levels, riding on whatever set of wheels makes you happy. “Our core group is probably between the ages of eight and 16, that’s about 50 per cent of our customers, and then the other half is very broad. We have people in their 60s coming in to






oing out to play in The Yard takes on a whole new meaning thanks to this unique local business. The Yard is Ottawa’s only indoor skate and bike park and you’ll find it in a funky old warehouse building just across the way from the City Centre complex. The business celebrated its one-year anniversary in February. The park is the brainchild of former engineer and current business consultant, Anthony Bereznai, whose love for mountain biking led him to seek out a space to practice his hobby all year round. While he did find the venue he was looking for, that business soon went under and left him with a new challenge. “There was an indoor bike park open that I really liked. When they eventually closed down, I did try to come in and keep it open, but things just didn’t work out,” said Anthony. Not one to be easily defeated, Anthony set out to build his own park from scratch, and not just a new bike park, but a space for everyone, from skaters to scooters and anyone else who wants to come out and have a good time. The first step was a Kickstarter campaign to pre-sell passes and gauge interest in the idea. The response was overwhelmingly positive, raising over $100,000 in just six weeks. To make the park a reality, Anthony worked with a 3D artist to previsualize all the elements he wanted for his ideal park. With the combination of Anthony’s engineering background and design technology, they were able to customize The Yard to fit into any space they were able to secure. “Once we got this location, it was a bit smaller than what we were hoping for, so we had to work on shoehorning in all the elements that we wanted to have,” said Anthony. “What we ended up with

skateboard for the first time, or parents coming in with their three-year-olds and pushing them around on bikes,” Anthony said. “We’re very open and welcoming to everyone. We’re not just a skateboard park, or a bike park, we have roller skaters and roller derby folks coming out, we try very hard not to exclude anyone.” For more information, visit


Supplement to the Kitchissippi Times • Spring 2020







DÉCOR @Kitchissippi

Indoor gardens Basement renos First-time buyers

Studio, 1 and 2 bedroom apartments


9 • April 2020 • HOMES & CONDOS



Best tips for:



Photo courtesy of News Canada.

(NC) Water damage is a real concern for Canadian homeowners at this time of year. Get ahead of the risk by taking the following steps to prevent flooding in your home this spring. Inspect your roof. Once your roof is clear of snow, make sure you inspect it for any loose or missing shingles. If you’re not comfortable on a ladder, use binoculars to check from ground level. If you do spot damage, call your roofing company to replace shingles as soon as possible to avoid leaks. Allow for drainage. Proper drainage is essential in order to redirect water from your home. Make sure your eavestroughs are clear of debris and downspouts are pointed away

from your home. Also, ensure storm drains surrounding your property are unblocked. Even though you may not be responsible for cleaning them, you will be responsible for any water

damage they could cause to your home. Make sure you have a firm foundation. A firm foundation is the key to success in any situation,

including water damage prevention. Make sure you check your foundation for any cracks or holes that could allow water to seep into your basement. Contact a building foundation expert for any major concerns. Smooth out sloping lawns. A sloping lawn can result in an unwanted outdoor and indoor pool. Check to make sure there are no depressions causing water to pool near the foundation. Use compacted soil to level it out. When it comes to any major issues, work with a landscaping company to install a better drainage system. Check your insurance. Finally, make sure your insurance policy has protection against water damage. Ensuring your policy has the right kind of coverage against water issues in your area will help if the above measures fail. Connect with a broker at PC insurance to make sure your policy measures up.

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HOMES & CONDOS • April 2020 • 10




April showers may bring water damage

Photo courtesy of News Canada.

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11 • April 2020 • HOMES & CONDOS

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When it comes to completing tasks that require more technical knowledge, advanced skills or proper equipment, consider hiring a professional. Here are a couple of examples: • Inspecting and cleaning for mould – Examine the basement, attic and crawl spaces for leaks or moisture. If there are musty smells and odours, this is often an indicator that there is a hidden moisture problem that will need to be addressed immediately. • Roof inspection – Ensure the roof is inspected by a professional to determine whether roof shingles, flashing and chimney caps have made it through the winter in good condition and are properly sealed.




Use this checklist to get a head-start on your home maintenance tasks yourself: • Gutter and downspouts – Clear eavestroughs of debris and extend downspouts so that water is directed away from your home. Water that flows around the foundation could find its way into the basement. • Sealing around windows and doors – Fix caulking if it is cracked or separated. • AC and Furnace – Clean or replace your furnace filter, check air ducts, and remove covers and vacuum dust from vents. • Heat Recovery Ventilator – Check and clean the heat recovery ventilator or HRV (found next to your furnace); wash or replace the filter as necessary. • Humidity levels – Clean your humidifier and check for condensation and proper humidity levels inside your home.

• Driveways and walkways – Inspect for any signs of frost damage that may have been hidden under snow.




(NC) If you’re the owner of a newly built home, you’ll want to ensure that your home stays strong, safe and well-kept – especially after the impact of winter snow, ice and wind. But before you dive into your maintenance duties, understand which tasks you can do yourself versus when you’ll need to hire a professional.


Spring home maintenance tips: when not to DIY


Photos courtesy of the Ottawa Real Estate Board.

KitchissippiTimes kitchissippitimes @Kitchissippi

HOMES & CONDOS • April 2020 • 12

FIRST-TIME HOME BUYERS: Who they are, where they’re looking and what they need to know By Maureen McEwan Typically, spring is prime house hunting season in Ottawa — as the weather warms up, so does the local market. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted that timeline for buyers, sellers and real estate professionals alike. The Canadian economy is shifting daily, but when the pandemic subsides, the housing market will be there. So here is some advice for would-be buyers who are at home, contemplating their first big step. Where to start? When you begin the search for your new home, the process can be daunting. Buyers often sift through

listing after listing, day after day, before seeking any professional guidance. It is easy to get overwhelmed and lose sight of things, but what must be sorted first is the money, said Deborah Burgoyne, president of the Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB). Securing mortgage pre-approvals and overall financial health should be the top priority for serious prospective buyers. Deborah said the discussion with the bank about interest rates needs to be done with “eyes open.” “Don’t be naive — get as much information as possible,” she said. “You need to speak with a mortgage broker and get something in writing from them.” There’s also taxes, legal fees, inspection fees, moving and set up

costs to consider. If you are looking to buy a condominium, monthly fees and special assessments should be reviewed. But if you’ve got the budget, Deborah said buying is the prudent choice. “I think, if you want to get in, bite the bullet now when you can get in on a low-interest rate,” she said. “But also, our prices always increase.” “We’re [Ottawa] always a healthy incline. It’s been a little crazy, like I said, the last two or three years, but you need to get into it,” she added. “Unless you were to save more money for a down payment over time, but then the prices keep marching on.” Three years ago, Deborah remembers watching the spring

market heat up firsthand. She can be that specific because she was a home buyer in March 2017 — she experienced the demand on personal and professional fronts. “And lo and behold, here we are just over three years ago and it hasn’t stopped,” she said. The OREB reported an increase in sale prices across both residential and condominium properties in a recent press release (March 4). In February, the average sale price for a condominium-class property was $349,813 (an increase of 21.3 per cent from February 2019). The average sale price for a residential-class property was $563,694 (up 21.1 per cent from this time last year). For a Canadian city, Ottawa has strong appeal. It is more affordable

than other major centres and it serves as a steady employment hub. “The term I’ve heard in the last couple months is ‘employment migration,’ Deborah said. “We’re hiring in the government sector, high tech and [the] RCMP and military are always relocating to Ottawa.” “We’ve got an educated workforce, good employment and it’s a good place to raise a family,” she added. Beyond that, she said the city is relatively safe and there is a lot of green space surrounding the core.

Who is buying right now? Current buyers are often identified as Millennials and Generation Z kids. Deborah said many of them were living at home, or attending school, so they waited until they could afford the purchase in their late 20s and 30s. With older generations, downsizing is the name of the game. They are moving into luxury condos in the city and new rentals. Deborah said approximately half of senior buyers are going into rentals.

Editor’s Note: This interview was conducted in March ahead of some of the impacts of the pandemic and consequent political decisions. As noted, the economic climate is constantlyevolving with COVID-19. For up-to-date information on the industry and market, visit the Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB) at, the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) at or the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) at For first-time buyers, those associations have a myriad of resources available to the public.

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that were important to them,” she said. “It’s like peeling back an onion really, the relationship.” Finally, Deborah recommended that buyers consult with their family. “Listen to your parents! They’ve been on this planet for decades, hopefully they’ve owned a few homes, learned a few things,” she said, laughing. “And they are a great resource as well.”


What advice would you give to first time buyers? The first piece of advice Deborah offered was on appearances. The inside of a condo or house can be altered in many ways. Buyers should be focused on the space and community around it — noise,

neighbours, proximity to traffic, etc. “I remind people, when they are out there looking, to not get caught up in the shiny stuff.” “You’re living in this house or condo unit, on this street, in this community,” she added. “So think about what that’s going to look and feel like in three months, six months.” Her second piece of advice was on the future. “Don’t buy something too small that you can’t grow into,” Deborah said. It is important to have “elbow room” in case your situation changes, like if you have a partner or family down the road. She also advised that first-time buyers enlist help and have a team they trust — with a realtor, mortgage broker and/or other professionals. “There’s a lot of things to learn and if you’ve been at it a long time, you’re quicker to pick things up and articulate them for people and pull stuff out of your buyer too, right?” “You can remind them of the things

Where are first time buyers looking? While the suburbs will always be alluring, Deborah said that buyers are being drawn to areas closer to the city, like Westboro, Wellington Village, Hintonburg, Ottawa South and the Glebe. These areas are more expensive, with buyers having less square footage, but they appreciate the benefits of downtown life and different amenities like local shops and good schools.

“They like those areas,” Deborah said. “They like the walkability areas, even people starting to have families. They don’t seem to mind being in the busy hub.”

Building a better indoor garden: Tips and trends Spring is the time of renewal. But aside from “spring cleaning,” what can you do this season to spruce up your space? With many Canadians spending more time at home right now, indoor garden may get more attention. But why bother — what are the benefits of building your own green space? “Plants really do warm up a space esthetically. A space without plants kind of feels a bit cold,” said Elizabeth Young, owner of Westboro business Flowers Talk Tivoli. If you are looking to develop your home’s atmosphere, plants may be an easy choice. As an added benefit, they can clean the air in your space. Elizabeth explained that by naturally purifying the air, some varieties, like the sansevieria, are even known to help you sleep better at night.

Plant care 101 If you don’t have a green thumb — whether you are new to plant ownership or have a habit of neglecting them — Elizabeth said the best thing to do first is consult an expert. “Come in, talk about your space, where you want to put your plants,” she said. “We’re going to ask you about your light conditions — is it getting bright light, is it getting direct sunlight, if it’s not getting any natural sunlight at all — and just kind of your needs and guide you towards a plant that will thrive in your space.” The most important factors to consider for plant care are light, watering and general maintenance, she added. If you’ve got a busy schedule, or if you are away often, consider a lower maintenance plant for your home. If you spend more time in your abode, you

may be able to manage highermaintenance varieties. Humidity and temperature should be accounted for in your space. The two factors can be overlooked but they play an important role in plant health. If your home is much cooler at night, or if it is very drafty, Elizabeth said there are certain plants her team would not recommend. Avoiding common mistakes On longer-term maintenance, plants have to be repotted and fertilized as they grow. When you buy a plant, it may not need to be repotted immediately. At Flowers Talk Tivoli, Elizabeth said their plants usually don’t need repotting for the first year of purchase. When it is time to repot, look out for a common error. “The biggest key with repotting, is to make sure you don’t go up too

much in size because it actually causes stress to the plants,” Elizabeth said. “It will spend more time working on its roots than it will on its leaves and everything above the soil,” she added. Elizabeth said it was best to go with “two-inch increments” when repotting. As an example, if you are repotting an eight-inch plant, it should be repotted into a 10-inch pot. Elizabeth said it is common for owners to put it in a 12 or 14 inch container to save time down the road. As another suggestion, Elizabeth said owners should keep plants in a “pot within a pot” to avoid overwatering. Plants can be kept in a base pot — a plastic grower’s pot, a clay pot, or something with good drainage — and then placed within a decorative pot. To water, Elizabeth said to take the plant in its base pot

HOMES & CONDOS • April 2020 • 14




By Maureen McEwan

Sansevierias (left) and zz plants (centre, right) are popular picks right now. These plants are low maintenance and they can live in low light conditions. As a bonus, they will clean the air in your home. Photos courtesy of Elizabeth Young.

The most important factors to consider for plant care are light, watering and general maintenance

@Kitchissippi kitchissippitimes KitchissippiTimes

15 • April 2020 • HOMES & CONDOS

Picking plants: Trends and tips When selecting indoor plants, it is important to consider safety — Certain varieties may be more toxic for children and pets. For parents and pet-owners, here are a few houseplants to avoid: Azaleas, crotons, dieffenbachias, philodendrons, yuccas, aloe plants, jade plants and pothos plants. Some houseplants that are safe include Boston ferns, burro’s tail, fittonias, Christmas cacti, ponytail palms, phalaenopsis orchids, spider plants, prayer plants and polka dot plants. Any plant can be toxic in larger quantities, so Elizabeth advised that buyers consult with an expert if questions arise.

But what is popular in the plant world? A few years ago, succulents seemed to rule the indoor garden game. Different types of cacti and echeveria plants could be seen all over social media channels. Recently, Elizabeth said she’s seen other fan favourites emerge. “People are really liking the monsteras, monstera philodendron,” she said. “They are still really liking, for a large floor plant, the ficus lyrata. As far as low-maintenance, but still great for cleaning the air, the sansevierias are really big as well as the zz plants.” By far, sansevieria and zz plants are some of the easiest to take care of, Elizabeth added. If you work a lot and have a darker condo, those could be the plants for you. “They can go up to six-weeks without water, they are very, very drought tolerant, they can go from full bright light to very shady areas as well. And they can go indoors or outdoors for the summer. “They are very forgiving,” she added. Elizabeth has a favourite this spring but novice gardeners beware. “My favourite plant right now is the maiden-hair fern, which is stunning but very, very finicky. It’s like one of those exoctic beauties that you don’t want to look at the wrong way,” she said, laughing. “But it’s absolutely gorgeous.” Connect with Flowers Talk Tivoli to learn more about building an indoor garden. The local company has plant profiles and tips on its website as well as a team of plant pros.

to the sink or bathtub, give it a “really good soak” and then let it dry out completely. “Plants don’t like little top ups of water here and there. They like a really, really good drink and then let them dry out between watering.” For fertilizing, be aware of the “dormant” seasons. The best times for both fertilizing and repotting are the spring and summer. “They say it’s best to not fertilize between November and April,” Elizabeth said. “Usually, that’s when plants are dormant. So you don’t want to fertilize or repot between those times. We do have less light in our homes at that time, it’s also a lot drier, so the plants are already going through some stress.” Get to know your plant and its needs — don’t wait for signs of stress before repotting or fertilizing.

Photo courtesy of News Canada. KitchissippiTimes

Add Ventilation. Since there are few windows in a basement, homeowners cannot rely on natural air flow to help with ventilation and humidity control. There are a number of solutions for adding ventilation, including extending your existing HVAC system, installing exhaust fans or an air exchanger to push damp air out while circulating the air inside, and adding one or two dehumidifiers.


How to make your basement


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HOMES & CONDOS • April 2020 • 16


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While challenging times are upon us, this is a great opportunity to de-clutter and deep clean in preparation for bringing your home to market looking its best! A great way to keep busy while flattening the curve!

*Based on sales of semis or townhouses in the Glebe from the Ottawa Real Estate Board MLS sales data. Engel & Völkers Ottawa Central, Brokerage. Independently owned and operated.

Diane Allingham & Jennifer Stewart, Brokers, Engel & Völkers Ottawa Central MORE GREAT LISTINGS ONLINE: home 613.422.8688 •

(NC) Cold, dark and musty, the basement is often a place to store old knick-knacks, long-forgotten projects and holiday decorations. But, for homeowners looking to create additional living space and increase the value of their home, a basement renovation can accomplish both, while costing far less than building an addition. Control Moisture. Basements are known to be damp and humid. Flooding may be a problem if there are cracks in the foundation or the proper waterproofing hasn’t been done. Repairing cracks, keeping gutters clear and making sure that water is sloping away from the house will help solve minor flooding issues. To keep moisture at bay inside and reduce the chance of toxic mold growth, ensure that your basement has the correct insulation and water barrier products installed.

Plan plumbing. Traditionally, to install plumbing in the basement requires cutting through concrete, which is not only expensive, but also weakens the structural integrity of the slab and can cause stress cracks. It is wise to choose a system such as Saniflo above-floor plumbing that doesn’t require installers to cut through the concrete or dig down. Unlike a sewage ejector system that stores waste in a holding tank, the waste and greywater from a toilet, sink or shower connected to an above-floor “upflush” system is pumped up and away through small-diameter piping, rather than flowing down and out like conventional plumbing. This allows for the creation of a new bathroom, wet bar, kitchenette or laundry anywhere in your future basement living space, regardless of where the main drain stack or existing pipes are located. Improving Lighting. No one will want to spend time in your new basement if it’s as dark as a dungeon. The simplest solution for improving lighting is to choose track lighting or pot lights, which can be recessed by installing them between the joists in the ceiling. It’s best to avoid ceiling-mounted or hanging fixtures so you don’t bump your head or make the ceiling look lower.

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GIVING Caring during COVID: Organizations help community through pandemic






ith COVID-19 cases on the rise, local non-profit organizations are seeing an increase in calls for assistance. But with a state of emergency declared, and people asked to practice social distancing, the way they operate has also had to change. The Parkdale Food Centre, located at 30 Rosemount Ave, typically provides food to 100 families a week, bringing in more than $10,000 in groceries every seven days. As the pandemic continues, their demand has been on the rise, as many people were left without a paycheck as businesses shut down. “Lots of people are calling us who are not normally calling us,” said Parkdale Food Centre Executive Director Karen Secord. She added that the Centre decided to close their doors as a way of practicing social distancing which resulted in all of their walk-in programs being cancelled.

“We are no longer holding a drop-in space which is pretty much our model,” she said. “It’s really unfortunate though because people have really come to rely on us for their meals.” As a result, they were forced to move to a delivery model only, something they typically only do for the elderly or people with mobility issues or disabilities. They are now dropping off 10 days worth of food to their clients. They are also putting a box of frozen goods outside of their location for people to pick up if they are in need of a hot meal. “We want people to have less anxiety,” said Karen. “Normally, if you don’t have enough food, your anxiety is high and, let’s face it, we don’t know what’s coming next.” The Kitchissippi community is a caring one, Karen said, noting that they have been relying on businesses for support. Just as the province declared a state of emergency, the Centre received a

A close up of one of the many meals the Parkdale Food Centre is preparing these days call from Jessica Carpinone, owner of Bread by Us, located at 1065 Wellington Street West. She wanted to find a way to support the local community-run organization. Jessica was forced to close up shop and temporarily lay off her staff of 11, but even at a time of unpredictability in her own life, she wanted to find a way to lend a helping hand.

“The gap between people who have the funds to get through such a difficult time and people who are just living day-to-day just seemed really clear over the past few weeks,” she said. “We saw people in our store who were rightfully nervous and were rightfully stockpiling — picking up three to four times the amount of bread they would normally buy.” A Go Fund Me page was quickly launched with the target of raising $3,000 — a goal Bread By Us quickly surpassed, raising over $13,000 in less than a week. The money will be used to make 100 loaves of bread and 120 croissants every two days for the next few weeks, some of which will be used by the Parkdale Food Centre. The rest will go to other organizations such as Bethany Hope and Gloucester Emergency Food Aid. Other Ottawa businesses are also finding ways to give back, like Red Apron that is making 100 take-home frozen meals daily for at least 10 days. Wellington Gastro Pub is also making 1,000 litres of soup which they are distributing in one litre tins. Over at Cornerstone Housing For Women, the organization is heavily investing in safety measures, but all of that comes at a high cost. “To give you an example, one of our biggest changes is with how we are serving food,” said Kia Rainbow, executive director at Cornerstone Housing for Women. “We used to have a breakfast buffet in the morning at our Booth Street location, but

For up to date information on #COVID19 follow @ottawahealth, @CPHO_Canada, @govcanhealth, and

April 2020 • 18

Member of parliament for Ottawa Centre COMMUNITY OFFICE 107 Catherine Street, Ottawa, ON 613.946.8682 | /Catherine.McKenna





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Member of Parliament, Ottawa Centre


Staff prepare food at the Parkdale Food Centre to help the community during the COVID-19 crisis.



19 • April 2020

any symptoms of COVID-19, we can’t have them staring at the walls — I mean that is just cruel and inhuman,” Kia said. “This way they can self-isolate and be ok.” Both the Parkdale Food Centre and Cornerstone Housing for Women are looking for financial donations at this time to help them with these new costs. Parkdale also said they are looking for donations of cloth grocery bags which they use to distribute food. On March 25, the Parkdale Food Centre had to make the tough decision to temporarily suspend operations after one of their employees fell ill. While it’s not believed to be COVID-19 related, the centre decided to postpone their services for everyone’s safety. To find out what services are currently operating, visit


now we are bringing a brown bag to the women’s rooms.” Other measures include removing most chairs from the dining room and moving from ceramic dishes to paper plates and plastic cutlery, Kia said. “It’s not particularly great for the environment, but it’s what we need to be doing right now for everyone’s safety,” she added. Cornerstone is also bringing in Netflix and the internet for their clients, a move which has never been done before but is important for everyone’s wellbeing. Kia said they are seeing an increase in their clients feeling very agitated and hopes this advancement will help them cope through this challenging time. “The reason we are doing this is, if we need women to socially isolate if they have

Big smiles from the Parkdale Food Centre staff as they head out on food deliveries. The centre is providing neighbours with 6-10 day supplies of food to help them through the COVID-19 pandemic.

COMMUNITY NEWS Singing together while staying apart BY HOLLIE GRACE JAMES

Supporting community during isolation

April 2020 • 20





s the Covid-19 pandemic shutters businesses, entrepreneurs are finding creative ways to remain connected with their customers. Local restaurant The Third is currently unable to offer a takeout and delivery menu, so the team had to brainstorm ways to engage their regular patrons. They soon came up with the idea of e-karaoke — a virtual way to maintain their longstanding Friday night tradition. Marketing Manager Sharif Virani said Friday night karaoke, a weekly staple, was carried over from the former location at Black Pepper Pub. It remains just as popular today as it was ten years ago.

After a “really good response” to their pilot test on March 20, which used social media for the community to send in their karaoke picks or videos of them belting out their favourite ballads, the team proceeded to leverage Zoom and YouTube, creating a unique online experience. “One window shows everyone around you, like being at the bar, and another window shows you the karaoke screen [courtesy of Shine Karaoke],” Sharif said. With about 50 people in the room at any given time, he said they saw over one hundred people pass through over the course of the three hour event. Sharif said the online platform has allowed for some new and interesting deviations

Dovercourt’s mission statement is “building a healthy, active and engaged community through recreation.” What does that mean in the time of Covid-19, physical distancing and stay home/stay safe? For the past 30 years, we’ve been a busy hub for our community. We are usually bustling from early in the morning, until the late evening. The morning starts with

early fitness classes in the pool and studio and the breakfast club for kids before school. There are daytime fitness classes, swim lessons and visits from local school kids at lunch. Throughout the day, seniors gather to socialize and play cards, parents hang out with their babies and toddlers in our living-room style lobby and then our energetic after-school program kids visit. In the evening, more fitness, art, music and

from their regular programming at the bar, including the participation of children and living room dance parties. “And there were a lot of Disney songs. Which doesn’t usually happen,” Sharif said, laughing. With the uncertainty of COVID-19, it is unknown how long e-kararoke will last. But Sharif emphasized that additional revenue streams are not their priority at the moment. “We’re focused on making sure people stay home but remain connected, and we’re ensuring that our staff are doing okay.” He explained that it’s all about having fun while being at home and checking in on one another as a neighborhood community. “It’s the premise behind The Third, so

Covid-19 may have shut down The Third, but Friday night karaoke is still thriving. PHOTO COURTESY SHARIF VIRANI.

that’s an important activity that we want to continue.” Karaoke night on March 27 closed out with everyone belting out Smash Mouth’s “All Star.” The high note left both participants and staff looking forward to the next installment, which they plan to hold every Friday from 7-10 p.m, at no charge.


swim classes round out the day. For now, our building is closed and, on the advice of the City of Ottawa (our landlord), we have “put it to bed” by reducing the temperature and light usage in the facility. We’re all wrapping our heads around staying home, keeping our physical distance from everyone and coping with the new “normal” and the overload of daily news and developments. While our park is still open, please keep in mind the recommendations not to gather. Ottawa Public Health has also advised against playing on play structures in the city. Members of our management team are equipped to work virtually. The team is busy making sure that our hundreds of part-time staff have a smooth transition away from work and that our thousands of clients are taken care of. We’re trying to stay in touch with our community — we’re posting exercise tips, crafts and activities for kids and families and sharing fun things to lighten your day on our Facebook page and website.

We’ve been emailing client groups — including Pre and Postnatal Exercise, Rehab Walking and Post-Stroke — to check in and to find out how they are doing. We’ve offered to check on fellow clients, support them with exercises and advice and start email groups. Social contact is vital. So whether it’s through video chatting on Facetime, Skype, Zoom, What’s App, Messenger, emails, texts, or good, old-fashioned phone calls, we urge you to reach out to people. If community members would like advice on how to stay healthy, active and engaged, please message us through Facebook, or email us at, and we will answer. We will emerge from this with a new perspective on, and appreciation for, our lives and the importance of community. We are all really looking forward to seeing everyone again when we reopen!

411 DOVERCOURT AVE. 613.798.8950

LETTER TO THE EDITOR Want to kick the COVID-19 blues? Connect with spring! SUBMITTED BY MAX FINKELSTEIN

Westboro resident Constance Downes tests maple syrup on a sunny day in March 2019 as her husband, Max Finkelstein, takes a photo. PHOTO COURTESY OF MAX FINKELSTEIN.

2148 Carling Ave Suite 201


TELE-REHAB AVAILABLE Please email the clinic

21 • April 2020

during this uncertain time


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maple in your yard, Norway, silver, red or Manitoba maples all make a fine sweet syrup. Make sure you boil it down outside or you will get a sticky gooey mess on your kitchen ceiling. You can use an induction burner, or even your gas barbeque. This is a great way to involve your family in the coming of spring, and the payoff is tasty — pancakes, maple butter tarts, pudding chômeur. Yummm! For what it is worth, this is how our family is coping with these difficult times. Watching, tasting, touching and smelling springtime. Self-isolation and social distancing is easy outdoors. We are so fortunate to live in a city where it is so easy to find inspiration through nature, to connect to the season, and to make these difficult times also ones of fulfillment, adventure and discovery.


And don’t forget about our local woodland. Hampton Park is my personal favorite. It has two hundred year-old maple and beech trees, some of the oldest in Ottawa. The woodland is also home to the crow-sized Pileated Woodpecker (along with smaller woodpecker species), Merlins (a small falcon) and Cooper’s Hawks. If you want to stay closer to home, a delicious way to connect to spring is to make your own maple syrup. Head down to your local hardware store and purchase a few buckets and taps. Find a good-sized maple tree (more than 30 cm in diameter), drill a hole about 5-7 cm deep, gently hammer in the tap, and watch the sap flow. Make sure you taste the sap right from the tree. It’s cold, crisp and slightly sweet. If you don’t have a sugar


hat time is it? It’s Coronavirus time. Definitely not the best of times, but hopefully not the worst of times. These are serious times, for sure. My heart goes out to those struggling with loss of income, with worry about aging loved ones and the inability to visit them in extended care facilities and hospitals, and the list goes on and on. But in this time of self-isolation, social distancing and flattening the curve, it’s not all gloom and doom. It’s also a time where new adventures and new opportunities await. While you are self-isolating in your home, stress and boredom will inevitably kick in. Look out the window: It’s spring time out there. Outside, there is a world unfolding which can be discovered in glorious selfisolation. Sun, wind on your face and wildlife are sure cures for the Covid 19 blues. Think of this time as an opportunity to connect to spring. Here are some suggestions to get you started: For a wonderful journey to spring, check out the waterfalls in the Ottawa area. The rivers are running high, and the falls are at their most spectacular. In the city, drive or cycle to Rideau Falls in New Edinburgh, where the Rideau drops over a sheer rock face into the Ottawa River. Rideau means “curtain” in French — the story is that Samuel de Champlain named these falls back in 1610, as they looked like a sheer white curtain of water. A few kilometres upstream, Hogs Back Falls in Vincent Massey Park is a long-time favorite place for a spring outing, and a few extreme paddling friends (do not try this!). These falls

were created during the construction of the Rideau Canal. Continuing up the Rideau, each lock station has its associated waterfall — some natural, others created during canal construction. All are havens of peace and beauty. Our next river to the west is the Mississippi. Each town on this gem of a waterway, along the 50 km stretch from Carleton Place to Galetta, has spectacular waterfalls or rapids. The falls at Blakeney are my personal favorite. There are walking trails and pedestrian bridges over small side-channels where you can find beauty and peace and escape, if only for a few moments, from the Covid 19 blues. The rapids under the Five-Span Bridge at Pakenham are by far the most photographed on our Mississippi River. Don’t forget to bring a picnic lunch, your camera and binoculars. Waterfowl and wading birds congregate below the fastmoving water. This is spring in action! Speaking of action, bird migration is starting. Local hot spots include Mud Lake in Britannia. In a few weeks, the first warblers of spring will arrive, their brightly coloured feathers decorating trees like flickering, fluttering Christmas ornaments will surely brighten your day. Along the shore, resplendent wood ducks are pairing up. Our three local species of heron — Great Blue, Black Crowned Night Heron and the elusive Green Heron — stalk frogs and minnows. In late April, the first warm sunny days will bring the turtles out to bask on logs in the sun. For a more northern experience, visit Mer Bleue Bog just east of Ottawa, where a boardwalk leads you through a landscape more familiar to areas near James Bay.

WESTBORO • April 2020 @Kitchissippi • 22 @Kitchissippi kitchissippitimes April 2020 • VILLAGE 22 kitchissippitimes KitchissippiTimes



THANK YOU, NEIGHBOURS Westboro. Kitchissippi. Ottawa. Everyone. More than anything, I hope you are staying safe and staying healthy. This past month has been nothing less than the world turned upside down. Any and all plans, services, march break vacations, staycations ended - and with only the slightest warning. All forms of leadership advised, and rightfully so, to ‘stay home’ and remain ‘socially distant’. This was and is the best way for our greater community to flatten the curve of the devastating impact of the coronavirus. As a result, I am sure you can see how this has drastically impacted the small businesses - retail, restaurants, services, etc.- economically. Some businesses were forced to close, and

some weren’t. Those that weren’t were facing the issue of being open with no customers, and an ongoing threat of contamination spread, so some would close. All of the businesses had their staff and customers’ health and safety top of mind. Now, more than ever, Westboro Village businesses who have struggled during this time need your support. I understand that this is difficult to do, as each resident faces their own issues that they have been impacted with at this time. Please know, now or in the near future, when you support

a local small business, you are supporting a neighbour and the many, many staff they employ, and ultimately a healthy, stable community. Thank you to our neighbours for reaching out through social media, walking through our village, and supporting the businesses who are open, those who are offering takeout, and those who are providing essential services/items. I encourage you to please visit to see how you can support a local business at this time. Michelle Groulx Executive Director Westboro Village Business Improvement Area



• •

 Â? Â? Â? Â? Â? Â? Â?Â?  Â?­ • Live outdoor family entertainment • Exciting giveaways • And MORE!

@Kitchissippi KitchissippiTimes 23 • April 2020 • WESTBORO VILLAGE kitchissippitimes @Kitchissippi kitchissippitimes KitchissippiTimes 23 • April 2020




I am excited to have expanded my practice to include ‘virtual’ appointments. This allows all patients the flexibility to receive treatment from the comfort and safety of their home.

EARLY DAYS Quick to act: How Ottawa quelled the Spanish flu in 1918

April 2020 • 24




Q: What exactly is a ‘virtual’ consult? A: Virtual visits are very similar to in-person visits. You have the choice to either schedule a phone call or we can email you a link to a video session. Your first appointment will include a comprehensive review of your personal medical history and an in-depth assessment of your current concerns. During your appointment, we will discuss evidence based natural therapies that can be easily integrated in your current lifestyle. Q: What are the benefits? A: For starters, you don’t have to stress about being late for an appointment due to traffic! Kidding aside, virtual appointments were integrated into the clinic to ensure that our patients have zero risk of COVID 19 exposure during their visit. We made this decision preemptively as our patients have always been our priority. Since the launch, I have noticed that our patients are enjoying the efficient process and that they have quick assess to information that they may have forgotten at home. Dr. Yousuf Siddiqui N.D. Naturopathic Doctor IV Therapist NutriChem Compounding Pharmacy & Clinic 613-721-3669 | NEW LOCATION: 2599 Carling Ave. Ottawa, ON K2B 7H7



n a short span of time, the COVID-19 virus has changed all of our lives significantly. Our schedules, our routines, our way of dealing with others (even friends and family) has been altered in a major way. It arrived suddenly, overwhelmed an unprepared population and left government officials scrambling to make decisions to slow the spread of the pandemic. All of which bear eerie similarities to the Spanish influenza a century ago. Though the viruses themselves are very different, the speed, spread and severity of the virus are comparable. The Spanish flu pandemic — or “Spanish Lady” as it was known — infected 500 million (about a quarter of the world’s population at the time) from 1918 to 1920. Inconsistent records have left a wide-ranging death toll estimated anywhere from 17 million to as high as 100 million. Spain was not actually its place of origin, but the moniker was associated with Spain as the source of the earliest reports of the pandemic. At the time, the flu was spreading in other countries but they were engaged in WWI. Spain was neutral in the war and had a free press. Unlike COVID-19, the mortality rate of the Spanish flu was highest for adults under the age of 50. The flu was terrifying in its attack, with (then) no known causation or cure. The timing was also awful, with WWI raging and many Canadians fighting overseas, further straining living conditions back home. The flu hit Ottawa in September 1918. At first, even the provincial officer of health, Dr. McCullough, downplayed the flu. “There is altogether too much made of the seriousness of this Spanish influenza”, he declared on September 24. “Everything possible has been done to prevent its spread.” How wrong he would be. Within a week,

A clipping from The Ottawa Journal on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 1918. the flu was everywhere in Ottawa and the surrounding areas. Yet even then, top local physicians initially refused to acknowledge it as the Spanish flu. Hintonburg’s Dr. I. G. Smith stated to the media that the flu and its symptoms were no different from any of the flu breakouts of the previous 20 years. However, once the epidemic took over, authorities were astonished at its virulence. One prominent Ottawa Doctor stated it “struck the town like a cyclone,” — it was spreading at phenomenal speed. Initial chills, headaches and back pain would lead to sore throat, severe neck pain and, most concerning of all, high fevers of 101104 degrees. The sick would weaken quickly, and the flu became fatal within days, even for (and especially) healthy, young adults. Ottawa’s Board of Health issued a warning on September 26. The cyclone had taken flight. Seven Ottawans died over the first weekend, yet public officials still pressed

for calm. On October 1, Dr. McCullough still claimed the pandemic was “overrated,” and that the “public should not be unduly alarmed about Spanish influenza.” The doctor recommended that citizens simply avoid close contact with those who appear to have colds or influenza, and stay away from public gatherings and crowded street cars. The cases skyrocketed and the morgues began to overflow. By October 8, there were 58 dead with an estimated 4,500 reported cases, all this before the worst two weeks had begun. Just as in 2020, the government issued orders to stem the spread. The Board of Health closed schools and theatres and, eventually, churches, pool halls and bowling alleys. Retail merchants — except for grocery, drug, stationery and book stores — were required to close shop at 4 p.m. Civil servants were ordered off the job by 3 p.m. Major sports events were cancelled, including an international plowing match (despite the protests of organizers). Streetcars were required to keep ventilators open, limit passenger counts to the number of seats, and each were fumigated with formaldehyde daily. City hall was converted into a makeshift response centre for coordinating care with volunteers, clothing production (sewing teams of 150 were producing 1,400 articles of clothing per day) and dispersal of food and medicine. Some schools and buildings were converted to emergency hospitals, and every available health care worker, even those retired or in early stages of training, were called to duty. Eventually, any available woman or girl was asked to help manage the relentless demand. The Boy Scouts were recruited to deliver a pamphlet on prevention to all 27,000 households in the city. The Bell Telephone Company lost many employees to the flu. Yet with so many

Wait of Duncairn Avenue was the village’s first victim on October 2. Two days later, 20-year-old Mary Ellen Dancey of Athlone Avenue passed away, leaving behind her husband she had married only in June. A day later, 28-year-old Lola O’Neill, Sunday school teacher and clerk at the Westboro Post Office died, as did one-year-old Ella Hall, daughter of a Westboro blacksmith. The reports over the following days for all Kitchissippi (and Ottawa) were all the same; young residents died from influenza, after only days of illness. For the residents of Westboro and beyond,

makeshift response centre for coordinating care with volunteers”

25 • April 2020

”City hall was converted into a


aid from the Ottawa efforts. However, with houses built tightly together, and with a significant portion of the residents working hard labour jobs, the flu spread easily. Dozens of lives were lost in these neighbourhoods, including siblings Harry and Muriel Marier (three and one-years-old, respectively) who lived at 15 Oxford; two-month-old Florence Plamondon of 12 Stirling; and 33-year-old Dr. Alexander Tilley of Spadina Avenue, to name just a representative few. Westboro arguably suffered more than any other neighbourhood at the onset, for no particular reason. 28-year-old Bernard


people ill and isolated at home, call volumes exploded, leading to a public warning to use telephones only when absolutely necessary. Hospitals were overfilled, nurses visited homes in appalling condition. What scared citizens most of all, and was sensationalized by the media, was the potential for the flu to strike entire families. There were numerous reports that families of six or seven all had the flu. At its peak, there were 600-700 new cases being reported a day. In a three-day period between October 16-18, 136 died in Ottawa. The long lists of the dead appeared ominously next to equally lengthy lists of war casualties in the local newspapers. The flu hit Kitchissippi harder than most areas of Ottawa. Kitchissippi’s sick were cared for differently based on a geographic split at the time. The city limits ended at Western Avenue (so named for this reason), so residents of Hintonburg and Mechanicsville could be cared for at Ottawa hospitals and receive


A clipping from The Ottawa Citizen on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 1918.

A clipping from The Ottawa Journal on Saturday, Oct. 19, 1918.

the Township of Nepean had to spring into action, which it did in impressive form. A relief committee was appointed by Nepean Council on October 15. Nepean residents requiring help were asked to phone the town hall so officials could gauge the severity of the situation. The results were staggering, with reports from Westboro and Woodroffe being especially dire. Calls for volunteers for nursing and other work were urgently put out. “Girls and more girls, is the cry” noted the newspaper. Cars were needed for transporting nurses, clothing and food to all areas of Nepean, where the epidemic was prevalent in all corners. A large team of women made clothes at the town hall. Most notably, an emergency hospital was established in Westboro. A large brick house (what is now 404 Athlone Avenue) was secured by the committee and converted into a makeshift hospital. Dr. Leonard L. Derby of Westboro was put in charge. The house was initially fitted up with 12 beds and opened on the afternoon of Friday, October 18, with seven patients. Within days, capacity was increased to 18 beds. A second house was acquired, to expand the hospital if required, and the town hall was readied in case it too would be needed (thankfully neither were). The hospital treated a total of 24 patients in its first ten days, thanks to five full-time staff and 12 part-time volunteers. The hospital, and the actions of the relief committee, proved to be a huge success in calming the epidemic in Nepean. By early November, the pandemic had largely subsided in Nepean Township, and the hospital was no longer required by January. In fact, the entire epidemic across North America largely subsided by the end of the year. In Ottawa, restrictions were lifted by mid-November, the final death toll standing at 520. It was estimated that in all, 10 per cent of Ottawans had suffered the flu. It was thanks to the fast and thoughtful actions of local government that the epidemic was quelled so quickly, and the number of deaths kept relatively low. The impressive work of the volunteers and their coordination cannot be understated. Let’s pray that the actions of government and community alike in 2020 reap a similar result.


March saw many businesses close across the ward — the local community has been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Kitchissippi residents can support owners and staff by ordering take-out/delivery, purchasing products or gift cards online, donating to local charities and posting about your favourite small businesses on social media. Visit the Wellington West BIA ( and Westboro Village BIA (westborovillage. com) for “how to help” sources.

The local “pizza and wine for sweethearts” spot opened mid-March at 465 Parkdale Avenue. In its first week, the restaurant team had to adapt and switch to takeaway service due to the COVID-19 situation. For more information, visit


April 2020 • 26




We believe it is still important to report on community updates, so here is some recent news.

SCONEWITCH LANDS BROOM IN WESTBORO Double, double toil and tea time. Ottawa’s “local scone shop” is opening its fourth location in Westboro. SconeWitch opened

in 2004 and operates out of Beechwood Avenue, Elgin Street and Cyrville Road. On social media, the company said it

Put a Spring in Your Step

was aiming to open this spring but more updates are expected. Visit to learn more.

The Scandinavian-inspired spa has found its home in Hintonburg. The business will have a traditional dry sauna, aromatherapy steam room, plunge pool and other features and services. It was set to open its 1140 Wellington Street West doors this month but the opening may be postponed due to COVID-19. To learn more, stop by Story and photo by Maureen McEwan.

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STUDENTS ALSO HAD ADVICE TO SHARE WITH THEIR PEERS. Grade 11 student Molly Frost wrote: “I think it’s really important to recognize that not all the information about Covid-19 on social media is true. I know that many people— myself included—get flooded with posts giving us the ‘latest updates’ or prevention tips, and although some of this information may be accurate, it’s not in any way guaranteed. We really have to fact check anything we share because misinformation about a topic this serious has the potential to be really dangerous.” In addition to misinformation, responders have voiced concern about students who continue to go out in large groups. Many posts have been circulating on Instagram, especially about the importance of social distancing and staying at home, demonstrating that there are ways to find enjoyment while also being safe. As an example, Margot West wrote: “I’ve been doing a lot of exercise and have been going on walks with my family and friends (while maintaining a meter distance with friends)”. The recent events have put some students in difficult situations. Approximately 73 per cent of survey respondents cancelled travel plans. Gabriel Vera Romero commented: “I will most likely miss another week of school, because my sister is coming back from Ghana and I will be placed on a 2 week quarantine. It sucks but I haven’t seen my sister in almost a year.”

In conclusion, the closing of schools has put strain on the population of Nepean. However, there is a widespread appreciation for this decision, and acknowledgement of what needs to be done. A reminder to all students (and the community!) to wash their hands frequently and stay indoors!


nce again, Nepean High students have joined forces to create positivity within a community. This time, the student council is hosting a minecraft server for students stuck at home. This initiative, as well as many others, is due to the recent events which closed schools until at least April 5 and introduced social distancing into the lives of youth across Ottawa. A recent survey was shared on social media that all Nepean High students were invited to complete, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. Compiled are the responses of 62 students who participated. Instagram proved to be the most popular social media site students were using during self-isolation, with Snapchat following as a close second. Other honourable mentions include TikTok and Twitter. 97 per cent of students are using Netflix as a streaming platform. Disney+ came in second with 28 per cent. In terms of connecting with peers, 68 per cent are doing so mostly by texting. Other methods include “mostly phone calls” (10 per cent) and “mostly in person” (8 per cent). The following questions were assessed on a scale of 1 to 5; 1 representing “not at all,” and 5 representing “horribly.” The majority response for the question “How badly do you think this has impacted your education?” was 3 (47 per cent), while the majority response for the question “How badly do you think this has impacted your extracurriculars?” was 5 (40 per cent).

Many students expressed fears about graduating and exams. The popular response (on a scale of 1 to 5) tied at 2 and 3 in regards to how students were feeling during this extended break. However, all students surveyed agreed with the decision (again, on a scale of 1 to 5) to close schools. 52 per cent selected 5, “completely agree.” There were no students who selected 1 or 2, “disagree.” An anonymous student also commented: “I believe that the school board has taken the correct virus preventative precautions here. Although it may interfere with education, plenty, if not all of coursework is available online. It has been advised to quarantine and social distance, so that’s what should be done.”

not-so-straight union?


The response to COVID-19’s economic impact

April 2020 • 28




SUBMITTED BY CATHERINE MCKENNA, MP OTTAWA CENTRE Dear Residents, I have been hearing from my constituents about the difficulties they are facing because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is challenging from both an economic and a health perspective. I’ve heard from devastated businesses, to families who have members stranded abroad, to struggling charities and not for profits. We will do whatever it takes to support Canadians. Social distancing – physical distancing – is the single best way to keep the people around you safe. What does that mean? It means keeping two metres between yourself and someone else. It means avoiding groups. It means staying home as much as possible. If you choose to ignore that advice and get together with people or go to crowded places, you’re not just putting yourself at risk, you’re putting others at risk too; Your elderly relative, your friend with a pre-existing condition, nurses and doctors,

cashiers and other essential workers. They need you to make the right choices. They need you to do your part. Go home and stay home. This is what we all need to be doing. The government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to help Canadians and businesses, as well as those in difficult situations abroad facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. In March, the Prime Minister released an economic response plan of $27 billion for workers and businesses, and $55 billion in economic stimulus that will protect Canadians families and support businesses across the country as well as announced our plan to bring Canadians home from around the world. • We are boosting Canada Child Benefit Payments. We’ve also introduced support for parents who can’t work because they need to care for children. • The six major banks have agreed to work with personal and small business customers on a case basis, including

up to a six-month payment deferral for mortgages. • We’re providing income support to workers facing unemployment due to COVID-19. • We’re introducing the Emergency Support Benefit for Canadians who are facing unemployment but don’t normally qualify for EI. • We’re providing eligible small businesses a temporary wage subsidy for a period of three months, as well as extending credit to businesses through Export Development Canada and the Business Development Bank of Canada. • We’re doubling the GST tax credit for low to modest income Canadians. Payments will remain on their regular schedule. • We’re putting an interest free pause on student loan payments for six months. • We are deferring tax payments until August 31 for individuals and businesses.

CANADIANS ABROAD We encourage all Canadians overseas to register with Global Affairs Canada at www. Canadian travelers should return to Canada via commercial means while it is still possible to do so. If you are abroad, now is the time to come home. If you’ve just arrived, you must self-isolate for 14 days. Please feel free to reach out 24/7 to the emergency watch and response centre in Ottawa at 613-996-8885 or SOS@ By staying home, you can not only protect your health and that of those around you but ensure that our healthcare professionals and our healthcare systems can focus on those who need their help. The website, which includes information resources that Canadians can download concerning the novel coronavirus, as well how to be prepared and how to limit the spread of the virus. The Government of Canada’s coronavirus information line (1-833-784-4397), which is available from 7:00 a.m. to midnight (EST) seven days a week. Thank you, Catherine

”We will do whatever it takes to support Canadians” For over 40 years, Ottawa West Community Support has been serving seniors in Kitchissippi Ward and throughout west end Ottawa. OWCS is a registered charity founded in Kitchissippi ward. Services include: · In Home Respite Care

· Personal Support Services · Transportation to Medical Appointments · Adult Day Programs · Social Programs

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folks stuck in emergency housing at the Become a Member Travelodge Hotel on Carling Avenue. Thanks for bringing food, puzzles, games Experience Summer in an Outstanding Outdoor t’s been a wild and unsettling time. A and smiles. Recreation Facility global pandemic some believed was Thank you friends from the Good Your Cottage in the City confined overseas arrived in Canada Companions Seniors Centre and Ottawa quickly. West Seniors Services who’ve mobilized Tennis, Swimming, Beach Volleyball, Summer Life normally flashes from pillar to post. fast to help low-income elders across our Camps, Special Events, The Cameron Restaurant, Family & Movie Night, Play Care & Much More! Now the minutes of the day stick together city. There are strong women leading as we stay home, and scour for news of the these groups who protect those who built OTLBC IS A CLUB FOR ALL latest updates. everything we enjoy today. Connect, Socialize, Eat, Have Fun and Stay Active Canada’s public health care system has Thank you donors and small businesses been our first line of defense. Its front line who have enabled this work. We are seeing REGISTER TODAY! staff are our guardian angels, and we are incredible generosity being mobilized | thankful for their efforts every day, across the city. It gives hope for what never more so than now. we can accomplish on so many Thank you to Dr. Vera other fronts. Etches, Ottawa public Thank you parents and health officials, and front caregivers working hard to line workers helping balance employment and those directly impacted by family. It’s not easy to create COVID-19. Brewer Arena is a fun day inside, even with Our office is here for you with: a place of hope for those in brief trips outdoors. This is even distress. harder for kids with disabilities MonthlyorTown Halls Thank you nurses, personal support special needs. But children areCanvasses vectors for workers, hospital cleaners and support illnesses, and staying home is making a Community Organizing staff, doctors, orderlies, administrators, difference. Keep at it. Help Accessing Government Services and other health care professionals. Ottawa is such a compassionate city. Thank you first responders — paramedics, I am thankful for all that has happened WE ARE EXPERTS IN HOW GIRLS firefighters and police. We see you pulling here to date in response to COVID-19, P: 613-722-6414 109 Catherine St. / rue Catherine E: long hours, and we understand thisMPP means mindful of whatOttawa, must beON done in 0P4 LEARN, LEAD AND SUCCEED. K2P / Députéand provincial, Ottawa government Centre great sacrifice from you and your families. policy to enable even more. At Elmwood, each girl is encouraged to challenge herself to excel in the Thank you grandmothers and Moves have been made at the provincial classroom, develop confidence and lead with strength. Here, girls learn grandfathers who fought for the public and federal level which offer a good first to be the best students, leaders, and global citizens they can be. health care system that protects us today. step. As Ontario’s Critic for People with Learn more about our innovative approach to girls’ education A brief glance at the United States reminds Disabilities, Seniors, and Accessibility, and book a personal tour at us of what could have been without your I know we can do even better, notably, wise decisions. for those without much in employment Thank you neighbours for looking income. after each other. Thanks for dropping off Canada is a rich country with vast food and support to those unable to do so resources. More of those resources must be themselves. shared to ensure no one gets left behind as • All Girls BOOK YOUR TOUR Thank you friends from the Parkdale we urge social distancing. • Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 12 (613) 744-7783 • International Baccalaureate Food Centre who have supported so This is a test of solidarity. Let’s pass it World School many vulnerable people, including 500 together. SUBMITTED BY JOEL HARDEN, MPP OTTAWA CENTRE

I @Kitchissippi


kitchissippitimes KitchissippiTimes

29 • April 2020



waste for the next 30 years. All these engagement opportunities can be accessed via under the “Current engagement opportunities” tab. I’ve been having lots of conversations with people about the Urban Boundary Review, with many urging me to vote against an expansion. We’ll need to accommodate 400,000 new people in the next 26 years. If we expand the urban boundary by several hundred hectares (an area roughly the size of our McKellar Park neighbourhood), 60 per cent of new households will have to be accommodated through intensification. Or, we can constrain

the urban boundary to where it is today, which would mean 70 per cent of new homes would have to be built in already-serviced areas. It means more towers, more low-rise infill, and the expansion of areas in which low-rise apartment towers are allowed to be built. Those will be most intense near transit and employment areas and in walkable neighbourhoods that have shops and services: in places like Kitchissippi. Moving to 60 per cent intensification will accelerate that. Moving to 70 per cent implies a significant increase even over that. As I noted at the outset of this post, I’m fully prepared to support a 70 per cent intensification target to stop urban sprawl. But that does have consequences. We need to make that decision with our eyes wide open.

April 2020 • 30





he Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted all of our lives as I write, and it’s uncertain when things will return to normal. What inspires me in this time is the dedication our friends, neighbours, local businesses and organizations have shown to keeping our community strong and connected during this difficult time. Please continue to follow the advice of Ottawa Public Health and Public Health Ontario, stay safe and wash your hands. There are several online public engagement opportunities happening right now. The Ward Boundary Review is currently underway, and your feedback is needed in this process. Due

to a significant spike in Ottawa’s population since the last ward boundary review, which occurred in 2004-2005, we need to examine how boundaries could be changed for the next three to four elections (2022, 2026, 2030 and possibly 2034) to ensure that all residents of Ottawa are being fairly represented. The Community Safety and Wellbeing Plan is also under review — you can send comments on how you would like to see the City improve and implement safety plans that benefit all residents. Also up for review is the Solid Waste Master Plan, which will determine how the City deals with our garbage, recycling and organics

Do your part to stop the spread of COVID-19 Stay home | Practice physical (social) distancing

COMMUNITY CALENDAR COVID-19 Note: This page has been updated to reflect the developments in Kitchissippi during the pandemic.

If you know of any local events that are being hosted online, please let us know. We’d like to build an electronic community calendar during the pandemic. NATIONAL ARTS CENTRE - CANADA PERFORMS “#CanadaPerforms is a $600,000 short-term relief fund that pays Canadian artists for their online performances. It was launched by Facebook Canada and the National Arts Centre to help ease the financial strain for Canadian artists impacted by the closure of performance venues across Canada related to COVID-19, and to lift the spirits of Canadians during the crisis. Artists who are selected will receive $1,000 and their online performance will be announced and listed on the NAC’s Facebook page.” Visit the National Art Centre’s website for more information on

OTTAWA TRIVIA LEAGUE The city-wide league has moved its games online during the COVID-19 pandemic. Livestream trivia games run Wednesday nights at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday afternoons at 2 p.m. To register or learn more, visit the league’s Facebook page at THE THIRD HOSTS E-KARAOKE Every Friday, Hintonburg’s The Third is hosting a virtual karaoke party. The event is free of charge and runs from 7-10 p.m. Check out their Facebook and Instagram pages for more information (or see our story on page 20!)

For the full list of events please go to

To place a Classified or Marketplace ad, please call


31 • April 2020


OTTAWA LIVE MUSIC STREAMS! This Facebook group was created during the pandemic “as a virtual venue to showcase our region’s musical talent.” There are live streams, and announcements of upcoming live stream performances, of artists from the National Capital Region. To tune in, visit ottawalivemusicstreams.


APRIL 11 - UKRAINIAN EASTER BAZAAR CANCELLED. Ukrainian lunch. Take home Easter breads, baked goods, perogies, cabbage rolls, borshch, kobassa. Locally made products, embroideries and handicrafts, Ukrainian Easter egg decorating supplies, White Elephant table. Ukrainian Orthodox Hall, 1000 Byron Ave. Free parking. Email:

WEDNESDAYS - BEAUTIFUL FEET FOOT CARE FACILITY CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. Every Wednesday, Beautiful Feet will be at Churchill Senior Community Center. Please call 613-798-4783 and leave a message and we will book you an appointment time and answer any questions.


FELINE CAFÉ - CAT VIDEOS AND LIVESTREAM Hintonburg’s coffee shop and cat lounge is temporarily closed due to COVID-19 but the staff are working to connect cat lovers with their favourite felines electronically. There are videos available on the shop’s Youtube channel and a livestream is coming soon. Check in on the local kitties here:


APRIL 6 - POLLINATOR GARDENING PRESENTATION POSTPONED. Join Berit Erickson for a virtual photo tour of her pollinator garden and backyard habitat gardens. She’ll share what she’s learned about pollinators, their favourite flowers and habitat requirements. Discover how to design, plant and maintain your own pollinator garden. The presentation will take place on Monday, April 6 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at the McKellar Park Fieldhouse, 539 Wavell Avenue. For further information, visit

TUESDAYS STARTING JANUARY 21 - ALPHA DINNER AND FILM EXPERIENCE - CHURCH CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. Come and explore the big questions of life, meaning, and faith at our Alpha Dinner and Film Experience – Tuesday evenings starting January 21. Check-in 6:28 PM. Register via www., email: alpha@ or leave a message at 613– 728–9811 x701. St. Mary’s Parish Hall, 100 Young Street. Access via parking lot. Alpha is free, the experience priceless!

JANUARY- JUNE - HOMEWORK CLUB PROGRAM PROGRAMS SUSPENDED. Starting in January , Frontier College will be offering a Homework Club program for children ages 6–12 at the Carlingwood Branch of the Ottawa Public Library. The program will run Wednesdays from 5:30 to 7:00 pm. Learners at the Homework Club will have the opportunity to work one-on-one with volunteer tutors in an environment adapted to their individual needs. No prior registration is required and all programming is free. For more information, please contact the Carlingwood branch of the library, or else email

upcoming performances: canadaperforms


Stay safe and healthy Kitchissippi!

MONDAYS - TOASTMASTERS - CANCELLED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. Learn confidence. Hone your Leadership skills. Above and Beyond Toastmasters meet every Monday (except Holidays) at 7 p.m. at the Ottawa Civic Hospital on the Main floor in the Bickell Room. Relaxed atmosphere. Meet great people. Everyone 18 and up are welcome. More info contact

FIRST WEDNESDAY OF THE MONTH - KNIT NIGHT AT PARKDALE FOOD CENTRE - DROP-IN SPACE CLOSED. From: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Bring your enthusiasm and curiosity. We’ve got the tools to help you get started.

Under provincial law, public events and social gatherings of more than five people have been banned effective March 28, in an effort to curb the spread of the virus. Please visit for more information. Most events have been cancelled or postponed — we encourage readers to check websites and social pages to see if virtual events and meetings are being held instead.

APRIL 24 AND 25 - KITCHISSIPPI UNITED CHURCH SPRING RUMMAGE SALE - CANCELLED. A fine selection of clothing, jewelry, boutique items, shoes, books, collectibles, household items, toys and more make this a popular event. Friday April 24 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday, April 25 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon, at 630 Island Park Drive (at the Queensway). For information 613-722-7254 or www.kitchissippiuc. com


April 2020 • 32




Send some love to the merchants, chefs, and servers in Hintonburg and Wellington Village!

Write a letter. Share a memory. Post a photo. Draw a picture or sing a song with your kids. Show your hard-working neighbours that you’ve got their backs! Share your love and creativity on social media and you could win a $50 gift card. Find out how to enter at