Kitchissippi Times December 2023

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‘Tis the Season of Giving in Hintonburg and Wellington Village

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Jeff Leiper

December 2023


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COMMUNITY NEWS Amandine Patisserie excited about holiday season while feeling inflation BY SIMON HOPKINS

December 2023 • 2




akeries through Westboro and Wellington Village are serving up special treats for hungry shoppers during the holiday season. Amandine Patisserie, located at the intersection of Wellington and Parkdale Avenue, will add traditional French sweets into the mix. “In France, it’s a tradition to make yule logs at Christmas,” said owner and baker Amandine Pajor. The traditional cake is sponge cake and buttercream, rolled to create a layered spiral and made to look like a log of wood. “We also make gift boxes with cookies and gingerbread,” she said. Kitchissippi’s bakeries are excited for the holiday season, but the past year has presented a challenge for the businesses. The economic consequences of the pandemic negatively impacted many, and

now, bakeries are facing high inflation. According to Statistics Canada, prices rose sharply in 2022 for wheat-based products. That included raw ingredients, food purchased from restaurants, and grocery store baked goods. Supply chain costs like transportation, fuel and production were initially to blame for some of the price inflation – like what was seen across the food industry. Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in early 2022 dramatically impacted the global supply of wheat. Ukraine is a major grower and exporter of wheat. The drop in the worldwide wheat supply due to Russia’s actions has created a volatile international supply – causing prices to rise. Amandine Pajor’s bakery hasn’t seen much rise in costs because prices were already high when she opened her doors a year ago. “It’s really challenging to start a business right now,” Pajor said. Continues on page 4

Amandine Pajor, owner and baker at Wellington West’s Amandine Patisserie, said the past year has been challenging for businesses. PHOTOS BY SIMON HOPKINS.

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The Posthouse will be a 6-storey, 60 unit building located at 377 Winona Avenue. Local boutique firm CSV Architects drew inspiration from warehouse conversions in New York to center the building on the history of the community. The interior will reflect one of the original owners of the property, William Lowry, who served as Westboro’s Postmaster in the late 1800s. The exterior is a classic red brick façade, the fixtures and finishes are inspired by the original home, and the ground floor will feature a bespoke French restaurant designed by Dryden Architecture and Design (DAAD). Cozy, yet upscale, the restaurant will be called Elise after William Lowry’s wife, and the construction will integrate over 1000 sqft of brick from the original home. William and Elise Lowry’s legacy will serve as the center of Azure’s skyline. “I’ve said from the outset of this journey, as developers we own land for a very short time, but the impact of what we build lasts generations,” said


zure Urban Developments is proud to announce that two new buildings will be coming to the heart of Westboro. Embodying the ideal of a 15-minute neighbourhood, both buildings will be an easy walk away from grocery stores, restaurants, and other star businesses within Westboro. Azure hopes that the buildings will help build up the community even further. The Azure Westboro will be a 26-storey, 254unit tower located at 2070 Scott Street. Designed by renowned architecture firm BDP Quadrangle, the building will sport a charming red brick podium and tall fins that form a unique and stylish silhouette. Built around the idea of community, the wide lobby is designed for co-working, allowing residents and passerby alike to stop in during their daily grind. The lobby opens into an eclectic coffee and wine bar that encourages visitors to stop in for a drink and connect with their neighbours in a fun, sophisticated setting.



Westboro skyline welcomes two new Azure buildings

John Thomas, Azure’s Director. “As a child in the 70s, I lived here and when I came back to Canada, I chose to return to this neighborhood and build my home on Golden Avenue. I love everything about it: the streets, the retail, the wonderful schools, the parks but most importantly, the people.” John Thomas founded Azure in 2011 after a decade and a half-long real-estate career. From California, to Paris, to Malaysia, to Abu Dhabi, Thomas has worked alongside acclaimed international architects including Sir Norman Foster, Rem Koolhaus, Goetsch Partners, and Renzo Piano. He returned to Ottawa so his children could grow up closer to their family, but he brought with him a commitment to beautiful, functional spaces. That became his vision: to transform Ottawa into a cultural and architectural marvel that can stand up to the storied histories of other global cities. “Westboro is my home, so when we are conceiving buildings in Westboro, I take into consideration the impact our buildings will have on the lives of other Westboro families, and how our buildings can enhance the existing Westboro lifestyle,” he said. “Case in point, Elise and our yet to be named wine bar, both of which arose from what I perceived as a need in our community. It’s amazing the positive reaction I’ve received from my neighbours, so I think we are on the right path.” Azure Urban Developments is a family-owned business with five employees, three of whom are Thomas and his children. Their most notable past project is 929 Richmond Road, which faced a lot of pushback initially but grew into the building that Thomas said started it all and inspired the company’s mantra of “Live Life Beautifully”.


KITCHISSIPPI TIMES Great River Media Inc PO Box 91585 Ottawa ON K1W 1K0 Kitchissippi, meaning “the Grand River,” is the former Algonquin name for the Ottawa River. The name now identifies the urban community to the

Amandine Patisserie

west of downtown Ottawa. EDITOR Charlie Senack CONTRIBUTORS

December 2023 • 4



Simon Hopkins, Hannah Wanamaker,

Continues from page 2 The bakery opened during a time of ballooning costs and surging interest for borrowed money. “Our rent and costs were already high when we opened,” she said. According to a 2023 report by ReMax, commercial real estate costs have risen in Ottawa for all sectors except for office space, driven by scarcity. This is a continuing trend from 2022, where high demand for commercial leases has forced prices up. The challenges are even bigger for owners like Pajor, who want to pay employees more than minimum wage. “It has become more and more complicated to pay a living wage for my employees,” Pajor explained. According to Ontario Living Wage, a living hourly rate in Ottawa this year is $21.95. That is the third highest rate of all the areas in the province, only behind Toronto and the Simcoe area north of Toronto. Ottawa also saw the largest jump of any area in the province – up from $18.60 in 2021. As a new business, Pajor is still trying to grow her customer base. She said the best way to support businesses in your community is to shop locally. “Come visit us,” she said. “Spend money at local bakeries instead of at Costco or Walmart – we keep the money in the neighbourhood.” Elsewhere in Kitchissippi, Strawberry Blonde, a vegan and gluten-free bakery on Wellington West, is baking up butter tarts, gingerbread, Hanukkah-inspired cupcakes, and various candy-caneflavoured treats this December. Little Jo Berry’s bake shop will have holiday cakes and shortbreads. The Wellington West storefront has holiday cookie decorating classes running through the month.

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Westboro BIA to host three holiday charity drives in December BY CHARLIE SENACK


ith the Christmas season in full swing, the Westboro Business Improvement Association [BIA], will be hosting three holiday charity drives through the month of December. The first will take place on Dec. 2, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at 255 Richmond Rd., where winter clothing can be donated in support of the Carlington Community Health Centre. The following Saturday, pajamas, chocolates, $10 gift cards and heartfelt holiday gift cards can be donated for Cornerstone Housing for Women at the same time and location. Then on Dec. 16, non-perishable food items and personal hygiene products will be collected for the Westboro Region Food Bank at 347 Richmond Rd. from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

“We started this last year and the community came out in droves to support our local organizations,” said Judy Lincoln, executive director of the Westboro BIA. “Our hope is that we can grow a little bit every year.” This Year, over 13,500 festive lights were installed across Westboro, including 4,000 at All Saints Church. They were lit during a ‘Light up the Village’ event on Nov. 25. Lincoln said it’s an opportunity to spread some cheer during shorter days with colder nights. Roaming carollers will also be making their rounds through Westboro with appearances from Mrs. Claus and Elves from the North Pole. “One of our greatest joys over the years is to find these places to add that sparkle,” she said. “We want to shine that light and spread merriness.”

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Tanya Connolly-Holmes GRAPHIC DESIGNER Celine Paquette Deborah Ekuma FINANCE Cheryl Schunk, 613-696-9490 All other enquiries 613-696-9494 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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Hannah Wannamaker has the latest on how Kitchissippi’s Ukrainian community is celebrating the holidays as war continues to unfold in their country. She also met with the organizers of Ottawa’s 2SLGBTQ+ choir Tone Cluster, who is gearing up for a performance at the Gladstone Theatre. Simon Hopkins learns more about Westboro’s Scotiabank, which is closing after being in operation since 1912. He also spoke with local bakers about how rising inflation is impacting the cost of their goods. In ‘Early Days’, Dave Allston has a fascinating story about the history of Byron House which now serves as the Peruvian Ambassador’s residence. It has a Christmas connection! Gabrielle Huston met with the owner of Wabi Sabi, a Wellington West yarn store, to learn more about their ambitious plans. I also write about the community uproar that has been caused by news of the Chief William Commanda Bridge closing for the winter, and how a bus route review will impact Kitchissippi OC Transpo commuters. To end things, we spoke with Kitchissippi’s politicians and BIA leaders to reflect on the year that was and what they hope to see accomplished in 2024. We also have a review of the biggest stories Kitchissippi Times has covered this year. A reminder that we don’t print an issue in January. We will see you in February!

The end of year is here, Kitchissippi. For many, 2023 has been a tough year. Wars, conflict, division, health struggles, you name it. Whatever your challenges may be, I hope 2024 is better for you. On a personal note, I want to recognize my mom, Glenda, who underwent 30 rounds of radiation and nine rounds of chemotherapy earlier this year to beat Stage 3 lung cancer. The journey wasn’t easy, and what followed was pneumonia, COVID, then pneumonia again, but I’m happy to report that she is currently cancer free! Thanks to all of you who have followed her journey. We are so thankful for all the great doctors and nurses at the Queensway and General campuses of the Ottawa Hospital for all they do. I’d like to thank the many of you who attended our 20th anniversary celebrations on Nov. 14. It was nice to put names to faces and meet longtime readers who rely on the Kitchissippi Times for their community news. As we go into 2024, we are going to be making some positive changes to the paper. I look forward to sharing more details with you in February. If you have any ideas on the type of content you want to see, please send me an email at This month I was happy to attend the annual Nepean Sports Wall of Fame awards where Westboro’s Lisa Weagle was recognized for her curling achievements. I was also happy to join the Parkdale Food Centre for lunch to see firsthand the great work they are doing in the community. In this issue of KT I speak with members of Kitchissippi’s Jewish community about how a rise of antisemetic incidents locally are causing fear and concern. I also sat down with local author Natalie MacLean to talk about her new book, Wine Witch on Fire: Rising from the Ashes of Divorce, Defamation, and Drinking Too Much.

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Tone Cluster’s Holiday Extravaganza unlike any other Christmas concert BY HANNAH WANAMAKER


ttawa’s 2SLGBTQ+ choir Tone Cluster is set to play their music, dress up right and bring their most sensational, inspirational, celebrational holiday spirit to Gladstone Theatre on Dec. 16 at 7:30 p.m. The city’s only “all-gender, all-voices” 2SLGBTQ+ choir is taking the stage alongside local drag artists for a Christmas show emanating their jolly and extravagant spirits through song. The sense of community and the theatre’s accessibility

create a safe and inclusive space for all to celebrate the holiday season. For Tone Cluster’s artistic director Deirdre Kellerman, the Holiday Extravaganza is about “really leaning into the extravaganza.” “When I was planning this show, I knew I wanted to lean more into the campier side of things [and] the fun side of things. There’s lots of pieces that are comedy pieces— they’re tongue-in-cheek. The goal is to make the audience laugh and feel light,” she said. This year, choristers are straying from their traditional uniform and embracing the show’s tacky themes in ugly Christmas

sweaters. They will be joined by drag stars Dr. Androbox, Sardonyx, OC Trans Ho and Kin of Chlorophyll to rouse the audience with queer holiday performances. The vintage atmosphere of Gladstone Theatre is the final detail completing the evening. “They’ve got a bar [and] we’re going to have the lights all ready to go—it’s really going to lend itself to the spirit of the event,” said Kellerman, adding that Ottawa venues are often difficult to secure. Kellerman is very excited because the holiday extravaganza will be Tone Cluster’s first performance in Gladstone Theatre’s “neutral, secular space.” Kitchissippi resident and alto singer Erika Peterson is eager for her first Christmas concert with Tone Cluster. “This is unlike any Christmas concert that I have done before,” she said, referring to her childhood concerts in school and Church. Peterson teased that the setlist is full of unexpected arrangements, parodies and puns, and the audience should keep an eye out for “surprises with some potential props.” The mix of “silly, heartfelt” tunes includes a parody of Bach and a rendition of “Straight No Chaser” and Kristen Bell’s “Text Me Merry Christmas.”

“I’m looking forward to performing [Text Me Merry Christmas] because it's hopefully going to get the audience laughing a lot,” she said grinning. For Peterson, the Holiday Extravaganza evokes the best parts of the holidays. “It’s the joy of the holiday season and getting to enjoy it—to be happy [and] cheesy,” she said. Arts enthusiast and teacher Sara Savoia is also gearing up for their first Christmas concert with Tone Cluster. Savoia credits their ability to rekindle their passion for performing to Tone Cluster’s affirming community. “Tone Cluster has provided me that safe space within the 2SLGBTQ+ community to not only be myself but to get back into performing in a way that I’m not constantly on edge,” they said. Savoia said the celebration of community through the performing arts is especially critical to gender-queer choristers, drag artists and audience members whose identities are attacked. “We’re in community and we’re celebrating and we’re being,” they said, adding that this is reflected through Tone Cluster’s music, the drag performances and the overall vibrant atmosphere.

“Having a holiday concert is a great way of having the season be light and friendly and a safe space,” said longtime member Rob Bowman. Bowman, a tenor, joined Tone Cluster in 1996, just two years after its creation and has since watched it flourish. Now in its 30th season, the choir is approaching the 50-member mark and producing sounds richer than ever. “It’ll be great to sing having all that beautiful sound wrapped around you,” he said, adding that finding their sound in the intimate theatre will be a unique experience. “I think it’s been a rough year for people so to have sort of a fun, seasonal show that is going to make you laugh and keep things light is really needed now,” Bowman added. Tickets for the Holiday Extravaganza can be purchased through Gladstone Theatre’s website.

Gladstone's Holiday lineup

Tone Cluster is an 2SLGBTQ+ choir in Ottawa that is getting set to perform at the Gladstone Theatre on Dec. 16. PROVIDED PHOTOS.

Gladstone Theatre’s December lineup is sure to spruce up the holiday season. The Ottawa Gay Men’s Chorus—good friends of Tone Cluster—is holding two showings for their annual holiday concert. The group is transforming the theatre into a “musical winter wonderland” with their Nut Cracker concert on Dec. 10 at 3:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be bought through Gladstone Theatre’s website for $30. Candlelight concerts have become a worldwide sensation. Join Ottawa’s Rousso Quartet in Gladstone’s candlelit theatre for a jazzy rendition of A Charlie Brown Christmas from Dec. 13-15 with showtimes at 6:30 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. Tickets can be purchased through the Candlelight website.


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COMMUNITY NEWS Royal Ottawa preparing for annual Christmas Tree sale in support of hospital BY CHARLIE SENACK

December 2023 • 8




e’ve all heard of going to the hospital to access health care, but what about to get a dose of the Christmas spirit? If you’re looking to purchase a real Christmas tree this year, look no further than the Royal Ottawa Hospital, which is gearing up for their 38th annual volunteerrun sale. Over 925 balsam fir trees grown in Nova Scotia will be up for grabs starting at 10:00 a.m. on Dec. 2. Annmarie Nicholson, director of volunteer service at the Royal, said prices are competitive, quality is top notch, and all proceeds raised will go towards supporting patients and families. “If you’re going to spend $75 on a tree, why not spend it where you know a big chunk of it is going back towards supporting mental health?” she said. “Every year we sell out earlier and earlier, and last year all the trees were gone in six days.” The Christmas sale picked up popularity

during the COVID-19 pandemic when more families celebrated the holidays from home. In the years that followed, tree shortages and a rough growing season were also to thank for their success. Last year $64,000 was raised. All proceeds help the volunteer association provide additional funding for resources and programs at the hospital. “It’s always been used for types of items that we know are really important to recovery and quality of care that are sometimes a little more difficult to cover. If we don't have to stretch quite as far in this area, it leaves more stretch for other areas,” said Nicholson. “It can be food for cooking groups, material for adult educational programs or equipment for recreation therapy activities. The proceeds raised can also be used to purchase basic needs for folks like underwear and socks.” The Christmas tree sale will run in the back lot of the Royal Ottawa Hospital located at 1145 Carling Ave, Monday to Friday from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., and weekends from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Christmas Trees will be available for purchase at the Royal Ottawa from Dec. 2 until they sell out. TWITTER PHOTO BY ANDREA TOMKINS.

Community leaders at Wellington West’s Hanukkah celebrations in Dec. 2022. FILE PHOTO BY CHARLIE SENACK.

Hanukkah celebrations to be held in Parkdale Park BY CHARLIE SENACK


or the third year in a row, a giant menorah will light up Kitchissippi during the eight days of Hanukkah. A community Menorah lighting will be held at Parkdale Park on Dec. 10 beginning at 4:00 p.m. It is the third year the Chabad Jewish Centre is hosting celebrations in Wellington West. “Every year our Hanukkah celebrations are continuing to grow in size. Last year hundreds of people showed up and we are expecting an even bigger crowd this year,” said Rabbi Moshe Caytak. “For the first time this year, the menorah will remain in Parkdale Park for the entire duration of Hanukkah. The city of Ottawa encouraged us to leave it for the community to celebrate with us.” The word “Hanukkah,” or its traditional spelling “Chanukah”, means “dedication” in Hebrew. This holiday begins on the 25th of the Kislev month on the Hebrew calendar — typically falling in November or December. Hanukkah is also known as the Festival of Lights, linked to the lighting of the menorah. One candle is added every

night for eight days, accompanied by traditional foods, games and gifts. While Hanukkah always is one of the holiest times on the Jewish calendar, this year's celebrations are more meaningful than usual as the Israel-Hamas conflict continues to show no signs of stopping. “There is a rise in antisemitism in an unprecedented way, worse than we’ve seen since the Holocaust. Globally there are a lot of hate crimes happening, even in our own community,” said Caytak. “Hanukkah is an opportunity to remind ourselves that light, freedom, and liberty overcomes darkness and hate. Justice will prevail in the darkness. That’s the message of Hanukkah.” An increased police presence will be on hand at the menorah lighting ceremony to ensure everyone’s safety. On Dec. 14, a second Hanukkah event catered to families and young children will be held at the Hintonburg Community Centre beginning at 5:30 p.m. Caytak said it will be an opportunity to teach the younger generation about the significance of the holiday. Information booths will be set up and food will be provided.


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As war continues to unfold in Ukraine, members of Ottawa’s Ukrainian community are reflecting on what the holiday season means to them. A Christmas Craft Fair was held at Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral Assumption Of The Blessed Virgin on Nov. 18.

December 2023 • 10




Unity and culinary tradition bring joy to holiday season BY HANNAH WANAMAKER


any Kitchissippi residents are overcoming an especially grim Christmas season by forging communities, sharing traditional meals and raising money to support those in need. Local churches and community organizations are banding together with shelters and food banks to meet increasing demands for their services during the holidays. Meanwhile, people across the globe are rallying their efforts and funds to support those living through the wars in Ukraine and the Middle East. Members from the Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral Assumption Of The Blessed Virgin held their Annual Ukrainian Christmas Market on Nov. 18, selling a variety of traditional Ukrainian foods and handmade items to raise money for Ukrainian migrants and those living in the war. “The war is still going on. It hasn’t stopped,” said Natalie Toke Mason, one

of the event organizers. “It’s not easy living here in Canada right now. The pricing has gone up, and housing is difficult to find here,” she said, adding that someone approached the church looking for housing before the market. Iryna Abramova and her mother were vendors at the market selling crocheted blue and yellow winter items. They started selling goods a few years ago to raise money for their family members in Ukraine. “Because all our family is back in Ukraine and winter is coming and it's cold, we started celebrating Christmas trying to raise money for Ukraine so we can send help to them.” Crafting and selling these items is one way she has been able to stay positive

and help her family throughout the season. She also enjoys traditional Ukrainian Christmas meals like borscht and her mother’s variety of Christmas cookies. According to Toke Mason, the market food tables are always a big draw for people across the city. Their massive spreads include perogies (varenyky), cabbage rolls (holubsti), beet soup (borscht) and many baked goods. “We tend to include anyone and everyone who would like to come help us prepare,” she said. Father Taras Kinash, the church's priest, added that Canadians love Ukrainian food. His favourite traditional dish is a meat and rice stuffed cabbage roll. “The traditions are very rich. They are very strong and people really enjoy them. They are very peaceful and kind.”

People used to line the streets in Ukraine’s Christmas markets to celebrate the holiday season. “In Canada, this tradition is rebuilt,” he said, beaming. “It's not just a regular market where you can buy goods—it's more like a community gathering. If you look around you will see Ukrainian goods, Ukrainian dishes, Ukrainian embroidery and souvenirs, and most of the vendors are making donations to Ukraine,” Kinash said. Borys Sirskyj donates the proceeds from his beeswax candles to wounded soldiers in Ukraine. “I sit and make candles because I send every penny to wounded warriors in Ukraine,” he said. The process involves creating moulds for the beeswax candles which need to set for a few hours. Sirskyj’s candles range in design and size. Some are long and simple, and others have detailed floral patterns around them. This Christmas, Sirskyj hopes for “peace and tranquillity on this planet because it’s in bad shape right now.” Another vendor, Tamara Caris, creates lino prints rooted in “deep and rich” symbolism. One of her prints of a poppy means dream but signifies beauty, she said. A lino print uses a block of linoleum that is carved and inked, pressed and stamped. Before designing these, Caris’ artistic work involved engraving and chipping. Exploring Ottawa’s Christmas market


scene each winter is one of her favourite traditions. “You get to see a lot of different artists and their handiwork which I think is really special,” she said. Caris also spreads Christmas joy by carolling with her scouting group and indulging in food from her Dutch and Ukrainian backgrounds. Each Christmas Eve, she looks forward to the traditional 12 meatless, dairy-free dishes, though her favourites are the sauerkraut perogies and plum-filled donuts. Another Ottawa-based charity, Souper Jazz, is “swinging” together money through performances in malls and shopping centres to support The Shepherds of Good Hope and other soup kitchens. The six-to-eight-piece ensemble has been grooving to traditional Dixieland jazz since 1987.

Souper Jazz trumpet player and musical director John Mitchell said that they have raised over $600,000 in their 36 years performing. “The people are very generous,” he said, adding that they raise at least $8,000 yearly. Their unique performances attract many patrons, some of whom have never heard traditional jazz. “Shoppers are starting to think about Christmas and they take their kids with them to the shopping mall. The kids are a major element in our presentations because they have never heard this kind of music before and they start to bounce up and down and get really interested,” said a chipper Mitchell. They can be found boogying to their century-old tunes in the Carlingwood Mall, Billings Bridge Shopping Centre and some major grocery stores throughout the winter season.

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COMMUNITY NEWS Community reaction We asked KT readers on X, formally known as Twitter, to share their views about the bridge closure. Here is what some had to say. “I am really disappointed not to get to use the bridge to ski/ snowshoe/walk on during the winter - especially when it was announced by the former Mayor that it would be open year round for multi-use.” - Karen Vallevand.

December 2023 • 12



The Chief William Commanda Bridge is expected to be closed until the spring after the city said it was not designed for winter use. FILE PHOTO BY CHARLIE SENACK.

Chief William Commanda Bridge closes for the winter BY CHARLIE SENACK


here will be no cross-country skiing on the Chief William Commanda Bridge this winter after the City of Ottawa announced it would be closed until the spring. . Barricades went up at the bridge's entry and exit points on Nov. 21 ahead of the city’s first significant winter weather event. In a memo sent out by city staff later that day, it read that the bridge “was not designed for winter pedestrian or cycling use.” “Due to the bridge’s steel structure and timber plank surface, the City is unable to safely undertake any plowing, salting or grit operations,” part of the memo read. When the $23.9 million dollar multiuse pathway bridge was announced, it was branded as a seasonal crossing catering to various activities.

The Kichi Sibi Winter Trail, which runs a 16 kilometer groomed path next to the bridge, was hoping to incorporate it into their route as a pilot project. Dave Adams, manager of the trail’s operations, said it was disappointing the partnership was not considered for this season. “The bridge is such an asset to our city and one of the Kichi Sibi Winter Trail’s main objectives is to provide the people of Ottawa an alternative to active transportation in winter,” he said. “We are a winter city. We are here if the city wants us.” In the memo sent out by the city, they said opportunities will continue to be explored in order to see if the bridge could be groomed for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the future. Kitchissippi Coun. Jeff Leiper and Somerset ward representative Ariel Troster have both shared their

disappointment with the decision. They are now pushing the city to find alternative solutions. The Chief William Commanda Bridge opened in August and saw 30,000 crossings in the first week alone. It has been a popular attraction for those looking to bike or walk from Ottawa to Gatineau. Adams said regardless of the city’s decision, the entire duration of the Kichi Sibi Winter Trail will be groomed from Dominion Station to the Canadian War Museum near the Mill St. Brew Pub. He said the grooming methods they use would not do harm to the bridge's steel structure or wooden boardwalk. “By nature, snow grooming equipment does not involve salt or plowing. It’s press and play. We pack the snow, we work with it, we make it smooth,” said Adams.

“I was really looking forward to the bridge being open for winter activities [like] skiing, fat biking in my case. Right now there is no suitable link between Ottawa and Gatineau for winter activities. This bridge could be it, and without the risks posed by salting [and] plowing.” - Doug Van dem Ham. ‘New bridge is incredible, but in winter, the path on the Quebec side is not plowed nor graded for skiing. Effectively, it's a bridge to nowhere that will be costly to safely maintain, particularly given wood platforms.” - Scott Bradley. “I fully expect the City will figure this out, it's just a shame they have to close it and hear the uproar before finding a solution. Some forethought and common sense would go a long way.” - Derek Jackson. “The pathways leading to the bridge aren't winter maintained (except for grooming!) so any talk of plowing/ salting the bridge is nonsense. Let groomer Dave show us the way. Take the barricades down!” - Mike Adair.



Boughs of holly and beyond! Canadian-grown trees, wreaths, garlands and centerpieces are available daily at the Parkdale Public Market.


13 • December 2023

366 Parkdale Ave. @parkdalepublicmarket


Nov.24 - Dec.24

KT READS Divorce to defamation: How sommelier Natalie MacLean bounced back In May, the Westboro writer released a new memoir about her experiences.

December 2023 • 14



BY CHARLIE SENACK Westboro author Natalie MacLean has written a new book titled Wine Witch on Fire: Rising from the Ashes of Divorce, Defamation, and Drinking Too Much. PHOTO BY ELLEN BOND.

Natalie’s wine picks for the holidays Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava Penedes D.O., Spain Pairing: creamed corn Kin Vineyards Carp Ridge Chardonnay 2020 Ottawa, Ontario V.Q.A. Pairing: buttery mashed potatoes Reif Estate Winery Riesling 2021 Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario V.Q.A. Pairing: oven-roasted turkey Closson Chase Vineyard Pinot Noir 2020 Prince Edward County, Ontario V.Q.A. Pairing: juicy cranberry sauce Fonseca Porto Late Bottled Vintage Port 2015 Douro D.O.P., Portugal Pairing: chocolate Santas For more wine picks and info about Natalie MacLean's book, visit


hristmas is supposed to be a festive season full of love, laughter, and family. A time to forget the worries of the year, even if just for a few days, and to count our blessings. But the holiday season in 2012 was not a time of joy for Westboro writer and sommelier Natalie MacLean. She’s tabled it all in a new memoir titled Wine Witch On Fire: Rising from the Ashes of Divorce, Defamation, and Drinking Too Much. “It was December 15 and my family had just gone to bed after a festive dinner. I decided to check my email one more time before going down for the night,” recounted MacLean. “I got a google alert with the headline ‘Natalie MacLean: World’s Best Wine Writer or Content Thief?’ It was the beginning of a defamation campaign, MacLean said. Hundreds of comments were left on the article's post. Many of them were sexist and nasty, not

uncommon behavior in the wine industry. “It literally went viral. It was spread all around from site to site, not just wine sites. In the end, it did die out but not before a lot of damage was done to my reputation,” she said. “Many issues surfaced in the comments in terms of how women are treated in this industry. It has a fast social grapevine. Unlike the restaurant industry which is more formally organized, the wine industry is small and lends itself to this type of abuse.” It was the cherry on top after an already turbulent year. In January her husband of 20 years had unexpectedly asked for a divorce. Depression kicked in and months of drinking too much followed. After realizing her relationship with wine was becoming unhealthy, MacLean spoke with her therapist about what to do. She considered stopping drinking altogether — alcoholism ran in her family — but that would mean the end of her career. Instead, she was encouraged to try harm reduction.

”Wine has brought so much opportunity to my life.” – Natalie MacLean

“Wine has brought so much opportunity to my life. I did not want to give it up,” she said. “I love wine for its sensory pleasure. I’ve now got a good grip on what I want my relationship with wine to be.” Her experiences of overcoming the personal obstacles of drinking too much while dealing with an array of life issues are all detailed in Wine Witch on Fire. MacLean said she felt it was important to offer useful tips and guidance to others who might be struggling. “I’m at the point in my career now where I can share this story. I’ve had a lot of success. There are a lot of women, people of colour, LGBTQ+ individuals, that either don't have the confidence to speak up or have so much more to lose in their careers than I do right now,” she said. The book has a happy ending. Six months after her husband left, MacLean,

who was named the World's Best Drink Journalist in 2003 at the World Food Media Awards, met her now partner of 10 years through Misty River Introductions, Ontario’s largest matchmaking service. “The book is my journey of dealing with the issues and coming out on the other side of it. I had no intention of writing about it… but the story kept swishing in my head for five years,” MacLean said. “I put it down on paper to make sense of what happened to me, but then over the years I heard more and more stories of women in the wine industry but also other sectors who had very similar stories.” Wine Witch on Fire is MacLean’s third book. She’s also wrote Red, White and Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass, and Unquenchable: A Tipsy Quest for the World's Best Bargain Wines.

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Wishing a fun and festive holiday season to all of our Kitchissippi neighbours!


Korey Kealey Broker Liam Kealey Broker

Tel: 613.698.8876

15 • December 2023

Brendan Kealey Broker

GIVING Wabi Sabi looking to the future after turbulent few years BY GABRIELLE HUSTON

December 2023 • 16




Top: From left to right: Judy Enright-Smith, Louise Manship and Samara Ambrosini. PHOTO BY GABRIELLE HUSTON. Insert: Wabi Sabi is located at 1078 Wellington St. W. PHOTO BY CHARLIE SENACK. Bottom: The store sells different kinds of hard and hosts knitting classes. PHOTO BY CHARLIE SENACK.

ou can expect to see Wabi Sabi abuzz with activity in the new year. The Wellington West independent yarn store, like so many local businesses, fought hard to stay afloat as Canada battled an unprecedented pandemic. Now that she can see the light at the end of the tunnel, owner Judy EnrightSmith is preparing for some exciting changes in 2024. When Enright-Smith bought Wabi Sabi about a year and a half before the COVID lockdowns hit Canada, it had already been open for a decade. “When I first bought the store,” she remembered, “this woman came in and she said, ‘Thank you for buying the store.’ And I was really surprised. She said, ‘Thank you for keeping it open. It’s part of the community and it’s good to know that it’s still going to be here.’ That’s when it hit me, how important community stores are to certain communities.” Running a business was different – and much less solitary – than the office work she’d been doing for the government until then. She has been careful to buy from local independent yarn dyers, like Alley Cat Yarns in Kanata.

“I want [Wabi Sabi] to be the furthest thing from a big box store,” EnrightSmith said. “I want it to have a lot of selection and I want it to be a lovely yarn store, but a lovely local yarn store. I don’t want you coming in and thinking that you’re shopping at Michael’s or Walmart or someplace like that.” Of course, that all changes when you’re faced with a global pandemic and nationwide lockdown. Suddenly, all of her attention had to be redirected to online sales. “The first month [of lockdown], we did really well,” Enright-Smith said. “I had survivor’s guilt, we did so well. I felt really badly that, ‘oh my God, restaurants, stores are closing down, and we had another tremendous month.’ After that, things did go south.” She applied for business loans to support Wabi Sabi as they worked out a process for online orders. A social media manager, Emily Monks-Leeson, was hired to promote the store on platforms like Instagram and Facebook. “Yarn has no expiration date,” Enright-Smith said. “All our inventory stayed here. I really did feel for all these people who had inventory that was perishable and that could expire, or people who didn’t have websites. Our website saved us.” Now that life is returning to a semblance of normality, the team at Wabi Sabi have a moment to catch their breath. Sales have bounced back, and Enright-Smith feels that they’ve almost recovered financially. “Unfortunately, I have to pay the CEBA loan back by January 18, and I’m one of those 60 percent of small businesses that haven’t paid it back yet,” Enright-Smith said. “I feel that Trudeau should extend the payback deadline by at least another year. Ideally I would like it to be Dec. 31 in 2024 or 2025. Only 40 per cent of small businesses that received the CEBA loan have managed to repay it.” A look ahead to 2024 There will be more classes and groups to

sponsored by

Affordable, Clean, Secure, Central

sell out, and they’re slowly increasing the frequency. One beloved group event is the Craft Night, which used to happen every Thursday. Post-lockdown, they’ve been held once a month. In 2024, it will be twice a month. Enright-Smith’s other big venture for 2024 will make all these classes and groups feel at home. She plans to decorate one of her backrooms, transforming it into a “dedicated, cozy, ‘come back here and knit’ space.” Right now, the backroom is designed to hold overstock. However, with the front of the store expanded this past July and some creative shuffling, she thinks she can transform it into a welcoming space to craft in. And if she has some spare time, she’d really like to replace

– Judy Enright-Smith

Ottawa Centre | Ottawa-Centre



Hope By Dean Caillier, Sales Representative with Engel & Völkers Ottawa Central, Brokerage

There shouldn’t be a special time of year to help those in need, but the month of December is when many of us reach out to help those less fortunate. Whether through charitable donations, volunteering or fundraising, there are plenty of ways to give back. Last year, I attended a fundraising gala, not knowing (at the time) it was an event that would be close to my heart. It was to support children living in low-income communities, a world I knew all too well, as I was raised by a single mother in project housing. The event was put on by a nonprofit organization called CityKidz. They provide inspirational experiences to those less fortunate, one child at a time. This year, I was asked to speak at their fundraising event about my experience growing up in low-income housing including what it was like being poor. A difficult question to answer when you don’t really know what poor means when you’re a child. No, we didn’t have many material things, transportation was either the bus or walking and putting food on the table was

always a challenge for my single mother raising four kids while working long days. Back then, my mother would regularly say to me that living in low-income housing is temporary and we will get through it. She was right, fast forward to today, I’ve had a terrific career designing beautiful homes all around the city as well as representing clients as a successful realtor. Though, my greatest accomplishment is having a wonderful wife, three beautiful daughters, three gorgeous grandkids and three okay son in-laws. A far cry from where I started. After my speech, three teenagers who currently live in the same low-income community where I grew up, approached me to thank me. We shared similar experiences and I was thrilled to hear them talk about their dreams for the future. In these times of unrest, hope for a brighter future is what everyone wants. If you haven’t already helped someone less fortunate this year, take the time to do so. You will make a difference today and in their future.

Happy Holidays DEAN CAILLIER


Telephone 613-299-6243

613 946 8682 | 404-1066 rue Somerset Street West/Ouest Ottawa, ON K1Y 4T3

17 • December 2023


(between Wellington & Scott)


MP | député

340 Parkdale Avenue


”Yarn has no expiration date, all our inventory stayed here.”

√ Inside Storage √ Over 600 Lockers √ Climate Controlled √ Over 100 √ 7 Days/Week Different Sizes

attend in 2024. EnrightSmith has noted a lot of renewed interest in knitting and crochet since the pandemic. Due to high demand, they even hosted some classes online during the lockdown. “People wanted classes. We weren’t going to give them in-store, so we gave classes online. People want to talk and say ‘Oh, look what I’m making!’ It’s not the same doing it online,” she said. “It’s really nice to be in the same room with people because it’s a social thing.” Wabi Sabi offers a variety of yarn-craft classes and groups, from introductory courses to groups designed to help you fix mistakes you don’t understand. In 2024, a new teacher will be able to teach you how to hand weave. These classes are on a smaller scale than they were pre-pandemic, but that’s not due to lack of interest. Most of them

the corkboard floors. “I said I was going to be in it for five years,” Enright-Smith reflected. “It’s almost six years now, and I have no plans, no end date in sight. None. In fact, I want new floors.”

COMMUNITY NEWS OC Transpo route review to impact Kitchissippi commuters BY CHARLIE SENACK


December 2023 • 18




number of Kitchissippi bus routes will be changing this spring as OC Transpo looks to cut costs while offering more reliable service. The drastic overhaul of Ottawa’s transit system, the biggest seen in over a decade, is expected to save OC Transpo $10 million. It will all amount to about 75,000 fewer hours of service across the city.

Under the draft changes which have been released, Route 11 is proposed to bypass the Somerset Street bridge to serve Bayview Station. It will now also operate via Ambleside, meaning a longer route. Kitchissippi Coun. Jeff Leiper said that raises some concerns. “The extension of the [route] 11 east-west would appear to exacerbate some of the reliability issues with that route so I’m worried that if it becomes significantly longer and starts serving Bayview in addition to Tunney’s, it’s reliability might become critically diminished,” said Leiper. “I’ve asked OC Transpo to consider putting off the extension of the route until we have the appropriate transit measures in place to ensure we can have reliability.” Route 16 will no longer serve Champlain Park and Westboro Beach. Instead, route 81 will travel from

E.R. FISHER MENSWEAR (WESTBORO) 199 Richmond Road Ottawa, ON. K1Z 6W4 (613) 829-8313

Tunney's through those communities, then serving Westboro station before traveling up Kirkwood. Sunday service and longer hours of service will be added. Route 50 service on Churchill between Scott and Carling is slated to be removed alongside Route 54 service which runs through the Tunney’s Pasture campus. Leiper said he’s still reviewing how the proposed route changes will impact riders but said he’s mostly pleased with where OC Transpo is looking to focus service. “With reduced ridership and revenues, they are looking to provide a more reliable service with the resources they have,” he said. “I have said that I’d

Commuters wait for buses during the evening rush hour at Tunney’s Pasture Station on Nov. 20. PHOTO BY CHARLIE SENACK.

be willing to raise the transit levy in order to provide transit service, but that is not a realistic direction for this term of council.” Many 200 series bus routes which bring commuters from the suburbs to Tunney’s Pasture are also being eliminated, a move Leiper campaigned on in the last municipal election. None of the new routes have been finalized and won’t be implemented until the Trillium Line’s Stage 2 LRT project opens in Spring 2024 at the earliest.


of CHEO patients and families.


Sarah Toll Broker

From Our Homes To Yours, Happy Holidays! FOR SALE


1605-805 Carling Avenue It was easy Lake Littleso Italy/Dows to make a$1,475,000 provision in our Will for CHEO. FOR SALE And we feel so good about it knowing that we will be helping future generations of CHEO patients and families.

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families. about it knowingand that ” 2911 Beach Road 115 Deercroft Avenue 56 Hurdis Way Sandra Sandraand and Sandra Don Don Godbold Godbold Sandra and Don Godbold and Don we will be helping Godbold Kemptville Barrhaven Carleton Place future generations of $569,900 $584,900 $685,500 CHEO patients A LEGACY GIFT TO CHEO TOA BUILD A HEALTHY A LEGACY A LEGACY GIFT GIFT TO TO CHEO CHEO HELPS HELPS TOHELPS BUILD TO BUILD HEALTHY A HEALTHY A LEGACY GIFT TO CHEO HELPS TO BUILD A HEALTHY FOR SALE FOR RENT JUST SOLD AND HAPPY FUTURE FOR OUR CHILDREN AND AND YOUTH. YOUTH. and families. AND AND HAPPY HAPPY FUTURE FUTURE FORFOR OUR OUR CHILDREN CHILDREN AND YOUTH. AND HAPPY FUTURE FOR OUR CHILDREN AND YOUTH.


Susan Chell


It was It wasso so easy easy to make to makeaa provision provision in our in our Will Willfor for CHEO. CHEO. And And we wefeel feel so sogood good “ It was so easy to make a provision about about it itknowing knowing that that in our Will for CHEO. It was so easy we we will will be be helping helping Andawe feel so good It was so easy to make provision togenerations make a provision about knowing in future our Will for CHEO. And feel that future generations of of itwe we will be helping soCHEO good it knowing that we in about our Will for CHEO. CHEO patients patients future generations of will and beand helping future generations families. families. And we feel so CHEO goodpatients

Patti Brown Broker

Sandra and Don Godbold

which means warrior or lion strong, that beautiful lion’s heart of hers


1213work Emperortoday, Avenue tomorrow Gladstone Avenue 605-1000 Street W Ray:tomorrow Be Be part partof of CHEO’s CHEO’s life-saving life-saving workMegan work today,Doyle tomorrow today, and forever. and forever. Be part of Wellington CHEO’s life-saving and forever.

Carlington Centretown $2500/m Megan Megan Doyle Doyle Ray: Ray: Megan Doyle Ray: Manager Manager of Legacy of Legacy and Memorial and Memorial Giving Programs Giving Programs Manager of Legacy and Memorial Giving Programs Contact us at 613-829-7484 Today Lenna is happy and healthy thanks to CHEO. True to her name, which means warrior or lion strong, that beautiful lion’s heart of hers or 613 613 297-2633 613 297-2633 continues to roar as she297-2633 brightens the lives of everyone who loves her. to arrange a free market evaluation or buyer consultation. Manager of Legacy and Memorial Giving Programs

CHEO was there for Sandra and Don’s family when they needed it the most. Their unborn granddaughter’s life depended on it. 613 297-2633

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19 • December 2023

continues to roar asthanks she brightens the lives of everyone lovesto her.her Today Today Lenna Lenna is is happy happy and and healthy healthy thanks to CHEO. to True CHEO. to her who name, True Today name, Lenna is happy and healthy thanks to CHEO. True to her name, which which means means warrior warrior or or lionlion strong, strong, that beautiful that beautiful lion’s heart lion’s of hers heart which of hersmeans warrior or lion strong, that beautiful lion’s heart of hers Beshe part of CHEO’s life-saving today, andA forever. A LEGACY GIFT TO CHEO HELPS TO BUILD HEALTHY continues continues to to roar roar asas she brightens brightens the lives the ofwork everyone lives oftomorrow who everyone loves her. who loves continues her. to roar as she brightens the lives of everyone who loves her.


CHEO was there for Sandra and Don’s family when they needed it the

most. Theirand unborn granddaughter’s life depended on it.they CHEO CHEO was wasthere there for for Sandra Sandra and Don’s Don’s family when family they when needed it theneeded CHEO it the was there for Sandra and Don’s family when they needed it the Sandra and Don Godbold most. most. Their Theirunborn unborn granddaughter’s granddaughter’s life depended life depended on it. on it. most. Their unborn granddaughter’s life depended on it. Today Lenna is happy and healthy thanks to CHEO. True to her name,


December 2023 • 20



Notre Dame High School students helped redevelop the courtyard at St. George Elementary School in Westboro. PROVIDED PHOTOS.

Supporting Mental Health One Bench At a Time BY KRYSHA JAIDE LOPEZ


t St. George elementary school in Westboro, the importance of mental health and wellness is greatly advocated for. It inspired a beautification project that transformed their school into a place of mindfulness and reflection. With the partnership of St. George and Notre Dame High School, the staff and students alike recently finished the redevelopment of the elementary school's courtyard in hopes of reminding students to prioritize their health and giving the school a fresh new look. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, schools across Canada were forced to switch to online schooling for public safety. This drastic

change in education was detrimental to the health of students. The lack of time outdoors had already been a concern; however, with the added stress of change, remote learning, and less socializing with peers, many families found their mental health had taken a turn for the worse. The Ottawa Catholic School Board took action by constructing a "Student Health and Mental Health Toolkit." It contained coping mechanisms and strategies to use in times of stress to ameliorate students' health. Students and teachers were also strongly encouraged to practice these strategies in the classroom. The Student Mental Health Toolkit also inspired the school-

wide integration of the Indigenous 7 Grandfather Teachings. “Each class had sessions with the consultant on the grandfather teachings, and each grade picked one of the teachings,” said Shannon Sullivan, resource teacher at St. George. Afterwards, the students used their newfound knowledge to create artwork to represent each of the teachings, and teachers chose the pieces that best represented the teaching assigned. The St. George administration reached out to Steven Watzeboeck, who teaches the Students Achieving Workplace Skills (SAWS). He was asked to bring the chosen artwork and additional pieces to life. He and his students worked to carve the pieces, which were then sent and installed at St. George. From this blossomed the addition of a peace path, a pollinator plant meadow, signs made with the St. George students’ artwork, and a brand new bench. With the inspiration of their school mascot, St. George named their new harmonious space Dragon’s Meadow. Initially started four years ago, the project had been been held up by remote

learning and the rise in wood prices during the pandemic. However, Sullivan found working with Watzenboeck and his students to be a fantastic experience for both herself and the children of St. George. She saw the opportunity as extremely beneficial in helping the children connect with the community and the Earth. Students were truly involved in the learning and betterment of their school and their school family. Not only was Notre Dame a big help in the project, but donations from the community were also made to help with the purchase of materials and plants. The creation of the pieces were not only a collaboration between two schools, but it became a representation of the importance of unity and grit when tackling mental health itself. Although the pandemic had been an obstacle with the project, the community has repeatedly proven that they are more than capable of persevering and working together to create something beautiful. Krysha Jaide Lopez is a grade 11 student at Notre Dame High School.

‘Tis the Season of Giving in Hintonburg and Wellington Village



21 • December 2023

Unwrap more content by visiting us online:


More inside


Wellington Village Holiday Shopping Night

Light up Wellington West


holiday shopping night THURSDAY DECEMBER 7, 5-8PM story time with holli cow Victoire 4-5



Photos with Santa Thyme & Again 5:30-7 Gift Wrapping Muriel Dombret 5-8 Family Pinchpot Workshop Hintonburg Pottery 5-8 Heated Tent with Hot Chocolate Strolling Carollers & Elves

December 2023 • 22

Huge draw for a $600 Shopping Spree!

JOIN US FOR THESE FREE EVENTS! ALLEGRO Enjoy treats & 20% off everything in the store

JV STUDIO Free earrings with purchase over $150

AURELIUS FINE OILS Stop by for a yummy cheese tasting and free mini bottle with every $25 purchase

KINDRED SHOP & STUDIO Enjoy cookies & popcorn plus 25% off Früg Jewellery

WELLINGTON VISION CARE $100 off select frames and sunglasses

23 • December 2023

VICTOIRE Offering 20% off all purchases for customers who bring in donations for Cornerstone


HINTONBURG POTTERY Holiday Decoration Painting - choose your favorite shape and decorate to your heart’s content. Included are paint supplies as well as kiln firing for $20-35 + hst per ornament

THYME & AGAIN Offering 20% off festive merchandise


FLOCK Fun and games with a Prize Wheel where you can spin it to win it. Also collecting nonperishable items to load up the pantry at High Jinx


BLOOMFIELDS FLOWERS Offering a discount draw with every purchase (customer draws a ticket for savings of 5, 10 or 25% off) in addition to the raffle to win a $200 G/C for holiday florals

MURIEL DOMBRET Offering a mystery discount with purchase and collecting non perishables for the Parkdale food centre

th 4th Annual Light up Wellington West

A WINDOW HOLIDAY CONTEST Throughout December, experience Hintonburg and Wellington Village come alive with light!




Best Overall Window Display.


Most Creative, Unique, or Innovative Window Display.


Small But Mighty.

December 2023 • 24


Judges: Councillor Jeff Leiper Crowns and Tiaras Star, Zak Zinya Judging takes place December 7 at the Wellington Village Holiday Shopping Night! People’s Choice Award on Instagram. Vote for your favourite window display and you could win $100 to a participating merchant of your choice! Follow us on Instagram for full contest details: @Wellington_West

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Left: A photo taken in Nov. 1940 of kids on a staircase at Byron House. PHOTO BY MALAK KARSH - LAC E010675588 Right: A 1938 newspaper clipping from the Ottawa Citizen advertising that Byron House might soon be sold for about half its original cost.

December 2023 • 26



A 1940s Christmas at Byron House

Left: Santa Claus visits with sleeping children at Byron House. CREDIT: LAC E011505063

Middle: A photo of Stafford Kirkpatrick taken in 1943. CREDIT: THE VANCOUVER SUN

Right: A young evacuee writes at his desk. PHOTO BY MALAK KARSH



s the Christmas season is upon us, it is timely to look back at a Kitchissippi story lost largely to time. Today the stately home at 539 Island Park Drive acts as the Peruvian Ambassador’s residence, but in 1940, especially around Christmas, this house was the affectionate scene for a group of evacuated British school children who came to Canada as WWII intensified, with little warning, no money and no possessions. Ottawa, and particularly our west end community, adopted these “child guests,” providing a welcoming home during a terrifying time. The home was known as Byron House, named for the private school located in the upscale London neighbourhood of Highgate Village from where the children and staff came. As the threat of bombings grew in London in 1940, a general evacuation of children was ordered. The Canadian government extended an invitation to Britain to evacuate their children to Canada, with many residents offering up their homes. A direct cable was sent to Byron House offering accommodation for the school as a group. Within days, the Byron House kids were on a ship to Canada, travelling as part of a convoy of evacuation ships that were under constant threat of attack from airplanes, land vessels or submarines. The group’s desperate situation only got worse in Canada. When they finally arrived in Ottawa, they discovered that a mistake had been made. No arrangements had been set up for them. They had nowhere to go. They were offered temporary housing at Elmwood School in Rockcliffe, which had been vacated for the summer. Other evacuated British children arriving that same week were dispersed throughout Ottawa to private homes and institutions such as Ashbury College and the Ottawa Ladies’ College. The Children’s Aid Society (CAS) organized the program, working to ensure that children were “enabled to live on the same social and economic level that they were used to at home”. Children from rural areas were in rural communities, while urban children went to families in the city.

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We help make it easier to make a move.

Team 613-422-8688 Diane Allingham and Jennifer Stewart, Brokers.

Engel & Völkers Ottawa Central, Brokerage. Independently owned and operated

How do I avoid falls as I age? As we age, maintaining balance and preventing falls becomes crucial for overall well-being. Falls can lead to serious injuries, affecting mobility and independence. However, there are practical steps seniors can take to minimize the risk of falls and ensure a safe living environment. Regular Exercise: Engage in activities that improve strength, balance, and flexibility. Simple exercises like walking, tai chi, and water aerobics can enhance stability and reduce the likelihood of falls. Home Safety Modifications: Make necessary adjustments at home, such as installing handrails along staircases, securing rugs to the floor, and ensuring proper lighting in all areas. Remove clutter and organize furniture to create clear pathways.

Regular Vision Checkups: Visit an eye doctor annually to address any vision impairments. Properly prescribed glasses or contact lenses can significantly improve visibility and reduce the risk of tripping over obstacles. Medication Management: Review medications with a healthcare professional to identify potential side effects or interactions that may affect balance. Ensure that prescriptions are up-to-date and taken as directed. Proper Footwear: Wear comfortable, supportive shoes with non-slip soles. Avoid walking in socks or shoes with slippery soles, especially on smooth surfaces. Assistive Devices: If necessary, use canes, walkers, or other assistive devices as recommended by a healthcare professional. Ensure these devices are in good condition and properly fitted.

Director, Nursing and Allied Health

27 • December 2023

Kaelen Bray,


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furnished room with deep piled Persian rugs on the floors, heavy draperies at the windows and oil paintings on the walls. Now the floor is bare, the windows undraped, the furniture consists of 10 small desks, and the paintings, childish scenes of autumn trees, unstreamlined automobiles and almost eatable looking pears, apples and grapes,” wrote the Citizen. The local community gave endlessly. Individual residents gave donations and sponsored children. The firemen of Station No. 11 on Parkdale Avenue made items for the home, including wooden shoe racks and easels for art classes. The newly-formed Hampton Park War Service Committee, established to make clothing for soldiers, contributed 17 pairs of mittens in 1941. The children kept to a tight schedule, which included two neighbourhood walks each day, and lights out by 7:30 each night. Christmas was a particularly celebratory time. A large Christmas party was held for Ottawa’s 150 British child guests at the Chateau Laurier put on by a group of Britishborn Ottawa residents. The children were given gifts and cake, and watched a Charlie Chaplin impersonator, a ventriloquist, and film clips and cartoons. The Elmwood Old Girls’ Association also put on a Christmas party at Byron House, where Santa brought stockings containing gifts, and movies were shown. Over the next three years, Byron House continued to be a hub of activity. A Girl Guides Brownie Pack (40th Pack) was established in 1941. Later a nursery was opened in the playroom, enabling mothers of small children in the area to attend meetings of the Hampton Park War Service Group. Eventually, one by one, the British child guests in Canada began to return home. Byron House on Island Park Drive was closed by late 1944. Sadly, Dr. Kirkpatrick passed away in 1943, and in June of 1945, his estate sold 539 Island Park Drive to the Government of Peru for use as the first Peruvian Ambassador to Canada. It remains the Ambassador’s residence today.

For the Byron House children, those aged eight or above were boarded out to families and attended regular schools, as it was felt they would benefit from assimilating with Canadian children. The younger children were kept together under Leonora Williams’ care. By summer’s end, with the fall school season about to begin at Elmwood, the Byron House children needed a new home. Word got to Dr. Stafford Kirkpatrick and his wife Lina, owners of 539 Island Park Drive, which had sat vacant for nearly two years after Kirkpatrick had retired and the pair had moved to Vancouver. When the house was constructed in 1929, not only was it one of the first homes to be built on the relatively new Driveway, but it was also one of its grandest, built on four lots of what was considered one of the most picturesque portions of the Driveway across from Hampton Park. The six bedroom home cost $60,000 (equivalent to over $1M in 2023 money), with high-end finishes and an angular wing on Helena which provided accommodation for the servants, chauffeur and garage. When Kirkpatrick attempted to sell in 1938, it would prove impossible. Advertised as “the most complete and beautiful home in Ottawa”, even at a reduced sale price of $35,000 (nearly half its construction cost), a buyer could not be found in the depressed economy. The house sat vacant through 1939 and most of 1940. It became a perfect solution for the Byron House group. The Kirkpatricks offered the house free of charge. Nepean Township agreed to waive all property taxes, and the NCC and Hampton Park Village Community Association consented to the plan. On Saturday Aug. 31, 1940, the 16 children (eight boys and eight girls) made the move to Island Park Drive. All of the rooms found new functions. Even the former two-car garage became a woodworking room, where the children could learn to use donated tools. The large drawing room was converted into a classroom for the younger children, the former living room a classroom for the older group. “At one time it was probably a luxuriously

December 2023 • 28




Left: Jews against Genocide have called for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza as the conflict in the Middle East continues. PHOTO PROVIDED BY SAM HERSH. Right: For over a month and a half, demonstrations have been held at Parliament Hill every weekend as Palestinians call for their human rights to be respected. PHOTO BY CHARLIE SENACK. Bottom: The Jewish Federation of Ottawa has said a number of antisemetic incidents have taken place around Ottawa, including in Kitchissippi. PHOTO BY CHARLIE SENACK. Insert: Signs with pictures of Israelis who have been kidnapped by Hamas are seen on Wellington St. W. PHOTO BY CHARLIE SENACK.

Kitchissippi community fearful for safety after antisemetic incidents BY CHARLIE SENACK


itchissippi’s Jewish community say they are fearful and on edge after multiple acts of antisemitism within the ward and other city neighborhoods. Jessica Greenberg, of Osgoode Properties, a local apartment rental firm, said that for the first time, cameras have been installed at her company's Wellington West business. She said antisemitic events in Kitchissippi resulted in the tough decision after fearing for her safety. “As a community citizen and not just as a Jewish citizen, I think the rise of hate against any group is not good for our city,” said Greenberg. “It does not progress us; it holds us back. It makes it scary for any person living here. All kids should be able

to go to school safely. It should not be an act of courage to show up at your office.” On Oct. 31, Ottawa’s Jewish Community School located at 31 Nadolny Sachs Private near Broadview, was forced to close after a bomb threat. Greenberg’s three children attend the private academy. “I’ve never felt nervous sending my kids to school and now I feel nervous every day,” she said. “There is a fear that exists until your kids walk back in the door and a sigh of relief that you don’t even know you’re holding.” The bomb threat is just one of many antisemitic events which have unfolded in Ottawa over recent weeks. Jewish homes in the Glabar Park neighbourhood were recently targeted for having mezuzahs, a piece of parchment inscribed with specific Hebrew verses

from the Torah, on their doors. A Jewish high school student had their face rubbed into a swastika sign on the ground. Ottawa Rabbi Idan Scher was among multiple people to face death threats. On Nov. 10, Ottawa police launched an investigation after gasoline and antisemitic messages were found in a clinical area at the General Campus of the Ottawa hospital. The Ottawa Jewish Federation of Ottawa shared photos to KT of anti-Jewish slurs being spray-painted on local roadways and garage doors. They also showed messages left in mailboxes and on the front steps of Jewish residents' homes with drawings of swastikas and letters saying Jews are going to die. Since the war unfolded, many proPalestine marches have been held at Parliament Hill in Ottawa and across

Canada. They have attracted crowds by the hundreds as calls for a permanent ceasefire grow louder with the mounting death toll. Since the fighting began in early October, more than 14,800 Palestinians, 6,150 of them children, have been killed in Gaza. The death toll in Israel stands at about 1,200.

At many of the marches, demonstrators have chanted “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” The saying was also printed on posters that went up on street posts around Westboro and Wellington West, but were later removed. Many in the Jewish community say they see the slogan as an antisemitic call to kill Jews. “I consider that to be genocide hate speech,” said a concerned Greenberg. “When it’s transposed into a local environment, known or not, the intent behind it is to incite hate and violence against the Jewish community.” But not everyone sees it the same way. Independent Jewish Voices Canada said on their website the chant is a call for human rights of Palestianians to be respected. “It cannot be inherently violent to call for your own dignity to be respected, and to label the Palestinian quest for freedom

as inherently antisemitic or actively violent is Islamophobic and a form of anti-Palestine racism,” the group wrote. “The impulse to label calls for freedom as violent comes from a fundamentally oppressive mindset.” Hintonburg resident Sam Hersh, who is a member of the Jewish organization, said a wrongful divide is being created. “I interpret it as a call for Palestianians to be free across the entire region,” he said. “I don’t see it as a genocidal chant, and I think people are showing their true colours saying that if Palestinians are free, then that means the extermination of Jews.” The posters were removed after

complaints were received; however, their disposal was because they were hung on posts where they were not permitted. In his weekly newsletter, Kitchissippi Coun. Jeff Leiper condemned both acts of antisemitism and Islamophobia. He’s heard from many residents who were concerned about the poster's presence in the community. “To many Jews, it is an antisemitic attack on Israel's right to exist and Jews' safety and security everywhere. Palestinian activists consider that it is a call for freedom and civil rights for Palestinian residents living in Israel,” Leiper wrote. “I don't know how to reconcile those two interpretations. I

applaud those who are working to find common ground and oppose hate in any form.” Hersh said there's a difference between being antisemitic and critical of the Israeli government. “There is an attempt by a lot of these organizations to make it seem complicated when in reality a lot of us can agree that the killing of 12,000 to 15,000 people over the course of a month is unjustifiable. What happened on October 7 was terrible but it doesn’t justify the killing of 10 times more people. As a Jewish person, it brings me a lot of pain to see that. We need solitary. An injury to one is an injury to all.” Ottawa Police said that since the Gaza area conflict began to unfold on Oct. 7, there have been 64 hate crimes reported as of Nov. 6 — 50 of which were deemed criminal. Jewish, Black, LGBTQ2+ and Muslim communities are most targeted.

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29 • December 2023

its first art show “Where the Sun does Shine” on December 7, 2023. Paul describes it as a show of some totally cool local artists sticking their art “Where the Sun does Shine.” Paul is currently looking to fill out the rest of her team with three additional tattoo artists, although there’s space to accommodate more private rooms should the need arise. Work is competitively priced with a focus on a private boutique spa like experience. “I design people’s custom tattoos by hand without the aide or reliance on computer generated tattoo software or programs” She said. “I’ll even take pictures of the flowers I grow in my own garden and use them as references.”


Kaleidoscope Sky is a new tattoo and art house that’s breezing onto the Hintonburg scene, offering hand-drawn tattoo designs for walk-ins and appointments alike. Located at 1106 Somerset Street West, the business is promoting local artistic talent right off the bat with space to promote their work and authors to sell their novels. Owner Louise Paul is a classically educated multi-disciplinary artist and entrepreneur. Independent art is her passion. Tattoos arose from several commissions to design custom tattoos. Doing the actual needle and ink work became a natural progression. “I bought an old bank in the country outside of Ottawa with surprisingly positive results to Tattoos, Art and Book sales,” Paul said, “The remote location still serves as an incubator for creation while Hintonburg is a busy, artsy area with greater energy to showcase and promote talents.” Paul focuses on authenticity, whether that be in her hand drawn designs or her unique events and exhibits designed to capture and engage people. The Art House is already committed to

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cotiabank announced on Oct. 31 that its century-old Westboro branch will close next summer. The bank has chosen to consolidate multiple banks in the Ottawa area, with the Westboro closure coming into effect on July 9, 2024. Customers of the branch located on Richmond Road near Churchill Avenue will be transferred to the bank’s location at Hampton Park Plaza on Carling Avenue. “After careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to close our Scotiabank branch at 388 Richmond Road,” said Scotiabank spokesperson Natalie Yuen in an emailed statement to the Kitchissippi Times. “We are directly notifying customers who are impacted by this change.” The bank has been a staple on Richmond Road since 1912. Scotiabank has slowly decreased the number of its physical branch locations over the last five years, according to the bank’s 2022 annual report. Many of the bank’s locations are leased, and year after year, it has worked to consolidate some of its contract and real estate costs. In October 2023, Scotiabank announced a multi-million-dollar consolidation of its property costs.

Much of the consolidation has impacted and shrunk Scotiabank’s international locations, according to the annual report, but the bank is slowly consolidating Canadian locations too. The cuts will result in about 2,700 jobs lost. Many bank customers primarily use online banking tools, decreasing the use of physical bank locations nationwide. “We are continuing to evolve how we serve our customers and invest in areas that make it easier for our customers to bank with us from wherever they are,” Yuen said. As customer preferences shift, Scotiabank is shifting its spending accordingly. While Scotiabank still earned over $2 billion in the third quarter of 2023, it was over $350 million less than the year previous, according to the bank’s quarterly report. Though the next closest branch isn’t far, the inconvenience annoys some customers. “It’s too bad,” said Nina Gordon, a customer of the Westboro branch. “What can you do?” she said with a shrug. “I’m sorry it's closing; it was so convenient.” The ATMs will close at 8:00 am on July 9, and the branch will close at 11 am. Customers with concerns are encouraged to call the branch manager.

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WESTBORO VILLAGE • December 2023 • 32 WESTBORO VILLAGE • December 2023 • 44

LET’S COME TOGETHER TO SPREAD GENEROSITY AND KINDNESS IN OUR COMMUNITY. We’re on a mission to collect essential items for the three local charities dedicated to transforming lives in our neighbourhood. We invite you to be a part of the difference we can make by supporting our neighbours.

Help enhance the health and welfare of our community by donating winter clothing. Your contributions of winter hats, gloves, mittens, scarves, socks, boots, blankets, hand warmers, and hot beverages (e.g. tea, coffee, and hot chocolate) at 255 Richmond Road will make a real difference.

CORNERSTONE HOUSING FOR WOMEN (Saturday, December 9th, 1pm-4pm)

WESTBORO REGION FOOD BANK (Saturday, December 16th, 1pm-4pm) Make a donation of a needed food item for the Westboro Region Food Bank at the courtyard of All Saints Anglican Church (347 Richmond Road). The volunteers at the Westboro Region Food Bank support community members in the Westboro area with emergency food and basic needs. Since 2020, the number of individuals and families seeking emergency food assistance has doubled. Often essential items are the most challenging for them to source, including powdered milk, toothpaste & tooth brushes, shampoo, baby wipes, and feminine hygiene products.

For more information on the most needed holiday items, visit

KitchissippiTimes 33 • December 2023 • WESTBORO VILLAGE KitchissippiTimes 45 • December 2023 • WESTBORO VILLAGE

Every year the team at Cornerstone Housing for Women invites the community to help them provide a cozy holiday season for all their residents. You can drop off pyjamas, boxes of chocolates, holiday cards, and small denomination ($10) gift cards to the volunteers at 255 Richmond Road. @Kitchissippi @Kitchissippi

CARLINGTON COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTRE (Saturday, December 2nd, 1pm-4 pm)

Westboro Village BIA Giving Guide: Top Stocking Stuffer Choices: 1. Dotted Alpaca Holiday Socks from Pokoloko at 339 Richmond Rd. 2. Cantaloupe Hair Claw from Highly Fresh at 303 Richmond Rd.

Strawberry Blonde Bakery

Flowers Talk Tivoli

3. Butter Rum Chocolate Bar from Alicja Confections at 303 Richmond Rd.

Saje Natural Wellness

WESTBORO VILLAGE • December 2023 • 34 WESTBORO VILLAGE • December 2023 • xx

@Kitchissippi KitchissippiTimes @Kitchissippi KitchissippiTimes


Unwrap Joy in Every Gift

The Westboro Village BIA is excited to share our Westboro Gift Guide. These items are hand-picked and represent some of our favourite items. Embrace the spirit of giving with our curated selection of delightful presents for every occasion. Whether you're stuffing stockings, attending a holiday gathering, or celebrating a special someone, our guide has you covered.

Best Host Gifts: 1. Winter Arrangements from Flowers Talk Tivoli at 282 Richmond Rd. 2. Grapefruit Cordial from SplitTree Cocktail Co. at 98 Richmond Rd Unit J. 3. A Gift card from Your Favorite Westboro Village Restaurant to treat the hostess to dinner for another night.

Delicious Baked Goods for Christmas Day: 1. The Brownie Bombs from Strawberry Blonde Bakery at 111 Richmond Rd. 2. The Let It Snow Box from the Cupcake Lounge at 324 Richmond Rd. 3. Ready to Bake Scones from the SconeWitch at 393 Winston Ave.

Gifts for the Self-Care & Beauty Enthusiast: 1. Vivier Ultra Hydrating Mask from Refined Image Ottawa at 408A Churchill Ave N. 2. Skin Essence Rosehip Oil from Natural Food Pantry at 1960 Scott St. 3. Good Cheer Diffuser Blend Collection from Saje Natural Wellness at 350 Richmond Rd.

1. Wawel Malaga Chocolate from Wedel – Touch of Europe at 300 Richmond Rd. 2. Holiday Party Staples from Chez François - Plaisirs de Provence at 427 Richmond Rd. 3. Charcuterie Board from the Piggy Market at 400 Winston Ave.

Chez François

Special Little Extras for Your Party Table:

Going Out to Celebrate - What to Wear: 1. The Cary Lala Blazer from La muse at 279 Richmond Rd.


Top 3 Gifts for: Women: 1. Women's Chunky Cabin Mitten from Roots at 348A Richmond Rd. 2. Happy Bao Bun Stud Earrings from Magpie Jewellery at 430 Richmond Rd.

Kazka Toys

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3. Sofia Perla Lariat Necklace from bluboho at 371 Richmond Rd.

Men: 1. Beard Balm - Vintage Tweed from Copper Alley Gift Boutique at 117 Richmond Rd. 2. The MEC Hut Slippers – Unisex at 366 Richmond Rd. 3. Cold-Weather Knitwear from E. R. Fisher Menswear at 199 Richmond Rd.

Kids: 1. Maileg Afternoon Treat, Mouse – Merle from Kazka Toys at 343 Richmond Rd. 2. Thoughtfulls for Kids – You Can Do It from the Village Quire at 312 Richmond Rd. 3. I Am Kavi by Thushanthi Ponweera from Westboro Books at 314 Richmond Rd. KitchissippiTimes35 @Kitchissippi KitchissippiTimes xx•• December December 2023 2023 • • WESTBORO WESTBORO VILLAGE VILLAGE

3. Greta Chain Jacket by L’Agence from Fashion United at 435 Richmond Rd.

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2. Free People – Gold Rush Long Sleeve Top from Tallow at 358 Richmond Rd.


20TH ANNIVERSARY Kitchissippi Times turns 20 with community gathering BY KITCHISSIPPI TIMES STAFF

December 2023 • 36




ellington West’s Thyme & Again was packed on Nov. 14 as over 130 Kitchissippi Times readers, advertisers and supporters came out to celebrate the newspaper's 20th anniversary. It was an opportunity for the community's players to socialize with one another while looking back at some of the biggest stories which have touched Kitchissippi over the last two decades. The three-hour event was so successful, some people had to be turned away after the room reached capacity. Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe, who founded the newspaper in October 2003, was in attendance, alongside former business partner Donna Neil. In a speech, Sutcliffe said he started the community paper after feeling there was a need to tell the stories of Kitchissippi residents. It was a family affair in the early days, he said, noting everyone pitched in to get the paper to press.

“It’s been a few years since I’ve been involved in the day-to-day operations of Kitchissippi Times, but once upon a time Donna and I were doing everything to put the paper out,” Sutcliffe said. “My mom used to come over to my house and together we’d work on the invoices for the advertisers. I took a lot of pictures in the early days and wrote some of the stories. Donna made all of the connections with the community. It was a really fun project.” It’s been a tough time in the local news industry. Only a handful of community newspapers still print in Ottawa. Between 2008 and 2023, 473 Canadian news operations shut operations, according to the federal government. Kitchissippi Times editor Charlie Senack said the paper's growing success during turbulent times is thanks to community support. “There is never a shortage of stories going on here, from developments to community events and profiles. We have the opportunity to go into people's homes

Over 130 people supported community news during the Kitchissippi Times’ 20th anniversary party held at Thyme & Again on Nov. 14. PHOTO BY ELLEN BOND. and talk about issues that matter to them,” he said. Senack also thanked the team behind the scenes who make the magic happen. “We have the best creative design city in the city. People are always commenting on how amazing the paper looks when it comes out. That’s thanks to Celine Paquette and Tanya Connolly-Holmes. We also can’t thank Eric Dupuis enough who deals with the business community to sell ads.” Since the first issue of KT was released, over 330 print editions have been published. The paper has interviewed thousands of newsmakers and residents while assisting hundreds of businesses in the Westboro and Hintonburg areas to reach their marketing and sales objectives.

For local journalism students, the paper has created print opportunities which are becoming rare as the digital landscape changes how media is consumed. Carleton Journalism student Simon Hopkins said that’s one of the reasons he was drawn to KT. “I love the idea of a physical newspaper. I love community news. I think it is fantastic that we still have an independently-owned local newspaper that is on such a high level here in Kitchissippi,” he said. Also in attendance was Great River Media publisher Michael Curran, Kitchissippi Coun. Jeff Leiper, and former KT editors Andrea Tomkins and Maureen McEwan. With files by Ally Lemieux-Fanset

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Alan Gustafson’s family were presented with a large poster from when the was on the front page of the Kitchissippi Times back in October 2015. PHOTOS BY ELLEN BOND. Peter Joynt said being able to support community news while honoring his longtime friend, a community builder, was a perfect pairing. “I’m a massive fan of the Kitchissippi Times. I read it regularly. So to be there at the event was so cool, to look around the room and see all the different stories on the posters and to see what KT has done to create culture in our community,” he said. “Knowing what that story did for Alan at the time was cool.” Read the full story on With files by Andrea Cranfield

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37 • December 2023

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the life of Alan, who’s connection to the community still runs deep, even years after his passing. “Harvey was very proud. He carried the poster home and showed the neighbours. He has it up in his room,” Jessica said. “I invited Peter [to the party] because he is the catalyst for Alan being on the cover of the paper. We both saw his picture blown up and we burst into tears even after all this time. It still hits you. It was such a nice reminder of when the community came together for us.”

or friends and family who knew Alan Gustafson, they all commented on what a nice, honest, hard-working guy he was. KT was first introduced to then 38-yearold Alan in Oct. 2015 when family friend Peter Joynt contacted the paper to write about a fundraising initiative he was starting for the Hintonburg resident, who had just been diagnosed with ALS. The news came one month before Alan’s son Harvey was born. Over $200,000 was raised during the campaign. Alan knew something was wrong the previous November when he felt a weakness in his right hand and arm. By the time KT caught up with the welder by trade, he had lost most of the strength in his arms and legs, making it difficult to get around. That soon resulted in not being able to work. “Losing all strength in my hands and arms to begin with and not being able to create in a medium that I’m familiar with feels kind of like you’re choking basically,”

Alan told KT at the time. “You have stuff you want to get out there but you have no avenue to express it. You have no avenue for output.” Alan passed away on Dec. 3, 2016, only about a year and a half after his initial diagnosis. While the news and timing was tragic, Alan’s wife Jessica said it was community support and their newborn son who uplifted them on the darkest days. “It was a really intense time. Harvey was snuggled by his dad every single day and was the absolute light of our lives at a time when there was a lot of darkness,” she said. During the Kitchissippi Times anniversary party on Nov. 14, Jessica and her now seven-year-old son Harvey were presented with a large poster of Alan from when he was featured on the front page of the paper. Many other family members and friends were in attendance to remember


Former Hintonburg welder honoured during KT party


Celebrating 20 years of the Kitchissippi Times On Nov. 14, over 130 KT readers and advertisers gathered at Wellington West’s Thyme & Again to support community news asked attendees We to share a message with us Thank you for all your kind words!





December 2023 • 38





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1. Over 130 people joined the Kitchissippi Times on Nov. 14 to celebrate our 20th anniversary. 2. Mayor Mark Sutcliffe, who founded the paper back in 2003, said he wanted to tell the stories of Kitchissippi residents. 3. Reporter Simon Hopkins speaks with party attendees. 4. From left to right: Michael Curran, Mark Sutcliffe, Donna Neil and Charlie Senack. 5. From left to right: Lisa Georges, Donna Neil, Mark Sutcliffe, and Michael Curran. 6. A longtime KT reader looks at the November 2023 anniversary issue. 7. Party guests (including at left, our distribution agents Royal Renaud and his wife Christine Renaud) talk about the importance of community news. ALL PHOTOS BY ELLEN BOND.

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Left: On June 9, an anti “gender ideology” demonstration was held outside of Broadview Public School. Counter protesters showed up to share their support with the LGBTQ2S+ community. Right: New cycling lanes are being built on Scott Street between Parkdale and Bayview station. Work will continue throughout 2024. ALL PHOTOS BY CHARLIE SENACK.

Kitchissippi politicians weigh in on 2023 highlights BY CHARLIE SENACK


s 2023 draws to a close, the Kitchissippi Times sat down with the community’s representatives from all three levels of government to talk about some of their biggest accomplishments from 2023, and what their goals are heading into the new year. Jeff Leiper Kitchissippi councillor Jeff Leiper said advancements with community building projects is what he’s most proud of over the last year. In May, the new Keith Brown Field House in Laroche Park opened. The old site was contaminated and in need of advancements. “That was several years in the making. I’m really pleased that Somerset West Community Health Centre was able to transfer their daycare and children’s programming into that place,” Leiper said. “Next we want to see how we can really leverage it for community events. We want to restore the Mechanicsville Winter Carnival.” Cash in lieu of park funds recently purchased two residential properties to

be converted into public greenspace. The home at 115 Spencer St. is soon expected to be demolished after facing delays getting the gas shut off. The other property at 22 Ladouceur St. will be incorporated into Armstrong Park with community consultation starting sometime next year. For infrastructure improvements, work is well underway for new cycling lanes to be built on Scott Street between Parkdale and Bayview Station. They will replace a bus lane that was put in place when Stage 1 LRT construction diverted buses onto the roadway. The construction has been more substantial than initially expected, Leiper noted, but will be of benefit to Scott Street residents whose homes will now be situated further away from the road. “We are extending the sidewalk and curb onto that lane. There will be tree planting and a cycle track. It will connect

to the cycle infrastructure for the LRT,” Leiper said. “I hope it will make Scott Street a bit calmer. It will help us segregate more of the pedestrian and bike traffic that moves through the ward.” Joel Harden For Ottawa Centre MPP Joel Harden, 2023 was all about community advocacy. The outspoken NDP critic for transit and active transportation recently brought forward a piece of legislation called the Moving Ontarians Safely Act which seeked to introduce new road safety measures. It was voted down by the PC government, a move Harden called “shameful and a lack of leadership.” “We did a bike ride to promote the bill where I rode my bike from Ottawa to Toronto and stopped in many towns represented by all political parties,” Harden said. “We wanted to make sure that a person is not driving the next day

[after someone is injured in a crash]. Often that’s what happens with a few hundred dollars in fines.” On the social Justice front, Harden said he was proud to stand with LGBTQ2S+ members and allies when “anti-gender ideology” demonstrators protested a person's right to be themselves outside Broadview Public School on June 9. Five individuals were arrested but no charges were laid. Harden was assaulted while trying to stand in the way of a fight. “I put myself between two people who were having an altercation that, from what I saw, was initiated by one of the anti-transgender protesters. She grabbed a woman by her hair and started dragging her to the ground,” Harden recalled. “My back was to the person who initiated the assault. As I looked over my shoulder, this woman punched my megaphone into my face.” It’s been a tough year for the Ontario NDP. In October, Hamilton Centre MPP Sarah Jama was removed from the party's caucus after sharing her support for Palestine amidst the conflict with Israel. On NDP letterhead she posted a statement describing the “continued violation of human rights in Gaza" by Israel. She also called for the end of all occupation of Palestinian land and the end of apartheid. She now sits as an independent MPP. “MPP Sarah Jama had passionate thoughts on human rights. What I think was made clear is when we are in intense political discussions like this, we need to work as a team and present discussions together,” Harden said. “There was not that effort made by MPP Jama. I’ll be honest, I miss her. She’s done incredible work in Hamilton. But she chose advocacy.” Harden, who said he’s on the side of international law and human rights, believes war crimes have been witnessed in both Israel and Gaza. He said Canada has a role to play in negotiation and solution.

Westboro, Wellington West BIA’s reflect on 2023 BY CHARLIE SENACK


Top: Rick Eisert and Judy Lincoln from the Westboro Village BIA in summer 2023. PHOTO BY CHARLIE SENACK Insert: Devon Armstrong is the interim executive director of the Wellington West BIA. PROVIDED PHOTO. Bottom: Wellington West has seen many retailers shut their doors in the last year, but has a high turnover rate. PHOTO BY CHARLIE SENACK.

41 • December 2023

Lincoln said Westboro held a popular Women’s Day event in March and expanded their pop-up movie nights to three over the summer. The Wellington West BIA spent 2023 rethinking, restructuring and strategizing, said Armstrong. In May, longtime executive director Dennis Van Staalduinen parted ways with the organization after more than five years. “A lot of the times we were doing things that were fun and nice for the community, but not always a good time for the businesses. In some ways there are areas of the BIA that were underserved,” Armstrong said. “Especially services and places not on the Main Street. The world has changed in a couple of ways and I think the BIA also needs to change to meet those new realities.”


Books and Kazka Toys have also been added to Richmond Road’s retail landscape. “We have had some businesses expand which has helped with the vacancy. They are reimagining what space they need to be successful,” Lincoln said. “We try to support our property owners with research and data to help them market their spaces. We support our existing members to help them as they figure out what their next steps are.” Both BIA’s have held a number of events in their neighborhoods to help support community and interaction, including offering live entertainment. In Wellington West, Armstrong said they are focusing on returning people to their Main Street. In July, a successful ‘Where’s Waldo’ contest was held.


or Kitchissippi businesses, 2023 was all about trying to find stability after a turbulent few years caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Shopping patterns in the community have changed with federal office employees not returning to Tunney’s Pasture in large droves. Devon Armstrong, interim executive director of the Wellington West business improvement association [BIA] said a “new normal” is settling in. He said many retailers in the community have shut their doors over the last year, but noted there is also a high turnover of new businesses opening up. Marble Slab Creamery, Hairmosa, Fire Shawarma and Wolfe Real Estate are among some of the new tenants. “It’s hard for a lot of smaller businesses to transition to having a digital store. If you are a brick and mortar store, you need foot traffic,” said Armstrong. “I know some people, even if they were doing ok, they were making less and decided to make a life change. We had a few businesses which just wanted to do something different after a couple of tough years treading water.” Now with Canada Emergency Loan Payments coming due on Jan. 18, the BIA is pushing the federal government to give their members more time. On the other side of Kitchissippi, Judy Lincoln from the Westboro BIA said they are proud to have a low vacancy rate. Larger national footprints like Sleep Country and Mary Brown’s Kitchen now call the Village home. Independent tenants like Westboro

Yasir Naqvi Ottawa Centre MP Yasir Naqvi said Ottawa is on track to build more affordable housing units than ever before. In early October, groundbreaking for Mosaïq Phase 2 began on Gladstone Avenue near Little Italy. A total of 273 affordable Ottawa Community Housing units will be built on the site, with 140 already part of Phase 1. In November it was announced that three federally-owned properties in Ottawa would be converted into homes. That includes 600 homes on Carling Avenue and 710 homes on Booth Street, 221 of which will be affordable. “At least 20 percent of those properties will be used to build affordable housing,” Naqvi said. “It’s an exciting direction the government has announced. Tunney's Pasture and Confederation Heights are two pieces of land that have been considered surplus.” Tunney’s Pasture is in the midst of a long-term revitalization project that will see the site turn from a federal office park into a multi-use community. Naqvi expects plans won’t get underway for another 10 or 20 years, but affordable housing is expected to be a big part of the development. “The question of what buildings can be converted is a more technical thing which engineers are looking at. When you look at parcels like Tunney’s, my understanding is the state of a lot of those buildings mean they will need to be brought down and new housing built. There are a lot of opportunities to create a nice, mixed-use community.” On transit, Naqvi said he’s hopeful funding will soon be provided for Phase 3 LRT. While some councillors believe the plans should be shelved for now, the Ottawa Centre MP said it’s crucial to reach net zero targets while caring for the environment. “The longer we wait, the more expensive and challenging it gets. When it comes to funding public transit we need to look at it from a longer view,” said Naqvi. “We aren't just building our transit for the next five years. We are building it for 40 to 50 years from now.”

COMMUNITY CALENDAR DEC 7: MURDER AT THE ART SHOW: Notre Dame High School is putting on their first production in years! Come watch students in grades 9-12 take the school's stage for the very first time for their production of Murder at the Art show, a murder mystery comedy. Doors will open at 6:00 p.m. for you to enjoy some refreshments and a student art gallery before the curtains open at 7:00 p.m. The suggested ticket price is $5 at the door. See you there! Location: 710 Broadview Avenue. Contact: DEC 9: BIG SOUL PROJECT COMMUNITY CHOIR CHRISTMAS CONCERT: Come join us to celebrate the festive season in song with Big Soul Project



Community Choir on Saturday, December 9, 2023 at 7:30 p.m. at Carleton Dominion Chalmers Centre. Tickets are now available on Eventbrite at $25.00 for adults; $15 for students ages 13 to 25. Children twelve and under can enjoy the fun for free.

soprano Emili Losier and organist Elaine Graham. Woodroffe United Church, 207 Woodroffe Avenue, Ottawa Tickets for this concert Adult: $25; Senior/ Student: $20. Beginning at 7:30 p.m.

DEC 12: CANADIAN CENTENNIAL CHOIR: Our 56th season will open with John Rutter’s exuberant Magnificat for SATB choir, soprano soloist and orchestra. This joyous celebration of the Virgin Mary is inspired by festivities in countries such as Spain, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. We’ll round out our holiday program with works by Rheinberger, Gjeilo and Sirett, and plenty of audience singalong carols. With

DEC 11-12: NOT YOUR TYPICAL HOLIDAY MARKET: This event is the perfect opportunity to gather with friends, family, and loved ones to enjoy the holidays in a new light. Whether you’re looking to shop for oneof-a-kind gifts, enjoy some live music, or just soak up the festive atmosphere, the Not Your Typical Holiday Market has something for everyone. Taking place at 6 Booth Street, from 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

December 2023 • 42



A reminder that we don't have a January issue. See you in February 2024!


The biggest stories we’ve told in 2023 BY CHARLIE SENACK


t has been a busy year in Kitchissippi. Community events have made a comeback, controversial planning developments have caused a stir, and the arts and culture scene is more alive than ever. As 2023 comes to a close, we are looking back at some of the biggest and most significant stories we have covered over the last year. If you missed any of the stories mentioned in this article, you can find them on The online version of this feature will include links to all of the articles mentioned. With a new year starting, we are also looking to make some positive changes to

the Kitchissippi Times. We want to hear from you about which articles you most enjoy, and what you would like to read more about in 2024. Please send an email to and share your thoughts! JANUARY The Mechanicsville community put pressure on the National Capital Commission to build a controversial embassy precinct at Tunney’s Pasture instead of Lazy Bay Commons. Popular Wellington Street West business John’s Diner celebrated 50 years of serving residents. The National Capital Commission announced during a Jan.

19, board meeting that the Sir John A. MacDonald Parkway would be renamed to reflect indigenous history. FEBRUARY The Wellington West BIA launched a Healthy Hearts campaign to support Heart Month. On the cover of KT, 78-year-old Linda Whitfield is profiled for paddling over 80 times in the last year — a personal record. Construction noise disrupted learning at Devonshire Public School. Dozens braved frigid temperatures to attend the annual Fisher Park Winter Carnival. MARCH Kitchissippi Coun. Jeff Leiper unveiled two locations where houses will be torn down to make way for parkland. Morris Formalwear celebrated being in business for almost a century, and Westboro’s Zak’s Diner opened. Local singer Sherri Harding launched her first album called A Million Pieces.

APRIL The Ukrainian Orthodox Church on Byron Ave offered pysanky making. The Ottawa Trans Library reflected on a successful first year in operation. Ottawa Salus continued to clean up after a burst pipe caused millions in damages. The Carleton Tavern got new owners. On April 15, Franco Micucci, 46, was hit by a vehicle as he crossed Richmond Road at Kirkwood Avenue. He later died in hospital. Many homes were left without power after an ice storm hit Kitchissippi — the worst one seen since 1998. MAY Kitchissippi music coach Nicole Colbeck was on the front page of KT. Westboro Beach partially opened despite delayed construction. The Westboro Legion celebrated their 75th anniversary. Popular gelato shop Stella Luna got new owners, but landed in controversy weeks after when an exclusivity clause forced out neighbouring business Sharpfle Waffle. The Wellington

KITCHISSIPPI’S YEAR IN REVIEW West BIA parted ways with longtime executive director Dennis Van Staalduinen.

What to expect in

JUNE On the front page of the June issue was Max and Issac Finkelstein. The father and son duo planned to canoe from Montreal to Ottawa, but the trip was forced to stop before it even started due to a police chase. Two federal office complexes in the Kitchissippi area were put on a list for disposal. Churchill Alternative School looked to raise $15,000 in a pinch to build a new kinder year player structure. Thanks to community support, they were able to reach their goal. Yasir Naqvi officially announced he is running for the Ontario Liberal Party leadership. JULY Popular Westboro business West End Kids closed after 35 years in business. The owners declared bankruptcy after owing creditors just over $900.000. In Wellington West, Herb & Spice served their last customers after half a century. A new development was proposed near the Plant Recreation Complex at 1010 Somerset.

• The Trillium Line Phase 2 LRT project is expected to open in Spring 2024 after years of construction delays. Once operational, trains will run from Line 1 at Bayview Station to Limebank Road in Riverside South. A separate connection will travel to the airport from South Keys Station. MARCH

• The Parkdale Market is turning 100. It officially opened on July 10, 1924. APRIL

• The Wellington West business improvement association is expected to choose a new executive director to replace Dennis Van Staalduinen, who parted ways with the BIA in May 2023. • Work on the Scott Street cycle project will continue. Coun. Jeff Leiper suspects road rebuilds will increase in 2024.

43 • December 2023

• The comprehensive zoning bylaw review will be drafted in the spring to increase density. It will make it easier for developers to understand their limits while saving them time and money.


NOVEMBER The Kitchissippi Times celebrated our 20th anniversary with a special section looking back at stories we’ve covered over the past two decades. More than 130 people attended a community party to celebrate the paper at Thyme & Again on Nov. 14. Members of the local Jewish community reflected on the recent conflict between Israel and Palestine. The Parkdale United Church Orchestra launched their new season with a “Remembrance” concert.

• Nepean High School continues to celebrate their 100th anniversary.


SEPTEMBER September was all about recognizing Kitchissippi’s artistic talent. The West End Studio Tour returned and the Gladstone Theatre launched a new lineup for their upcoming season. Orange Art Gallery announced they would be forced to close at the end of year after their landlords wouldn't renew the lease. With Barbie all the rage, the gallery hosted a party to celebrate the hit movie. The Civic Hospital Neighbourhood Association shared their concerns over a proposed development at 1081 Carling Avenue, which could impact research at the Central Experimental Farm. OCTOBER OC Transpo general manager Renée Amilcar told KT that riders will need to be understanding and patient as the transit system is redesigned. Wall Space Gallery moved from Westboro to Old Ottawa South. The Kichi Sibi Winter Trail announced they are becoming their own charity after separating from Dovercourt.

• Westboro Beach will fully reopen after closing in Spring 2022. A new pavilion and expanded shoreline amenities are part of the plan.

AUGUST The August issue of KT was almost fully dedicated towards celebrating Pride and the LGBTQ2S+ community. Community leaders reflected on a recent “anti-gender ideology” demonstration that was held outside Broadview Public School. Brock Carleton shared his inspiring story of keeping an active lifestyle while dealing with Parkinson’s. The Chief William Commanda Bridge officially opened to the public.


KitchissippiTimes @Kitchissippi

December 2023 • 44

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