Kitchissippi Times | April 3, 2014

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April 3, 2014

ImmunizeCA is a free app that helps people keep track of their vaccinations. Photos by Kate Settle.

Local doc makes national app


Connecting immunization records with handheld devices

By Anita Grace

A recent outbreak of measles in Ottawa’s west end had people scrambling to find vaccination records for themselves and their children. But those with the new ImmunizeCA app could have simply checked their smartphones to see if their immunizations were up to date. ImmunizeCA is a free app that

helps people keep track of their vaccinations – what they have and what they need. Parents can store all their children’s immunization data in one handy-to-access place. “The primary idea was to empower individuals to manage their own health information,” says app developer Dr. Kumanan Wilson from his office at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute.

Wilson had the idea for ImmunizeCA following a conversation with friend and fellow Westboro resident Lesley Keenan in 2011. Keenan told Wilson how frustrated she was with paper immunization records. She wondered why she could do her banking on her smartphone, but not have her family’s vaccination records stored there. Continued on page 6

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Neighbourhood winners We received some great entries for our “Thank Thy Neighbour” contest. It’s clear there are some generous and kind people living in Kitchissippi. We chose two winners at random and are sharing their stories with KT readers in the hopes that their sense of good will is infectious and inspiring. Catherine Hughes’ submission is the winner of a $75 gift certificate to Renu Spa, which will go to her neighbours Steve and Anita Mason. Catherine says Bevan Avenue is full of great neighbours who “look out for each other, not at each other,” says Hughes. Steve and Anita Mason are the neighbours I would like to nominate for the “Thank Thy Neighbour” Contest. Let me tell Steve Mason, Catherine Hughes, and Anita you a little bit about what makes Mason are just a few of the many “great them so special. neighbours” in Kitchissippi. Photo by When I moved into my house Andrea Tomkins many years ago, I was a single 30-something woman feeling a tad overwhelmed at the prospect of owing street. He had a good chuckle at that! :) a home on my own. Within days of He’s helped me clean my lawnmower and moving in, I was greeted at my side door always lent an ear or a hand whenever I’ve by Steve, who presented me with a bottle needed it. Steve and Anita are truly the glue that of wine and a list of all of my immediate neighbours and their respective telephone holds our community together. Every Christmas Eve, Steve and Anita host a numbers, just so I wouldn’t feel alone. A month or so after that, Anita, Steve’s holiday party for all the neighbours. The wife, invited me to join her and the other rule has always been, if the “lights on the ladies on the block for a welcome cocktail. front tree are on,” then come on in! I hope I arrived feeling a little nervous, but that Steve and Anita are selected since within minutes I was made to feel right at they are two of the best neighbours and home, surrounded by women who had friends anyone could ask for. lived on the street and been friends for This nomination was submitted by generations. On cold winter mornings when I’ve Shelley McKay on behalf of the “many gone outside to get a head start on many” neighbours who nominated shoveling, I’ve arrived in my lane way to Hilary McVey. Hilary will receive a $50 find it freshly ploughed. I have arrived gift certificate to the Rose Bowl home after many long days at the office Chophouse. and found my pathways cleared. Whenever I’ve tried to thank Steve with a bottle of We definitely have a Kitchissippi neighwine or a gift, he has politely refused bour who goes that extra mile and who is saying simply that “that’s what neighbours always a very generous, caring member of do.” our community. She is one of those people Steve and Anita have kept an eye on who communicates early and clearly my house when I have had to travel for about important neighbourhood matters. work. He’s helped me prune overgrown Hilary is the driving force behind many crabapple trees and lilac bushes. He’s community initiatives and we want to pulled a dead squirrel out of my garage thank her for being such a wonderful after hearing me shriek from across the neighbour.

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• One of the new moms among the neighbours said the following: “As a new mom, it’s been amazing to have her as a resource.” • Another mom said: “Hilary is a force of nature, not sure how she does it all!!” • Another of our neighbours is a world class Ironman Triathlete, and one morning when she needed to do a workout, Hilary picked up her dog and took him to the morning doggie gathering so that neither the dog nor its owner would miss their workout!

support the Elmdale Public School Book Fair. In the days leading up to the sale, Hilary noticed a shortage of volunteers and sent out messages encouraging parents to sign up for a volunteer shift to ensure that all time slots were covered so that the Book Fair would be a success. Needless to say, all time slots were filled and the book fair was a success! Hilary also personally introduced me to a neighbour who had recently experienced a health issue that I also struggle with. Hilary put us in touch with one another so that we could share information, share medical contacts and support one another through our health challenges. The other area that Hilary is involved in is the Parkdale Food Bank. This past Fall she spearheaded having neighbours distribute flyers about the food bank.

“As a new mom, it’s been amazing to have her as a resource.”

My first encounter with Hilary’s caring and energetic manner came about when I got a new puppy. I met her and a fabulous group of dog owners at a daily gathering of dogs. This informal gathering is now being formalized thanks to Hilary. She is currently leading a community effort to create a formal dog play place. Hilary began by communicating with all of us and then by organizing a meeting between herself and two other dog owner representatives with the Principal at Fisher Park + the Community Centre Area Manager. Hilary then set up a doodle poll with three options for our dog park in order to understand what all 30 dog owners prefer and then she prepared a proposal that is soon to be submitted for review by the City of Ottawa. A real community leader! Since that first encounter with Hilary I have also watched her send out several messages encouraging neighbours to

An honourable mention, from Alixanderia Clymans of Cole Ave.

We partially share our driveway with our neighbour Bob. He has a snow blower and ALWAYS blows both our driveways - even the part of ours that is separate from his. He has done this for us since we moved next door in 2007, and I’ve really appreciated it through three winter pregnancies. He is fantastic. Thank you everyone for your entries! A few honourable mentions have been uploaded to the web version of this article at

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Health services coming to Hintonburg

Fundraising campaign launched for SWCHC Story and photo by Anita Grace

The Rosemount branch will have clinic services on the main level, including several exam rooms, an acupuncture studio, a mental health room, and clinical staff offices. Community services on the upper level will include a large training

This fall, Somerset West Community Health Centre (SWCHC) will open a second branch at 30 Rosemount Avenue, next door to the Rosemount Public Library. The official fundraising campaign was Priscilla Hudon, SWCHC client and launched on March 20. Board Member, at the future “The Rosemount branch Rosemount location. has been a dream of ours for several years,” says Annie Hillis, Chair of SWCHC’s Board of Directors. SWCHC has been operating at 55 Eccles Street in Chinatown for over 40 years, offering primary health and support services to 14,000 clients. The addition of a second branch will allow it to accommodate 1,100 more patients. Both locations will provide walk-in kitchen and child-friendly spaces. Its clinics and family doctors as well as services will be available to the growing programs like chronic disease communities of Hintonburg, management, prenatal and post-partum Mechanicsville, Champlain Park, and care, family and youth services, and Wellington West. seniors’ activities. “We’re thrilled that this is happening,” “I’m such a passionate believer in what says Jack McCarthy, SWCHC Executive they do,” says Priscilla Hudon, a SWCHC Director. “This will provide service for the client and a member of the Board of community for generations to come.” Directors. “SWCHC, in my view, is an SWCHC is well known for being incredible force for good in the actively engaged in its surrounding community.” community and being responsive to the She praises the Centre’s holistic needs of vulnerable and minority approach and its advocacy for vulnerable populations. In addition to English and people in the community. “Everything French programming, programs and they do, every decision they make, is done services are offered in Cantonese, with compassion, caring, and Mandarin, Vietnamese, Cambodian, commitment.” Arabic, Somali and Nepali. The $6 million expansion project was Kitchissippi Coun. Katherine Hobbs primarily funded by Infrastructure said she is very happy to see SWCHC Ontario, with additional funding from the expand into this ward. “Their dedication City of Ottawa and private donations. is astounding,” she says. SWCHC hopes their fundraising campaign The brick building that will house the will raise the final $500,000 needed to centre is over 100 years old. It has in the complete the project. past served as a synagogue, a Methodist The community is already stepping up church, a Knights of Columbus hall, and to show its support. Tony Boghossian, most recently a series of offices. owner of Bell Pharmacy on Gladstone Renovations are well underway and the Avenue, presented a cheque for $10,000 centre is slated to open on September to SWCHC at the campaign launch. 18, 2014. “I believe in what they are doing,” Those interested in making a donation Boghossian explains. “I have seen the to SWCHC’s expansion project can visit good things they do for their clients.” for more information.

Kitchissippi Times P.O. Box 3814, Station C Ottawa, Ontario K1Y 4J8 Kitchissippi, meaning “the Grand River,” is the former Algonquin name for the Ottawa River. The name now identifies the urban community to the west of downtown Ottawa. Newswest is a not-forprofit community-owned publication that is distributed 12 times per year inside the Kitchissippi Times.

Editor Andrea Tomkins 613-238-1818 x275 @kitchissippi Contributors Meagan Curran, Denise Deby, Anita Grace, Bob Grainger, Natasha Harris-Harb, Ted Simpson, Kate Settle, Kristy Strauss Proofreader Judith van Berkom Advertising Sales Lori Sharpe 613-238-1818 x274 Donna Roney 613-238-1818 x273 Publisher Mark Sutcliffe Associate Publisher Donna Neil Creative Director Tanya Connolly-Holmes Production Regan Van Dusen Advertising 613-238-1818 x268 All other enquiries 613-238-1818 x230 Distribution A minimum of 17,600 copies distributed from the Ottawa River to Carling Avenue between the O-Train tracks and Woodroffe Avenue. Most residents in this area will receive the Kitchissippi Times directly to their door through Ottawa Citizen or Flyer Force. If you did not receive your copy, or would like additional copies, please contact us and we’ll deliver to you. Bulk copies delivered to multi-unit dwellings and retail locations. Copies available at Dovercourt Recreation Centre and Hintonburg Community Centre. 613-238-1818 x248 Tips and ideas We want to hear from you about what’s happening in our community. Contact the Editor. The Kitchissippi Times is published by


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April 3, 2014 • 5

Kitchissippi Times

KT LETTERS & TWEETS Re: Parents get a better Broadview, March 20 Dear Editor, I am thrilled to hear about the announcement to create a new school at Broadview Avenue Public School and that the late nights and long hours of OCDSB meetings and the commitment of Westboro parents has finally paid off. What a gift to our future as well as for the school, the children who attend it, and the community. I am wondering about the steps to rebuild - if they are taking into consideration an environmentally sound and sustainable approach. I am certain many are aware that the off gassing of regular building products, paints, insulation etc. is huge and the toxicity can last for years after any scents have left the building. Recently my husband and I chose to gut and renovate a three bedroom semi-detached home in Westboro. All of our choices utilized local (where available), sustainable and non-toxic products. We worked alongside our innovative, ecological, local, and healthy building solutions store - The Healthiest Home. There was no offgassing of any kind in our home - great for me and the asthma I experience as well as for our visiting adult children, our precious grandchildren, extended family and friends. I highly recommend that those at Broadview stay open to all possibilities through in-depth research of, and connection with, healthy ways to build. Yes, the financial cost is more, but the cost to our children and planet would be much more if going the toxic route. With our choices we can make a difference.

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App will keep records in one place people easily access their records in case of an emergency or an infectious disease outbreak. Wilson, who is a pandemic planning expert, knows that parents often misplace their children’s little yellow immunization records and may end up with multiple, incomplete record books for the same child and not be aware of missed vaccinations. McKellar Park resident Alecia O’Brien admits that she has four immunization records for her two children. O’Brien hopes that having the records in one place will help her stay on top of vaccinations. “It’s also helped me realize I have two upcoming immunizations for my son,” she says. “I added that reminder to my calendar – that’s a big help.” The app provides reminders of required vaccines based on provincial or territorial schedules. It also alerts people to outbreaks in their area. While this current version is essentially a tool for people to manage their health records, Wilson hopes it will “integrate with other tools to be part of a comprehensive solution to managing immunizations.” In the future the public may also be able to use it to provide proof of immunization, such as when registering kids for school. O’Brien says this app is definitely a step in the right direction toward 3pm - Close WEDNESDAY a more integrated and responsive public health system. “I’m going to use it WEDNESDAY for both kids moving forward.” For more information on the app and 5pm - 8pm how to download it, visit

Continued from page 1 “That made sense to me,” Wilson says. But although he enjoys using his iPhone, he admits he had no idea how to write an app. So he brought up the idea with Cameron Bell, a McGill engineering student. Three months later, Bell presented him with a demo. In November 2012, Wilson and Bell launched ImmunizeON, an app for Ontario iPhone users. Building on the feedback they received from this app, they continued to improve the tool. In March of this year, with the support of the Canadian Public Health Association, Immunize Canada and the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, they launched the nation-wide version of the app ImmunizeCA. The bilingual tool can be downloaded at no cost for iPhones, Android smartphones, and BlackBerry devices. “It’s a great initiative,” says Dawn Grakist, supervisor with Ottawa Public Health’s immunization program. “We’re all really proud that it has MONDAY come out of Ottawa.” MONDAY In addition to helping people keep track of their TUESDAY vaccinations, Grakist notes that one of the TUESDAY benefits of this app is that it will let 3pm - Close

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Kitchissippi Times

A wired neighbourhood Community WiFi to launch in the summer

Story and photo by Andrea Tomkins

of July. The Wellington West BIA (WWBIA) and The WWBIA hopes the community IceNet Wireless have partnered to bring WiFi project will result in more “eyes on free community WiFi to Wellington the street,” and bring people out of their West. The installation will homes to use the service. begin in April and continGiven the high price of data, ue over the summer, with a Dayler believes there’s an launch date planned for appetite for “WiFi hopping.” July. “Will people be coming Zachary Dayler, out on to their balconies all Executive Director of the of a sudden? Sitting with WWBIA, says other their laptops or their phone? neighbourhood BIAs are What’s it going to do for keeping a close eye on this cycling for example?” asks pilot project. Dayler. “I think it will “It’s an opportunity to become part of our fabric, really learn here… and I just like how the Internet has know the board and those “I’m fairly confident that we done.” who are involved want to can unroll a good level of The evaluation process stress that this is new and service,” says Zachary Dayler, will take a number of we want to do it well,” says Executive Director of different aspects into the WWBIA. Dayler. consideration, including a The idea originally came functional assessment. out of a university urban “We don’t want to offer planning project, and conversations with something that’s a slow service – it’s Creative Neighbourhoods, an Ottawa- about providing a quality product, and based non-profit group dedicated to we want the WiFi and the interaction we improving the design of public spaces. provide the shoppers to reflect the quality of the businesses in this area,” says Dayler. “The biggest win is in the hardware itself, we’re putting in the plumbing for the future. And that’s really important.” According to IceNet’s website, the “free wireless not only gives consumers that chance to log This map depicts a potential catchment area for the WIFI network. Image onto the Internet courtesy of the WWBIA. and keep in touch with those A tender was issued and IceNet came around them, but it also gives companies back with “the most creative and the ability to “keep in touch” with the reasonable plan,” says Dayler. consumers.” Evaluation will be a key element of the Running ads on the network is a project. The WWBIA will be creating an likely scenario although Dayler advisory group and reaching out to local can’t comment what that would groups, such as community associations. look like. “It’s absolutely important to get them We’d love to hear your thoughts about on there, but before we bring them in we community WiFi. Will it add to, or need to know what we’re going to ask d e t r a c t from your them to evaluate,” says Dayler, who hopes neighbourhood? Send your feedback to to “hard launch” the service by the end



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New traffic lights are part of a plan to improve safety at the intersection of Byron Avenue and Roosevelt Avenue. Kitchissippi Ward Coun. Katherine Hobbs announced the addition of the lights last month, but residents have been asking for them for years. “I get probably one to two emails a week asking to do something [at the intersection],” says Hobbs. The intersection has been the site of numerous accidents and near misses. There are several contributing factors to the problems at Roosevelt and Byron. Two nearby streets, Danforth and Byron Place – not to be confused with Byron Avenue – also filter traffic into the intersection. This confuses drivers and requires them to look for traffic coming in two other directions. The lights are part of an intersection redesign that will also include signs to prevent traffic from entering from these two other streets. Motorists will no longer be able to turn left off Danforth Avenue or right off Byron Place. With the changes, Roosevelt Avenue at Byron Avenue will more closely resemble a traditional four-way intersection. “The pedestrian crossing here was not intuitive… for any number of reasons. Whereas a four-way, full intersection light is intuitive to people,” says Hobbs. The lights, as well as the other changes at the intersection, will be paid for through the Churchill rehabilitation project.

Implementing the changes this way was “only a matter of budget,” says Hobbs. Though the exact cost has not been determined yet, she says the traffic lights alone can cost upwards of $160,000. These changes are not the first to be implemented in an effort to improve safety at the intersection. Previous attempts included changing the loading dock at the development on Roosevelt Avenue and altering the placement of the stop sign at Byron Place before eventually removing it. None of these had a significant impact on the intersection. Hobbs says she thinks the new changes will be successful. “All I’ve heard back has been positive. People are very happy that finally something is being done,” she says. There have been some criticisms of the new design. “I don’t disagree with what they’re doing or why they’re doing it,” says Kevin O’Donnell, a resident of neighbouring Hampton-Iona who wrote about the intersection on his blog at “I just don’t think they’ve given full attention to the impact it will have on the pedestrian environment,” he says. O’Donnell argues that the design will pose new issues. He says the obstacles being added to prevent motorists entering the intersection from Danforth Avenue or Byron Place can also act as obstacles for pedestrians and cyclists, especially in the winter. The changes are to be implemented in the intersection this summer.

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April 3, 2014 • 9

Kitchissippi Times

Speaking for the trees

Residents bring concerns and ideas to “Tree House” By Denise Deby

Local trees are at risk, and the community and city need to do more to protect them, according to residents who attended a March 8 Ecology Ottawa meeting to gather ideas for a new program called Tree Ottawa.

“Our urban forest canopy is disappearing in Kitchissippi at an extremely alarming rate. It is critical that the city enforce the tree protection and conservation bylaws we have in Ottawa as other cities are doing.” “Treed neighbourhoods are wonderful to live in, and I’m concerned about the number of trees that we’re losing,” says Sylvia Bogusis. The Civic Hospital area resident tends trees in Hintonburg parks, is helping Fisher Park Public School with tree-planting and is working to create a “Kitchissippi Trees” community group. She says the emerald ash borer, extreme weather events and urban conditions have depleted Kitchissippi’s tree canopy. “To address the issue, we have to start now, because it takes so many years for trees to mature to the point where they’re healthy, self-sustaining and can provide us with all their benefits,” says Bogusis. Cameron Laing and Janick Lorion started volunteering with Tree Ottawa after watching the city remove most of the mature trees near their Westboro home as part of its strategy to control the emerald ash borer. “To the east of Cole [near

Carling], there’s hardly a tree standing,” says Laing. “It felt like losing a member of our community that’s been with us for 20 years—suddenly the landscape changed quite dramatically,” reflects Lorion. She and Laing say although the city plans to replace the trees, new ones will take years to provide the same ecological benefits, and the city needs to increase and diversify the trees it plants. In West Wellington, horticulturalist Rede Widstrand has documented the loss of several mature trees on her block. “I’ve been concerned, especially for the past six years, at the destruction caused by infill of our distinctive trees—our huge red maples in particular,” she says. “Our urban forest canopy is disappearing in Kitchissippi at an extremely alarming rate. It is critical that the city enforce the tree protection and conservation bylaws we have in Ottawa as other cities are doing. But this is not happening.” Debra Huron of Champlain Park says mature trees provide fresh air, wildlife habitat and protection from climate change effects, but they’re at risk during infill construction. “The damage may take two, three years to really have the full impact, and could ultimately result in the death of the tree,” she says. Damaging distinctive trees without a permit is prohibited under the city’s urban tree conservation bylaw, but Huron, a Champlain Oaks volunteer, says the forestry department needs to enforce the bylaw. “An important part of what needs to be on the agenda, particularly in 2014 when we will be soon in the midst of a municipal election campaign, is to understand more about how the City of Ottawa envisions the future of our urban canopy,” says Huron. Tree Ottawa is a five-year, multi-faceted program to encourage and support people and groups across the city to protect and plant trees and promote tree habitats. For more information, go to

Greening of Westboro Beach The Westboro Beach Community Association is hosting a tree and shrub sale to encourage the neighbourhood to become greener and healthier. It’s also a fundraiser for the WBCA. Trees are $10.00 each, and are bare root, one to two feet in height. Trees can be ordered now for May delivery. The description of the trees and shrubs, as well as ordering information, is posted on the WBCA website at

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Life on Banting Avenue

A place one might find gypsies, apple trees, and dirty laundry

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By Bob Grainger

Ottawa Carleton District School Board 133 Greenbank Road, Nepean, ON K2H 6L3


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This final column about Banting Avenue focuses on the day-to-day life of the neighbourhood. In conversations with people who grew up on Banting Avenue, it is clear that it was seen as a delightful place to live – a quiet secluded corner of the city, with forest and meadow and the river shore to provide perfect opportunities for exploring and games. The woods on the shore of the river behind the Thomson-Cole-Rochester farm were wonderful for climbing and games of chase and hide-and-seek. Occasionally, these same woods contained caravans of gypsies and camps of itinerant homeless who inspired wonder and more than a little trepidation in the minds of younger children. The Thomson-ColeRochester farm tempted children with apple trees and fields of asparagus, the seeds of which were spread

by the wind, providing tasty eating in the spring. The Waterman children and Gail Hobbs saw the neighbourhood as a paradise. But it was the river that was the greatest attraction – to the adults but particularly for the children. There were sandy beaches for swimming and sunbathing, and for canoeing and boating. When the children were a bit older, they would venture out to explore the log booms, which kept the logs off the beach. In the winter, the children would skate on the river after their fathers had verified the thickness of the ice and cleared the snow. The railway was a defining element of the neighbourhood as it separated the residents from the rest of the city. Trains went by four times a day: long freight trains and passenger trains speeding into the city or on their way to Toronto. In

Dr. Ira Hamilton sits on the steps leading down to the river in front of his house, at the very western end of Banting Avenue. This location had a steep slope down to the river and was a very popular sledding spot for children in the winter. Photo courtesy of Pat (Hamilton) Oosterbann.

the 1940s, these huge steam locomotives could attain 100 km/hr. The coal burning monsters produced clouds of black soot which could quickly ruin a fresh wash hanging outside on the line. The trains were a source of wonder but also danger. There was a report of a Producer’s Milk truck demolished at the crossing

at Cleary Avenue, and the worst train accident in the history of Ottawa took place here in 1913. Evelyn (Kennedy) Waterman recalled a close call one day when she was wandering home from school lost in thought. She was only saved by the shouts of the crew, warning of the approaching train.

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Looking for leaders Jane’s Walk Ottawa is looking for volunteers. Jane’s Walk is a series of free neighbourhood walking tours given by locals who care passionately about where they live, work and play. It is a pedestrian-focused event


that improves urban literacy by offering insights into local history, planning, design, and civic engagement through the simple act of walking and observing. Champlain Park resident, Dennis Van

Msgr Hans Feichtinger poses with parishioners Susie de Kemp, Sherri Billowits, Karen Yakabuski and Marywynne Parke at a St. Patrick’s Party at St. George’s Catholic Church on March 16. Partygoers were treated to a meal of Irish stew, colcannon, salad and bread with bread pudding, brownies and sugar cookies for dessert. Music was provided by Hanks’s Hangover, a Westboro band, and by Limited Edition, a fiddling group from Renfrew. The new parish hall, in festive green decorations, added to the enjoyment of the evening. On Monday morning, leftover food was delivered to the Shepherds of Good Hope on Murray Street. Photo by Colleen Nakla.

Staalduinen, has led five walks over the last three years – two of those being bike tours. He says it’s a great experience for leaders and walkers alike. “Leaders can essentially plan and script their own walk based on any urban issue, historical theme, or development topic they like – with some guidance provided by the Jane’s Walk organizers,” explains Van Staalduinen. “Last year [walk leaders] ranged from local historians, to cycle safety advocates, to a great walk in Sandy Hill led by kids of the neighbourhood.” Jane’s Walk is also looking for volunteer marshals to assist with the groups. Ottawa’s event is one of the most established Jane’s Walk events, with 2,000 participants last year. More than 60 walk leaders helped educate and inspire participants during 54 walks last year - the event’s sixth year in the capital. You can find out more about Jane’s Walk Ottawa at

RESALE VS NEW Q: What are the benefits of buying a resale home vs a new home? A: Both resale and new construction homes have advantages and disadvantages. When it comes to deciding what is right for you, it’s a matter of looking at your individual needs and desires.

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Resale homes offer some of the best values in real estate, and can easily compete with brand new homes in both features and price. Established neighborhoods are a huge draw for prospective buyers, and one of the major benefits to buying resale. Well-maintained older homes in walkable and centrally located neighborhoods tend to hold onto their value well. Resale homes are often available immediately, which can be the deciding factor, depending on the urgency of the move. New homes tend to have modern conveniences and offer less maintenance and repair issues. The ability to choose which floor plan you want, colours, appliances, and other fixtures can be very appealing. In addition, the modern features are quite favorable, such as networked wiring systems and master ensuite bathrooms. Building codes these days demand higher energy efficiency and homes are built to today’s standards. New construction homes often come equipped with a builder’s warranty, offering you peace of mind. Come meet a member of the to discuss what type of home you’re looking for!

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Building lasting friendships Citizen Advocacy celebrates its 40th anniversary

Story and photo by Kristy Strauss

For the last 11 years, Sharon Rideout and Westboro resident B.J. Porter have been the best of friends. They meet weekly to grab a coffee, go shopping, catch a movie – and they even get their mammograms done together. Their friendship – and many others like it – has been sparked thanks to Citizen Advocacy of Ottawa, which is celebrating 40 years of bringing volunteers from the community together with people who are isolated and vulnerable because of a disability. The organization’s 40th Anniversary Launch and Luncheon took place on April 2. “In today’s modern day and age, there are so many changes. But at Citizen Advocacy, you will see people who have had matches for 25 or 30 years,” says Porter. “It shows that things can last, and that makes me excited. It’s about caring.” Over the years, the pair has earned their five-year and 10-year Citizen Advocacy pins, which are given out every year at the organization’s Christmas party. Porter says she proudly displays her pins on her coat, so people will ask about them. “It’s a chance for me to talk about Citizen Advocacy. I’d like them to have a much higher profile,” she says. “It takes a lot to enlist people. People are afraid they won’t stay with it, but they should just try and see what they can get from it. (Sharon) has given me more than I’ve given to her.” Porter particularly admires Rideout’s patience, and compassion towards other people. “I’ve been angry sometimes, and I’ve been frustrated, but I’ve never seen her angry and I’ve never seen her lash out,” Porter says. “It’s amazing, Sharon always shifts things 180 degrees. She’s always very patient. She’s an angel sent to earth.” She adds that Rideout will always speak up when she sees or experiences something positive, and will let that person know they are making a difference. For instance, one of Porter’s most memorable moments with Rideout was when the pair were getting their mammograms together. “She looked the lady in the eye and said, you have a really great place going here,” says Porter. “Or, she’ll see a woman with a child and say, that woman looks like an angel.”

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Sharon Rideout, left, has been matched with Westboro resident and Citizen Advocacy volunteer B.J. Porter, for 11 years.

However throughout their friendship, Porter has had an equal impact on Rideout. “She’s a good girlfriend,” says Rideout. Porter has taken her friend outside of her home at Royal Ottawa Place and has shown her a life in the Ottawa community. Rideout particularly loves animals, and their activities have included trips to the RCMP stables, the butterfly exhibit at Carleton University, and the movies. “Sharon doesn’t have a car, so I can help drive her around,” says Porter. “Her basic needs are being met at a place like Royal Ottawa Place – it’s a lovely, clean and bright new building with great nursing staff. But I can fill in the gaps.” “Sharon gets out all the time, and all this neat stuff happens to her,” Porter says. “She goes to parties, and dances, and she has a face in the community. She prefers it when I remind her that we’re girlfriends, and not all of her relationships have to be institutionalized. There’s someone there who just wants to spend time with her.” Porter adds that she has grown to love Rideout, and looks forward to many more years of friendship. “I just think that it is a really great thing to feel love, and I love her,” she says. “Whenever I feel that kind of swell of affection in my chest, it’s a really good feeling.” For more information on Citizen Advocacy events or to volunteer, visit

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April 3, 2014 • 13

Kitchissippi Times

A life changing experience Visit to Equador makes memories of a lifetime

By Natasha Harris-Harb, Special to KT

I have always had this passion to travel and help people, and this past summer I had a chance to feed it. I went to Ecuador with 19 amazing teenagers from across North America with a charitable organization called Me to We. We went to Shuid, an indigenous community located in the southern part of the Chimborazo province, at an altitude of 12,136 feet. Seventy-five percent of all community members in Shuid live on less than $2 a day. There, we helped to build the first middle school in the community. We dug a foundation, filled it with rocks and cement, built the structure, and painted shingles for the roof. It is important to know that we weren’t the only ones building the school. The community of Shuid had a minga. A minga is a traditional gathering where community members of both genders and all ages work together to get a job done that will benefit the whole community. The first day we arrived in Shuid there was a minga of two. However, each day more community members came to help with the school. We would be greeted with their warm smiles and hellos. Whether it was the man with one arm digging a trench or the women carrying stones with children on their backs, I could not help but feel inspired. These people cared so much about the children of their community getting an education. In fact, the children of Shuid faced

tremendous obstacles to go to school. Some had to walk hours each way to get to school. Seeing the children’s love of school made me appreciate my education. Girls in particular face their share of obstacles. While we were there, our group talked to a woman who became the first female president of her community. She told us the importance of teaching skills to local women so they can make an income. Aside from the building we also had the opportunity to engage with the local community. We held a children’s summer camp, teaching them how to use a digital camera, which many had never seen before. Their joy, laughter and smiles were contagious. I met an eleven-year-old girl named Christina, who stole my heart. She had nothing, yet was so happy and generous. Students like Maria, who was the very definition of a rascal, and Metise and Francisco, who were the smartest little boys. They all taught me so much. I went to Ecuador expecting to change the lives of the people there, however they are the ones who changed my life. I experienced a different culture, met the most beautiful people, opened my eyes to the poverty outside of our city and had the most fun in my life. Learning about the world, outside of our borders, and the suffering of others, truly was inspiring. Shuid, you stole my heart. For information about Me to We, as well as photos from Natasha’s trip, please go to the web version of this story at 43 FAIRMONT AVE 50 SPADINA AVE Hintonburg duplex

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Community helps out a neighbour “Swab-a-Thon” raises awareness of stem cell donation Story and photos by Ted Simpson

The community came out in droves to Gezellig restaurant on March 29, but it wasn’t for the food and wine, it was for the opportunity to save a stranger’s life. Gezellig owner Steven Beckta organized the “Swab-a-Thon” to raise awareness of the importance of stem cell donation. The name of the event comes from the process of submitting a sample for the stem cell database and it is as simple as rubbing four long cotton swabs on the inside of your mouth. The catalyst for Beckta’s Swab-aThon was a recent turn of fate for his good friend, Allen Carpenter. Carpenter was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) – a condition most common in children. An adult case is very rare. In addition, a genetic abnormality in Carpenter’s condition has left him without a stem cell match in a database of 22 million donors. By 10:00 a.m., a steady flow of people was moving through the swabbing stations supported by a team of volunteers. “We’ve had a huge turnout, the support has been wonderful and the community is behind us,” says Beckta. The purpose of this event goes beyond just this one case, as everyone who submitted a sample is now part of the stem cell database and is able to donate to anyone who is a match. “In the grandest form we are doing this for anyone who needs stem cells,” said Beckta. “The odds of us finding a match for Al today are miniscule.” Only 1 in 200 people who submit samples are called upon to donate, and in most cases the process is as simple as giving blood. The process involves blood being drawn, the stem cells filtered out and the blood returning to the donor’s body. In rare cases, the cells are extracted from the bone via a needle to the hip. T:10.25”

Dustin York is a friend of Allen Carpenter’s who has family in Westboro. York was busy persuading passersby to come in to Gezellig and get swabbed. Westboro’s Alessandro Belamonte was passing by on his way to Baker Street Café. When he heard what was going on he went straight inside to get the test.

Roger Lavictoire of Hintonburg is a friend of Al’s who came out to volunteer. He was stationed inside the restaurant, helping people through the testing process.

Donors have to be between the ages of 17 and 35 and in good health. Men are needed the most as their bodies produce the optimum amount of stem cells. Anyone can register to donate at A kit is sent to your

Robert Bemrose of Westboro pulled over mid bike ride and said, “Alright, if you guys watch my bike I’ll go in right now and do it.”

house and process involves swabbing inside of your cheeks, putting the swabs into an envelope, and sending it back to One Match. “It’s the greatest bang for buck in terms of saving someone’s life,” says Beckta.

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April 3, 2014 • 15

Kitchissippi Times

Team Elder Home Sales Martin Elder, Broker “Selling Fine Homes... Building Community”


APRIL 4 & 5 – FIBRE ART SHOW & SALE Over 50 local fibre artists from Out Of The Box (OOTB) present their third annual Fibre Fling Show and Sale at the Kitchissippi United Church, 630 Island Park Drive. The event runs for two days: Friday April 4 from 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. and Saturday April 5 from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Artwork includes every form of fibre art such as quilting, felting, beadwork, stitchery, doll-making, knitting, jewelry and more. A $5 admission will support the Stephen Lewis Foundation. High Tea will be served on Saturday afternoon for $10. Parking is free. For additional information, contact Rita at 613-723-7404 or visit

Road near the Metro. It’s a larger venue for the market with plenty of free parking. A diverse group of 20 of Ottawa’s celebrated food artisans will be selling their products at this year’s market: hot cross buns, truffles, chocolate eggs and bunnies, macarons, caramels, gluten free baked goods, coffee, chutneys, salsas, and salad dressings. There will also be distinct artisanal drinks available: TreeWell’s maple tree sap based aperitif, and a Caribbean inspired sorrel drink made by Baccanalle. Admission to the Easter food market is free, however, food or monetary donations are welcome for the Parkdale Food Centre. Relish the Flavour Food Truck will be serving lunch. Drop by from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Go to for more information.

April 6 - Book launch Ottawa author Gloria Schwartz will be celebrating the launch her book, Personal Best: Train Your Brain and Transform Your Body for Life on Sunday, April 6 from 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. at The Cake Shop (1200 Wellington Street West). Copies will be available for purchase.

April 11 & 12 - Dress for Success Hidden Treasures Sale Dress for Success helps promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire and the career development tools to help them thrive in work and life. DFS clients are invited to shop on Friday from 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. The general public can come out on Saturday from noon - 3:00 p.m. Bring your own shopping bag. Cash only. All proceeds will go towards the operations of Dress for Success. For more information go to

April 9 - Kitchissippi Town Hall meeting to defend postal home delivery This meeting will be taking place at 7:00 p.m. at the Hintonburg Community Centre (1064 Wellington Street). Local residents are invited to attend and discuss the campaign to save home delivery in Kitchissippi and across Canada. Speakers will include Nick Aplin, an 81-year-old resident of Kitchissippi, Peter Denley (CUPW), and Shellie Bird (Solidarity Against Austerity). For more information go to There is also a Facebook page set up for this event at April 12 - Flavours of Ottawa Westboro Easter Food Market Flavours of Ottawa has a new location: St. George’s Parish Hall, 415 Piccadilly Avenue, off Richmond

April 12 – Ottawa Ferret Rescue Society’s FerretFest Calling all ferrets, owners, and fans! This fundraising event features games, contests, a ferret show, and more. Admission $2/person or $5/family. Westboro Legion, 389 Richmond Road, noon-4:00 p.m. For more information go to April 13 – Westboro’s Legion’s Country Dance Enjoy a classic Country Re-Vu and special musical guests from 2:00 p.m - 7:00 p.m. at 389 Richmond

Road. $5 tickets at the door. The kitchen will be open and there are door prizes too. 613-725-2778. Starts April 23 - FRIENDS for Life This 9-week anxiety prevention program for children 7-9 years of age has proven to be effective in building emotional resilience and teaching strategies that are practical and useful for coping with times of worry and change. Wednesdays, April 23 to June 18, 6:00 p.m. -7:30 p.m. Call Family Services Ottawa at 613-7253601 ext. 207 for information and registration, or go to APRIL 25 & 26 – KITCHISSIPPI UNITED CHURCH SPRING RUMMAGE SALE A wide selection of clothing, collectibles, boutique items, jewellery, books, bedding, household items and toys makes this a popular event. Come and browse from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. on Friday April 25 and 9:00 a.m. – noon on Saturday April 26. 630 Island Park Drive (at the Queensway). For information call 613-722-7254. April 26 - Parkdale United Church Spring Rummage Sale Parkdale United Church’s Spring Rummage Sale will take place at 429 Parkdale Avenue at Gladstone, on Saturday April 26 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. For more information please call the church at 613-7288656 or go to April 26 - Spring Flea Market St. Matthias Church (555 Parkdale Avenue at the Queensway) is holding its Annual Spring Flea Market on Saturday April 26 from 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. There will be jewellery, collectables, toys, household items, books, and good secondhand clothing. Bargains for all.


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Starts May 5 - Anger management for parents Discover ways of dealing with anger in a positive way. Mondays, May 5-June 16 (May 19 excluded), 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Call 613-725-3601 ext. 207 for information. Register online at familyservicesottawa. org. Starts May 10 - Discipline that doesn’t hurt… anyone Stressed, worried, at your wits end? Family Services Ottawa is offering a five session parenting course on Thursdays May 10 to June 12, 6:30 p.m. -8:30 p.m. Call 613-725-3601 ext. 207 for information. Register online at Starts May 13 - Parenting your Anxious Child Topics include understanding anxiety, child-friendly strategies to reduce anxiety, coping strategies for parents, and where to go for more resources. Tuesdays, May 13 to 27, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Call 613-7253601 ext. 207 for information. Register online at

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10-year warranty on most work

• brickwork • chimneys • foundations • stone • 613-612-8855

Get a Taste of Retirement Living at Amica. BISTRO AFTERNOON Wednesday, April 9th ~ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm Join us for merriment, entertainment and a savoury selection of Parisian hors d’oeuvres. PARIS TOUR Thursday, April 10th ~ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm Take in the sights, sounds and a few popular tourist activities. Refreshments will be served.


Register at or call 613.728.9274


Amica at Westboro Park 491 Richmond Road Ottawa, ON K2A 1G4 Luxury Independent Rental Retirement Living and Operated Canadian Owned

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