Community News: July 2017

OECABy Phyllis Odenbach Sutton
Old Ottawa East Community Association

Our community has been busy with celebrations over the last few months; an excellent beginning to summer!

Main Street’s Official Opening

We had a great day on Saturday, June 17 when Main Street’s official opening ceremony was combined with the Main Event. A big thank to the Community Activities Group who once again led the organization of a wonderful day of events. And of course the event would never happen without all of the volunteers or our many wonderful community sponsors.

Pedestrians wandered freely on the road between Hazel and Clegg; fantastic bands again provided music; the Farmer’s Market was in full swing; food trucks from Sula Wok and the Merry Dairy offered up unique food options; the Bouncy Castle and horse drawn wagon rides were back; there was a bike rodeo for kids, who could also paint a bird house and have their faces painted; and the Community Association once again ran its fundraising barbeque, with a number of our local politicians grilling burgers and hot dogs. And this is not even the complete list of activities for the day. There was a wonderful turnout of residents as well as many of the key city and contractor staff who had worked so hard on rebuilding Main Street. Our new ‘complete street ‘demonstrated how our Main Street is so much more liveable with wide sidewalks and raised bike paths.

The Foot Bridge

Another ceremony followed this great day on Friday, June 23 at the site of the future Fifth / Clegg foot bridge when the final piece of the funding from the province was announced for this project; kudos to our local MPP Yasir Naqvi who successfully lobbied for the last $5 million of the needed funding. Work is to start this fall with the bridge to be complete within two years.

The Rideau River Swans

And one day later, on Saturday, June 24, several pairs of swans were released to their summer habitat during a celebration at Brantwood Park. There was a bit more pomp and circumstance this year, partly because this year marks the 50th anniversary of the original gift of the mute swans to the City of Ottawa by the Queen of England.

More happenings…

Also in June, I am sure many of us were watching the mural emerge from the grey walls of the Queensway underpass on Main Street. We had a chance to meet the artists and provide community input at the OECA April Board meeting, and it was fascinating to watch the petals and flowers emerging on the underpass from day to day. The only regret I have heard in the community is that only the City owned portion of the walls could be painted (as the Ministry of Transportation owns the upper portion of the underpass).

The almost daily rainfall in June turned out to be great for the new sod planted at Springhurst Park, where the Springhurst Park Action group continues to come up with new ideas for games and activities; check out the group’s Facebook page for more information.

The rain also made the planting of our new perennial garden at the corner of Riverdale and Main Street a bit easier. Thank you to Margaret Vant Erve for shepherding this project from the beginning to the actual planting!

In terms of traffic issues, we heard from several residents concerned about truck traffic on the Grand Allee; the good news is that the official route for Greystone Village construction is the Main/Hazel intersection with turn lanes and signal lights. And construction has also started on the Rideau River Western Pathway.

Our planning committee continues to engage on numerous issues: the changes to Coach House rules; minor variance applications to the Committee of Adjustment; and monitoring the Infill 1 and 2 rules.

We also have continued to celebrate Canada’s sesquicentennial through our Prime Ministers speaker series. Most recently, on June 26, we were treated to a fascinating presentation and discussion of Lester B. Pearson. We are taking a summer break but will be welcoming some additional speakers in the fall and winter. On Monday, September 25 join us for a discussion of Louis St Laurent. Check for details on our OOECA web-site and watch for the reminder notices in the CAG e-updates.

Our other sesquicentennial project, the circumnavigation of Rideau Island, is planned for Saturday, September 9. A practice run has already been done by an intrepid group of community paddlers, and their pictures are inspiring. More information, including registration and waiver forms, is available on our web-site.

On Tuesday, November 14 we will be holding our Annual General Meeting, and we are looking for new Board members for a number of positions. Have questions? Want to learn more or volunteer to make improvements in the community? Then please attend the monthly OOECA Board meetings (second Tuesday of the month, 7 p.m. at Old Town Hall); our next meeting will be on Tuesday, September 12.

For more details check out:
OOECA website
or contact me at

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Filed in: FP, Front Page, Political Pages

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