From the Board of the Mainstreeter

By Bonnie Weppler
Secretary, Board of Directors
The Mainstreeter

99 Concord is about a three minute walk from my house. My dog and I walk that stretch of Echo-Harvey-Concord-Echo numerous times each week. Of course, just outside 99 Concord is also the location of the latest shooting in Old Ottawa East. Two people were injured, around 2:00 a.m. on September 30. The police indicated that the shooting seemed to be targeted.

There have been a number of gun-related incidents in Old Ottawa East this year The first was in April on Hawthorne near Concord, just after noon, when a gun was made visible but not fired. The second was in June, just after midnight, at the intersection of Rosemere and Springhurst and one person was injured. The third was in September on Glenview Avenue, close to Main and Riverdale, around 10:30 p.m.; shots were fired but no one was injured. And now this one, on Concord Street.

I have lived in Old Ottawa East since July 2008 and I have always felt safe in this community. It’s been a quiet and, until recently, kind of an “off the grid”, unknown neighbourhood. It’s the kind of place where people know their neighbours. Old Ottawa East really does have a small town feel to it.

There is so much to love about our community. From 2012 to 2015, I hosted the “Our Neighbours” column and am happy to write another piece in the series again in this issue. When I ask our neighbours what they love about our community, I routinely hear the same things: the Canal and the River; the sense of community; flowers and gardens; the local merchants; walkability and bike paths; green spaces; community events and street parties; the royal swans.

In an effort to not let this year’s gun incidents overshadow the beauty and bounty of Old Ottawa East, I asked some community members what they loved about our community.

Leslie Kirk commented on old trees, the community association and funky infill housing.

John Dance highlighted the bridges, especially the newest one which will connect Clegg with Fifth Avenue, the “best outdoor rink in the world” which can be found in Brantwood Park, and Main Street in its new glory.

Meredith Newberry loves the open spaces – massive green fields – which make her never feel ”trapped in the city” and the canopy of trees over Chestnut Street which is beautiful when the leaves are in full bloom.

Other comments included “the wonderful friendships I have made at Old Town Hall fitness classes”, “the energetic, thoughtful, capable, collaborative people who participate in our many volunteer organizations and who simply make their neighbourhoods welcoming and beautiful”, “the Rideau River to ski on in the winter and the docks on the canal at Clegg in the summer”.

Our city is safe. And our community is spectacular.

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Filed in: Community Groups, FP, Front Page

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