Our Neighbourhood: Lisa Dunnett proud to call OOE home

The Dunnett Family: Lisa, Jake and Todd, with children Isla and Declan, in front of their home on Belgrave Road

The Dunnett Family: Lisa, Jake and Todd, with children Isla and Declan, in front of their home on Belgrave Road

BONNIE WEPPLER

Lisa Dunnett exudes positivity and enthusiasm.    

When asked what she likes about Old Ottawa East, she notes: “What’s not to love?  I love the location, I love all of the nature – the paths, the green spaces, the river – I love our fantastic neighbours and the whole community.”

At the same time, there are some gaps in the community.

“This neighbourhood deserves a proper community centre given what’s happening, the new growth, in Old Ottawa East,” says Dunnett.  “A new community centre would draw the neighbourhood together and amplify it.”

In addition, a small grocery store, another family-friendly, affordable pub with craft beer and more small independent restaurants are on Dunnett’s wish list.

She is originally from St. John, New Brunswick but landed in Ottawa in March 1994.

“I wanted a change, something different, to see what was out there.  It was the best decision I ever made.”

Dunnett studied Sports Sciences at the University of Ottawa and completed a Business degree at the Toronto School of Business.

Todd Dunnett arrived first in Old Ottawa East, with a purchase of a house on Belgrave Road.  Within months of the purchase, the pair met, she moved in the next year and they married.  She jokes that their first baby is the now 15-year old Jake, a spaniel mix.   Then came Declan, 14 years ago, and Isla, 12 years ago.

She went back to work after the birth of Declan but missed him terribly.  She decided she wanted to stay at home so she set up as a home daycare provider.

“I was only going to do this until Isla went to school.”  Eleven years later, Dunnett still runs the daycare.

For the last four years, she has volunteered as a Board member for Community Activities Group (CAG).

“I didn’t know that I wanted to be a part of CAG until one of the Board members, Melanie Gilbert, asked me if I would help with events and so I joined the Events Team,” Dunnett recalls.

For the last four years, she has headed the Events Team. “My favourite event was the first year we hosted a chili cook-off as part of the Valentine’s Skate.”

Other memorable events include the return of The Main Event to Main Street and the addition of the Fall Festival to the annual Pumpkin Sale.   

“I like being involved in the community, going to events, meeting everyone who participates and helps to make this community even more fun,” says Dunnett.  “It’s been interesting to learn the business side of running community activities and planning events.”

“Our community is great because of those who volunteer here.  Old Ottawa East is made better by being an active community member.  Things don’t just happen.  It takes people.”

Consider volunteering for the Community Activities Group at volunteer@ottawaeastcag.ca

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