Letters To The Editor

Walking in Old Ottawa East

We are very fortunate to live near parks, the canal and the river in Old Ottawa East. Be it a short or a long walk, you meet people you know or greet new residents, chat with neighbours, and observe the changing seasons.
I have been walking often in the company of a dog in the Old Ottawa East area for a number of years. We love our walk: the fresh smell of cold winter air, the white fluff of recently fallen snow, the quiet peace broken up by the occasional chirping birds, the swishing leaves of trees.
But enjoying all of this is not always simple. We are grateful that the city clears the sidewalks, however, sometimes we almost fall across a newly created little hill built by someone’s cleared driveway: I guess we need some jumping exercise.
We quickly pass some idling vehicles to avoid the choking fumes, the metal kings and queens parked half-way on the sidewalk, and we then hurry by a snowblower, a lawn mower, a leaf blower, according to the season. They fill our ears with their deafening noise and lungs with their thick fumes reminding us of modern city life. (I guess brooms, rakes and push lawn mowers are out of fashion, but maybe they will come back with a new generation of environmental defenders).
Our City bylaws provide: Section 8 – Power equipment: “No person shall operate or cause to be operated any power equipment before 0900 hours on any Saturday, Sunday, statutory or public holiday” – and that includes your leaf blower and lawnmower.
We continue onward in the hope of a calmer walk along the river or the canal until a dog or two runs towards us off-leash. We don’t always know these doggies – friendly or not so much – and not all of them seem to trust us. Some try to assert their dominance by growling and running towards my dog while someone afar tells us how friendly they are, or they may whistle, I assume for the dog.
We also worry about dogs we see occasionally running, as if they were lost, across busy streets without anyone in sight. We hear dogs left out barking in the backyard in minus 20 degrees or in the summer heat.
Dogs should be on leash unless it is a designated off-leash City park. A kind reminder of the by-law: Section 10: “No owner of a dog shall permit the dog to run at large in the City.”
We finally relax for a peaceful evening when loud beeps and slamming car doors announce the arrival of neighbours to wake us up from our slumber. I think there must be a way to disconnect or at least make the beeping sound softer.
Cars should not idle for more than 5 minutes: please turn off your motor while chatting. No disturbing noise before 9 am or after 9 pm: please avoid loud talk in front of your neighbour’s window.
Our City tries its best to improve our quality of environmental life. We also can help by clearing sewer grates if they are in front of our property. The more we help ourselves, the less the cost to our City budget and our overall health.

M.B.,
Mount Pleasant Avenue

Raptor pen facing extinction?

We got a kick out of the photo of our “Raptor Pen” in your February edition. It’s not meant to be a permanent feature. We had painted our old playhouse and moved it to the front yard as part of our Jurassic Park Halloween decorations, and didn’t manage to return it to the back yard before it got snowed in.
The Raptor Pen started life as a “science lab,” hand-built by our sons’ grandfather when they were small. It served us well as a play structure and garden shed for over a decade and has plenty of life left in it. Our kids have outgrown it, and we would love to give it to a neighbourhood family. We offered it to the Children’s Garden and Old Town Hall, but city rules prevent them from taking it.
Could you let your readers know it’s available for free, and we will help move it to its new home? Anyone who’s interested can contact tom.allen67@gmail.com for details.

Susan Redding & Tom Allen
Glenora Avenue

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