May 2021 Newsletter

close up of rear wheel gears on a bike

Get Your Bike Ready for the Season

Guest Author: Gary Bradshaw

Has your favourite bike been sitting neglected in the basement or garage throughout the winter months?  Going through this easy eight step tune-up will not only ensure your bike functions smoothly but will prevent any unnecessary wear and tear on your components.

  1. Wash your bike.  The first thing to do is a general full cleaning of the bike to help identify what needs to be done. Use some degreaser to clean off the chain, chain rings and wheels on the rear derailleur. Use a wet rag to wipe off the braking surfaces on your rims and any grit that is accumulated on your frame.
  2. Check the chain for wear and replace it if needed.
  3. Check your brakes.  Inspect the brake pads at their wear indicator lines. Replace the pads if they are getting thin. Give the wheel a spin to make sure the brake pads are not rubbing.
  4. Make sure your wheels are in good condition and true.
  5. Check and make sure your cables are in good condition.  First inspect your brake and shift cables for fraying at the ends and proper tension. If you find nicks or fraying, replace the cable. If they are stretched, tighten them.
  6. Make sure your headset is properly tightened.  First, turn your stem to make sure it moves freely and smoothly. “Drop the front end of the bike to see if you hear any rattle that would indicate anything in the headset is loose.
  7. Check that your pedals and bottom bracket are rotating smoothly.  Before you jump on your bike, remove the chain from the chain ring. Rotate the crank and just feel how the pedals and bottom bracket are rotating. Removing the pedals and the BB to clean and lubricate them seasonally is also a good idea.
  8. Check your shifting.  Go through all the gears and make sure the chain is not skipping. Make any final necessary adjustments with the barrel adjuster and finally lubricate your chain.
two people cycling on a protected bike lane

Bike Theft Prevention Tips

From Ottawa Police Service News Release

Take steps to enhance the security of your bikes:

  • Use a sturdy bicycle lock (such as a U-Lock);
  • Store your bike in a locked shed or garage;
  • Register your bike on 529 Garage to let thieves and potential future buyers know the bike is registered and help police quickly locate and return your bike if it’s stolen.

Please report it! We rely on the public to help us identify those responsible; if your bike has been stolen you are encouraged to file a theft report online at www.ottawapolice.ca/onlinereporting. You can also help police by pre-registering your bike on the 529 Garage app.

two children sitting on a couch looking at a laptop

Fun for Little Ones

As the pandemic continues, parents may be running out of ideas for things to do with little ones.  Check out a few ideas (most are free) below:

aerial image of construction vehicles on a dirt surface

LRT Construction Headaches

There has been some discussion in the Association’s Facebook group about the intermittent disturbances being caused to many in our neighbourhoods who live near the LRT Stage 2 construction zones. 

While it can feel good to vent and know that others relate to what you are going through on Facebook, the messages may not be seen by those who can do something to solve the problem. 

We want to encourage residents to write to LRT Stage 2 team with any questions or concerns when they arise:  Stage2@ottawa.ca (and you could copy our City Councillor matt.luloff@ottawa.ca).

If you are being disturbed by noise or vibrations after 11pm, you can report the noise or vibration complaint to Ottawa Bylaw by calling 3-1-1 or online: https://so311.serviceottawa.ca/selfserve/?reqId=2003002&lang=en

It may also be helpful to connect to our Councillor, Matthew Luloff, who has spoken about his efforts to minimize disruptions to his constituents on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/matthewluloff4orleans/ .  Finally, you can read the most recent update on the project here:  Project updates | City of Ottawa

April 2021 Newsletter

Cleaning the Capital

[from City of Ottawa]

Early bird registration started on  March 15th. Let’s get cleaning!

Register your cleanup project for the 2021 Cleaning the Capital spring campaign by May 15th.  When the project is completed, provide your feedback with the online Cleanup Report by May 31st.

Join the thousands of community volunteers to help keep Ottawa clean and green in 2021! Looking for folks to join your team? Invite your neighbours in our Facebook group: Convent Glen – Orléans Wood Community Association | Facebook.

For more information on the Cleaning the Capital campaign, please visit ottawa.ca/clean.

Thanks for keeping Ottawa clean and green!

Annual CGOWCA Dog Walkathon – cancelled

Due to the current pandemic restrictions and high numbers, we won’t be holding our annual Dog Walkathon. This fundraiser usually takes place at the end of April in support of cancer research.

Nonetheless, we do encourage you to take a walk outside with your pup, and if you have the means please make a donation to the Canadian Cancer Society.

Discover Bike Ottawa 

Did you know that Bike Ottawa (www.bikeottawa.ca) has been around since 1984?  They are an incorporated, not-for-profit, membership based organization that is entirely run by volunteers.  

With about 400 members as of 2019, they have several focus areas including advocacy, data, and events. Membership is open to everyone, with membership categories ranging in price from $10.00 to $55.00.

Their website offers many useful tools and maps. There are maps that allow you to plan a cycling route based on the level of stress you’re comfortable with. There are also pathway maps that tell you where to find pathways around Ottawa and give detailed information such as their surface type. Additionally, there are collision maps that show where there have been collisions with drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists.

Recently, they have submitted comments and feedback on the City’s Official Plan, and participate regularly in opportunities for consultation around the city to make sure that safe cycling is part of the conversation.

National Volunteer Week 2021 – April 18-24

We would like to take advantage of National Volunteer Week to say an enormous, heartfelt thank you to the group of volunteers who managed our community outdoor ice rink. Thanks to their hard work, neighbours were able to take advantage of the exceptional ice and spend some time outdoors this winter.

Covid-19 Pandemic Update

Vaccines:

You can get the most up-to-date information directly from Ottawa Public Health’s website, and you can even sign up for Covid-19 vaccine update emails.  

Cases and Trends:

Check out the daily Covid-19 Dashboard for all the stats you can handle on Ottawa’s numbers and trends: https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/reports-research-and-statistics/daily-covid19-dashboard.aspx 

March 2021 Newsletter

Income Tax Season

The end of February marks the time of year when most of us start to think about filing our annual income tax returns.  More and more often, government benefits and social programs are only accessible to those who file income tax.

211’s provincial blog talks about benefits accessible to low income households through filing income tax and offers some links to resources. In general, if you are looking for a free income tax clinic, you can either call 211 to find out about local options or you can check CRA’s website which also lists information on volunteer income tax clinics that will file returns free of charge.  

Due to the ongoing restrictions of the pandemic, demand may be higher than availability if clinics are running at a reduced capacity. We encourage you to seek information early so you can get the help you need.

The Orléans-Cumberland Community Resource Centre is offering a modified bilingual income tax clinic by phone.

Eligibility Requirements: 

  • Resident of Orléans-Cumberland catchment area
  • Completed last year’s Income Taxes
  • Family living with a low-income (see chart on their website for details)
  • Register by phone ONLY at 613-830-4357, ext. 310 from February 16th to April 16th, 2021

Starting Seeds

Who is ready for spring?  One thing we can do from home while watching the snow melt is to start some plants from seed in our homes.  There are many resources online to help anyone give growing from seed a try whether or not you consider yourself a green thumb.

Here’s comprehensive guide developed by the Community Gardening Network of Ottawa and shared by Just Food:  http://justfood.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/CGN_Garden_Guide_2015.pdf

If you have children at home and would like to get them involved and excited about growing plants from seeds, Ottawa Public Health produced this handbook that includes several activities you can do with children to help them learn about seeds and caring for plants: https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/public-health-topics/resources/Documents/I-love-to-garden-Program-Manual_EN-Accessible.pdf

Lastly, did you know that Ottawa has a Seed Library?  (or are you wondering what a seed library is?) In basic terms, the seed library is a repository of seeds donated by other local growers.  Anyone can donate seeds at the end of the growing season or take seeds early in the season.  Just Food has two seed programs locally – the Ottawa Seed Library and the Regional Seed Program.  You do not need to be an experienced or large scale grower to get involved.  Find out more here: https://justfood.ca/seed-saving-projects-and-events/

Ongoing high-end vehicle thefts 

[From a Public Advisory released by Ottawa Police] (Ottawa) –The Ottawa Police reminds the community that the risk of thefts, and repeat thefts, of high-end Lexus and Toyota vehicles in Ottawa remains present, particularly with Tacoma and Highlander.

There have been 5 luxury vehicle thefts in Kanata (Bridlewood area) in a single overnight. There have been multiple vehicles stolen recently in the Crystal beach and Orleans areas as well. There is no suspect description available at this time.

The Ottawa Police have received over 200 reports of newer model Lexus/Toyota SUVs and Tacomas over the course of 2020 and a further 35 so far this year. Investigators are asking that any Toyota/Lexus SUV or Tacoma owners who notice damage to the driver’s door handle file an information report online. This will assist in identifying the scope of the problem and help direct proactive efforts to the right neighborhoods.

Anyone with information about any of the vehicle thefts is asked to call the Ottawa Police Central Criminal Investigations Section at 613-236-1222 ext. 4127. Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-222-8477 or at crimestoppers.ca.

Investigators would like to advise the public that previously targeted addresses have been repeatedly targeted on multiple occasions, with that in mind we would like to remind car owners of the following tips to protect their vehicle:

  1. Make your vehicle less vulnerable to theft by parking it in a locked garage and or by blocking it in tightly with a second vehicle. Exterior lighting and video surveillance around the driveway can also serve as a deterrent.
  2. Consider installing an after-market electronic immobilizer device, which can interfere with the starting of the vehicle.
  3. Be vigilant that there is no damage to the door locks mechanisms, as this could be an indication that your car has been targeted.
  4. Consider protecting your vehicle with such devices as car alarms or steering wheel locking devices such as “The Club”.
  5. GPS tracking devices have become increasingly popular. Some even allow the vehicle owner to electronically “fence-in” their vehicle, whereby an alarm cue would occur if the vehicle were to leave the fenced-in area without authorization.
  6. Locks to restrict access to the on-board diagnostic plug exist and when applied can impede a thief from re-programming a key.
  7. If you are selling your vehicle, be wary not to let anyone have access to your car keys and do not let your vehicle out of your sight. This prevents a thief from copying your key during a “test drive” so they can return to steal it.
  8. Finally, good old-fashioned neighbourhood watch is a great deterrent. Be vigilant and call 911 to report any suspicious vehicles in your neighbourhood.  Most thefts occur between midnight and 5am in the morning.

Investigators have not yet seen the use of signal amplifiers in Ottawa. In the event that this technology makes its way to Ottawa, a simple line of defense is to consider keeping any vehicle with a proximity key fob inside a radio frequency shield device (RFS device).  This will prevent the key fob’s signal from being amplified to the vehicle from inside the house, protecting it from being driven away.

More safety tips are available online.

February 2021 Newsletter

Myers Orléans Nissan Logo
Myers Orléans Chevrolet Buick GMC logo
This month’s newsletter sponsored by Myers Orléans Nissan and Myers Orléans Chev Buick GMC
photo of people at the 2020 Winter Carnival

St Moritz Community Rink

Many community members have been enjoying the outdoor rink off of St Moritz Drive that is maintained by a dedicated group of volunteers.  We have some important kudos and thank yous related to the rink.  Several local businesses have stepped up to help make rink maintenance more affordable or to sponsor the rink maintenance.  Please consider supporting these local businesses who have shown they care for our community.

  • Thank you to Robertson Rent All for providing free use of the roller for the second year in a row.  The roller allows volunteers to pack down snow and get the ice surface running.
  • Thank you to Myers Orléans Nissan and Myers Orléans Chevrolet Buick GMC dealerships for their sponsorship for the second year in a row.  This sponsorship helps pay for supplies for rink maintenance as well as things like gas for the snowblower.
  • Thank you to Wheelsport for the rebate on maintenance on our snowblower.  The CGOWCA invested in a snowblower several years ago and maintaining it will help extend this investment.  
illustrated images of people waring masks, keeping distance from OPH

Be social wise during the provincewide state of emergency and stay-at-home order [from Ottawa Public Health]

Due to the high number of people testing positive for COVID-19, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) recommends keeping the number of people you interact with small:  those in your household plus essential supports. For social gatherings, this can include limiting gatherings to those who live in your household and those providing essential support services such as a caregiver. If you live alone (single parent, student, etc.), one or two contacts from another household can be important social supports to draw on.

Gatherings are going to look and feel different during the COVID-19 pandemic. All individuals should assess their own level of risk, and the health of every person in their household, when deciding how to celebrate. If anyone in your household is at higher risk from COVID-19, everyone should choose lower risk activities to keep them safe.  

Some things to note before you start planning:  

  • Indoor public events and social gatherings are limited to your own household (the people you live with) under the Provincewide state of emergency and stay-at-home order.
  • If you live alone or are a single parent, you may consider having an exclusive close contact with one other household to help reduce the negative impacts of social isolation.
  • Outdoor public events and social gatherings are limited to 5 people under the Provincewide state of emergency and stay-at-home order.
  • These limits cannot be combined (for example: it is NOT permitted to host a social gathering with your household indoors and 5 guests outdoors).   

In addition to older adults, people who have serious underlying medical conditions (such as: cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic lung disease, chronic liver disease, cancer, are immunocompromised) are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.  

Be in the know about COVID-19 levels in our community.  

image of people at the 2020 winter carnival

Winter Carnival 2021 – cancelled

Due to current restrictions, we have decided to postpone our annual Winter Carnival to next year. We look forward to 2022 and seeing everyone in person then!  For this year, please check out and enjoy these virtual and outdoor alternatives for winter fun:

  • Orléans Winterlude Challenge from the BIA.  In their recent newsletter, the Heart of Orléans BIA has announced that Fêtes Frissons has been cancelled this year.  They are challenging all of us to create a masterpiece out of snow. Let’s scatter snowmen, snow women, snow animals, igloos and forts in our yards at home AND our places of business. Grab some food coloring, a shovel, and your snow person’s attire of choice and be creative. 
  • Virtual Winterlude.  Since 1979, Winterlude has been brightening the winters of Canada’s Capital Region. From February 5 to 21, 2021, celebrate the joys of winter Winterlude style. For the 43rd edition, a new, entirely virtual experience awaits Canadians from across the country. Inspiration, entertainment, warmth… THIS is Winterlude! Find out what’s on offer at  Winterlude – Canada.ca.
  • Have some fun with your household by registering for the Hunt for Hearts.  While raising money for the University of Ottawa Heart Institute Foundation, you participate in an online and outdoor scavenger hunt powered by Escape Manor.  Registration is $25 per person and you have the whole month of February to finish the scavenger hunt!

January 2021 Newsletter

artist drawing showing people of different cultures wearing a face mask www.teafly.com

Happy New Year!

The Convent Glen-Orléans Wood Community Association wishes everyone a heartfelt Happy New Year.  Given the challenges we’ve lived through in 2020, we are all eager to see the finish line of the Covid-19 pandemic.  

Despite the vaccines that are starting to be given to front-line workers and high-risk groups, we all need to remember that the pandemic isn’t over yet.  We still need to be Covid WISE and follow public health guidelines.  At the time of drafting this month’s newsletter, rates of infection in Ottawa are on the rise.  

We can all do difficult things.  Let’s rally for the next several months as pandemic restrictions continue.  Maybe by next winter, we’ll be back to gathering indoors.

people playing tug of war (photo taken pre-pandemic)
*photo taken pre-pandemic

Winter Season Activities 

[from Ottawa Public Health

Instead of an indoor holiday gathering, take advantage of our great Canadian seasons and enjoy a holiday walk, skate, ski or snowshoe with loved ones.  

A photo of community members using the outdoor rink
*photo taken pre-pandemic

St Moritz Outdoor rink!

Thanks to a dedicated group of community volunteers, the outdoor rink is well on its way to being a valued option for the community to stay active through the winter.  

When the rink opens, you can find updates on the CGOWCA Facebook page about the status of the rink. You can also check the Ottawa Rinks website: Ottawa Rinks | Home

If you would like to lend a hand, one way to help is to head over to the rink any time there is a snowfall to help clear off the rink.  This helps maintain the surface of the rink and many hands make the work much quicker.  

You’ll find the rink at 1155 St. Moritz in Jeanne d’Arc park, behind Convent Glen Catholic School. Please note there is no onsite parking at the rink.

Check out other volunteer-run rinks at École des Voyageurs, Joe Jamieson park on Bilberry, Roy G. Hobbs on Champlain and Pierre Rocque Park on St-Pierre.

Engage Ottawa logo

Have your say about what happens in Ottawa

Engage Ottawa (www.engage.ottawa.ca) is the City’s platform that allows all residents with access to the internet to give feedback on plans for various initiatives in the city.  This is also the place where survey results and reports are shared with the public.  Right now, the City is seeking and sharing feedback on these and several other topics: 

picture of Hit the Streets founders in bright pink jackets.

Ottawa Good News:  Hit the Streets

In April 2020, a grassroots duo, Luxe Mulvari and Kingsley Swim, decided to do something to help sex workers and people experiencing homelessness by delivering  meals.  

A few months later, they’ve raised over $13,000 and gained more volunteers, donations and support as they continue this important work.  They’ve expanded to delivering other supplies like masks, sanitizer, and clothing basics.  They’ve received donations from many businesses and have collaborated with other nonprofits like the Social Planning Council.  Most recently, they’ve offered free transportation to the hospital. 

They offer care and support minus judgement and with no strings attached to housed and unhoused people in Ottawa.  

Although they currently help people outside our Community Association’s catchment, this initiative is too good not to share.
They are active on Instagram and Twitter and post updates there about what they need each week if you’d like to help.  You can also read more about their work in this article in The Ottawa Citizen.