February 2024 Newsletter

Three women standing together with wide smiles.  Two women are wearing bright golden yellow tops. The middle woman has a dark blue top.

2024 Orléans Leading Women and Girls Recognition Awards

Awarded annually by our MP, Marie-France Lalonde, this award recognizes and rewards women and young girls in Orléans for their involvement in the community and for their leadership. 

If you’d like to nominate someone, complete the nomination form for the Orléans Leading Women and Girls Recognition Awards and send it to Marie-France.Lalonde@parl.gc.ca. A letter of support is required in addition to completing the nomination form. The letter must include responses to the questions below. The deadline to submit the nomination form and support letter is February 16, 2024, by email to Marie-France.Lalonde@parl.gc.ca.

The letter must be unique to each nominee and must address these 3 themes:

  1. Describe how the nominee’s efforts improved the lives of women and girls in her community.
  2. Explain how the nominee’s achievements demonstrate her leadership.
  3. Please specify the number of volunteer hours the nominee contributes annually (approximately).
A group of 5 people sitting around a board room table. They have papers and pens on the table. There is a flip chart in the back that they've been drawing on.

Join the CGOWCA Board

The Convent Glen Orléans Wood Community Association (CGOWCA) is looking for new members to join its board! Our association is in the North-West part of Orléans, sandwiched between the Greenbelt, St-Joseph Boulevard, and the Ottawa River, and our catchment area includes approximately 5,800 households. We advocate for the needs of our residents, connect them to resources, and promote a sense of belonging. We plan several activities for the community, including an annual BBQ, a winter carnival, yoga in the park, a full moon night ski, and workshops. If you live or own a business in the area and are interested in getting involved, let us know! We are happy to answer your questions. Write to us at conventglenorleanswood@gmail.com.

a person playing with a jumbo jenga game outdoors in the snow at the winter carnival / une personne jouant avec un jeu de jenga jumbo en plein air dans la neige lors du carnaval d'hiver

Family Day Winter Carnival

Join the CGOWCA and Ward 2 Councillor Laura Dudas on Sunday February 18th at 1pm for an afternoon of outdoor fun for the family! We’ll be serving hot chocolate (bring your own mug!) and snacks, and there will be plenty of games.

Bring your skates to take advantage of our outdoor rink, maintained by our exceptional group of volunteers.

WHEN: Sunday, February 18, 2024, from 1 to 3 p.m. (In case of inclement weather such as rain, the event will take place on February 19th)

WHERE: Jeanne d’Arc Park, 1155 St-Moritz, behind Convent Glen Elementary School

COST: Free!

A photograph of two people skiing on a forest trail. The sun is low in the sky. There is fresh snow on the trail.

Orléans Moonlight Ski Event

Join us for an evening of skiing, hot chocolate, camaraderie, and more at our Moonlight Ski event! Bring your Nordic skis, a reusable mug, and a headlamp (if available), and make sure to dress warmly. All ages are welcome.

Groomers from Ski Heritage East will be out in advance, and the trails will be set for both classic and skate skiing.

The event is hosted by Convent Glen Orléans Wood Community Association and with support from Ski Heritage East, Ward 2 Councillor Laura Dudas, and Orleans Waxing Haus.

WHEN: Saturday, February 24th, 7:00pm start time. Please arrive 15 minutes early.

WHERE: Meet at Roy G. Hobbs Community Centre (109 Larch Crescent). Free parking and indoor washrooms available.

COST:  Free, with donations accepted in support of Ski Heritage East (Suggested donation of $5 per person.)

WHAT TO BRING: Nordic skis, warm clothes, headlamp (if you have one), reusable mug for hot chocolate

OTHER DETAILS: The event will take place during a full moon, but the trails will still be dimly lit so we suggest folks bring a headlamp if they can. Participants are invited to bring friends and family to join the fun! Snowshoers are also welcome. Hot chocolate and snacks will be served, so bring a reusable mug to be kind to Mother Earth.

A photograph of a field in winter. There are animal tracks in the snow. The sun is low. There is a treeline along the back of the field. There are two bushes in the field.

Lessons from nature in winter

By Michelle Radley, CGOWCA Environment Committee

It’s the time of year we call the dead of winter. But in fact, life is all around us even during this cold, dark time. Nature uses incredible tricks to survive Ottawa winters.

Some animals, like turtles, hibernate. These incredible creatures spend winter at the bottom of ponds where the water doesn’t freeze. They lower their body temperature to just 1-2°C above freezing and reduce their heart rate to about 1 beat every 10 minutes, allowing them to last the whole winter without eating or taking a breath. For turtles, winter is a time of simplicity, slowness, and quiet.

Other animals, like chipmunks, take a winter nap. After collecting acorns all fall, they settle into dens deep underground, insulated with cozy beds of grass. As they nap, their heart rate slows to 4 beats per minute and their body temperature drops. Every few days they wake up to eat. For chipmunks, winter is a time to connect with home, rest, and eat high-calorie snacks.

Some animals stay active all winter. The tiny chickadee stays warm by huddling close with other birds and puffing up their downy feathers to trap warm air close to their bodies. They also grow their brains, expanding the part that helps with memory by 30% to help them remember where food is stored. For chickadees, winter is a time for spending time with friends, dressing warm, and expanding their minds.

Nature can offer all of us lessons on how to survive winter. Like the chickadee, put on a down jacket and get outside to enjoy the beauty of the season. Walk through the snow and imagine chipmunks snoozing under your feet, or turtles resting below your skates at the pond. When dark approaches, head inside and take a lesson from the turtle – pause, reflect, and rest well. Like the chickadee, enjoy this time to learn something new or to gather with friends. And most of all, know, like the chipmunk does, that spring is only a few snacks and cozy naps away.

A close up photo of a branch with no leaves. The branch is coated in a layer of ice.

Cold weather resources

From the January 26, 2024 e-bulletin from Councillor Ariel Troster

The Ottawa Public Health Cold Weather webpage provides information about preventing cold related injuries, such as frostbite, as well as medical emergencies such as hypothermia, and includes links to resources in our community to help people access winter clothing, hot meals and other food, obtain assistance with home heating costs, and find emergency shelter (including transportation to shelter).

The webpage also has an interactive map of places to warm up, including City of Ottawa operated community centres. These are places throughout the city where people are welcome to go to warm up during the cold. They are open during business hours throughout the year and access is free of charge. Locations included on the map are validated at the beginning of the season.

Residents can call 2-1-1, the Community Navigation of Eastern Ontario, to obtain information about services and locations of drop-in centres, community and health resource centres, food banks and community food programs, and where to obtain winter clothing, and financial assistance for their utilities.

Procedures for 3-1-1 staff related to extreme cold weather are regularly reviewed by OPH subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and consistency in 3-1-1 messaging. In addition to existing procedures, 3-1-1 staff receive up-to-date information via media advisories and public service announcements related to extreme weather to relay to concerned residents.

A photograph of someone looking down at their feet standing in front of a door mat at an entrance to a house. The door mat says "HOME" and the "O" is a heart.

Meaning of Home Writing Contest

The Meaning of Home contest is back for its 17th year! The contest invites students in grades 4, 5, and 6 to submit a poem or essay explaining what home means to them. The Meaning of Home contest, in support of Habitat for Humanity, is a great opportunity for students to learn about giving back to their community and the importance of having a safe home while improving their creative writing skills and raising money for their local Habitat organization.

Until February 23rd, 2024, each submission entered in the contest provides your local Habitat with a $10 donation from Sagen™, founding sponsor of the contest. Three grand prize winners, who will receive $30,000 for their local Habitat, and 9 runner-up winners, who will receive $10,000 for their local Habitat, will also receive prizes for themselves and their class thanks to our generous contest sponsors.

More information can be found online: https://meaningofhome.ca/page/enter-now

Two photos showing a spot along the river pathway near Green's Creek. One image has a photoshopped bridge added to show the impact on the view.

CGOWCA Bridge Committee Update

Over the last two months, we have been treating you to a graphic display of how various parts of the Greenbelt would look if the federal government succeeded in building its planned bridge over the Ottawa River just west of Orleans. Since the bridge’s final proposed position is not yet known, these illustrations should not be taken as accurate depictions, but they do convey very well how the natural environment would be forever spoiled.

Our third instalment is a view eastward from just west of Green’s Creek.

It should be emphasized that the visual effect is only part of the damage that would be done. Instead of peace and quiet, traffic noise would reign in the Greenbelt, along with dramatically increased traffic congestion where the road from the bridge would meet Highway 174 near Montreal Road.

Public Services and Procurement Canada will be presenting the NCC with its findings about the bridge site this spring. We need to be informed and prepared.

Our website is a very useful resource. There you will find out whom in the government you should contact to express your opposition, and other ways to help. You can contact the Bridge Committee at cgnbridgecommittee@gmail.com.

January 2024 Newsletter

A photograph of a group of people - 9 hands reaching towards the centre with a sparkler. In the centre is a lighter lighting the sparklers.

Happy New Year!

May 2024 be filled with memorable moments.

A pair of red filing binders sitting on a wooden surface.

CGOWCA Bylaws – we need help!

In 2021, the provincial government updated the Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act. Since the Convent Glen Orléans Wood Community Association is registered as a non-profit in Ontario, we must update our bylaws accordingly. We are looking for assistance from a lawyer or other legal professional to help ensure that we are making appropriate changes. If you are able to provide counsel, please write to us at conventglenorleanswood@gmail.com.

A photograph of a winter road covered in salt on the left that blends into a photo of a Great Blue Heron fishing in a river on the right. Overlaid is text reading "Salt used here...ends up here."

Reconsidering our winter salt practices

By Laura Reinsborough, CGOWCA Environment Committee

As winter weather approaches, Convent Glen-Orleans Wood residents are going to be managing ice, snow, and slush. Ottawa Riverkeeper and the CGOWCA have a challenge for you: Can you reduce your road salt use this winter?

The majority of Canadians use far more road salt than is effective. Residents and businesses in our neighbourhood are no different. In fact, our neighbourhood was ranked as one of the worst in the region according to Ottawa Riverkeeper.

When road salt is applied to roads and sidewalks, it eventually makes its way into nearby creeks and streams. The salt breaks apart into sodium ions (which dissipate and cause no concern) and chloride ions (which do not break down and can persist in the creek bed far into the summer months). 

Pollution from chloride ions is very toxic to the aquatic organisms in our local ecosystem. It affects important species such as salamanders, fish, frogs and dragonflies, and their abilities to breathe and to reproduce. Our local Bilberry Creek has reached some of the most toxic levels of chloride pollution across Ottawa and Gatineau, with chloride levels of more than 200x the acceptable levels.

What can you do to reduce your road salt use? Here are some helpful tips:

  • Go easy on the salt. A coffee cup full is plenty for an area the size of a two-car driveway.
  • Add sand or gravel to your winter toolkit to increase grip.
  • Road salt from most stores is only effective at temperatures higher than -10 degrees Celsius.
  • Know a teacher? Encourage them to teach about road salt in their classrooms using Ottawa Riverkeeper’s new teacher resources.
  • Help spread the word! Share these tips with friends and neighbours. Or take it a step further and advocate for better salt use like this local hero did!

For more information on the Ottawa Watershed please visit www.ottawariverkeeper.ca  

aerial photo of interprovincial bridges crossing the Ottawa river / photo aérienne des ponts interprovinciaux traversant la rivière des Outaouais

CGOWCA Bridge Committee Update

Last month, we showed you what a bridge over the Ottawa River near the Green’s Creek lookout would look like. Pictured below is another possible bridge location, near the entrance to the Greenbelt from Orleans.

A photograph of the river pathway near Fairwinds Terrace.
A photograph of the river trail near Fairwinds Terrace with an image of a bridge photoshopped over top of it.

If you find the above prospect unappealing in the extreme, please get involved. Our website, is a very useful resource. There you will find out whom in the government you should contact to express your opposition, and other ways to help. You can contact the Bridge Committee at cgnbridgecommittee@gmail.com.

A photograph of a person from the back who is sitting on a rocky outcrop. They are looking out over the mountains, toward the peachy-coloured sky.

Habit Change Strategies for the New Year

The start of the calendar year is often a time when we look back on the year that ended, reflect on what worked or didn’t work for us, and then look forward to the year ahead. For many of us, this might include trying to establish new habits or setting New Year’s Resolutions. 

Resolutions do not work for everyone. Rather than feeling bad about failing to keep a resolution, we could see it as an opportunity to learn and try a different strategy next time if the aim is really something we want to achieve.

If you’re looking for inspiration on some strategies, here are a few places you could start:

Whether you decide to tackle a new habit or try to strengthen existing habits in 2024 – keep trying!

December 2023 Newsletter

A photo of a black pickleball paddle resting against a black net. There is a yellow pickleball sitting beside the racket. The court surface is bright blue with white lines.

Outdoor Tennis and Pickleball Strategy

The City of Ottawa is offering public consultations (virtually) regarding Outdoor Tennis and Pickleball.

Pickleball is currently the fastest growing sport in North America. As such, demand for court space is steadily increasing across Ottawa, while tennis continues to be a well-loved sport in our community.

The City has identified the need for an outdoor tennis and pickleball strategy, which will ensure that communities across Ottawa have access to both sports. The strategy will also serve as a reference guide for future management, oversight, and development of all public and club-operated outdoor tennis and pickleball courts.

The City will host virtual consultation sessions for the general public on Tuesday, December 12 and Thursday, December 14, 2023. Please send any questions in advance of the public information session to tennis_pickleball@ottawa.ca .

There are two sessions open for registration:

Session #1

Date: Tuesday, December 12

Time: 6:30pm to 8:00pm

Location: Zoom – REGISTER HERE

Session #2

Date: Thursday, December 14

Time: 9:30am to 11:00am

Location: Zoom – REGISTER HERE

A photo of a bright yellow sign that says "drive slow." The sign is attached to a stone pole. The sky in the background is blue.

School Zone Changes on Jeanne d’Arc Boulevard

Change is coming to the school zone on Jeanne d’Arc Boulevard in front of Terry Fox elementary school.

Up until recently, the reduced speed limit of 40km/h was in effect when the lights were flashing, Monday to Friday between 7 and 9 a.m. and between 2 and 5 p.m.

The city has installed an automated speed enforcement (ASE) camera in that school zone, and the schedule for the reduced speed limit has changed. The flashing lights have been removed and replaced by a sig indicating that the reduced speed limit is now in effect Monday to Friday, between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., September through June.

The speed camera will issue tickets to vehicles traveling over 40km/h during those times, and to tickets traveling over 60km/h the rest of the time.

More information on ASE is available on the city’s website as well as the province’s website.

A photo of two white cars parked side by side in a parking lot. The cars are covered with snow. There is also a layer of snow on the ground.

Parking-control Measures at Orleans United Church in December

Orleans United Church (OUC) will be putting in place measures to mitigate the parking problems that they have experienced in the past when there are major events at the church during the month of December, such as concerts and Christmas Eve services.

There are two issues: unauthorized parking at OUC by visitors to the Taffy Lane Christmas Light display; and traffic congestion at the Sugar Creek Way/Orleans Boulevard intersection. The following groups are impacted by these issues: Coro Vivo Ottawa, Musica Viva Singers, Le Choeur PLEINCHANT d’Ottawa, French Orleans Seventh Day Adventists and of course the congregation of Orleans United Church.

On the evenings when there are major events going at OUC, they will be deploying traffic-control barricades and signage at the Sugar Creek Way and the Orleans Boulevard entrances to their parking lot. The Sugar Creek Way entrance will be completely blocked off, and people attending the special events will be directed to use the Orleans Boulevard entrance.

Infographic: What to expect during a winter storm. Timelines begin once accumulation stops. 2-4 hours: highway 174, the transitway, major roads and arterials. 4 hours: sidewalks in the downtown core and the winter cycling network. 6 hours: secondary roads and minor collectors. 12-16 hours: residential sidewalks. 10-16 hours: residential roads and lanes. 24 hours: bus stops.

What to Expect During a Winter Storm

From Catherine Kitts’ Newsletter

How the City is gearing up for winter
As the city gears up for yet another winter season, ensuring the safety and accessibility of our roads, sidewalks, and pathways for all is a top priority. The winter maintenance program continues to evolve, update its standards, and find improvements to deploy resources more efficiently. 
Reminder that crews strive to achieve an initial cleanup of residential roads within 10-16 hours from the end of a significant snow event (7 cm or more). If you have a winter maintenance related request that exceeds that timeframe, your best bet is to first call 3-1-1. My office is also more than happy to help should complications arise. 
It’s also important to stay informed and be in the know of road conditions and winter parking bans when parking your car on city streets is prohibited. You can register to receive e-notifications whenever a winter weather parking ban is announced. Visit https://ow.ly/WpSW50Q8OwE to sign up.

aerial photo of interprovincial bridges crossing the Ottawa river / photo aérienne des ponts interprovinciaux traversant la rivière des Outaouais

CGOWCA Bridge Committee Update

A picture is worth a thousand words. We can describe what a bridge just west of Orleans will look like and the effect it will have, but why not simply show you? One of our Committee members has produced a series of before-and-after images to better convey what such a bridge would do to our community. Here is just one pair:

A photograph of the current view from the lookout near Green's Creek. A second photo below shows the same view, but with a superimposed image of a bridge crossing to show the impact on the view.

What Orleans resident doesn’t know and appreciate the Green’s Creek lookout? Sitting on the bench or the nearby Muskoka chairs, taking in the view and basking in the peace and quiet? Well, both the view and the peace and quiet would be banished forever with a bridge, first, during the years of construction, then for decades thereafter, as trucks thunder across the span all day, every day. The noise and pollution might prove to be even worse than the eyesore.

If your reaction to the second image is outrage, please get involved. Our website is a very useful resource. There you will find out whom in the government you should contact to express your opposition, and other ways to help.

The Bridge Committee has drawn up and approved a communications plan to more effectively engage Ottawa’s east-enders to oppose a bridge as we await the announcement of the recommended corridor this spring. We are also submitting strategic questions to the National Capital Commission for its Annual General Meeting on December 13 at 2:30 PM, just to let them know that the public is taking an active interest.

You can attend the NCC’s AGM virtually. The link is Annual Public Meeting 2023 – National Capital Commission (ncc-ccn.gc.ca)

As always, you can contact the Bridge Committee at cgnbridgecommittee@gmail.com.

A photo of an undyed mesh shopping bag laying on a marble counter top. Sitting on top of the bag is a black smartphone. The smartphone is displaying the reduce, reuse, recycle icon (three green arrows in the shape of a triangle.

Save Something Green: 10 Budget-Friendly Ways to Be Eco-Friendly

by Rachelle Thibodeau, CGOWCA Environment Committee

Saving money and protecting our environment are both important goals. Big-ticket items like electric cars and heat pumps may be out of reach in these tough economic times. We all know about turning out the lights or putting on a sweater to save on utilities. Beyond the basics, what are some good ways to save money and reduce your environmental impact at the same time?

1.   Get free stuff. Online groups like Buy Nothing and Trashnothing let neighbours give and receive items such as food, cosmetics, clothing, tools, toys, and much more. Declutter your own house and keep an eye out for used items that meet your needs. If you need free services, consider a local bartering group like BUNZ or PALZ. Beyond the “stuff,” these local groups are great community builders!

2.   Get cheaper food. Apps like Flashfood and TooGoodToGo let stores and restaurants save items from landfill and turn them into bargains for us. Some items are close to their best before dates, but if you can consume it now or freeze it for later, you can get great deals.

3.   Eat less meat. Consuming less meat, especially beef, saves you money and reduces your carbon footprint. If this is new to you, start with one meatless day per week and build from there.

4.   Reduce food waste. Household food waste is a major problem for the planet and for your budget. For example, throwing away one burger wastes as much water as taking a 90-minute shower! The resources used to grow, package, transport, and store the food are all lost when we throw it out. And if we don’t compost it, discarded food creates methane emissions in landfill sites. Buying only what you need, using leftovers, and composting are all important. Did you know that a “best before” date only indicates “key freshness,” not safety? Most foods past their “bb” date are just fine to consume! When dining out, why not share those over-sized and pricey portions with a friend or bring your own takeout container?

5.   Beware bulk buying. Buying in bulk can save you money and reduce packaging waste (if you refill your own containers). Unfortunately, buying in bulk can also lead to food waste (if you don’t eat it all) or unhealthy overconsumption (if you do). Researchers found that buying in large quantities from club stores increases the amount spent on packaged foods and the total calories consumed.

6.   Staycation. If your usual vacations involve flying, you’ll have noticed big price increases. Why not consider replacing one trip with a “staycation”, camping, or other closer-to-home trip? Companies like Guess Where Trips offer customizable, packaged trip ideas so planning your adventure is easier than ever.

7.   Keep it in your cart. Shopping online has made it so easy to impulse buy for a little boost of feel-good brain chemicals. Try putting the items you desire into your cart for a couple of days, then revisit your decision.

8.   Beware the creep. It’s easy to fall into the trap of constantly upgrading our stuff, also known as “lifestyle creep” or “lifestyle inflation.” But all that stuff takes a huge toll on your time, your budget, and the environment. Even if you can afford it, does constantly upgrading your stuff bring you lasting happiness? Not according to Yale psychology professor Dr. Laurie Santos, who teaches a popular class (free online!) called Science of Well Being. She advises spending on experiences rather than stuff.

9.   On your bike. Exercise is good for your physical and mental health, and reducing car trips cuts your carbon footprint. Can you use your bike for a few local errands? Or maybe incorporate it into your commute? June will be “Let’s Bike month” in Ottawa. Check out their website for lots of fun and motivating tips to help build cycling into your daily life.

10. Cut the lawn (out). If you are putting a lot of time and money into maintaining a weed-free lawn, consider a different ground cover in low-traffic areas. Search for “plants” on the City of Ottawa web site for advice on native species. Keep the project manageable, starting with a small circle or corner of lawn and adding more each year.

Many of us can’t manage too many changes at once. To make your new, greener habits stick, start small. Once you’re comfortable with that change, add something else. There is a lot that we all can do to lessen the harm to our environment– without it costing the earth.

November 2023 Newsletter

a photo of about 30 coins stacked vertically so you can see the edges of the coins with their ridges.  The coins are silver in colour but a few look tarnished and have a more copper colour.  There is a blurry background showing a clock behind the stack of coins.

City of Ottawa – Budget 2024

The City has dedicated a section of their website to this year’s budget process. It includes a short video that explains the ways you can provide input.

Municipalities are responsible for many services that affect our day to day lives like public transit, libraries, Bylaw, Fire and Paramedic services and infrastructure like roads and active transit. Their main source of revenue is property tax.

You can find many articles that explain the dilemma of cities being responsible for more services than they have the capacity to fund:

If you would like to attend an in-person consultation, there is an east end consultation on November 18, 12:30pm to 2pm, at Ray Friel Recreation Complex (1585 Tenth Line).

Councillor Dudas invites residents to complete the survey on her website, which gives you the opportunity to signal your top 5 highest priorities and your 5 lowest priorities when it comes to the municipal budget, as well as to directly state whether you prefer to keep property taxes low at the cost of underfunded municipal services.

image of hands holding a gift

‘Tis the Season for Craft Fairs

If you would love to support local makers this year, check out one of the many craft fair offerings around Orléans:

blurry lights in the shape of a christmas tree

Santa’s Parade of Lights 2023

The parade is back this year, and you can join in the fun on Saturday November 25th at 6pm.  The parade will run along St-Joseph Boulevard from Youville Drive to Place d’Orléans. You can find out more information or register your float here: https://paradeoflights.org/

a photograph of a woman sitting cross legged on a wooden floor in front of a white wall that is filled with doodles in black marker.  She is holding up a large sign with a drawing of a lightbulb.  The woman is wearing a teal, short sleeved shirt and black pants and white sneakers.  She has long black hair.

CGOWCA Strategic Planning Underway

Earlier this year, the Convent Glen Orléans Wood Community Association (CGOWCA) surveyed residents to better understand what issues are most important to them. The survey asked questions about many topics, including community priorities, public transportation, the community’s outdoor ice rink and recreational programming. Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey and submitted your views and ideas.

The CGOWCA Board has conducted an initial review of survey responses and has started a series of strategic planning sessions to develop the association’s multi-year strategic plan. This plan will help shape the association’s direction and priorities in the upcoming years. The Board will present its strategic plan at the next CGOWCA Annual General Meeting in September 2024.

Better Homes Ottawa logo.  Blue background and a white outline of a house shape with the City of Ottawa logo inside the house.

Better Homes Ottawa Loan Program

The City of Ottawa’s Climate Change and Resiliency team reached out to the CGOWCA to share information about the Better Homes Ottawa Loan Program. This municipal program, delivered in partnership with EnviroCentre, provides loans directly to homeowners to undertake energy efficiency and climate resiliency home improvements. More details on the program can be found on the Better Homes Ottawa website

The City hosts online information sessions providing an overview of this program, as well as the other rebate and financial support programs available to homeowners looking to make sustainable home improvements. Information and registration:

November 2nd from 12 to 1pm

November 7th from 7 to 8:30pm

A photograph of  field of wildflowers of all different colours - orange, blue, red, purple, white and yellow speckled among the green stalks of the plants.

Native Plant Seed Giveaways

Check out the Ottawa Wildflower Seed Library’s free seed giveaway at Ray Friel Recreation Complex on November 18th. Join our CGOWCA Environment Committee members to learn about native plant gardening and receive free native seeds for winter sowing. No gardening experience required!

November 18: 1:00-2:30 at Ray Friel Recreation Complex, 1585 Tenth Line Rd. 

Visit the Ottawa Wildflower Seed Library website for more information about other events, to see the seed catalogue, and to shop for garden signs and magnets.

Photograph of a hand with a nutmeg-coloured polished nail that is holding a fallen brown leaf.  In the background, you can see more leaves on the ground in various yellows, oranges and browns.

Enviro Committee: Rethink our Autumn yard clean up practices

Nadia Ouellette (author)

As the air is getting crisper and the days shorter, many homeowners and gardeners are getting the last of their plants into the ground and starting to prepare the home/garden for winter. 

Most of us have grown up with the common practice of raking up and removing all leaves and dead plants from our properties. Many of us dutifully partake in these tasks not realizing the detriment to our gardens and to the environment.

Here are four ways that we can help our yards and the environment as we prepare for winter: 

Leave the leaves – According to the Xerces Society, this is one of the most valuable things we can do for pollinators who spend their winters here. Most butterflies spend the winter in Canada. Some, such as the Morning Glory butterfly, spend the winter as an adult, others survive the winter as eggs, caterpillars or chrysalis. They all depend on leaves to provide shelter and nutrition while they persevere in our harsh winters. Fallen leaves become the first food source for caterpillars in the spring. Many cocoons can actually look like leaves, and we may unknowingly rake up and dispose of butterflies when we dispose of our leaves. Bees, spiders, snails, worms and beetles also depend on the leaves.  

  • Leaves are a free source of mulch! As they decompose, they provide organic material to feed our lawns and gardens which saves you money on chemical feeders. A layer of leaves has been shown to have the same weed suppressing and moisture retention abilities as a layer of wood mulch. Leaves are free and abundant, raking a pile around your ornamental plants can save you both time and money. Ideally the leaves should not be shredded as you may be harming beneficial insects that are hiding in the leaves. 
    • Packing leaves into bags increases work for both the homeowner and the city and increases gas emission (we need trucks to transport these bags of leaves). It is literally a waste because our gardens no longer benefit from this free resource and many of us then go out and spend money on compost or fertilizer to aid our gardens.
    • If you aren’t ready to leave all of the leaves in your yard, what about designating a small part of your garden and piling the leaves around your plants?

Leave dead flowers standing (don’t deadhead) – One of the best ways we can support migrating and overwintering birds is to leave seed heads on flowers. This is an important source of food for birds like gold finches. Instead of dead heading your flowers, you can save precious time and do nothing at all. This will invite more birds to your garden over the winter who need this precious source of food to help with our harsh climates. 

  • Our native bees do not form hives and many require the hollow stems of plants for shelter throughout the winter. Small carpenters bees carve out their nest in dead raspberry canes or other flower stems. They often do this a few centimeters away from where they have been collecting pollen all summer. 
    • As these plants decompose they will break down into organic material which improves the texture of the garden soil. Nutrients from the dead roots will remain in the soil and be used to feed other plants. The dying roots also create space for air and water to permeate. These plants are a free source of compost to feed the garden and can save you money from buying more compost or fertilizer. 
    • If you aren’t yet comfortable with leaving flower heads, consider leaving the cut stems by the base of the plants. They will be out of your sight once hidden by snow and still provide a home for overwintering bees. 

Chop and drop weeds – as you are removing weeds you can chop up the stems and leaves and use them to feed and mulch your garden. They will provide essential nutrients such as potassium, phosphorous and nitrogen to your garden plants. It is a free and environmentally friendly way to improve soil quality. 

Spread the word – Consider posting a sign in your yard such as the one offered by the Xerces society. This can help explain your garden to curious community members and can help to inform others of the benefits to leaving leaves. Most of us are just doing what we saw our parents do and may not realize there are better options. 

  • You can also spread the word on social media with the hashtag #LeaveTheLeaves

Changing our gardening practices benefits nature but it often saves us precious time and money which are scant resources for most of us. It’s a win-win situation all around!

October 2023 Newsletter

Photograph of the long line up for food at the community bbq.  There are three tents lined up along the left side leading toward the food truck.  Along the back to the right there are 5 more tents with activities and entertainment for attendees.  There are people scattered around the site enjoying the bbq.

Annual Community BBQ

Wow, we had a wonderful time at our BBQ on September 10! It was lovely to see so many of our neighbours come out and participate. A big thank you to Golden FriesTrinity PhysioAllegro Music School, Metro Convent Glen, and Councillor Laura Dudas for your support. See you all next year!

Stage 2 LRT logo
Photograph showing the impact of the construction on traffic along the 174.  You can see a station under construction to the right of the photo and then down below you see cars lined up and moving slowly in the two open lanes for traffic.
Photographer: Charlotte MacInnis Gupta

Where to get LRT Construction Information

During the last month, our neighbourhood has noticed increasing visible impacts on our day-to-day lives as the LRT phase 2 construction evolves.  The Convent Glen Orléans Wood Community Association Board members often see our neighbours raising concerns on the local Facebook group.  Unfortunately, this forum isn’t likely to result in changes although it may feel good in the moment to vent with one another.

Where can you find accurate information about the project?

The first step is to go to: https://ottawa.ca/en/planning-development-and-construction/major-projects/stage-2-light-rail-transit-project. On the landing page, you’ll see information about the three current LRT construction projects.  Go to the O-Train East Extension page and there, you’ll get the key information specific to our neighbourhoods.  You’ll find images and descriptions of stations.  You’ll find information about upcoming work if you want to know what is next.  You’ll see a section called “What’s happening” that focusses on current impacts.

You can sign up for a Project Newsletter or view the newsletter archive on this page as well.

Where do you send concerns or complaints? 

Share your feedback with the project team at stage2@ottawa.ca and include our Councillor, Laura Dudas Laura.Dudas@ottawa.ca

aerial photo of interprovincial bridges crossing the Ottawa river / photo aérienne des ponts interprovinciaux traversant la rivière des Outaouais

CGOWCA Bridge Committee Update

We at the CGOWCA Bridge Committee want to be sure that we are communicating with the public, politicians, and decision-makers as effectively as possible and, to that end, we have just formed a Communications Sub-Committee that will devote itself to this task.

Speaking of appreciating committees…

Marie-France Lalonde, federal MP for Orleans, was kind enough to attend the recent Annual General Meeting of the Convent Glen – Orleans Wood Community Association. Her presence was very welcome, particularly because she spoke favourably of the work of the Bridge Committee and went so far as to encourage the community to support the Bridge Committee in opposing a new east-end bridge over the Ottawa River! It is impossible to overstate how much we appreciate this support.

Thank you, Marie-France!

MP Lalonde also shared with us that the next milestone to do with the bridge will come next spring, when Public Works and Procurement Canada will make a recommendation to the National Capital Commission (based on the findings of the Refresh Study, geotechnical and transportation studies) whether and/or where to build an east-end interprovincial bridge. We, of course, fervently hope that the recommendation will be “No,” and this outcome is made more likely by the Treasury Board call to cut federal government spending by $15.4 billion over the next five years.

As always, you can go to our website https://www.conventglenorleanswood.com/interprovincial-crossing/ for information. We may be contacted at cgnbridgecommittee@gmail.com.

Upcoming “Talk Climate to Me” Sessions for Convent Glen-Orleans Wood 

Residents of Convent Glen and Orleans Wood are invited to attend three upcoming training sessions about climate change. Talk Climate to Me is a “fun, free, unscary, online, team-based climate education series.” It was created specifically for women*, though all are welcome to participate in this upcoming series. 

Each hour-long training session is followed by a 30-minute, solutions-oriented discussion group. The Orleans Wood-Convent Glen discussion group will be hosted by a local facilitator, Laura Reinsborough, member of the Convent Glen Orleans Wood Community Association’s Environment Committee. 

In her day job as the Ottawa Riverkeeper, Reinsborough is committed to implementing solutions for environmental issues. Says Reinsborough, “I want to become better equipped to talk about climate change and find real solutions in our neighbourhood, so I signed up for this course. I’m confident that learning together, at the local level, will bring about positive change.”

Convent Glen-Orleans Wood’s Monday Evening Sessions (a three-episode series):

Episode #1 – October 16th, 8:00PM – 9:30PM (EST)

Episode #2 – October 23rd, 8:00PM – 9:30PM (EST) 

Episode #3 – October 30th, 8:00-9:30PM (EST)

To register, visit:https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/talk-climate-to-me-monday-evening-tickets

Find out more at www.talkclimatetome.ca.

*Talk Climate to Me’s use of ‘women’ is open and inclusive of trans, non-binary, and gender-not-conforming people and their supporters.

photo of a carved pumpkin lit up with a candle inside

Pumpkin Parade

Laura Dudas and her team are organizing a Pumpkin Parade the evening of November 1st at Louis Perrault Park (google map) in partnership with  l’École élémentaire catholique L’Étoile-de-l’Est.  More information will be posted on her website in the coming days – www.lauradudas.ca