April 2024 Newsletter

Bilingual logo for Cleaning the Capital / le Grand ménage de la capitale.  Stylized trees and park benches.  Dates for 2024 are April 15 to May 31st / du 15 avril au 31 mai.

Let’s Clean Up Our Community for Earth Day!

CGOWCA Environment Committee

Please join us Sunday, April 21, 2024, at Roy G. Hobbs community centre from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m.!

The Convent Glen Orléans Wood Community Association’s Environment Committee is having a ‘Cleaning the Capital’ event on Sunday, April 21st to celebrate Earth Day!

Each spring and fall, residents across the Ottawa area volunteer to clean and beautify their neighbourhoods as part of the ‘Cleaning the Capital’ Program. Since 1994, more than 1.4 million volunteers have participated in annual clean-up projects. Hard working citizens have removed an estimated 1,000,000 kg of waste from our public spaces. Last year the CGOWCA environment committee had over 90 community volunteers pick up 100 bags of waste from our green spaces.

an empty aluminum can sitting on some rocks at the edge of some water.

All are welcome (all ages and all abilities)! We will provide clean-up supplies like garbage bags, nitrile gloves, and recycling bags from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. at Roy G. Hobbs Community Centre, located at 109 Larch Crescent.

You can come as a group, or as individuals. If you require any accommodations during the event, reach out to us anytime at ConventGlenOrleansWood@gmail.com.

This is an excellent opportunity for students to earn volunteer hours. Please bring a printed form for organizers to sign.

We hope you can join us to make our community a cleaner, greener place! Please join us for the 31st annual Cleaning the Capital spring clean-up. For all the latest up to date information, please see our Facebook event page.

A photograph of the lookout point along the Ottawa river pathway near Green's Creek. There are three people in the photo. One standing at the cliff edge, looking toward the orange sunset over the Ottawa River. A second person is on skiis and standing further back. A third person is standing near the Adirondak chairs. There is snow on the ground.

CGOWCA Bridge Committee Update

The photograph above shows users of the Greenbelt quietly absorbing the serenity and beauty of a sunset from the promontory where Green’s Creek flows into the Ottawa River, just west of Orléans. While there are usually only a few people here at any one time, the many footprints in the snow show just how popular this place is, where you may turn off the Ottawa River Pathway, stop and reflect, and allow the sights and sounds of nature to envelop and refresh you.

As Joni Mitchell once famously sang, “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone?” In this case, the paradise that will be paved over is the Greenbelt right behind you, if you imagine yourself standing in the group in the picture. The federal government wants to put a sixth bridge across the Ottawa River, and two of the proposed locations will run right through the Greenbelt on their way to Highway 174 east of Montreal Road. And once that happens, the sights and sounds of nature will be no more. They will have been swallowed up by the drone of engines and the drumming of tires on expansion joints.

Let’s not let Joni Mitchell’s song come true in Ottawa. Can we allow the scene above to become a thing of the past, and then live out our days in regret? If your answer is no, you’re welcome to get involved. Please visit our website. 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.

We are pleased to announce that, before the next newsletter comes out, we expect to have launched our new website, which will lay out all the relevant information more clearly and accessibly.

Young woman with long dark hair who is listening to music through earbuds. She has her eyes closed and is smiling. She's leaning against a wall that is covered in posters in various states of decay. She's wearing a white t-shirt with black and orange graphics on it.

#Ottmusic applications are open

From the newsletter of Councillor Ariel Troster

Since 2015, #ottmusic has evolved into an initiative that brings together city-led programs, opportunities, and information for musicians and residents. In 2020, the City launched three core #ottmusic programs:

  • Music on Hold,
  • O-Buskers, and
  • City Sounds.

This is a great opportunity for local musicians to share their music with Ottawa residents and beyond! An Ottawa artist has been defined as one who resides within 150 kilometres of the City centre.

Learn more and apply online here.

Logo for Rain Ready Ottawa.  Blue rain drop as the dot on the "i" and an umbrella vertically below the first "r" so that the "r" looks like the handle of the umbrella.

Rain Ready Ottawa applications open

From the newsletter of Councillor Ariel Troster

Rain Ready Ottawa is a pilot program that encourages and supports residents to take action on their property to reduce the harmful impacts of rainwater runoff.

Rain Ready Ottawa offers:

  • Information on projects for your home (see below) including a series of self-guided eLearning courses to help you implement rainwater management projects
  • Home Assessments that offer custom advice and solutions to your rainwater problems (Eligibility requirements apply, learn more at Rain Ready Ottawa Home Assessments
  • Rebates up to $5,000 to help you install practices that help manage rainwater where it falls (Eligibility requirements apply, learn more at Rain Ready Ottawa project rebates)

Learn more and apply online here.

"New Ways to Bus" logo with coloured lines curing across the square image to indicate routes, a bus icon in the centre, and the words "Frequent, local, connected."

New Ways to Bus are coming to Ottawa in 2024!

From the newsletter of Councillor Matthew Luloff

Later this year, OC Transpo will launch a new bus network, focused on frequency, local service in your neighbourhood, and connections to O-Train Lines 1 and 2 and key destinations.

The New Ways to Bus network will launch at the same time as O-Train Lines 2 and 4 in the south, connecting that part of the city by rail and opening up new convenient connections across the city, while also accommodating the opening of future O-Train extensions. 

The New Ways to Bus network is based on the results of OC Transpo’s 2023 Bus Route Review process. Customer feedback and consultation were at the forefront of this process and were used to create a network that meets the evolving needs of Ottawa’s diverse communities. 

The launch of the new bus network is a significant step that OC Transpo is taking to meet their service reliability goal of 99.5 per cent. New Ways to Bus works in unison with OC Transpo’s Bus Maintenance Action Plan and ongoing recruitment efforts to achieve a more sustainable and reliable service that better meets customer expectations. 

Visit octranspo.com/NewWaysToBus to learn more, review route-by-route changes and explore the new system map. You can also ask questions or request additional materials, by sending OC Transpo an email at NewWaysToBus@ottawa.ca or by calling 613-560-5000.

March 2024 Newsletter

Photo of a basket of fresh produce including a bunch of red beets, a bunch of carrots, an onion, and a bunch of leeks.

Growing Food for Yours and the Planet’s Health  

By Amrit Khosla, CGOWCA Environment Committee

Spring is coming and us humans have the urge to go outdoors and commune with nature. Growing your own veggie garden enables you to connect with nature. There are many reasons to start growing your own vegetables.

Growing a veggie garden is good for your body, mind, and soul. Breathing fresh air, exercising, touching soil, and watching a seed sprout are good stress relievers. No store-bought tomato tastes as good as fresh, ripe tomatoes from your garden. Salad made with greens, herbs and edible flowers from the garden is unmatched in freshness, taste, and visual appeal. Touching dirt and connecting with life in the soil, activates a powerful circuit in our brains.

Gardening captures the imagination of children. Watching tall plants growing from tiny seeds and worms digging in soil provides fascinating learning opportunities. Children are also more likely to eat what they have helped grow.

Growing your own food provides environmental benefits. Much of our food travels long distances, creating excessive carbon emissions. Heavy use of pesticides, fungicides and synthetic fertilizers in conventional agriculture is another source of carbon pollution. Frequent and deep tilling with machines and using synthetic inputs kills microbes in the soil. Vegetables in grocery stores are often packaged in plastic creating more pollution. Climate change and international conflicts have created food shortages and supply chain issues. We can take back control and contribute to food security by growing our own food.

So go ahead and plant some vegetables. Starting seeds inside at the end of March to early April will ensure the seedlings are ready for May/June planting.

Make sure to buy organic, heirloom seeds. Facebook groups and health food stores are good sources. Enriching your soil with quality compost and manure stimulates biological activity and restores the natural fertility of poor soils. Keeping your soil covered with organic mulch (straw, leaves, grass clippings) conserves moisture, reducing the need for frequent watering. When these organic materials decompose, they further nourish the soil.

Tend to your soil with love and care, and it will reward you with abundance of fresh, healthy food and a feast for your senses. Doing your bit for the planet will be a bonus.

Black and whilte photograph of the underside of the Macdonald Cartier Bridge crossing the Ottawa River.

CGOWCA Bridge Committee Update

The photograph above shows the underside of the MacDonald Cartier Bridge. It is making a guest appearance in our newsletter because, at 6 lanes wide, it is the perfect stand-in for the federal government’s proposed bridge across the Ottawa River through the Greenbelt west of Orleans.

Imagine yourself standing on the Ottawa River Pathway in the Greenbelt and, instead of open sky, having this brooding, ominous mass overhead. Imagine, too, all the traffic noise faithfully transmitted to your ears through the steel and concrete. Could any experience be further from what the Greenbelt is meant to be?

All Greenbelt users would have to pass under this bridge, whether walking, cycling, skiing, or snowshoeing – oh, but wait! There wouldn’t be any snow under the bridge, of course! Skis and snowshoes would go from snow to abrasive asphalt. This effectively would sever the Pathway in winter into two disconnected sections.

In short, a bridge crossing the Ottawa River and traversing the Greenbelt to join the 174 would be an unmitigated blight on the environment, with knock-on effects to quality of life in Orleans and points east.

If you don’t want this bridge to become a reality, please get involved. Visit our website.  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 yellow piece of paper with black script saying Thank You! with a red heart drawn underneath.  In the background you can see the red and the black pens that were used.

Thank YOU!

The CGOWCA Board of Directors along with the neighbours who enjoyed the community rink at Jeanne d’Arc Park would like to thank our sponsors and volunteers who made this season a success.  Our genuine thanks go out to Myers Orléans GM, Myers Orléans Nissan and Myers Orléans Jeep who sponsored the rink.  We’d also like to thank the dedicated group of volunteers who battled the elements this year to deliver a fantastic ice surface.  The volunteer team cleared snow, flooded the surface and kept things running smoothly during the inconsistent temperatures.  We appreciate this hard work!

A stylized image of individual letters as though they were cut out of a magazine (different fonts and colours on differently coloured backgrounds).  The letters are tacked up to spell out the word "community"

You Are Not Too Late to 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.

Infographic from the Canadian Public Health Association that shows what a 15-minute community looks like.  It includes: housing, retails, commercial and health services, public service facilities, education, parks and green space, and sustainable mobility.
Image from: https://www.cpha.ca/public-health-and-planning-co-creating-15-minute-neighbourhoods-ottawa

Ecology Ottawa Seeks Your Support for 15-minute Neighbourhoods

This initiative aims to foster community support for 15-minute neighbourhoods in Ottawa. In collaboration with Walkable Ottawa, this program looks to transform our city into a vibrant, sustainable, and connected community, all within a 15-minute walk or bike ride.

The project seeks to galvanize public support for 15-minute neighbourhoods, empowering Ottawans to document and share their neighbourhood experiences. Through workshops, toolkits, petitions, and media engagement, we aim to influence urban policy that promotes walkable communities with multiple benefits, including:

  1. Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, particularly from transportation.
  2. Decreased commute times and increased time for family and friends.
  3. Improved access to services and amenities within neighbourhoods.
  4. Enhanced community cohesion and vibrant social life.

The program will involve various activities throughout 2024 and 2025, including connecting with City staff, creating toolkits, hosting training workshops, and engaging in the Zoning By-law review process.

We invite you to join us in this transformative journey towards a more sustainable and livable Ottawa. Over the next two years, there will be exciting opportunities to sign petitions, participate in workshops, and share your neighbourhood stories. Stay tuned to our newsletter and Instagram for updates! Together, we can shape the future of our city and create neighbourhoods that prioritize people, community, and the environment. Thank you to OCAF for their generous support of this program! 

A hand, palm up, holding a small plant seedling. The background is blurred but it appears as though they are outside. / Une main, paume vers le haut, tenant un petit plant. L'arrière-plan est flou mais on a l'impression qu'ils sont à l'extérieur.

Save the Date – Earth Day Event

Mark your calendars! The CGOWCA Environment Committee invites you to our second year of “Cleaning the Capital”, on Sunday April 21st 9 am-12 pm. Stay tuned for more details next month!

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.