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.

December 2020 Newsletter

image of a house decorated in holiday lights and a lit up sign saying "alone for the holidays"

How to celebrate the holidays while obeying COVID restrictions

Given the changing face of Covid-19 numbers and accompanying guidance, it’s early to be talking about the holiday season which is still about 4 weeks away.  That said, what seems to be clear is that like everything since March, our 2020 holiday season will not be business as usual.

What types of things seem to be safer, regardless of the numbers?

  • Exchanging gifts or baked goods – as long as everyone practices good hand washing, it is fairly safe to exchange gifts with friends and family or exchange cookies or other holiday favourites.
  • Getting together outside – going for a walk, going sledding, skiing or skating outside are safer. It is still possible to catch Covid-19 while outdoors, but it is less likely than if you gather indoors. 

What about quarantining so that you can gather with family?

  • If everyone truly quarantined for 14 days before getting together over the holidays, it would significantly lower the risk.  Quarantining is very difficult to do though because it would mean having no contact with anyone outside your home for 14 days (no going to school or work, no going shopping, etc).  If you are able to meet the high bar of a 14-day quarantine, it would lower the risk of getting together over the holidays.

Nothing in this newsletter should be considered medical advice.  As we have been saying since the early days of the pandemic, it’s important to get your information from the most reliable sources:

Winter is Coming

Snow clearing guidelines

The snow is here!  Here is the guidance from the City of Ottawa regarding clearing snow from your own property:

  • Do not push snow and ice on the street, sidewalk or park.
  • Keep fire hydrants free of snow.
  • Use wood, plastic or fibreglass driveway markers, which should be no larger than a hockey stick.
  • Open catch basins or drains in front of your property when the weather becomes mild.
  • Catch basins are identified by a yellow “T” bar painted on the roadway.

A snow windrow is a pile of snow that accumulates at the end of driveways and on the sides of streets during plowing. It is the responsibility of the home owner to remove their own driveway windrows.

What if snow clearing service standards aren’t being met?

If your sidewalk has not been cleared 48 hours after the end of a snowfall, please call 3-1-1. The City does not clear snow from driveways or private sidewalks leading to a residence.

Tips for Winter Driving

The Canada Safety Council has 9 steps to drive safer in winter conditions.  You can read the whole article here:  https://canadasafetycouncil.org/winter-driving-tips/
Our top 3 from the list of 9 tips:

  1. Drive smoothly and slowly
  • Don’t make any abrupt turns or stops when driving. Doing so will often cause your vehicle to lose control and skid.
  • Driving too quickly is the main cause of winter collisions. Be sure to drive slowly and carefully on snow and ice covered roads.
  1. Don’t tailgate
  • Tailgating becomes much worse in winter weather. Stopping takes much longer on snowy and icy roads than on dry pavement, so be sure to leave enough room between your vehicle and the one in front of you.
  1. Pay attention.
  • Manoeuvres are more difficult to make in the snow. Be sure to anticipate what your next move is going to be to give yourself lots of room for turns and stopping.
image of the trail as the grooming machine passes

Ski Heritage East

This year’s winter sports season is approaching quickly.  Don’t forget that the Ski Heritage East trail welcomes skiing, walking, fat biking and more.  There are zones on the trail for various types of activities. 

Brigil hosted a launch event in February 2020 and produced a video about the trail.  Check that out here:  https://www.skiheritageeast.ca/wpshe/2020/11/02/brigil-launch-video/

You can find out about trail conditions, upcoming events, and even donate to the fund to help keep the trail going at the Ski Heritage East website:  https://www.skiheritageeast.ca/wpshe/

the word "give" on a white speckled background

Holiday gifts for our community

During this uncertain and worrying time, many of us still have job stability and as such, regular and reliable income. If you are one of the fortunate ones and are feeling generous this holiday season, please consider making contributions to one of the many programs and services in our community. Here are a few ideas:

November 2020 Newsletter

Halloween During the Pandemic

Given the number of active cases of Covid-19 in the Ottawa region, both the province of Ontario and Ottawa Public Health have recommended that people find alternatives to traditional trick or treating.  Keep reading for some creative ideas and alternatives to still have fun, while avoiding going door to door and increasing the risk of spreading the virus.

From www.Ontario.ca:

  • encourage kids to dress up and participate in virtual activities and parties
  • organize a candy hunt with people living in your household
  • carve pumpkins
  • have a movie night or sharing scary stories
  • decorate front lawns

Author Maija Kappler reminds us on www.huffingtonpost.ca that even if trick or treating is not allowed, it doesn’t mean Halloween has to be cancelled.  This article has several ideas including turning your home into a haunted house, doing a scavenger hunt for different types of jack-o-lanterns on foot or by car in your neighbourhood, or turning your whole meal on October 31st into something spooky and fun.

Locally, Ottawa Public Health is recommending we avoid trick or treating and have encouraged everyone to be Hallowise. Let’s follow recommendations from health officials and continue to flatten the curve Convent Glen and Orléans Wood!

artist rendering of Jeanne d'arc station for LRT phase 2

LRT Stage 2 Update

Please join us for an update on the progress of the LRT Stage 2 in Orléans on Thursday November 12th at 12pm. A representative from the Rail Construction Program will provide an update and answer your questions. A representative from OC Transpo will also be joining us to address concerns regarding the planning of bus access to stations.

You are invited to submit your questions and concerns ahead of time via this event page, by email to conventglenorleanswood@gmail.com or within the registration form below.

The information session will be via Zoom and broadcast on our Facebook page. Register here to get the Zoom link: https://forms.gle/SYqisyEcph2mQ7jHA

New Pedestrian Crossover is coming – how does it work?

Our neighbourhood is in the process of having a pedestrian crossover built on Orléans Blvd near Cairine Wilson Secondary School.   This will help everyone get across the road more safely and we all play a part in making it work. 

Here’s an explanation of pedestrian crossovers from the Ottawa Safety Council:

  1. Crossovers will have a “STOP FOR PEDESTRIANS” sign.
  2. Some intersections may have flashing beacons.
  3. Cars and bicycles should approach the cross-hatched lane with caution to determine if any pedestrians are seeking to cross.
  4. Pedestrians should signify they would like to cross. The OSC recommends that they stick out one arm to signal their wishes to oncoming traffic.  As always, try to make eye contact with a vehicle’s driver prior to stepping off the curb.
  5. At pedestrian crossovers with beacons, pedestrians should push the button, which will cause the lights to flash. Drivers, this is your signal that you have pedestrians crossing, and you need to stop.
  6. Drivers must wait until the pedestrian has cleared the crossover completely before proceeding with caution.

If motorists or cyclists fail to yield to pedestrians, it could result in fines up to $500 and cost three demerit points.

October 2020 Newsletter

Mental Health during the Covid-19 Pandemic

As the pandemic continues and we are all noticing some effects of the changes we are experiencing in our daily lives.  For some of us, there are extra stressors related to finances.  For others, the lack of social contact is the biggest challenge.  At the time of writing this newsletter, Ottawa Public Health has recently declared that Ottawa is in a second wave.  Here are some resources and tips to help us get through this while taking care of ourselves and taking care of each other.

woman sitting and smiling

Local Resources

Ottawa Public Health has created a guide that outlines many options for mental health resources in Ottawa and the region.  https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/public-health-topics/resources/Documents/mental_health_resource_guide_en.pdf

  • If you or someone you care about are in crisis, you can call 911.
  • Eastern Ottawa Community Resource Centre – offers counselling, family counselling, health services and resources: 613-741-6025 www.eorc-creo.ca
  • Orléans-Cumberland Community Resource Centre – offers crisis support, counselling, family counselling, support groups, health services, and resources: 613-830-4357 www.crcoc.ca
  • The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre – offers assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation for adults and youth with serious mental illnesses.  613-722-6521 www.theroyal.ca
  • Crisis Lines:
    • Child, Youth and Family Crisis Line of Eastern Ontario – provides professional help in English and French for children, youth, and families in crisis.  Available 24/7.  613-260-2360 www.icrs.ca/en
    • Community and Social Service Referrals – provides information and referrals in English and French to individuals and families living in Eastern Ontario – 211 www.211ontario.ca
    • Drugs and Alcohol Helpline – provides information about drug and alcohol addiction services in English, French and over 170 other languages.  Available 24/7.  1-800-565-8603 www.drugandalcoholhelpline.ca
    • Femaide – a provincial telephone helpline for francophone women who are dealing with violence and/or who have been sexually assaulted.  Available 24/7.  1-877-336-2433  www.femaide.ca
    • Kids Help Phone – provides support in English and French for youth under the age of 20.  Available 24/7.  1-800-668-6668  www.kidshelpphone.ca
    • Mental Health Crisis Line – an all-encompassing crisis service offered in English and French.  Available 24/7.  613-722-6914 or 1-866-996-0991 www.crisisline.ca
http://www.camh.ca/

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)

CAMH has several resources on their website specifically related to the Covid-19 Pandemic.  You might associate their work with Toronto, but they also offer regional services and online services across the province of Ontario.  For more information about Ottawa Regional Offices and options, you can call Toll-free 888 441-2892 or 613 569-6024.

  • Covid-19 Discussion Forum – an online discussion forum where you can offer support, encouragement, and share your experiences with managing your stress and anxiety related to the Covid-19 Pandemic.  You can view the forum as a guest, or you can create an account and log in if you want to post or reply in the forum.  It runs weekdays from 8:00am to 5:00pm and weekends from 9:00am to 4:00pm. 
  • Research on the impacts of the pandemic on mental health and substance use – CAMH and research technology company Delvinia have conducted three national online surveys between May and July 2020.  There is a dashboard sharing the findings.  If you are noticing increased feelings of anxiety, depression, loneliness, or substance use during the pandemic.  You are not alone.  Reach out for help.
  • Resources for Health Care Workers – there are many people in our community that are front line workers.  In order to take care of others, it is important to take care of yourself too.  There are resources for self-care, professional support groups, and resources for supporting your patients and families.  You can self-refer for psychotherapy and psychiatric services with The Royal Mental Health Centre in Ottawa thanks to a partnership with the Ministry of Health and Ontario Health if you are:
    • A health care worker in Ontario
    • You are impacted by stress related to Covid-19 and
    • You need mental health and/or addictions support
  • Loss, grief and healing – there is a whole section with information related to helping us make sense of the feelings we are having due to losses we have all experienced due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  How can we cope with experiences such as the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, the loss of social connection, the loss of or harm to relationships, academic loss, loss experienced by health care providers, loss of rituals and routines, or loss of mental health support.
  • Stress and Anxiety – even for those of us who feel we are coping well throughout the pandemic, we have all experienced an increase in stress and uncertainty.  There are resources providing coping strategies as well as personal assessment tools to allow you to figure out where you are at as you adapt.  There are many detailed strategies outlined, and simple things like eating healthily, getting proper rest and sleep and staying active are part of the puzzle.
gloved hands holding a globe, the globe is wearing a mask

Where to get facts about Covid-19: 

Since everyone is feeling increased stress and anxiety, it is easy to get drawn into misinformation online.  Be careful about trusting information you find circulating on Facebook and social media sites.  Sharing misinformation through memes, jokes and attack posts does not help anyone. 

There is a lot of reliable information that is easy to access:

Not Today Covid-19

The COVID Alert Mobile App

One way you can help to protect yourself and your community is to download the app so that you know if you are exposed to Covid-19, and let others know if you test positive without sharing any personal information.  The app does not trace your location, collect your contact information, or collect health information.  Here’s how it works:

  • As you go about your day, COVID Alert runs in the background and:
    • uses your smartphone’s built-in Bluetooth function to detect how close you are to other people with the app
    • exchanges random codes with other, nearby app users every 5 minutes
    • saves the codes on your phone for 14 days
    • The random codes cannot be used to identify you or your location.
  • If you test positive, you can use the app to notify others by:
    • entering it into the app
    • The app only uses the random codes – it does not collect or share any health information about you.
  • Every day, when you have an internet connection, COVID Alert looks for matches between the random codes on your phone and the random codes from people who have told the app they have tested positive.
    • Even if it finds matching codes, the app will not know who they belong to.
  • If the app finds matching codes, it means that in the past 2 weeks you were within 2 metres of an app user for more than 15 minutes, and that user has since tested positive. So you will get an alert with:
    • a message that you may have been exposed to COVID-19 19
    • advice on what to do next
    • Because no personal information or location data is shared, the app will not know where or when you were exposed.

June 2020 Newsletter

artist rendering of what the Jeanne d'Arc LRT station will look like

Stage 2 O-Train Light Rail Transit – Jeanne d’Arc on-ramps Update (from Public Notice)

This notice is to advise that, as part of the Stage 2 O-Train Light Rail Transit (LRT) project, crews and equipment will be working on modifying the access to Jeanne d’Arc on-ramps at Highway 174, in order to create safer connectivity across the Jeanne d’Arc bridge. In tandem, there will be on-going electrical and utility work required prior to the construction of the new Jeanne d’Arc LRT station.

WHAT: The Jeanne d’Arc Blvd works involving the westbound ramps to the Highway 174 and the existing intersection north of Highway 174 will include modifications to remove the existing Jeanne d’Arc southbound to Highway 174 westbound on-ramp and replacing it with a new ramp that shares the existing bus only ramp. Future modifications will include a new squared off configuration for the Jeanne d’Arc northbound to Highway 174 westbound on-ramp.

  • Construct a portion of the final intersection configuration including pedestrian crossings and leave the existing northbound Jeanne d’Arc to Highway 174 westbound on-ramp as is for the time being.
  • Construct the new pedestrian facilities on the east and west side of the intersection.
  • Construct new right turn lane for southbound Jeanne d’Arc to Highway 174 westbound on-ramp traffic
  • Repurpose the existing bus-only access to Highway 174 westbound, to enable accessibility to all traffic.
  • Remove the existing Jeanne d’Arc southbound to Highway 174 westbound on-ramp and restore it to a landscaped area once the works have been completed.

Future modifications are required and will move forward once the Jeanne d’Arc LRT station is operational.

WHY: Realigning westbound on-ramps access to signalized intersections will create safer connectivity for all road users including motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians.

WHERE: Jeanne d’Arc at Highway 174

WHEN: June to September 2020

HOURS: Hours of operations vary and are as follows:

  • Daytime construction will occur Monday to Friday from 7:00am to 5:30pm for works outside the existing roadway including excavation, utilities, grading, and paving.
  • Overnight work requiring some intermittent nightly lane closures from 7:00pm to 5:00am, and Highway 174 westbound on and off ramp closures from 10:00pm to 5:00am.
  • Weekend overnight work might occur intermittently between 11:00pm Friday to 5:00am Monday.

ANTICIPATED IMPACTS

All pedestrian, cycling, bus, and vehicular movements will be maintained during construction apart from the nightly highway ramp closures. Localized pedestrian detours and temporary bus stop relocations during the nightly closures and the weekend ramp closures are required. Temporary concrete barriers and/or traffic control devices will be in place to ensure safe passage for vehicles, buses, cyclists, and pedestrians in and around active work zones. Pedestrians and cyclists should use extra caution when localized detours are in place.

Motorists may wish to allow for some extra travel time, and should adhere to orange traffic control signage, posted speed limits, and instructions of traffic control personnel or paid duty officers when in use.

A City of Ottawa Noise By-law Exemption Permit is required for the overnight work identified above.

The safety of workers and the public is paramount, and we thank you for your patience during construction

CONTACT US

Any changes to the duration or impact of this work will be only be communicated via the Stage 2 project newsletter. To receive these newsletter updates please sign up at Ottawa.ca/Stage2 and click ‘Connect with us.’ Be sure to select updates for Jeanne d’Arc Station. For other accommodations, or any questions, please contact:

Alison Lynch

Stakeholder Relations, Rail Construction Program, City of Ottawa

alison.lynch@ottawa.ca

www.ottawa.ca/stage2

image of coronavirus molecule

Covid-19 Updates:

Access to Public Spaces

Here are some highlights about changes to what residents are now allowed to do as of May 19th.  For up-to-date information on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, visit ottawa.ca/covid19 or call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-9656). You can also connect with us through Facebook (link is external)Twitter (link is external) and Instagram (link is external).

  • Provincial Orders remain in effect prohibiting the use of play structures, swings, slides, splash and spray pads, wading pools and exercise equipment.
  • During the first stage of reopening, Emergency Provincial Orders remain in place prohibiting gatherings of more than five people outside of your current household.
  • Outdoor sports facilities and multi-use fields, including baseball diamonds, soccer fields, frisbee golf locations, tennis, platform tennis, table tennis and pickleball courts, basketball courts, BMX parks and skate parks, are now open. In addition, off-leash dog areas, benches, picnic areas and shelters are also open. In all cases, physical distancing of at least two metres is required.
image of various people wearing non-medical masks by www.teafly.com

Where to find Non-Medical Masks in Ottawa

It’s important to remember that even if you wear a cloth mask, physical distancing, hand washing, and monitoring your health continue to be very important. Keeping a 2-metre distance is important, but it isn’t always possible (e.g., in a grocery store, on the bus). Wearing a mask adds an extra layer of protection, especially for others in case you have COVID-19; it may also help reduce your risk in case others have COVID-19.

If you are going to a public place, Ottawa Public Health asks residents to consider wearing a cloth mask, as they may offer some additional protection to those around you where physical distancing is challenging.

Ottawa Public Health has a list of local options for finding non-medical masks:  https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/public-health-topics/masks.aspx#13-Where-can-I-purchase-a-cloth-mask-in-Ottawa-

We like this image from a US artist, Teafly: https://teafly.com/about/

image of an elderly woman smiling

Seniors Staying Connected during Covid-19

The Council on Aging has a regular newsletter specifically for seniors that tackles many topics related to Covid-19.  Topics so far include: Physically distancing: How to stay connected, Food for thought: Getting the food you need, Caring for self and others, Getting out and about safely, Money Matters, and Finding the right balance.  You can sign up for ongoing newsletters here: https://coaottawa.ca/sign-up-for-our-newsletter/. You can also consult previous editions here: https://coaottawa.ca/special-covid-19-updates/

If you are feeling lonely or isolated, remember that there are resources out there to help.  A Friendly Voice is a phone line for seniors.  You can call 613-692-9992 or 1-855-892-9992 to speak to someone.   Every day of the year, trained volunteers are available to receive calls.  Volunteers visit with the callers and, when asked, can help identify programs and services in the community.   

For those in Convent Glen and Orléans Wood who are not seniors, if you have an elderly neighbour and are able to check in on them safely, we encourage you to do so.  A note in the mailbox, or a conversation from the driveway extending an offer to run an errand or drop off groceries can go a long way for those at higher risk from Covid-19.  Let’s do our part.

a multiracial group of people working on a project together

City of Ottawa’s Human Needs Task Force

As part of the emergency response to Covid-19, the City has established this task force to collaborate with over 50 community partners around Ottawa.  There are additional supports available – spread the word!

The Family and Social Services COVID-19 webpage on the City of Ottawa site is a great resource for community members to gain up to date information on the City’s social services that have been added or adapted to support residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. The webpage also includes a collection of community resources available to residents in need. Content is organized into 6 categories:

  • Childcare and online activities
    • Information on emergency childcare for essential workers, virtual EarlyON programs, licensed childcare centres, and more.
  • Financial Assistance
    • Information on Ontario Works and emergency assistance, applying for provincial and federal help, and more.
  • Resources for people in need
    • Information and fact sheets on food banks, grocery supports, and meal delivery, who to call for help, mental health supports, community gardens, and more.
  • Housing Services
    • Information on emergency shelters, shower and washroom facilities and more.
  • Seniors’ supports and City-run long term care homes
    • Information on food, transportation and mental health supports for seniors, updates and FAQs for long-term care homes, and more.
  • The Human Needs Task Force
    • Information for our community partners.
image of colourful books on bookshelves

Ottawa Public Library: New Curbside Returns and Holds Pick Up Service

The OPL now offers a Curbside Returns and Holds Pick Up service at six branch locations: Main, Nepean Centrepointe, Cumberland, Beaverbrook, Greenboro and Ruth E. Dickson during new hours of operation.

  • On Monday, June 8, these locations will begin accepting returns; and,
  • On Monday, June 15, holds pick up by appointment will start.

Find the details of this new curbside service here.

All other branches, including the Orléans Branch, remain closed.