June 2024 Newsletter

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.

Attend an Association Board Meeting

Maybe you’re curious about what happens at board meetings or are not sure about getting involved.  Come on out and join us!  The next regular meeting of the CGOWCA volunteer Board of Directors is on June 10, 2024. The meeting is virtual.  If you would like to attend, email conventglenorleanswood@gmail.com to get the meeting information.

Photograph of the community barbeque site. There is a long line up of people in the centre who are waiting to get food at Golden Fries. Along the left side of the photo, there are tents lined up in a row leading to the food truck. Along the right, towards the back of the site, there are more tents with activities and entertainment for attendees.

Summer BBQ – Help Make it a Success

We will be hosting another BBQ this summer.  If you would like to help organize this awesome event, or help at the event itself, please reach out to conventglenorleanswood@gmail.com to let us know!  We’ll be in touch shortly with more information.

Graphic illustration that shows a heat pump installation at a home. An exterior fan combined with an indoor minisplit that pushes the warm or cool air around the space.
Air conditioning system during the hot season. Digital illustration, 3d rendering.

Home Energy Efficiency Info Night

On May 14th, the CGOWCA Environment Committee hosted a Home Energy Efficiency Info Night to provide homeowners with an opportunity to learn from experts and hear testimonials from local residents about energy efficiency retrofits.

Some highlights discussed at the event include:

  • Making your home more energy efficient can offer a variety of benefits, including improved comfort, reduced carbon emissions, and reduced energy costs, including protection against future rising energy costs.
  • There are many retrofit options (e.g. heat pumps, windows, insulation, solar panels, etc.) and there are options for a variety of budgets. Doing an energy audit with an energy advisor will provide information on what options would be best for you and your home (https://betterhomesottawa.ca/energy-audits/energy-assessment/).
  • Doing energy efficiency retrofits when something requires replacement or you already doing other renovations can make good financial sense. Coordinating retrofits with neighbors could offer volume discounts with contractors!
  • Many financial supports are available to homeowners. The Better Homes Ottawa Loan Program offers long-term low-interest loans that are tied properties rather than to individuals. (https://betterhomesottawa.ca/rebate-and-incentive-programs/better-homes-loan-program/)
  • Homeowners were happy with the results of their retrofits, seeing significant reductions to their home energy consumption and emissions. Some experienced unexpected costs and found it helpful to shop around with more than one contractor.

If you would like to learn more:

Thank you to TebCal Cleaning for sponsoring this event. https://tebcal.ca/clean/

A photograph of jerusalem artichoke blooms - which is one of the edible native plants mentioned in the article. Une photographie de fleurs de topinambour, l'une des plantes indigènes comestibles mentionnées dans l'article.

Native plants you didn’t know you could eat

Nadia Ouellette, CGOWCA Environment Committee

Native plant gardening provides abundant benefits. Many Ontario native plants are also edible. Planting native, edible plants helps the environment and provides you with nutritious food from your own yard. This combats food scarcity, rising food prices and reduces the carbon footprint of your food.

Here are five native plants you may not have known were edible:

  1. Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus) – This sunflower plant produces edible roots. Containing inulin instead of starch they are healthier for diabetics than potatoes. Tubers can be prepared like potatoes: boiled and mashed or roasted. Flowers attract butterflies and seed heads are important food for birds
  2. Fireweed (Chamerion angustifolium) – All parts are considered edible. Jelly can be made from the buds and flowers. Young leaves can be added to salad or stirfry. Shoots can be sauteed or steamed like asparagus. Fireweed is a source of vitamin C, caterpillar host plant and important nectar source for pollinators. 
  3. Roses – The edible rosehips of our native roses (example Smooth rose Rosa blanda) are important sources of vitamin C and anti-oxidants. They persist throughout the winter when other local sources of vitamin C are scarce. Rosehips are an important food source to birds over the winter. Petals can be added to salads, cereals or used to make cookies, tea, jellies etc
  4. Nannyberry (Viburnum lentago) – Beautiful spring flowers develop into edible autumn berries. Berries can be eaten fresh or used to make jams. Nannyberry is host to multiple moth species, flowers attract pollinators and the berries are an important winter food source for birds. The berries are a good source of anti-oxidants, vitamin C and K, potassium and fibre. 
  5. Wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)  – All above ground parts of this mint family plant are edible. The flavour compares to oregano or thyme. Leaves can be added raw to salad or cooked and added as flavouring in place of oregano. Flowers can be added to salad, dried for tea or baked goods. 
A group photo of participants (people and dogs) at the 2024 Dog Walkathon. They are standing in front of two blue tents with banners for Convent Glen Orleans Wood Community Association and for sponsors Myers Orleans dealerships. There are about 20 people in the photo. Une photo de groupe des participants (personnes et chiens) au 2024 Dog Walkathon. Ils se tiennent devant deux tentes bleues avec des bannières pour Convent Glen Orleans Wood Community Association et pour les sponsors Myers Orleans dealerships. Il y a environ 20 personnes sur la photo.

Dog Walkathon 

On May 25th, we held our 6th annual Dog Walkathon to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society.  It was incredible to see our community come together to support this cause.  And, our furry four legged companions had a great time.  

The generosity of the community let us raise $1,154 for the Canadian Cancer Society!  

We want to thank everyone who came out and donated to the fundraiser.  We also want to thank several local businesses that supported this event: Myers Orléans Chev Buick GMC, Myers Orléans Nissan, Myers Orléans Jeep RAM, Trinity Physio, Dogtopia of Orleans, Pet Valu Convent Glen, Aroma Pizzeria, Vêtements EnTK, and Easy Breezy Dog Training.  

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

CGOWCA Bridge Committee Update

Just one piece of news this month. We are pleased to launch our new website:

www.nogreenbeltbridge.com

Please visit it and tell us what you think! You are welcome to communicate with the Bridge Committee at cgnbridgecommittee@gmail.com, and to add your name to our database, so that we can better keep you in the loop.

Diagram showing a roundabout with one lane and labelling all of its components.

Roundabout at Fortune and Vineyard

From the newsletter of Councillor Laura Dudas

The project team has continued to update the project website, and the presentation slide deck and presentation boards are now available online. They are currently working on finishing their first Q&A update, as well, they have prepared a 20-minute video presentation on the project. Both of those updates should be posted any moment now.

The project team is compiling all of their comparisons and assessments of other suggested locations. This will also be posted as soon as it is complete.

As well, the project lead is preparing information for the community on the construction aspect itself, including expected timelines, what traffic flows will look like, how pedestrians will cross the intersection during construction and provide an overview of the construction process.

For all the latest updates, visit the project website: www.Ottawa.ca/JeannedArcTransit 

Poster for 2024 A Company of Fools season. July 8th to August 24th. Macbeth. 7pm showtime. Pay what you can - suggested $20 donation. www.fools.ca

Torchlight Shakespeare in the Park

A Company of Fools will be presenting Macbeth for the 2024 season. 

Since 1990, Ottawa has enjoyed offerings of outdoor theatre from A Company of Fools.  Their mandate is to present innovative, entertaining, and accessible shows based on the works of William Shakespeare.  Their shows are pay-what-you-can and children and pets are welcome.  You can plan a picnic in the park and take in the show at the same time!

Often, we have a show offered in Hiawatha Park in our neighbourhood.  Although the schedule wasn’t published at the time of this newsletter being written, you can check www.fools.ca for up-to-date information about which parks they will visit between July 8th and August 24th

May 2024 Newsletter

A photo from the 2024 Spring Clean Up - 5 community members stand around a blue dumpster and about 6 bags of trash that were collected at the clean up.

Spring Clean Up Success

Great turn out on Sunday April 21st to Celebrate Earth Day by Cleaning the Capital! 82 people and over 75 bags of garbage collected. Thank you to Tim Hortons at St Joseph and Orleans Blvd., Crown Pointe Animal HospitalTebcal Cleaning, Metro at Convent Glen Plaza, and the Roy Hobbs Community Centre.

image of two sets of hands clasped

Get Involved! 

The Convent Glen Orléans Wood Community Association needs YOU!  There are many ways to get involved and you can contribute in ways that fit with your life and schedule.  Here are a few ways to help, but if you have ideas about ways you’d like to get involved, reach out to the Board at conventglenorleanswood@gmail.com to share your idea!

Join the Board of Directors – generally the board meets monthly, and these volunteers lead the strategic direction of the Community Association.  In addition to board meetings, board members may: coordinate events, supervise other volunteers, seek sponsorships, consult on neighbourhood developments, Chair subcommittees of the association, oversee communications like this newsletter or the website. 

Plan an Event – the CGOWCA has had several annual events over the years such as a Winter Carnival, a Bike Rodeo, Night Skiing, and a Community BBQ.  Maybe there is an event you wish was happening in the neighbourhood – you could kick it off!  If you like to organize gatherings and are good with details and checklists, you could lead one of these events.

As a volunteer, you can also help with specific projects or initiatives that are important to you such as advocacy, fundraising, work planning, or communications.  No contribution is too small.  We would love to work with you.  Reach out to the Board at conventglenorleanswood@gmail.com to learn more or share your ideas.

Dog Walkathon Poster: Saturday May 25th at 9am. Hiawatha Park at the corner of Voyageur and Voyageur. A fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society. 3kms of fun for everyone.

2024 Dog Walkathon Fundraiser

Join the neighbourhood again this year for a lovely walk with your four-legged friends!  All are welcome, with or without a dog.  The event is a fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society.  The group will head out on a flat, paved route of about 3 km.

Date:  Saturday May 25th

Time: 9am

Meeting Location: Hiawatha Park (corner of Voyageur and Voyageur)

What to Bring: Dress for the weather.  You can bring water if you like.  We encourage you to join with your dog!

Donations:  Whether or not you can join the walkathon, you can donate online with the Canadian Cancer Society.  The link for this fundraising event is: https://tinyurl.com/yddz2k4f

Home Energy Efficiency Info Night Poster: Drop in to learn from experts and talk to neighbours about home energy efficiency retrofits, including: different retrofit options, loan programs available, the homeowner's experience, the cost-saving, environmental and comfort benefits. Guest speakers are Lucas Coletta - Engineer at Natural Resources Canada and Aaron Thornell - Better Homes Ottawa Program at the City of Ottawa. Tuesday May 14th from 7pm to 9pm at Bob MacQuarrie Recreation Complex - Hall A at 1490 Youville Drive

Learn With Us:  Home Energy Efficiency

Please join the CGOWCA Environment Committee for a Home Energy Efficiency Info Night. We have guest speakers Lucas Coletta, an engineer with Natural Resources Canada and Aaron Thornell with the Better Homes of Ottawa Program. Hear about different retrofit options, loan programs available, homeowners experience and more!  Later in this month’s newsletter, one neighbour shares their personal experience with a Home-Energy Retrofit.

RSVP to the Facebook event for updates and reminders: https://fb.me/e/1Zps3J7Zq

Date: Tuesday May 14th

Time: 7pm to 9pm

Meeting Location: Bob MacQuarrie Recreation Centre – 1490 Youville Drive

Repair Cafe poster: Do you have a household item that's broken? We'll show you how to fix it! Free! Bikes, computers, clothing, toys, small furniture, small appliances, wooden objects and more! Please bring along your replacement parts when possible. Sunday June 2nd from 2pm to 5pm at the Orleans United Church - 1111 Orleans Blvd.

Get it Fixed at the CGOWCA Environment Committee’s Repair Café!

Toss it out? No way! Bring your broken bikes and household items to our repair cafe. Repair Cafes are free, community-led events where volunteer fixers and menders assist other members of the community with repairing bikes, household items and textiles. Repair Cafes are open to everyone and are a wonderful place to share skills and knowledge, keep broken items out of landfills and build community. In addition to the repairs done on the spot, visitors will be able to have complementary tea, coffee, and snacks.

When possible, those coming to the Repair Cafe are asked to purchase and bring along the

replacement part they will need for their item (e.g. zipper, laptop battery, fuse, bike inner tube).

If you RSVP to the Facebook event, you’ll receive updates:  https://fb.me/e/5LJm6GDfh

Date: Sunday June 2nd

Time: 2pm to 5pm

Meeting Location: Orléans United Church – 1111 Orléans Blvd

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

Bridge Committee Update

The federal government’s 2024 budget was released on 16 April and has been studied by our committee, along with the Public Services and Procurement Canada 2024 to 2025 Departmental Plan. The latter document states that “PSPC will continue to support ongoing efforts to maintain existing crossings and advance the assessment and planning associated with an additional crossing in the NCR.” Interestingly, while the work to be done on existing crossings is described in detail, no mention is made of going beyond “assessment and planning” to the actual building of the “additional crossing,” suggesting that the Greenbelt bridge project is on hold.

While this is encouraging, it does not mean we can become complacent. We will maintain our watching brief and keep you informed.

We are still putting the finishing touches on our new website and expect to launch this month.

You are welcome to communicate with the Bridge Committee at cgnbridgecommittee@gmail.com,  and to add your name to our database, so that we can better keep you in the loop.

Graphic illustration that shows a heat pump installation at a home. An exterior fan combined with an indoor minisplit that pushes the warm or cool air around the space.
Air conditioning system during the hot season. Digital illustration, 3d rendering.

We Bought a Heat Pump!  A Home-Energy Retrofit Experience

Rachelle Thibodeau, CGOWCA Environment Committee

My partner and I wanted to reduce our carbon pollution but didn’t know where to start. I am sharing our experience with the government rebates and the home-energy audit in hopes it might be helpful for others in our neighborhood!

The sequence of events is: 1) home energy audit, 2) make recommended changes, 3) follow-up energy audit. Once increased efficiency is shown, the audit company submits rebate paperwork to the government.

We booked our energy audit with HomeSol. It took a few hours and was interesting. The report recommended caulking windows, putting foam gaskets and child safety plugs in electrical outlets on exterior walls. It also recommended more insulation in the attic and an electric heat pump to replace our gas furnace and air conditioner.

We booked three heat pump estimates and got different recommendations and prices from each company. We decided on a Mitsubishi air-source heat pump which can handle cold winters. The $6,000 rebate from Greener Homes and 0% interest loan through Better Homes Ottawa were incentives.

We removed our gas furnace and discontinued gas service to the house. This means no more Enbridge bills, not even those pesky fixed costs.

The heat pump is comfortable and easy to use. Heat pumps are more efficient if you keep the temperature constant. No more remembering to turn down the furnace and no more coming home to a chilly house!

We needed to upgrade our electrical panel and have Hydro Ottawa upgrade the service to the house as well. Upon completion, we booked the heat pump installer and electrician on the same day. The process took most of the day for a team of several workers. My partner caulked the windows and insulated the electrical outlets. Based on our audit scores, we didn’t pursue increased attic insulation.

On post-energy audit, our home efficiency improved by 20%, enough to qualify for the full rebate. It’s tough to measure savings because of rising gas and hydro prices and changing weather. Our total electricity bill (two people living in a 3-bedroom semi) averaged $100 last March. This covers heating, cooling, and all other electricity but doesn’t include approximately $40/month to charge our car.

For more information on how you can do something similar in your home, please make sure to join us May 14th, 7 pm at the Bob MacQuarrie Recreation Centre for a Home Energy Efficiency Info Night.

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.