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 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 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:

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:

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:

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,  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.

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