March 2021 Newsletter

Income Tax Season

The end of February marks the time of year when most of us start to think about filing our annual income tax returns.  More and more often, government benefits and social programs are only accessible to those who file income tax.

211’s provincial blog talks about benefits accessible to low income households through filing income tax and offers some links to resources. In general, if you are looking for a free income tax clinic, you can either call 211 to find out about local options or you can check CRA’s website which also lists information on volunteer income tax clinics that will file returns free of charge.  

Due to the ongoing restrictions of the pandemic, demand may be higher than availability if clinics are running at a reduced capacity. We encourage you to seek information early so you can get the help you need.

The Orléans-Cumberland Community Resource Centre is offering a modified bilingual income tax clinic by phone.

Eligibility Requirements: 

  • Resident of Orléans-Cumberland catchment area
  • Completed last year’s Income Taxes
  • Family living with a low-income (see chart on their website for details)
  • Register by phone ONLY at 613-830-4357, ext. 310 from February 16th to April 16th, 2021

Starting Seeds

Who is ready for spring?  One thing we can do from home while watching the snow melt is to start some plants from seed in our homes.  There are many resources online to help anyone give growing from seed a try whether or not you consider yourself a green thumb.

Here’s comprehensive guide developed by the Community Gardening Network of Ottawa and shared by Just Food:

If you have children at home and would like to get them involved and excited about growing plants from seeds, Ottawa Public Health produced this handbook that includes several activities you can do with children to help them learn about seeds and caring for plants:

Lastly, did you know that Ottawa has a Seed Library?  (or are you wondering what a seed library is?) In basic terms, the seed library is a repository of seeds donated by other local growers.  Anyone can donate seeds at the end of the growing season or take seeds early in the season.  Just Food has two seed programs locally – the Ottawa Seed Library and the Regional Seed Program.  You do not need to be an experienced or large scale grower to get involved.  Find out more here:

Ongoing high-end vehicle thefts 

[From a Public Advisory released by Ottawa Police] (Ottawa) –The Ottawa Police reminds the community that the risk of thefts, and repeat thefts, of high-end Lexus and Toyota vehicles in Ottawa remains present, particularly with Tacoma and Highlander.

There have been 5 luxury vehicle thefts in Kanata (Bridlewood area) in a single overnight. There have been multiple vehicles stolen recently in the Crystal beach and Orleans areas as well. There is no suspect description available at this time.

The Ottawa Police have received over 200 reports of newer model Lexus/Toyota SUVs and Tacomas over the course of 2020 and a further 35 so far this year. Investigators are asking that any Toyota/Lexus SUV or Tacoma owners who notice damage to the driver’s door handle file an information report online. This will assist in identifying the scope of the problem and help direct proactive efforts to the right neighborhoods.

Anyone with information about any of the vehicle thefts is asked to call the Ottawa Police Central Criminal Investigations Section at 613-236-1222 ext. 4127. Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-222-8477 or at

Investigators would like to advise the public that previously targeted addresses have been repeatedly targeted on multiple occasions, with that in mind we would like to remind car owners of the following tips to protect their vehicle:

  1. Make your vehicle less vulnerable to theft by parking it in a locked garage and or by blocking it in tightly with a second vehicle. Exterior lighting and video surveillance around the driveway can also serve as a deterrent.
  2. Consider installing an after-market electronic immobilizer device, which can interfere with the starting of the vehicle.
  3. Be vigilant that there is no damage to the door locks mechanisms, as this could be an indication that your car has been targeted.
  4. Consider protecting your vehicle with such devices as car alarms or steering wheel locking devices such as “The Club”.
  5. GPS tracking devices have become increasingly popular. Some even allow the vehicle owner to electronically “fence-in” their vehicle, whereby an alarm cue would occur if the vehicle were to leave the fenced-in area without authorization.
  6. Locks to restrict access to the on-board diagnostic plug exist and when applied can impede a thief from re-programming a key.
  7. If you are selling your vehicle, be wary not to let anyone have access to your car keys and do not let your vehicle out of your sight. This prevents a thief from copying your key during a “test drive” so they can return to steal it.
  8. Finally, good old-fashioned neighbourhood watch is a great deterrent. Be vigilant and call 911 to report any suspicious vehicles in your neighbourhood.  Most thefts occur between midnight and 5am in the morning.

Investigators have not yet seen the use of signal amplifiers in Ottawa. In the event that this technology makes its way to Ottawa, a simple line of defense is to consider keeping any vehicle with a proximity key fob inside a radio frequency shield device (RFS device).  This will prevent the key fob’s signal from being amplified to the vehicle from inside the house, protecting it from being driven away.

More safety tips are available online.

February 2021 Newsletter

Myers Orléans Nissan Logo
Myers Orléans Chevrolet Buick GMC logo
This month’s newsletter sponsored by Myers Orléans Nissan and Myers Orléans Chev Buick GMC
photo of people at the 2020 Winter Carnival

St Moritz Community Rink

Many community members have been enjoying the outdoor rink off of St Moritz Drive that is maintained by a dedicated group of volunteers.  We have some important kudos and thank yous related to the rink.  Several local businesses have stepped up to help make rink maintenance more affordable or to sponsor the rink maintenance.  Please consider supporting these local businesses who have shown they care for our community.

  • Thank you to Robertson Rent All for providing free use of the roller for the second year in a row.  The roller allows volunteers to pack down snow and get the ice surface running.
  • Thank you to Myers Orléans Nissan and Myers Orléans Chevrolet Buick GMC dealerships for their sponsorship for the second year in a row.  This sponsorship helps pay for supplies for rink maintenance as well as things like gas for the snowblower.
  • Thank you to Wheelsport for the rebate on maintenance on our snowblower.  The CGOWCA invested in a snowblower several years ago and maintaining it will help extend this investment.  
illustrated images of people waring masks, keeping distance from OPH

Be social wise during the provincewide state of emergency and stay-at-home order [from Ottawa Public Health]

Due to the high number of people testing positive for COVID-19, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) recommends keeping the number of people you interact with small:  those in your household plus essential supports. For social gatherings, this can include limiting gatherings to those who live in your household and those providing essential support services such as a caregiver. If you live alone (single parent, student, etc.), one or two contacts from another household can be important social supports to draw on.

Gatherings are going to look and feel different during the COVID-19 pandemic. All individuals should assess their own level of risk, and the health of every person in their household, when deciding how to celebrate. If anyone in your household is at higher risk from COVID-19, everyone should choose lower risk activities to keep them safe.  

Some things to note before you start planning:  

  • Indoor public events and social gatherings are limited to your own household (the people you live with) under the Provincewide state of emergency and stay-at-home order.
  • If you live alone or are a single parent, you may consider having an exclusive close contact with one other household to help reduce the negative impacts of social isolation.
  • Outdoor public events and social gatherings are limited to 5 people under the Provincewide state of emergency and stay-at-home order.
  • These limits cannot be combined (for example: it is NOT permitted to host a social gathering with your household indoors and 5 guests outdoors).   

In addition to older adults, people who have serious underlying medical conditions (such as: cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic lung disease, chronic liver disease, cancer, are immunocompromised) are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.  

Be in the know about COVID-19 levels in our community.  

image of people at the 2020 winter carnival

Winter Carnival 2021 – cancelled

Due to current restrictions, we have decided to postpone our annual Winter Carnival to next year. We look forward to 2022 and seeing everyone in person then!  For this year, please check out and enjoy these virtual and outdoor alternatives for winter fun:

  • Orléans Winterlude Challenge from the BIA.  In their recent newsletter, the Heart of Orléans BIA has announced that Fêtes Frissons has been cancelled this year.  They are challenging all of us to create a masterpiece out of snow. Let’s scatter snowmen, snow women, snow animals, igloos and forts in our yards at home AND our places of business. Grab some food coloring, a shovel, and your snow person’s attire of choice and be creative. 
  • Virtual Winterlude.  Since 1979, Winterlude has been brightening the winters of Canada’s Capital Region. From February 5 to 21, 2021, celebrate the joys of winter Winterlude style. For the 43rd edition, a new, entirely virtual experience awaits Canadians from across the country. Inspiration, entertainment, warmth… THIS is Winterlude! Find out what’s on offer at  Winterlude –
  • Have some fun with your household by registering for the Hunt for Hearts.  While raising money for the University of Ottawa Heart Institute Foundation, you participate in an online and outdoor scavenger hunt powered by Escape Manor.  Registration is $25 per person and you have the whole month of February to finish the scavenger hunt!

January 2021 Newsletter

artist drawing showing people of different cultures wearing a face mask

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 ( 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:
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:

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:

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.


  • 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 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 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:

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.