Web-extra (July 26, 2018): Photo Essay: BREAKING NEWS; Hintonburg Rocked by Heritage Collapse.

Web-extra (July 26, 2018): Photo Essay: BREAKING NEWS;
Hintonburg Rocked by Heritage Collapse.

It happened on a day when Hintonburg gardens were getting a wet relief from the July drought. On a day where some gathered in Somerset Square were remembering Abdirahman Abdi. Those dining on Wellington West were avoiding the patios and thankfully so. For most Hintonburg residents the only sound heard was the gathering cacophony of sirens. A Ladder truck and a pumper truck navigated the one and two-way streets, and deployed in case of fire or rescue. What had been three storeys of large and small quarried limestone wall now lay as motionless rubble on the ground. A front picture window shattered onto the sidewalk. Thankfully the occupant was out, no reports of injury, but the loss of history looms large.
Photo Caption: The Magee House as it was called was not the prettiest of the heritage buildings in Hintonburg but it was built two and a half decades before the Great Hull-Ottawa Fire of 1900. It was the oldest greystone remaining. In recent memory it has been the home and business place of an architect. His thoughts on an expansion off the back of the building will take a backseat as city engineers decide the fate of the 3 remaining walls. The owner hopes the building can be repaired, as do many in the ‘Burg. Photo provided by Pat McLeod.
Photo Caption: The day after the collapse and after a record rainfall too, the scene is still blocking traffic. Businesses to either side tempoarily closed for 1 day, while workers in safety vests review the scene. Plus a TV-Media presence and constant flow of spectators and passersby on foot, bike and mobility-scooter.

[Ed: for more on the great fire, walk a block east to Wellington W. and Pinhey and check out the large Gallery 150 heritage display on the side of the Giant Tiger Express. The Magee House in 1898 is likely the small block on the lower left edge of the Map on the wall (File photo shown).]

For more on this story in other media may we suggest;





Web-extra (July 26, 2018): Photo Essay: Yoga in the Park;

Web-extra (July 26, 2018): Photo Essay: Yoga in the Park;

[Ed: This photo essay is a web-extra to the article that was previewed on-line on July 12th, and appeared July 26 in print issue.]

Ottawa’s Yoga in the Park, kicked off its second year on Saturday July 7, in Parkdale Park
Photo Caption: Devinder Kaur of PranaShanti Yoga Centre leads the first of 8 Yoga sessions in Parkdale Park on July 7th. A group of community businesses join with the City of Ottawa in sponsoring a summer of FREE 1-hour Yoga sessions in the park, Saturdays at 9:45 a.m. from July 7 until August 25. Photo by Larry Hudon.

This series of FREE yoga classes is being offered every Saturday in July and August, come rain or shine, from 9:45 am to 10:45 am.
Photo Caption: The classes are definitely growing in size and popularity, and the outdoor sessions are unique in their atmosphere, which is highlighted by the Parkdale Market being just a few feet away.
Parkdale Park, Hintonburg – 223 Armstrong St., Ottawa, ON.
The additional photos were provided by the PranaShanti Yoga Centre (located in Hintonburg at 52 Armstrong Street. Accessible online at http://PranaShanti.com , and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.)
Remaining Schedule:

  • July 28: Intermediate Yoga (Philippe Landel),
  • August 4: All Levels Yoga (Stephanie Turple),
  • August 11: Gentle Yoga (Barbara Long),
  • August 18: Beginner Yoga (Gitanjali A-Hutcheon),
  • August 25: Intermediate Yoga (Stéphane Ippersiel),


Web-extra (July 26, 2018): The Invisible Sponsor; 12th Annual Newswest/Hintonburg 1K Fun Run still a sweet affair.

Web-extra (July 26, 2018): The Invisible Sponsor;
12th Annual Newswest/Hintonburg 1K Fun Run still a sweet affair.

As in years past Newswest brought cake, actually 4 cakes, each decorated to reflect a community group or milestone, all except this one;
Photo Caption: Imagine the sponsors we could have named here.

Why the blank (but happy) face to this cake is a story for another time. We just want to say we would have been happy to name any special sponsor of Newswest who in helping to support Newswest chose to be acknowledged in icing rather than in newsprint.

Of course we can always style a cake to reflect our own milestones like this one;

And as the picture below shows the 2018 Hintonburg 5K was a well attended community run thanks again to Race Coordinator Lisa Georges and her many volunteers.

[Ed: And it was great to hear that long time participant Paul Dewar was able to make an appearance too.]

July 26, 2018: Nature All Around Us; Lots of Young Birds and the End of Frog Breeding Season.

July 26, 2018: Nature All Around Us;
Lots of Young Birds and the End of Frog Breeding Season.

By Robert Alvo, Conservation Biologist

When various gull species meet in winter at one of our Twin Cities’ dumps, a favourite song they sing to brave the cold is ‘Fresh Garbage’ by Spirit.

Last time I continued telling you about frogs and birds and how they would be doing in July. You probably noticed many young birds then.

In Ottawa, the most common birds are The Big Three Introduced Species: Rock Pigeons, European Starlings, and House Sparrows. They were introduced from the Old World decades ago and successfully muscled their way into our cities.

Rock Pigeons are pests, pooping and nesting on balconies. European Starlings kick native birds out of their nest holes, while House Sparrows build messy nests on buildings yet provide us nice music.

Common native birds in the city include Song Sparrows, on which Ph.D. thesis have been written on their complex songs. Mourning Doves are smaller and more streamlined than Rock Pigeons and are hunted out in the country.

Those large white birds flying over us and picking up food at fast-food joints are gulls, mostly Ring-billed Gulls. They nest colonially on rocky islets in the Ottawa River between our Twin Cities. In autumn, they are joined by several other gull species and are best seen on that river and on the two main nearby rivers flowing into it, the Rideau and Gatineau Rivers. In winter, though, when food is scarce in the small portions that remain ice-free, gulls hang out at our stinky garbage dumps where they stay alive feeding on humans’ “Fresh Garbage”, a popular 1960s rock song by the band “Spirit” based on the garbage that “you didn’t quite consume”.

Back to birds, Northern Cardinals sing all year. White-breasted and Red-breasted Nuthatches are better known as “ass-up” birds. Downy, Hairy, and the huge Pileated Woodpeckers drill holes to forage and nest. Black-capped Chickadees, American Goldfinches, Blue Jays (feeder bullies), and the wise American Crows and Common Ravens are also here all year-round, as are Mallard ducks. Let’s not forget the American Robin, which loves lawns.

The late-breeding frogs have finished singing. These are the Green Frog, Bullfrog, and one I failed to mention last time — the Mink Frog. Their eggs have hatched and the tadpoles are not in a big rush to develop because they can overwinter for 1-3 years before transforming into froglets, unlike the early-breeding species that are in a big rush to transform before their shallow ponds dry up. Nevertheless the late-breeders would do well to grow quickly to avoid being eaten by fish, which the early-breeders don’t need to worry about. Remember the discussion of “strategies” last time?

Next time we’ll talk about the birds of September and what I think may have been a cause of our infamous sink-holes on Rideau St. Hint: You can find the answer on at least one informative plaque in the nearby Byward Market.

Photo Caption: The Pileated woodpecker is a favourite for many folks because of its large size and its resemblance to the possibly extinct Ivory-billed Woodpecker of “Woody Woodpecker”  fame. Pileated woodpeckers can be found in back yards and wooded areas all across Ottawa. Photo by Larry Master.

—Robert Alvo is a Conservation Biologist and Author of Being a Bird in North America, an image-intensive hardcover book available nationally at Chapters and a number of other stores in Ottawa: http://www.babina.ca .



July 26, 2018: The Perseid Meteor Shower; Nature’s Fireworks (August 12-13).

July 26, 2018: The Perseid Meteor Shower;
Nature’s Fireworks (August 12-13).

By Mark Narwa.

Every year during the summer we are treated to a show of nature’s natural fireworks. On the night of August 12 into the morning of August 13th, feast your eyes upon the sky to enjoy the Perseid meteor shower. This year is a great year to view them because the shower occurs two days after the New Moon, which means they will not be “washed out” by moonlight.

No experience or optical aids are required to view a meteor shower. A dark sky with an unobstructed view is all that is needed for best viewing. A slightly light-polluted sky will still allow you to see the bright ones.

The Perseid meteor shower gets it name from the constellation Perseus which is located in the northeastern sky. All the meteors will appear to come from this one common point in the sky, called the radiant of the shower.

The best views occur at dawn on the 13th when the radiant is highest in the sky. Under a dark sky you can expect to see between 80 to 110 meteors per hour. Usually, the Perseid meteors tend to appear white or bluish white. They will be traveling at speeds of up to 200,000 km/h, producing many bright meteors that leave luminous trails visible for several seconds.

The Perseid meteor shower is associated with the comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle, which was discovered by American astronomers Lewis Swift and Horace Tuttle in July 1862 .

Each year when the Earth crosses Swift-Tuttle’s orbit, tiny particles of dust and rock left behind by the comet enter the Earth’s atmosphere, creating the streaks of light that cause the Perseid meteor shower. When these particles of dust and rock are floating in space they are called meteoroids, but when they burn up in the atmosphere they become meteors. If they should survive the burn up and land on the Earth’s surface they are called meteorites.

The best way to watch the meteor shower is to lie back using a sleeping bag or a reclining lawn chair and watch the open sky. It does not matter which direction you face because the meteors will streak across the entire sky. Dressing appropriately and having an extra blanket is a good idea because it tends to get chilly, especially when you are staying idle and the dew falls. It is also good to have some insect repellent.

Web-extra (July 26, 2018): City Planning for What?; Important Points Ignored by Council in 65 Storey Decision.

Web-extra (July 26, 2018): City Planning for What?;
Important Points Ignored by Council in 65 Storey Decision.

By Cheryl Parrott.

The application for the tallest building in Ottawa was passed by Planning Committee July 10, 2018 and then fast-tracked to City Council the next day. It easily passed despite community opposition on many issues and opposition by both ward Councillor McKenney and Councillor Leiper.

The Trinity Development at 900 Albert St will have 3 towers – 65, 56 and 27 storeys and will be located on the very small piece of property just north of City Centre at the intersection of the new LRT line and the O-Train. It will have 1,232 residential rental units, 11,926 square meters of retail as well as 18,332 square meters of office space

The issues that all delegations except the proponents identified:

  • This development ignores the Bayview Community Design Plan (CDP) which called for a maximum of 30 storeys. This plan was passed in 2013 and clearly took into account the proximity to the new Light Rail (LRT). This application more than doubles the height and clearly means all the community volunteer time spent on the CDP means nothing. The ink is barely dry when those decision are overturned. Community volunteers are now questioning the point of dedicating many, many volunteer hours to CDPs and the City spending $100,000 when they seem to provide no guarantees for future development.
  • Too many vehicle parking spaces. There will be about 1153 parking spaces provided for a transit oriented development directly across from a major transit station. The transportation study predicts that 75% of those visiting the retail businesses will come by car – so only 25% by foot, biking, bus or rail. It also predicts close to an additional 700 cars in the peak hour in the afternoons and on Saturdays being added to an already congested Albert/Scott St.
  • Affordable units. The City has a policy that 25% of units are to be affordable based on CMHC guidelines. The proponents could not provide information on how the affordability will be managed and maintained over the life of the building.
  • The relationship of the building to the existing community. The south side of the building that faces the Dalhousie neighbourhood will contain a large area for the loading docks for the retail businesses. A pedestrian/biking pathway to connect to the multi-use pathway alongside the O-Train will be isolated at the farthest edge of the property past the loading docks. Albert St. is a fairly hostile environment with traffic and a lot of wind on top of the bridge – not a likely place to chat with new neighbours. The west side of the buildings facing Hintonburg is just stark tall walls with no articulation. Throughout several meetings both communities have asked for changes so that this building does not turn its back on the existing neighbourhoods and community members have chances to interact. Few changes have been made.

All community members were disheartened that after 3 hours of presentations and questions nothing changed.

[Ed: if you have insights or concerns about this development, (like does the builder have the right experience to build the extra 35 storeys on the highest tower, what is the effect on emergency or other services called to a situation in a tower twice as high as other towers in Ottawa, etc.) then please send them in to our editor soon so we can include them in our pre-election coverage of important issues for the Mayor and Councillors candidates.]

July 26, 2018: Letter to the Editor: The Other Side of the Story; Letters to Newswest.

July 26, 2018: Letter to the Editor: The Other Side of the Story;

Letters to Newswest.

By Alma Cowa.

~May 16, 2018.
Once again [Newswest] has printed a report from R.E.A.D. about the short comings of Rosemount library. There is really nothing new in this report from previous submissions from R.E.A.D. other than to say that the library is getting a $2 million renovation which is ‘merely a Band-Aid solution’.

I have used Rosemount since 1990 and have always found it a welcoming space. Over the years much has changed from computers to self check out and after hours drop boxes. I am at the library most weeks and have never found it over-crowded with no where to sit not even on Saturdays or in the evenings.

The library board plans to replace the main branch sometime in the future at a cost of $168 million on land already owned by the City of Ottawa, just a short trip from Rosemount.

A replacement library in one of the many high rise buildings going up in Kitchissippi would be a nightmare. I can not think of anywhere else close to Rosemount that would provide enough space that R.E.A.D. thinks is necessary. Land in the area is very expensive and unless park space is used not readily available in close proximity to the current building.

Why not wait and see what $2 million can achieve and be pleasantly surprised. The library may not be big but it is small.

[Ed: the print edition has on the same page the last submission from R.E.A.D. which appears in this on-line archive as a web-extra for the previous June 28th issue.]