November 29, 2018: Moving On;

November 29, 2018: Moving On;

By Anna Borris.

“I don’t know how I’m going to get through Christmas” my mom sighed. “Shopping, planning, cooking, getting the house ready for visitors…” I had just come in from a preliminary round of Christmas shopping with a couple of friends. We were all starting to feel holiday merriment and the afternoon had been fun if not too productive. “I’ll help you Mom, as soon as my exams are over,” I offered.

Dad came in and we all sat around the dinner table. “I have something to tell you all,” he said. “It’s pretty big news. You remember a while back that I mentioned that part of my department would be relocated out of province? I hadn’t heard much more for a while, so I thought my section was staying here. Today I heard that in fact that the entire department is moving..

I looked up in shock. “Moving? Where? When?” I stuttered.

My little brother’s eyes were as big as saucers. “Are we selling our house?” he asked, his voice quivering.

“We will be moving to Prince Edward Island, but not until February,” Dad replied. “Yes we will be selling this house. I’ll spend a few days in Summerside looking at houses. When I have found a few possibilities, you all will come down and we can decide which one is the best.”

Marty’s eyes were full of tears. “I don’t want a new house. I like this house and my school.”

I could feel panic building. “Can’t you switch to another department Dad? One that’s staying here?” I asked desperately. “I don’t want to move away, all my friends are here. I won’t know anybody.”

“I know it’s hard to leave all your good friends here,” Mom said. “At least there will be lots of new people at school who are transferring from Ottawa.”

I pushed my chair away from the table. “I’m not hungry. I’m going to call Karen and tell her the horrible news..

Karen couldn’t believe it. “I’m just devastated,” she wailed. “I’m calling Judy and we’re coming over to your house right now.”

Soon Judy and Karen arrived, bringing Dave and Mike with them. We sat in the basement rec room with chips and cokes, talking over the details. The boys thought it would be a great idea for us to visit all our hang-outs together one last time during the Christmas holidays. We would do it all in one day.

Starting at Wellington and Somerset we’d visit Jack’s restaurant first, hunt for bargains at Neighbourhood Services then pop in to see Adele at the Manhattan. After checking out United Stores, we could visit George and Frank at the Galaxy to see if they had any luck at the track. Malhams was always good for candy and gum. Maybe something fun would be playing at the Elmdale. Fred and Eva at the Aroma Restaurant were always ready to yell at us. After a walk through Beamish’s, we would wind up at Jimmy’s and hope that our friend Sandy the cop would be there. He was always full of stories and good for a laugh.

Our plan was set by dinnertime and the gang agreed to meet and spend as much time together as we could in the days remaining to us.

I was feeling more and more depressed, and as my friends trooped out the door I muttered to my mom, “I don’t know how I’m going to get through Christmas either.”


October 30, 2018: Lumbering Days Legacy; Kitchissippi poet celebrates J. R. Booth.

October 30, 2018: Lumbering Days Legacy;
Kitchissippi poet celebrates J. R. Booth.

By Barbara Clubb.
[Ed: the print version of this article will appear later.]

The Ottawa street leading to the Chaudière Bridge, a hill in Kingsmere, a road in North Bay, an Algonquin Park lake, and a red brick mansion on Metcalfe Street –– all are named after John Rudolphus Booth, pre-eminent among the Ottawa Valley lumber kings but today forgotten by many. A new book, Building on River, by longtime Kitchissippi resident Jean Van Loon, brings him back to life.

Curiously, Van Loon chose to explore Booth’s life and times through poetry. “Poetry felt like the way to draw out the sounds, smells, and textures of his childhood on an eastern townships homestead and his life in roughneck Bytown. Plus, I could present the perspectives of different voices in different poems.” In fact, the first poem in the book assumes the voice of the Ottawa River.

Upon his death in 1925, Booth had his papers burned. No diaries or journals or personal letters admit a reader of today into his thinking. “Poems have the advantage that nobody expects them to be literally factual,” says Van Loon, “so I felt freer to imagine his thoughts and feelings and those of his family and business associates.”

Booth lived to 98 and worked to the very end. He built a business empire on the forests of the Ottawa Valley and the power of the Chaudière. In the 1880s, with his Chaudière sawmill becoming the largest in the world, he built a railroad from Vermont to Georgian Bay, a steamship line to link the railroad to the Canadian prairies and the U.S. Midwest, and grain elevators on Parry Island to accommodate shipments moving east. Van Loon notes, “the Queensway through Kitchissippi follows the path of that railway. And the original Experimental Farm consisted largely of land bought from Booth’s farm holdings.” This was a man recognized not just in Canada but around the world for his business achievements.

Van Loon shows Booth as a driven man, passionate about his work. He was also an eccentric, loved by thousands of employees. He dressed in tradesman’s clothing, worked at manual labour alongside his men, and offered his own home remedies if they were sick. The poor state of public health and medical treatment in the 1800s affected his family – three children of the eight born to him and his wife Rosalinda died in early childhood, and one of tuberculosis at 23. “In those days,” says Van Loon, “one in five people in this area caught TB, and the average life span after diagnosis was five years.”

Building on River brings to life a fascinating figure who shaped Kitchissippi and much of Ottawa. “More Canadian history needs to be re-imagined as poetry,” poet Catherine Owen wrote, reviewing the book in her blog Marrow Reviews. Van Loon’s Building on River made the bestseller list of Books on Beechwood for two months running and is available at the Ottawa Public Library and in Books on Beechwood, Perfect Books, Octopus Books, branches of Chapters and Coles and online from Amazon and Indigo.
Photo Caption: Kitchissippi writer Jean Van Loon celebrates the life and times of Ottawa Valley lumber baron J. R. Booth in her new book Building on River. Photo by Michelle Valberg.

October 30, 2018: Unitarian Grannies in Action; Holiday Market fights Aids pandemic (on November 25).

October 30, 2018: Unitarian Grannies in Action;
Holiday Market fights Aids pandemic (on November 25).

By Shari McGuigan.
[Ed: the print version of this article will appear later.]

Colleen Murray, a long-time resident of West Wellington is a mother, a grandmother, and a member of the Unitarian GoGos. The GoGos are part of the One World Grannies, a group which, through their annual GRAND Market, raises funds for the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers’ Campaign.

And why are these grandmothers fundraising? The “Grandmothers to Grandmothers” program has shown itself, over a period of twelve years, to be a unique and effective way of combating the AIDS pandemic in Africa. The program involves grandmothers, originally in Canada, and now also in Australia, the U.K. and the U.S.A., raising funds (over $30 million, since 2006!) to help grandmothers in Africa who are supporting grandchildren affected, or orphaned, by AIDS.

This program takes action to strengthen families, and to build confidence, skills and a route to success for grandchildren whose parents can no longer support them. African grandmothers are feeding, housing, and clothing their grandchildren, putting them through school, creating support groups to manage grief, and delivering comfort and hope.

Important progress has been achieved on HIV/AIDS. Globally, new HIV infections among young children were reduced by half between 2010 and 2016. On the other hand, infections among teens between the ages of 15 and 19 are rising. Two-thirds of those newly-infected persons are girls. The Grandmothers to Grandmothers initiative has put in place programs which speak strongly to African teens about how they can prevent infection, or, if necessary, obtain treatment.

Colleen coordinates the GRAND Market’s Children’s Toys and Books section. Gently used treasures are donated by Grannies and their friends. Colleen ensures that donated items are complete and in nearly new condition. Thus, the GRAND Market is able to offer, at remarkably low prices, a wonderful collection of good quality toys, games and books for babies, toddlers and school age children.

The Grannies want everyone to know that their 4th annual GRAND Market, which started in the Churchill Seniors’ Centre and has outgrown its origins, will take place on Sunday November 25 at Lansdowne Park’s Horticulture Building from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The GRAND Market will feature a wide variety of home-made and holiday items including baking, crafts, and gifts.

Also featured will be many “gently-used” offerings, including excellent-quality women’s clothing and accessories, children’s toys, books, board games, and art, silver, glassware and other treasures. Visitors can enjoy a coffee, treats or lunch at the Sweet and Savoury Café and perhaps chance a visit to Grandmother Moon, our popular Tarot card reader.

For more information contact One World Grannies’ Val Swinton or Peggy Edwards .
Photo Caption: Colleen Murray, of Wellington West, coordinates the GRAND Market’s Children’s Toys and Books section. Photo by Bill Van Iterson.

October 30, 2018: Rosemount Library Revitalization; Ensuring Community Voices are Heard.

October 30, 2018: Rosemount Library Revitalization;
Ensuring Community Voices are Heard.

By Josh Nutt Chair, READ Rosemount.
[Ed: the print version of this article will appear later.]

On October 3, the Ottawa Public Library hosted a very well attended open house regarding the revitalization of the Rosemount library. The small lower-level meeting/program space at Rosemount was packed as members of the community circulated to examine design ideas for the future Rosemount. Attendees shared their own ideas and feedback by writing on Post-It notes and attaching them to various poster-boards created by +VG Architects.

The Open House was busy and shows that our community is keenly interested on the future of our local library. I heard great ideas for how to make Rosemount better and a bit bigger. The OPL and +VG Architects must take the time to reflect on what the community said and incorporate the feedback into the preliminary design. READ will continue to hold the OPL accountable and will push for a presentation from the architects when the preliminary design is released in December 2018.

One particular design element that invoked criticism was the OPL’s focus on outdoor space. Many attendees expressed concerns that outdoor space would have limited use given Ottawa’s climate. In READ’s view, the focus should be on expanding and improving the indoor space.

The ongoing community consultations allow residents to give feedback on all aspects of the proposed renovation. READ believes that Rosemount must meet the demands of the diverse and growing Kitchissippi neighbourhood. The library should be re-designed so it becomes an innovative, interactive, and integrated community hub. READ also encourages people to consider what design features would allow Rosemount to serve the high-needs and vulnerable groups and individuals in the community.

The Ottawa Public Library is still seeking feedback through an online survey. As well as the survey, the display boards and photos used at the Open House are also on the OPL website at

A second consultation will present a preliminary design based on the input received from the community. READ will ask that the format for this December consultation feature a presentation by the architects, followed by a question and answer session. It is important that there be a dialogue so all attendees can hear each other’s viewpoints.

For more information: visit the READ website,
Photo Caption: Revamped outdoor areas at the OPL Rosemount Branch will not guarantee year-round comfortable reading spaces to rectify current crowded conditions. READ members stress the importance of additional indoor space. Photo courtesy of R.E.A.D.

To see what’s happening with library branch development in other urban Canadian cities CLICK HERE ( )

October 30, 2018: Photo Inset: Recreation Association of Hintonburg; Supported by T-shirt sales.

October 30, 2018: Photo Inset: Recreation Association of Hintonburg;
Supported by T-shirt sales.

[Ed: the print version of this article will appear later.]
Photo Caption: John Ferguson, owner of GT Express, joins Hintonburg Economic Develeopment Committee (HEDC) Co-Chair Cheryl Parrott (r), to present a cheque for $2,000 to the Recreation Association of Hintonburg’s Chair, Lorrie Marlow (l), and some of the Friday night basketball players.

The $2,000 represents the proceeds from sale of Hintonburg t-shirts which was a joint effort by GT Express and the HEDC to raise funds for youth programming.

The Recreation Association will use the money to pay for team jerseys, a spring basketball tournament, basketball coaching and a referee training course.

Through the generosity of GT Express and the HEDC, the RAH provides free drop-in basketball and soccer programs on Friday nights at the Connaught School gyms. The basketball program for youth ages 13+ usually has approximately 20+ participants and the soccer program, for kids 8 to 12 years of age has around the same number. These free drop in programs run at Connaught School every Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. through the winter. For information on these programs, message the Recreation Association of Hintonburg Facebook page.

October 30, 2018: Halloween Party 1962; Melting mummies and a graveyard smash.

October 30, 2018: Halloween Party 1962;
Melting mummies and a graveyard smash.

By Anna Borris.
[Ed: the print version of this article will appear later.]

Every fall, on a late October weekend, our neighbourhood had a Halloween party in the community building at the park. For days before, we planned our costumes carefully, knowing we would wear the same one again on the actual night. I borrowed an old house-dress from my mom, added a long fringed shawl, and tied a kerchief around my head. In the basement I found some old brass curtain rings and sewed them to the scarf for earrings. The end result was a perfect cartoon gypsy.

My ten year old brother wasn’t having any luck finding a costume and was getting discouraged. Our mom made some suggestions, but nothing was appealing. It was almost time to leave when I had an idea. “Hey Marty, how would you like to be a mummy?”

“Sure,” he said looking more cheerful. I found some rolls of toilet paper and wrapped him from his legs up to his head, with a little slit for him to peer out. We added an old hat, and some fake glasses, nose and mustache. He was delighted with his image in the mirror, so we headed to the park.

Tables of candy, donated cupcakes, cookies and fruit punch lined the back wall which was decorated with orange and black balloons and grotesque jack o’lanterns. After everyone had had something to eat and drink, the costume judging took place. We all stood in a line around the room and three of the parents conducted an inspection. To my astonishment Marty the mummy won first prize, an orange flashlight to use on his Halloween rounds.

I found Karen and Dave in the crowd and Marty met his gang of buddies. The party naturally included a dance. Everyone did the Twist along with Chubby Checker. Elvis sang “Good Luck Charm”, the Four Seasons sang “Sherry” followed by Gene Pitney, Bobby Rydell, Brenda Lee and Sue Thompson. Bobby Boris Picket finished off the dancing with our favourite new song “Monster Mash”. We loved it so much, nobody danced to that one; we just sang along. It was a graveyard smash.

When we got tired of dancing, it was time to tell horror stories. We sat in a huge circle, and a few people had scary tales to share. Our friend Dave told one we had heard since we were little kids. He embellished the story, adding creepy details and changing his voice to suit each character. It was about a girl who always wore a kerchief and refused to tell anyone why. After being bullied about it, she yanked it off and her head fell off. Even though we had heard it a thousand times, we were still horrified but at the same time we all launched into hysterical laughter. Some of the other stories were about the killer with the hook that came off on the handle of the lovers’ car door, and the monster in the basement coming up the stairs one at a time, suspense building with every step.

On that note, the party ended. As Marty and I headed into the spooky dark night, I noticed he was wearing his plain clothes again. “What happened to your costume?” I asked.

“I spilled some juice on it, and it just disintegrated,” he laughed.

“Good thing the judging happened at the beginning of the party. Never mind, we’ll do it again for Halloween night.”

“OK,” he grinned and shining his new orange flashlight on the sidewalk ahead, he got us safely home before any monsters could catch us.

October 30, 2018: Newswest AGM; Celebrating 40 Years of Communty Service.

October 30, 2018: Newswest AGM;
Celebrating 40 Years of Communty Service.

By Pat O’Brien, Newswest Chair.
[Ed: the print version of this article will appear later.]

All are invited to attend Newswest’s 40th Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, November 13 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Hintonburg Community Centre. The AGM will be a celebration of our 40 years of providing community news to the residents of Ottawa West.

Light refreshments will be served.

This will be a full AGM with the election of Board Members in accordance with Newswest’s By-Laws. If you live within the distribution area* and wish to run for the Board of Directors you must be a paid-up member ($5.00) by October 14, 2018 For information contact us at .

I hope to see you there!

Pat O’Brien, Chair, Newswest Board of Directors.

Note: *: the area bordered by the O-train tracks and Woodroffe Avenue, between the Ottawa River and Carling Avenue. This area includes the neighbourhoods of Mechanicsville, Hintonburg, Champlain Park, West Wellington, Wellington Village, Hampton Park, Westboro Beach, Westboro, Highland Park, McKellar Park, Carlingwood and Civic Hospital.