It’s been quite a year in Kitchissippi, and as we move into a new one we thought it might be interesting to take one last look back.
We’ve pulled together a year’s worth of KT’s cover stories, and in some cases, updated them as well. And as a bonus for website readers, we have also posted our list of our top ten digital issues right here.
As always, we love to hear from our readers. What would you like to see more of in 2015? To this effect, we’ll be publishing a reader survey on our website soon, but in the meantime we encourage you to send comments and feedback to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We love to hear from our readers. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for snippets of extra content that might not make it into the printed edition.
Read on and see what shaped our community in 2014 as we move into 2015. Happy New Year!
Click on the issue date to read the digital issue in its entirety, or just click on the title of the article to read that story.
In January, Westboro residents Jason Thomson and Simon Mead were preparing to join a group of 16 international climbers who would scale Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest mountain. They made the climb to raise money for WaterCan, an Ottawa-based charity that addresses poverty by improving access to water and basic sanitation. The two successfully completed the climb in February, and along with other Canadian climbers raised over $100,000 for WaterCan. Check out the original article to see unpublished photos from their trip.
The Dovercourt Annual Winter Carnival attracted over 600 people in 2014. “It draws not just from the area, but Ottawa-wide, and fits our mission of building a healthy, active, and engaged community,” said Dovercourt board member Stephanie Moores. “It’s so nice to see a great turn out every year, with people of all ages.” The 2015 Winter Carnival will take place on Saturday, January 17.
Hintonburg’s hip new tattoo studio and art gallery was getting ready to open its doors in February. A successful Kickstarter campaign had brought owners Alex Neron and Marta Jarzabek the funds needed to renovate the dilapidated space on 3 Hamilton Ave. “We were looking at different locations for the business – Hintonburg was definitely our first choice on where to get established,” said Neron. “I like the style, you can really feel it in this area.”
At the start of 2014, Barbara McInnes wrapped up a 26-year career at the helm of the Community Foundation of Ottawa, a non-profit organization that matches charitable donations with local initiatives like the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa, Bruce House and the local Youth Services Bureau. “It was a really satisfying career; I loved my work,” said McInnes. Although she is well known in Kitchissippi, we found a few things you may not know about her. We thought it would be fun to interview her husband Glenn as well. Look for that piece in the January 22 issue of KT!
Hintonburg’s theatre company, Orpheus Musical Theatre Society, raised the curtain and brought down the house in the spring with their adapted production of SPAMALOT, a musical based on classic film Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The crew for the production, which ran at Centrepointe Theatre from March 7-16, featured two Kitchissippi locals and Orpheus veterans, John Solman heading the production and behind-the-scenes work, and Dennis Van Staalduinen taking on four classic Python characters.
In March, Broadview Public School got word that the school would receive funding for a rebuild. Years of hard work on the part of parents, school board members and school staff had paid off. In November, local residents heard about plans for the new school design, raising concerns for some about the preservation of the heritage elements of the school built in 1927. Site approvals are still underway and construction is planned to begin in the spring or summer. Turn to page 7 in this issue for a historical perspective on Broadview P.S.
This spring, Dr. Kumanan Wilson, a Westboro resident who works at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute launched a nation-wide smartphone app for managing immunization records: ImmunizeCA. The app helps people keep track of their own and their children’s vaccinations. They can also access records in case of an emergency or an infectious disease outbreak. The app is free to download at immunize.ca.
Last winter, pink lawn flamingos began appearing on the lawn of Hintonburg couple, Natalie Hanson and now Councillor Jeff Leiper. Every now and then another would arrive: one made of knitted yarn, another fashioned out of thin metal, big ones and small ones. Since the story ran, Hanson has received one inflatable flamingo, a Hawaiian punch mix with funky flamingo glasses, and three flamingos on her birthday. The mystery of the mysterious flamingo fairy (fairies?) remains unsolved.
In the spring, the Westboro BIA was gearing up to launch Winston Square, a community plaza that was to be filled with programming over the summer months. “It is being designed as a gathering space in the heart of Westboro,” explained programming organizer, Patti Church. Plans included music, yoga, magic, theatre and assorted workshops for all ages. When setbacks arose (or were unearthed), programming plans were moved to summer 2015. Performers of all ages are still welcome to apply online: westborovillage.com/winston_square.
In May, Westboro Connection officially got underway. The mixed-use development on McRae Avenue will include retail and office space, as well as 126 rental apartment units. Hugh Gorman, principal at BridgePort Realty Capital Partners says construction has been on schedule since spring and they expect to have it completed and occupied in November 2015. Local residents appreciated that Bridgeport provided opportunities for residents to work with the development team to minimize impact on the neighbourhood.
In May, Champlain Park resident Leilani Farha was appointed to the United Nations Human Rights Council as the UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing. For the next three years, she will be investigating and recommending improvements for people’s housing conditions around the world. “You’re kind of like a public servant, except on the world stage, and your job is to address inadequate housing on a global scale,” explained Farha.
In June, Tudor Robins launched her second young-adult book, Appaloosa Summer, a novel about an escape to a wild island, a scruffy horse, and two teens emerging from personal losses who find something together. Although the story is fiction, Robins drew from her own experience when writing it. “In my mind, I always picture this neighbourhood,” said the McKellar Park resident. Print and e-versions are available on Amazon.ca and on her website tudorrobins.ca.
As the city was gearing up for Bluesfest, we caught up with local musician Cory Levesque, a solo guitarist and member of Ottawa bands Jonathan Becker & The North Fields and Fresh Hell. He made his Bluesfest debut a couple weeks later when The North Fields took the stage. The soft-spoken artist explained the appeal of being on the road and what drives him as a songwriter and performer.
The Fisher Park sports fields are named after a dedicated volunteer and coach. The Brian Kearns Fields were officially named on June 24. “When I [first] came here we had a green shack and a couple of outdoors rinks,” said Kearns. “Now it’s amazing. The community’s just wonderful. They’re the ones who made me who I am today.” Over the years, thousands of children have benefitted from Kearns’ dedication to recreation and community development.
This year we started a new tradition: asking notable Kitchissippi residents what’s on their summer reading list. Locals such as artist Andrew King, Westfest founder Elaina Martin, photographer Justin van Leeuwen, Parkdale Food Centre’s Executive Director Karen Secord, and Member of Parliament Paul Dewar all shared some of their favourite books and let us in on what they’re reading now. Here’s some good news for 2015 book clubs. The entire book list can be viewed online.
Westboro’s resident Imperial Stormtrooper, Andy Pegan, attracts a lot of attention when he strolls around the neighbourhood. People smile and laugh, and give him high fives. The Star Wars aficionado brightens the days of people he meets on the street. He also raises money for childrens’ charities. Read more about the philanthropic hobbiest and view our photo gallery right here.
“What do you love about Ottawa?” Dwayne Brown has been asking this of people across the city for over a year. The corporate and commercial photographer created the LoveOttawa website where he posts the resulting images and interviews. “It ends up being a bit of a social documentary of right now, where is Ottawa at, what are people interested in, what do they love, it’s fun,” explained Brown. We sat down with the man behind the camera and captured an insightful interview of our own.
The West End Studio Tour offers people a chance to peek into the studios and homes of local artists. We profiled each of the Tour’s artists. This issue includes profiles of Venz Vesselinov, Manju Sah, David Jones, Lynette Chubb, Janet Bell, Wendy Feldberg, Tatiana Mandel, Paul Wing, Clare Brennan and Jeff Wiebe.
Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge? Dumping icy water on yourself to raise money for ALS charities was a widespread trend in 2014. For Westboro resident Issie Rabinowitz, it was encouraging to see people pay attention to the disease that has paralyzed his body. “ALS can be easy to overlook, as only about 3,000 people in Canada suffer from the condition,” he explained. “Not only is there no cure for ALS, there is still no viable treatment for its symptoms.”
On September 18, the Somerset West Community Health Centre (SWCHC) Rosemount branch celebrated its grand opening. Located at 30 Rosemount Ave., it offers health services and social services. In December, Parkdale Food Centre moved into the lower level of the same building, making this a comprehensive hub for people in the neighbourhoods of Hintonburg, Mechanicsville and Wellington West. “I’m excited about the future of our partnership,” said SWCHC Executive Director Jack McCarthy.
As Kitchissippi residents geared up for Ottawa’s municipal elections on October 27, we checked in with nine local community associations to find out their biggest concerns. Traffic, transportation and the management of Kitchissippi’s rapid development were all key themes across the ward. Association leaders also mentioned the need to protect green space, make the streets safer for cyclists, and have more consultation about LRT plans.
Community art is for everyone. Hintonburg artist, Daniel Martelock, has offered his work to the community in public spaces. Martelock also teamed up with craftsman neighbour, Craig O’Brien, to create over 260 fanciful birdhouses for the newly opened Somerset West Community Health Centre on Rosemount. “We wanted this [art] to be something the community could own, that they could touch and feel and approach,” explained O’Brian.
HOK: Humans of Kitchissippi, is an ongoing photo project that introduces readers to some of the people who live, work, and play in Kitchissippi. Each instalment of HOK contains three elements: a photo, a name, and a quote from the subject that reveals a little bit about who they are. Check out the growing collection right here.
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas in Canada (2014) is a heartwarming collection of 101 holiday stories, and four of them are from Kitchissippi writers: Mary Ellen Kot, Crystal Thieringer, Anita Grace, and James A. Gemmell. Each story speaks of the importance of family and the magic that is created during the holidays. Kot said she was happy to be part of the Chicken Soup collection, which she describes as “something cheerful that shows us the good in the people around us.”
Westboro resident Bettina Vollmerhausen is getting set to open Ottawa’s first tool library. For a small membership fee, people can borrow any of the tools on hand for a week at a time. “Having a spot where you can borrow tools can be amazing,” Vollmerhausen said. With funding from Soup Ottawa and space at Arts Court downtown, Vollmerhausen hopes the library will be ready to open in the spring. Volunteers and tools are still needed.