Letter to the Editor: A tree for Emma, Hintonburg’s teacup gardener

Dear Editor,

Earlier in September CCOC planted a new serviceberry tree at 123 Stirling. And on Tuesday, September 15 we hosted a small ceremony to dedicate a tree in memory of Emma Robe, Hintonburg’s teacup gardener. We were joined by Emma’s sister Jackie, Emma’s neighbours and friends and City Councillor Jeff Leiper.

Emma Robe, who passed away in May 2015, was an active Hintonburg resident, CCOC tenant and gardener for more than a decade. She made 123 Stirling Avenue her home in July 2001. She was one of the first tenants to move into the building after CCOC renovated the old abandoned Stirling Tavern. She spoke at the building opening about the importance of affordable housing and being able to put down roots in the community.

Of course, for Emma, putting down roots had several meanings. Emma connected with the neighbours in her building and the Hintonburg community, making friends and keeping a watchful eye out for neighbourhood safety issues. She was a fierce community advocate.

Her “teacup garden” at the corner of Stirling and Armstrong became a cherished neighbourhood landmark.

And she created a beautiful garden that was the talk of the neighbourhood. Emma’s flair with plants and her personal investment of time and attention meant that her garden was better than what CCOC could possibly have created or maintained with our non-profit housing budget. Her whimsical teacups and beautiful perennials added life to the neighbourhood.

As her landlord, there’s no question that she kept us on our toes, and we will miss her. We’re proud to dedicate this tree in her memory.

Ray Sullivan
CCOC’s Executive Director

Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation (CCOC) is a private non-profit landlord with 1600 homes in downtown Ottawa. For more on this event, see page 23 in the October 1 issue of Newswest.

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