Editor’s Letter: Staying warm and staying well

Dear readers, 

As I write, we’re having one of our classic heavy snowfalls in Ottawa. A blanket of 5-10 cm has covered the city, making it look like a winter wonderland. 

I hope you are all staying warm and staying well.

Here’s a brief overview of the February edition:

In Community News, a few themes emerged. COVID-19 remains central to our coverage as we navigate another provincial state of emergency together. We caught up with Coun. Jeff Leiper on COVID-19’s impact on the ward and other municipal issues. In light of the stay-at-home order, we reconnected with Unsafe At Home Ottawa to hear their perspective and to learn more about their expanded services. We also spoke with the executive director of the Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization on the partnerships built between local service providers during the pandemic. 

In some good news, fundraisers are alive and well in the ward. We heard from two high school students who raised thousands for Wellington West restaurants and hospital frontline workers alike. And we spoke with Cornerstone Housing for Women on the upcoming Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser. 

There are two stories on two new businesses that have set up shop in Westboro: Moissy Fine Jewellery and Pokoloko X Cloud Forest. We heard more about the companies’ stories from the owners. 

We interviewed Black History Ottawa and the Ontario Black History Society on Black History Month 2021 — how the event has adapted this year and why it is vital for all Canadians to participate.

And there’s an update on the 2019 Westboro bus crash.

In our features, Humans of Kitchissippi connects with a COVID-19 survivor who was diagnosed in March. And Early Days reflects on the fun history of outdoor winter recreation — skating, sledding, skiing and more. 

And that’s all from us. 

As you’ll discover, mental health once again underscores several of the paper’s stories and columns, given the current COVID-19 situation in Ontario. So I’m going to use the rest of this editorial space to include a short list of local crisis lines and resources. 

Stay safe, Kitchissippi.


Distress Centre

The organization operates phone lines 24 hours a day, seven days a week that offer mental health support and resources.

Distress line: 613-238-3311  

Crisis line: 613-722-6914 or 1-866-996-0991 (toll free)

The organization’s chat (dcottawa.on.ca) and text (343-306-5550) service is available 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. 


Ottawa Public Health (OPH)

OPH has a list of a number of crisis lines available for youth and adults. 

“If you are in crisis, contact the Mental Health Crisis Line (24 hours a day/7 days a week) at 613-722-6914 or if outside Ottawa toll-free at 1-866-996-0991.

If you have a youth in crisis, contact the Youth Services 24/7 Crisis Line

(24 hours a day/7 days a week) at

613-260-2360 of if outside Ottawa toll-free at 1-877-377-7775.

If you (or your child) are experiencing thoughts of suicide or harming yourself, call 9-1-1,” OPH’s website states.

To learn more about these crisis lines, visit crisisline.ca and ysb.ca, or head to OPH’s website at ottawapublichealth.ca.

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