Editor’s Letter: Year-end reflections

A man poses for a photograph along the Ottawa River
Kitchissippi Times editor Charlie Senack. Photo by Zenith Wolfe

By Charlie Senack

Merry Christmas and happy holidays! However you celebrate, December is surely going to be busy – a never-ending cycle of organizing family dinners, decorating, and shopping.

While I usually feel on top of things, I’m a bit behind this Christmas. My tree still isn’t up, the stockings aren’t hung “by the chimney with care” – they’re not hung at all. And I have barely made a dent on buying presents. 

It seemed like 2022 had just begun and now it’s ending. But while time is flying by, a lot has happened in this calendar year: Downtown Ottawa was overtaken by a siege of truckers protesting COVID-19 mandates, a once-in-a-lifetime derecho storm left tens of thousands without power for days, and local politics dominated the news. 

On the local Kitchissippi level, it was a pretty good year. New businesses like The Spaniel’s Tale bookstore and Copper Alley gifts set up shop. In February, Westboro’s Lisa Weagle did her community proud by representing Team Canada at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. This past May, Prince Charles (now King Charles III) and Camilla visited with members of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in McKellar Park. 

We also saw an admirable degree of dedication in Kitchissippi residents. People opened their hearts and wallets to do what they could for others. Whether it was bottle drives, baking workshops, or fundraisers for a food bank, kindness and generosity prevailed.

Now to the news which made print for our final issue of 2022. 

I had the chance to sit down with Father Taras Kinash, the priest at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral, who has been organizing help for newcomers who fled the war in Ukraine. 

Bradley Turcotte recently visited the Westboro Food Bank and Parkdale Food Centre, who both saw their demand grow exponentially because of rising living costs.

Zenith Wolfe sat down with Andy Tait, the man behind Ottawa’s 1980s vintage clothing craze. You might remember Tait from his store Andy Upstairs, which was located on Elgin Street.

In this issue’s Humans of Kitchissippi column, Emma Perreault introduces us to Kate Laird, owner of Love Your Body Fitness, on Richmond Road. In Early Days, Dave Allston tells us the genesis of Hintonburg’s first thrift store, Ottawa Neighbourhood Services.

In more festive news, I talked with the Ottawa Film Board, and a local movie director to talk about why Ottawa is becoming the Christmas movie capital of the world. This year alone, 16 holiday films were shot here, some in Westboro and Wellington West. 

Finally, I met up with Rabbi Moshe Caytak from the Chabad Jewish Centre to learn more about a menorah lighting that’s taking place for Hanukkah in Parkdale Park. 

That’s all that fits into print this month. But before I sign off for the year, I want to offer a sincere thanks to all the writers and everyone behind the pages at the Kitchissippi Times who put so much love and effort into this paper year-round. A special thanks to graphics designer Celine Paquette, and advertising sales guy Eric Dupis, who are the brains behind the scenes. 

Happy holidays, Kitchissippi!

See you in February.

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