A year in review: A look back at Kitchissippi’s biggest stories from 2022

Two copies of the Kitchissippi Times are photographed on a granite counter.
The Kitchissippi Times looks back at some of the biggest local newsmakers from 2022. Photo by Charlie Senack

By Charlie Senack

It’s hard to believe it, but we have come to the end of yet another chaotic year. From the war in Ukraine to environmental disasters, 2022 has pushed the limits of many.

But while the year has been full of doom and gloom, we have also seen many positives: Life is almost back to normal following the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and community generosity continues to shine through at a time when many people are relying on their communities to stay afloat. 

The Kitchissippi Times has compiled a look back at some of the communities biggest and most interesting stories from 2022. We are excited to see what next year brings!

January 2022

This January, the Tom Brown Arena opened a respite centre for the second winter in a row to help the city’s less fortunate population. They acted as a space where Ottawa residents could access washrooms, showers, food, clothing and different services. In addition to the daily amenities, the respite centre also had 70 beds which were available during the night. It helped ease a burden on the city’s shelters which were dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks, driven by the highly-contagious Omicron variant.

February 2022

Just as winter was getting into full swing, snow bears again popped up along the Kichi Sibi Winter Trail. Semi-retired artist Maggie Glossop said she has a deep passion for winter and wanted to spread some joy to the many people who use the trail. When sticky snow blanketed the capital in December 202, the bears made another appearance and are expected to return again in early 2023 when weather allows.

As Ottawa was recovering from the so-called “Freedom Convoy” which held downtown streets hostage, many local businesses stepped up to help their neighbors. Venus Envy — the “education-oriented sex shop and bookstore with something for everyone,” located on Bank St, teamed up with Wellington Street business Little Jo Berry’s to host a pop-up at the bakery. Meanwhile, Julianna Banana, the Westboro mom-and-daughter baking business, raised $500 for hiJinx—the social enterprise at 290 Kent St.—through its “Valentines for a Cause” class.

Westboro born Lisa Weagle, who is the daughter of local author Brenda Chapman, competed at the 2022 Winter Olympic Games held in Beijing, China. While the 37-year-old curler didn’t come home with any hardware, she still represented her community with pride.

February 2022 also saw the Mechanicsville community win a fight to save greenspace in the community. City council rejected the National Capital Commission’s (NCC) plan to build five embassies on a stretch of land between Slidell Street and Forward Avenue. The NCC has since appealed the city’s decisions. The Kitchissippi Times will have an update on this in our February 2023 issue.

A woman wearing a green snow jacket and grey snow pants sits between two bears made of snow in Ottawa
Maggie Glossop with two of her snowy creations. Photo by Pamela Boyle.

March 2022

In March 2022 as winter was starting to show signs of ending, KT wrote about Parkdale United Church’s “In From the Cold” program receiving a $1,000 donation from the Carleton Tavern. The well-known Parkdale eatery has served up hot holiday meals for decades, but in 2021, they distributed 400. The turkey dishes were cooked in the church’s kitchen so to show their thanks, the Carleton Tavern donated their leftover funds to “In From the Cold”, which hands out 125-150 meals every Saturday from November until March.

Also in March, the City of Ottawa announced Westboro Beach, a popular summertime destination for all Ottawa residents, would close for much-needed revitalization efforts. Fences went up around the beach in June, and while construction was supposed to start that summer, supply chain issues and labor shortages meant work was delayed until the fall. The NCC says they still aim to re-open the beach by summer 2023.

White construction trailers on Westboro beach on a sunny day. There is a blue fence in the background.
Westboro Beach has been closed this summer for a revitalization project. Photos by Charlie Senack.

April 2022

In the April 2022 issue of KT, we told you the story of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church on Byron Ave, becoming a command center for war relief efforts. It had been a little over a month since Russia Invaded Ukraine, forcing many Ukrainian refugees to settle in Canada. The church collected items to be sent over to Ukraine, and organized fundraisers to help humanitarian causes.

That same month, Kitchissippi’s World of Maps saw a large demand for Ukrainian flags and maps. In February and March, World of Maps printed 155 Ukrainian flags, which is the highest number of a single country’s flag they’ve ever sold, excluding Canada flags on Canada Day or flags for sporting events. The store located in Wellington West also raised $2,500 which was donated to the Red Cross.

New artwork also popped up in Parkdale Park. Stand With Ukraine, painted by Daniel Martelock features bright blue and yellow colors depicting the Ukrainian flag. In the middle is a bird wearing a military hat as it sits perched on a sunflower.

May 2022

John Rapp, who served as Dovercourt’s executive director, stepped down from the position after 30 years. “It just seemed like the right time to go, and I wanted to go soon enough that I could actually enjoy the next part,” he said.

On May 18, then Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla made a stop in McKellar Park during their tour of Canada. The Royal couple who were touring the country as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Tour, stopped in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church on Byron Ave, for a late morning service and pierogi making. The pair, now the King and Queen consort of England, had the chance to meet with many Ukrainian newcomers to Canada and hear about their journey.

Over the May long-weekend, a rare Derecho storm hit the capital which left tens of thousands without power. While damage in Kitchissippi was minimal, many trees were down and some residents were without electricity for days.

Prince Charles and Camilla walk out of the Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral on Byron avenue. A Ukrainian flag hangs on the left.
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall exiting the Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral on May 18. Photo by Charlie Senack.

June 2022

Kitchissippi residents headed to the polls to vote in the provincial election. Pollsters predicted it would be a tight race between incumbent NDP candidate Joel Harden and Liberal opponent Katie Gibbs. Harden won the election with over 54 per cent of the vote. Many speculated he would run for the Ontario NDP leadership position, but Harden decided it wasn’t the right time for his family.

The NCC began work on the 19th century Maplelawn Garden Wall, which started to show its age by collapsing. Work is expected to carry into 2023 and the garden will remain closed in the meantime.

Churchill Alternative School hosted a dance-a-thon fundraiser to raise funds for a new kinderyear play structure. With a $130,000 price tag, the playground equipment is expected to open in Sept. 2023.

July 2022

A new Trans library opened in Hintonburg. Tara Sypniewski opened the library to offer a place where Trans resources could be found, and to create a safe and accepting place for Transgender people to gather. “When you plant a seed, you never know how big it will grow,” Sypniewski said.

At the same time, The Spaniels Tale, a new LGBTQ-owned book store, opened up down the road on Wellington Street. Cole Davidson and Stephen Crocker, who are partners in business and in life, dreamed of opening a bookstore together for many years. “It was always a dream of ours, but it was a down-the-road sort of dream, something to do in retirement,” Davidson said. “Near the beginning of the pandemic, my grandmother was diagnosed with dementia, and, almost overnight, I watched her retirement dreams vanish. So we thought, ‘Why are we waiting?’”

Two men stand side by side holding piles of books outside of The Spaniel's Tale bookstore.
Owners Stephen Crocker and Cole Davidson stand in front of The Spaniel’s Tale, an LGBTQ-led bookstore opening in Hintonburg. Photo by Maureen McEwan.

August 2022

With summer in full swing — the first “normal” one since 2019 — many Kitchissippi residents were eager to get out and enjoy the warmer weather. The Torchlight Shakespeare in the Park series was a big hit for families who got to view theatrical productions put on by a Company of Fools.

In Westboro, the Churchill Seniors Centre reported an increase in newly retired members. “COVID really put a big damper on a lot of people, and it’s taken them a really long time to feel like they are allowed to come out and enjoy life again,” said Anita Findlay, the seniors centre’s program coordinator. “We are seeing more and more of it which is really great, and we are seeing new people come out to the centre. We were so grateful to see that people felt the confidence in us and all the things we have been doing to keep them safe.”

September 2022

In the September 2022 issue of the Kitchissippi Times, we shared with you the story of 53-year-old Alain Vermette, who made it his pandemic mission to run every street in Ottawa. Because of the city’s large geographical size, it’s no small task. “Nepean goes down to Barnsdale, which is Manotick, so it is a big district,” Vermette said. “Kanata brought me down to Dunrobin, so you have to get in your car and it’s a 35-minute drive.”

Meanwhile the Westboro Food Bank reported a doubled increase in calls for service. “As far as we can tell, a lot of people are still temporarily out of work or out of work completely because they are retired and find it difficult to make ends meet,” said Westboro Food Bank coordinator Peter Newlands. “If you are on a pension, like ODSP or a Canada Pension Plan, you are going to find it tough just to pay the rent. Food on top of that is a real struggle.”

Unitarian House hosted their second annual Grand Parade fundraising event. They set a goal of raising $75,000 after $50,000 was raised the year before.

The county’s biggest Canadian Tire store opened in Carlingwood Mall. The two-storey 135,000 sq. ft. space was built to celebrate the company’s 100th birthday. The store spans 7,200 feet, around as long as 36 NHL hockey rinks.

A photo taken from the second flood of Canadian Tire. It looks down to shelves stocked with Kitchen equipment. Cashes with customers are also seen in the distance.
The new Canadian Tire hardware store spans two floors in size. Photo by Charlie Senack

October 2022

Kitchissippi residents went back to the polls again, this time to vote in the city’s municipal election. While no incumbents lost their seats, new wards and vacant positions meant 11 new councillors were voted in. Ottawa also got a new Mayor with Kitchissippi Times founder Mark Sutcliffe winning the seat with over half the vote. Mayor Jim Watson decided not to seek re-election after three consecutive terms and decades in politics before that. Meanwhile Jeff a Leiper was voted in for a third term as Kitchissippi ward councillor.

In the Carlingwood neighborhood, a near life-size version of “Stranger Things’” Max Mayfield hung from a home on Woodpark. The Halloween display was a recreation from one of the most popular scenes from the hit Netflix show, where Mayfield levitates as she tries to escape the hands of evil creature Vecna.

November 2022

Remembrance Day Services saw a full return to Westboro for the first time since 2019. Loosened COVID-19 restrictions meant the annual tradition was able to make a full comeback. Kitchissippi residents were encouraged to gather at services taking place around the community and at the Westboro Legion which hosted a gathering afterwards.

As supply chain issues continued to impact big city projects, construction work on the newly-named Chief William Commanda Bridge was delayed by six months. Once it opens in 2023, the former rail bridge will connect Ottawa to Gatineau by foot through its multi-use path.

It was also announced that Phase 2 of Ottawa’s LRT system would be delayed by at least a year, meaning the Confederation line extension won’t open until at least 2026.

The Parkdale United Church Orchestra saw a sold out event with new conductor John Kraus bringing his artistic talent to the long-standing community group. The church hall was packed as hundreds gathered to hear the orchestra play music from movie scores.

A group of orchestra members perform together
The Parkdale United Church Orchestra prepares for their upcoming show being held on Nov. 19. Photo by Zenith Wolfe

December 2022

A near historic December snowfall meant the Kitchi Sibi Winter Trail was able to open for outdoor enthusiasts. Trail Groomer Dave Adams said they are gearing up for a bush season after the popular multi-use winter pathway picked up popularity during the pandemic. Unfortunately the New Year’s Eve rain and snow melt means it will be a delayed season for a full scale opening.

The Parkdale Food Centre reported a difficult month after there calls for service rose 41 per cent in Oct. 2022. “We are at an all time crisis in terms of funding,” said Meredith Kerr, director of development and communications at the Parkdale Food Centre. “Financial donations help us advocate for change. Systems change in the world by providing dignified food access.”

A giant menorah lit up Parkdale Park for the community’s second annual Hanukkah celebrations. Organized by the Chabad Jewish Centre located in Wellington West, the event aimed to shine a light through darkness.

A menorah is lit in Parkdale Park
The menorah is lit in Parkdale Park as part of Wellington West’s Hanukkah celebrations. Photo by Charlie Senack

A big thank you to all the Kitchissippi Times readers and advertisers for your support over the last year. Because of you, we were able to have one of our most successful years on record.

Keeping community news alive is of upmost importance to us. We want to share the stories which matter most to you.

If you want to support us with advertising, please email Eric Dupis at: eric@kitchissippi.com. For story ideas and event calender submissions, please email: editor@kitchissippi.com.

Happy New Year, Kitchissippi! Keep visiting our website for the latest in community news and events. Be sure to check out our next print issue in February 2023!

– Charlie Senack, Kitchissippi Times editor

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