Editor’s Letter: Protecting our heritage

A photo of Charlie sitting on a booth. He is wearing an evil eye necklace.
Kitchissippi Times editor Charlie Senack. Photo by Ellen Bond.

By Charlie Senack 

Happy spring, Kitchissippi!

It looks like the warmer weather is here to stay and summer will not be that far off. I’m already thinking about what flowers I want to plant in my garden this season. In this issue of KT we are turning the pages to the past and reflecting on the rich history that makes Westboro and Wellington West so unique. 

It’s no secret Kitchissippi has been enriched with new buildings over the last decade or two. The community’s landscape is vastly changing and it’s caused a divide. Some residents support intensification; others would like to see it retain the village charm. New condos, apartments, and highrises are replacing older buildings that have reached the end of their lifecycle. 

While they can’t all be protected, it’s important we save those which matter most. They are the bread and butter of what makes Kitchissippi unique. You can walk down Wellington Street and picture the horse and carriages which would have once roamed the street; or look at the historical churches and think of the generations of parishioners who worshiped there before you; or perhaps the stone farmhouses which reflect simpler times. If only walls could talk. 

For the April 2024 issue, I had the chance to meet with archeologists from the National Capital Commission who are unearthing Bytown’s past at LeBreton Flats. A number of artifacts have also been discovered at Westboro Beach and Maplelawn Gardens. 

In ‘Early Days’, Dave Allston brings us back to the Industrial Revolution which resulted in the railway coming to Kitchissippi. Dave and I also compiled a map of heritage properties which should be designated to protect them from development. 

Mat Dicsi stopped by St. Francois d’Assise church to learn more about its century-old history and the mysteries behind its architecture. Mat also met up with Highland Park Lawn Bowling Club members who are celebrating its 110th anniversary with heritage designation. 

Simon Hopkins has compiled a list of developments taking place in Kitchissippi, and tells us more about new zoning that will help developers. 

In other news, I spoke with bike advocates who are calling for a safer Carling Avenue, enriched with bike lanes and bus rapid transit. I also interviewed former Stella Luna employees who say they are owed tips and severance after the Wellington West location closed in December. 

In ‘Humans’, Daria Maystruck met up with 93-year-old Shirley Ashton, who is showing no signs of slowing down. The former occupational therapist now lives at Wellington West’s retirement community. 

Evert Lindquist went to Hampton Park to speak with Sharon Boddy, an environmentalist who is looking to better the public greenspace. 

And for ‘Giving,’ Hannah Wanamaker has a rundown on how various religious groups are coming together to promote peace amidst the Easter holidays. 

That’s all the news that fits into print this month. Visit Kitchissippi.com for all the latest news and events. 

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