Kitchissippi Q & A: The race for space

Is there an issue in your corner of Kitchissippi that’s been puzzling you? Perhaps there’s something you’ve always wanted to know but didn’t know who to ask. Send your burning questions (Kitchissippi-related of course) to editor@kitchissippi.com and we’ll help find the answer.

Q: I’m in charge of a local non-profit group and I’m on the look out for cheap meeting space somewhere in the neighbourhood.  Can you help?

Mr. Spacey

A: Thanks for your question Mr. Spacey. It’s always a challenge for community groups to find room to meet and host events. You didn’t mention what kind of budget you have or the size of your group, but there are a few options in the area that don’t involve having to hunker down at the local coffee shop. I’d look into these places:

  • Churchill Seniors Centre (345 Richmond Road)
  • Dovercourt Recreation Centre (411 Dovercourt Avenue) Dovercourt also runs the McKellar Field House, and there’s space available there too.
  • Hintonburg Community Centre (1064 Wellington St West)
  • Fisher Park Community Centre (250 Holland Avenue)
  • The Champlain Park fieldhouse (which is located off Cowley Avenue) is owned by the City of Ottawa but the scheduling has been delegated to the local community association and its volunteers.
  • MEC (366 Richmond Road) has a community meeting room that can accommodate small groups. It’s available to local outdoor clubs, ENGOs, or NGOs that have a similar mandate as MEC. Use of the room is free, but it’s recommended you contact them at least a month in advance because the space books up quickly.
  • The Westboro Legion has reasonably-priced meeting space, and catering!

You could also consider checking out your neighborhood churches to see if they offer inexpensive meeting space for your group.

I recently had a tour of St. George’s Parish in West Wellington. It’s tucked away on Piccadilly Avenue, which makes me think that a lot of people might not even know it’s there. St. George’s recently completed a massive renovation that was officially unveiled in July; good news for parishioners as well as the larger community.

Georges Bouliane, the Parish Manager at St.George's Parish. Photo by Andrea Tomkins.
Georges Bouliane, the Parish Manager at St.George’s Parish. Photo by Andrea Tomkins.

Part of the reno included a lot of new meeting and gathering space that is now available for one-time use (such as fundraisers) or for regular bookings (like a yoga class). The space is used by all kinds of different folks; including Highland dancers, practitioners of Tai Chi, religious groups of different denominations, and arts and musical groups.

“There aren’t a lot of spaces available in the area,” says Georges Bouliane, the Parish Manager. “We have a great facility that’s just waiting to be used by the community.”

Email Georges at info@saintgeorges.ca for rental information (costs haven’t been uploaded to the website at saintgeorges.ca yet, but it’s coming). If you mention you’re a non-profit group you’ll get a deal on the rental too.

Good luck,

– Andrea Tomkins, Editor

 

 

 

Kitchissippi Q & A : Where do ice cream trucks go in the winter?

Is there an issue in your corner of Kitchissippi that’s been puzzling you? Perhaps there’s something you’ve always wanted to know but didn’t know who to ask. Send your burning questions (Kitchissippi-related of course) to editor@kitchissippi.com and we’ll help find the answer.

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Photo by Andrea Tomkins

Q: I work at Tunney’s Pasture and am a big fan of the Merry Dairy. I often pass by the truck on the way to work, and seeing it cruise down our street this summer has been a definite highlight for my family and I. I was wondering when her season ends and what she’s going to be doing over the winter.

Mr. Scoops Alot

Dear Mr. Scoops,

Thanks for your question! First of all I must point out that the Merry Dairy – a.k.a. West Wellington’s Marlene Haley – doesn’t technically serve ice cream, it’s frozen custard; cream, sugar and eggs made into a velvety concoction that is always served fresh on the day it is made.

I am sad to report that the Merry Dairy’s 2013 season is officially ending at the end of the month, but you will have one final opportunity to bid her adieu. The Merry Dairy is partnering with Fisher Park Community Centre and the Parkdale Food Centre to become The Scary Dairy for one evening of fun on Halloween night.

The Scary Dairy will be playing spooky tunes and scooping up some goodness with the goal of scaring away hunger. If you bring a food item, you’ll get to enjoy an end-of-the season sample and receive a coupon for a free cone next year. That’s a pretty sweet deal.

Over the winter the truck will go into hibernation and Marlene will be taking a trip to St. Louis, Missouri for an ice cream conference. (St. Louis is famous for its frozen custard don’t you know!) Her frozen custard truck will hit the road again when the weather improves some time in April. I recommend you stay in the loop via her website (www.themerrydairy.com) or Facebook page.

Andrea Tomkins
Editor

Kitchissippi Q & A: A park by any other name…

Is there an issue in your corner of Kitchissippi that’s been puzzling you? Perhaps there’s something you’ve always wanted to know but didn’t know who to ask. Send your burning questions (Kitchissippi-related of course) to editor@kitchissippi.com and we’ll help find the answer.

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Q: My neighbours and I always refer to the green space and the playground at Dovercourt Recreation Centre as “Dovercourt Park” but it’s actually called Westboro Kiwanis Park. If I happen to refer to it as Westboro Kiwanis I’ve realized that few people actually know what place I’m talking about. Can you shed some light on why it’s called Westboro Kiwanis Park?

– I Love My Parks

Dear Parks,

This story begins with the Westboro Kiwanis Club, which was founded in 1946. The Kiwanis is a non-profit service club that has a special focus on community projects for children and youth.

According to City of Ottawa archivist Paul Henry, the City of Ottawa appropriated lands on Cole Avenue in 1948 in order to create a park to be known as the Cole Avenue Park. In 1951, the City accepted an offer from the Westboro Kiwanis Club to fund a wading pool in the park. The following year, the Kiwanis offered the City $2,500 to develop a playground there too. The offer was accepted and City Council dedicated the park to the Westboro Kiwanis to honour their efforts.

As for the sorry state of the signage, Councillor Hobbs’ office has informed us that it is due to be replaced in 2016, but our inquiry may just be the nudge that was needed to get it done sooner.

Thanks for your question!

– Andrea Tomkins, Editor

Kitchissippi Q & A: Pushing buttons

Is there an issue in your corner of Kitchissippi that’s been puzzling you? Perhaps there’s something you’ve always wanted to know but didn’t know who to ask and it’s keeping you up at night. Send your burning questions (Kitchissippi-related of course) to 
editor@kitchissippi.com and we’ll help find the answer.

Q: I live in Westboro and when I’m walking North towards the village I often cross Byron at Roosevelt Avenue where a new set of lights was installed a few years ago. A friend told me that I should push the walk signal every time I cross, regardless of whether there are cars present or not. Apparently the City of Ottawa uses the signal to keep a record of how many people cross the street there. Is this true?

Signed,

Westboro Pedestrian

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A: Dear WP,

It’s true. The City of Ottawa tracks how many times that button is pushed, and they’re able to pull daily tallies whenever they need to know how many pedestrians are using that intersection. They can look at that information, compare days, and draw conclusions based on the available data.

I’m not sure about you, but I’m going to start pressing the button whenever I cross the street. It’s probably a good idea for the city to have accurate information, especially as it pertains to the ongoing discussions around pedestrian safety and traffic management.

Thanks for your question!

Signed,

The Editor