Column: What's going on in North Gower?

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer so far.  Some good news came last week with the Court decision coming back on the Lansdowne issue in the City’s favour, meaning we can move forward with that project.  In other good news, the Crossroads building at Mitch Owens and River Road was torn down last week as well.  This site will be the future home of Shoppers Drug Mart and the Manotick Medical Centre.

Now, back to the summer updates.  Having looked at Manotick and Kars in recent weeks, let’s now take a glimpse of what is going on in North Gower.

Hulse, Playfair, & McGarry Funeral Homes
Several months ago, it was announced that Hulse, Playfair & McGarry Funeral Homes purchased the Cummings Funeral Home business in North Gower.  While they are currently operating as the Cummings Chapel in the original location, their long term goal is to relocate to the Williams home across from the Co-op.  Residents may have seen the newly placed sign in front of the home showing what their Chapel will eventually look like.  After an extensive renovation and expansion, the new Chapel will better serve this community and the surrounding area.  Lee Cummings is still heavily involved in the Funeral Home as Hulse, Playfair & McGarry continue their transition into North Gower.  Stay tuned for more information about their opening date.

Maple Forest Estates
At this point, the only future residential development slated for the North Gower area is in the Maple Forest Estates.  This plan of subdivision was originally submitted in 2008 and received Draft Plan approval on July 15, 2011.  This subdivision, phases 4 and 5 of Maple Forest Estates, will create a connection between their existing subdivision and the homes nearby the Alfred Taylor Recreation Centre.  Furthermore, the allocated parkland from this development will be tacked onto the recreational lands that currently exist near the ball diamonds, enlarging the footprint around the Rec Centre.  Should you have any questions on this development, please contact

Ottawa Public Library - North Gower Branch
2011 marks the 120th Anniversary of the North Gower Library.  A celebration will be held on November 14th with more details to come.  In order for this library to serve our community properly for another 120 years, we’ll likely need a larger space.  That brings us to the North Gower Needs a Bigger Library campaign.  The North Gower library has consistently had the highest circulation of all rural libraries yet it exists in one of the smallest spaces.  The Library Board, City staff, community members, and I are working to find an alternative location to grow this community asset.  In the meantime, please support our local library in North Gower and be sure to drop in for a visit, you’ll likely bump into my wife and kids if you do.

In other North Gower news, the Nordic Spa at Strathmere is still moving along as they look to open in 2012, and as biased as I may be, the Marlborough Pub & Eatery is always a great spot to grab a bite to eat! Please don’t forget to visit North Gower Farmers Market on Saturday mornings between 8:30 and 1pm for all the best rural Ottawa has to offer.  North Gower will also be the site for my inaugural “Councillor for Hire” day, as I become a Camp worker for the day at “Messy, Slimy, Wet and All Things Gross Camp Day”.  Should be fun!

If you have any questions or comments, please contact me at 613-580-2491 or by email at  Keep informed by visiting my web site and signing up for the Rideau Goulbourn E-Newsletter.