COLUMN: Time for Spring and Summer Recreation programs

Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be profiling my next two Councillor For Hire shifts.  On February 28th, I worked for the NoGo Coffee Company and on March 8th, you can visit me at the Manotick Village Butcher where I’ll be working 9:30am to 5:00pm.  These are two of Rideau-Goulbourn’s newest new businesses and I’m excited to share my experiences with you.

Speaking of exciting and Manotick, most of you are aware by now that Watson’s Mill is putting on an aggressive campaign to raise money for the replacement of its roof.  The “Raise the Roof” campaign has set a goal of $200,000 to be raised in conjunction with other funding in order to replace this 89 year old roof of our beloved symbol of Manotick.  It is a rare case when someone in all of Ottawa, not just Manotick, is unaware of Watson’s Mill.  With thousands of visitors throughout the year, the Mill is not just a symbol of Manotick, it IS Manotick.  The Raise the Roof Committee has been busy putting on countless fundraising events such as the summer concert series of this past year.  Look for more events in 2012 that celebrate our Mill and aim to raise the necessary funds, be a part of this historic facility, and help add much needed longevity to its already glorious life.  For more information on how to donate, volunteer, or to learn more about the Raise the Roof campaign, visit www.watsonsmill.com.

The Rideau River is such an integral part of Rideau-Goulbourn in that is borders the ward from Nicolls Island, through Manotick, Kars, and Beckett’s Landing, and all the way through to Burritts Rapids.  This next little blurb is issued by the City and even though we all know the inherent dangers with thin ice, I think it’s appropriate to pass along this type of information to a community where the river is ever present.

Think twice before venturing onto the ice

Even though temperatures have been mild, the City of Ottawa reminds residents that when the temperatures go down, awareness of the dangers of being on or around ice and open water needs to go up.

If you want to go out onto the ice, remember the thickness should be:

  • ·                     15 cm for walking or skating alone
  • ·                     20 cm for skating parties or games
  • ·                     25 cm for snowmobiles
  • ·                     35 cm for fishing huts

As a guideline, clear blue ice is usually the strongest; white opaque or snow ice is half as strong as blue ice. Grey ice is unsafe. The greyness indicates the presence of water.

Water levels this year are higher than usual and are accompanied by soft, slippery banks that are treacherous, particularly for young children, adults and family pets.

Last winter, Ottawa Fire Services, working in close coordination with the Ottawa Paramedic Service and Ottawa Police Services, responded to 49 calls for help from persons in distress, lost or feared drowned.  Stay safe, stay off thin ice.

Time for Spring and Summer Recreation programs

It is time to check out the thousands of classes the City of Ottawa has to offer in the 2012 Spring-Summer Recreation eGuide. 

From boot camps to sports, drawing to pottery, and aqua fitness to yoga, the City of Ottawa offers spring classes that will keep you active, creative and healthy.

Water fun, sports, neighbourhood, arts and specialty day camps offer kid-sized adventures all summer long. With camps across the city, children of all ages love the options.

Registration for spring classes and summer camps opens online at 10 p.m. March 5 for swimming activities and 10 p.m. on March 7 for all other programs. Please browse the Recreation eGuide for new recreation and culture experiences.

It will be time well spent at ottawa.ca/recreationguide