Congratulations to Rideau-Goulbourn's recipients of the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers

On Friday, April 28th, Ottawa City Hall hosted a ceremony with the Governor General’s office to honour the dedication of many of Ottawa’s finest volunteers. The Sovereign's Medal for Volunteers recognizes the exceptional volunteer achievements of Canadians from across the country in a wide range of fields.

As an official Canadian honour, the Medal for Volunteers incorporates and replaces the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award. The Medal builds on the legacy and spirit of the Caring Canadian Award by honouring the dedication and commitment of volunteers. It is the highest honour bestowed upon volunteers in Canada.

It was an honour to be present at this ceremony alongside Mayor Jim Watson and Her Excellency Sharon Johnston. Recognized from Rideau-Goulbourn were Munster’s Bob Easy, Manotick’s Noel Norenius, Richmond’s Judy Wagdin, Cyril Leeder and John Curry of Stittsville as well as Shaun Tolson and Georgina Tupper of Kars. The ward was well represented and these individuals were rightly honoured for their volunteer efforts across our communities and throughout the City.

Construction Update

As mentioned in previous weeks, there will be a number of construction projects throughout the summer across the ward. Two weeks ago, the Commence Work Order was issued for the expansion project of the Manotick Arena. This project will include a doubling in size of the change rooms, new community space on the second floor as well as connection to municipal services and a number of lifecycle projects. The general contractor is Gaulec Construction out of Orleans and the project is expected to carry on through the fall. The City will be working with the various user groups in the coming weeks and months on plans to address the space restrictions in the fall.

Construction also continues on the Remembrance Park next to the Cenotaph in Dickinson Square. That project is scheduled to wrap up next month with the official opening being held on July 2nd. Cavanagh Construction has begun mobilizing on Shea Road. Shea will be resurfaced from Fernbank Road to Hemphill Street in the village of Richmond.

Richmond 200

In just over a year from now, the big celebration weekend for Richmond’s bicentennial will be upon us. Between now and then, though, the community is focused on raising money to help with the celebration and party while they’re at it. This summer, you can join in on the fun at two major events.

On Thursday, May 25th, come out to Jabulani Vineyard & Winery for “A Taste of Richmond”. Sip and sample great wines, craft beers and the Richmond culinary community’s food in the beautiful setting at Jabulani. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased at 3441 McBean Street.

On Saturday, June 24th, it’s “The Best Damn Barn Dance in 199 Years!” at the Richmond Fairgrounds. The event runs from 8:00pm until 1:00am and features local legends the Doug & Pam Champagne Band. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. They can also be purchased at 3441 McBean Street.

For more information on how the community is celebrating 2018, visit

Dickinson House News

2017 is not only Canada’s sesquicentennial, but also the 150th birthday of Dickinson House. Moss Kent Dickinson built the house in the Square in 1867 and, to celebrate, there is a special exhibit; “A Walk Through the Decades”.  Young and old are cordially invited to come and gain insight into life in Manotick and Canada over the past century and a half.  The House will open for the season daily for 10:00am to 5:00pm beginning on May 20th.  Admission is free, and donations are welcome.

Scott Moffatt Golf4Youth Classic Presented by Caivan Communities

Join me on July 7th for the Scott Moffatt Golf4Youth Classic Presented by Caivan Communities at the Canadian Golf & Country Club. It promises to be a fun day for the whole family with all proceeds going directly to the Youth of Manotick Association (YOMA) and the Richmond Youth Centre (RYC). I would love for you to participate!

We are also acquiring sponsorships and silent auction donations. If you are a local business and want to be involved in this event, please contact me and we’ll find an exciting way to get you involved.

For more details or to register, visit Hopefully we can make this a successful event that will benefit kids and families all across Rideau-Goulbourn.


If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491. For information on Rideau-Goulbourn issues, please visit

Land Evaluation & Area Review (LEAR)

There has been much discussion in recent weeks about the City of Ottawa’s update to its Land Evaluation & Area Review (LEAR). The purpose of a LEAR is to identify prime agricultural areas using several factors in addition to soil class, in order to establish an agricultural designation in the Official Plan. The LEAR is used as a tool to then help designate Agricultural Resource Areas across the City.

The Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton identified the existing Agricultural Resource Area in 1997 using a LEAR system. Key components of the LEAR system are soil capability for agriculture, land use and parcel size. New soils mapping and changes in land use and the size and nature of farms in the city over the last 20 years warrant re-examining and updating the existing LEAR system. The Ontario Municipal Board has also directed the City to complete this update.

The Statutory Public Meeting required by the Planning Act to consider the amendment and submissions from the public was held on the 22nd of November at Planning Committee. The report also came to the Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee on November 24th. The report will now rise to City Council at its meeting on December 14th. If you did not submit comments to either Committee, you can still do so up until the Council meeting. Council will be considering objections submitted in writing up until it makes a decision on December 14th.   Written submissions received before December 9th will be reviewed by staff and if agreed to motions for change will be presented to Council. All submissions must include the reasons why the existing or proposed designation should be changed - this should include soil sampling and independent assessment in accordance with the LEAR model.

There have been some changes in the LEAR system that the City is using now versus what was used in 1997. Some of the weighting has changed and the threshold for lands to be considered agriculture was lowered from 130 to 125. This was the recommendation from City staff. In their involvement through the LEAR update, they discovered that some lands were scored artificially higher in 1997. The idea was that, since the City lacks substantial Class 1 lands that the scores would reflect that and Class 2 and 3 lands were given higher scores and that trickled down somewhat. For this review, a more scientific approach was taken and it was determined that 125 was a more appropriate threshold. Ultimately, the difference in the LEAR mapping is negligible and much of the land proposed to be designated as Agricultural Resource Area actually ranks higher than 130 regardless. Having said that, lands that score below 125 can sometimes get bundled with lands that score much higher and the City evaluates the lands based on 250 hectare parcels, not individual properties.

Following the December 14th Council decision on LEAR, there are still opportunities to have appeals addressed. Request for changes to Agriculture designations can be submitted to staff with supporting material (soil sampling and independent assessment in accordance with the LEAR model). Staff would review and where they agree, these could be provided to Council for Council to make submissions to the Ministry before the Minister’s decision is given on OPA 2016. Any modifications to the Official Plan Amendment would have to be agreed to by the Minister. Once the Minister makes his/her decision, those wanting to appeal then have 20 days from the date the Minister issues the decision to register their appeal with the Minister and stating the reasons for the appeal.

To retain a right to appeal, written submissions must be provided to the City prior to Council making a decision on OPA 2016 on December 14, 2016. After an appeal is lodged there is a period where mediation is encouraged. This provides an opportunity for Council to consider additional information provided as part of the appeal and which may not have been available earlier.

Submissions can be made to and addressed to Bruce Finlay. Please contact me should you have any questions regarding the LEAR update and the recommended Agricultural Resource Area designations.

Dickinson House

On December 3rd and 4th, between 10:00am and 4:00pm, come and celebrate the Season by making a Victorian styled Christmas ornament at Dickinson House. Ideas and craft supplies are provided, and the young and young at heart can bring home a lovely memento. Admission to the House and the crafts are free of charge. Donations toward the upkeep of the House are always welcome. 

Continuing to celebrate an old time Christmas at the House, there will be a reading of A Christmas Carol at 2:00pm on December 11th and 18th; hot chocolate, shortbread and fruitcake will be served at intermission.  Tickets are $5.00, and children under 12 are free. To reserve a seat, please call 613-692-6455, or purchase your ticket at Manotick Office Pro. The House will open at 1:30pm on the days of the reading.


If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491. For information on Rideau-Goulbourn issues, please visit

Flu Clinics, Woodlot Rehabilitation Program, and Dickinson House News

While the November 1st Finance & Economic Development Committee meeting will have already taken place by the time you read this, there are two key items on the agenda with relation to Rideau-Goulbourn, specifically Manotick. One is a report that I brought forward that seeks Committee and Council approval to retain Dickinson House and Carriage Shed in City ownership. This would conclude the Manotick Mill Quarter Community Development Corporation process and ensure that Dickinson Square remains as you see it today with Watson’s Mill and the Rideau Township Historical Society calling these two buildings home.

The other item is a land swap that will place the woodlots on the Mahogany lands in City ownership. This is something that came from the OMB decision approving the Minto development in the south end of the village. The woodlots are years away from seeing development occur near them, but this land swap will ensure that these lands are protected from development.  As part of the deal, the City is giving up lands in South Nepean to Minto.

Forcemain Project

On October 25th, a Commence Work Order was issued by the City of Ottawa to Robert Excavating to complete the upgrades to the forcemain project.  As many of you are aware, this is the culmination of nearly two years of planning and consultation

The original forcemain was built in the early 1980’s and is in need of repair. The construction project will involve repairs and modifications to the existing 500mm diameter forcemain, the installation of a new bypass 300mm diameter forcemain to facilitate the repairs, the installation of a new section of 600mm diameter forcemain for the proposed future development within the Village of Richmond, and decommissioning of an abandoned forcemain in the immediate vicinity of the Richmond Sewage Pump Station (RSPS).

This work is tentatively planned to begin any day now and be completed by October 2017. Spot repairs and modifications to the transition couplings, valves and valve accessories will be made at various structures along the existing forcemain between the RSPS and Lagoon Cell C as well as on Eagleson Road between the Jock River crossing and Robertson Road. An abandoned forcemain will also be decommissioned as part of the works and runs from the RSPS from Royal York St and along King St to Chanonhouse Dr. before heading north at Chanonhouse park through adjacent wooded lands prior to reaching the Lagoon site.

Ottawa Public Health Flu Clinics

During the 2015-2016 flu season, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) administered over 10,000 influenza vaccines at community clinics, while it distributed over 379,000 doses of the vaccine across the City through physicians’ offices, pharmacies, long-term care facilities and other vaccine providers. For the 2016-2017 flu season, OPH will again focus on providing access of flu vaccine to the general population through physicians’ offices and pharmacy providers, and outreach to vulnerable populations. As in previous years, OPH will continue to run community-based clinics in areas of low pharmacist / physician coverage.

For the upcoming season, over 170 Ottawa pharmacies will be offering the influenza vaccine.  Many pharmacies are open long hours, and are located throughout the city, making the publicly funded influenza vaccine ever more accessible.  In addition, more than 300 physicians’ offices across the city will be offering the flu vaccine to their patients.

OPH will be offering 12 community clinics in different areas of the city from October 29, 2016 to November 16, 2016, including at the Alfred Taylor Recreation Centre on Thursday, November 10th and at South Carleton High School on Tuesday, November 15th.  Both clinics run from 3:30pm until 7:30pm. Local pharmacies offering flu shots include Rexall, Shoppers Drug Mart and Paul’s Pharmasave in Manotick; Richmond Village Pharmacy and Richmond IDA; and North Gower Pharmacy. The eQuinelle Pharmasave and the Kemptville Shoppers Drug Mart also offer flu shots.

Woodlot Rehabilitation Program

As ash trees continue to decline within the City of Ottawa due to the invasive Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), it is important to address the safety issues and necessary tree removals within our parks and woodlots.

Part of the City’s EAB strategy includes selective park and woodlot rehabilitation; identifying City parks and woodlots with a high percentage of ash to remove unsafe dead, dying or invasive trees, encourage non-ash trees and shrubs with the exception of buckthorn and plant a selection of native tree species.

Many parks and woodlots hold significant plant and wildlife populations and make large contributions to human health and the environment: it is important to manage these significant areas, not only for public safety but also to conserve the many benefits they provide.

This winter, the City of Ottawa will begin removing all dead/dying trees from Beryl Gaffney Park, Ashton Woods and Van Vliet Park. For public safety reasons, identified areas of the park will be closed to the public during the tree removal operations. While most of these are passive parks, maintained areas of the park will be cleared of small woody debris once the snow has melted and conditions are dry enough for equipment access.

All areas subject to tree removal are to be replanted. Reforestation species will include: red maple, sugar maple, silver maple, serviceberry, hackberry, white pine, burr oak, red oak, American elder, white cedar, basswood, nannyberry, large tooth aspen, trembling aspen, dogwood and speckled alder.

Dickinson House News

To commemorate Remembrance Day, you are invited to Dickinson House where there will be a special display featuring the contributions made during WW2  by the late Lt.- Col David L. Fromow  and  Mrs. Barbara Fromo, both long-time residents of Manotick.  The House will be open on weekends from 10:00am to 4:00pm in November, and will be open on November 11th from 10:00am to 4:00pm as well.  Admission is free; as always, donations are welcome.

The Victorian Tea, which is at 2 p.m. on November 5th, is sold out; if you wish to be put on a waiting list, please call 613-692-6455.


If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491.

Dickinson Square, Manotick Secondary Plan and Goulbourn development updates

As some of you may already know, the Ayres Building in Dickinson Square has officially been sold.  The building had been owned by the City of Ottawa since the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority vacated the space in 2007.  Normally, I would announce the sale myself but I’m quite happy that the new owner was so excited to close the sale and announce it themselves.  After all, it isn’t about me. It was just under two weeks ago that Rural Ottawa South Support Services (ROSSS) announced that they had purchased the building, allowing them to maintain the place they’ve called home for the better part of a decade.

While the Manotick Mill Quarter Community Development Corporation, along with ROSSS, finalized the deal a couple of months ago, we were awaiting the official close of the sale, scheduled for August 6th.  As soon as all of the t’s were crossed and the i’s were dotted, ROSSS was free to dispense the good news.  We were a bit more tightly lipped this time around as many of you will recall an announcement I made in December 2013 regarding the initial sale of the Ayres Building to a Christmas store owner.  That, of course, fell through prior to the closing date so I decided to try and learn from my mistake.  In the end, everything worked out and now ROSSS can continue to serve the communities of Osgoode, Rideau and Goulbourn from right here in Manotick.

With the Ayres Building sale wrapped up, the Peppermint Spa transformation of the Weaver House well underway and the development of 1125 Clapp Lane approved, the Manotick Mill Quarter Community Development Corporation has come a long way in four years.  Of course, the work is not yet done and the City of Ottawa still retains the ownership of the Carriage Shed and Dickinson House.  Community sentiment has spoken strongly in favour of maintaining the current arrangement at these two buildings and I will continue to work toward a solution that can be supported by the community and makes the most sense going forward.  In my mind, that solution needs to make sense as much 50 years from now as it does today.  No easy task but we’ve listened to the community every step of the way and I look forward to continuing that working relationship on the two remaining, and most significant, Dickinson Square properties.

Dickinson House News

Speaking of Dickinson Square, come out and visit on August 15th and 16th as there will be demonstrations of the old time Domestic Skills of Spinning and Weaving at the House. Visitors will also be able to learn about or try their hand at the techniques citizens used to cope with laundry before the advent of the automatic washer and dryer.  The House is open from 10:00am until 5:00pm daily.  This summer’s special exhibition is Tableware in Times Past in the Coral Lindsay Memorial Hall on the third floor.  As always, admission is free, and donations toward the upkeep of the House are welcome.

Further, mark your calendars and plan to come to an old-fashioned, family oriented Barn Dance at Watson’s Mill on September 5th at 7:30 pm.  There will be live folk music featuring the Ever Hopeful String Band; easy instructions on traditional circle, square and line dances; country food and refreshments.  The Heritage Country Fair, with a full lineup of traditional Fall Fair events, will be in full swing on Saturday, September 5th, beginning at 10:00am.  For information about the events, check, call 613-692-2241 or visit the House.

Manotick Secondary Plan Update

Back to business, the website for the Secondary Plan review has now been updated.  You can visit to look at the Official Plan and Zoning By-Law Amendments resulting from the current review update.  Please provide comments by September 5th on the draft proposals.  My office will also be distributing this information via mail to all Manotick residents to ensure that everyone is aware.

Development Updates in Goulbourn

There are now two development applications in the Stittsville South expansion area.  Over the last two years, the City of Ottawa has been working on an application from several firms involving the property north of Woodside Acres and south of the Hartsmere subdivision.  That application is in the process of receiving draft approval after a lengthy process that included four public meetings.  The results from that include a restriction to vehicular traffic from the new development onto Poplarwood Road and a monitoring program on structures and wells to ensure there are no negative impacts on existing homes in Woodside Acres.

Directly to the east of that proposal is another application, this one by Tartan Homes, which has just been submitted.  This is, essentially, an extension of the previous application as the road network ties in and is key to traffic management in the area.  The main roads will filter out onto Shea Road and Fernbank Road. This property is addressed as 5970 Fernbank Road and more information on the application can be found at  As information becomes available, it will be posted at that link.  Further, there will be a public meeting scheduled to discuss this application as well.

Open Air Fire Permits

Residents are reminded that open air fires of any kind are prohibited without an Open Air Fire Permit.

An open air fire refers to the burning of untreated wood, tree limbs and branches where the flame is not wholly contained. The City’s Open Air Fire By-law prohibits the use of campfires, brush fires, burn drums, windrows and outdoor fireplaces within City limits. Barbecues are permitted.

Definitions for all these terms, and further details about Open Air Fire Permits, can be found on the City’s website,

While open air burning might seem to be harmless, it has the potential to cause visible haze, health problems, air pollution and nuisance concerns.

Even residents who possess a permit are required to call 613-580-2880 prior to burning to ensure there is not a burn ban in effect.

Substantial fines may be issued to residents who are not in possession of a valid permit or are found to be non-compliant to conditions and regulations within their permit. Fire permits are available at all Client Service Centres and Ottawa Fire Services’ Rural Administrative offices. A list of these sites, hours of operation and more information on fire permits can be found on or by calling 3-1-1.

A Taste of Manotick

While Dickinson House is providing a taste of the past on August 15th, the rest of the village will be promoting the present.  The Annual Taste of Manotick is back on Saturday, between 4:00pm and 9:00pm.  This annual showcase will take place along Manotick Main Street and into the Mews. Come out and enjoy live music, delicious samples, draws and demonstrations in the heart of the village.

Also, and you heard it here first, this is a guaranteed rain free event!  That is my guarantee and I know you can trust me on this as a recent Ipsos Reid poll ranked local politicians as the least trustworthy profession.  See you there!!


If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491.

Fall/winter recreation registration opening soon

The annual (and free) Concert in the Park Series is back at the Richmond Fairgrounds this week and next.  Come out to Richmond on Thursday, July 30th and Thursday, August 6th for great music provided by Sidewinder (July 30) and Ambush (August 6). The BBQ starts at 6:00pm with the concerts beginning at 7:00pm.  Concerts in the Park are brought to you by the City of Ottawa, Ontario Parks and Waste Management.  Donations to CHEO will be accepted.

Fall/Winter Recreation Registration

The Recreation eGuide for fall and winter programs are now online at Choose from a wide variety of activities for all ages including swimming lessons, fitness classes, general interest courses, sports and instruction in the arts.

Registration for swimming and aquafitness classes begins online and by phone (613-580-2588) on Monday, August 10th at 9:00pm and in person at City recreation facilities on Tuesday, August 11th during regular business hours. Registration for all other classes begins online and by phone (613-580-2588) on Wednesday, August 12th at 9:00pm and in person at City recreation facilities on Thursday, August 13th during regular business hours.

To register online or by phone residents will need a client barcode and family PIN numbers. The City expects high volumes of online registrants throughout the first week of registration, particularly the first evening, which could result in a longer registration experience than usual.

Residents who do not have access to the Internet are encouraged to visit City recreation centres or libraries with public Internet access. They can also visit any Client Service Centre where customer service staff can help with registration. Some community centres may provide printed brochures for their local activities.

Dickinson House News

On August 2nd at 1:30pm, there will be a concert by the Manotick Brass Ensemble and a Lawn Social on the grounds of Dickinson House.  Come and enjoy a summer afternoon in the 19th Century way.  You are also welcome to tour the House and visit the special exhibition of Tableware in Times Past in the Coral Lindsay Memorial Exhibition Hall.  As always, admission is free, and donations to support the House are welcome.

Looking ahead, reserve September 4th to come to an old-fashioned, family-oriented Barn Dance at Watson’s Mill; then take part in the Heritage Country Fair in Dickinson Square on September 5th.  For information about the events, visit, call 613-692-2241, or visit Dickinson House.  The House is open from 10:00am to 5:00pm daily.

Community Partnership Minor Capital Program

The Community Partnership Minor Capital Program is an initiative available for minor capital improvements to city-owned parks, recreation and cultural facilities on a cost-sharing basis with community groups. Examples include: play equipment, basketball courts, park furniture, tree planting, landscape improvements, minor community facility improvements, etc. Projects on school board land and other public lands that are accessible to the general public may also be eligible. Deadline: September 1, 2015. Details:


Donna Williams
Recreation Planning and Facility Development
Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services
Tel: 613-580-2424, ext. 23169

Renée Proteau
Recreation Planning and Facility Development
Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services
Tel: 613-580-2424, ext. 26967

Manotick Soap Box Derby

The 5th Annual Soap Box Derby is coming up on August 30th and, for the very first time in Ottawa, the Manotick Village and Community Association will be holding special races for Super Kids during this event.

Super Kids is an international program created to provide children with special needs the opportunity to participate in the sport of Soap Box Derby Racing. The Canadian chapter came into being in 2009. The program features custom built two-seater derby cars. These cars were specifically designed to allow children who meet the daily challenges of either physical or developmental barriers to enjoy an activity experienced by thousands of kids every year. Two of the special cars are being borrowed from the Canadian Headquarters of Super Kids in Peterborough.

For more information on registration for these races, please go to or contact


If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491.

Hydro outages and Councillor for Hire

In March of this year, I received a number of reports of power outages in the rural Stittsville and Ashton area.  At that time, I spoke with the Chief Operating Officer at Hydro Ottawa, Norm Fraser, and provided an update in this column on what Hydro Ottawa was doing to address the deficiencies. Having committed to providing further updates, I received more information from Hydro Ottawa this week.

Since the March 21st power outage, four sets of faulted circuit indicators have been installed to increase the speed in fault finding with an additional eight more to be installed; tree trimming has been scheduled for 2016 and crews are periodically removing any problem trees as they become aware of them; overhead equipment was inspected using infrared radiation scanning with immediate repair occurring with any failures and; arresters were replaced on the main circuit supply section along Flewellyn Road between Dwyer Hill Road and Ashton Station Road.

Further, there is now a plan in place to transfer 130 customers from the current supply circuit from Beckwith Station to Alexander Station. This should increase the reliability for these customers as Alexander has historically had higher reliability than Beckwith. This work will be completed later this year.

Manotick Secondary Plan Review

Following last month’s public meeting on the Manotick Secondary Plan review, I’m happy to tell you that all information is now available online at  Please have a look and provide your feedback.  The Secondary Plan will be coming to Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee in the fall.

Manotick Boat Launch

After a three year wait, the installation of the new dock at the boat launch near the Manotick Library is imminent.  The dock could be installed as soon as this week.  I’d like to thank everyone for their patience.  This entire issue stems back to 2011 when the City of Ottawa acquired the boat launch property from Parks Canada.  There was first some uncertainty as to whether or not the launch would continue but after conducting my own consultation and not finding any viable launch alternatives nearby, I was happy to work with the City’s Rural Affairs Office and the Manotick Village & Community Association to bring a new dock to fruition.  This new dock will provide the safety that has been lacking at this location in recent years.  Thank you to the MVCA’s Klaus Beltzner and Mel Roberts for being part of the process to bring the dock back to Manotick.

Councillor for Hire - Millers' Farm & Market

In 2011, I began an initiative called “Councillor for Hire”. The idea was to spend time in different environments throughout Rideau-Goulbourn, learn more about our local businesses and their staff/owners, and understand how they interact with the City of Ottawa and any struggles or challenges they may face.  Over the last term, I worked at a number of different places including Corner View Farms, Saunders Farm, Rideau Valley Conservation Authority, Manotick Village Butcher and many more.  Having taken a break from this during the election, I decided to get back into it recently which led me to my most recent job experience: Millers’ Farm & Market in Manotick.

On Friday, July 3rd, I had the pleasure of spending the day at Millers’ Farm on Rideau Valley Drive North.  My morning began with a good chat about City-related challenges facing businesses such at Millers’ with owners Ron & Suzie Miller.  One of the most beneficial aspects of any Councillor for Hire experience is the one on one discussion with a small business owner within their work environment. If there are any issues to resolve, I gather a better understanding with these kinds of hands on experiences.

The majority of my day involved working with customers, stocking fresh produce and picking strawberries and raspberries.  There is always plenty of work to be done at Millers’ and their near 300 acre property.  Their Garden Centre is fully stocked with annuals, perennials, vegetables and herbs.  There is also a variety of trees, evergreens, flowering shrubs and hanging baskets.  If that isn’t enough, you can purchase bulk mulch, soil, topsoil and river rock as well.  Local deliveries are available and a couple occurred while I was there for the day.

They key to Millers’ Farm is their fresh fruits and vegetables.  Obviously, they have strawberries and raspberries but there is also currants, tomatoes, asparagus, garlic, rhubarb, squash, carrots, sweet corn and, in the fall, pumpkins.  The pumpkin patch is a crowd favourite and gets visited each fall by local schools.  I’ve had the pleasure of going on field trips to Millers’ with my three oldest children and their nursery school.

If you want to learn more about Millers’ Farm and everything they have to offer, please visit  I’d like to thank Ron & Suzie, and their son Simon, for inviting me to spend the day as their “employee” and to all the staff at the farm for making me feel welcome and for showing me the ropes.

If you would be interested in having me spend a day as at your local business, please let me know.

Kars Dog Show

The Kars Dog Show is back this weekend and is celebrating their 50th Anniversary.  Come by the Kars Fairgrounds at the RA Centre and take in the show.  The show runs from Friday, July 17th until Sunday, July 19th.  More information is available at

Dickinson House News

July 18th & 19th, from 10:00am to 5:0pm, members of the Rideau Township Historical Society and the Manotick Horticultural Society will be on site to conduct tours through the gardens of Dickinson House.  Come and learn what the pioneers had to rely on for medicines and flavourings.

At 2:00 pm on Saturday July 18th, there will be an unveiling of a memorial plaque honouring Coral Lindsay.  She was the inspirational founding curator of the collection at Dickinson House, and fittingly, the special exhibit area will be dedicated to her memory.

While at the House you are invited to visit “Tableware in times Past “, this season’s special exhibition. As always, admission is free, and donations are welcome to help with the upkeep.


If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491.

Mahogany amendment and the new Weaver House owner

I just want to give you a heads up that this column will not appear in the Messenger between August 28th and October 27th.  The reason for this is because we have a two month blackout period prior to Municipal Elections in which no advertising or columns can be printed.  This column will return following the election.

Mahogany Development Phase 1B

Some of you may have noticed signage that has been erected on the site of Minto’s Magohany development.  This sign highlights an amendment that has been filed to alter the plan for Phase 1B. Phase 1A is already registered and under construction.  Originally, the entire first phase was to include 197 units, with a mix of 60 foot lots and 35 foot lots.  The amendment would change some of the 60 foot lots to 47 foot lots and some of the 35 foot lots to 38 foot lots.  Ultimately, this results in an addition of 14 units.  However, the total number of units for the entire development remains at 1400.  More information on this amendment can be found at

Weaver House

I’m hoping to have a brief public meeting prior to the aforementioned blackout period to introduce to the community the new owner of the Weaver House.  Last December, we announced that we have found purchasers for the Ayres Building, the Weaver House and the Clapp property.  Unfortunately, the successful proponent for the Weaver House had to withdraw and this spring, we back out to the market.  While the sale doesn’t officially close until August 18th, I am pleased to report that the Weaver House will now be home to the Peppermint Spa.  The owners of the Peppermint Spa have an exciting rehabilitation plan for the historic building and will be a great addition to Dickinson Square.  By next week, I should have a date for a meeting.

Dickinson House & Manotick Brass Ensemble

On Sunday, August 10th at 2:00pm, the good people at Dickinson House will be hosting a Lawn Social on the grounds of Dickinson Square featuring a concert by the Manotick Brass Ensemble.  There will be ice cream and lemonade, as well as the delightful music of the Brass, of course. While there, you can also take in the newly opened Heritage Furniture exhibit in the House.

As always, admission is free, and donations are welcome. Find out more about Dickinson House on Facebook.

Rural Association Partnership Program

If you are an Ottawa organization operating rural fairs, rural farmers’ markets or rural business organizations such as Chamber of Commerce and Business Improvement Areas, you may be eligible for funding of up to $7,500 through the City of Ottawa’s Rural Association Partnership Program (RAPP).

The second-round of RAPP funding is now available with applications being accepted until Friday, August 22 at 4 pm.

The objectives of the RAPP are:

  • To provide project based funding that supports the main priorities for rural organizations.
  • To contribute to the City’s rural economic health by supporting projects that will assist Ottawa’s rural business organizations, fairs and farmers markets achieve sustainability and capitalize on the proximity to Ottawa’s large urban market.
  • To assist in promoting Ottawa’s rural identity to both residents and tourists.
  • To provide economic benefits to small and medium sized enterprises in Ottawa’s rural communities.
  • Assist rural communities to overcome the business development challenges associated with smaller local population base.
  • To increase the capacity for rural communities to provide a quality visitor experience.

More information, including guidelines and an application form, can be found on the Rural Association Partnership Program webpage.

Prospective RAPP applicants are encouraged to contact the Rural Affairs Office at or 613-580-2424 ext. 28352 to discuss their proposal prior to submitting an application.

Fall & Winter Recreation Activity Registration

The City’s 2014 Fall-Winter Recreation eGuide and Mon Cyberguide francophone des loisirs are now online at Registration for swimming and aquafitness classes begins online and by touchtone phone on Monday, August 11th at 9:00pm, and in person at City recreation facilities on Tuesday, August 12th during regular business hours.

Registration for all other classes begins online and by touchtone phone on Wednesday, August 13th at 9:00pm and in person at City recreation facilities on Thursday, August 14th during regular business hours.

Due to the expected high volume of online registrations throughout the first week of registration, particularly the first evening, residents may experience longer than usual wait times. To make sure the registration process goes smoothly, residents are encouraged to review the list of classes and registration procedures ahead of time, and ensure they have a client barcode and a family PIN (Personal Identification Number), which is required to register.

Residents can now update their recreation account information online as the City continues to enhance its services available through


If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please email me at or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491.