The signs that spring IS coming (believe it or not)

Despite the snow this past weekend and the cold last week, there are ongoing signs that spring is, indeed, on the way.

Sledding hills were officially closed March 20th

The City of Ottawa has closed its 56 approved sledding hills for the season due to milder temperatures, which have resulted in unsafe conditions for sledding. The public is urged to keep personal safety in mind and remain off the sledding hills.

Notification of the re-opening of the hills in the winter of 2014-15 will be available on the City’s website at ottawa.ca.

Even with the fresh pile of snow that we received on the weekend, it's best to forego the sledding hills and look to other fun outdoor activities.

Seasonal load restrictions are now in effect

Last Monday (March 24), seasonal load restrictions began. Commercial vehicles or trailers with a gross vehicle weight in excess of five tonnes or 11,000 lbs. per axle are prohibited on roads where restriction signage is posted, and on all truck routes identified as restricted on the Truck Route Maps (Urban Truck Routes and Rural Truck Routes).

These restrictions also apply to all non-truck routes. Heavy vehicles that exceed weight limits on restricted load roadways during the spring thaw period will be subject to fines.

During the spring thaw period, some roads cannot withstand heavy vehicle loads. Every year, the City monitors thaw progression by utilizing the forecast temperature data to calculate the Thaw Index. When the Thaw Index reaches its threshold value, the load restrictions are imposed. Once the pavement strength has been restored, the load restrictions are removed.

For further information, please visit ottawa.ca.

Ice breaking, blasting and thawing

It's always important this time of year to be cautious of ice on local bodies of water. It may look solid, but that can be deceiving. Avoid going out on the ice to be on the safe side.

And since we're on the subject of ice, the City of Ottawa has been doing flood prevention on the Rideau River for over 100 years. The workers get to use some pretty fun looking equipment to prevent ice damming that can create local flooding. Watch this video to see how they blast the ice to prevent flooding of the river each year!

Now let's hope the weather starts to warm up!

Rideau-Goulbourn: winter recreation

If you're looking for some recreational fun in the City of Ottawa this winter, there is an abundance of free/low-cost options for the residents of Rideau-Goulbourn to enjoy both indoors and out!

Community Outdoor Rinks

Outdoor rinks are typically open sometime in December until February 28, 2014. Some sites may extend their season, but this decision may be different from one community to another as it's voluntary. You can find out more about outdoor rink locations and hours of operation by going to the City of Ottawa's outdoor rinks page.

You can check on rink conditions on the Ottawa Rinks site. This site is volunteer built, run and maintained. Users are able to update information on the site about rink conditions in their area.

Public Skating at City Arenas

Fees for public skating sessions range from free access for children 0 - 2 years to $2.50 per individuals 5 years and older or $6.75 per family (maximum 2 adults and their dependants); fees for specialized skating sessions such as shinny/pick-up hockey are $2.50 per child/youth/student or $5.75 for adults/seniors. Public Skating memberships are also available and/or included in the City’s All Inclusive Membership option.

Search for times on Ottawa.ca's public skating page.

Sledding Hills/Tobogganing

There are 56 desginated sledding hills in the City of Ottawa. They are inspected by Staff regularly and information about, location, description, and whether hills are open or closed is posted to the City's Sledding hills page.

Cross-country skiing

The Terry Fox Athletic Facility/Mooney's Bay Ski Centre (2960 Riverside Drive 613-247-4883) features a 5 kilometre loop of trackset and lit trails for classic and skate skiing and offers a ski instruction program. Weather permitting, facility is open from January to early March. The fee to access the trails is $2.65 per day or $33 per season.

The City, through purchase of service arrangements, also supports the grooming of cross country ski trails at Fitzroy Provincial Park, 5201 Canon Smith Drive (West Carleton Nordic Ski Club) and Sheila McKee Park (formerly Riverfront Park), 1730 Sixth Line Road (Kanata Nordic Ski Club). For more information on these trails and access fees, please visit www.wcnordic.com and www.kanataxcski.ca.

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If you have any questions about these or any other City of Ottawa recreational program, please contact 3-1-1 (613-580-2400) or visit the websites listed above.

What's happening in Rideau-Goulbourn in 2013?

2013-Happy-New-Year.jpg

Another year is upon us and I’d like to wish everyone in Rideau-Goulbourn a Happy New Year!  I am looking forward to a very positive, productive 2013 and I’d like to share some of the things we’ll be working on together this year.

Ottawa on the Move

The Ottawa on the Move program, which saw the 2012 resurfacing of Donnelly Drive/Fourth Line Road, as well as the portion of Dwyer Hill Road between Franktown Road and Bleeks Road, will have a large impact on the Goulbourn portion of the ward this year.  In Richmond, Ottawa Street will be resurfaced from McBean Street to Eagleson while at the same time; King Street will be resurfaced from Ottawa Street to the river.  If there are any concerns you’d like to see addressed during this project, please let me know.  In Ashton, Ormrod Road and Ashton Station Road will be resurfaced through the village as will Flewellyn Road, from Ashton Station Road to Munster Road.  In the former West Carleton portion of Rideau-Goulbourn, Rothbourne Road will be resurfaced as well.  Mansfield Road, from Munster Road to Conley Road is on the schedule for 2014.

Goulbourn Area

The planning process for the western development lands in Richmond will move forward with a community meeting on February 13.  This will be the first opportunity for the village to speak with the developer and have a look at the plans.  Another project that enters into a planning and design phase will be the Highway 7 Service Road that will connect Country Club Village to Jinkinson Road to the east.  I look forward to working with the community on both of these projects and making sure the needs of the communities are met.

We’ll also hopefully see some additions to the Richmond Marketplace in 2013, as well as the grand opening of the new Hyde Park apartment building.  I also hope to focus on the Richmond Plaza and see how we can make this once vibrant centre something to be admired once again.

Rideau Area

The biggest project this year in Manotick will be the Van Vliet Extension, slated to begin in April.  The property has been acquired by the City and the house on site will be demolished early this year to make way for the new road construction which will see Van Vliet extended into the existing Bridge Street/Long Island Road intersection.  As part of this project, a sidewalk will be installed on the west side of the road connecting Bridge Street down to the Manotick Curling Club along South River Drive.  Although not confirmed as of yet, we are working on a project to be paired with this one as well.  This project would replace the proposed pedestrian crosswalk with a full set of traffic control signals at the corner of Dickinson Street and Bridge Street.  If it goes forward, this project would include realigning Dickinson Street so that it lines up with Dickinson Circle and would provide safe crossing for pedestrians in all directions.  I’ll have more details on this project as we go forward.

From a village planning perspective, the zoning applications stemming from the 2012 Village Review will come to Committee and Council early this year which will improve the ability for home based businesses in rural villages.  As it was pulled from the Village Review, Manotick will undergo a full Secondary Plan Review in 2013 and I will keep the community informed of the process as soon as possible.  I am looking forward to working with the community on developing a plan that meets the needs of Manotick for today and tomorrow.

In further planning for the future, the Environmental Assessment for the Greenbank Road re-alignment will continue in 2013 and will look at the intersections of Prince of Wales & Bankfield Road as well as First Line Road & Bankfield Road.  Preliminary design work will also be done at First Line & Bankfield on improving the intersection and adding control signals.  These planning projects will definitely help as we deal with future growth, especially since 2013 will see the first of many new Manotick residents moving into the Mahogany development.

The Manotick Mill Quarter Community Development Corporation will hold its first meeting of the 2013 this month.  Following that, we will enter into a Request for Expressions of Interest process which will bring forward interested parties in the properties owned by the City in Dickinson Square.  This process will then lead into the Request for Offers process.  The entire process will likely take the full year and the community will be involved as we move forward.  I will be looking to host at least two open houses to keep the community updated on the process and to gain valuable input prior to any decision making.

City-Wide

From a City-wide perspective, there will be major projects throughout the City including the redevelopment of Lansdowne Park as well as the commencement of LRT construction.  Ottawa on the Move will invest money in road projects across Ottawa including portions of Sussex Drive, Baseline Road, Fallowfield Road, Woodroffe Avenue and Meadowlands Drive, among others.  Greenbank Road will be widened to four lanes in Barrhaven between Malvern and Strandherd Drive.  On the fun side of things, Ottawa will be hosting the 2013 Women’s World Hockey Championships this April at the Scotiabank Place and planning will continue for the 2017 celebrations of Canada’s 150th.

I hope everyone has a fantastic 2013 and I look forward to working with you again this year.

Kanata Chamber of Commerce Business Awards

With Goulbourn being a part of the Kanata Chamber of Commerce, the time of year is now upon us to recognize the best we have to offer in the 2013 People’s Choice Business Awards.  Just go to kanatachamber.com to register and vote for your favourite in a variety of categories.  Local entries include the Richmond Village Association (Community Support/Non-Profit Organization), the Canadian Golf & Country Club, Saunders Farm and the Richmond Fair in the Tourism Business category and Saunders Farm as well in the Large Business category.  In the Small Business category, there is Bayview Windows, Century Roofing & Siding, Jabulani Vineyard & Winery, Kerr Karpentry, Sonya Kinkade Design as well as Sue’s Hair Advantage and Spotlight Hair Studio & Spa, both of whom are also nominated in the Health & Wellness category.  Last, but certainly not least, Rideau-Goulbourn’s very own John Curry is nominated in the Citizen of the Year category.

Citizen of the Year will be selected by a panel but all other categories are open to the voting public.  Keep in mind that all of these great local businesses are up against businesses from Stittsville so get onto www.kanatachamber.com and show your support for Rideau-Goulbourn!

Skating & Tobogganing in the City of Ottawa

The City of Ottawa has opened its 56 approved sledding hills. Outdoors enthusiasts are invited to sled while weather and hill conditions permit, and to keep personal safety in mind while sledding. Approved sledding hill locations, including those in rural Ottawa, are available at ottawa.ca. You can also join in the outdoor winter fun at one of the City of Ottawa’s 247 outdoor rinks!  Check the online map for the rink nearest you, including several in rural Ottawa.

Goulbourn Museum PA Day Event

Did you know there’s a Goulbourn in Australia? Come ‘down under’ for the day and join the Goulbourn Museum as they explore the Australian outback. Come dressed in your best safari outback attire and discover Australia’s indigenous animals with a visit from Little Ray’s Reptiles. Kids will also learn the traditional art of dot painting and make their very own boomerangs. The fun takes place on Friday, January 18th from 1-4:30 pm on the first PA Day of the New Year and is open to children ages 7-10 years (Grades 2-5). Space is limited and children must be pre-registered to guarantee a spot. Cost is $25 per child. Snacks will be provided. To register, please contact the Goulbourn Museum at 613-831-2393 or by email at education@goulbournmuseum.ca .

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

City’s approved sledding hills closed

The City of Ottawa has temporarily closed its 55 approved sledding hills due to the mild weather conditions and lack of snow, which have resulted in unsafe conditions for sledding. The City of Ottawa urges the public to keep personal safety in mind and to remain off the sledding hills until further notice. The hills will reopen once we receive some new snow and only after hill conditions are deemed safe.

Notification of the re-opening of the hills will be available on the City’s website at ottawa.ca.

Seasonal openings and closures at City of Ottawa parks

The City of Ottawa has reopened its 55 approved sledding hills. The hills had been closed due to a lack of snow and ice conditions. The hills now have enough snow to allow for safe sledding. Outdoors enthusiasts are invited to sled while weather and hill conditions permit, and to keep personal safety in mind while sledding.

Approved sledding hill locations and safety tips are available on the City’s website at ottawa.ca.

Outdoor rinks

The City of Ottawa is closing most of its outdoor skating rinks due to the fluctuations in temperature that make ice skating conditions unsafe and are detrimental to the maintenance of surfaces. The City and the numerous volunteers responsible for the maintenance of the skating surfaces urge residents to avoid using the outdoor rinks.

For a list of rinks which remain open, please contact the Seasonal Recreation office at 613-580-2590 or visit ottawarinkconditions.ca

The refrigerated ice surface at the Rink of Dreams will remain open throughout March until the daily high temperature reaches 10oC. Check ottawa.ca/rinkofdreams for daily updates.

The refrigerated ice surface at Ben Franklin Place remains open until March 9.

City’s approved sledding hills closed

The City of Ottawa has temporarily closed its 55 approved sledding hills due to the changing weather, which has resulted in unsafe conditions for sledding. The City of Ottawa urges the public to keep personal safety in mind and remain off the sledding hills until further notice. The hills will reopen once we receive a significant snowfall and only after hill conditions are deemed safe.

Notification of the re-opening of the hills will be available on the City’s website at ottawa.ca.