Tag Archives: Ottawa

What a Week (but Standing Strong)

It’s Friday – does anyone else feel totally exhausted today? Not your normal Friday afternoon exhausted, but emotionally exhausted.

This week has been a tough one for our beautiful city, and for the family and friends of those affected by the shooting. I cried for Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, as I also cried for the outpouring of love and strength that resulted from this tragic event.

Today our city honoured Cpl. Cirillo in a moving ceremony, as the Ceremonial Guard is reinstated at the National War Memorial. Although I wasn’t there, the support I witnessed through video and photos makes me exceedingly proud of our city and our country.

My children are too young to know what happened here this week. When they are old enough to understand, I hope they will listen to the stories about October 22nd.  And I hope they will feel a deep sense of respect for the people who have lost their lives in the battle against senseless violence.

Canada Strong and Free

Photo credit: Deborah Laplante

I hope Ottawans continue to tell their stories – continue to post pictures and words – for many years to come. As with all the wars in which we have fought, the honouring of lives lost may one day help to foster peace for the future.

Lest we forget

What does your community need?

Have you seen the #CBCStreetTalk team in your neighbourhood? Our local CBC Ottawa team has been busy visiting city wards to speak with residents about local issues (because unless you have your head buried in the sand, you’ll know that we have upcoming municipal elections on October 27th!)

ward 1

The question they’re asking is: What would make your neighbourhood a better place to live?

This got me thinking about ways I would like to improve my own neighbourhood. Choosing where to live in a city is a tough decision – many middle class families can’t afford the trendy and vibrant areas like Westboro, Hintonburg and the Glebe. And although I sometimes yearn to be closer to downtown, I do appreciate the big property and quiet that comes with suburban living.

But I want to have my cake and eat it too! How come I can’t live in a trendy suburban neighbourhood? Most of us in the older part of Orleans are within walking distance to St. Joseph – but the walkability of our ward is dismal. Who wants to walk around places when you could break your ankle on a broken sidewalk or get run over by a speeding car?

Those complaints aside, I love my neighbourhood and I can’t wait to see it flourish! So here’s my wish list for Orleans, Ward 1:

  •  A great local coffee shop within walking distance (bonus points if the coffee shop has a playroom for kiddies!)
  • A redesigned “Main Street” (St. Joseph) – making it pedestrian and cyclist friendly
  • More healthy, fabulous restaurants using local ingredients
  • A revival of the Ottawa Farmer’s Market, which seems to be dying a slow death in Orleans
  • Ottawa River Action Plan for the health of our river and Petrie Island!
  • More attention paid to the trail system in Queenswood Heights – the bridges which are being replaced have been chained off for over a year now. There was also a major landslide down there, and I’d love to hear how this will be cleaned up and future stability managed.
  • Future LRT (check out this fascinating idea about demolishing the Queensway!)
  • Promotion of cycling to downtown – I discovered this past year it only takes me 1 hour and 15 minutes to bike to work (if that seems crazy to you, it’s also possible to bike partway and bus partway). We need more education around safe cycling, and campaigns to get more people on their bikes!

So tell me, how would you make your neighbourhood a better place to live?

Science FunFest “Rocks”! (…and minerals, and maps, and insects…)

The Canada Science and Technology Museum is closed for repairs, but your kids can still get their science “fix” at Science Funfest.

Held annually as part of National Science and Technology Week in October, this FREE event features more than 70 interactive activities for your budding young Einstein, with hands on experiences in energy, forestry, mining, geology, mapping, astronomy and agriculture.

Science FunFest

As Funfest veterans, my kids (ages 4 and 8) recommend:

• Bringing in your favourite rocks and fossils for identification
• Mining chocolate chip “ore” from a cookie “mine” (HINT: choose your tools wisely and clean up the mine site for biggest profits!)
• Creating colourful spin art using solar energy
• Seeing glaciers shrink over time in satellite pictures from space
• Getting up close and personal with snakes, bugs, and spiders – (parents may be interested in meeting the Emerald Ash Borer; the invasive insect ravaging Ottawa’s ash trees)
• Jumping up and down to make an earthquake that can be measured by a seismometer
• Spinning the wheel for a skill-testing question in the food safety quiz (…how safe is the food in your lunch box by noon?)
• Trying your hand – and eyes! – at land surveying and star-gazing
• Starting a chemical reaction to make custom-coloured slime to take home

There are plenty of free giveaways at Science Funfest, so make sure you pick up a complementary “swag bag”. Balloons, face-painting, and Natural Resources Canada’s huge green mascot “NRCat” make it fun for even the littlest ones!

Science Funfest takes place rain or shine on Sunday, October 19 from 11am-4pm at Natural Resources Canada’s Booth Street Complex (on the corner of Booth Street and Carling Avenue across from Dow’s Lake). Dress warmly as some activities are outdoors in tents. Parking is free, and there are a few concessions on site.

Have you been to Science Funfest? What’s your favourite activity? Let me know in the comments.

Wendy is a freelance copywriter in Ottawa and a totally unbiased employee of the Earth Sciences Sector at Natural Resources Canada.