My Main Point
Miss Vicky's got a lot on her mind - so much she just needs to share it. You'll find assorted political observations, personal reflections and the occasional tidbit of gossip here. These are offhand remarks, after all!
Well haven't I been negligent lately. So much going on! Time for a long overdue post on the business comings and goings in the 'hood, and then we'll try to catch up on other happenings in other posts.
And I'll do one. I promise. But right now I do need to share a little news. Longtime readers will recall the efforts that Miss Vicky and other community volunteers made to keep the Hintonburg LCBO from closing. For those new to the area, it was located where the CAA has its storefront now and was closed in order to clear the way for the big box that is beside the Superstore on Richmond. We fought the decision, arguing there was plenty of business to support both stores and that keeping the Hintonburg LCBO open would help support our walkable community. But we were unsuccessful.
Lately I have been hearing rumours about a new LCBO opening in the former location of Carpet Sense. I figured they were just wishful thinking (particularly since there is a big For Lease sign still in the window).
But I decided to poke around today (mostly because I have been hearing other rumours about a distillery opening so I wanted to see if I could substantiate anything), and check out what I found on the LCBO website:
Hintonburg - Store 645 [NEW]
981 Wellington St. W.,K1Y 2Y1
Well, well. Welcome back.
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So for the last few months a group of parents and community reps have been trying to figure out what to do about the overcrowding at the two schools providing french immersion to the Dalhousie, Hintonburg, Civic Hospital, Mechanicsville, Champlain Park and Wellington Village communities. The Near West Accommodation Review Working Group was struck by the OCDSB; they're tasked with coming up with a recommendation for trustees to debate in the fall, for implementation in September 2014.
It has not been an easy process.
The reality is we have two schools bursting at the seams, and other schools that are being underutilized. But there's no easy, one-size-fits all solution, and parts of many of the possibilities on the table are really unappealing to certain groups of families, for different reasons.
I'm not going to get into those tonight. But I do want to let you know that there is a public meeting on the Near West Accommodation Review this Thursday, June 20, from 7:00 - 9:00 pm in the Auditorium of Nepean High School.
There are a lot of parents out there who don't think this decision is going to affect them. But they just might be wrong. The reality is that significant numbers from each of Devonshire and Elmdale Schools need to be moved to another location. Establishing new programs in some schools might mean existing programs have to move elsewhere. This could mean English programs at Connaught, grade 7-8 programs at Fisher Park, MFI at Hilson, Summit Alternative.... or none of them. There's a lot up in the air, so if you've got kids in public school in the area, or you've got younger kids and want to help shape elementary education in your neighbourhood, then this is a meeting you need to attend.
Child care will be available. I think there will be breakouts so it will be a good chance to engage. See you Thursday.
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We're gearing up for summer at the Finishing School. That means that weekends are a frenzy of activity with no possibility of making all of the fabulous community events. But we sure try!
Here are a few things happening this weekend:
Saturday, June 15
Devonshire School is holding its first (and hopefully annual) Community Yard Sale and Carnival, at its location on Breezehill. Check out what your neighbours are looking to purge and score some great deals while the kids enjoy games and a BBQ. The yard sale and bake sale start at 9:00 and the games and BBQ will start at 10:00. The event runs until 1pm, leaving plenty of time for some of the other awesome neighbourhood activities!
It turns out that Mrs. Tiggywinkles and Lost Marbles have a warehouse right across from Devonshire, and they will be opening it up on Saturday to clear out some of their excess stock. They promise HUGE DISCOUNTS (yes, in capital letters). Sale begins at 8am and runs until 2pm at 75 Breezehill Avenue North.
The Mechanicsville community, which has been really getting organized and active this year, is hosting Mechanicsville Day at Laroche Park, from noon until 4pm. There will be music, a bouncy slide, a BBQ and bake sale. Somerset West CHC will host a Good Food Market and there will be info tables from Parkdale Food Centre and some of our other amazing local social service organizations.
On Saturday Evening, the annual Hintonburg Family Movie Festival resumes its showings. The indoor kid-oriented movie is Wreck-it Ralph and starts at 7pm in the Hintonburg Community Centre. The evening fare is Lean on Me and starts at 9. Snacks will be available for purchase but the flicks are free.
A hop, skip and jump across the train tracks from these events, you'll find a ton of activity in Little Italy. Italian Festival is always super busy and fun, but I wanted to highlight 2 activities this weekend.
On Saturday, the Preston Farmer's Market opens. We love this market - especially the amazing Farmer's Breakfast, where you buy a plate and then get a bit of something from several stalls. The market is open Saturdays from 9am to 2pm, in the parking lot of Il Postino at the corner of Preston and Louisa. Stalls include fresh produce, meats, hand-roasted coffee, baked yumminess, handicrafts, artisanal furniture, and jewellery. They also feature live music each week, so it's a great family outing as well as a place to shop.
On Sunday, there's a Family Bike Parade down Preston Avenue. Cyclists of all ages and abilities are invited to take part. The starting point will be on Young Street near the bike path. Bike Decorating starts at 9:30 and the parade down Preston St. and the new O-Train bike path starts at 10:30am sharp.
I am sure there are other things happening this weekend, so feel free to add events in the comments section!
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Now that the weather FINALLY seems to be getting nicer, the residents of the Finishing School are looking to spend as much time outside as possible.
This Saturday offers a number of opportunities to get out and about in the 'hood.
The Annual HCA-WWBIA Spring Clean-up the Capital takes place in the morning (registration is between 8:30 and 9:30am at the Hintonburg Community Centre). Once you register, you'll head out to one of the neighbourhood parks to rake, de-litter and generally make the space safe and tidy for the season. Garbage bags and leaf bags are provided; it's always a good idea to bring your own gloves, rakes and anything else you think might be useful (one family brought tongs for cigarette butt pickup one year - brilliant). Cyclelogik Coffee will be provided and volunteers will be provided a BBQ lunch, courtesy of our pals at the Hintonburger.
And once you're done the cleanup you can wander to the Hintonburg Fabric Flea Market at the Hintonburg Community Centre (10am to 2pm) or the Grace Manor Spring Craft and Bake Sale (10am to 3pm, corner of Parkdale and Wellington)
In the afternoon, SLOWest is hosting their Spring Gathering in McCormick Park (the one by the RBC). The party will launch RightBike's second season, and there will be kids activities, bike repair demos, and games.
Whew! I'm pooped and sunburned already!
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The city is reviewing its key policies on land use, transportation and infrastructure - the Official Plan, Transportation Master Plan, Infrastructure Master Plan, Cycling Plan and the Pedestrian Plan. Their goal, they say, is to make "Ottawa a more vibrant, healthy and sustainable city".
It's a big process, with not a lot of opportunities for public input. There was an info session in January and a consultation a couple of weeks ago (which, sadly, Miss Vicky was unable to attend). But there is some good info online and there's a
You might recall the debate about Tega's proposal to build 36 stories beside the Carleton Tavern, on Parkdale. Well, they don't want 36 stories anymore. They want 18.
Miss Vicky's inbox today contained an invite from Councillor Hobbs to an open house on the proposed development on Thursday, February 28th, from 7-9 PM at Orange Gallery, 233 Armstrong Street.
All of the details about their proposal are available here.
The HCA is looking for folks to attend and share their views on this development. Zoning on the site calls for a maximum of 8 stories, and this limit was developed as part of the recently-approved Community Design Plan. If the CDP is going to have any meaning whatsoever, the proposal needs to be rejected. But if that's going to happen, we need to make our voices heard.
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