Tillbury Park’s new Play Structure is Open!

19 10 2020

After many months the new play structure is open and from all accounts the kids are loving it.

MPCA’s thanks to Renee Proteau, planner, City of Ottawa Parks, Jeff Leiper for contributing some funds when the structure was in danger of having to be revised as it was over budget and Amy Richardson who liaised with everyone to get a structure the community would be happy with.

Police share tips to deter vehicle thefts

1 10 2020

Public Advisory release from Ottawa Police Services:

Reminder: Important tips to protect your vehicle from car thieves

(Ottawa) –The Ottawa Police reminds the community that the risk of thefts, and repeat thefts, of high-end Lexus and Toyota vehicles in Ottawa is still very present, particularly with larger SUVs, RX350, 4 Runner and Highlander. There have been 11 luxury vehicle thefts in the past week.

We remind car owners of the following tips to protect their vehicle:

  • Make your vehicle less vulnerable to theft by parking it in a locked garage and or by blocking it in tightly with a second vehicle. Exterior lighting and video surveillance around the driveway can also serve as a deterrent.
  • Consider installing an after marker electronic immobilizer devices which can interfere with the starting of the vehicle.
  • Be vigilant that there is no damage to the door locks mechanisms as this could be an indicator that your car has been targeted.
  • Consider protecting your vehicle with devices such as car alarms or steering wheel locking devices such as “The Club”.
  • GPS tracking devices have become increasingly popular. Some even allow the vehicle owner to electronically “fence-in” their vehicle whereby an alarm cue would occur if the vehicle were to leave the fenced-in area without authorization.
  • Locks to restrict access to the on-board diagnostic plug exist and when applied can impede a thief from re-programming a key.
  • If you are selling your vehicle, be wary not to let anyone have access to your car keys and do not let your vehicle out of your sight. This prevents a thief from copying your key during a “test drive” so they can return to steal it.
  • Finally, good old fashioned neighbourhood watch is a great deterrent. Be vigilant and call 911 to report any suspicious vehicles in your neighbourhood.  Most thefts occur between midnight and 5am in the morning.

Investigators have not yet seen the use of signal amplifiers in Ottawa. In the event that this technology makes its way to Ottawa, a simple line of defense is to consider keeping any vehicle with a proximity key fob inside a radio frequency shield device (RFS device).  This will prevent the key fob’s signal from being amplified to the vehicle from inside the house protecting it from being driven away.

More safety tips are available online.

Important: McKellar Park Needs to Let our Councillor and Others Know What They Think About Ward Boundary Changes.

21 09 2020

The City of Ottawa is currently in the middle of a consultation exercise that may change the size and shape of City Wards, including Kitchissippi.

First, Some Background

Ottawa City Council is made up of a Mayor (currently Jim Watson) and 23 Councillors, each elected in a particular Ward.

Our current Councillor is Jeff Leiper, and the McKellar Park community is part of Kitchissippi Ward.

Every few years the boundaries of our City wards are examined to see if they are still right, in terms of population, economic development, and so on.

The last Ward Boundary changes were in 2005, and lots of things have changed since then.

A few months ago, the City hired a group of consultants to review Ward boundaries and recommend changes. The changes would go into effect for the 2022 municipal election, and for the 2026 and 2030 elections, and maybe for the 2034 election.

The consultants reported back with 6 options. The sixth option is the most likely to be adopted by Council later this year, but it is not yet set in stone.

It adds one Ward (so there will be 24) and changes the boundaries for many of the current Wards.

In particular, McKellar Park Community would be split off from Kitchissippi and attached to the Ward to our West.

What’s At Stake

We provided a bit of background on the Ward Boundary changes a few days ago, on our website.

Some may think these changes are a good idea, some may not, but the final report from the consultants to Council will be heavily influenced by what people in the community think, so if you have a preference please let them know.

Your Community Association, after some thought, is of the opinion that we should stay in Kitchissippi Ward. All of the other Community Associations in Kitchissippi think so too and have already let Councillor Leiper know.

Most people in our community think of themselves as living in a community on the edge of, but not quite, downtown. Most of us have strong ties to Westboro Village and we shop along Wellington and in Hintonburg. We use Dovercourt Community Centre.

All of these would be in a different Ward.

The Ward to the west of us is a suburban Ward. Our community would be on the eastern edge of it and represented by a Councillor who is focussed on suburban issues.

We have not heard from anyone who thinks that is a good idea, or that it will make our lives any better.

Let Them Know What You Think – It’s Important

If you think McKellar Park would be better off in Kitchissippi, you will need to let the consultants know, so they can make changes to their recommendations before they are sent back to Council for a decision later this year. And time is short.

There are two ways to make your views known to the consultants. You can do both.

One is by filling out a brief survey to be found at the following link:  Ottawa Ward Boundary Review 2020

This online survey will be available until next Friday, September 25. Please go to it and make your views know.

The other is to participate in any of the remaining virtual online public consultation sessions, the last of which is Wednesday, September 23, at the above link.

Please consider going online and taking part. Remember this will only be available for a few days.

Don’t be afraid to let them know what you think. The options are complex, with lots of population projections, but what they will be looking for from you is something much simpler – what Ward do you thing you should be in as we go through one of the most important decades in our history, with change and population growth everywhere.

You should also let your Councillor, Jeff Leiper know. He will be sending a report to the consultants on what his constituents think and will be reporting to Council as well.

He can be reached at Jeff.Leiper@ottawa.ca

Send a copy to the Mayor at Jim.Watson@ottawa.ca

Ward boundary review needs your input now

15 09 2020

Important Reminder

Zoom meetings regarding ward boundaries are scheduled until September 23rd. Option 6 of the review, which seems to be the preferred option, would have the western part of Kitchissippi ward — including all of McKellar Park and parts of Westboro — moved to Bay Ward. If you prefer we stay in Kitchissippi please let councillor Jeff Leiper and the Mayor know. If they get no feedback from residents they will assume that residents of Kitchissippi are ok with it being moved to Bay Ward. Alternatively if you think we should be in Bay Ward, they would want to know that too.
This is a time when your input may help to sway opinions at City Hall.

Ottawa Ward Boundary Review

29 08 2020

A Bit of Background

City Council, which governs the City of Ottawa, is made up of 23 Councillors and 1 Mayor. Every 4 years, the Mayor is elected by all voters in Ottawa, and each Councillor is elected by the voters in his/her Ward.

Every few years, the boundaries of those Wards are up for a fresh look to make sure that everybody in the City is well represented.

The last time this happened was in 2005. Clearly a lot of things have changed since then. Population has changed, new issues have arisen, neighbourhoods and communities have changed. Some parts of the City have grown faster than others.

The new boundaries are meant to ensure that everybody gets “effective representation”, and they will be in place for the 2022 municipal election, and also for the 2026, 2030, and maybe for the 2034 election. This means that the new boundaries will have to take into account where we think neighbourhoods and communities will be possibly as far ahead as 2034.

Note that these boundaries will have no effect on Federal or Provincial constituency boundaries (MPs and MPPs), which are adjusted from time to time as well, but through an entirely different process. And they will have no effect on school district boundaries, (school board trustees) which are adjusted from time to time as well, but, again, through a different process.

People in McKellar Park are currently part of Kitchissippi Ward, and we are currently represented by Councillor Jeff Leiper.

How Does the Ward Boundary Review Work?

In 2019, the City of Ottawa hired a team of consultants to look at the Ward boundaries as of 2020, and how they may need to be adjusted to ensure effective representation, both now and up to 2034.

The consultants held a round of consultations, examined population and other projections for the City, and produced an Options Report in July which outlined 5 proposals for new Wards. Later, under Council’s direction, they produced a sixth proposal.

So, there are now 6 options before Council and voters, and these will be examined in some detail in a round of consultations over the next few weeks.

After these consultations are finished, a final report will be prepared for Council by the end of 2020. Council will then make the final decision on the new ward boundaries. While not required to accept all the recommendations, council will clearly be heavily affected by the report they receive later this year.

Once they are approved by Council, the new ward boundaries will be in place for the 2022 municipal election.

What Is the Ward Boundary Review Looking At?

The point of the exercise is to ensure that everybody in Ottawa gets “effective representation”.

What does that mean?

The City of Ottawa website puts it this way:

Generally speaking, “effective representation” means that one person’s vote should be of similar weight to another person’s vote. When applied to wards, the term suggests that wards should be of similar population size. In practice, achieving effective representation for ward boundary reviews involves balancing several components:  

Voter Parity

Ward populations should be similar but not identical and should be in the range of +/-10 per cent to +/-15 per cent of the average ward population. Larger percentage variations are possible, but only in exceptional circumstances such as in Ottawa’s functioning rural community.

Natural/Physical Boundaries

Ward boundaries have to be recognizable. Natural boundaries such as rivers and the Greenbelt, and physical boundaries such as highways, railways and arterial roads make good boundaries.  

Geographic Communities of Interest

Ottawa’s neighbourhoods such as the Glebe or Westboro Village and commercial areas such as the ByWard Market or the Carp Business Improvement Area are considered to be “communities of interest.” When re-aligning ward boundaries, geographically contiguous communities of interest should not be divided, unless they are so large that they must be split to achieve voter parity.

Minority Interests

Minority interests should be considered if they are geographically based.

Ward History

Ward design should, where possible, consider the history of the ward. However, ward history by itself cannot override other major criteria such as voter parity, strong natural/physical boundaries, and communities of interest.

Capacity to Represent

Capacity to represent is often equated with Councillors’ workload. It includes matters such as ward size, types and complexity of issues, ongoing growth and development, etc. and has to be taken into consideration when designing wards.  

Geographic Size and Shape of a Ward

All wards cannot be the same geographic size. Some areas of the city are more densely populated than others and some wards have more open space. Ottawa is especially unique with respect to this component of effective representation because of its large rural area.

Population Growth

The results of the Ottawa Ward Boundary Review 2020 are meant to last for at least three municipal elections (2022, 2026 and 2030) and, perhaps, a fourth municipal election in 2034. The target election for an evaluation of effective representation will be 2026. This allows for Ottawa’s expected growth to be factored into ward boundary calculations.

Balancing the Components of Effective Representation

While all components of effective representation must be taken into consideration, they are not all equal. Voter parity, respecting communities of interest, and well-defined, coherent ward boundaries are the most important components.

What Did the Options Report Come Up With?

Option 1

  • 25-wards
  • 13 urban wards, 9 suburban wards, and 3 rural wards, which would be the addition of two suburban wards, and one core urban ward, and removing one rural ward.

Option 2

  • 24-wards
  • 12 urban wards, 9 suburban wards and 3 rural wards, which would be the addition of 2 suburban wards and the removal of one rural ward.

Option 3

  • 23-wards
  • adds two wards to the suburbs, removes one rural ward, and removes one ward from inside the Greenbelt. It significantly adjusts ward boundaries in the urban area.

Option 4

  • 23 wards
  • 11 urban wards, nine suburban wards and three rural wards. Like option three, it removes one urban ward, one rural ward, and adds two suburban wards.

Option 5

  • 17 wards.
  • nine urban wards, six suburban wards and two rural wards.

Option 6

  • 24 wards
  • adds two more suburban wards while removing one rural ward

What Does All This Mean for Kitchissippi Ward? What Does It Mean for McKellar Park?

Ward Boundary Reviews are inherently complicated, since they deal with neighbourhood boundaries, population projections, balancing the interests of urban, suburban, and rural voters. All of the 6 options are compromises, and none of them do all of the things on the list of “effective representation” perfectly.

It would be easy to fall into the rabbit hole and not come out. Nevertheless, there are some clear effects both on Kitchissippi and McKellar Park.

Councillor Leiper has said that he has three key priorities:

First and foremost, I want coherent communities to stay together. Several of the scenarios for Kitchissippi would split Hintonburg in two, or split Mechanicsville from Hintonburg, which I don’t believe would be healthy. I feel strongly that the same person should represent both of those communities in their entirety. A sixth option would see McKellar Park have a different councillor from Westboro.

I also want to ensure that the “downtown” voice isn’t diminished.

Something I’m feeling very keenly right now is the need to ensure that the ward doesn’t grow so big as to become unwieldy for the next councillor.

For McKellar Park, only the 6th option would see McKellar Park split off from Kitchissippi, and in a different ward from Westboro; it would see McKellar Park, Carlingwood, Woodroffe North and Wood Park, adjoining communities which are broadly similar to McKellar Park, in the same ward. Some may see these changes as positive, some may not.

Should I Get Involved?

The answer is almost certainly yes. The quality of our representation will be heavily affected by the outcome of these new Ward boundary decisions.

Population size will clearly have a big impact on the Councillor’s ability to respond to your needs.

As well, you should decide for yourself if the new boundaries in each of these proposals puts you in a ward where the Councillor’s priorities are likely to be the same as yours.

Finally, do the boundaries, in a general sense, seem like a balanced approach to the fact that Ottawa has urban areas, suburban areas and rural areas? Will the Council be more able to work together and plan for the future, or less?

Look at what makes up “effective representation” in the list above. Do these proposals make the grade? Do some do a better job than others?

All of these issues will have an impact on your future, and on the future of our community.

How Do I Get Involved?

Start by going to the following website:


From this site you can do a survey, find out about times and locations for virtual meetings, and look at maps, population projections, and detailed description of all the 6 options.

Let your Councillor, Jeff Leiper, know what you think about the options, which you prefer, and why. If you think some can be improved, don’t hesitate to say so. None of these proposals are set in stone – yet.

Don’t forget to include the Mayor in your communications.

Contact information for the Mayor and Councillors can be found at www.ottawa.ca

Councillor Leiper’s website is at http://www.kitchissippiward.ca/

And keep us informed about your views as well.

Closure of Byron between Golden and Redwood

14 08 2020
Over the summer many of us have enjoyed the closure of Byron between Golden and Redwood to through vehicle traffic. Neighbours there have taken the initiative to gather support to extend this closure beyond COVID-19 times. We have heard from others in the neighbourhood who feel the additional traffic has gone onto other local streets and they have expressed concerns regarding traffic volume and kids walking to school along Dovercourt for example. Others wonder how they will get to the kiss and ride on Byron at Sherbourne once the station is opened, if Byron is closed to all but local traffic.
If you have views or concerns either for or against the closing of Byron to through traffic, please take the time to let your Councillor know, and copy the MPCA.

Tillbury Park Alert – Volunteers needed

11 08 2020

If you’ve been by Tillbury Park recently you’ll have seen that the City has been hard at it building the new play structure. It should be finished soon.

With that in mind, it’s time for us to help make the park a friendly place to hang out in by picked up the garbage people have left there over the past year. We’re hoping you can spare a little time on Saturday morning, rain date Sunday, to help out. Please bring gloves. I’ll have some disposables available. Masks are not mandatory because we will be outside and more that 2 metres apart. It’s probably not a good idea to have small children participating.

I’m hoping we get a good turn out so we can finish in an hour or so. If it isn’t finished, there are no plans to try and have another day.

Hope to see you on Saturday @9 AM.

Virtual Trivia Fundraiser for Queensway Carleton Hospital

11 08 2020

Tuesday, August 25 at 7PM
Questions for the Q – Virtual Trivia Fundraiser
Tickets are $20. Door prizes, etc.

McKellar Park Golf Club featured at Kitchissippi Museum

9 07 2020

Dave Allston’s blog, The Kitchissippi Museum, is currently featuring a five-part series on the  historic golf course from which fully half of today’s McKellar Park neighbourhood was formed.

(Our “Resources” page now links to Dave’s blog, and the recent Walking Tour has been updated to note these posts among its golf course-related references.)

The Hintonburg Community Association invites you to take part in the I Spy Hintonburg Event.

8 07 2020