Volume 12 Week 5

Tuesday, Jan. 21


Posted Jan. 10

Posted Jan. 9

Posted Jan. 7


Orléans Ward
Matt Luloff

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney


(Posted 10 a.m., Jan. 9)
2018 was a year of change and new faces
By Fred Sherwin

If 2018 could be summed up in one word it would be “change”. In the year that was, we saw the Progressive Conservatives come to power under their newly elected leader Doug Ford after spending the last 13 years in opposition. The Liberals, meanwhile, were reduced to third party status.

Locally, Orléans MPP Marie France Lalonde was one of only six Liberal members who managed to hold to their seats, while fellow National Capital MPPs Bob Chiarelli and Yasir Naqvi were unable to hold onto theirs and the formerly Liberal held seat in Glengarry-Prescott-Russell was won by PC candidate Amanda Simard.

Fire-fighters stand outside George and Sons Upholstery after a fire broke out in the St. Joseph strip mall on March 31. Fred Sherwin/Photo

Change was also the order of the day during the municipal election in October as seven rookies were elected to Ottawa city council, including Laura Dudas, who replaced Jody Mitic in Innes Ward, and Matt Luloff who took over from outgoing city council veteran Bob Monette.

The local business community also went through monumental change, or at least those which were members of the Orléans Chamber of Commerce did.

Worried about being isolated by efforts to merge the West Ottawa Board of Trade and the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce, Orléans Chamber members voted to join forces with the other two organizations in August.

The year got off to a relatively uneventful start, but it didn’t take long for tragedy to strike when the news was released that former Ottawa-Orléans MPP Royal Galipeau had died after a lengthy battle with myeloma. He was 71.

Five months later, one of Galipeau’s predecessors, Eugène Bellemare, passed away on July 6 at the age of 86. The Liberal MP served in the House of Commons from 1988 to 2014.

Cassandra Boyer with her service dog Hero. In February, the French language school board denied her request to have Hero attend classes with her. Fred Sherwin/Photo

Sticking with February, seeing impaired student Cassandra Boyer, 17, was denied from having her service dog Hero attend classes with her at a local francophone high school. The reason given was that the mild-mannered Labradoodle, which are known for their hypoallergenic qualities, might disturb the other students.

Later the same month, local blind and death athlete and advocate Kevin Frost successfully lobbied Uber to accept ser-vice animals in all their vehicles.

Also in February, the Tartan Pub closed it’s doors after 19 years in business. The traditional British-style pub was a popular neighbourhood eatery and watering hole. Seven months later, Moose McGuire’s opened in the same location.

In March, the Orléans Chamber of Commerce held what would end up being their last Business Excellence Awards Gala. Among the evening’s big winners were Orléans lawyer David Bertschi, who was named Business Leader of the Year, and the Keynote Group which took home top prize as the Business of the Year.

A special Lifetime Achievement Award was also bestowed on former executive director Peter Stewart.

The month of March ended tragically when a fire which started in George and Sons Upholstery on St. Joseph Blvd.destroyed several businesses in the strip mall and forced several others, including the Little Turkish Village restaurant to close indefinitely. It would take four months before the popular family-run restaurant could reopen for business, while S.G. Printing was forced to relocate to the Canotek Business Park.

In April, Queenswood Heights pioneer Helen Tweddle passed away at 78. She was remembered for her many years of community service which included publishing the Newsliner bulletin for more than 40 years, launching the Bookworm used book store in the Cumberland Branch of the Ottawa Library, and volunteering for the local Girl Guides and Brownies as well as with the Queenswood United Church where she and her family were members since the day it opened.

Also in April, Innes Ward Coun. Jody Mitic announced that he would not be seeking re-election for personal reasons. The Afghan War veteran had been dealing with issues of depression and addiction to painkillers for some time. He also admitted to having a problem with alcohol during an interview on CFRA.

City council voted to grant Mitic a paid leave of absence on June 13. He had been absent from City Hall for several weeks and did not return before the fall when Laura Dudas was elected to replace him.

Later the same month, Progressive Conservative leader Doug Ford made a campaign stop at the OCCO Kitchen restaurant on Innes Road in support of local candidate Cameron Montgomery. Ford would go on to lead the Conservatives to a landslide victory over the Liberals, but Montgomery would be unable to unseat local Liberal MPP Marie-France Lalonde.

In May, Black Sheep Development announced plans to build a multi-million dollar, 65,000 sq. ft. sports facility in partnership with the Sports Training Academy at the corner of Trim Road and Brian Coburn Blvd.

Marilyn Lowe and Rev. Margo Whittaker, holding the missing bell's clanger, stand in front of Trinity Anglican Church in Bearbrook after thieves stole the church bell in the middle of the night on May 21. Fred Sherwin/Photo

The month of June began with news that thieves had stolen the cast iron bell from the tower at Trinity Anglican Church in Bearbrook. The only thing left behind was the bell’s clanger and a large depression in the ground where the bell had landed when it was dropped over the edge of the tower. No trace of the bell has turned up since.

While the month of June was highlighted by the provincial election, it was also noteworthy in that veteran east end councillor Bob Monette announced his retirement after serving on city council for 13 years.

On Canada Day, the region was locked in one of the most extreme heat waves in recent memory. With the temperature soaring above 35°C, many residents elected to stay home rather than venture out in the sweltering heat to festivities on Petrie Island and on Parliament Hill.

Later in July, Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo announced plans to move their operation to the former Home Hardware building in Sarsfield sometime in 2019.

In August, Amazon announced plans to build a distribution centre near Carlsbad Springs. Construction of the one million square foot warehouse started soon afterwards. On August 7, area farmers welcomed the first heavy rains in six weeks.

Also in August, a group of residents started a Facebook group called “It’s your city, let’s all help make Orléans safe” in the wake of several reported swarmings which led to a public meeting during which members of the Ottawa Police Service tried to allay their concerns. Two weeks later, three teens were arrested in connection with a local swarming.

On September 27, a series of tornadoes touched down in and around Dunrobin causing extensive damage.

In October, Afghan veteran Matt Luloff emerged from a field of 17 candidates to win the city council seat in Orléans Ward vacated by Bob Monette. At the same time Stephen Blais was re-elected in Cumberland Ward and Laura Dudas was elected to replace Jody Mitic. They were sworn in with the rest of city council on December 1.

Laura Dudas is joined by her family after winning the city council seat in Innes Ward during the municipal election on Oct. 22. File photo

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)


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