Karen Gordon receives 2021 Ward 9 Volunteer Award

This week, Fisher Heights resident Karen Gordon received a Ward 9 volunteer award from councillor Egli. The award ceremony took place at the Free Methodist Church in Arlington Woods, which was hit by a tornado 2 years ago. Their brand new multi functional room, which can even be used as a basketball court, was partly built with wood from trees that were felled by the storm, according to councillor Egli, who remembered the community spirit after the Tornado hit.

Ms. Gordon received her award after Fisher Heights resident Mary-Martha Hale suggested the Fisher Heights resident to the ward councillor for organising Monday evening yoga for many years, delivering the Fisher Heights & Area Community Association’s newsletter and helping in cleaning up the park.

At the award ceremony, Ms. Gordon told us that she has recently become a birder too, and feeds her bird sightings into an app called e-bird. Just last week she spotted a Red Eyed Verio in Fisher Heights, which had never been spotted in Ottawa so late in the year. (Ms. Gordon fears it maybe too weak to leave the Nation’s Capital in time for warmer spots).

In other years, there are snacks and drinks for everyone, but the councillor’s office decided this year to forgo the catering. Instead, Frank’s catering made lovely baskets full of goodies, including his world-famous-in-Ward-9 buttertarts.

The volunteers also received a piece of handmade pottery from local artist Feat in Clay Carol Badenoch. All her creations are lead-free and safe for oven, microwave and dishwasher.

Fun fact: did you know that the church in Arlington Woods in our ward on McCLellan Rd is just as far from our community centre in Fisher Heights as the Canadian Museum of Nature in downtown Ottawa or the Royal Ottawa Golf Club in Gatineau? It is a biiiiiiig ward.

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Long Park Tennis Club has excellent year

Tennis is dear to his heart

Membership and interest were up significantly this year at Long Park Tennis Club. Whether it was due to COVID-19 or the magic generated by some of our young Canadian stars at the U.S. Open is anyone’s guess.

The club was able to put stringent  COVID-19 protocols in place and open in June, but neither the late start nor the protocols dampened community enthusiasm for the sport. 

Pro Jeff Sadrian was on hand for his second year to give lessons and help members from age 3 to 65 to tune up their game. He will return to the club next season.

The club will reopen for the 2022 season in April. It is located near the corner of Meadowlands and Deer Park Road (1170 Deer Park Road). Anyone wishing to be notified for next season’s news and opening dates, please email cclarke002@sympatico.ca.

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Gilbey, Parthia parks to get early upgrade

Enjoy the freshly cut grass at Gilbey Park from the comfort of a park bench

The play structures in two neighbourhood parks will be replaced earlier than otherwise scheduled thanks to a federal infrastructure grant announced in the spring of 2021. 

According to Dan Chenier (Dan.Chenier@ottawa.ca), the city’s general manager, Recreation, Cultural and Facility Services: Work in Gilbey Park is valued at $161,000 and includes replacement of the junior and senior play structures and play equipment, and an accessible pathway.  This is scheduled for 2023.   Very similar work in Parthia Park is valued at $160,000 to replace the junior play structure, and an accessible pathway.  This is scheduled for 2024.   

Chenier said this funding was received as a result of a 2019 application.  The parks were selected “based on bundling top-priority parks from every ward” – namely, where the parks ranked in the city’s “lifecycle replacement program” to renew aging play structures. This grant “only applies to renewing the active play elements in the park.” Funding and projects are spread over four years, from 2021 to 2024.

The top priority of your association board for play-structure updating has been Fisher Heights Park, which has been showing its age for some years. Your board has understood that this park is at the top of the replacement program priorities and presumably it was not selected for the federal grants because the city already plans to update it before or in 2023. But that could not be confirmed before deadline.

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Road reconstruction nears end, on schedule

Nothing beats the fresh smell of a new layer of asphalt!

The major reconstruction this year of several streets in the community is on schedule and has faced no unforeseen issues, writes the city’s supervising engineer, Kevin Gibbs (Kevin.Gibbs@ottawa.ca). “The project is currently on track to meet the project timelines,” he writes. “We do not anticipate any major unforeseen problems at this time.”

The work involved replacing 50-plus-year-old trunk sewers (sanitary and storm) and watermains along parts of Hilliard, Farlane and Wallford Way. The project began last year, with similar work occurring on parts of Deer Park, Millbrook and Hilliard.

The last phase of the 2020 work, the final paving of the three streets, was recently completed, and landscaping on those streets was completed earlier this summer.

“The bulk of the remaining underground and road work will be completed this fall, including any remaining concrete sidewalk work, with construction operations winding down after the end of November 2021.”

The rebuilt 2021 streets will receive an initial paving this fall, but the final asphalt, and landscaping, will be carried out in 2022. “Those activities are expected to resume in May and wrap up in June, based on the contractor’s current schedule, although some work could extend until the end of July. These construction operations are generally of shorter duration and less disruptive than the underground construction work was this year.”

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FHACA looking for new building manager

Who doesn’t want to manage this gorgeous building with an inverted roof?

After years of stellar and dedicated service, Mary Beth Pion is retiring as the rentals manager for Fisher Heights Community Place, and we need to replace her. (It won’t be easy!!)

The duties involve addressing queries and rental requests sent to the e-mail account, touring the building with first-time renters only, completing the rental contract face-to-face, maintaining the building rental calendar on the association website, and completing a monthly rental summary sheet.

The job does NOT involve ANY elements related to maintaining the building, such as cleaning, repairs and the like.

An honorarium of $250 a month is paid. This is VERY part-time work, and is suitable for someone with a flexible schedule who enjoys people and would like to contribute to their community. There are no keys involved in this job – the building operates entirely by digital passcodes, which you assign on the contract.

Please e-mail FHACA.BuildingRentals@gmail.com to apply or for more information.

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Many sponsored clubs resume activities

Several of the association’s sponsored clubs have resumed meeting at Fisher Heights Community Place. In each case, abiding by city and provincial rules, all participants must have proof of double vaccination, plus they must sanitize hands upon entering and certify that they do not have any COVID symptoms. Masks are mandatory at all times in the building except when eating.

Monday evening yoga partners used the Fisher Heights park during COVID-19 times

Bridge Club meets Tuesdays 1 pm to 3:30 and Thursdays 7 pm to 9. Contact Louise Sweeney at 613-274-2618

The Morning Yoga Partners have been meeting on Zoom Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9:00 am throughout the pandemic. We use CDs and online material to provide a variety of yoga activities. The current participants have made the decision not to return to the Community Building until the current restrictions are fully lifted and we are more comfortable with the situation. We welcome anyone who would like to join us on Zoom, whether you are a beginner or veteran. Contact Lyn McCaw at 613-224-1682.

After practicing yoga outdoors beside the community building this past summer, Monday Evening Yoga has returned indoors, 7:30 pm to 8:30. We bring our own yoga mats and follow videos from our collection of yoga DVDs. Please contact Karen Gordon at 613-274-7505 for details or to be placed on our waitlist, as we are currently at full capacity.

The Fisher Heights Arts & Crafts Circle has resumed its regular meetings with a celebration of our 10th anniversary as a circle of friends and neighbours. We warmly welcome new participants. If you enjoy gardening, painting, knitting, photography, cooking or other such pastimes and pleasures that you’d like to share with others, please join us for coffee and cookies and informal chat anytime from 10-12 on Monday mornings at the community building. If you have any questions, please contact Don Black at 613-712-0123 or DBlack@ncf.ca.

The Pre-School Playgroup (for children 0 to 4), which was meeting most Fridays from 9:45 am to 11:00, is on hiatus while a new co-ordinator is found, as Staci Diguer’s child has aged out. The role means mostly just being the contact person for the group. For more information, or to volunteer to take over, please call Staci at 613-884-7822 or Sdig008@gmail.com. The members keep in touch by its Facebook page.

And an update from the Community Walking Club: It is still going strong, but with the continuing construction on Wallford Way, the temporary starting location is 13 Eleanor Drive. When the construction on Wallford is finished, the starting location will resume at 19 Wallford Way. Start time on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays remains at 8:30 am with departure at 8:35. For more information and to confirm an outing, contact Julie Hill at 613-226-4995 or bijoux3664@gmail.com.

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Fisher Heights Community Place reopens, with rules

Fisher Heights Community Place is open but email in advance as we don’t have a reception desk

As Ontario eased its COVID rules in the fall, your board decided it was appropriate to cautiously re-open our community building, Fisher Heights Community Place, to our sponsored groups and for community activities and private rentals. Of course, everything will be in flux if the COVID rules are again tightened.

But for now, here are the rules relating to the use of the building:

• There are no capacity limits other than those imposed by the Ontario Fire Marshal.

• Social distancing is recommended, but is not required.

• The program contact, or the private renter, or delegate, MUST confirm that each participant 12 or older has been double-vaccinated at least 14 days prior, and shows acceptable ID. An exception is for documented medical exemptions (certification required). No-one can enter the building if they have neither proof of vaccination NOR proof of medical exemption.

• All participants are required to acknowledge that they have completed the COVID Screening Tool (two laminated copies are on the table at the building entrance) and confirm that they have answered “NO” to all the screening questions. The program contact, or the private renter, or delegate, must facilitate this process. Anyone who does not pass screening is not permitted to enter the business or organization and should be advised that they should self-isolate, ideally at home, and call their health care provider or Telehealth Ontario (1-866-797-0000) to get advice or an assessment, including if they need a COVID-19 test.

• In addition, the program contact, or renter, must ensure that all participants are listed on a COVID Screening log (a binder also on the entrance table) to allow for contact tracing, and they must retain this log for a period of one month from the date the rental space is last used. The contact or renter may be required to disclose this log at the request of Ottawa Public Health for purposes for preventing the spread of COVID-19.

• All participants under 2 years of age (or under 5 if they refuse) must wear a mask except when engaged in physical activity or eating. Exception: no one is required to provide proof of exemption from mask-wearing, nor can anyone be turned away if unable to wear a mask.

• At the end of the activity / event, the contact or renter is expected to do simple re-sanitizing of door knobs, tables, light switches, washroom faucets and knobs – any items that were possibly touched during the activity / event.

These rules MAY sound onerous, but they are the rules that businesses and organizations have been following for some time now. They should not be a challenge if the building is being used for a family event, for example.

For inquiries or to make a booking, please e-mail FHACA.BuildingRentals@gmail.com.

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New board for Fisher Heights & Area Community Association + new FHACA newsletter coming soon

Last night, the members of FHACA chose a new board for the 2021-2022 season. We would like to thank the board members who stepped down for the valuable work for the community, as difficult as it was in the last year. We are fortunate to have Corey Peabody step up to the plate as a board member. She has worked very hard to understand the Ottawa Official Plan and to explain it to the rest of us in the past year.

Members voting in the new board (selection)

This is our new board:

Isabelle LaVert- Chiasson, Suzanne Buan, Maria Pluviati, Corey Peabody, Steven Coté, Tony Sroka, Doug Yonson, Hans Moor. We typically divide roles (president, treasurer etc) at the first board meeting.

We hope to ramp up our activities again, but it all depends on how COVID develops. In several European countries semi lock down rules are back after the virus started to spread again when rules where loosened. The overarching theme in organising events is obviously our health. So nothing is carved in stone, but we will attempt to organise events again.

We cannot do this without you, the 5000 residents of the community of Fisher Heights. It is impossible to ask 8 board members to organise events, monitor the city’s movements in planning, keep developers in check and answer questions from the public. So we expect the members to chip in time, else we cannot continue our ambitious agenda. We would love to see you take on one event a year either as a coordinator or in a support role. Send us an email at info.FHACA@gmail.com

Note: a new newsletter (on paper and in PDF) with tons of updates will arrive soon in your physical and electronic mailbox.

I thought the meeting went very well yesterday” – Larry B.

“Such a good AGM and very informative.  Thanks to all your Exec for making it possible” – Margaret M.

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Fisher Heights AGM 2021

The FHACA AGM will take place on November 15, 2021 from 7:30 pm until 9 pm

The AGM will take place on Zoom. We will keep it short as basically the Association has been dormant for the last year. Yet, we have to approve the financials (in very good shape) and vote for a new board.

If you would like to participate, please sign up through this on line form. You will receive a notification of the login requirements as well as the documents for the meeting closer to the date.

If you like to join the board, let us know. We expect that about ten meetings of 90 minutes per year, as well as taking on one or two tasks to organise an event with some volunteers. Note: becoming a board members requires commitment. We expect you to be in the board meetings at least 8 out of the 10 times. We will likely meet on Tuesday evenings after dinner.

Sign up for the AGM here.

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COVID-19 Community building update August 2021

Main Hall

As per August 2021 our building at 31 Sutton Place can be used, but in a very limited fashion. We have three rooms, but the reality is that only one can be used, our main room.

Here are the sizes of the rooms. The main room and the board room can be connected, making space for a total of maximum 15 (12 +3) people for a quiet type event, and 10 (8 + 2) when there is dancing/food/beverage involved. The change room is not connected with the other rooms. There are a total of three doors in the outside perimeter of the building allowing for ‘one way traffic’ if needed.

Dimensions of our rooms

Main Room: about 875 ft2  – 12 people. If a program or rental includes dancing/food/beverage, the max occupancy is 8

Board Room: about 200 ft2  – 3 people.  If a program or rental includes dancing/food/beverage, the max occupancy is 2

Change Room: about 400 ft2  – 5 people If a program or rental includes dancing/food/beverage, the max occupancy is 4

Obviously, hand washing, social distancing and masks are still required until further notice. Yoga Partners on Monday evening takes place outside on the north side patio as long as the temperatures allow.

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