Tag Archives: Sandy Hill

Happy Goat jump starts Sandy Hill Coffee Scene

An edited of this review was published by Apt613.
Happy 2017 indeed as Happy Goat Coffee opens its doors today in Sandy Hill.

img_2272The coffee shop at the corner of Wilbrod and Friel has rung in the New Year with an on-trend make over and brand new lease on life thanks to the arrival Happy Goat. A local Ottawa business committed to fair trade practices they source from small-crop farmers in Africa, Asia, Central and South America. The focus on small scale farmers supports ecological diversity in the crops as well as providing a truly varied selection for the artisan roaster – I’m particularly excited by their Ethiopian beans as it was this east-African country where I had my best cup. Their website includes the Legend of the Goat or how Ethiopian Kaldi discovered coffee is a nice touch.

This location is jump-starting its opening while the finishing renovations and installations are in progress.

On opening day seating had yet to arrive (note: the latter is expected today). And, for the moment coffee, tea and beans are the only items on offer. However, as per the Laurel St location, here too the menu will include fresh baked goods, food, a sandwich bar and varied treats once the kitchen equipment is connected.

Alongside international coffee expertise Happy Goat brings commitment to community as illustrated by their integration in the fabric of the Wellington West community.  We are overjoyed not only to have a local, local, coffeeshop but also to add a new vibrant member to our urban landscape.

Support Local and drink coffee –  Welcome Happy Goat!

Happy Goat Coffee – Sandy Hill
317 Wilbrod St. (corner Friel)
7:30am – 8pm

Anne & Gilbert: The Musical – Review

An edited version of this review was published by Apt613.ca 

Anne and Gilbert - Andree Lanthier

Anne (Ellen Denny) & Gilbert (Alex Furber) Photo courtesy Andrée Lanthier

Anne & Gilbert: The Musical has swept in to Ottawa in time for the holiday season and, not being a committed Anne of Green Gables nor family-friendly-format aficionado, the challenge set was whether this piece could entertain as a one-off night at the theatre.

The story follows Lucy Maud Montgomery’s eponymous flame-haired hero in to young womanhood taking cues from the author’s later novels: Anne of Avonlea and Anne of the Island each novel getting its own act in Martha Irving’s smartly directed production.

Created by Nancy White, Bob Johnston and Jeff Hochhause the musical follows childhood rivals Anne and Gilbert now blossomed in to great, if conflicted, friends.  All of Avonlea believes these two are meant to wed but, while Gilbert (Alex Furber) is besotted with Anne (Ellen Denny), she is haughty with overly-saccharine longings for an exotic, ideal and urbane lover.

Act 1 reacquaints the audience with Avonlea and its many iconic characters. Anne and Gilbert teach in neighbouring towns – Anne schooling her former classmates in Avonlea – and both dream of higher academic studies and broader horizons. Act 2 tracks the protagonists’ adventures to the “mainland” university of Redmond where, following Anne’s rejection of Gilbert’s proposal, the two keep a measured distance while love rivals add complication and humour to this homespun story of hesitant love.

The musical score is rousing and the live trio performing adds a superior dimension to the evening. The musical chops of some performers, most notably Denny alongside the outstanding Alison Woolridge as Marilla and the captivating Amanda LeBlanc as Philippa Gordon, far outweigh others. In the whole however the quality of the songs accompanied by the energy and vibrancy of Brittany Banks crowd-pleasing choreography, and the talent of the ensemble make this a clear musical success with a pageant of song and dance characters that evoke emotion and provide undiluted delight.

Alongside the centre-stage story are a handful of well-drawn characters including the formidable Marilla Cuthbert and Rachel Lynde (Robin Craig) who provide a sub-plot on stoicism, resilience and life choices with moving performances of “Our Duty” and the stand-out “When he was my beau”. The two characters provide grounded humour alongside frank and determined hardiness. The amusing Phillipa Gordon (Amanda Leblanc), the wealthiest student at Redmond, who seesaws between beaus fairly lit up the stage with her gleeful dynamism.  Her beaus providing great comedy relief with their Monty Pythonesque stalking about the set. Ottawa’s own Charles Douglas and David Whiteley make impactful contributions to the ensemble. The former in a comical turn as Torontonian millionaire and Anne’s love interest Royal Gardner while the ever talented Whiteley fairly stealing scenes as the bumbling fiddle-playing Ministry-student Moody MacPherson particularly in scenes alongside Leblanc’s Philippa.

Paint me entertained and charmed by this sweet Canadian classic musical tale of Anne & Gilbert.  As seasonal entertainment this family friendly musical is a clear feel-good winner where even a curmudgeon may well find themselves declaring they’re “island through and through”.

Anne & Gilbert:National Arts Centre
NAC Theatre
Dec 1-23, 2015 various times

Adàwe – a bridge connecting communities

Friday Dec 4th at 1PM the new pedestrian and cycling bridge spanning the Rideau River between Strathcona Park and River Road opens.

Adawe

Adàwe, meaning to trade, provides a vital and necessary link connecting communities and businesses; reclaiming a part of Ottawa’s history on the site where historically practical residents built a boardwalk passage.

Adawe predecessor

The Adàwe crossing eliminates the unnecessarily long detour for walkers and cyclists by providing a crossing points in-between the car-centric Cummings bridge and isolated MUP train bridge.

This is a hopeful sign of change in Ottawa where modal-share infrastructure investment is, even in record years, woefully inadequate and the destitute to vehicular road investment.

Adàwe transforms Riverain and Strathcona parks from end-points to passage-ways providing a commuter route for many.  The beauty of this route reclaims the river, encourages the practical use of parks, promotes mobility and builds interaction between communities via a purposeful people-place in the heart of urban nature.

Congratulations to all that brought this vision to reality!

 

An @Ottvote issue requiring urgent coverage & action – @crdottawa

Last week Ward 12 resident Thierry Harris stood up at the All Candidates debate and through his questions revealed a watershed moment in terms of the imbalance between the rights of the individual versus those granted to corporate builders while the City of Ottawa stands by .

Our house shook for a few months when Stewart St was torn up. The noise was incredibly irritating and slightly concerning yet absolutely nothing in comparison to what these neighbours to the St Partick / Bruyere Claridge Homes WaterStreet build have been subjected too over the last 11 months.

courtesy crdOttawa.org

courtesy crdOttawa.org

The homes of Thierry Harris and at least 4 of his neighbours literally move and shake. The sound of industrial machinery is relentless and deafening. The ceiling of his neighbour’s well-appointed office has collapsed covering work and computers. Entry handles are dismantled and re-assembled when doors no longer open and close properly. Floors tilt as heavy machinery drills down underneath to accommodate underground parking. Walls with many deep cracks and crumbling portions are duct-taped to prevent further erosion and keep cold air at bay. Recently the waterproof membrane was torn from Harris’ foundations by the considerate builders of the 5-storey condo that has penned in his small yard and completely eradicate his  view as the build is literally up to his property line.

Citizens for Responsible Development (CRDOttawa.org) are doing an excellent job providing an online showcase for the damage, the frustration and the helplessness of these home-owners. Please visit the CRDOttawa website and browse the portfolio images and video – the few words here do not do justice to this situation.

The current councillor, Mathieu Fleury, cannot advocate for these resident as he has declared a Conflict of Interest where this particular builder is concerned. However I would say this goes beyond the issues of one Councillor and one Ward. This is a City wide problem that requires action.

It really doesn’t matter which ward you live in – City-wide regulation is clearly desperately needed to protect home-owners and provide clear enforceable guidelines for new-builds particularly those that dwarf and compromise the existing architecture in a neighbourhood. No one builds a two-storey town home to the specifications to withstand this sheet metal piling and drilling required for a condo tower.

Harris is a Rideau Vanier resident but this could happen any where in a city where many municipal candidates and even our Mayor have campaigns bankrolled and/or endorsed by Developers. All Ottawa residents should have up-front protection against such invasive developments and stop-work regulations should be issued long before this level of damage is ever incurred.

It’s time for change in regulations and it’s time for change in how elected officials fund their campaigns if residents are to expect political will in their favour. The electorate deserve representation that speaks up to protect individuals over corporations and in this instance Ottawa’s current municipal politicians must take decisive action to protect these peoples’ homes.

Please visit Citizens for Responsible Development Ottawa for comprehensive coverage.

Eye Spy: Rideau-Vanier Candidates Debate Tonight 7-9 @OttVote

The advanced voting has kicked off and the end is in-sight for this exciting and engaged Municipal Election. Rideau-Vanier candidates still have (at least) 3 more debates and one is tonight in the heart of Sandy Hill.

VoteSo come out listen to the issues and share your own from 7-9PM at the Sandy Hill Community Centre where the focus will be on Transit, Employment and access to good food and affordable housing in Ward 12.

 

A shout out to Vanier Community Service Centre, Sandy Hill Community Health Centre and Lowertown Community Resource Centre who organized tonight’s debate.

All-Candidates Debate
7-9PM, October 2nd
Sandy Hill Community Centre, 250 Somerset Street East

Rideau-Vanier Candidate makes case for Central Library

Libraries HeartVisionary thinking could uplift not only the Byward Market but all of Ward 12. I love libraries, including our 60’s- style current Central library at Laurier & Metcalfe. A library at the heart of the Market in sites that are only car parks and with underground parking could truly transform local perception of why we go to the market. This type of infrastructure would brand the market as a local as well as a tourist destination. Further, libraries world wide are of course visited by tourists so this idea doesn’t negate but only uplifts the current profile. Currently Bayview is under consideration for the location of the ‘Central’ library which may be handy for Hintonburg but what about those in Centretown, Lowertown, the Glebe etc who chose to live downtown so they can walk and bike to use service rather than drive. Ward 12 and the market needs an advocate that stands up for preserving not only the physical heritage but also the historical importance of the Byward market as a core part of our city and not simply a tourist destination. A candidate who proposes workable positive and truly transformative ideas is one definitely worth very serious consideration.

Rideau Vanier Candidates Debate – Monday Sept 15th

The race for the Ward 12 Rideau-Vanier is nothing if not exciting. With many issues from homelessness, the urgent need for revitalisation, committed representation, smart place-making and increasing modal-share just to name a very few.

Sept15AllCandidates

Monday night will be the first All Candidates debate – strictly on transportation issues – in our ward and it is taking place 7PM at 159 Murray.  Transportation touches on so much and is an integral part of making Ward12 a full success ensuring room for pedestrians, patios, and all modes of transit. Prep some tough questions and come here how your candidates respond.