Category: Uncategorised

Rockcliffe Park Library

Rockcliffe Park Library Programs POSTPONED


Join in the fun at the Rockcliffe Park Branch of the Ottawa Public Library, located at 380 Springfield Road. Programs are free to attend; pre-registration may be required (see details below). Our library is a local treasure, full of community spirit. Please join in the celebrations and share in a love of reading. For more information go to or phone 613 580-2940 (Infoservice). For registration (if requested below) for any program, please do so on the library’s website or phone (both above) or in person at the branch. 



Special PD Day Program, Friday February 14

Reptiles Rock! Drop in between 10:30 and 11:30 for a chance to see and touch an amazing selection of snakes and lizards.

Toddler Time, Wednesday February 19

Stories, rhymes and songs for toddlers and a parent or caregiver. At 10 am. For 19 months to three years old. Drop -in.

Author Visit with Anthony Keith, Monday February 24

Join resident Tony Keith who will read from a recently translated account of his step-father’s transatlantic voyage in a small wooden sailboat in the 1930s. Translator Irene Tomaszewski will also speak about the unusual history of The Voyage of the Yacht Dal: From Gydnia to Chicago, 1933-34 by Andre Bohomolec. This is a gripping adventure story of three men who survive a harrowing hurricane and, astonishingly, live to tell their tale. Former CBC reporter, Terry Milewski, offers a compelling review of the epic adventures on pg. 7 of the August 2019 Rockcliffe News.

Music in the Stacks: Deep Winter Series, March 3

Drop-in to hear flautist Justin Theriault from 7 – 8:15 pm.

Japanese Storytelling, March 6

Drop-in at 3 pm to ear Japanese storyteller/comedian Toshiki Mori perform Kamishibai, a form of visual and participatory storytelling that combines hand-drawn visuals with narration of a live presenter.

Legends of Ireland, March 17

Drop in from 1:30 – 2:30 to hear Susan Toman and friend present Legends of Ireland – Harp Music and Storytelling.

Armchair Travel: Polar Bears, March 31

From 7 – 8 pm. Registration required for this English-language presentation from polar travel specialist, Carole Gobeil. Come to hear where are the best places to see polar bears in the northern hemisphere and more.

PD Day Program: Songs and Stories of Loggers and Lumberjacks, April 3

At 10:30 – 11:30 am. Louis Mercier presents the stories and songs of the lumberjack in this interactive performance. Bilingual presentation.

PD Day Program: Flying Colours Painting workshop, May 15

Artist Jennifer Nicol will guide you on using professional watercolour materials, which always results in beautiful paintings and gives a great sense of accomplishment. English presentation.



Speaker event at Rockcliffe Park Community Hall

Speaker Series

SPEAKER PROGRAM suspended until further notice

Join your neighbours for informal evenings with distinguished speakers. Presentations will be followed by questions, coffee and cookies. Admission is free. The Speakers Program is an initiative of the Rockcliffe Park Residents Association and is supported by the Rockcliffe Park Foundation. Details and additional information may be found at


Wednesday, March 11, 8 pm: RPRA Speaker Night

with Rt. Hon. Beverley McLachlin on Truth be Told. Based on her recent autobiography, the former Chief Justice of Canada invites us into her legal and personal life and reveals the hopes and doubts, the triumphs and losses on and off the bench, which have marked her journey. Come and join your neighbours for another fascinating talk, followed by questions, coffee and cookies. Free admission. Rockcliffe Park Community Hall, 380 Springfield Road




Wednesday, Feb 12, 8 pm: RPRA Speaker Night

John Ivison, author and journalist is our February speaker

with John Ivison, Trudeau: Lessons for the Prime Minister. One of Canada’s most popular and well-connected political journalists will speak to us about his recent book on Justin Trudeau and the last election and its significance. Tea, coffee, home-made cookies follow the always-lively Q&A session. At the Community Hall, 380 Springfield Rd.


Archaeology Dig in Rockcliffe Park

Be part of an archaeological dig on July 16, 17 and/or 18

Are you interested in local history, do you love spending time outdoors, or do you simply like to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty? If any of these appeal to you, Rockcliffe Park Residents Association, Lindenlea Community Association and the NCC invite you to participate in an archaeological initiative in Rockcliffe Park on Tuesday July 16, Wednesday 17th and Thursday 18th.


NCC archaeologist, Ian Badgley, and his team will guide us in exploring two sites. One site, believed to be on a portage route between the Rideau and Ottawa Rivers, has revealed Indigenous artifacts from about 5000 years ago! The other site, where a winter Tea House stood during the early to mid 1900s, could turn up discoveries of a more recent nature.


This is a free event with the equipment and expertise provided by the NCC. The sites will be open from 8 am until 7 pm and registering before hand is not required; however, if possible, we ask that you sign up here so that we can get a sense of the participant numbers. You do not have to commit to the full time slot, and you can sign up for as many time slots as you wish. You are also welcome to spectate if digging in the dirt is not for you. Providing your contact information will allow us to notify you of last-minute changes due to weather or other reasons. Meet at the Rockcliffe Pavilion (just off the Parkway) for onsite registration and directions to the sites.


Ages 10 and up are recommended for the main sites; a “spontaneous” site geared towards younger explorers will also be provided. You will need to be able to navigate some trails with slight elevation changes to access the sites. Please wear long pants and sturdy footwear. Bring work gloves, bug spray, sun protection, hats, water and snacks. Information on ticks can be found here.


The NCC partners with the communities of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg and Pikwàkanagàn for the joint management of archaeological resources. An opening ceremony will be held at the start of the dig.


To find out more information and to register for this event go to

Become a Member

Become a Member

You can join or renew your membership by filling in our electronic membership form and send it with your cheque to 380-A Springfield Road, Rockcliffe Park, ON K1M 0K7 or drop it in the free-standing RPRA mailbox outside the library. Online membership options are coming soon.

Fieldhouse and Rink Construction

Fieldhouse and Rink Construction

Construction has started on the Fieldhouse, rink and improved soccer field. Please stay away from this construction site over the summer. The fieldhouse is expected to be completed in time for the start of school. The photo above shows the foundation excavation for the new Field House.

The soccer field should be completed in time for the fall soccer season and the rink should be ready for this winter’s skating.  In the picture left, the new irrigation system is being installed in the soccer field.

Heritage Matters

Heritage Matters

Recent Developments Around Rockcliffe Park

132 Lisgar Road

The City has approved additions to both sides of this Grade I house. The additions will be set back from the façade of the house, lower than the house, and similar in materials and expression. However, the south side addition will be only 4.9 feet from the property line when the by-law requires 11.5 feet. This is not in accord with our Heritage Plan that requires the preservation of generous spacing between buildings. We nonetheless supported this addition because of a truly exceptional circumstance – the house is set back from the road by a full 80 feet, providing a long vista to the house and significantly mitigating the impact of the much-reduced side-yard. The neighbour sharing the property line also supported the addition.

65 Acacia Avenue

A proposal to replace a house on the Lindenlea side of Acacia with a 12-unit, 5-storey apartment is being considered by the City. The proposal has provoked much opposition from Lindenlea, as well as from us. The proposed building–in scale, height, and reduced setbacks at the front, sides and back–would have a serious negative impact on the streetscape, which is characterized mainly by one- and two-storey houses. It is seen as setting a dangerous precedent for the lower part of Acacia. Because the proposed development is across the street from Rockcliffe Park – a heritage conservation district – the province does not permit any development that fails to conserve the heritage attributes of Rockcliffe Park.

Wildlife Notes

Wildlife Notes: June 2018

Foxes have been the talk of the western part of the Village, New Edinburgh and Lindenlea this season with many sightings of one or more handsome adults, hunting in daylight. On April 6, a fox was spotted running across MacKay into the grounds of Rideau Hall. Two days later Tazim Lal saw one carrying food from Pine Hill/Lisgar Road into the Princess side of the grounds. The next day Joni Hamlin’s children saw one carrying a squirrel on Springfield in the direction of St. Brigid’s School. Susan Sweeney Hermon saw one with a squirrel near the French embassy on April 18. Alison Green noticed a fox going through her yard at the south end of Manor on several occasions. Starting on April 19, Elise Aylen videoed a fox carrying a squirrel on Lindenlea Road sidewalk near Springfield on three occasions; each time trotting west in the direction of Rideau Hall. On another occasion the video shows the fox trotting along the sidewalk in the opposite direction – but not carrying anything. This is strong evidence for the den being west of Springfield, most likely in the grounds of Rideau Hall. John McPherson took the photo above of an adult carrying a squirrel on Wood Avenue on April 21. The food carrying would have been to provide for the young. The risks of hunting in broad daylight where there are people and dogs were evidently outweighed by the value of catching squirrels that are only available during the day.

On April 26, Lise Ouimet saw two foxes, one large the other quite small. On May 5, Adrienne Blair saw an adult with three young opposite the Princess gate of Rideau Hall. That clinched the evidence of successful breeding.

Ravens have been my highlight this spring. On March 13 I noticed that a pair had built a nest high in the communications tower above the public school: One bird was sitting, the second arrived and transferred something to the bill of the sitter. The next day the sitter repeatedly pulled at and rearranged the surrounding sticks. For the next month, each time I checked I could see a tail sticking up, so a bird was incubating. On April 14, two birds were present, one perched on the side of the nest, the other on the top of the tower. They reacted to our laying out tarpaulins to keep icy rain off the lawn where the Spring Book Sale tent was to go behind the Community Centre. Both birds called, the one on the nest made a shallow dive towards us, but swerved well above. The only sighting since then was of a bird above the nest on April 19. So the nesting attempt failed, approximately when hatching should have occurred. This may be only the second breeding attempt by Ravens in Rockcliffe. My observations started in 1969, and the first nesting I saw was in 2009, described in the May and July Wildlife Notes. That nest was on the front of 585 Acacia. It was abandoned between May 2 and 17. It is unlikely that these great birds of legend ever nested in the settlement of Rockcliffe prior to that year because they only began to breed in the Ottawa region after the 1960s. They now have many nesting sites within the City limits.

A flight of 11 Wood Duck males swung over the marsh and flooded trees on the east side of the lake on April 13, announcing their arrival with squealing calls before settling into the water below the trees – the only open water at that date. The lake was almost entirely ice covered until the 26th. Every first sighting in spring of these extraordinarily beautiful birds is a treasure. But those ducks were at a distance. On May 13, as I watched from the boardwalk overlooking the lake inlet, a male Magnolia Warbler appeared on a twig close to me, flitting for a moment into a shaft of strong early morning sunshine that lit up its striped yellow breast, a flare of colour against the dark background.

The Tree Swallows are back and it looks as though at least one box in the east marsh and three on the west shore are being used.

Anthony Keith, 16 May 2018

Elmwood School News

Elmwood School News: June 2018

Elmwood Theatre Sweeps the Cappies Nominations

Nominations are in for the Cappies – Ottawa’s answer to the Oscars – and Elmwood Theatre is up for a record-breaking 13 awards for its recent production of “Oliver Twist”:

  1. Critic Team – Mentored by Teresa Marquis
  2. Cappies Critic – Jagnoor Saran
  3. Cappies Critic – Zaina Khan
  4. Marketing and Publicity – Abigail Butler, Zaina Khan, Jagnoor Saran, Stephanie Townsend
  5. Hair and Makeup –Caroline Capehart, Devon Keough, Stephanie Townsend, Tory Woodhead
  6. Lighting – Abigail Butler, Zaina Khan, Jagnoor Saran
  7. Costumes – Diya Dadlani, Carine Ladki, Cindy Li, Paige Saunders
  8. Stage Management – Reem Hamzah, Lily-Anne Villemaire
  9. Ensemble – Bronte Assadzadeh, Jacqueline Law
  10. Comic Actress – Bronte Assadzadeh
  11. Supporting Actress – Leen Zaghloul
  12. Lead Actress – Orla Kelly
  13. Best Play – Directed by Angela Boychuk

We are so proud of our cast and crew for this wonderful achievement. Break a leg!

Elmwood Middle School Students Make Over 900 Sandwiches for the Shepherds of Good Hope

Led by Grade Eight student Avery Parkinson, Elmwood’s Middle School students spent a lunch hour making a whopping 912 sandwiches to donate to the Shepherds of Good Hope. This is the second sandwich-making party this year, and we are so proud of our students for giving back to their community.

Limited Spaces Available for Elmwood Summer Camp

We are thrilled to be offering a full slate of camps this summer, including our popular Discovery Camps, as well as our Elmwood Skills Academy.

Discovery Camps

With exciting new weekly themes such as Robot Academy, music camp, “Lab Rats” chemistry camp and Sleuth Academy, girls from Kindergarten to Grade Six will discover new challenges, develop lasting friendships and enjoy a dynamic range of hands-on, interactive activities. Led by skilled and experienced educators, our camps have the perfect blend of learning, active play and creative exploration, all within Elmwood’s beautiful and safe campus.

Elmwood Skills Academy

Elmwood’s Skills Academy offers an outstanding range of academic and special interest programs. Taught either by Elmwood’s talented faculty or by other experts in their field, our Skills Academy combines superb instruction with dynamic activities, sure to appeal to girls of all ages and skill levels.

Visit or call 613 749-6761 for details and registration.

Considering Elmwood for your Daughter?

We invite you to visit the school for a private tour to learn more about our unique approach to educating girls and young women. For more information visit or contact the Admissions Office at 613 744-7783.

Ashbury College News

Ashbury College News: June 2018

Springfest 2018

Ashbury’s campus came alive in mid-May with our annual Springfest celebration, a sun-filled day to usher in the season!

The morning started off with the Guild Plant Sale and our now-famous Colour Run. Students, staff, alumni and our Head of School all participated in this fun and colourful activity around Rockcliffe Park and Ashbury’s campus.

Rugby rounded out the afternoon with games from our Junior School, Varsity girls, Junior and Senior boys teams. Visitors enjoyed another delicious BBQ lunch and the Guild-run canteen. A reception followed, where alumni and parents enjoyed catching up after an exciting day. Thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate!

Welcoming the World

Ashbury will welcome more than 350 teachers and students from 75 schools around the world to its campus from September 27 to October 3, 2018 as we host the Round Square International Conference.

Ashbury is one of 180 schools in the global Round Square network, all sharing a passion for experiential learning and character education. Each year, Round Square schools send students between the ages of 15 to 17 to a leadership conference where they discuss issues facing their generation and experience a program that embraces both adventure and service.

Final plans are now underway for this year’s conference, with its theme of “Bring Your Difference.” The schedule includes engaging speakers, community service projects and outdoor excursions, providing visitors with the opportunity to experience all the National Capital Region has to offer.

Summer at Ashbury

There are still spots left for summer programs at Ashbury, but they’re filling up fast. Academic credit and prep courses are available, along with week-long summer camp options including soccer, art, multi-sports, tech and tools, and more. Programs are suitable for children aged 5 to 17.

Learn more or register online at

Ashbury College History

Ashbury College was founded in 1891 by George Penrose Woollcombe, an Oxford University graduate and a new Canadian, who served as Ashbury’s Headmaster for 42 years. The three-room school for boys was originally located on Wellington Street in downtown Ottawa, moving to larger quarters also on Wellington Street and then to Argyle Street in 1890 near the present Museum of Nature. In 1910, the school – called Ashbury College after Woollcombe’s English home – moved to its current 13-acre location in the heart of Rockcliffe Park. With the support of benefactors, a new building was constructed for the 115 students, 48 of whom were boarders. Since the 1970s, multiple additions have been made to accommodate the growing number of students, including, in 1982, when girls were first enrolled in the senior school. Today, Ashbury has 170 boys and girls in the Junior School and 515 young men and women, 100 of whom are boarding in the Senior School.

Go to for more information on the history of Ashbury College, or check out the recent publication by Stephen Woollcombe entitled The Life and Times of George Penrose Woollcombe: Educator, available at Books on Beechwood.

Wildlife Notes: April 2018

Wildlife Notes: April 2018

Following my note in January about focusing on Tree Swallow nesting boxes around the lake, Iola and I have just installed two new boxes on poles in the east marsh. We were most kindly helped in installing a new pole by ice-fishers Michael and his son Lucas. A box in the marsh has always been a swallow favourite. Swallow nest box location and construction have to be done with consideration for nest predators and competitors. The predators in our area are Red Squirrels and Raccoons. The competitors are Chickadees that will start nesting activities, establishing box ownership, before the swallows return. Boxes on poles in the marsh are too far from trees for Chickadees and squirrels, and have not attracted Raccoons. Swallow boxes near the lake edge on the west side require special counter measures.

The first really strong and repeated Cardinal songs that I noticed were on February 20, and some singers have continued sporadically on sunny days. Stepping out of the door on February 28, a Robin’s distinctive chuckle call came from the garden. There were a few patches of snow-free ground that day, the usual harbinger of Robin migrants. Yet I suspect this was an over-wintering bird because I’ve not heard or seen one since. The Crows don’t appear to be arguing about territories yet, though there are always a few about, perhaps prospecting tall conifers for nest sites. A Downy Woodpecker has been drumming near Mariposa/Fairview the past week, responding to lengthening days. This is still a quiet period for birds. On a half-hour walk on the morning of March 10, the only sounds were one drum roll from the Downy near Fairview and one Chickadee call near Hillsdale at Sandridge.

On the morning of March 9, after light snow, the first Chipmunk I’ve seen this season came up out of the snow between hemlocks and a butternut. Hopping across the surface proved challenging. Its body, unlike a tree squirrel’s, isn’t designed for leaping; at each short hop its body sank well in to the snow. So it gave that up and dived down to tunnel under the snow, reappearing some eight metres away where it could access a fence and a tree. Early this morning there are three Chipmunks in the same area–dashing about on the wooden fence tops in the falling snow, trying to drive each other away from the woodshed below. There are tree seeds amongst the logs there, and no snow.

Unlike our Red and Grey Squirrels, Eastern Chipmunks dig substantial underground burrows in which they store food and spend the winter in “intermittent hibernation, waking every four to six days to eat from their larder” (Donna Naughton. The Natural History of Canadian Mammals. Canadian Museum of Nature, 2012).

The lake is still solidly frozen, as it has been since mid-December. But there is enough open water now on the Ottawa River to encourage small parties of Canada Geese to fly along it.

Anthony Keith, 13 March 2018

Back to top