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Heritage Matters: April 2018

Heritage Matters

The RPRA and its Heritage Committee have started a series of events to engage Rockclifffe Park residents and other Heritage Conservation Districts in Ottawa in a dialogue on heritage issues. This started with a talk by Julian Smith–internationally recognized expert in heritage architecture, planning, and conservation – at our Community Hall on March 14. If heritage communities are to survive, he calls for a paradigm shift in the way cities think about heritage conservation, and stated that cities on the west coast in both Canada and the United States are a generation ahead of us.

He noted the importance of the fact that Ontario prescribes the conservation of not only significant heritage buildings, but also significant “cultural heritage landscapes.” However, Ottawa, and others, have failed to understand or embrace what this means–namely that the natural environment, the built environment, and the cultural practices that connect them, must be dealt with as a whole. To succeed in this, he said that it is critical that the community–usually dismissed as ‘non-experts’ in contrast to salaried staff, paid consultants and the OMB–be given priority in decision-making.

Only the communities themselves carry the direct experience and accumulated knowledge of these cultural heritage landscapes. Without them, it is not possible to sustain the core principles that have shaped these communities over time. The next evening, we invited representatives of other Heritage Conservation Districts in Ottawa–New Edinburgh, The Glebe, Lowertown, Centretown, Sandy Hill, and Briarcliffe—and Heritage Ottawa to join us for a workshop with Julian Smith to explore issues we share in common, and how we can work together to better protect Ottawa’s heritage. We are planning further initiatives to follow up on this and to engage City councillors and City staff.

Ashbury College News: April 2018

Ashbury College News: April 2018

Ashbury Travels

Ashbury students have been actively living the school’s ‘international engagement’ value as they participate in various school trips around the world. Grade 6 and 7 students recently participated in a cultural and linguistic exchange in Cuernavaca, Mexico, while other Grade 8, 9, and 10 girls attended an engineering workshop at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Over the March Break, students travelled to New Zealand for a girls’ rugby trip, to Peru for environmental science studies, to France on an “échange linguistique,” and to Spain for an FC Barcelona soccer camp. The world certainly does start at Ashbury.

OFSSA Success

Congratulations to Ashbury’s swim team, whose junior boys medley relay team made the podium at OFSAA in February. Nic Gauthier (backstroke), Alex Bui (breaststroke), Aprateem Chatterjee (butterfly) and Dom Salas (freestyle) inched out the competitors by just 0.17 seconds to win the bronze medal. Our senior girls 4×100 freestyle relay team of Kat Auster (in her last OFSAA) race, Mirella Deng, Hilary Sinclair, and Laila El Danasoury clocked in at a time of 4:03.33 to earn the OFSAA silver medal. Brothers Luke and Tyler Allan (pictured) both captured OFSAA gold at the Nordic ski championships. In a 5 km race, Luke tied for first with a time of 12 minutes, 38.5 seconds. Tyler had a race time of 15 minutes, 0.7 seconds in his 7.5 km race. Congratulations to all our students and teams on their outstanding achievements!

Senator Speaks at Black History Month Assembly

Senator Wanda Thomas Bernard visited Ashbury recently to speak to students about her role as Canada’s first African Nova Scotian woman to serve in the Senate. She recounted her childhood love of books and told students that she has retained her love of reading to this day. The Senator spoke about the importance Canada’s new $10 bill, featuring another Nova Scotian trailblazer, Viola Desmond, and she encouraged students to keep one of these new bills as a reminder of our country’s past and what is possible for our future.

Rockcliffe Park Public School News: April 2018

Rockcliffe Park Public School News: April 2018

The Kids’ Lit quiz has been running for 27 years and was started by a man named Wayne Mills, the Quizmaster. Rockcliffe Park Public School had three teams entered into this amazing competition.

Eighteen other teams from schools in the Ottawa area also competed. Something amazing happened for the first time in 27 years of the competition: three teams in a single city tied in first place: RPPS, Turnbull Private and Fisher Park PS. To find out who won, Mr. Mills asked a tie-breaking question related to which book talked about the first place of residence for an adopted red-haired girl (hint: Anne of Green Gables). If one team got it right, they would be the winner. The next questions would be asked to the two teams that were left to determine the second and third place winners.

One of the RPPS girls, Sylvia (Grade 6) answered this question correctly, which meant that her team won the competition in Ottawa and went to Toronto for the Canadian Nationals on February 8! The four girls–Amélie, Olivia, Sylvia and Anna (all Grade 6)–won third place at the national competition in Toronto. They competed against eight teams, which were either in Grade 7 or Grade 8! Way to go, Rockcliffe! And good luck to the Canadian team that will be going to New Zealand in June!!

Emilia Wesolkowski, Grade 6
Editor in Chief of the school newsletter
Rockcliffe Park Public School

Wildlife Notes: February 2018

Wildlife Notes: February 2018

Returning from an awards ceremony at Rideau Hall in the dark of the evening of November 29, Bethany and Sarah Simison drove out of the back gate at Princess and Lisgar and in the headlights saw a large wolf-like canid at the edge of Pine Hill. Sarah is familiar with Coyotes around Moose Jaw where she lives and at once realized this animal was larger than Saskatchewan Coyotes. That fits; eastern Coyotes are larger than prairie ones, and from studies by the NCC in Gatineau Park we know that there are a number of Coyote/eastern wolf hybrids in our area. These hybrids are substantially larger than eastern Coyotes. The eastern wolf population appears to be centered in Algonquin Park and is genetically distinct from the larger Grey Wolf of the north country.

I’ve been expecting Coyotes or coywolves to penetrate the Village since Brian Dickson reported sightings just east of us several years ago, in the open scrub land south of the Rockcliffe airfield. So, with the familiar Red Fox, we now have a second wild canid in the Rockcliffe fauna. But Coyotes are predators of foxes, so their presence could lead to fewer fox sightings. Coyotes have now adapted to making a living in areas as urban as downtown Chicago and Toronto and in suburbs throughout eastern North America.

Since the 1970s I’ve maintained nesting boxes for ducks around McKay Lake because, while having many of the qualities of a woodland lake, there were few natural cavities in the surrounding trees. But I am now taking the boxes down. Initially, one or a few boxes were used each spring, by either Wood Ducks or Hooded Mergansers. As the summer advanced, one could see the resultant broods of ducklings. Always the numbers of ducklings were reduced by predation during the summer, but some survived and flew. The same was true for Mallards that don’t use nest boxes. But in recent years, the few broods that have appeared with their mothers in the spring have ended with zero flying young. In this situation, it doesn’t improve duck numbers to entice them to nest at a site where their young do not survive.

The likely duckling predators are Ring-billed Gulls (when the ducklings are really small), Great Blue Herons, Black-crowned Night Herons and Snapping Turtles. The gulls, Great Blues and the turtles have all been present during this whole period. The night herons are more recent arrivals.

The other nesting boxes I’ve installed for years around the lake are for Tree Swallows. In a natural setting, they too depend on holes in trees. They take readily to boxes. Unlike duck numbers that have long been healthy, Tree Swallow populations have crashed in much of Eastern North America, as have some other bird species that feed exclusively on insects taken in flight. I am now concentrating on putting up more boxes for swallows, providing nesting opportunities for a species in trouble. The use of these boxes has recently increased: Swallow broods successfully fledged from two boxes each year from 2012 to 2015, three in 2016, and four last summer.

Anthony Keith
15 January 2018

Ashbury College News: February 2018

Ashbury College News: February 2018

Ashbury Sleeps OUT for Youth

This year in Ottawa, more than 1,000 young people will spend the coldest, darkest and harshest months of the year with no place to call home. Sadly, the winter months are not the only battle for homeless youth in Ottawa. Many suffer from trauma, mental health issues, poverty, addiction and other challenges that contribute to homelessness. On November 30, a team of Ashbury students, staff and some parents spent the night outdoors on the field at TD Place Stadium to raise money and awareness for homeless youth in our community. The SleepOUT event was organized by Ottawa’s Youth Services Bureau (YSB). Thank you to all the supporters of Team Ashbury, who helped raise more than $14,000 to help end homelessness in Ottawa.


Once Upon a Time

The 2017 Ashbury Ball was another huge success! The evening of dining, dancing and bidding, held on November 18, had a fairy tale theme that saw guests arriving via the yellow brick road, drinking Hogwarts-inspired potions, and posing for pictures in the magic mirror. Many thanks to our fearless Ball co-chairs, Jenny Shinder and Micheline Saikaley, for their tireless work, endless energy and enthusiasm. With their leadership, we raised over $210,000 to invest in the vision and priorities of Ashbury’s educational and long-range needs, as well as the enhancement of the Ashbury Scholarship Fund for student bursaries. Thank you to all who attended, donated and sponsored this magical night.


Alumni Skate

Ashbury alumni will don their skates for the annual Winter Classic shinny game at the Rockcliffe rink on February 22. The evening game provides a great opportunity for grads to catch up while engaging in some friendly competition.

Rockcliffe Park Public School News: February 2018

Rockcliffe Park Public School News: February 2018

F.A.I.R. Club’s Holiday Garage Sale

On December 20, the F.A.I.R. Club of Rockcliffe Park Public School hosted a Christmas Holiday Garage Sale. Many of the students said that the items at the sale made excellent gifts at very low prices. F.A.I.R. Club donated all the proceeds to Doctors Without Borders, which allows doctors to treat people in developing countries. Last year, F.A.I.R. Club raised over $600! This year, F.A.I.R. Club raised even more: over $950!! We would also like to add a big “Thank You” to all who participated in the garage sale by donating items they no longer needed and/or purchasing items, and to members of F.A.I.R. Club who helped to organize the garage sale. We would also like to thank Mme. Clement, Mrs. Bickford and Mme. Lemieux, the responsible teachers. Thank you!!

Emilia Wesolkowski, Grade 6 student, member of F.A.I.R.

Elmwood School News: February 2018

Elmwood School News: February 2018

Old Girls’ Art Fair and, Holly Tea a Great Success!

On December 1 we kicked off Elmwood’s holiday weekend with the Old Girls’ Art Show Vernissage. The evening featured over 90 pieces of artwork, including work by local artists, alumnae, alumnae parents, current students, current parents, and past and present staff. Congratulations to Liz Heatherington ‘63, Lynne Evenson ‘79 and the Old Girls’ Art Fair Organizing Committee for putting together such a fabulous event! The show continued for the rest of the weekend, and on Saturday, December 2, the school was also hustling and bustling with holiday festivities! Elmwood parents, students, staff and friends gathered in our beautifully decorated gymnasium to browse the Holiday Marketplace, where a variety of vendors displayed their baked goods, jewellery, clothing, handmade delights and more. Later in the afternoon, our guests were treated to tea and sweets as part of our traditional Holly Tea event. Santa was also available for all those wishing to have their picture taken with him! Congratulations to Aileen Conway, Alexei O’Connor and the Elmwood Parents’ Association for organizing such a holly jolly day!

March Break Flight Academy

Let your daughter “earn her wings” at Elmwood’s exciting March Break Flight Academy, March 12-16!

Under the expert guidance of former pilot John Hayman and the Mad Science team, campers will participate in age-appropriate, hands-on workshops to learn about the properties of air and the four forces of flight. Highlights will include a tour of the Aviation Museum and engaging experiments using a flight simulator, rocket launcher and wind tunnel.

Elmwood’s popular March Break Discovery Camp combines challenging activities with our usual winning blend of arts, crafts, games and sports. The dynamic program will be served up by our talented, caring counsellors, together with daily mugs of hot chocolate and marshmallows! Limited spaces for March Break camp are still available. To register, visit today.


Elmwood Summer Camp Registration Now Open

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 new 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, located here in Rockcliffe Park.

Elmwood Skills Academy

Our 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, these camps combine 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.


Save the Date: “Dare to Dream” – Elmwood’s 29th Annual Gala

On Saturday, April 21, join us for our 29th Annual Elmwood Gala. Enjoy a sumptuous dinner, sip champagne, bid on superb auction items and hit the dance floor when 1945 takes the stage! Many thanks to our Corporate Partners – Opus Fitness, Star Motors, Terlin Construction Ltd. and Vista Credit – for their support.

Visit for information and tickets.

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