Community Activities and Functions
RPRA activities, run by community volunteers, include publication of The Rockcliffe News, delivered free to every household in the Village. The website gives community updates and lists new and exciting things to do. Environmental actions and issues management are ongoing, including care of the conservation area; traffic, cycling and safety issues; assistance to the Library; heritage reviews of construction and exterior alteration to buildings and other related heritage activities.
How to Organize a Street Party
What better way to celebrate the beginning of summer than by planning your very own street party? A street party is a wonderful way to meet neighbours old and new, enjoy the outdoors and strengthen our community.
- Start by contacting a few neighbours six to eight weeks in advance to see if there is enough interest to organize a street party.
- Set up a meeting or divide up a few duties by email.
- Determine a budget.
- Choose a date, hours of road closure, plus a rain date.
- Select a contact person to email the City of Ottawa at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 613 580-2424, ext. 28164 to obtain the application for permits for the street closure (this should be done at least three weeks before the event, if not earlier).
- Determine the need for table and chair rentals vs. using your own.
- Plan food, drinks, decorations, activities and music, according to age of participants.
- Send out invitations to everyone affected by the road closure (and beyond, if you like!) at least a few weeks in advance of the party.
- Have fun, take photos of the event and consider sending them in to The Rockcliffe News. We’d love to hear about your street party event!
NOTE: The RPRA has “Children at Play” signs that you can borrow for your events. Contact us at email@example.com.
Events and Recreation
The RPRA coordinates and organizes a wide range of RPF-funded programs held in the Community Hall or the Jubilee Garden, including an entertaining and informative speakers’ program, a Spring Village Clean-up, Library Book Sale, a Children’s Christmas Party, Christmas Tree Lighting and Carol Singing. A children’s soccer league is open to all children aged four years and up who live in Rockcliffe Park, Lindenlea, Manor Park and New Edinburgh. Programs for adults range from bridge lessons to Ikebana and aerobic classes. The city organizes children’s summer camps. In winter, “The Hosers” maintain two skating rinks – a hockey and general skating rink at Rockcliffe Park Public School and a children’s rink in Jubilee Garden.
The Rockcliffe Hosers’ Corporation (Charitable Registration # 80798 4844 RR001) raises funds to support the Rockcliffe Rink Project – an outdoor rink and, for summertime, a sports court. Additionally, the Hosers arranged in 2016 to move a heritage ice-warming hut from the grounds of Rideau Hall to the Rockcliffe rink.
The RPRA Library Committee members are drawn from Rockcliffe Park and the surrounding communities of New Edinburgh, Lindenlea, and Manor Park, which this library branch also serves. Since 1997, this committee has organized the Rockcliffe Park Spring Book Sale with more than 20,000 donated books in 30 categories, along with CDs, DVDs and vinyl. Taking place in the Rockcliffe Park Community Hall, it involves more than 100 volunteers. Buyers come from local communities and as far away as Kingston and Cornwall. Funds raised improve services and programming (especially for children) at the Rockcliffe Park Branch of the Ottawa Public Library and support literacy programs at the OPL. Donated books and AV material are welcomed at the Rockcliffe Park Branch of the OPL during library hours or call for pick-up at (613) 580-2424 ext. 27623.
The RPRA Library Committee organizes Open Houses at the Rockcliffe Park Branch of the Ottawa Public Library. It supports improved services and programming through its Spring Book Sale. It supports the wider Ottawa Public Library literacy programs, liaises informally with the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library and offers support to the OPL at city budget consultation time. To join the library committee, just leave your name with library staff.
Another local literary event is the annual November Rockcliffe Park Book Fair, which takes place at the Rockcliffe Park Public School. These two important book sales represent a great opportunity to contribute to the community and get to know new people. Both are integrally linked through the collaboration of their volunteers (who often work at both events), the generosity of the wider community and the rich endowment of books.
Every spring, the RPRA organizes a village clean-up to pick up debris along our public spaces, rake leaves and pick up branches. Crews gather at the Community Hall and spread out to all areas of the Village. To volunteer for our annual clean-up, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
RPRA Movie Nights
In the summer or early fall, the RPRA organizes Movie Night in the lovely and intimate space of the Jubilee Garden. In August 2017, we showed Mary Poppins.
Christmas Tree Lighting and Carol Sing
The Christmas Tree Lighting and Carol Sing is held outside the Community Hall every December for residents and neighbours. The Elmwood choir and the Salvation Army Brass Ensemble of the Ottawa Citadel Band accompany the carol sing and a dignitary lights the huge spruce tree behind the community centre. There is usually a fundraising component to the evening, with items donated to a local charity.
Children’s Holiday Party
This popular children’s holiday party features horse-drawn carriage rides, a clown, Christmas crafts, gingerbread house-making, holiday treats and, of course, Santa Claus. If you can help with this event, please check beside the Children’s Christmas Party on the RPRA membership form or send an email to email@example.com.
Dining with the Ambassadors
Dining with the Ambassadors is the Rockcliffe Park Foundation’s principal fundraising event and a celebrated signature spring event. For more than two decades, this biennial event has been bringing neighbours together and raising funds for our community’s programs and events. To find out more, go to ‘events’ at rockcliffeparkfoundation.org.
Since 2001, the RPRA’s evening speaker program has presented a variety of distinguished speakers, including: David Halton on his career as a television journalist and on his book about his father, war-time correspondent Matthew Halton; Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin on the Supreme Court and personal reflections; Elizabeth May and Tom d’Aquino debating environmental matters; Rt Hon. Joe Clark on the need for national conversations; Andrew Cohen on the Washington scene, John F. Kennedy, and Lester Pearson; Mark Kristmanson concerning opportunities ahead for the NCC; John Ibbitson about Stephen Harper; and, Her Excellency Sharon Johnston about her debut novel.
Events are held at the Community Hall. Engaging question and answer periods follow these presentations and the evenings end over coffee and cookies and discussions with neighbours. The Speakers Series is funded by Rockcliffe Park Foundation grants and admission is free.
Clubs and Programs
A Rockcliffe Park Lindenlea League soccer program is open to children aged four years and up who live in the area.
Rockcliffe Lawn Tennis Club
Rockcliffe Lawn Tennis Club (RLTC), located on Lansdowne Road North, is a private club with eight outdoor courts, an inviting clubhouse and programs for juniors and adults. The club offers round-robin tournaments, summer camps and tennis instruction from the club pro. Members pay an initiation fee and annual dues.
Rockcliffe Hosers’ Corporation
In winter, the Hosers maintain a hockey rink adjacent to the Rockcliffe Park Public School playing fields (beside Buchan Road) with a warming hut for changing skates. A smaller rink for young children and pleasure skating is maintained in the Jubilee Garden. The Hosers are building a sports pad for all-year play and a field house to be completed in 2018.
The Rockcliffe Hosers: Web site
Ottawa New Edinburgh Club
The Ottawa New Edinburgh Club (ONEC), on the banks of the Ottawa River and just off the Sir George-Etienne Cartier Parkway, offers tennis with red clay courts, rowing and sailing programs for adults and children and summer day camps. Its historic boathouse is available to members and for special events.
Library: Rockcliffe Park Branch of the Ottawa Public Library (OPL)
This branch is a hub of our community. Volunteers and OPL staff create a vibrant space by offering programs for children and adults. Membership in the OPL system is free to all Ottawa residents. Several computers are available for public use including two dedicated to the system-wide catalogue. Rockcliffe residents can request books from any branch in the OPL system as well as inter-library loans. Other services include WIFI, e-book tutorials and computer tutorials (both by appointment), electronic databases, various genealogy resources, the Every Child a Reader program, and writing contests throughout the year. Volunteers help with the annual RPRA library book sale, Open House events and shelving and retrieval tasks. The branch also offers Toddlertime and Storytime as well as Meet the Author events and special programs for local schools.
An external book return slot at the front of the library facing Springfield Road makes it easy to return library materials at any time the library is closed.
Hours of Operation
- Mon and Wed: 10 am–5 pm
- Tue and Thu: 1 pm–8.30 pm
- Fri: 2 pm–6 pm
- Sat: 10 am–2 pm
- Sun: Closed
Schools and Services
- Ashbury College, 362 Mariposa Avenue: An independent day and boarding school. Grades 4 to 12 for boys and girls. International Baccalaureate program.
- Elmwood School, 261 Buena Vista Road: An independent day school for girls Junior Kindergarten to grade 12. International Baccalaureate program.
- Lycée Claudel, 1635 Riverside Drive, New Edinburgh: French private school from age 3 to grade 12 offering the French system and Baccalaureate program.
Private Elementary and Junior High Schools
- Académie Macdonald-Cartier, 270 Crichton Street: Independent junior high school. Grades 7 to 9 specializing in French immersion.
- Fern Hill School, 50 Vaughan Street, New Edinburgh: Independent nursery and elementary school for children aged two years to grade 6.
- St. Laurent Academy, 415 St. Laurent Boulevard: Independent bilingual school for girls and boys. Junior Kindergarten to grade 8. Associated with the Macoun Marsh program.
Public Elementary and Junior High Schools
- Rockcliffe Child Care Centre, 340 Buena Vista Road: A licensed non-profit child care centre with pre-school, kindergarten and school-age programs.
- Rockcliffe Park Public School, 350 Buena Vista Road: A public elementary school. English and early French immersion; Junior Kindergarten to grade 6.
- St. Brigid School, 200 Springfield Road: A Catholic elementary school. Bilingual, French immersion and extended French program from Junior Kindergarten to grade 6.
- Le Trillium, 307 Montgomery St, near Montreal Road: French-language public primary school and daycare. Kindergarten to grade 6.
Public Secondary Schools
- École secondaire publique de La Salle, Old St. Patrick Street: French public high school offering a regular academic program specializing in arts and music for grades 9 to 12.
- Immaculata High School, 140 Main Street: English Catholic school for grades 7 to 12 and a bilingual or English program.
- Lisgar Collegiate Institute, 29 Lisgar St., Ottawa: English public high school with option of some French immersion subjects for grades 9 to 12.
Community Hall and Library
The Community Hall at 380 Springfield Rd. is used for the City recreation programs, including the popular bridge sessions, Ikebana lessons, exercise classes, lectures and children’s camps. This beautiful room is perfect for birthday parties, special events, meetings or receptions. It is wheelchair accessible, has a kitchen and gas fireplace, and may be rented for private events. To rent the facility, contact the City of Ottawa Recreation Coordinator at 613-842-8578 or firstname.lastname@example.org. RPRA directors and committee meetings, club meetings, speakers program and special events are held here.
The Community Hall and Library opened in 1994 after a successful building campaign within the Village.
This plaque, mounted on the east entrance to the Community Hall records those residents who helped fund the Library and Community Hall construction.
This plaque honours Barbara Mirsky, founder of the Rockcliffe Park Public Library.
Our Community Police Officer is Constable Vianney Calixte. He can be contacted at email@example.com, and holds a drop-in session at the area community police centre, 252 McArthur Ave, every third Thursday, 4pm-6pm. His area of responsibility includes Vanier, Overbrook, Manor Park, and Lindenlea/New Edinburgh, as well as Rockcliffe Park.
The police request that residents report, online or by phone, any suspicious activity and all crimes to assist them in addressing crime in our community on their Web site, or call 613-236-1222 ext 7300.
Call 613-230-6211 for emergencies that are non life threatening.
Call 911 in case of life-threatening emergency or a crime in progress.
Recreation Programs at the Community Centre
The City of Ottawa offers recreation activities in the Community Hall at 380 Springfield Road. Weekdays can begin with morning exercise classes, followed by bridge or Ikebana lessons and ending with after-school clubs, evening meetings or yoga classes. Weekends offer Ikebana, bridge, babysitter training and private rentals for special events. The administration office is located at 360 Springfield Road in the Community Police Centre. Office hours are limited, so call 613-842-8578 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to check the office hours. In addition to city-run programmes, a free walking group meets at the parking lot side of the Community Hall on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 9:00 am for a one-hour brisk walk through the neighbourhood.
There are two rinks for public skating in Rockcliffe Park: In winter, the Hosers maintain a hockey rink at the east end of the Rockcliffe Park Public School playing fields with a warming hut for changing skates. A smaller rink for young children and for pleasure skating is maintained in the Jubilee Garden.
The Rockcliffe Hosers: Web site
Three off-leash dog parks exist beside Rockcliffe Park: Pine Hill on Lisgar at Princess offers beautiful trails through woods and off-leash opportunities for dogs and their owners. The area is maintained by the National Capital Commission. Hillsdale soccer fields, also NCC property, offer off-leash spaces for dogs as does The Mile Circle, along Sandridge.
Note that the Caldwell-Carver Conservation area, including McKay Lake, the Pond and the footpaths around these spaces require that dogs be kept on leash.
Neighbourhood Watch is a community-driven crime prevention program, helping neighbours watch out for neighbours. All Rockcliffe Park residents are invited to support and be part of our Neighbourhood Watch, by being aware of what is happening in your neighbourhood, maintaining sensible security practices, and reporting any incidents of crime, vandalism, or suspicious activity. The program provides:
- safety and security advice, such as how to make your home a less inviting target for a thief;
- advice on how to respond if you witness a crime or something suspicious;
- access to free home security inspection by police;
- Operation Identification, an engraving program for valuables to discourage theft;
- eligibility to receive crime reports, and to be on a contact list in case it should ever be necessary to send out alerts in an emergency.
Please join, by checking the box on your RPRA membership form or by contacting email@example.com.
Art and Artifacts: In the Community Hall
Coat of Arms
In 1994, the Village was granted a distinctive coat of arms that is registered in the Public Register of Arms, Flags and Badges of Canada. It is displayed in the Springfield Road entrance. The crest depicts our environs of water and trees and two locally-found birds, the Pileated Woodpecker and the Green-backed Heron. The motto—Inter arboribus floremus—meaning “Amid the trees we flourish,” reflects how our lives are nurtured by our natural environment.
Second World War Honour Roll
On the 50th anniversary of the end of the War, residents placed a plaque and Honour Roll in the Community Hall to commemorate the men and women from Rockcliffe Park who served in the Second World War. Almost 20 percent of the persons living in the Village at that time served in the War – about twice the national average. The Honour Roll book is permanently on display.
Ship’s Bell and Crest of HMCS Rockcliffe
During the Second World War, HMCS Rockcliffe – an Algerine Class minesweeper – saw action on the Atlantic patrol. Residents of the Village took part in the national program and adopted their namesake, agreeing to supply “comforts” for the ship’s company. In October 1994, the ship’s brass bell and its crest and a painting of the ship by Ross Helwig and a description of it were presented to the Village for safekeeping. These hang in the northwest corner of the hall.
In 2016, the RPRA obtained a photo of the crew of the HMCS Rockcliffe and the story of its capture of a German submarine, which also hang in the hall, courtesy of The Memory Project, Historica Canada.
Tapestry of McKay Lake
In 2004, Hélène Tolmie, who lived at 597 Mariposa, presented the Residents Association with a tapestry, which she created and which hung in her house for many years. It expressed her delight in having lived, observed, swum, skated, skied, and painted McKay Lake for forty-five years. It is also a tribute to the efforts of villagers who fought so hard from 1963 to 1983 to protect the east side of the lake from shoreline development. Her design depicts the water depth and bottom contours of the lake with a border of vegetation and animals found in and around the lake. Her description of the tapestry sits in a frame below it.
Rules and Regulations
City of Ottawa By-laws
Garbage Collection and Recycling
Garbage and recycling pick-up is on Tuesdays. The city’s online collection calendar (http://ottawa.ca/en/residents/garbage-and-recycling) describes what is picked up and when. Rockcliffe Park is in Collection Zone A. To obtain copies of the calendar, go to Ottawa.ca/serviceottawa or call 311. The city describes what to recycle and what happens to recycled materials in the following video: What happens to my recycling?
Put garbage and recycling boxes at the roadside by 7 am. Rockcliffe Park has a large and skilled racoon population, so use tightly covered racoon-proof garbage containers. Garbage pick-up is alternating weeks with the black box for paper and cardboard only, while the blue box is for containers and the waste collection calendar lists what to place in it. Extra recycling boxes are available at a modest cost at most hardware stores. Wine, beer bottles and beer cans and some alcohol containers may be returned for cash at the Beer Store (closest one is near the corner of Montreal Road. and St. Laurent Boulevard.). Large appliances will not be collected, but may be donated to charities or taken to one of the city’s Take it Back partners. Also www.helpingwithfurniture.ca will pick up donated items.
The waste calendar lists the locations and dates for hazardous waste collections and how to recycle cedar hedge clippings. Please recycle and compost kitchen and yard waste in your city-provided green bins. We are asked to meet city and provincial waste-reduction targets to conserve the remaining space in solid-waste landfill sites. The City’s instructional pamphlet on composting is available at the Community Police Centre. (Email firstname.lastname@example.org to check the Centre’s limited open hours.)
Leaf and garden waste is collected in brown compostable bags during spring, summer and fall. Please cut branches into four-foot lengths and tie in easily handled bundles for collection on the same day. Please remove large stones.
Please use water wisely by adjusting your sprinkler system to use less water and by avoiding watering during the day and not watering your lawn and garden needlessly. Run a sprinkler only until a tuna can fills with water.
Consider drought-resistant flowers and ground cover. Rain barrels connected to roof downspouts are encouraged as a source of water for gardens, but screen them to prevent mosquito breeding.
There are restrictions on outdoor noise. Common sense, respect for neighbours and the Ottawa noise by-law are your guides. Decibel levels for each activity are specified in the by-law on the City Web site.
Power tools, such as lawnmowers, leaf-blowers, chain saws etc., are regulated by the noise by-law. These may be used on weekdays and Saturday from 7 am to 9 pm and after 9 am on Sundays and statutory holidays. Noise from construction is allowed between 7 am and 10 pm on weekdays and Saturdays and after 9 am on Sundays. Music and other amplified sound are permitted from 7 am until 11 pm on weekdays and Saturdays, but not before noon on Sundays. Pet owners should be aware that persistent barking of dogs is prohibited.
Please ensure that any outdoor security lights do not shine onto the neighbour’s property. Neighbourhood Watch encourages residents to leave their porch lights on during the evening to provide improved security, but to use a low-wattage light bulb to save energy and limit light spillage.
The posted speed limit within the Village is 40 kph on major streets. Please travel no more than that speed on all streets. Give priority to pedestrians and cyclists. The parking time-limit on streets is three hours in unsigned areas. In winter, overnight street parking is not allowed. Pedestrians should walk facing traffic, use a flashlight at night, and wear light coloured clothing and reflective vests.
Swimming pools require a building permit and a protective fence around the pool before it may be filled with water. A permit is required to install any fence.
Please clean up after your pet. Good neighbours ensure that this by-law is always observed in all public places. Dog excrement should be disposed of in the toilet and not in the garbage containers placed at the walkway entrances to the McKay Lake or the Pond.
Special heritage Rockcliffe Park dog tags may be purchased at the Community Police Centre for $5. City-required dog and cat registration licences may be purchased and renewed at Ottawa City Hall on 110 Laurier St. West or online at www.ottawa.ca. Owners are required to show proof of pets’ rabies vaccinations. A city by-law requires that pets be under the control of their owner, although not necessarily on a leash. However, pets must be on a leash in the NCC Rockeries and in the Caldwell Carver Conservation Area. Dogs are not permitted to swim in either McKay Lake or the Pond. Please do not let your cat roam free on your neighbours’ properties and keep cats under close control as they kill large numbers of songbirds.