Old Ottawa South Community Association

  • OSCA during the COVID-19 pandemic

    OSCA during the COVID-19 pandemic

    The Firehall is closed until further notice. 

    Click "More info" to access several helpful resources concerning COVID-19, including regularly updated activity ideas for kids.

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Reimagining the Fieldhouse at Windsor Park

Reimagining the Fieldhouse at Windsor Park

On November 26, 2019, OSCA hosted a public meeting at the Firehall seeking residents’ views on the future of the fieldhouse at Windsor Park. The meeting was attended by about 30 people including our Councillor, Shawn Menard.

OSCA Board members Michael Jenkin and Luc Pellerin launched a presentation that displayed vividly the fieldhouse’s current dilapidated state, and estimated the potential costs of a renovation and a rebuild. Two flipcharts invited participants’ suggestions for the structural changes, as well as new or enhanced programming in the Park. Each participant was handed six sticky ‘dots’ to then vote for their preferred options in each category, three for facilities (or structures), and three for programming.


Follow-up Regarding Issues at the Glebe Parent’s Daycare

In late October 2018, we wrote to the community in light of the public announcement of fraud and embezzlement at the Glebe Parent’s Daycare (GPD). We committed to reviewing OSCA financial procedures, in light of the Glebe situation, and reporting back to our community on our findings.

OSCA’s 2018 Annual General Meeting

OSCA’s 2018 Annual General Meeting

Put it in your datebook – Tuesday, May 1st at 7:00 p.m. at the Firehall, 260 Sunnyside Avenue – for OSCA’s Annual General Meeting. 

This is your chance to hear what your community association is planning to do in the coming year and vote on a new Board of Directors.  It’s a great way to find out what’s going on in your neighbourhood, meet your neighbours and your new Board. Continue reading to find out more about this year's AGM.


OSCA Board Meeting Minutes

Tuesday, June 19th, 2017 
7:30 pm. The Firehall

In Attendance: Lise Beutel, Lizane Castonguay, Caroline Clark, Linda Hancock, Andy McArthy, Steve Mennill, Emilie Taman, Michaela Tokarski, Brian Ure, Erik Van Der Torre, Richard Slowikowski, Kelly Campbell (arrived 8:15),

Regrets: Ahmed Elsayed, Ilia Fabbri, Christine Franklin, Connie Gunn, Michael Jenkin, Janet Jull, Michelle Nguyen, Evan Pilkington

Guests: Councilor Chernushenko, Brendan McCoy (OSCAR editor), Anna Cuylits, Lydia Oak, Jamie Brougham


  1. Welcome
  2. Treasurer position

Motion to approve the appointment of Caroline Clark to the position of Treasurer. Proposed by Steve Mennill and seconded by Linda Hancock. All in favour.

3.Approval of Agenda

Motion to approve the agenda. Proposed by Erik Van Der Torre and seconded by Lizane Castonguay. All in favour. Motion passed with no changes.

4.Approval of May Minutes

Motion was not brought forward as minutes had not been circulated in advance of this meeting. May minutes to be reviewed in September.

5.Councilor’s report - David Chernushenko

              Western Rideau River Pathway – A tender went out on the final design and the contract has been awarded. The work should be finished this season.

OC Transpo – Routes have been updated. #1 is now #6. Confederation line will be #1 and current O-Train will be #2.

Heritage Inventory – City staff have been looking at buildings with a heritage value and are creating an inventory. Letters have been sent to relevant properties. This is not the same as a full heritage designation. There was a discussion about why this is being undertaken as the notices sent to relevant properties indicated that no tax implications, and no restrictions on building/renovation are expected.

Environment Committee – The City’s Environment Committee passed the urban forestry management plan earlier today, as a start in creating a series of tools of the status of the city’s tree canopy. The first concrete project will be to review the tree protection by-laws.

Rideau River Lane - Residents of Rideau River Drive are frustrated by the proposed re-naming of their street. Councilor Chernushenko will not be getting involved in this issue. Residents will have the opportunity to submit input into the new name of the street.


A question as to whether some people did raise the issue of the farmer’s market coming back to Brewer during the Brewer Park public consultation was posed. The Councilor agreed that it was likely raised and thus OSCA’s April minutes should be updated to reflect that.

A question was raised about whether the swans are coming out soon as they have not yet been released. The Councilor reported that they should be out shortly.

6.Finance report – Emilie Taman

A4 is coming on board. Summer camps as well. No big red flags at this point. Any questions should be directed to Christy.

7.Executive Report – Emilie Taman

Media Communication

What is the framework by which we make decisions whether or not to engage in the media?

A good discussion was had around this. Some of the perspectives raised included:

  • There can be a difficulty in gauging what the community at large actually thinks as sometimes we have a vocal minority.
  • Who would speak? Chairs could speak to their areas, and the President/Executive Director could be spokespeople where they feel well informed.
  • With respect to the CDP, it might be helpful to have a media strategy around it.
  • We might actually gain more perspectives from engaging with the media – people might hear us speak and then reach out to us.
  • Does it enhance the social benefit of the community?
  • Can we speak to the issue?
  • Broader issues outside our community sometimes will have great impact on our community so we might still want to weigh in on those?

Emilie to review existing document Brendan spoke of and come back to the board with a proposed framework/set of questions to ask before engaging in a media request.

Southminster Renovation

What is the update on Southminster?

A good discussion was had around this with input from guests. Michael Jenkin and Emilie Taman met with Anna Cuylits and Lydia Oak to discuss this prior to this meeting.

A group has been established called Development Watch Southminster. This group would like to know if OSCA is going to weigh in either for or against this development. Their concerns include the height and the sightlines of the church. Anna who represented DWS mentioned that DWS attaches a great deal of significance to the development not being higher than the church as the application is out for the church to become a heritage property. The meeting for that is August 4th. The trees are extremely close to the property edge and are likely to not make it through the development. DWS is not opposed to a development the same height as the church, but the proposed roofline will stick out above the church.

Steve Mennill spoke for OSCA’s Planning & Zoning Committee (PZC) which believes OSCA shouldn’t take a formal position with the city either for or against this development. PZC believes the formation of DWS is a positive thing as they can represent their position more formally to the city which may lead to taking a position at the OMB and that will likely go to a hearing which is also a good thing. This would be several months from now – maybe a year from now – and the board may decide then that they want to or don’t want to support that group financially at that time once we better know their formal position on the development and what they’re trying to achieve.

Mr. Mennill also proposed some ideas to assist DWS in advocating their position. He mentioned that the building will be subject to Site Plan Control which will allow the city to have an agreement with the developer which might allow them to stipulate things such as the location of balconies, the choice of materials, whether windows are opaque or fully transparent and the glazing of windows, how terraced the back of the building will be, whether a visual screen between the pool across the street and the balconies will occur etc. The DWS group could advocate to the city about this which also governs onsite laneways and parking on the site and how it’s configured.

Steve has reached out to the planning committee for a liaison with the group who is not affiliated with Southminster in any way and is optimistic one will come forward.  

8.Committee reports and decision items

  1. Communications Committee – Brendan McCoy

Brendan, Chris, Becca, Kathy are moving forward with the website and are acting as the communications committee without a Board Member. If there is a board member who could take this on, that would be helpful.

  1. Planning and Zoning – Steve Mennill

There are no further updates from Planning & Zoning beyond the above.             

  1. Program Committee – Lizane Castonguay

Next meeting is September 12th and we will know better who is part of the committee and at that time we’ll try to get 3 or 4 priorities for the year.

Throughout the summer Christy will be working on the episodic programming. We are looking for more volunteers for various issues. If anyone would like to help, please let Lizane/Michaela know. Discussion about FFC survey results.

  1. Special Events Committee – Emilie Taman

Brewer Park Art Show – A new staff member is working on this. Should it be on the same day as the porch sale? A good discussion was had about this and the recommendation is to try to find a different day for the Art show/BBQ as issues of rain, the different demographics for each event, and the idea of taking too much time for families on the one day if ideas were combined. Should it be in the evening? Is another question. Concerns about the viability of merging – can we find another date? July/Aug better. Brendan needs to know 48 hours from now.

  1. Traffic and Safety – Brian Ure

Committee is very pleased about the bike safety rally and rodeo on June 11th. There were about 130 or so attendees. The plan is to do this again next year.

Green Dreamers – The group has been really active. Wednesday and Saturday mornings there is a steady crew working on the neighbourhood. Residents have been offering to split their plants with the Green Dreamers so this has been helpful.

Minutes – The Traffic and Safety Committee asked that the committee minutes and board minutes be posted on the website. The Board members believe that both are once they are approved.

Community – Pedestrian and Cycling access to Colonel By. Ian and David have asked that we survey around this to get a better sense of what the community wants.

Hopewell – Erik Van Der Torre – Ian Grabina’s office came to the parent council meeting to speak to the traffic issues around Hopewell. The South side of Hopewell between the last house and Bank Street will become a no parking and no stopping zone from 8am – 9am and between 3pm – 4pm as this is area is very dangerous, particularly in winter. The school will be suggesting that parents who have to drive students in grades 4 and up drop them off on Glen instead of Hopewell. The bus loading zone on Sunnyside signage is grandfathered and may be changed at some point to no parking again for safety (particularly in winter where buses are dropping kids off who have to go over a snowbank from the plow). A 2nd assessment of Belmont and Bank will be done likely in September.

Bank Street lights assessment – Erik Van Der Torre - The Traffic and Safety Committee is going to review the operation of the lights down Bank St. from a pedestrian safety/consistency point of view and provide this information to the City. Kelly Campbell raised the issue of the intersections of – Riverdale and Sunnyside and Riverdale and Belmont – lights are not switching. Traffic and Safety is now aware of this issue.


  1. Info night for parents around drugs and alcohol – Erik Van Der Torre – Ottawa Public Health is on board and Erik/Hopewell are working to put this on in the fall. Safe and Caring Committee is coming up with a speaker series throughout the year for Emotional Coaching, Internet Safety and Alcohol/Drug use.
  2. Businesses – Erik Van Der TorreErik has been speaking with Hair Republic and Alteriors business owners re: engaging the business community. In a meeting today, they had 7 business owners who discussed another push towards a BIA, and their desire to do something additional, unified, organized thing during the porch sale.
  3. OSCAR – Brendan McCoy

The next deadline for submissions to the OSCAR for the September paper is August 18th.

10.Adjournment – Emilie Taman

Motion to adjourn the meeting. Proposed by Caroline Clark and seconded by Lizane Castonguay. All in favour.


OSCA Board Meeting Minutes

Tuesday May 16, 2017
7:30 pm. The Firehall

In Attendance: Lise Beutel, Kelly Campbell, Lizane Castonguay, Christine Franklin, Janet Jull, Linda Hancock, Michael Jenkin, Steve Mennill, Michaela Tokarski, Erik Van Der Torre.

Regrets: Ahmed Elsayed, Evan Pilkington, Brian Ure.

Guests: Ian Grabina (Councillor Chernushenko’s Assistant), Brendan McCoy (OSCAR editor), Christy Savage (OSCA Executive Director), Jamie Brome.

  1. Welcome- Linda Hancock welcomed the new Board.
  1. Approval of Agenda

Motion to approve the agenda. Proposed by Michaela Tokarski, seconded by Lizane Castonguay

All in favour. Motion passed with the following changes:

Add - “Election of executive” just before the Councillor’s report.  

Add-  under ‘other business’ – “Public information session on drug and alcohol use/abuse.”

  1. Approval of Minutes of April 2017

Motion to approve the minutes of April 2017 Proposed by Steve Mennill, seconded by Erik Van Der Torre.

All in favour. Motion passed with no changes

4- Election of the executive.

Linda Hancock, OSCA President, called for the election of the new President and asked if anyone wanted to step forward, in addition to Emilie Taman.

There were no other nominees.

Motion to appoint Emilie Taman as the new OSCA President. Proposed by Michaela Tokarski, seconded by Michael Jenkin.

All in favour. Motion passed unanimously.

Emilie Taman called for the nomination of the OSCA Board Executive.

Motion to appoint Lise Beutel as the OSCA Vice President proposed by Steve Mennill, second

Michaela Tokarski.

All in favour. Motion passed unanimously.

There is no Treasurer. The Board will revisit this.

The Chair of the Program Committee sits on the Executive. This year both Michaela Tokarski and Lizane Castonguay will Co-Chair the Program Committee. Michaela will sit on the Executive for the first half of the year and Lizane will sit on the Executive Committee for the second half of the year.

The Past president position will be held by Linda Hancock.

  1. Councillor’s report- Ian Grabina Assistant to Councillor Chernushenko

Ian introduced himself to the new Board and invited them to contact him with questions.

OC Transpo- The Councillor’s office met to review the 2018 plans specifically for Capital Ward. Bus #1 and #7 originally slated to split at Rideau will no longer be split. Bus # 1 will become Bus #6.

Discussion was had on the congestion and traffic downtown from busses. It is expected that the new LRT will alleviate downtown traffic.

A new service will be added on Main street running 7 days/weekly every 30 mins during regular hours and every 15 minutes during rush hour. The intent is for this to become a 24-hour service.

Noise Bylaw- Many expressed concern over potential changes to the noise bylaw at Lansdowne. There will be no change. There are some improvements related to weekend construction times to the bylaw.

June 21st- open house on foot bridge, oc transpo change in service, western Rideau river pathway. Will also have a face to face opportunity with the councillor.

The Windsor park pathway will be repaved. The Linda Thom target in pathway has deteriorated over the years. There is concern with a new design, which Ian discussed with Linda Thom. The plan will include a commemorative plaque and be designed to avoid deterioration in the future.

The Councillor’s office met with the Traffic and Safety committee to discuss concerns with a safe crossing on Colonel By Drive. It may be beneficial for OSCA to conduct a cycling and pedestrian survey.

There was discussion on the best kind of survey to conduct, what kinds of statistics would need to be analyzed for the NCC. The T&S Committee will discuss this further with the Councillor’s office.

  1. Finance report

Christy presented the Variance from March.

There were no questions or discussion.

  1. Executive Committee report

The Board were encouraged to read reports prior to Board meeting in order to limit discussions to key items.

The Board will need a Treasurer, Chair of Communications and further discussion will be held on the status of the Special Events Committee.

  1. Committee reports and decision items
  1. Communications Committee

No report.

  1. Planning and Zoning

Southminster Development- There has been one more community meeting since the OSCA AGM. Not much has changed. The proposed plan was summarized. A zoning application will be submitted within the next couple of days. This will be a 9-12-month process and, although not necessary, there will likely be a public meeting. Site plan approval will also be required, this is a separate but parallel process in terms of designing the exterior features of the building.

The Board will need to decide if it will take a position on this or not.

Steve Mennill stated that he will recuse himself from any decisions since he is on the Southminster Church Committee.

Discussion was had on OSCA’s role in development projects. OSCA does not take a position unless a development would have an overall negative effect on the community. OSCA’s role is one of facilitating discussion. The Planning committee has a mandate that spells out that role.

It was agreed that it would be helpful to get some community input via a public meeting.

There is also the need to have a Community Design Plan (CDP) in Old Ottawa South, which does not exist. With the Board’s approval Planning & Zoning will pursue this.

  1. Program Committee

Nothing to add to report.

  1. Special events- Ilia Fabbri would like to act as the liaison to the Board for Special Events. Although the Board will need to discuss the role of a Special Events Committee in future, the biggest concern would be to keep people engaged in attending and organizing events. The new position of a Brewer Park Art Show Coordinator will aid with further discussion on this. The Board agreed to hire someone to coordinate this event as a test project for potentially running OSCA’s signature events.
  1. Traffic and Safety
  1. Other-

Public information session on drug and alcohol use/abuse.

Erik Van der Torre raised the issue of off property drinking and drug abuse by grade 6-8 students, even during the school day. This issue transcends Hopewell Avenue Public School students. Erik asked if OSCA could take on the role of facilitating community information sessions.

Several communities in Ottawa have had information sessions on opioids because of recent concerns with overdosing.

Discussion- The Board fully supported this. There was discussion on capacity at the Firehall for an event of this potential magnitude, there may be interest in a few sessions. Ottawa Public Health can offer these types of programs within the schools.

Discussion was held on OSCA’s role and how we can give added value to the community on this subject. This may be in connecting various resources and school boards and work with the parents council’s.

No specific motion was put forward. Erik will reach out to various groups and report back to the Board.

Business beat for OSCAR- Erik Van Der Torre has been meeting with businesses and discussing how they fit into the community. Although in the early stages, there is opportunity for Businesses to connect in OOS. Erik will report back to the Board on the possibility of this and a BIA.  

Ilia Fabbri-  noted that her role on the Board is as the Old Ottawa East (OOE) representative. If there are any questions or comments please let her know. She also let the Board know that there will be a community barbecue at Brantwood park every Friday from 5:30- 8:30. Also on Friday June 16th Lalaland will show in the park and on June 17th Main Event Garage Sale will be held in OOE.

  1. Adjournment-

Motion to adjourn the meeting. Proposed by Michael Jenkin and seconded by Michaela Tokarski. All in favour.


Board Meeting Reports 2014-12-16

Communications Committee Minutes (Presented as the Report on Dec. 16, 2014)

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014- 6:30 pm

  1. Social Media Update
    • Facebook/Twitter engagement
    • We had some successful posts, Shop Your Local Talent post reached 520 people (Appendix A). The Winter Program Guide post reached 451 people (Appendix B)
    • Board has approved $200 budget to boost posts.
      • One post (normal), one boosted, one demographic + boosted, one final boost day of registration.
      • We will evaluate how much engagement we get on the different posts and compare reach.
      • We will create a bit.ly link to add to an email reminder, this will help monitor how many people go to the website. 
      • $200: $75 and $75 and $50 ($50for an ‘urgent’ post, sometime during registration).
      • Amanda and Aletha will look into bit.ly and tiny.url
  2. Social Media: December plan for posts
    • Work on consistency of language
    • Add OSCAR deadlines as well as notifications about Between the Bridges on Thursdays
    • Promote subscriptions to the e-newsletter.
  3. Registration Platforms- re-cap from E-register meeting
    • ASAP wasn’t as good as expected, there are concerns about customer service
    • Reg Packs: we would need to enhance our website in order to use their system.
    • Drupal- Chris will look into extensions such as shopping carts etc.
    • Joomla- Nick raised the possibility of a “course manager”.
    • Allen LeBlanc has agreed to research further options for the task group
  4. Content Audit of Website- update
    • There has been significant clean-up of the website, currently working on upgrading to Joomla 3.
    • We should wait until the next Joomla level is installed/upgraded before running another content audit.
    • The possibility of a Think-Tank to assist with improving the website was discussed.
  5. Communications Strategy update
    • Conduct a think tank to explore current procedures and get new ideas on usability and intuitive interfaces.
    • Offer a tool to various groups to audit content from different web pages. Give options for content: Toss, Keep, Store. 
    • Look in to giving Amanda and Aletha full permissions to post directly to the website. Amanda will e-mail Chris login info used by admin.
  6. Support for other committees
    • Program Committee: Major project is new registration system. Target new and existing audiences. Specifically younger and older audiences.
    • Planning and Zoning: May eventually want to engage with the community.
    • Membership: we need to reach out to the community to grow OSCA membership. An OSCAR insert could be helpful. Or a membership drive.
    • Generally; Committees need to be informed of the resources available to them.
  7. Appendix A : “Shop Your Local Talent” Post , November 26th, 2014
  8. Appendix B: Winter Program Guide Post, November 22nd, 2014

OSCA Program Committee December Board Report

  1. After 4
    1. There has been much staff training and onsite mentorship. Former Senior staff have returned to the Firehall to assist with training and overall mentorship. An intensive workshop was held in late November and changes in programming are expected.
    2. Senior staff will be mentored more closely with short term intensive goals to ensure they take more overall leadership with regard to staff training, and programming.
    3. Programming at Southminster was discussed. The goal will be a different program introduced there in the Fall involving workshops from local partners (dance etc) as well as Firehall instructors. Some of the workshops and programming will be slowly introduced in January with a comprehensive program hopefully launched in the Fall of 2015.
    4. Space for storage will also be negotiated with Southminster.
  2. After 4 payment policy
    1. We continue to have many clients in arrears. A notice was sent home in backpacks in late November. To date 33 people have not paid. Many think their payments are automatically withdrawn or that the original payment of first and last month was the entire payment needed.
    2. The Firehall team will come up with possible payment options and present these to the Program Committee in January for approval. The goal will be to ease the process for Firehall staff having to collect unpaid accounts, as well as motivate clients to pay regularly and/or in advance.
  3. Surveys
    1. The surveys for After 4 and Programs were launched at the beginning of December.
    2. A review will be presented in January. The idea of survey fatigue was raised. Essentially surveys are sent out twice annually. In the Summer Spring and Winter programs are assessed, and in December the previous Fall’s programs are assessed. This was not deemed to be too much.
  4. Firehall Fitness Centre (FFC)
    1. Christy, Ian and Alex met with Advantage Fitness to assess the FFC
    2. A treadmill will be removed and rower introduced. Also some of the heavier weights will also be removed. Finally, a number of posters outlining different free weight exercises will be mounted throughout the FFC to assist members. All told this will result in a $400 credit with Advantage Fitness.
    3. Advantage fitness also proposed a more detailed trade up with additional machines including a stack. This was not deemed appropriate, after consulting with the Fitness Centre Attendants and Personal trainers who noted the lack of demand for such, and the need for more floor space. The committee supported the input of the Attendants and will not be purchasing this new equipment.
    4. However, there is the possibility of looking into a wave machine, dip station and chin up bar.
    5. Christy will ensure the proposed posters are approved by the attendants and personal trainers first.
  5. Registration system update
    1. The E-Reg task force had second demos with Regpacks and ASAP and did not feel that the programs would be adequate. Allen Leblanc researched 4 more companies. The Firehall staff will research those companies. Additionally Legend, a company from the UK who Dovercourt are hoping to bring to Canada, have initiated the steps to be available by applying with the Competition bureau. If the local community centres purchased as a group discounted fees could be a possibility. Legend also will need to ensure that the future of the Community Centre’s is somewhat guaranteed before making these steps.
  6. The Firehall team will investigate all options.

Special Events Report for OSCA Board

Dec. 2014

  • The Shop Your Local Talent Christmas Show and White Christmas at the Mayfair were successful and well attended.
  • We had more people at the Shop Local event than last year. There were a few less people at White Christmas at the Mayfair, but we still project to break even.
  • Facebook was very helpful with the Shop Local event in that for the first time artists could post photos of their work ahead of time.
  • Breakfast with Santa will be on Dec. 14th , we will update verbally at the board meeting on the 16th.
  • Next up we have a Valentine’s Day Skating Party at Windsor Park.
  • There has been discussion about a Women’s Day event and we will be meeting in the new year to confirm .
  • Still some discussion on OOS Amazing Race, it is felt by a majority of the group at this time that there is not enough time to plan this event for 2015, but that spring 2016 might work.
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