September comes all too soon after the carefree days of summer, bringing a familiar return to work, family and school routines.
Take time to reconnect at fall events in our community, with friends at a nearby café or restaurant, and watch the leaves turn our neighbourhood into a magnificent kaleidoscope of colour.
Read on in this September-October 2023 Business Buzz column for news and updates about several of our current and new advertisers.
We hope you enjoy perusing their unique, personal and often inspiring stories brought to these pages by our columnists, Liza Fendt and Julie Ann Levett-Kiala Buloki.
We welcome new advertisers:
- The Bank of Canada Museum
- Costa Rica Cabana Rental (Liza Fendt)
- Julie Pet Connect (Julie Oliveira)
- Sunrise Music Class, MYO (Tu Mach), and
- The Hounds (Karen Jones).
We warmly welcome back returning advertisers A Better Fit (Juliette Hunter); ARC Studio School (Megan Lelli); Dominion Chalmers Curling League (Fred Hosking); DownDOG Yoga (Jocelyne Campbell); the Funeral Co-operative of Ottawa (Lisa Wilson) and the RCMP Curling Club (Paul Adams).
We thank those advertisers who have renewed as five-issue advertising subscribers with this edition: Activa Physiotherapy (Barbara Stefanska); Anatomy Physiotherapy (Andrew Dings); Coconut Lagoon (Joe Thottungal); Marnie Edwards, RMT; Marc Lafontaine, Realtor; Lucie E. Cooking (Jennifer Bardwell); MacDonald-Cartier Academy (Jean Mantha); Randall’s; Rowat Insurance (Paul Boudreau); Sandy Hill Construction; Sezlik Realtors and The Canine School (Chantal Mills).
(Please note that the date for the Funeral Co-operative of Ottawa’s open house is Wednesday October 25 from 1 to 4 p.m. The date was changed in late September and, as a result, out-dated information appears in the Chronicle’s September-October print edition.)
In a world where health and wellness often take center stage, the role of professionals who guide and support individuals towards a more active and fulfilling lifestyle has become paramount. Manor Park resident Juliette Hunter, a Certified Athletic Therapist and Registered Kinesiologist, has dedicated her career to transforming lives through physical activity. With experience and expertise, she assists individuals who are either new to physical activity or recovering from injuries, helping them achieve their full potential and create lasting positive changes.
Juliette has worked with clients of all ages for over 20 years and has owned and operated A Better Fit, her exercise rehabilitation and personal training business, since 2010. She has a special appreciation for clients over 65 who “not only see the value of maintaining their physical function but also respect their body as it evolves.”
During a first in-person session, Juliette performs a biomechanical assessment – the foundation of the personalized care she offers and the cornerstone upon which she builds personalized exercise plans and strengthening strategies. She carefully analyzes movement patterns, posture, joint mobility and muscle imbalances to target interventions that address specific needs and pinpoint areas of potential concern or limitations that enable her to build personalized exercise plans.
“For many the prospect of becoming more active can be daunting, whether due to a sedentary lifestyle or the fear of aggravating an existing injury,” says Juliette. People are interested in becoming more active and are increasingly aware of the value of individualized support in this process.”
This is where Juliette’s expertise truly shines. With an individualized approach and motivation, she empowers clients to take first steps towards a more active lifestyle. She also offers tips to improve workspaces and good posture for clients’ use of technology.
“Everyone’s journey is unique, and my role is to tailor guidance to meet the individual’s specific needs and goals,” she says. Following the biomechanical assessment, sessions can take place at a client’s home, at Juliette’s home-based studio or through virtual sessions. Juliette says virtual sessions are just as effective as in-person and allow clients to set up a home space for independent daily exercise while also saving everyone on transportation time and costs.
For rehabilitation sessions, Juliette focuses on overcoming specific limitations by establishing conditions that will allow the body to heal. For surgical patients, Juliette stresses that pre-habilitation exercises and strengthening strategies are important for a successful surgical outcome and set the stage for more effective post-surgical rehabilitation. She focuses on strengthening muscles, working on mechanics and balance to prepare for surgery.
Injuries can be discouraging setbacks that affect active lifestyles. As an athletic therapist and kinesiologist Juliette has skills to guide clients through the rehabilitation process effectively. She employs a holistic approach combining therapeutic exercises, manual hands-on techniques, and functional training to aid recovery.
Clients can benefit not only from physical healing but also from emotional support as they work towards reclaiming their active lives. She creates personalized exercise plans that gradually introduce physical activity, ensuring that clients build confidence and develop a sense of accomplishment at their own pace.
“By making the experience enjoyable and manageable, sustainable habits that contribute to improved overall well-being can be established,” says Juliette.
She believes that clients are more likely to stick with personalized, tailored routines that are enjoyable and align with their preferences and goals, and that are specifically designed for them – plans that enhance the likelihood of long-term success.
You can reach Juliette at A Better Fit or by calling 613-355-8403.
Activa Physiotherapy, conveniently located on the ground floor of the Champlain Towers apartment building at 200 Rideau Terrace in the Lindenlea-New Edinburgh area, is marking 28 years of service.
Clinic owner and physiotherapist Barbara Stefanska, RPT, MA has been in the field of physical rehabilitation for some 45 years and is specialized in movement rehabilitation. She tells the Chronicle that it is not uncommon for her to treat three or more generations of a family – which to her is a great joy.
Activa Physiotherapy opens at 7 a.m. for clients who like to have their therapeutic hour before the professional day begins; the last appointment is scheduled at 3:30 p.m. In keeping with the restrictions in place during the pandemic, it is rare to have two clients in the clinic at the same time. Barbara says this allows her to focus on each person, to adjust and personalize treatments.
The clinic offers physiotherapy, massage therapy and training to treat muscular-skeletal conditions including orthopedic-sport injuries, back and neck pain and motor vehicle accident injuries. It provides a wide array of therapy alternatives to respond to individual patient needs. Time and attention are invested to determine the most accurate diagnosis and effective therapies for each client.
Physiotherapy treatments may include: manual therapy as well as pulsating magnetic field therapy to stimulate tissue healing; modern electrotherapy; low-level laser therapy including shockwave therapy which helps break down scar tissue; inferential current therapy to address pain and associated modalities to accelerate the healing process by stimulating the metabolism to enhance blood circulation and regenerate damage tissue.
A visit to the clinic begins with an extensive assessment in which Barbara focuses on health history and listening intently to clients to discern their main concerns.
That initial visit also includes an evaluation of the client’s posture, balance, gait analysis, movement patterns, strength, joint range of motion, reflexes and sensation – all important inputs for a thorough diagnosis and the development of a treatment strategy. Clinic sessions are an hour in length.
Next steps include the development of a personalized treatment program tailored to the patients’ preferences and needs. This program will include therapy treatments at the clinic as well as personalized videos of exercises and movements to be performed at home. This latter step is a fundamental aspect of the patient education process – one in which clients benefit from learning how to improve their posture and movement for the rest of their life. The take-home exercises that Barbara provides are chosen to enhance the continued well-being of each client.
“Patients feel they are very well taken care of,” says Barbara. “The therapy process feels integral, and our educational component and recommendations are of preventive value.” Barbara is proud of being recognized as one of the three best registered physiotherapists in Ottawa by Three Best Rated® (CANADA). She loves her work and treating and teaching her patients to achieve well-being.
During our interview, I learn that the right type of exercise is the most recommended measure to reduce joint pain caused by arthritis. Barbara explains that arthritis pain can be treated and often reduced by particular movements that she teaches her patients and monitors to optimize effectiveness.
As Activa Physiotherapy returns to pre-pandemic clinic levels, its focus remains on providing the best client care possible and the most enriched approach to wellness.
For Barbara and her team, it is a way of life to support her clients’ healing and learning process. And, the community remains supportive, for which Barbara and the clinic are most grateful.
For information and to book an appointment, call 613-744-4188 or visit https://activa.com/contact-us/.
Andrew Dings, a registered physiotherapist since 2011, developed his vision of what an ideal physiotherapy practice should offer while accumulating practical experience in the field. The bilingual, masters of physiotherapy graduate (uOttawa) also has his master’s degree in clinical science (MCISc) in Manipulative Therapy and is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Manipulative Physical Therapists (FCAMPT).
Andrew opened his ‘ideal’ clinic – Anatomy Physiotherapy – in 2019 at 425 St. Laurent Blvd. in Manor Park. Since then, his passion and vision have led to the opening of three additional clinics (in Orleans, Westboro and, Stittsville). Anatomy clinics offer physiotherapy and massage therapy, and, at its Manor Park location, specialized physiotherapy services such as pelvic health therapy for women and vestibular rehabilitation to help manage dizziness and balance issues.
Tanya Plaoude, a registered physiotherapist, has been with the Manor Park clinic since its opening. Along with registered physiotherapist Sophie Drouin, they provide orthopedic and musculo-skeletal treatments. Sophie is also the clinic’s pelvic health therapist. All clinics provide the same one-on-one, hands-on bilingual service to increase the physical wellness and comfort of patients.
“The personalized attention and education that our physiotherapists offer together with an evidence-based approach to healing, makes all the difference in results,” says Andrew.
Physiotherapy treatments, which include hands-on care, education and exercise, begin with a one-hour evaluation followed by half-hour, individualized treatment-plan sessions.
The focus is on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of musculoskeletal disorders, which affect bones, muscles, ligaments and joints. Clients have direct access to their physiotherapist who oversees the entire process from diagnosis to treatment and education.
Clients are evaluated for mobility, balance, range of motion and pain levels. Taking into account their goals, personalized treatment plans are created to include therapeutic treatment, stretches and exercises to restore function, strength, mobility and address pain.
“Our physiotherapists employ evidence-based manual therapy (to mobilize tissues) to optimize movement, alleviate pain and enhance physical performance with less focus on modality applications (such as muscle stimulation and ultrasound techniques),” says Andrew. “Manual therapy and exercise has been shown to produce the most success.”
Treatments also focus on rehabilitation and recovery. Whether recovering from surgery, a motor vehicle accident or a sports-related injury, physio can play a crucial role in facilitating rehabilitation. Beyond injury treatment, Anatomy physiotherapists offer unique tools for performance enhancement. By assessing movement patterns and biomechanics, targeted training programs can be developed for athletes and individuals to optimize strength, flexibility and movement efficiency.
Massage therapy, which promotes soft tissue healing, may be recommended to complement physical therapy treatments. Anatomy offers both deep tissue massage, myofascial release therapies and, in cases where deemed beneficial, craniosacral therapy to treat injuries or underlying conditions.
Andrew says that in an ideal world people would work preventatively with a physiotherapist to find ways to become stronger and prevent wear and tear, as well as minimizing the impact of disorders such as arthritis. Identifying and addressing imbalances or musculoskeletal issues can help minimize future injuries and optimize overall physical well-being.
“An ideal time for prevention is during puberty where issues may arise and can be addressed with ease,” says Andrew.
In actuality, people tend to see a physiotherapist when they notice a weakness, limited movement or are already in pain.
When a client is in pain from musculoskeletal conditions such as back pain, joint arthritis, or sports injuries, treatment (manual therapy, exercises and targeted interventions) focuses on relieving that pain and then getting back to functional movement.
At Anatomy’s St. Laurent Blvd. location clients have access to three physiotherapists, three massage therapists, a pelvic health service for women, and vestibular rehabilitation to help with balance issues. The clinic also offers telehealth appointments and is open weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. For information, visit anatomyphysioclinic.com or call 613-680-4477.
There is an amazing abundance of resources enabling families to thrive in Manor Park. In January, ARC Studio School: An Acton Academy – a new neighbourhood educational alternative – opened its doors at 24 Sandridge Rd., in the lower-level hall of St. Columba Anglican Church.
ARC Studio School is an affiliate of Acton Academy, an international network of 300+ learner-driven schools, pioneered over a decade ago. ARC believes in the potential of every child to change the world and seeks to inspire, equip, and connect each child to develop the mindset and skills to drive their own learning.
Megan and Michael Lelli are the founders of ARC Studio School, an innovative, micro-private school for learners aged four to twelve. Megan, who is head of school, is a psychiatrist specialized in early childhood mental health; Michael is a creative entrepreneur working in the field of UX Design. Their motivation to launch ARC stemmed from a desire to support their own daughters in becoming confident, long-life learners and to extend this opportunity to the community. Megan’s professional experience in supporting children and families has been a great asset in the development of the school.
“Our vision is to create a learning community where children feel inspired, motivated and supported to try new things, grow through failure and reflection, and take responsibility for their own learning; with time, they develop the 21st Century skills that really matter: creativity, curiosity, communication, collaboration, critical thinking and character,” says Megan.
ARC is a modern one-room schoolhouse. Small by design, ARC is focused on creating a school that excites children’s curiosity for learning. The environment encourages learners to make choices, explore, create, collaborate, and reflect. With Socratic mentorship from guides (teachers) and peers, learners take on new challenges and take charge of their own learning.
ARC Studio School launched its Friday Forest School program, an immersive outdoor experience, this January. A spring session will run from March 24 to June 16. The school will offer weekly day camps this summer (last week of June to the last week of July) providing an opportunity to experience learning at ARC first-hand.
ARC’s first, full school cycle (pre-kindergarten to grade 7) will begin in September 2023 with two studios (classrooms) of multiage groupings: Studio 1 for children aged four to seven; Studio 2 for children aged eight to twelve. Enrollment occurs year-round, space permitting.
Megan explains that Studio 1 is designed to ignite a love of learning. Inspired by Montessori, Reggio Emilia, and the Forest School movement, this studio grows independence and collaboration through play. Studio 2 challenges learners to set goals, work collaboratively and experiment with what excites them, learning to face a challenge and persevere. At the beginning of the school year, the studios focus on building relationships and a strong community.
“Learners are introduced to the ‘Hero’s Journey’ a narrative that helps each to see her/himself on a personal learning journey over time,” she says.
Studio 2 learners develop an individualized learning plan with their guide and are supported in moving forward at their own pace and in their own time. Adaptive computer software is used in the mornings to support individual skill development in reading, writing, and mathematics in the elementary studio (ages 8-11 years), supplemented by collaborative learning labs. Afternoons are spent in ‘Quests’ — collaborative, hands-on projects, that build real-world skills and answer real-world questions. Learners are ‘learning to learn, learning to do, and learning to be’ inspiring themselves to move through life with ability and intention.
Feedback is ongoing through online dashboards, Exhibitions of Learning, and Journey Meetings. Journey Meetings provide an opportunity for a learner, their parents and their guide to discuss and review growth, personal development, and plan the next steps on the learner’s journey.
You can find more information regarding this exciting educational alternative by visiting https://www.arcstudioschool.ca, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 613-255-7238.
Sarah Younes admits that people still ask to see her dad when they visit the custom framing shop at 63 Beechwood Ave. Abed Younes opened Art House Custom Framing in 2014.
Introducing himself simply as “Abed – like you lie in” – endeared him to hundreds of customers, but it was the quality of the work that kept people coming back.
Over the years we began to see Sarah more often, observing and learning, as Abed edged his way out of the lead. Now his youngest daughter is the proud day-to-day operations manager of the business, cultivating neighbourly relationships and creating beautiful, framed works in the Art House tradition.
Dad still drops in about twice a week but now enjoys the freedom to pursue new projects and his passion for travelling. Asked about how she enjoys being part of Beechwood Village, Sarah replied, “Beechwood Village is an amazing area in which to work.”
“The people here are so nice and friendly, and the environment is so calm and peaceful,” she says. “I love it here!”
The shop’s atmosphere is relaxed and lively, like the studio of a working artist. Tall flat boxes with their tops cut down lean against the walls, holding matting, backing materials or art prints. To the right of the door is large piece of laminating equipment with an oversized ‘steering wheel’, which is of course nicknamed The Bus. Another corner holds a custom machine for frame joining, called a v-nailer.
Whether a customer has a firm idea about what they want, or are seeking guidance, Sarah follows their lead with suggestions and examples, providing a range of options informed by budget and taste. The choice of matting, frame, style etc. is necessarily collaborative. The variety of frame styles that Art House carries ranges from modest to lavishly ornate, and great fun is had by trying out different mat colours, alone or in combination, along with different frame styles. Art House offers different glass qualities with museum quality being the premium, its total transparency showing off a piece to best advantage.
The images or items we choose for framing, laminating or mounting are precious. We may give them as a gift or adorn our homes or offices with them. Such works convey a story about who we were, who we are, or would like to be. Medals, jewelry, small trinkets, spoons, fabric arts like lace, crochet or embroidery are all among the special pieces Sarah has framed for clients over the years.
Certificates of all kinds, congratulatory letters from the late Queen Elizabeth 11 honoring special birthdays or anniversaries, event invitations and children’s artwork are all staples. Your cherished photographs, original art and prints of all kinds are welcome.
Sarah also offers photo restoration, canvas stretching and lamination, all in-house. Lastly, a huge range of prints are available to order, with styles to suit every taste. I asked Sarah about what pleases her most about her running the shop.
“I am satisfied when the customer is satisfied and happy, “she replies. “It brings me so much joy when I see customers leaving the store with their framed pieces and a smile on their faces.”
Serving embassies, businesses, families and clients of all kinds from the neighborhood and beyond, the shop is a destination as well as a village fixture. This vibrant business is one of Beechwood Ave.’s gems.
Well done, Sarah!
Canadians are deepening their understanding about what the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has called the genocide of First Nations peoples in Canada.
The 2022 National Day of Reconciliation on September 30 saw events in public libraries, public spaces like Parliament Hill and in our neighbourhood’s Beechwood Cemetery. Public education is addressing our need to respond to tragic revelations such as those of unmarked graves throughout the country – our need to lament, and to act.
Beechwood, The National Cemetery of Canada, is taking a leadership role in the national conversation around reconciliation. I spoke with Nick McCarthy, director of marketing, communications and community outreach at Beechwood, about the cemetery’s efforts to facilitate learning about Canada’s complex past.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) calls to action include several which directly address information around deaths, memorialization and burial records of children who died due to neglect and abuse on the part of the school system.
In keeping with its mandate to be ‘a cemetery for all Canadians’, Beechwood Cemetery has partnered with two national organizations. The First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada, led by Dr. Cindy Blackstock, and Kairos, an ecumenical advocacy group focussing on Indigenous rights worldwide, work with the cemetery with the shared mission of ‘Reconciling History’.
One of their mandates is to highlight the burial locations and legacy of three prominent Canadians who were involved with the development, maintenance, and criticism of the residential school system.
This work is Beechwood’s response to the call to action #79 of the TRC’s final report which states: “We call upon the federal government, in collaboration with Survivors, Aboriginal organizations, and the arts community, to develop a reconciliation framework for Canadian heritage and commemoration. This would include, but not be limited to, revising the policies, criteria, and practices of the National Program of Historical. Commemoration to integrate Indigenous history, heritage, values, and memory practices into Canada’s national heritage and history.”
Beechwood has adapted some of its Great Canadians Plaques to reflect the more complex reality of the lives of Duncan Campbell Scott and Nicholas Flood Davin, who as federal civil servants, were involved in the architecture and development of residential schools.
Campbell Scott, the writer, is a staple in Canadian poetry studies alongside other Confederation poets such as Archibald Lampman, but an updated historical plaque clearly states the darker aspects of his legacy as the lead government administrator for residential schools.
Flood Davin travelled to the United States visiting ‘industrial’ schools and found them to be a viable tool for assimilation, recommending the building of more schools in Canada.
But Dr. Peter Henderson Bryce pushed back. Serving as public heath director in the Department of Indian Affairs, he authored a report on the deplorable health conditions including malnutrition and rampant tuberculosis among children in residential schools.
His was one of the lone voices of the early 20th century government which dared critique the way the schools were run, and he was fired as a result.
His grave in one of the oldest sections of Beechwood is surrounded by tokens of remembrance and appreciation from many.
Nick was pleased to share that two new indigenous commemorative symbols have been approved by the Canadian military for use on headstones: a Metis infinity symbol, and an Inuit symbol still in design process. He noted that there is a steady increase in requests for Beechwood’s Reconciling History tours.
“A cemetery without a community is an empty space,” says Nick. “The community makes us who we are…we are truly a reflection of the people we serve.”
Heartfelt thanks to Beechwood Cemetery and their partners for reflecting our own longings for truth, and for justice.
On Friday, November 11 at 10:45 a.m., the community and military members of the National Capital Region and their families and friends are invited to observe the Remembrance Day Ceremony at the National Military Cemetery of the Canadian Forces.
Adam and Kelly Weiss are the proud owners of Bibi Middle Eastern Kitchen, the vibrant Beechwood quick-service establishment that opened just weeks before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. “It’s been a wild ride!” said Adam.
While an incredibly challenging time to start a business, somehow Bibi’s hit the “sweet spot” by filling an unmet need in the neighborhood. The food is delicious – we know that Ottawa loves shawarma! The demand for Bibi’s delicious and healthy take-out grew more pronounced during the long months of restrictions.
Crediting a neighbourhood website for early publicity, one day in 2020 Adam looked out the window on the Putman Avenue sidewalk and saw a line-up. What an affirmation! Kelly and Adam and their staff were in the right place, at the right time, offering what the neighborhood enthusiastically endorsed as the right product.
“BiBi’s comes from the Arabic word ‘habibi’,” says Adam. “Habibi is a term of endearment said between close friends or relatives.” Adam tells me that it ties in the sense of hospitality and caring for all the guests that come into their establishment.
“ BiBi’s encompasses our belief in caring for our guests and having more than just a client versus business relationship,” he says.
The menu offerings are familiar with a few twists – Zaatar fries and popcorn for snacking – slow-roasted chicken instead of cooked on a spit – tabbouleh is made with quinoa in lieu of bulgur. It’s all bright, juicy, healthy and “more-ish”; as in, it tastes like more! Tempting photos and descriptions can be seen on their website www.eatatbibis.com.
Adam has been in the restaurant business since the age of 18, starting on the bottom rung as a dishwasher. He moved up in the industry through roles as assistant manager, food and beverage at Brookstreet, a stint at Ei8teen as wine director, and most recently as the front-of-house manager at the re-imagined Fairouz on Clarence St. Having studied business early on, and later completed a culinary management program, it was just a matter of time before Adam ventured out on his own.
“Growing up in Orleans, I was eating shawarma from the time I was six,” said Adam, explaining the choice of chef-inspired middle eastern cuisine. Adam’s time at Fairouz clarified for the couple the type of food they wanted for their restaurant.
Bibi’s food is made fresh from fresh ingredients, including 60 pounds of chickpeas soaked every week for hummus and as much as possible, vegetables from local producers. Much of the food production goes to catering for events of all sizes.
Fortunately for Adam, he married Kelly. Kelly is a serial entrepreneur with expertise in digital marketing and event planning. Together they had what it took to build a business that they themselves would want to patronize, for families like themselves.
“We get along really, really well,” laughs Kelly, while holding the couple’s 8-month-old baby boy Harrison. The young family are Manor Park residents and plan on sending Harrison to Manor Park Public School, establishing themselves for the long haul. A second location for Bibi’s is not out of the question someday.
Among the many projects that opening the business entailed, one of them was painting. The modest-sized seating area featured a textured wall which was red when the couple secured the location.
“We did it with a brush. It took two days! We came in after the first day, and it had dried paler than we’d thought and we had missed so many spots, we had to do it all over again!”
The resulting gold is very chic indeed, a touch of luxury which contrasts nicely with the fresh white and blue used elsewhere in the space. This dynamic young couple understands the desire for something familiar with a touch of unexpected – a winning formula for food and décor. Bibi’s is open seven days/week from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Joah Bates, with more than 30 years’ experience in Osteopathy, has been practicing in the Manor Park area for many years. He studied and practiced in his native England before moving to the United States. In 1999, he moved to Canada to continue his practice and his post-graduate study of the biodynamic approach to Osteopathy.
His area of expertise, Biodynamic Osteopathy, holds a special place in the range of holistic, hands-on approaches that can help us heal from injury or pain and often help us resolve vague discomforts.
Patients relax profoundly during sessions enabling the body’s own intelligence to take over and initiate a natural healing process. Also, patients gradually learn to be aware of their body, and its alignment and tension. This awareness becomes a useful self-help tool.
The onset of Covid-19 happened as Joah and his family were in the midst of making changes in their lifestyle. After several years of living in Manor Park and for a while in nearby Beacon Hill, in spring 2021 he moved his residence to Hawkesbury, Ont. where the rural community has welcomed them.
“Living in the countryside is fantastic – a win-win all round,” says Joah. “I grew up in the English countryside and wonder what took me so long to move back to that environment.”
He now travels twice weekly to see patients in a home-based clinic in Manor Park East. Its location, in a peaceful and easy-to-reach neighbourhood, could not be better. At his countryside clinic in Hawkesbury, he is able to see new clients and also those who travel from Ottawa and elsewhere.
“The pandemic has forced everyone to adapt and change their lifestyle. Many people now spend more time at home with their families … and schedules have become more flexible,” Joah tells me, as he reflects on the positive changes the pandemic has brought about.
Even though he had to close his practice several times due to COVID restrictions, he focuses on the positive changes and opportunities that have arisen. He pays special attention to what his clients need in order to feel more comfortable, confident, and relaxed while receiving treatments. Another positive change is that he now takes additional time between seeing patients, resulting in a workday with a more natural ebb and flow.
His clients may include people who have suffered injury or are in pain or discomfort. For example, a small misalignment may be painful because it produces pressure on nerves or limits circulation and results in compensations elsewhere in the body. Over time, that misalignment can become a larger problem.
The basic theory is that when the body is in alignment, it tends to heal, and pain disappears. Biodynamic Osteopathy can help resolve such imbalances and can teach awareness to prevent others. Biodynamic Osteopathy treatment centres on relaxation that allows the body to tap into its own resources to naturally align itself and heal. With cranio-sacral therapy, the nervous system subtly balances itself, supporting the improved alignment and the body’s general health.
One to three sessions are often enough to experience improvement with no negative side effects, but every case varies, and there are patients that appreciate periodic therapy treatments. Insurance coverage is available. Treatment sessions are for 50 minutes.
For an appointment or for more information do call Joah at 613-742-0011.
Our local bakery has the honour of being the one and only bakery in our neighbourhood. Also, it’s a first for Manor Park – a delicious stop on your way in or out of our community.
Loyal customers have enjoyed its sweet and savoury offerings for years – especially since the bakery opened its ‘new’ doors at 323 St. Laurent Blvd. in May 2013 – a heart-warming and ‘rising’ conclusion to a tumultuous two-year-journey following the 2011 Beechwood Ave. fire that had left the business teetering on the edge of uncertainty.
Owner Chris Green assumed ownership of Bread and Roses Bakery back in 2008. Almost a decade and a half on and despite the recent rough patches of the pandemic, Chris has adapted steadily re-focusing his business to thrive in both the wholesale and retail market, evolving all the while to meet new consumer tastes.
The bakery is open seven days a week: Monday to Saturday (8 a.m.– 6 p.m.); Sunday (8a.m. – 5 p.m.). Deliveries take place on Tuesdays, Thursday and Friday mornings.
The bakery’s custom-designed and fully equipped workspace is where the magic happens.
Everything is done by hand, with the best ingredients by well-trained and experienced bakers (which are in high demand). Ten people, including four dedicated bakers, make up the Bread and Roses team – a team that Chris values profoundly.
“Experienced bakers are the most fundamental part of operations,” says Chris. “They are very busy here – an invaluable cornerstone of the business.” Chris too, is often involved back-of-house, taking on baking shifts when needed.
The bakery offers a tempting array of freshly baked breads, scones (both sweet and savoury), loaves, muffins, cookies (nice ‘n large), sweet dessert pies, pastries, specialty cakes and creative seasonal treats.
For lunch or quick bite, there are sandwiches as well as samosas, beef sausage rolls, pizza slices and, in the winter, hot soup. A selection of boutique coffees and tempting teas are also on offer. It certainly is a warm spot in Manor Park where you can enjoy whatever your heart calls out for – if you can make up your mind.
Freezers are stocked with savoury meat and veggie pies, quiches and ready-to-bake-at-home, croissants, cinnamon buns and savoury Danish pastries. Cakes can be ordered 24 hours in advance and personalized.
Also, you can find Happy Goat Coffee and gourmet preserves by Michael’s Dolce for sale. Customers are invited to join them in support of the Ottawa Food Bank by donating a loaf of bread when they make their own purchases.
The bakery, an essential service, was open throughout the pandemic. Chris revamped operations and started working through the store’s website and Facebook page. They offered delivery service six days a week and looked after walk-in customers on a daily basis.
More and more customers placed their orders in advance and online, allowing the bakery to organize its production schedule and weather the inevitable downturn in its wholesale operations.
It’s taken a lot of hard work – especially now, managing new market supply chain issues which can, at times, affect the bakery’s ability to deliver orders on time. Chris tells me that from butter to flour to frozen products, supplies can be unreliable with prices that are “going through the roof”. His customers have been really understanding.
“My main concern is to strike a balance so that our customers continue to find their favourites at a reasonable price,” he says.
“This is a time were we need to support each other, among businesses, and between businesses and customers” he says, expressing his gratitude to the community for their continued support.
We welcome new advertiser Pedram Zandi, proud owner of CEC Electrical Services Ltd. His company, in business for four years, is expanding thanks to its well-established reputation for quality workmanship and customer service.
As a fully licensed and insured electrical contractor, CEC Electrical Services Ltd. offers residential and commercial services, including service calls for a complete range of electrical trouble shooting and for new electrical wiring and installations.
Eleven years ago, Pedram Zandi, already a master electrician with an engineering degree in electrical power systems, immigrated to Canada as a skilled worker. By 2018, he had completed the requirements for his Ontario Master Electrician’s license and had started his own company.
As a master electrician, Pedram has extensive experience and expertise in working with electrical systems, the interpretation of building codes, safety measures and project management.
For home or business owners planning work that entails more complex configurations or that require proper electrical permits and inspections, the services of a master electrician like Pedram and a licensed electrical contractor like CEC Electrical Services are needed to oversee the work.
“Electrical work is mathematical, demanding and requires hands-on problem-solving skills,” says Pedram. “That’s where the rewards come … using your talents to enjoy what you do.” And that is where the job satisfaction lies for Pedram, who also enjoys playing the violin for both pleasure and for relaxation.
Pedram says, “CEC Electrical Services specializes in providing the highest quality material and workmanship and provides free estimates for all major projects.” He cautions, “I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that homeowners try to troubleshoot electrical problems on their own. Call a licensed electrical contractor if there is an electrical issue, both for your own personal safety and to ensure that your home’s electrical system remains up to code.”
“Whether customers need a small wiring fix or the installation of state-of-the art smart home systems, CEC Electrical can help.” Pedram explains that his company will complete a thorough consultation to help the home or business owner in selecting the scope of the work that fits their overall project plans.
“I look at what I do as helping people, not just operating a business.”
CEC Electrical offers free quotes for major projects and guarantees for all its work. The company’s electrical services for residential and commercial premises include but are not limited to service upgrades to 200 amps; electric vehicle (EV) chargers; hot tubs, saunas, jacuzzies and pool equipment, and the installation of pot lights and light fixtures. It also provides electrical services for basement renovations, kitchen upgrades and wiring for custom-built homes. It provides services to replace aluminum wiring with copper; to install smart switches, plugs, timers, dimmers, and under-cabinet lights; isolated ground plugs for medical equipment as well as the installation of surge protectors, generators, transformers and 600V systems.
Currently, CEC Electrical offers its services in Ottawa and Pedram has an affiliation for Manor Park where his brother Ashkan Zandi owns and operates Time Sharpening – our neighbourhood watch and jewellery repair store, at the Rockcliffe Crossing Plaza on St. Laurent Blvd.
With an eye to the future, Pedram has incorporated his business federally and he is also licensed as a master electrician and FST Class A in both Alberta and British Columbia.
Asked why he went on to qualify in other provinces, Pedram says, “I am following my passion to build my professional company … to serve and to help.”
CEC Electrical is a young business with a mission to offer the highest quality, professional services to all its customers – its vision is the natural consequence of Pedram Zandi’s accumulated life experience of studies, discipline, focus and effort.
To reach CEC Electrical, contact Pedram at 613-709-7087 or visit his website at www.electricalcec.ca.
In a crowded adventure tourism field, Cultural and Natural History (CHN) Tours has established itself as an outstanding Galapagos Islands tour operator. Since their first trip to the Galapagos in 1999, Heather Blenkiron and Marc Patry, along with experienced guides and operational partners, have been escorting small groups of travelers on voyages of discovery to the islands off Ecuador.
CNH Tours partners with local ship operators most often using the 14-passenger ship Samba or the 16-passenger Integrity to offer richly immersive and active tours which explore the regions flora, fauna, ocean and cultural life.
Heather and Marc, Manor Park residents, had the opportunity to live in the Galapagos for the first two years of their married life, making connections that they continue to nurture to this day. Marc was employed by the United Nations to address an overpopulation of introduced goats who were rapidly desertifying once lush areas, an effort which contributed to the regions being recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site. Heather was employed to design a new visitor centre at the Charles Darwin Research Station, as well as being liaison to the Canadian Embassy in Ecuador.
There are 19 islands in the Galapagos archipelago, and only four are inhabited. province of Ecuador situated in the Pacific Ocean some 1,000 km from the South American continent, this region has been called a ‘living museum and showcase of evolution’.
Known for its unusual animal life, such as the land iguana, the giant tortoise and many types of finches, it is Galapagos that inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection, following his visit in 1835. Marc highly recommends David Quammen’s 1997 work The Song of the Dodo – Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions, for anyone with more than a passing interest in the Galapagos.
Okavanga Delta, Botswana
Doctor Karen Ross of the Kalahari Conservation Society is the lead expert on CNH’s newest tour to the Okavanga Delta, Kalahari Desert in Botswana. Dr. Ross is one of the prime drivers behind the region’s 2014 designation as the 1000th UNESCO World Heritage Site. On the eastern side of the delta is Moremi Game Reserve, a national park declared one of the Seven Wonders of Africa in 2013. Dr. Ross’ internationally recognized expertise in conservation and education makes her a top-calibre guide on this very popular trip.
Great Spirit Bear, Kitimat B.C.
This coming October, CHN Tours is offering a one-time 10-day trip to the world’s largest protected rainforest. The Great Sprit Bear tour on British Columbia’s coast, originating in Kitimat, begins with two days of pre-cruise exploration of the industrial area developed by Alcan aluminum, and meeting members of the first Nations and logging industry.
The trip will coincide with the beginning of the salmon run, so expect to see hungry bears feasting. Whales, sea lions, ravens and eagles will be visible in remote wilderness fjords and inlets. The trip promises a rich experience of old-growth beauty and industrial development, a juxtaposition worth seeing and contemplating which will be led by Marc and local experts.
Two years after launch, Antarctic tours continue to delight, and will now be led by Kevin Sampson who brings 40 years’ experience in adventure travel, 18 in Antarctica.
The CHN Tours website is a wealth of information, including reading lists, and feeds the imagination with the promise of once-in-a lifetime trips and experiences. Heather and Marc organized 24 trips in 2022. Each trip offers a deep introduction to the natural and cultural life of the regions they visit, inviting wonder, developing awareness and understanding. Visit www.cnhtours.com for more enticing information.
Following its award-winning 2022 season re-launch, the Classic Theatre Festival, which is well-known for producing hits from the golden age of Broadway and the London Stage, has announced a summer season in downtown Ottawa described as a “tonic for troubled times.”
This year’s summer festival focuses on theatre legends and will be staged at Arts Court Theatre, 2 Daly Ave. The season features two outstanding shows:
- Affairs of State, an entertaining, post-war satirical comedy set in Washington, DC (running from July 7 – 30, and
- Sleuth, a gripping, Tony Award-winning thriller, described by the Times of London as the “most fiendishly clever thriller ever written for the stage” (running from August 4 – 27).
Legendary Broadway playwright and Hollywood screenwriter Louis Verneuil’s Aﬀairs of State, first staged in 1950, is a rediscovered post-WWII comedic gem about the tricky deals and double crosses behind closed doors in Washington. It’s more than fitting entertainment for Canada’s capital city where political machinations are the lifeblood of many a cocktail hour.
“Affairs of State invites us to revisit an age when satirical comedies were sophisticated, smart, sassy, insightful, and fun, with the wit and charm of the best Katharine Hepburn/Spencer Tracy ﬁlms,” says Artistic Producer Laurel Smith, who won Broadway World Ottawa’s best director and best play awards for the festival’s 2022 production of The Fourposter.
The festival’s second show is the gripping, Tony Award-winning thriller Sleuth. An ingenious story of a mystery writer whose obsession with the inventions and deceptions of fiction and his fascination with games and game-playing sets off a dangerous and deadly chain of events. Smith says this rollercoaster of a thriller – equal parts mischievous humour and gripping anticipation – “continually putting the dramatic pedal to the metal, drawing audiences to the edge of their seats as they try to keep one step ahead of the increasingly desperate characters’ life-and-death, cat-and-mouse battle of wits.”
Sleuth is penned by Anthony Shaffer, who also wrote the screenplays for Alfred Hitchcock’s Frenzy, as well as Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, Death on the Nile, and Evil Under the Sun.
“In addition to getting your heart pumping, Sleuth is a remarkable comment on the British class system in the early 70s – a time when England was in serious decline and deep reflection, not unlike where the country finds itself now,” explains Smith.
Now entering its 12th summer season, Classic Theatre Festival will continue its community programs as well, from a ‘loonie-toonie’ book sale that supports its Save-a-Seat program (providing free tickets to low-income residents) to holding fundraising nights for women’s shelters and refugee sponsorship groups.
“We love the era of the plays we produce at the festival (1900s through the 1970s), when so much of what was happening in the world was reflected on stage in a way that helped inform and interpret out lives,” Smith says.
“The American author Joan Didion once wrote that we tell ourselves stories in order to live, and we strive to do just that. There’s a universality to these stories that allows us to revisit and re-interpret them for our own lives.”
Tickets are on sale at www.classictheatre.ca or by calling (613) 695-9330.
What a long journey it’s been from the fire of May 2020 to Coconut Lagoon’s grand re-opening at the end of August 2022.
“It’s like a pregnancy – the baby will come when it’s ready,” said Joe Thottungal.
The father of three children, two restaurants, and a social enterprise, he knows that some things just can’t be rushed. The words refer to the opening date of Coconut Lagoon, first slated for July 2022 but delayed until the end of August.
Business, like life, is full of things unforeseen. The scarcity of lumber, shortage of workers, the increasing costs and supply chain kinks have all led to the not-unusual situation of a project going over time. No matter. The re-imagining of Coconut Lagoon has been, in the words of its owner, “a good silver lining” of both the fire, and the pandemic.
I visited with Joe Thottungal at the restaurant while a painter worked on the walls, using an extra-long roller to reach the top of the 6-metre (20-foot) ceiling. This high ceiling and graceful pendant lights extending from them make me want to stand a little taller and create a sense of anticipation that something special is going to happen in this lovely, polished environment.
Many other physical changes contribute to that sense of “something different”; the main entrance now faces Mutual St. rather than St. Laurent Blvd. and features wide double doors leading into a fully wheelchair accessible main floor. Turning right upon entering we pass a custom glass-fronted wine “cellar” and enter the principal room which can seat 55. The furnishings are tailored, with dark wood tones and deep blues on both banquettes and free-standing tables.
Up the generous open staircase next to the bar are two private spaces for smaller groups, seating from eight to 16 people. Just the spot for a wedding rehearsal dinner, a special birthday or graduation celebration.
With deep gratitude Joe speaks of his brother Majoe, who chose to leave the restaurant after 16 years. His was the friendly face offering a warm greeting to all coming in the door and, along with Joe, was there nearly every single opening day. His graciousness and constancy will be missed, but there is a new “front-of-house” staff readying to welcome us back, and we look forward to a long association with them.
Ottawans are more aware of food insecurity than ever before, and the imperative to wisely steward what resources we have. Chef Joe’s involvement with the Food for Thought meal program speaks to this awareness and the new Coconut Lagoon will no longer have a lunch buffet with a view to reducing food waste.
The restaurant is open from 4:30 to 10 p. m., Wednesday to Monday and “dark” (closed) on Tuesdays. The choice of being open on Monday is to extend a welcome to his industry colleagues, many of whose restaurants are closed that day; Joe looks forward to serving them on their day off!
Guests will enjoy an ever-changing dinner menu showcasing innovative South Indian cuisine and notice that reservations (easy to book at coconutlagoon.ca/reservation/) are required to ensure that only enough food is purchased and cooked daily to guarantee excellence in the kitchen.
Joe launched Coconut Lagoon 2.0 with a “soft opening” at the end of August. The general public was welcomed the first week of September. In honour of the “new birth”, Dominion City Brewery has created a beer called “Samsara” to mark Coconut Lagoon’s return. Samsara is a Sanskrit term generally understood as referring to the cycle of death and rebirth of which all life is a part.
On March 16, 2021, Joe wrote these words in a Facebook post, “We will soon spout out from the chopped trees because there are still roots in it to nourish and to cherish us all. We will soon rise from the ashes … Happy cooking! “
Welcome back to Joe Thottungal and all of your staff.
Welcome to new Chronicle advertiser, Coeur de Pion and its creative designer and owner, Christian Djohossou. Coeur de Pion, an authentic entrepreneurial initiative and brand brings distinctive and quality athleisure and street wear to the marketplace through its online store as well as at various nomadic pop-up events.
Each Coeur de Pion fashion collection is unique and different from any previous collection, varying by inspiration and inherent design. Each begins with a stimulus that drives the creative process into action, leading Christian to collaborate with the best possible production resources in Ottawa and from as far away as West Africa or Europe.
Although he may work with other collaborators, Christian says that Coeur de Pion does not delegate the actual design of the pattern in its collections. “Our design pattern carries a message – its colouring and shape is integral to our brand and that we take a lot of pride in.”
When it comes to fashion, his team believes that there is more than external satisfaction from wearing clothing. As Christian says, “Beauty is a light in the heart – it’s integral to our brand and to the passion we carry within.”
“I would like people to feel that the Coeur de Pion pieces they wear are truly unique,” says Christian. “For instance, our current plaid collection features four assorted designs – each tartan is named for a star in the galaxy; each tells a different story.”
He explains that the model in the Coeur de Pion ad is wearing the Rana pattern – Rana being a star in the equatorial constellation of Eridanus. “I wanted to highlight travelling in this pattern with special attention to coming back home as a good indicator of just how far you have been.”
Fashions are designed for both women and men and include many unisex pieces. Coeur de Pion’s athleisure collection can be worn at home or for more active activities and can always be dressed up.
Optimizing the design is also important as Christian feels “There is osmosis between the clothing and the people who wear them.” Another core value is the awareness of the environmental footprint for their collections and the importance of optimizing the creative process to minimize those footprints.
Coeur de Pion translates to ‘pawn heart’. Christian explains that the philosophy behind the brand name is that “we all carry a bit of vulnerability and that no matter where one starts, taking one step at a time will lead to one’s destination or to reaching one’s goals – that anyone with determination, courage and passion can accomplish their dream.”
Christian is also known as Le R Premier, a rapper, singer, song writer and music producer. “Music was my first passion, and then clothing caught up,” he explains as he refers to the origin of his creative drive. The music he writes is all about social commentary – about pursuing a dream, pondering his roots, and experiencing the freedom to create and, of course, love – and communicating with poetry and rhythm.
Christian’s interest in clothing developed early on when he was a teenager living in Benin, West Africa. Immigrating to Canada at 16, he completed his professional education and began following his artistic passions.
Christian sold his first fashion designs in 2014. Growing organically over the next four years, Coeur de Pion held its first pop-up on Rideau St. in downtown Ottawa in the summer of 2018. “That pop-up experience established us,” says Christian. He likes taking part in pop-ups, the most recent being a holiday-themed market for crafters and creators held at Zibi House on the banks of the Ottawa River this past December.
To keep tabs on his next pop-up and to check out his line of casual, comfy athleisure and street wear (and his music), visit his online store at: www.coeurdepion.com.
John and Malcolm Harding began Compu-Home in May of 1998, meaning that in a few short months this local enterprise will celebrate 25 years in business. That’s a remarkable achievement for any business! Compu-Home’s success at computer set-up and repair is built on a foundation of trust, competence and unfussy in-home service.
A “mom and pop” reference is not really applicable – Compu-Home was started by a father John and his son Malcolm, though as John hastened to clarify within the first few minutes of our visit, “It is Malcolm’s business now.”
John Harding was one of the early “computer studies” teachers who introduced young learners to the magic of computing while serving at Broadview, Churchill and Dr. Roy Kennedy public schools in Ottawa in the 1980’s. (Remember Commodore 64’s?)
Malcolm showed an early aptitude for computing, and his post-secondary graduation dovetailed with his father’s retirement from the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board. As family and neighbours were already gravitating to the pair for advice, it just made sense to formalize the operation, and Compu-Home was born.
The proposition that set Compu-Home apart from the very beginning was their willingness to go to clients’ homes. Malcom or John will help with purchase, set-up, coaching on device use, troubleshooting and more for computers, other devices and digital cameras. Many of their long-time customers have transitioned from desktop to laptop or added in an iPad or tablet. (Malcom was off to set up someone’s “smart tv” right after our meeting.)
As John knows from his teaching career, learning happens best when we feel safe and relaxed. How much more appealing it is to learn something unfamiliar with a cheerful, unhurried guide. Malcolm may spend from an hour to an hour and half in your home, as required, for an initial visit, but follow-up or other visits may be shorter. An average day involves four to six in-home visits. Remote work is appropriate for some needs as well and is a great time-saver.
Compu-Home has a small workspace for repairs but does not carry any inventory or have a storefront. Staples, Best Buy and Canada Computers are the major sales outlets for computers and Malcom and John use them as much as they rest of us do. They will purchase on behalf of clients but have no proprietary interest in any shop or company. Compu-Home can set up and service any Apple or PC computer.
John Harding has attempted to retire a few times now but was most recently persuaded to come back on board once the pandemic was underway. Compu-Home had two staffers pre-pandemic but were not able to keep them on as the mass bewilderment of the time set it.
Business is brisk once again and Malcolm is looking to hire someone with both the soft and technical skills that define their successful endeavour. A successful hire may allow John to retire for the third or fourth time!
I visited with Malcolm and John over late morning coffee in February. Chatting with a neighborhood friend later that day, I mentioned the interview. She said, “Oh, they were here this afternoon, I’ve been using them for years – they’re great.”
So, stay home, reach out to Compu-Home and let them do the shopping, set-up, ongoing coaching and troubleshooting to keep your devices at their best. Visit www.compu-home.com or call 613-731-5954.
Our neighbourhood DOWNdog Yoga Studio, established by Jocelyne Campbell, is located at 8 Bedford Cres. in Manor Park. Its graceful vestibule gives way to an ample, warm studio with windows bringing light into the comforting space. All precautions have been taken for students to return to this noble practice. The studio has been fitted with an excellent air filtration system and, following COVID protocols, it is disinfested thoroughly after each class.
This past September, the studio opened slowly, but as the fall’s 10-week session progressed, classes filled to capacity. Jocelyne celebrated her 70th birthday during the lockdown. She was touched and impressed by the vast number of people who reached out to her.
“I was so very thankful to the Manor Park community for all their support, and I realized just how many lives either directly or indirectly the yoga studio had touched,” said Jocelyne.
This was the main motivation for re-opening her studio. The lack of connection during COVID was difficult and the studio offered an important way to reconnect.
Jocelyne became a yoga instructor after a lifetime of teaching. She discovered yoga as a tool to live a more balanced life, to relieve stress and promote well-being. She taught at different venues before remodeling her home and opening her own studio in 2017. The motto of DOWNdog Yoga is “Yoga for Empowerment. For the warrior in you!”
Jocelyne was thrilled to welcome Mike Dynie and Danielle Lyrette as studio instructors when she reopened in September.
The Hatha All-Levels Monday evening class is taught by Mike, who is considered to be one of Ottawa’s top yoga instructors. He keeps students on their toes with creative asanas, humour, and positivity. On Wednesday evening, a Hatha Yoga Flow class, taught by Danielle, offers an easy flow and rhythm as she contributes her own dance experiences.
“It’s nothing like you have experienced before. Danielle has an eclectic style that builds confidence and motivation,” explains Jocelyne.
Wednesday mornings Jocelyne teaches a Gentle Hatha class that eases participants into the stillness, flexibility, and balance of yoga. She invites students to focus on the breath to promote relaxation and openness. Her assistant Jake, an Australian shepherd, oversees her class quietly and brings in the loving wisdom of the downward dog.
Jocelyne adds, “If you are an entrepreneur thinking of starting a business know that you have the power to affect the lives of many people. Whether it be a corner grocery store, a bakery, a flower shop, your presence can make a significant difference in building community feeling.”
“I believe that sense of community in our world today is more important than ever. COVID was really tough and taught us many lessons – the importance of helping and supporting each other being foremost.”
DOWNdog Yoga offers three sessions annually: fall, winter, and spring. Each session has ten classes; students have the option of just paying for the classes they can schedule in a session. Free trial classes are offered for new students and drop-ins.
Plans are in the pipeline for DOWNdog Yoga. Manor Park resident and yoga instructor Roxanne Joly will be using the studio space for healing circles and private yoga instruction in the new year.
As the community continues its support of DOWNdog Yoga, the studio continues to contribute to the community’s well-being and growth. It’s a love-love equation. For more information, visit DOWNdog Yoga’s blog-website at https://downdogyoga.ca.
In July of 2022, Dr. Luc Ducharme will have been practicing dentistry for 27 years. Graduating from the University of Montreal, he began his career under the tutelage of Dr. Walker on Montreal Rd. whose office was located across from the Jean Coutu pharmacy.
Purchasing the practice from his mentor, Dr. Ducharme moved to his first Beechwood Ave. location in 2004, next to the Subway restaurant. Joined by Dr. Olivier Julien, Dr. Ducharme grew the practice in that location for close to 20 years. Their welcome success led to the business outgrowing the location, and, by 2021, it was high time for a move.
If you haven’t had a chance to visit Dr. Ducharme’s new office yet, you may think you are stepping into a chic restaurant, or an art gallery. The corner location on the main floor of The Kavanaugh condominium building is flooded with light and sparkles with clean, modern design. A dramatic original abstract painting by Ottawa’s Dominik Sokolowski hangs in the waiting area, fully at home in the industrial-inspired space with it’s 14-foot ceilings. The furnishings are spare, and the waiting area offers plenty of room to manoeuvre, welcoming clients who use a walker, wheelchair, or stroller! A retro ‘wink’ in the form of an old Pac-Man arcade machine sets off the foyer.
After looking around for a location to expand into for several years, “…the stars seemed to align…,” says Dr. Ducharme when the former Epic Fitness commercial space became available. Though sorry to see a business fold under pandemic pressures, Dr. Ducharme was thrilled to finally be able to secure a larger location along Beechwood.
“There was no question about leaving the area. I wanted to stay on Beechwood – I love this street!”
Having more space has been a sigh of relief. From six treatment rooms at the former location, the practice now boasts 10, each with opaque, sliding-glass doors. Dr. Ducharme was pleased to show me a galley-style sanitation area where two or more staff can comfortably work putting instruments and dental appliances through a multi-phase sterilization process. The process even involves a digital date/time/employee stamp to facilitate total traceability should any concern later be identified.
His associate, Dr. Julien, can breathe more easily in his very own office, which, while no bigger than his former one, is no longer shared with two other staff!
Luc Ducharme wanted to be a dentist from the age of seven. When one encounters his energy and drive, it’s easy to see how that single-minded desire brought him to where he is today. I would not have wanted to be the parent or teacher who attempted to dissuade him!
His commitment to excellence has led him to offer a wide range of dental care services, including orthodontics, Invisalign, mouthguards, and implants. The practice is able to offer sedation dentistry as an extra reassurance for those anxious about the experience. A full complement of dental assistants and hygienists, receptionists and administration ensure that no detail is overlooked, and there is always room for new patients.
In contemplating the major investment which the business expansion required, he framed his thinking with the question: “What do I want for the next 15 years?”
His answer has been to create a practice and environment which gives rein to his artistic and business development passions along with his dedication to excellence in dental care. We look forward to having Dr. Ducharme, Dr. Julien and all their staff as part of the Beechwood business community for many years to come.
Since 1998, Giti Mirshahi has been the proud owner of Elegant Hair and Skin Care Salon and Spa. A talented and skilled hair stylist and esthetician, Giti has over 30 years of experience in the profession. Her salon offers haircuts, colouring, highlights, color corrections and hair treatments as well as perms and threading. Esthetic services include waxing, pedicures, manicures, facials, and ear piercings.
Located at 631 Montreal Rd. at Brittany Dr., Elegant Hair and Skin Care is a beautiful space with an emphasis on comfort for its clients.
“My focus is on accentuating and complementing the client’s natural beauty through inclusive services to people of all identities and backgrounds with an environmental conscience that uses top-of-the line eco-friendly products,” says Giti.
Giti understands that her clients want to feel pampered and relaxed while she perfects their looks; her warm and welcoming personality compliments her professional skill.
Through her many years of experience, she knows that the most important thing is to focus on listening to her clients in more ways than one – taking the time to get to know them, to understand what they want and to manage expectations while communicating clearly about what can be achieved.
“I want my clients to feel welcomed, pampered and relaxed – also understood and respected,” says Giti. She maintains a personal connection with her clients that keeps them coming back through the years. Giti tells me that she makes sure to organize her work seamlessly to offer affordable excellent service.
As an esthetician, Giti says that it is important to have the ability to integrate current trends to her client’s style, while enhancing their vision. As a hair stylist, Giti says she needs to be skilled in understanding face shapes and hair styles, in keeping on top of trend styles and being aware of her client’s sense of fashion and comfort levels.
It’s important to find the best fit for the client, making sure they are happy with their result when they leave the salon and for some time after that. Giti uses chemically clean formulas to satisfy her clients, which carefully balance affordability with great and lasting results and a relaxing, enjoyable time while under her care.
She carries the best in professional products and has the knowledge to recommend and offer product options and ideas. For hair, her favourite line is Kevin Murphy. She says that not only are these products clean, great for the hair and environmentally sustainable, they produce wonderful results.
Facials include deep cleaning and rejuvenation with the exclusive line of Mila d’Opiz Skin Care products from Switzerland which are highly effective and environmentally friendly with no animal testing involved in product research and development.
The pandemic has had tremendous impact on her business. She now works on her own but is joined by a specialist dedicated to facials, when required. Giti ensures a safe, healthy environment with professionally sanitized tools and a maximum booking of just two clients at a time who are looked after in distinct, sanitized areas of the salon.
Giti is very thankful to the community and her clients who, through the years, have kept coming back.
“I have clients who left many years ago and every time they come back to visit the area, they make an appointment,” Giti tells me, as she explains that her clientele extends farther than Manor Park and its surrounding areas.
Elegant Hair and Skin Care is open on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and on Sundays. Appointments can be booked by calling 613-746-0262 or by visiting eleganthair.ca.
The more choices we have, the harder it can be to make up our minds. We know that we should exercise to stay healthy, however, it can be difficult to choose the optimal way to achieve fitness.
In addition to this obvious obstacle, it can be challenging to exercise consistently – aches or injuries can set us back; competing goals may misdirect us.
That is why Evertrain Lifestyles has become such a valuable option geared to the 50+ demographic with personal training, exercise and nutrition programs designed to take the guesswork out of the equation in achieving personal goals at an individual pace and without injury.
The studio (offering private and semi-private in-person and online personal training) was founded in 2015 by two teachers, Andre and Julie St. Amour, both of whom are devoted to sports and physical training. When they first started, Andre and Julie soon discovered the huge impact that quality coaching made in people’s lives.
At Evertrain, it is not simply great coaching – its holistic program, designed for individual needs, starts out with a movement screen that determines the best training course for each client. During training, Evertrain’s coaching method focuses on leaning correct movements and building strength to motivate and support continued progress. The program includes nutritional assessments focused on habit-based coaching, to support clients in making permanent, positive changes to their lifestyles.
Evertrain members have the choice of in-studio or online training sessions, the services of a personal coach to evaluate and set up programming for them and flexible scheduling (by appointment) that ranges from 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.
Currently, Evertrain has four personal trainers. In addition to founders Julie and Andre, there are two additional personal trainers: Kyle Lasota, a four-year veteran and Brandon Hunter, who joined the team a year ago.
Andre explains that the in-person studio, located at 524 Montreal Rd., has everything specifically geared towards Evertrain’s strategy of working out the body in a safe and comfortable environment. From stretching and myofascial release techniques to release stiffness and discomfort to working with resistance and provoking small bursts of high intensity exercise to strengthening specific muscles to achieve better balance. It is treasure trove of simple, but surprisingly effective machines.
Online sessions have enabled Evertrain to grow beyond our neighbourhood’ s geographic area. Andre says that members from all over the country have accessed its services online and that during periods of pandemic restrictions, these programs were a valuable resource to many. Attentive and proactive, this programming demonstrates that members can get quality online training and personal coaching to reach their fitness goals at home. Members are able to work out on their own with the help of a tracking app specifically set up with individual routines.
Before committing to a program, people are invited to call and speak with an Evertrain success coach to be assessed and to develop a personal plan. From there, members can choose the coaching program that suits their schedule and goals.
50 + Fitness Success Blueprint
This fall, Evertrain will offer its 50+ Fitness Success Blueprint program with three trial sessions designed to set realistic goals, uncover “quick wins” and to feel supported on the journey to strength and confidence. It is a way of getting acquainted with Evertrain’s programs and of getting started on the road to physical fitness and health.
Julie and Andre, as well as the rest of the team feel grateful to the community for their continued support throughout the pandemic and, during this last year particularly, as Andre and Julie welcomed a second daughter Sophia to their family.
It’s been 13 years since Margot Robinson opened Fresh Hair Salon, at 75 Beechwood Ave. – a comfortable and welcoming hair studio where clients come to re-fresh and re-new
their looks. Her Beechwood Village location is easily accessible with parking available nearby.
An experienced hair stylist with some 30 years of experience, Margot has owned and operated her own hair salon business for more years that she wants to say. She has seen fashion trends come, go and then return again. Her clientele, both women and men, have followed her as she has changed venues through the years with many coming back looking for her after traveling or moving away.
“Fresh relies on word of mouth and personal recommendations,” says Margot.
Her skill lies in being able to discern and suggest the most beneficial, personalized style option for each of her clients.
“I want to give my clients something wearable, so that they can have an outstanding look, not only when they leave the salon, but also in between cuts,” says Margot.
Fresh specializes in haircuts and colouring techniques, offering the best products available on the market. Margot aims to please and to help her clients have the confidence to adapt to new styles as life changes and evolves.
Margot understands the importance good communication – of listening to and understanding a client’s vision, personal style and expectations such that she can style their hair while responsibly conveying practical realities in the context of their hair’s health, maintenance needs and that final look.
“People should be enjoying their hair as a piece of their individuality,” says Margot as she explains the importance of being honest with each client as she helps them to achieve a desired look.
She says that it is also important to consider hair type, facial structure, colouring and her client’s capacity to maintain a style on their own.
Margot organizes her time in a way that allows her to devote time and attention to each client – to go that extra mile to be able to offer the best personalized service and outcome.
After the interruption caused by the pandemic, Margot feels that “People are now coming back to enjoying the freedom of being pampered and to re-inventing themselves in the midst of resulting lifestyle changes.”
Margot tells me that she has seen a return of enthusiasm and joy this spring as clients appear eager to leave behind the restrictions brought on by the pandemic. For this season, she is offering a free consultation for those interested in considering a fresh look. Although she does have an open-door policy at the salon, appointments for these consultations would need to be booked into her schedule to prevent any unnecessary delays in service.
As Margot works on her own, she recommends that clients book appointments in advance as it may be difficult to squeeze in last-minute requests. Changes can always be made, and Margot will do her best to reschedule as soon as possible. As such, Fresh is a great place to come if you do not enjoy long waits at the salon or have to manage your personal time carefully.
As a small business, Fresh has switched to cash and debit only and is open Wednesday to Friday (10 a.m. – 6 p.m.) and Saturday (9 a.m. – 4 p.m.). Call 613-680-6315 to book appointments.
Ottawa’s only funeral co-operative, located in Manor Park at 419 St. Laurent Blvd., has reached its first decade of business by building relationships, working collaboratively and offering a service the public wants. Several managing funeral directors have lent their skills and talents to building the business, most recently Lisa Wilson.
Lisa will soon mark her fifth year with the co-op, including the difficult pandemic years which affected all funeral service providers. She brings a wealth of experience in funeral services, supported by Ann in administration and reception, and Kevin, funeral director assistant.
Funeral co-ops are not new, but neither are they that well-known in Ottawa. The first one in Ontario began in Sudbury in 1952. They are very popular choice in Quebec. Begun 44 years ago, La Co-opérative funéraire de l’Outaouis (CFO) now has six locations throughout the Outaouais and handles 80 per cent of funeral service needs in that area.
The Funeral Co-operative of Ottawa offers comprehensive pre-need and at-need planning as well as aftercare, just like any other funeral home in the city. Business has grown steadily in the past few years, thanks to the steadfast efforts of its board of directors and its staff.
Funeral services are based on trust. Word of mouth is the gold standard to bring new families to the door. Membership is not required to use co-op services, but there is a discount associated with membership, and the opportunity to become more involved, including voting at its Annual General Meeting.
How is a co-op different from the more familiar funeral home?
The funeral co-op is part of a movement to promote mutual aid and democratic engagement though collectively owned enterprises. It is wholly owned by its members, governed by an elected volunteer board, and will never be sold to a large commercial interest. It is genuinely not-for-profit, and there are no commissions earned. The board is made up of professionals with deep roots in co-operative ventures.
“We have a very good board – a working, very involved board,” says Lisa. “Our treasurer Alexandra Wilson is exceptional. All of our board members have real expertise in the areas they serve.”
The Funeral Co-operative of Ottawa website contains good introductory information about the co-operative movement in Canada at https://www.fco-cfo.coop/en.
In 2019, the Funeral Co-operative of Ottawa completed an attractive expansion into the adjacent storefront, creating a welcoming area for services and visitations. The paint was barely dry when the whole city went into lockdown. It was disappointing not to be able to use the space for most of the next two years.
During those years, it was very difficult for families not to be able to hold services, and very difficult for funeral directors to have to limit their offerings. Lisa was pleased to tell me that the space is now being used as intended.
I confess that this reporter was particularly interested in the newest ‘staff member’, pictured with Lisa in the accompanying photo. Sawyer is a three-and-a-half-month-old purebred pug, with a sleekly soft coat and a soulful gaze. The effect of a calm and gentle animal on an anxious person is well-known and Sawyer will be coming to work with ‘Mom’, and reassuring people without saying a word. When old enough, he will be trained as a therapy dog. I can attest to his aptitude.
To celebrate their 10-year milestone, the Funeral Co-operative of Ottawa is hosting their first-ever Open House on Wednesday, October 25 from 1p.m. to 4 p.m. It’s an opportunity to meet Ann, Lisa, Kevin and members of its board of directors, see the facilities and learn more about our neighborhood funeral alternative.
(Please note, the open house was changed after the printing of the Manor Park Chronicle’s September-October edition. As a result, an earlier date appears in the print edition.)
Siblings Bram and Aisling Boomgaardt are the dynamic team behind Greentree and Company Rentals and Management, a highly regarded local firm which has handled all facets of rental and property management for members of the Canadian Foreign Service community for over 34 years.
Like is true in many family business succession stories, neither sibling imagined a future in property management. Their company manages the entire process of renting out a property, for as many years as required, providing a worry-free experience for their clients.
Aisling studied psychology and linguistics, Bram, history and international politics in university. The two came to their leadership in the most bittersweet of ways; upon the May 2020 death of Greentree’s founder, their mother Mary Ellen Boomgaardt, the two realized they were uniquely well-prepared to assume the leadership of their mother’s legacy and to continue the service that Greentree’s clients depend on.
As with most successful ventures, Greentree and Company grew out of an unmet need in the community. Mary Ellen and husband Reimer had been regaled by a diplomatic friend with a discouraging tale of neglect and mismanagement of his property which occurred while he was away on a posting.
Mary Ellen knew she could improve on this state of affairs. Aisling resembles her handsome mother, her steady gaze conveying deep competence and the keen attentiveness essential to Greentree’s administration operations.
Chatting together about her mom’s influence, Aisling laughed, “I can definitely feel her whispering in my ear sometimes!” Nodding, Bram echoed the laughter. While Aisling handles the behind-the-scenes operations, Bram is out in the field, meeting homeowners, tenants and tradespeople.
Greentree currently has a portfolio of just under one hundred properties, and Aisling and Bram don’t intend to go over that threshold. Almost all the homes they manage are in the city’s older central neighborhoods, with a significant number in the New Edinburgh area. Though they have been approached to take on properties in the west end, the siblings know they couldn’t provide the service they want to if properties are located too far way.
“Someone can give me a call, and I can be there in five or ten minutes,” said Bram. Be it a downed tree, a leak, a lease end, a home refresh to oversee, Bram is hands-on and on-site.
Their success is due in large part to their network of skilled tradespeople, many of whom have worked with Greentree for decades. They include arborists, cleaners, chimney sweeps, painters, electricians, plumbers, general carpenters and handypersons.
What has changed for the company are increasing regulations such as non-resident taxes and vacant unit taxes. Leases and other agreements have gotten longer, and Bram says he finds himself apologizing to clients for how long the paperwork work can be. It makes for a lot of document storage.
Their busiest times are spring to fall, when postings are determined and plans made for relocation, both coming and going. A client may decide to sell a home from a distance, and Greentree will ready a property for viewing, though Bram emphasizes they are not realtors. Occasionally a tenant will want to buy, which is a time and money saving prospect for all parties concerned.
Bram, Aisling and their team have continued Greentree’s reputation for service quality and earn it afresh with every new client. Thank you for being the ‘home team’ for our foreign service community and those who wish to rent out their residences for extended periods of time.
On January 4, the doors opened at a boutique real estate law practice whose latest incarnation has been 90 years in the making. In the tradition of literary, artistic, and business partnerships over the centuries, the seeds for this next-generation legal partnership were planted at a dinner party.
Natalie Guertin and Michèle Poirier are fully bilingual lawyers specializing in real estate law. Natalie earned her law degree in French from the University of Ottawa in 2012 and joined her family’s firm, becoming the fourth generation of Guertin lawyers (but the first female Guertin!) She is proud to recount the history of the family business, latterly led by her father Louis Guertin. Louis had purchased the business from his uncle and father in 1978, who in their turn, had purchased the firm from Louis’ grandfather.
Michèle Poirier’s law degree is from the University of Moncton, where she attended the only exclusively francophone law school in the country to specialize in Common Law. After graduation, Michèle came to Ottawa and looked up a former university roommate. A family dinner invitation ensued, and she soon met Natalie, the roommate’s sister.
As talk turned to work and other commitments, Natalie mentioned that she was looking for a lawyer to replace her when she went on maternity leave two months hence. A mutually beneficial work relationship soon developed, with Michèle and Natalie trading off maternity leaves and having a total of four children over the next four years! (Future lawyers?)
As their children moved beyond infancy and Louis decided to retire, the partnership of Guertin Poirier was born, a family firm re-branded, re-imagined, and re-located for a new era of real estate service.
Guertin Poirier has settled in above the Ministry of Coffee at 16 Beechwood Ave. Natalie and Michèle are thrilled with the location and appeal of their new offices. Zoom, of course, has been a game-changer, allowing them to meet clients from all over the country. The pandemic environment has prompted other changes such as the use of lockboxes on homes for purchasers. Where once couriers zoomed all over town to deliver keys, no matter the weather, purchasers now simply use a code to access the keys to their new digs.
Digital signatures mean that contracts can be signed from different locations, without having to go into an office. If clients wish to come in, there is a parking lot behind the building and ample street parking.
Their approach is collaborative when working together and with other lawyers, agents, and purchasers – “… after all, we all want the same thing!”. Guertin Poirier offers fixed-fee pricing – no matter how complex the particular buying or selling scenario might be, there will be no billing surprises.
As Natalie said, “We do not bill in six-minute increments!”.
Their service has resulted in loyal clients – agents and purchasers – who have been with the family firm for more than 30 years. How has the current real estate market affected their business?
“We have had the busiest December in 30 years,” said Natalie. The ‘exploding’ market has certainly been good for business, though they cannot endorse the foregoing of home inspections that some purchasers have chosen in their zeal to buy.
“There have been some surprises,” said Michèle diplomatically.
Guertin Poirier offers a $100 rebate to first-time homebuyers, and $100 off a will within three months of a home purchase. Natalie and Michèle invite you to meet them to help you achieve your dreams of home ownership!
Karen Jones has been called a dog whisperer, and anyone who has taken their dog to her clinic for oral hygiene can tell you why. The Hounds (44 Main St.) is a boutique dental hygiene clinic for dogs which uses no drugs or restraints, instead relying on relaxation massage, a low-stimulation environment and the use of high-quality hand tools for cleaning and polishing.
No buzzing, whizzing, nothing ultrasonic or vibrating, no jets of water or even talking. Your dog is the only one in the clinic for their cleaning. In this atmosphere of tranquility dogs relax so completely that Karen is able to thoroughly clean, then gently polish, each tooth. In the unusual case that a dog does not relax enough for treatment, there is no charge.
Karen, a veterinary technician graduate, has trained and practiced over decades to be able to offer this unique service. Growing up, she loved all animals, and training as a Registered Veterinarian Technician was an obvious career choice. After attending St. Clair College in Windsor Ont., she worked in clinics, ran a dog daycare, had a dog bakery, and apprenticed herself to mentors in the field of canine behaviour.
She took further animal behaviour studies at Cornell University’s School of Veterinary Medicine. Karen has also worked with horses and does some very selective breeding with her purebred German shepherd. Together, they compete in a niche sport called Schutzhund, which tests a dog’s tracking, obedience and protection skills.
Canine oral health is influenced by various factors, including the shape of the skull and the genetics of each reed and lineage. Golden doodles have softer enamel. Bernese mountain dogs have a very wet mouth with a lot of enzymatic activity – they will have less plaque than a dog with a drier mouth. In all dogs, tooth nerve endings are deep under the gum. Karen won’t be able to comment on nerve health as she does not take x-rays.
What can you do to maintain or improve your dog’s oral health? Using any toothpaste your dog fancies, brush with a very gentle toothbrush, even a child’s soft toothbrush, or a finger cot. Karen suggests waiting until all your dog’s adult teeth have come in, probably by age one and half years. A dog’s gums may be very tender as their teeth come in, and associating the toothbrush with discomfort will not endear your dog to the ritual of brushing.
If interested in bringing your dog to Karen for teeth cleaning, she will ask you to take some pictures of their teeth for her to make a preliminary assessment. She is looking at the health of the gums as well. In rare instances, damage may have eroded the gums and left the tooth exposed; in this case, Karen might make a referral to another veterinary professional. Karen asks that you don’t provide your dog with any relaxant before their treatment, such as CBD oil, as she finds it interferes with her being able to make a clear connection with her patient.
The Hounds is meeting a need for many families who want an all-natural approach to dental care for their pet. The pet parents do not stay with their dog during the cleaning and are invited instead to take a walk by the canal or visit a nearby Main St. coffee shop.
If dogs come two-by-two, one walks while the other has their hygiene treatment, and vice versa. Karen’s gentle and respectful approach to canine dental cleaning is a boon for dogs and their people alike!
Julie Oliveira is a certified animal communicator, small animal massage therapist and animal Reiki practitioner with training in homeopathy (with a focus on animals), Ayurveda and in the basics of Tellington Touch (TTouch) for companion animals. She brings years of experience in energy work and natural healing to her practice.
“I have been close to animals my whole life and have always been attuned to them,” says Julie. “Being a communicator, I recognized that I’d found my passion in working with animals – in knowing that I’m connecting with them at a higher spirit level and with uplifted energy.” She explains that animal communication is a non-verbal, ‘telepathic’ dialogue between the communicator and the animal.
Julie says that she has had a “life-long interest in the holistic approach and the search for a deeper meaning behind issues in health and well-being.” It was her passion to connect with animals in a deeper way that led her to train more formally in advanced animal communication as well as canine massage therapy, which includes reflexology, acupressure, and colour therapy for small animals.
She explains that in her work to connect humans, animals and nature, she can only provide information that is provided to her by the animal she is working with. In a typical session, she starts by connecting with the animal through its eyes – to feel it’s personality and energy.
“It’s that animal’s perspective on what they are feeling and experiencing that I am able to relay to his/her person,” she says in acknowledging that she is not a veterinarian, nutritionist or a physician, nor can she diagnose or treat any animal health condition. However, the animal can very often provide enough information to work with.
Her practice (through pet readings) addresses many aspects of animal care including, amongst others, behavioural issues, illness and aging in pets, searching for missing animals as well as helping people with grieving when their pets pass away. She also offers courses in animal communication in which clients can learn the basic techniques to ground their energy and find the right space in which to connect with animals and nature.
Have you ever wondered what your pet is thinking? What might be causing them anxiety? What their needs are? Julie says her pet readings (done in person, by phone, by video call or with a static photo) for either 30- or 60-minute sessions can help people check in on the general well-being of their pets and provide insight that may help resolve issues between them and their pets and, even between different pets in one household.
As a small animal massage therapist, Julie uses Swedish massage techniques to help pets relax and to assist in physical rehabilitation. Sessions may also include acupressure, lymphatic or sports massage, reflexology or colour therapy. She says that her therapeutic, non-invasive Reiki sessions are gentle, relaxing and considered complementary to conventional and alternative healing methods. These sessions can be done with the animal present or even remotely.
Come November 1, in-person sessions will involve a travel fee; otherwise animal communication and Reiki could be done remotely (online).
Julie provides all of her services in exchange for donations – either at a minimum level or based on a suggested level – both of which can be found on her website at juliepetconnect.com. Her clients assume the responsibility to choose the amount within the range provided, based on what they can and wish to give.
She can be reached at email@example.com.
In today’s increasingly interconnected and interdependent world, proficiency in several languages is a skill that enables the opportunity to engage with persons around the globe. It can be the cornerstone of advancing careers and accessing greater opportunities. There are other advantages, such as increased cognitive abilities, developing relationships with different cultures and gaining a wider perspective.
Despite all these advantages, we frequently shy away from the chance of learning another language or polishing and improving the ones we know. Perhaps it is the lack the time, the difficulty in coordinating schedules and/or finding the discipline to do it.
Le Phènix-Ottawa presents a great opportunity to learn and study languages based on its flexible schedules, its online instruction capability and the passion for teaching and motivation you will find there.
An online language school based in the Manor Park area, Le Phènix-Ottawa has offered language instruction worldwide since April 2020 providing students a professional space for language development. French, German and Latin lessons are available.
Fidèle Francis Kiala Buloki, a passionate teacher with more than 40 years of international experience, is the founder. A doctoral candidate in religious studies, Fidèle Francis is the holder of the DALF (Diplôme Approfondi de Langue Française) and a certificate from the Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks training camp.
Fidèle Francis’ passion for languages traces back to his childhood in the Congo. Both his parents were French teachers, and he was fortunate to undertake his course of classical literary studies in French. His Jesuit education introduced him to Latin at the age of 14, which became one of his passions.
As an international student, Fidèle Francis travelled to Germany and Austria to complete his studies, living there for some 16 years while he perfected his German. His professional studies have allowed him to learn classical Greek and Hebrew as well.
A warm, accessible and enthusiastic teacher, Fidèle Francis is keen to use the right combination of tools, methodologies and materials for each individual student, to meet them at their own level and to promote a passion for learning throughout the whole process. He adds, “Activities, adapted to individual needs, are carefully designed to motivate and facilitate language learning in a challenging and dynamic online environment.”
“I strive to make the learning process an enjoyable one,” he says. “And, to motivate my students further with the understanding that there are no mistakes, there are only lessons.”
Le Phènix-Ottawa offers tutoring for high school and university students as well as preparation for governmental language proficiency exams. Courses are offered for beginners, as well as intermediate-, upper intermediate- and advanced level-students. Sessions may be designed for individuals or small groups and schedules are flexible such that students can program their lessons during the evenings or on weekends.
Fidèle Francis says that students of all levels will find the support they need to advance their skill and understanding of the language they are learning – from basic understanding of simple instructions, conjugation of regular verbs and basic grammar rules, to understanding more complex conversations, to learning how to structure complex ideas and finally to using a varied and wide vocabulary to express oneself with confidence.
In a 12-week course, students could schedule one or two lessons a week; each lesson is 90 minutes long and includes all necessary materials and activities such as worksheets, conversations, homework correction, karaoke, theatre, guided virtual tours, games such as Scrabble as well as other cultural activities. Also offered are book clubs, conversational learning and music, art, reading and writing activities for individuals or groups.
From September 13 to December 13, Fidèle Francis will facilitate a French conversation club at the St. Laurent Library, 515 Côté St. on Tuesday evenings (6:00 – 7:30 p.m.).
For more information, visit his website at lephenix-ottawa.com.
Karen Leslie has survived ‘life renovations’ with style and grace, and more than once. After a major event threw her into a period of deep refection, “My life blew up, and I didn’t know what to do with it!”, Karen claimed her identity as a healer. She trained as reflexologist and therapeutic touch practitioner, launching her home studio just in time for the recent, once-in-a century pandemic to be declared.
Karen adapted with creativity, grit and resilience – “better to light a candle than to curse the darkness”. She had been making footcare products to complement her reflexology practice and had the skills to pivot to creating luxurious organic soy candles, bath and body products under the name Little White Lantern.
A former teacher, Karen was keen to build a foundation under her product development and studied with the British institute Formula Botanica, which offers a comprehensive program for beginning artisan cosmetic creators. Karen is now pursuing their advanced program to create more complex products, including raw and anti-aging formulations.
Candles, bath products, fragrances
It was her daughter-in-law Catherine who got her interested in candle-making, offering up the Little White Lantern company name to Karen. As Karen describes on her website, she (and Catherine) became fans of soy wax candles after discovering that these not only burn twice as long as paraffin (a by-product of the petroleum industry), but are also a renewable, clean-burning fuel.
“I love making candles,” says Karen. “I just love it!” And her customers love the products. Candles come in 10-ounce, clear re-usable glass jars and burn between 50 to 60 hours.
Fragrances include lavender, sandalwood and geranium blends, black raspberry, turmeric and saffron, and ruby grapefruit, just to name a few. For the undecided, unscented candles have all the longevity without the fragrance. Notably, Karen’s massage candles are designed so that the melted product may be used immediately on the skin.
Customers enjoyed her sumptuous candle line so much that they began asking for other products with the same fragrances. Karen soon branched out into bath salts and soaks, shower steamers, scrubs, hair and beard oils, lotions and body butters.
Fine quality ingredients yield a high-quality product, and Karen uses pure shea butter, cacao butter coconut butter, avocado butter, moringa oil, rosehip seed oil (a great anti-aging ingredient) and pure essential oils. Most ingredients come from a Canadian company called Baraka Impact.
A less-familiar ingredient is the newly available kombo butter, derived from the seed of the Pycnanthus angolensis tree in Ghana, also known as African nutmeg. Baraka Impact works with Ghanaian women who harvest, roast and process the seeds into a rich paste according to traditional means assisted by modern equipment developed for the enterprise.
Karen showed me the raw paste in her studio, and it reminded me of a date paste – dark and full of goodness. Kombo butter is at work in Little While Lantern’s Kombo butter bars, which Karen tells me customers have found to be effective against eczema, and even muscle and joint pain due to its myristoleic (omega-5 fatty) acid content.
Karen’s products are also available at local community markets. Her website lists which ones she will be at throughout the market season. It is at these markets where Little White Lantern has built a well-deserved reputation for high-quality products and wonderful service.
“I just love the energy of community markets,” says Karen. “I’ll be busy every weekend until well into October!”
Her products can be found locally at the Manor Park Barber Shop, Whole Health and Guardian pharmacies on Beechwood Ave. and at a growing list of specialty retailers.
Orders can also be made through her website at: https://littlewhitelantern.ca/.
As an art major who studied fine arts, painting and sculpture, London Hoft has experimented with many different mediums. But he has always gravitated toward wood and carpentry. Also, an arborist, London has been involved in renovation and building projects for more than twenty years. He offers a full range of carpentry services, both indoors and outdoors, and has shared his expertise and resources with other neighbourhood contractors.
Five years ago, he and his family moved from B.C to Ottawa. They bought a house in Manor Park and tried to squeeze their belongings into a smaller footprint. There was an existing shed of the metal and plastic variety in their backyard into which they wrestled many belongings. However, one season later, they realized just how inadequate it was.
“It was an eyesore of a space and bursting at the seams,” says London.
While staring out the window during the winter months and scoping out the backyard corner, London started imagining the possibilities when suddenly it dawned on him, “What if we designed and built a new multi-functional shed space?” One which could facilitate easy access to his tools within a usable workspace.
His idea of combining a new shed with a sauna were coming together. It was also where London got his wife on board. “Sauna? I love that idea!” she said. “This new space took into consideration the existing space, our relationship to it, the practicality of our storage and our wishes for improved winter wellness,” says London.
Their ‘new’ backyard project required a permit from the city: London developed and submitted all the required drawings. From concrete footings to framing to cedar lined sauna walls and working with an electrician, London was able to bring his vision to life. Not only did this project bring major practical improvements to his family’s home life, it provided a much-needed winter boost to their health and wellness.
I have to say that after visiting the sauna London built in his shed, “sauna” turned to be up there on my own priority list. The beauty and comfort of the space and the smell of cedar wood conjured up such a deliciously relaxing experience.
London tells me that upgrading your shed is about getting organized and taking care of yourself. It can lead to improving the quality of your home, life and indeed your wellness. Like the closets in your house, sheds are often overlooked and rarely considered a focal point for a renovation or an opportunity to upgrade the experience of your home. It’s well-known that organization and order are important to reduce stress, improve efficiency and create a positive experience.
The possibilities are endless, it all depends on a particular family’s needs and priorities. The first step is to choose priorities for the new shed in order to design an adequate space. London will come to your property, review the existing outdoor space and other practical issues, exchange ideas and draw up a proposal with a cost estimate. Projects may require a permit from the city and the development of and submitting of drawings and plans.
London can take care of the details until he delivers the turnkey shed. And, depending on the complexity of the project, he will engage with other contractors in the neighbourhood to share expertise and resources.
Imagine entering the dry heat and soothing smell of cedar any time you want amid the snow drifts in your own backyard! The preparation and construction process do take some time so, if this a project that appeals, be sure to connect with London at firstname.lastname@example.org so you can start enjoying your shed as soon as possible.
Louise Hannant is a long-time Manor Park resident, fitness instructor and personal trainer whose delight in movement is inspiring and not a little bit contagious. Beginning as a professional figure skater in her native Sweden, Louise has a rich and varied wellness “toolkit” developed over decades of study and exploration. She brings a depth and breadth to her teaching not always found in the fitness industry. While still living in Stockholm, she completed a year of pre-med nutrition studies; received an offer to attend law school, and while raising her children in Ottawa earned a degree in philosophy, theology and ethics at St. Paul University. (Light on her feet – yes. Intellectual lightweight – no.)
Her personal training certification is through CanFit Pro, one of the most respected certification bodies in Canada. Louise has taught in our neighbourhoods for decades: at the Manor Park Community Centre; the Lindenlea Community Centre as well as over Zoom for both groups classes and personal training clients. She is pleased to come to your home.
Among her popular classes is “Stay Strong and Stable”, which focusses on balance. In Louise’s words, “It’s really a fall prevention class, but who wants to go a ‘fall prevention class’! Focus on what you want to have happen, not what you want to avoid!”
Louise describes her work thusly. “I am a passionate holistic personal trainer with expertise in general and specific health/fitness concerns. I teach classes of HIIT (High Intensity Interval training), stability ball, and Fusion’ (a mix of low-impact cardio, weights, yoga, and mindfulness exercises, along with rehabilitation stretch, and flexibility). I use applied kinesiology, food and environmental muscle sensitivity testing, and work specifically with brain and amygdala rewiring using EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) in connection with stress, anxiety and PTSD.”
Her wide-ranging and solidly grounded approach is inviting and accessible. As a teacher she is at ease with twentysomethings, seniors and the wide swath of mid-life people in between, including people living with Parkinson’s disease.
Heart-Brain Coherence is a meditation technique Louise has recently incorporated into her personal practice, and shares with those who are interested. Through breath, and recalling felt experiences of gratitude, appreciation and love, the heart rate and brain waves are brought into closer alignment. Such alignment increases feelings of wellbeing with a host of measurable effects, such as reducing the secretion of flight/fight hormones that lead to wear and tear on the body, and relationships. Like many meditation techniques, it is deceptively simple and surprisingly powerful.
In the early days of the pandemic, Louise wondered how or if she could adapt her work to the demands of teaching during lockdowns. At one point she said to herself, “That’s it, you’ll be turning 70, time to get out of the tights”. Many of us shared that feeling of “travelling blind”, wondering how we would continue to do the things that were most life-giving for us, at a time when they had become so much more difficult
It would be no exaggeration to say that hundreds of people are deeply grateful that she kept those tights at hand, and continued teaching. Louise welcomes you at 1805 Gaspe Ave., the former Encounters with Canada building – now a Manor Park Community Council site for classes Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays – and at the Lindenlea Community Centre on those same days.
Jennifer Bardwell, Manor Park resident and owner of Lucie E Cooking, long harboured a passion for cooking. With a PhD in physical chemistry, she worked at the National Research Council taking early retirement to graduate from Algonquin College’s Culinary Management program, becoming a culinary entrepreneur and owner of Lucie E Cooking.
Jennifer had realized the challenges of finding quality prepared food without preservatives and low in salt in today’s market. Also, just how difficult it was for busy families and seniors to easily find prepared options of healthy, quality meals.
These two ingredients motivated her to open her own business in 2017 serving individual portions of frozen dinners and desserts and fine foods for special occasions.
In 2021, she moved her home-based business to its current commercial kitchen and store at Unit 2, 5360 Canotek Rd.
“Frozen meals in the market are very heavy on salt and preservatives, and people who are older and people who are busy don’t have that many healthy options,” says Jennifer.
Lucie E Cooking offers individual portions of frozen dinners and desserts in glass containers, allowing meals to be heated, as required, in the microwave or the oven.
Delivery is contact-less and free within the New Edinburgh to Beacon Hill area and with a nominal fee for other areas in central Ottawa. She makes sure the food is delicious, the portions generous and the meals nutritionally balanced so that customers can rely on her products as a source of healthy, home-cooked meals. Lucie E Cooking’s commercial kitchen is an amazing space where creativity and the best ingredients go into each menu option. Jennifer ensures that choices are wide and varied.
Her menus are available online where orders can also be placed.
One ‘fresh’ meal a week is prepared for ordering on Tuesdays, and if not delivered, is available for pick-up at the store on the following Saturday. Frozen dinners can be ordered anytime online and delivered to your home at your convenience.
Jennifer notes that the kitchen is not always open to the public; pick-up times can be arranged by appointment. Lucie E’s tempting menu includes favourites such as beef vindaloo with butternut squash and rice, homestyle meatloaf with duchesse potatoes and green beans, Spanish paella, Salisbury steak with mashed potatoes – to mention a few tasty options.
For dessert, you can find raspberry mochi cake, fruit tortes and flourless chocolate cake, amongst others. Just reading the menu makes one’s mouth water, leading you to a wide selection of amazing food at competitive prices.
But that’s not all! If you are hosting an event with little time to prepare a sophisticated menu or one based on dietary restrictions, Lucie E Cooking offers in-home catering featuring gourmet meals for special lunch and dinner occasions and receptions. Further information on options and ordering can be found by email at jennifer@LucieECooking.com or at 613-878-0569.
Jennifer’s enterprise shares its commercial kitchen with Cibus, a similar entrepreneurial initiative run by Italian chef Cristian Lepore. Open for lunch Monday to Friday (11 a.m. – 2 p.m.), Cibus serves Roman crust pizza. It also offers redefined Italian meals for health-conscious diners as well as meal-prep solutions that are gluten-, dairy and nightshade-free.
Both Lucie E Cooking and Cibus offer culinary alternatives to help make our lives easier and healthier with opportunities to serve fantastic feasts for family and friends.
Manor Park’s barbershop, proudly bearing the name of our community, is evolving with the times.
A welcoming neighbourhood space, the Manor Park Barber Shop is a local business landmark at the Rockcliffe Crossing Plaza – a family-run enterprise since 2007 when Aleisis Avila Rodriguez bought the business from the previous owner who had been “like a mother to her”.
Aleisis, who started working there in 2004, was then a newcomer to Canada – a certified accountant from Cuba, who was interested in training to become a barber.
Initially hesitant to work in what is traditionally a male-dominated trade, she decided to try this new art inheriting many clients who had come to know her well and hasn’t looked back since.
Now, her shop is going through a generational transition. In a similar process, Aleisis’s daughter Laura Goyos has become her mom’s business partner, working full-time at the shop and assuming responsibility for the shop’s new marketing strategy to reach a younger population with new trends while maintaining its traditional barbering services.
Laura was introduced to the profession by her mother. A barber and hairdresser for six years, Laura worked part-time at the Manor Park Barber Shop for the past two years while working full-time at another shop.
Now a business partner, she will support her mother full-time as the second chair, bringing her knowledge and skills as a hairdresser to help advise clients on scalp and hair care, and product selection.
The Manor Park Barber Shop welcomes men and children without appointments – accepting these clients at their convenience – and also offers haircuts and colour services to women by scheduled appointments. This assures that the shop’s on-demand barbering services do not conflict with the longer and more time-consuming services offered to women.
The barber shop has taken care of generations of Manor Park families – from fathers to children and grandchildren.
The barbers know their customers well! And now they are ready to be creative and satisfy the demand of new, younger customers who ask for different styles which might range from perms or colouring to offering guidance on adapting styles to hair type, face shape and so on.
The succession of necessary COVID-19 closures has proved challenging; even today, sales have not fully recovered to pre-pandemic levels. However, the business moves steadily on grateful for the constant support of its faithful clients and the Manor Park community.
Aware of the recent challenges brought on by inflation this year, the shop has been slow to adjust its rates, doing so only when faced with lease adjustments.
Proud of its services, the shop offers discounted rates for both children and for seniors. It follows all precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, continuing masking and hygienic protocols. It is once again offering beard care and hot shaves.
“There are few things men do to pamper themselves, relax and look good,” says Aleisis. “We are pleased to be offering these services again for our clients.”
They have recently partnered with Little White Lantern, another enterprise born in Manor Park, to offer a beard-care product line – a joint endeavour to support one another’s growth and to offer customers the best sourced products and services.
Conveniently located at the plaza at the corner of Hemlock Rd. and St. Laurent Blvd., there is plenty of free parking space and the service is unbeatable.
Do not hesitate to visit or call 613-371-6772 or 343-552-2727. The barber ladies will be happy to help.
Its scientific name is dicranum scoparium – a species of dicranid moss affectionately called “mood moss” because of its changing appearance in different moisture conditions. Closer to home it is the name of our neighbourhood flower shop Mood Moss Flowers, and it holds a world of endless possibilities.
From bouquets, table arrangements and seasonal ornaments to soaps, candles and potted plants as well as floral arrangements for special occasions, this dynamic, welcoming shop offers a personalized customer experience. A charming store where every inch is full of color and beauty, it all comes together in a space of grace and abundance where you will find whatever pleases your eye.
Eric Cardinal, a graduate of Algonquin College’s Floral Design program, is the sole proprietor and one of the shop’s three florists. For six years after his 1998 graduation, Eric gained experience at various Ottawa flower shops, always thinking about Beechwood Ave.as a good place to start his own business. When the opportunity presented itself in August 2004 at 186 Beechwood Ave., he opened his store.
Florists at Mood Moss include Buffy, also a gradate of Algonquin’s Floral Design program, who has worked there for more than ten years. Keitha complements the team, having joined Mood Moss three years ago. Each florist brings their own particular sense of aesthetic to the mix.
Seasonally vibrant and full of activity, Eric says Mood Moss has been busy with weddings that did not take place during the pandemic shutdown – now smaller, but many in number.
Mood Moss had just revamped its web presence when it had to shut down in March 2020. Eric turned to social media to promote commercial activity; sales started to grow gradually. Even though he had to work alone within a closed shop, pick up supplies himself and deliver his orders personally or with the help of his family, it was worth it.
It was a process of adapting to new conditions in order to survive. New suppliers had to be found, and things had to be accomplished in a different manner, but in the end, sales continued to grow after the initial complete standstill.
Looking back the effort paid off. The business survived and thrived with the help and support of family and the community. And, as soon as it was possible, the rest of his floral team re-joined him at work.
For Eric, it was comforting to see that “flowers and plants remained a valuable means of communication in difficult times”. Although people could not meet, they could express their appreciation with the help of Mood Moss Flowers.
Through the years the florist shop has kept up with trends and strives to offer exactly what its clients are looking for.
“We’re flexible,” says Eric. “I think people know we are going to try our best to make them happy.” A recent trend is the popularity of houseplants – people enjoy selecting, learning about and caring for them – and Mood Moss offers a great variety.
With the addition of new condos along Beechwood Ave. and growth in the Vanier area, Mood Moss Flowers has seen greater traffic, different interests, needs and tastes. However, Eric acknowledges that it was the close-knit community that kept coming back during the shutdown that rejuvenated his enthusiasm,
“I’m never going to forget those two years and the way people were concerned for local businesses,” Eric explains as he tells me about the long-standing clients that keep coming back every week.
Make sure to visit Mood Moss Flowers. It’s a feast for your senses and you will surely find a welcoming smile and discover an affinity you did not know you had.
If for some reason you have not popped into Muckleston & Brockwell, A Fine Butchery at 127 Beechwood Ave. yet – perhaps you are new to the area, getting your bearings – be sure to visit the next time you’re on Beechwood.
As a former vegetarian and middling cook, I confess to having been somewhat intimidated by what I imagined to be an esoteric environment with unfamiliar language . . . okay, meat snobbery. Wrong.
Beechwood’s own traditional butcher shop could not be more pleasant and welcoming.
M & B Butchery is run by Andy Muckleston and his spouse Lindsay Leach, with great support from the shop’s second butcher Alex Mackenzie. The business name hearkens back to its inception seven years ago, when it was developed in partnership with Ion Aimers, well-known to our neighborhoods as the founder of The Works, ZAZAZA Pizza, among other endeavours around the city.
“Brockwell” is Ion’s middle name, and the name stayed after Andy became the sole proprietor.
The shop’s aesthetic charm is rooted in its history, housed in a former private home that dates from about a century ago.
The first floor consists of two large, linked rooms. The front room holds a stand-up freezer with many delectables such as beef cuts, bone broth, homemade sausage and chicken breasts, along with sustainable farmed fish.
Frozen meats are packaged with an eye to the smaller household. A lengthwise middle counter invites leaning, the placing of parcels, pulling up a stool for a sit or a chat, or to enjoy a sandwich or warm bone broth. (Warm bone broth will be available again later this winter, see the website for information on this nutritional gold mine.)
But all this is only the gateway to where the real action takes place – the second room, likely the kitchen of the old house, where the art of butchering happens alongside the cultivation of relationships.
Both Alex and Andy are skilled not only in butchering, but working in an open environment where conversation flows, the humour is easy, the phone rings and deliveries come to the back door and are unloaded in sight of customers.
Andy sources all the meat he sells from high quality producers, including lamb from Osgoode and poultry from Voltigeurs in Drummondville, Quebec. M & B’s Angus beef comes from Penokean farms in Bruce Mines, Northern Ontario.
Located on the shores of upper Lake Huron, this farm is revitalizing the agricultural industry in the Algoma area with its excellent production methods and savoury, reliable products.
Andy explained that while it is desirable to source locally, the need for dependable suppliers prompted him to look further afield to support such excellent producers.
Andy Muckleston got his start in butchering with The Butchery in Bells Corners, where he was a regular customer with his father before he began skills apprenticeship in the business of butchering. He worked at Saslove’s and spent some time in Pembroke before putting down stakes on Beechwood.
Lindsay has created the warm environment with artwork, and her own graphics (see the M & B delivery logo of the waving lady cow) and creates unique and attractive burnt-wood utensils and small artworks.
She will soon be adding soap made from beef tallow to their product line. Andy makes a wonderful range of hot sauces which are for sale in the shop.
Among the store’s specialties are a dry-age chamber which uses Himalayan salt to cure meat. The day I was in, I was able to see various cuts at different stages of the curing process, all the way from an encrusted pork loin to a sirloin which had aged to a deep wine colour. Most of these are custom orders, as is much of his business.
Whether an experienced home chef or novice, you will find something delicious at Muckleston and Brockwell to create a beautiful meal. Alex, Andy and Lindsay are happy to make suggestions when asked, to share their love of good food, for sustenance and celebration!
If you are looking for a good bakery and coffee shop, we have found the perfect place close to our community. I’m talking about the Orange Turtle Bakery, located on St. Patrick St. in the Byward Market.
It’s a small, cozy shop that offers delicious baked goods made from quality ingredients. Amongst the tempting assortment are an array of shortbread cookies, German almond and spice cookies (traditional recipes with a twist), banana breads and tarts. The bakery’s flourless chocolate cake has been developed for those with gluten sensitivities, but all will find it delicious. Its freshly ground coffee is most enjoyable, as is its selection of teas and chocolate. Once summer has arrived, the bakery will offer traditional Vienna-styled iced coffee.
Owner Maged Kamal is a Canadian of Egyptian origin who has lived in a variety of locations around the world, picking up a profound enjoyment and curiosity of its tastes. Maged, who has an extensive background in architecture and design, has taken a break in his career to pursue the passion of recipe research and creative design through his bakery.
He created the orange turtle design inspired by the universal turtle symbol, using a bright, cheerful color and, an apparently simple, but actually elaborate, intelligent design of a turtle that is also a human standing on the earth and looking up to the heavens. Maged sees Ottawa as a melting pot of enriching and varied cultures that need to be represented and reflected back to the community through amazing flavours adapted to the Canadian landscape.
“Orange Turtle Bakery offers quality, international baked goods inspired by the flavours of the world,” says Maged. “Our scones, which come an amazing variety of flavours – savory with cheese and chives, blueberries with sliced almonds and cranberry with white chocolate, to name a few – are some of the most sought-after items on our menu.”
He experiments with different recipes until he brings these up to his exacting standards–an art and a science that he genuinely enjoys practicing. Maged produces all the goods himself (with assistance during the weekdays) and also looks after client service. In the near future, he plans to set up a web page for online orders.
He first started baking because he wanted to learn his grandmother’s and his mother’s recipes in order to conserve family traditions. He embarked on the long process to learn the art of baking and, from there, to develop the skills to master baking the many different international products that he had previously tasted and enjoyed. His family and friends suggested he should open a bakery and coffee shop–this venture fitted perfectly with his passion for creativity and design.
Open since late 2022, the bakery has received amazing responses from customers and great online reviews on Google. Maged welcomes customer feedback and is open to suggestions from all who visit. Everything, including the interior space, is well-designed; even the house rules have been developed to “favour human interaction and an amiable environment where feedback is a valuable resource to the creative process.”
The bakery is open on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for now. Maged says that his bakery will grow and develop in a thoughtful step-by-step process – with time and as traffic increases–to extend the days that it is open and to offer a larger menu, including cakes and sandwiches, as well as catering to groups.
Paying a visit to Orange Turtle Bakery at 285 St. Patrick St.(street parking is available out front) will uplift your weekend and entice your taste buds. Find the bakery on Google or follow it on Instagram @orangeturtlebakery.
In sharing the joy of great choral masterworks and the many diverse approaches to choral music, the Ottawa Choral Society (OCS) continues to embrace new and timely pieces in its extensive repertoire. Its inaugural concert took place in 1941 and since then, it has consistently aspired to provide excellence and meaningful presentations for the public.
The society, a not-for-profit organization, is member-driven and member-governed. It is the leading classical vocal ensemble in Ottawa and one of Canada’s most accomplished large choruses with vast experience working with world-class conductors and concert artists.
The OCS chorus is currently in rehearsal for the second concert in its 2023 season which takes place on Sunday, March 19. Entitled Composed by Women: Music of War and Peace, it will feature a collection of short modern and contemporary works on war and peace by women composers.
Manor Park resident Geoff White is communications director for the choir. He has sung in the bass section since 2019, shortly after retiring from a career with Global Affairs Canada.
“In this concert Composed by Women, we thought it important to recognize that art is not free of the tensions that afflict our times,” says Geoff. “We selected a repertoire dedicated to the theme of war and peace – one that also emphasizes the achievement of women composers whose work has often been neglected.”
Composed by Women: Music of War and Peace
Most tellingly, this concert’s principal work is titled God, thine earth is aflame, composed by Latvian composer Lucija Garuta in 1943 as Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union waged a gruesome war over her native Latvia. The choir will also perform two works in Ukrainian as well as Joni Mitchell’s The Fiddle and the Drum, especially arranged for the choir by Chris Larosa, husband of OCS’s new artistic director and conductor, Dr. Gabrielle Gaudreault.
Gabrielle Gaudreault is the first woman to serve as artistic director and conductor in the history of the OCS. In 2022, she was named one of CBC’s 30 under 30 classical musicians. A conductor, pedagogue and collaborative pianist, Gabrielle is passionate about contemporary music and innovative concert performing.
She became familiar with the compositions of Lucija Garuta while doing research some years ago. Performing her work God, thine earth is aflame came to mind as a great opportunity to showcase women composers.
In keeping with the concert’s international theme, brief remarks will be made by H. E. Kaspars Ozoliņš, Latvia’s ambassador to Canada and Jacqueline O’Neill, Canada’s ambassador for women, peace and security.
The final concert in its 2023 season is Misa Tango – A Celebration of the sounds of Latin America. Misa Tango, by Argentine composer Martín Palmeri, is an intensely emotional mix of sacred music and tango. Concert highlights include mezzo-soprano soloist Julie Nesrallah accompanied by strings, piano and the bandoneón, the iconic instrument of the tango and the performance of an original commission for the society by Cuban Canadian composer Alondra Vega-Zaldivar
The choral experience
The society’s 2023 season reflects efforts to bring rich and varied music selections to the choral experience, both for its choristers and audiences.
For Gabrielle Gaudreault, “It’s important that the choir offers a balance between familiar pieces that audiences can relate to as well as new pieces by composers they may have never heard of before – composers that offer variety, diversity and contrast to reach a new and larger audience”.
With two outstanding concerts remaining, this OCS season offers enlightening, expansive and enriching performance experience. For tickets and program information visit www.ottawachoralsociety.com or call 613-725-3560.
Derek Marcotte, personal trainer and restauranteur is an infectious whirlwind of energy and enthusiasm, a gifted teacher and trainer who inspires his clients to work hard and live well.
In July, 2022, he opened Pivotal Fitness, a compact personal training studio at 139 Beechwood Ave., next to Chew That, Renee Turcotte’s pet food shop.
An Ottawa lad, Derek spent years teaching martial arts such as ju-jitsu and muay Thai boxing. He is known as Sensei Derek to hundreds of young people in Ottawa, many of whom went on to earn their black belts and become instructors.
If they trained at the Therein Jiu-Jitsu & Boxing location in the former Eastview Plaza, (where Derek taught for many years), they might have slipped next door after class and worked for Derek when he managed the Black Irish Pub. Derek obtained his Red Seal Chef certification along the way, and has served, cooked, and managed operations at many venues including the Rideau Club and Sam Jakes Inn and also his own beachside bistro in Gananoque, Ont.
A natural entrepreneur, fitness and hospitality have been the pillars of Derek’s career. A quick look at his LinkedIn page shows these careers woven together like locks of a braid over the past 25 years.
I asked Derek to elaborate on the connection between the two.
He explained that if we think of hospitality as extending welcome and creating an environment (social and physical) where people can relax, feel accepted and grow, the connection with personal fitness training becomes clearer. Be it a restaurant, pub, fitness class or private training session, Derek’s mission is to help other feel at ease in their own skin.
He knows from what he speaks. Never having had a desk job – “I think it would kill me!” Derek says – he credits his parents for encouraging him to trust himself, and to do what he loved. Being an entrepreneur demands charisma, skill, and confidence, and importantly, the adaptability to roll with the inevitable changes and setbacks that arise.
Business closures, partnership changes, building sales, increasing costs – he has faced all of them in his 25-year career.
Maintaining a private training practice for close to two decades, Derek is proud to say he has clients who have been with him for 10, 12 and 17 years, along with newer ones. Often someone will come on their own for a number of sessions, and then ask if their spouse or partner could join in.
Derek works with people in their homes and in his studio, happily accommodating varied schedules. Drawing on his extensive martial arts background, Derek uses body conditioning techniques to provide full-body workouts. Bosu balls, medicine balls, body weight circuits and TRX straps are some of his tools, with music of your choice to motivate!
While clients often come wanting to work on a specific area, Derek emphasizes that training all the body systems in an integrated program results in more rewarding and sustainable results. Ask him, too, about his classes at Decathlon and outdoor training.
Now working alongside Renee at Chew That, the two of them have brainstormed personal training for people with their dogs. If you can bring your dog to work or to the coffee shop, why not work out together? ‘You squat, Fido sits’ etc.
Renee has been dog training for years and has a calm steady demeanor which puts jittery dogs at ease. Watch this column for further information–this will be a Beechwood first!
Derek would be pleased to have you in for a free consultation about achieving personal fitness goals. A quick email will get you started on a high-energy training program, which could be more fun that you ever imagined.
You can reach Derek at email@example.com.
It’s exciting that Manor Park is now home to the Polaris School and Centre, the only independent Waldorf-inspired educational initiative offered in Ottawa. Inspired by the philosophy of Rudolf Steiner, the school’s holistic approach to education develops pupils’ intellectual, artistic, practical and social skills focusing on creativity and student engagement as the engine for learning.
Based on the stages of child development and the principle that each child is a unique individual, its educational programs support children’s needs to explore, experience and make meaningful discoveries about themselves, others and the world.
Waldorf schools have a well-established history in Ottawa; two former schools unfortunately closed in 2014. This led to the formation of the Friends of Waldorf Education in 2015, a non-profit, dedicated to:
1) ensuring financial stability while offering affordable tuition,
2) respecting the Waldorf system of education, and
3) focusing on relationships to community, nature and social engagement.
The Polaris School and Centre is the result of such reflection, opening first in 2018 in Overbrook. Effective August 2022, Polaris moved to expanded facilities at the Hub, 1805 Gaspé Ave. in Manor Park.
A small school with class sizes ranging from 10 to 15 students, Polaris is re-modelling the second floor at the Hub to house its programs.
“Polaris is for the ‘whole child’,” says Dina Cristino, school administrator. “Our multi-sensory approach and experiential learning opportunities provide students with the skills they need in life–to be resilient, confident, to apply critical thinking skills and to develop interpersonal skills.”
Currently, Polaris offers kindergarten and elementary classes for grades 1 to 4. Plans include adding on a higher grade for each successive academic year. Kindergarten classes are centred on the child’s holistic development through creative, free play.
Language development, coordination and movement, and cognitive skills are brought through seasonal circle time and stories.
This unhurried and ‘being in-the-present’ program provides a gentle transition from home to school, supporting a child’s need to explore, experience, and make meaningful discoveries about themselves, others and the world.
The elementary program, based on an interdisciplinary, multi-sensory approach brings academic subjects to life, encourages students to make connections between topics, and to use and apply their knowledge creatively to solve problems. Students are encouraged to develop at their own pace, becoming well-rounded, confident and independent thinkers.
One teacher takes the class from first to eighth grade allowing students to form meaningful peer relationships and their teacher to provide learning opportunities best suited to individual needs. Music, arts and crafts activities, and movement are integrated into academics allowing for both brain hemispheres to be involved in the cognitive process.
“We aim to instill joy and a life-long love of learning,” Dina tells me as she explains the school’s mission.
As an independent school, Polaris’ founding members wanted its programs to be accessible to all, setting up a financial adjustment program to enable interested families to consider it as an educational alternative. The school’s workshops, classes and school store help support this program.
The school store, North Star Crafts, is located at the Hub and is also online, with a variety of natural toys and handmade goods.
The school is actively involved in community outreach, encouraging inclusive and diverse community engagement.
On Mondays, a parent and child program is offered for parents with small children. Tuesdays, Polaris hosts a craft circle where neighbours can share their crafts and learn
from others. And, on Thursdays, it offers classes (9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.) for grade 8 to grade 10 students. Also on Fridays, it hosts a Nature Connect Program for elementary grade children where they can learn about nature, outdoor skills and teamwork. Information about additional Polaris workshops for both children and adults can be found online.
The Chronicle extends a warm community welcome to Polaris School and Centre – a place for learning, meeting and community connections. For more information, contact 613- 842-4322; email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.polarisschool.ca.
Have you ever seen a serviceable-looking piece of furniture on the side of the street? Not an Ikea throw-away, but a solid wood bureau or desk and thought, ‘if I had the time/space/tools etc., I could give that a new look and new lease on life’.
Jen McMullen and Jonathan Shepheard had those thoughts too, but unlike most, acted on them. Pre-Loved 2 Beloved Furniture (Pre2B) is the business which resulted, catering to our desires to both have affordable, nice pieces and stem the flow of unwanted furniture to landfill.
Jen has a keen eye for design and Jonathan enjoys repairing and finishing furniture. The couple set up a fully functional workshop in the basement of the family home in 2019. In the next 18 months, “We refinished 135 pieces.”
Since moving into their workshop/showroom space on Vanier’s Montfort St., Pre2Be have completed “350 pieces since we’ve been in this new location”. It houses a showroom with items for sale and where photos are staged for their website, (www.preloved2belovedfurniture.ca) and the tidy, efficient workshop where the transformations happen.
After any necessary repairs, solid wood furniture pieces such as credenzas, dressers, side tables, hutches or display cabinets are occasionally re-stained but most often painted, using a line of water-based paints called Envirolak. The paints cures within 24 hours to a shiny hard surface, making the furniture ready for delivery and its new life.
The couple favour navy, deep teal, black, mushroom, taupe, pale blue and the occasional coral, on their own or in combination. Their website is a trove of photos of their beautiful work, and Jen makes brief ‘teaser’ videos for Instagram, highlighting not only the furniture, but her sense of humour! ( Preloved2Beloved Furniture Redesign).
The majority of the pieces they refurbish come from either downsizers or estates, often of a mid-century modern style. When people are faced with having furniture they no longer want or need, and have exhausted all possible ‘give-away’ options, a fee-charging junk service may be seen as necessary. However, Pre2Be removes furniture from the home at no charge, a valuable service in and of itself, and provides Jonathan with his raw material.
Alternately, if you possess a piece which needs updating, Jonathan will be pleased to collaborate with you on colour, finish and hardware choices, and deliver the refreshed piece at a very reasonable rate within about 3 weeks.
When asked if he has unfinished pieces in stock, Jonathan directs people to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. If they find purchase something, Jonathan will pick it up and bring it to the shop to work on. Delivery is always included.
“There is far more furniture available now than we will ever need,” says Jonathan. “Based on how much waste there is currently, we will never need to make new furniture again,” he says when asked about his motivation for refurbishing quality furniture. “The quality of older furniture is much higher than what is affordably available now.”
More business-to-business interactions are on the horizon. Pre2Be has done a beautiful counter for Thrift Thrive, the Big Brother Big Sisters thrift shop on Merivale Rd. and gorgeous custom-display case with interior lighting for Louise Green’s skincare boutique on St. Patrick St. Other business opportunities could include home staging in collaboration with a local realtor.
“I actually saw our first ever-sale recently in a client’s home when delivering a second piece to them,” says Jonathan. Their clientele is loyal!
With several part-time staff already, a solid business plan and the endorsement of Invest Ottawa, the energy and excitement of Pre2Be continues to build. Maybe a corner of your home or business could do with something special?
Mid-way through our pleasant month of August, Quang Tran hosted me for a lively visit in his bright and cheerful shop at 369 St. Laurent Ave. He patiently responded to all of my questions about the shop’s history and shared the personal stories of his and his wife Anna Dao’s immigration to Canada. An hour sped by quickly in easy conversation.
If you have ever availed yourself of the skilled workmanship of the team at Pro-Fit, you will not be surprised to hear that Anna and their part-time assistant Huong Ngo have 60 years experience between them as seamstresses. Quang is the front man whose motto is to get to the customer smiling, and soon they will be laughing; I saw it happen several times, and frequently succumb myself!
Anna and Quang purchased their business from Paul Schwab 14 years ago and are pleased to say that he continues to be their customer. In those days the enterprise was known as St. Laurent Tailoring. Explaining the name change to Pro-Fit, Quang says, “Before we make a profit, we have to fit people like a pro.”
The couple came to Ottawa from Vietnam in 1982, when our then-mayor Marion Dewar initiated the welcome and settlement of some 4,000 “boat people”. After their arrival in 1982, the first task was to learn English. Soon Anna was constructing and repairing coats at Dworkin Furs, which their Indo-Chinese friends found amazing. She later sent some years at the Stitch-It chain.
Quang took an HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) program and spent 27 years with Ottawa Community Housing, meeting countless refugees and new Canadians. It meant a lot to him to offer others the same welcome he and Anna had received upon their arrival in Ottawa.
Pro-Fit’s workroom is centered on a large custom cutting table, with sewing machines and smaller worktables on either side of the room. While Quang handles the front of the shop, serving customers, Anna and Huong perform the alteration and construction magic in the workroom.
Huong works with Anna two days a week, and like the couple, came to Ottawa in that 1982 wave of refugees. She worked in a garment factory before joining Pro-Fit at their opening. Quang is afforded a corner of the cutting table for a puzzle he is working on, to “Keep him out of our way!” the women laugh.
The trio have been touched by the support of the community throughout their time, but particularly during closures necessitated by pandemic restrictions. Loyal customers even slid cash under the door during those times.
“The community has been very good to us. Very good. Very, very good”, says Quang. He mentions particularly the Manor Park List-serve.
The shop’s clientele ranges from Beechwood Cemetery staff to prominent figures in the community, and ordinary folks from Manor Park, New Edinburgh, Overbrook, Rockcliffe Park and Vanier. Quang jokes that he is always pleased to hear of a sale going on at St. Laurent mall as it will trickle down to alteration sales for him!
Late breaking news!
Anna and Quang have mused about retirement but are now looking forward to bringing on new staff to help them with day-to-day operations. They are excited to share the news that another professional tailor will be joining their atelier – bringing an added dimension and specialization to the business.
Mory Feaj, an experienced menswear tailor who recently closed his own tailor shop on Bank St., will join the team beginning in November. It’s an exciting prospect for Anna and Tran as Mory is not only specialized in menswear alterations and repairs, but also is skilled in the fitting and making of suits, jackets and pants. Custom tailoring, anyone?
Pro-Fit is a special shop of which there are few remaining in Ottawa, and perhaps in most cities. Already Anna and Huong have defied the expectations of their friends and family in Vietnam who didn’t think such a venture would succeed.
Thank you, Anna, Quang and Huong for your years of service and allowing us to support you in turn.
Tucked away in our neighbourhood, the R.C.M.P Curling Club is a gathering spot for the spirited sport of curling. Paul Adams, club manager and Ian MacAuley, ice maker, want readers to know that curling is a highly social sport for all ages, and that you are welcome at their clubhouse any time.
Novice curlers are welcome and can be introduced to the game through a Learn to Curl program on Friday evenings where participants can sample the congenial atmosphere of the game and the club.
I sat with Paul and Ian in the clubhouse recently while the autumn sun lit the dance-floor corner of the main floor lounge.
The two men were pleased to talk at length about a game they both love, and a club they are proud to be a part of.
While the membership began with law-enforcement professionals, the club is now open to anyone who wishes to join. Many curlers will come to the sport from hockey and enjoy the less competitive and friendly feel of the game.
Members and guests range in age from children aged seven and older to teens and on up to folks north of 60.
The club got its start in the Rideau Curling Club on Cooper St., moving later to an unused stable on the R.C.M.P property, where curlers would play until the ice melted. The R.C.M.P. Curling Club officially opened its own facility at 115 St. Laurent Blvd. next to the Musical Ride Stables in November 1957, making fall 2022 its 65th anniversary.
There is a pro shop in the basement helmed by Joe Priva for all your outfitting and equipment needs. I was fascinated to learn about the two different shoes, one “grippy” and one “Teflon-smooth”, which allow curlers to move so gracefully while sending their rocks across the ice.
Curling rocks are hefty, weighing between 38 and 44 lbs. (17 and 20 kg). The sport gets its name from the stone’s curling trajectory as it moves down the ice, showcasing the player’s skill. The sweeping by two players in front of the stone reduces the ice friction, allowing the stone to move more swiftly.
Curling originates in Scotland–like so many other things (see How the Scots Invented the Modern World: The True Story of How Western Europe’s Poorest Nation Created Our World and Everything in It by Arthur Herman)—coming to Canada with Scottish immigrants in the mid-19th century.
As a northern country, Canadians have, in curling, enjoyed considerable competitive success around the world. In October 2022, Canada won the 2022 World Mixed Curling Championship, beating Scotland in the gold medal game 7-4 in Curl Aberdeen.
The Ottawa Valley is a particular hub for curling, with clubs anchoring smaller communities throughout Eastern Ontario.
The R.C.M.P. club hosts about 1,200 people a week in mixed, men’s, ladies’, and youth leagues. It’s busy every night and several afternoons of the week. The club’s attractive wood-paneled lounge fills up after games with players enjoying the on-tap micro-brewery offerings and the friendly socializing that is at the heart of the curling world.
Paul was glad to tell me that on any given night, there might be a career diplomat sitting beside a young person just starting out, and friendly conversation has led to mentoring and job recommendations. The club has eight staff, including junior icemakers and bar keeps.
Online research (https://worldcurling.org/about) reveals that, “While the main object of the game of curling is to determine the relative skill of the players, The Spirit of Curling demands good sportsmanship, kindly feeling and honourable conduct.”
The world could do with a little more curling! Come for a drink and stay for the games at the R.C.M.P. Curling Club–all are welcome.
Founded nearly 20 years ago, St-Laurent Academy is located at 641 Sladen Ave. It is tucked in behind the Montreal Square shopping centre in a quiet residential area where Sladen is the connector between Malartic and Noranda avenues which run east off of St. Laurent Blvd. just south of Montreal Rd.
St-Laurent Academy’s focus is to accommodate all student learning styles in English and in French guided by themMultiple intelligences approach. Educational programs are approved by the Ministry of Education with an emphasis on student success in academics, the arts and physical education.
Its licensed daycare offers bilingual and French early childhood education for children aged 10 months to four years of age.
Elementary programs (junior kindergarten to grade 8) offer small classes (maximum of 15 students per class) and focus on students as unique, individual learners. There is a natural flow from elementary to high school (and its small class sizes). Courses are taught by education specialists to meet provincial curriculum guidelines, individual student goals/success and educational pathways.
Assistant School Director Andrea Crupi graciously made time for an interview during the academy’s still-busy summer break period: camps for elementary students were running for five weeks, high school students were taking credit courses, and its daycare (which operates year-round) was in full swing. Andrea’s background is in primary/junior education, and her responsibilities include all admissions and communications for the school of 400 students.
I asked Andrea how the multiple intelligences theory is addressed at the academy.
“Students are actively engaged with all senses throughout their instruction and lessons,” says Andrea.
“Our philosophy is to enhance and strengthen the learning environment for all students by ensuring we provide differentiated instruction and a variety of ways to demonstrate subject knowledge that meet their social and academic needs and individual learning requirements – every child learns in a different way,” says Andrea.
Andrea explains that awareness of multiple intelligences is embedded in Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Philosophically akin to universal design in building, UDL is a research-based framework that helps teachers plan learning to meet the diverse, variable needs of all students.
Teachers use tools such as assistive technology, Google Classroom, Smartboard technology for interactive lessons, the Jump Math program, Mathletics and Raz Kids, even teaching “Baby Signs” in early daycare to promote eye contact and emotional bonding.
“We have adopted UDL to ensure the academic learning needs of all students are accommodated and students have equitable access to all that is offered while in the classroom with their peers.” In addition to accommodating and differentiating within the classroom, out-of-class instruction is available for students who would benefit from one-on-one sessions with a learning resource teacher.
Physical education is a part of everyday life at school, for every class and grade. Along with fenced green spaces primarily for the daycare set, students make daily use of adjacent Forbes Park for outdoor recesses. Enriched physical education takes place weekly for junior kindergarten to grade 12 students, including off-site instruction and activities which are often scheduled at the RA Centre, and include fencing, curling, tennis and squash. The school boasts a beautiful gym, science lab and a high school cafeteria.
The school’s special relationship with Macoun Marsh in the southeast corner of Beechwood Cemetery continues to flourish as an outdoor classroom. To date, over 1,500 species have been identified in this little wetland since St-Laurent Academy adopted the marsh as a research and conversation area for its students!
Having graduated its first class of Grade 12 students over five years ago, St-Laurent Academy continues on its constantly growing and evolving path to ensuring student success and personal achievement. As the 2023-24 school year begins, we wish its students and teachers a dynamic time of development and discovery – of themselves, our community and the world.
Sew-Jo´s sewing studio is so much more than just a local Husqvarna Viking sewing machine dealership. It is the source of experienced guidance in all topics from sewing to embroidery and quilting, a resource of well-priced fabrics, threads and notions and it boasts a loyal community of long-term members who keep coming back to share their passions and to continue learning.
Jo-Ann Raven opened Sew-Jo´s in September 2018 at 405 St. Laurent Blvd. and its staff have more than 20 years of combined experience. During the pandemic lockdown, the store became a hub of activity, offering online classes and curb-side pickup, in addition to donating materials to sewers who made masks, gowns and scrub hats for health care workers.
Sew-Jo’s sells, services and offers in-person and online training for the Husqvarna Viking line of sewing, embroidery, quilting and overlock machines. The store’s classes are designed to help owners use their machines to full potential and to maximize their creativity.
Jo-Ann’s experience enables her to troubleshoot major client issues and to offer personalized assistance that is often key to sewing success. She is always ready to help a fellow sewer; appointments can be made for individual service.
Its online clubs (Husqvarna, Embroidery and Software) are taught via Zoom by Cathy Hamilton and are an important resource to show owners the many diverse uses of their machine’s software–helping with techniques and providing inspiration for sewing projects.
Sew-Jo’s also offers a variety of in-store classes that cover a range of topics from learn-to-sew classes where participants receive individual instruction for their own projects, to classes offering group instruction for seasonal projects, to classes for sewing your own clothes and doing alterations in which participants can bring in their own clothes to learn how to make necessary adjustments.
It carries an extensive selection of sewing materials and in-store help is available for choosing fabrics, building colour palettes and developing practical skills.
Jo-Ann says that during the COVID-19 lockdown, many people were inclined to buy sewing machines online, but then, when they met obstacles, they had little or no access for help and practical guidance. Her store guides its clients to the best machine for their sewing plans and offers not only assistance when needed, but exposure to and help in choosing from a wonderful selection of fabrics, notions, gadgets and training to make a difference for each sewing experience.
“Yes, you are supporting a local business in your local community, and we appreciate that,” says Jo-Ann.
When I ask her what keeps customers coming back, she says, “We are here to support our customers, too. They become friends finding a community here that supports and inspires them.”
Currently, Sew-Jo’s community is re-grouping to start a new season of in-person classes and clubs. A team of teachers is preparing for beginner sewing classes, work-on-your-own project classes and pattern-fitting classes designed to help participants take a commercial pattern for pants and alter it to fit their own individual physique.
Other classes in the planning include a table runner project for beginner quilters, an embroidered ‘Gnome for all Seasons’ wall hanging project as well as embroidery in-the-hoop classes and a holiday class making Christmas tree ornaments. Make sure to check Sew-Jo’s online calendar posted at www.sew-jos.ca as many of its in-person and online classes (via Zoom) and clubs have been scheduled for November.
Questions can be sent by email to: email@example.com.
The store is open Tuesday to Friday from 10a.m. to 4p.m. with an extended 6p.m. closing on Thursdays, and on Saturdays from 10a.m. to 4p.m.
Maintaining excellent oral health is crucial for overall wellbeing, and finding a reliable dental care provider is essential for achieving this goal. Close by is Steadfast Dental located at 637 Montreal Rd, just east of Brittany Drive. A longtime Chronicle advertiser, the practice is run by Dr. Hilary Wu and her husband Howard Zheng.
Dr. Wu works with Dr. Nina Zivkovic, a graduate of the University of Toronto, who joined the practice in 2021. The team also includes three assistants, three hygienists, three receptionists and Howard who, as office manager, is the ‘professional’ problem solver, technology expert and ‘glue’ of the team working behind the scenes to ensure efficiency and best quality services.
“Steadfast Dental’s family-oriented philosophy is focused on helping patients with their oral health and preventing complex situations through regular cleanings, check-ups and education to reduce the necessity of major dental work,” says Howard. “We focus on offering the best care available and our priority is placing our patients’ interests first.”
Dr. Wu has practiced in our community for over 10 years. In 2012, she took over the practice of a retiring Beechwood Ave. dentist and renamed the clinic Steadfast Dental. Shortly after, Steadfast Dental purchased another dental clinic at its current Montreal Rd. location. By 2014, Dr. Wu had closed the Beechwood location. The two clinics had merged into one office offering larger facilities, modern equipment and the latest technologies which expanded and modernized again in 2020.
Dr. Wu graduated with distinction from Schulich Dentistry at Western University. She had been a dentist for nine years in China (a graduate of Peking University) and had specialized in prosthodontics, treating complex dental and facial concerns including restorations and the replacement of teeth.
“To provide the best possible care and state-of-the-art dental service, our highly skilled team uses advanced digital dental technologies and follows strict hygienic protocols,” says Howard. “We use digital microscopes and Cone Beam CT scanning for more reliable and accurate scans and impressions which produce more reliable results and maximize comfort for our patients.”
The clinic’s complete range of dental services includes preventative dentistry (annual check-ups, cleanings, fluoride treatments and sealants to prevent cavities) and education which Howard says is the fundamental cornerstone of dental health. I found it interesting that each chair has a TV, providing an option for patients to be distracted (and potentially less stressed) while the dentist works.
Other dental services include cosmetic dentistry (tooth whitening, porcelain veneers and smile makeovers) and restorative dentistry (cavity care, dental implants, crowns, bridges and full and partial dentures etc.).
Steadfast Dental has its own onsite lab with professional facilities for manufacturing bridges, crowns and implants. For patients, this means that the restoration process can be completed with minimal inconvenience. Prosthetics are created onsite using CEREC 3D imaging and, for crowns, the entire process can be completed in a single day. For patients who need to travel, the process can be completed in a few hours.
Services also include making dental appliances for sports protection and bruxism prevention; treatments for endodontics (root canal therapy); for oral surgery, including wisdom teeth and tooth extractions; for gum disease, including periodontal surgery and for pediatric dentistry, focused on early dental education and treatment.
Children are welcome as early as one year of age for a ‘fun’ first-time experience at the dentist and a little dental education. This helps children get into the habit of looking after their teeth and to become familiar with the dental environment.
Steadfast Dental maintains flexible office hours designed to enable patients to book an appointment that fits their schedule. The clinic is open from 7:30a.m. until 7p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays, and until 4:30p.m. Wednesday to Friday. It is also open one Saturday each month. The clinic accepts direct insurance payments for the convenience of its patients.
To reach Steadfast Dental, call 613-746-3999.
The Vanier Community Service Centre (Vanier CSC) is a not-for-profit organization offering a range of services in both French and English to improve the quality of life for citizens of Ottawa-Vanier and surrounding neighborhoods.
Grounded in the values of equity, collaboration, innovation and engagement, the Vanier CSC is an innovative and vibrant service hub whose offerings have grown and changed in response to the evolving needs of its surrounding communities.
Vanier CSC opened its first office at 6 Beechwood Ave. with four employees in November of 1980. Forty-two years later the agency has more than 70 employees. Overseen by a board of directors and supported by volunteers, Vanier CSC provides more than 20 community service programs – services which are available in more than a dozen different languages.
Programs include: the Clinique juridique francophone (francophone legal clinic for low-income clients); employment services (connecting job hunters to employment opportunities and developing partnerships with employers); family services (including an EarlyON centre; programming for children aged 6 to 12 years, and the Vanier Social Pediatrics HUB; settlement and citizenship assistance programs for newcomers to Canada; crises programs and community services such as the Partage Vanier Food Bank, income tax clinics and intake counselling services.
Its main office as well as counselling, settlement, children and youth and legal services are located at 290 Dupuis St. Its 270 Marier Ave. offices provide employment services for job hunters and services for families and children (for babies through to teens) as well as the Vanier Social Pediatric HUB. Partage Vanier at 161 Marier Ave. is the Vanier CSCs Food Bank, also home to a community garden. This program is supported by a robust and long-serving group of volunteers.
In a nod to the centre’s growth, CSC Vanier has hired its first director of communications, Élyse Robertson. Élyse and I spoke together in early December about the centre’s programming. She told me how much of Vanier CSC’s work also takes place out in the community, such as in schools with settlement support and after-school recreational and leadership programming at local public- and catholic-board schools. The employment team also organizes fairs and connects to various employers throughout the city to multiply job opportunities for people who need work.
The long-running, ‘Home Instruction for Parents of Pre-School Youngsters’ (HIPPY) program supports immigrant mothers to promote school readiness in their children. It employs mothers who have graduated from its program as home visitors. HIPPY is successfully offered in communities across Canada, addressing the isolation that immigrant mothers often experience.
Through this program, mothers are connected to training, mentoring, companionship and learning about ‘how things work’ in Canada.
Élyse was pleased to describe the Vanier Social Pediatric HUB program which operates at 270 Marier Ave. This initiative follows up to 110 children and their families, dealing with multiple barriers such as anxiety, depression, trauma, and speech delays in a child-focused approach which brings together multiple partners to address the Rights of the Child. Its aim is to address social determinants of health and minimize the impact of ACES (adverse childhood experiences) within the child’s context.
The HUB’s new “social prescription” program, announced in November 2022, is an innovative way for medical staff to address non-clinical options that address the global development of children. This can involve giving away museum passes and music programs, time in nature and other forms of enrichment. Dr. Sue Bennett, the program’s medical director, is attached to CHEO and also teaches at the University of Ottawa.
A new chapter for the Vanier CSC has begun with the recent retirement of long-serving executive director Michel Gervais, and the welcoming of its new executive director, Andrée-Anne Martel who had previously served on its board of directors.
“Andrée-Anne brings great energy and vision to Vanier CSC ,” says Élyse. “She is profoundly inspired by the team, their work and the positive impact they are creating in our community.”
I suspect I am not the only community member who really didn’t know the full scope of Vanier CSC’s work, and I am grateful and heartened to know of their multi-faceted service to our neighbourhoods as well as the multiple volunteering opportunities that support its mission.