Kitchissippi History & Heritage Group – June 5

Subject: Fwd: Kitchissippi History & Heritage Group – Sunday 5 June!
Date: Wed, 11 May 2016 18:50:46 -0400
From: Christine Jackson <>

Hello Champlain Park Community Association,

I’m forwarding this invitation to you to attend the second meeting of the Kitchissippi History & Heritage Group, which is coordinated by our local historian, Dave Allston. I don’t know whether or not you are already aware of this Group’s existence?

The Group had a highly successful kickoff meeting on Feb 28, with over 40 people in attendance upstairs at Thyme & Again. I may be mistaken, but the CPCA did not seem to be present(?).

As you can see from Dave’s correspondence, one of the Group’s first initiatives will be to help the City update its horrendously outdated list of listed (heritage) buildings. In this respect, Champlain Park is particularly poorly served because the City’s current list only includes 4 addresses, two of which are buildings that were apparently moved into CP from elsewhere. The City’s current list does not even include the wonderful Kot home at the north end of Cowley Ave.

I do not know whether the lack of Champlain Park buildings on the list to date has to do with previous negligence or lack of interest on the part of the City or an unwillingness on the part of owners to have their buildings listed. (There may be some ramifications on owners somewhere down the line in the process.)

The City will be looking to community associations this June to help them identify potential listed buildings and I’m hoping that, if you do not already know of this, then you will help to ensure that we participate and get any buildings of heritage value in Champlain Park listed – before they disappear forever! The meeting on 5 June, to be attended by City planners, will no doubt tell us what to expect in that respect.

Besides Dave’s invitation (below), I am including below, for your info, the report he sent to those of us who attended the Feb 28 meeting.

Hope to see some of you there on June 5!

Christine Jackson (Cowley Ave)

Subject: Kitchissippi History & Heritage Group – Sunday 5 June!
Date: Wed, 11 May 2016 17:46:35 +0000 (UTC)
From: Dave Allston <>

Good day everyone!

So it’s taken a lot of work and a few twists and turns, but we finally have a date and time arranged for the next meeting. I’ve booked Sunday June 5th, from 2-4 p.m. in the large hall at Kitchissippi United Church (thanks to Jen Gillespie for the great suggestion!). I hope you will all be able to attend. (

This will be a particularly important meeting because I have arranged with the City’s Planning Department to have representatives from the Built Heritage section make a presentation to our group regarding the big project underway in 2016 to rebuild the Heritage Reference List. Our group can have a key role in this project, in terms of helping identify potential inclusions for this list (which should not be limited necessarily to just buildings and houses by the way – the heritage list does also include “Historic buildings, districts and landscapes”). Remember too that there are different levels of recognition on the list. Of course designation is key for those which we know must be protected, but it is important to “list” those addresses which may have heritage value, and would force a harder look when an individual looks to demolish. (My presentation on designation appears in the message forum if you’d like to read more about this).

City staff will be on hand for the first hour or so, and we will cover this topic in depth, and learn what role we can take on. They will also take Q&A, so this will be a great opportunity to ask questions.

The second hour of the meeting I’m still putting together (any suggestions/ideas, please let me know). We will have one presentation for sure, and I would also love to take at least 30 minutes to have any interested individuals or groups take 2-3 minutes to present updates on what they’ve been working on, share dates of upcoming history walks/events of note, or to advertise any projects they are working on that they would like input/assistance on, or to share current research topics, etc. From the last meeting, I know there was a LOT of networking that happened, especially post-meeting, a lot of people got in touch with each other through the get-together, so I’m glad at minimum we can make those connections! I think it’s important for us as the local history nuts to build our network as much as we can!

Thanks very much to you all for your continued interest in this group. Feel free to pass on the word to anyone you feel might be interested, and I look forward to seeing everyone again in a few weeks.

Cheers, Dave Allston

(p.s. the message board idea has been a bit slow on the uptake, so we can discuss other/better ways of maintaining communication at the next meeting. But feel free to visit at for any questions/thoughts)

From: Dave Allston, 2 April 2016

Good afternoon everyone,

First off, my apologies for not being in touch sooner. The month of March flew by, and I’d kept intending to get organized and get in touch with everyone again, and have some kind of online meeting place established. So hopefully we haven’t lost too much of the great momentum that had been built up in February. Once again, thank you to all of you who made the meeting at Thyme and Again. It was an amazing turn-out, and I could not be more impressed at the level of interest in the community in discussing local history! I have a lot of optimism about where this group can go, and the interesting sessions we can have/work we can contribute to. Already I am getting input on some ideas where the History Group (we still need an official name!) can be useful. Of course there is the big task to do with the heritage designations/listing, but one interesting project which has come up recently through three local community associations and the West Wellington BIA, is regarding the Ottawa 2017 celebrations. Grant money is being made available through the city, and this committee I’ve been working with has put in a grant application towards organizing a significant local history project. Our history group could be able to play a substantial role in this project. So more to come on that soon.

So my email today has two purposes. One of course is to re-establish contact with everyone, but secondly, I also wanted to alert you to an online message board I’ve set up (it is very simple for now) to try to create a community where we can all visit and discuss issues, questions, projects, and promote within the group. I’ve tried to select a platform which is easy to use, easy to sign up for, but also allows for sharing of documents/photos/etc. I’m not overly technical, nor do I have the time to put together something fancy, but I think (or at least I hope) this does the trick, at least for now. Perhaps down the road we could explore having a more detailed website established.

So if you go to the link below, you will find the starting point of the message board. You can post without signing up, or you can do a 20-second registration to be able to post under your name, and take advantage of other functionality. I encourage you all to use this as much as you would like. I’d love to see people posting history questions, sharing something they’ve written, or a neat photograph, sharing a project they’re working on, or to point out a news story that affects local history/heritage, etc. The more chatting and posting we get, the better chance we have of it becoming a real community, so I encourage you to not be shy and post anything you like. Consider posting too about ideas on how this group can be utilized! We have a lot of keen, knowledgeable people involved, and I have a mailing list of almost 100 right now, which is amazing.

The link to the board is:

To start off, I’d recommend viewing my “Welcome to…” post (direct link: I also posted my presentation and the hand-out related to the Ottawa heritage reference list and the heritage designations on one of the threads as well. Hopefully you find the site easy to use, and if you have any questions, please feel free to email me. (Note I will also put up a link to the board on the front page of the Kitchissippi Museum blog, so if you misplace this email, not to worry, just come to my blog).

I am aiming to set up the next meeting in May, so we can all get together again. On the message board, I’m trying to gauge roughly the best day/time to have a meeting (does Sunday afternoon generally work? is a weekday evening better?, etc.) I’ll also try to recruit one or two guest presenters (volunteers with something they’ve recently/currently worked on welcome!), and will also aim to have one of the City Heritage planners on hand as well to present the City’s heritage designation project. I’m hopeful that our group can act as the vehicle through the community associations (with representation from multiple CAs) so that the Heritage Planners need not visit 8-9 CAs individually, but rather can speak to them all at once. I’ll do the legwork with the CAs for that in the next week or so.

So thank you again to you all, and please feel free to email me anytime with any questions/ideas, or post them to the message board!

Dave Allston