Pontiac De-paving Day Photo Review

Community Effort to Remove Pavement on Pontiac Street and Reclaim Paradise!!

Last Saturday, a family-friendly event was led by Councillor Jeff Leiper to de-pave one block of Pontiac Street and to re-connect the green space of Champlain Park directly to NCC lands accessing the Ottawa river.

The Councillor received sponsorship from the City with funds from cash-in-lieu of parkland money and a small grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Energetic community volunteers showed up to dig up sections of pavement and transfer them to City dumpsters. The volunteers were organized by Enviro Centre and Champlain Park Community Association, with coffee from Bridgehead and bagels from the Ottawa Bagel Shop.

In the near future, the City workers will finish digging the gravel base, adding soil, and seeding the area. The NCC will remove the fence and gravel on their side. Volunteers plan to landscape the NCC land with native species of ground cover, shrubs and trees. As Joni Mitchell sang in her song “Big Yellow Taxi”, “you don’t know what you’ve got, ’till it’s gone”. It’s not often a parking lot gets turned into parkland!

Enviro Centre team with Champlain Park Community Association volunteer, Debra Huron, set up coffee (Bridgehead) and bagels (Ottawa Bagel Shop) as well as supplying tools and safety gear for volunteers. Photo by John Arnason.

Tools – Wheelbarrow, pry bar, pickaxe, shovel. Photo by AGMS.

Safety Gear – steel toed boots, goggles, gloves. Photo by AGMS.
Way to go, Jeff! Councillor Leiper led the project. Jeanette Rule (CPCA) and Brian Ducey (City of Ottawa) doing heavy lifting in background. Photo by John Arnason.
Event Organizers: Jennifer Stelzer (Enviro Centre) Adrian Bradley (CPCA) Jeff Leiper (City Councillor) Fiona Mitchell (Councillor’s Assistant). Photo by John Arnason.
Champlain Park Community Volunteers: John de Carle, Carol Arnason, Heather Pearl, Linda Landreville. Photo by John Arnason.
Daniel Buckles, Environment Committee (CPCA). Photo by John Arnason.
Pontiac Street is now cleared right down to the gravel. Fence posts removed too. Remaining paved path on the left is sidewalk sized. Topsoil coming soon. Photo by Adrian Bradley.

And finally, thanks to Carol Arnason for writing the text and most of the captions.