CCA report: Earth Day festival, gardening, safer roads, Neighbour Woods, heritage

Magician Mark Montreuil enchanted crowds at the 2023 Earth Day celebration in Dundonald Park. (Raymond Bertrand/The BUZZ)
Magician Mark Montreuil enchanted crowds at the 2023 Earth Day celebration in Dundonald Park. (Raymond Bertrand/The BUZZ)

Jack Hanna

Earth Day Festival — this weekend

The Earth Day Festival is this Saturday, April 20, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Dundonald Park, at Somerset and Lyon.

For kids, there will be hands-on arts and crafts, games, read-alouds (10:15 and 10:45 a.m.), a sing-along (11 a.m.), and a magician (12:30 p.m.). As always at CCA festivals, there will be fresh, free popcorn.

You can enjoy live music, street theatre, and participatory dance.

Two dozen booths will have information about biking, affordable housing, climate change, plant-based eating, protecting birds and trees, good gardening practices, and much more.

The festival is sponsored by the CCA and the Centretown Community Health Centre.

The rain day is Sunday, April 21.

Calling all gardeners

The Dundonald Park Gardening Group is looking for folks who like to work in the dirt.

This group of volunteers has in the past handful of years revitalized the gardens in Centretown’s foremost park and wants to sustain the momentum.

Email: to get your hands in the soil.

Start a few extra seedlings

If you grow plants from seed, consider starting a few extra for the CCA’s plant sale on Saturday, June 8.

The plant sale, part of the big Minto Park Sale, is a fund-raiser for the CCA.

Plant donations are greatly appreciated. Annuals, tomatoes, peppers, and herbs are good sellers. Please label the plants.

For information about how to drop off donations, contact Stephen at (613) 730-6513 or email As well, plants can be dropped off at Minto Park the morning of the sale.

CCA looks to improve communications

Want to help engage with your Centretown neighbours?

The CCA is launching a new communications committee. The committee will promote CCA events, communicate CCA programs, and explore new ways to attract and retain members.

Interested? Email:

Making Centretown roadways safer

The CCA’s Transportation Committee conducted a Safer Streets Walking Tour in mid-April. Participants considered crosswalks and whether they ensure safety, as well as the connectivity of the cycling network in Centretown.

They also considered how to make Kent Street more appealing and safer for active transportation. City staff are considering conducting a study of the potential for cycling and other forms of active transportation on Kent, and the CCA is pushing them to do so.

Tree training for new NeighbourWoods volunteers

The CCA’s NeighbourWoods program kicks off its fourth season with training for new volunteers on Saturday, May 11.

The NeighbourWoods team is compiling a detailed survey of all the individual trees in Centretown. At the training session, Andy Kenney, a University of Toronto emeritus professor, will teach volunteers how to collect data on a tree and use apps to put it into the database. Another expert will teach tree identification.

NeighbourWoods is a fun way to learn about trees and meet neighbours. The data gathered is used to influence the City of Ottawa’s approach to planting and maintaining trees and enhance the urban canopy.

To get more info:

Picking priorities for heritage protection

The city asked the CCA to identify its priority buildings for heritage protection.

The CCA surveyed its members and then provided a Top 10 list.

Topping that list was 123 Metcalfe, the elegant five-storey building at Metcalfe and Laurier, across the street from the library. Not only is 123 Metcalfe beautiful, it has a distinguished history. It was the home of Ottawa’s YMCA for 61 years, starting in 1906. During the Y’s tenancy, it had a swimming pool, gym, billiards room, shooting range, and rental rooms. Today it is the well-appointed hotel The Metcalfe.

Because of a provincially imposed deadline, the city is currently hurrying to designate many heritage properties for protection before the end of this year.

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