Author Archives: jameshmclaren



While watching the falcons, this duck and his life partner waddled over for a visit. They are probably fed by the denizens of the CRA building as they were only a few feet away.


More Birds

More Birds

These are some Night Herons (I was told) that I saw while I was watching the falcons this evening. Seemed appropriate to post.

Falcon, Eh?

Falcon, Eh?

Here is a picture of the mama falcon (or possibly the daddy falcon) and chick at the CRA building on Data Centre Road. The parents are currently trying to teach the chick to fly, which consists of not feeding him (or her) so much and teasing her (or him) by flying past or staying just out of reach. This caused the chick to emanate a great deal of noise! For more information about falcons click on the photo to go to

Quiz Night!

After the lousy weather Friday and this weekend, what better way to relax and have a fun night out with friends (and not have to drive anywhere) than to go to O’Brien’s Pub this Sunday for Heron Park’s first Quiz Night? We’ll have a Heron Park Community Association team, Councilor Chernushenko’s staff, and the Glebe Community Association will be bringing their finest to compete. Come raise money for a new community centre in Heron Park, and display your trivia prowess at the same time. Questions are usually in general knowledge, entertainment, geography, sports, and such topics. Tickets are $15, and it starts at 7pm. Don’t have a ticket yet? You can get one at the door. Don’t have a team? Come anyway, and join another team – there’s always room for a few more!slide_221875_892961_original

President’s Report Spring 2013

This year’s Winter Carnival was very well attended, with around 100 participants, and was a great success.  Kudos to all involved in organizing and providing the food: Colin MacLean, Rosella Mac Neil, Roselyn Mescher, Donna Silver, Randy Paladeau, and the Wednesday Night Program folks.  Special thanks for the high attendance go out to Roselyn for hand delivering many flyers and to Rosella, Anne and Kate Kelm, and Anne Mac Neil for making the new signs.  It was a great day in Heron Park.

We have an exciting upcoming event: Quiz Night at O’Brien’s Pub!  This will occur on Sunday, April 14 at 7pm.  If you want to enjoy a meal as well you should consider coming a bit early so you won’t be distracted from the quiz action. Teams of 3-6 people compete in a trivia competition for prizes and, more importantly, bragging rights as the Trivia Masters of Heron Park!  The Board of Directors of the Heron Park Community Association has challenged the other Community Associations in Capital Ward and Councillor Chernushenko’s office to bring teams to compete against us.  It is extremely generous of the other community associations to participate as well as extremely sporting to go up against our own skilled contingent!  This is a fundraiser for a new community centre in Heron Park.  Tickets are $15 each and are available by emailing or calling me at 613 526-2680.  I have enjoyed similar events with our quizmaster, Gordon Smith of SuperQuiz, before.  He is very entertaining and it promises to be a really fun night.

Have you been wondering what the little square building is behind the Field House in Heron Park that was installed in January?  It is a bunker (which I have christened “Archie”) and will be used to store chlorine for the wading pool in the summer and our snowblower for the rink in the winter.  This will make it much more convenient for our rink maintenance squadrons to keep the skating surfaces clear of snow and means the Field House will be safer and more usable for other events while the pool is open.  In view of all the benefits he brings, please join me in welcoming Archie to our community.

By the time you read this the skating season will have wound down for another year.  This is the first year the Heron Park Community Association has managed the Kaladar Rink as well as the Heron one.  It has been a pretty good season, although extremely challenging to get the base ice completed because of the heavy snow mixed with freezing rain back in December.  We broke two snowblowers trying to deal with it, and that’s why the skating area wasn’t as large as we would have liked.  Because of the new location of the rink boards, we are unfortunately no longer able to make an oval around it, but next year if the weather cooperates we hope to have a much larger secondary skating surface.

In January, Rosella MacNeill and I presented the case against the development at 1055 Secord before an Ontario Municipal Board adjudicator.  This was a trial-like process where each side presented evidence, questioned, and cross examined witnesses.  The builders hired a well-known and very expensive lawyer and a planner to present their case.  We, on the other hand, could not afford to do so, so it was a daunting task, and we were not successful.  Frankly, the cards are pretty much stacked in favour of developers at the OMB, so we didn’t stand much chance anyway.  However, we cost them a great deal of time and money, and showed that we are not to be trifled with when future cases arise.

The primary reason why we lost is the way that Ottawa’s Official Plan trumps whatever the existing zoning says, and that brings me to the next point.  The City of Ottawa is now reviewing and updating its Official Plan.  They are required to do this by provincial law, and it’s a good opportunity to try to fix the problems that have cropped up in the existing one.  The primary one, in my view, is that “intensification” is taken to mean by the development industry as “I can ignore the zoning law and build whatever I want”, and most of the time, they’re right.  To take part, you can go to this URL to learn more and to fill out the online survey:

Quiz Night At O’Brien’s

We are hosting a Quiz Night at O’Brien’s Pub, 1145 Heron Road, on Sunday, April 14 at 7 pm as a fundraiser for a new Community Centre in Heron Park. This is a fun trivia competition for teams of 3-6 people.  The quizmaster, Gordon Smith, is really entertaining and it’s a fun night our with friends.  Councilor David Chernushenko will be bringing a team from his office staff, and the Heron Park Community Association and a few other Community Associations in Capital Ward will be competing for bragging rights, and there are prizes for the top teams.  Please join us this night for a fun evening and to show your support for a new Community Centre in our neighbourhood.  You can reserve your tickets by sending a message using the Contact Form below: (we don’t put an email address on the web page because it generates too much spam)

The Taming of the (Discounted) Shrew

Hello Neighbours

We are taking part in an interesting fundraising opportunity.  Bear and Co., the new theatre group that operates from the Gladstone Theatre (the old GCTC theatre) is staging a performance of The Taming of the Shrew from April 19 to May 5.  If you buy tickets to a performance using their website at, and use the promo code HeronPark, you will receive a $4 discount off the ticket price, and the theatre company will donate $5 to the Heron Park Community Building Fund, our new charity that is raising money for a new community centre in Heron Park.  Please feel free to share this widely with anyone you know who’s interested in the play.  Anyone who uses the promo code gets a discount, and we get some funding!  Just remember, you must use the promo code HeronPark to get the discount.

Winter Carnival

Our annual Winter Carnival will be held at Heron Park on Saturday, February 2 from 11 am to 2 pm.  There will be skating, broomball, games, prizes, chili, hot dogs, hot chocolate, pancakes, and desserts!  The carnival is for both southsiders and northsiders – come one, come all!

Poll on Community Centre Needs

This is an informal poll on community centre needs, to test a new feature of our web site!

President’s Report Summer 2011

This year’s spring clean-up was an outstanding success. There were many volunteers out working hard to clean up our parks. Along with the typical bottles, cans, and other assorted detritus this year’s unusual booty included a bike in Sawmill Creek, several tires, and an engine manifold. Thanks to everyone who took part, and a special thanks to Ashley for doing such a great job organizing everything.

We are moving forward on our efforts to get a better community space for Heron Park. This summer we will be meeting with our councilor and city staff in order to develop an action plan. Heron Park has no public school in the neighbourhood, and there is very little publicly available space for community events as well as for groups, clubs, and the like. We need a room that is big enough for large indoor events and for the Wednesday Night Program when the weather’s bad, and we need better meeting space for the community association, for the card players, and for other groups who would like to meet but don’t have any space available. In order to make this happen we need to have input from community members as to what type of space they would like to see built, and what programs or services they might like to contribute to if space was available. We are in a bit of a Catch-22 situation: the city will not provide the space unless there is a clearly demonstrated need, but we can’t demonstrate the need because our current space is so inadequate that we are able to offer very few programs and services. We also likely will need to work on a fundraising program. If you would like to offer your thoughts on what size, type, or location of space we need, or want to get more directly involved, please email me at

As of this writing, we have no information on when or if Midway is going to open on Kaladar Avenue. It may be the case that the owner was not able to procure financing to re-start his operation. Cross your fingers people!

I would like to know if people have experienced problems with speeders and cut-through traffic on Clementine. We have certainly had issues with this in the past, but the city traffic people have demonstrated little interest in finding solutions. Also, have you seen many cars using the parking lot of the TD Bank and Shoppers Drug Mart as a cut-through to get from Bank to Heron, and have you ever been cut off by someone doing this? If these problems continue or get worse, we may be able to get some sort of mitigation, but in order to do so the city needs to hear your complaints. So if these are concerns for you, it might be helpful to, as well as tell me about it, phone 311 at the city and complain. Squeaky wheels get greased.