Kichi Sibi Trails, in concert with NECA and the Crichton Community Council, is once again coordinating the July 1st Chief Pinesi Day event in New Edinburgh Park (in and around the Fieldhouse) to honour Algonquin Anishinabe presence in the area.
Beginning at 9 am with the Sacred Fire, the day-long program – lead by the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation – will feature drumming, singing and dancing. Councillor Merv Sarazin will be present for welcoming remarks; Opening prayers will be offered by Kokom Jane Chartrand. With an indigenous veterans honour guard, former Chief Wendy Jocko will speak about Chief Pinesi and his importance to indigenous and Canadian military history.
During both the morning and afternoon, attendees can take a land tour along parts of the revitalized Chief Pinesi Portage Trail, which was an ancient (approximately 8,000 years old) indigenous portage trail between the Ottawa and Rideau rivers. The trail is now marked by signs created by Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg artist Simon Brascoupé.
After the ceremonies, there will be an educational walk along the Rideau and a Medicine Paddle from Governor Bay along the Ottawa River (for those who are willing to get their feet wet).
This Chief Pinesi Day, people can visit the Bloodline – Miskwi and Gathering Phases – Bakaan Asiginan murals located on the side of the New Edinburgh Fieldhouse, now with a three language panel description. These colourful ceramic and paint murals were created by the Algonquin mother and daughter team of Doreen and Charlotte Stevens. Miskwi means bloodline and the mural depicts several Algonquin lineages. Bakaan Asiginan signifies the gathering of indigenous people living in harmony with nature through all phases of their lives.
Who was Chief Pinesi?
Chief Constant Pinesi (1768 – 1834) was the last traditional Algonquin Chief to have hunting grounds in Ottawa – at Rideau and Chaudière Falls. He and his four sons fought in critical battles in the Niagara on the British side in the War of 1812. Pinesi was appointed Grand Chief by Governor-General Kempt in 1830.
For over a century, Algonquin Chief Pinesi and later his son, Kigonz and other leaders, often with the Nipissing, petitioned the Government of the day that a portion of their hunting and trapping grounds be untouched by settlement. They never did receive even a small piece of their traditional territory, extending across the Ottawa Valley, and in the end were even displaced for the creation of Algonquin Provincial Park. The many petitions exist today, held in archival files, revealing the truth of a stolen land, still without treaty.
Click here for the current full schedule of activities: Chief Pinesi Day – 1 July 2023 – Full Program. Registration is required for the Land Tours and Medicine Paddle: Chief_Pinesi_Day.eventbrite.com.
The Crichton Community Council developed two unique print designs to celebrate our neighbourhood. One features a map of New Edinburgh’s roads, paths, rivers, and building footprints. Another uses the unique road signs of the Heritage Conservation District as inspiration. Either image can be applied to the front of a grey T-shirt or hoodie. If you are jealous of the ice rink Hoser crew’s toques, you can procure a similar one for yourself.
Order your apparel by Feb 20, 2023 here!
Below you will find the Agenda for the New Edinburgh Community Alliance’s annual general meeting, the reports from the NECA board committees, a financial statement, NECA’s strategic priorities and the minutes from the 2021 virtual AGM.
- NECA 2022 AGM Agenda
- DRAFT NECA 2021 AGM Minutes
- NECA/NEN Financial Report – 2021-2022
- NECA Strategic Priorities – 2022-23
- Heritage and Development Report
- Friends of the Park Committee Report
- Traffic and Safety Committee Report
- New Edinburgh News Report
The following motion on a proposal for a pilot project to close a portion of Stanley Avenue is available here.
The AGM will take place on Thurs. Oct. 27, 2022 at 7 p.m. in the Fieldhouse, 203 Stanley Ave. and will also be streamed online. Please register in advance to join by Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZErcOCsrj4pGNN-rR-Am2vnv85zmpiMe_iz
All residents are welcome to the New Edinburgh Community Alliance’s Annual General Meeting and to join the board! Contact: email@example.com.
At the New Edinburgh Community Alliance’s (NECA’s) annual general meeting on Oct. 27, 2022, board members and residents will be discussing the following motion concerning the proposal for a pilot project to close a small portion of Stanley Avenue near the New Edinburgh Park Fieldhouse (203 Stanley Ave.) to create space for additional public amenities.
If you would like to share your thoughts on this proposal, please join NECA on Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. either at the Fieldhouse (203 Stanley Ave.) or online, as the meeting will be in a hybrid format.
Motion to provide the basis for discussion with the City of Ottawa about the Terms of Reference for a Pilot Project on Stanley Avenue
Whereas policy 3–4 of the draft Transportation Master Plan update prescribes “pilot street designs that function as ‘places'” and “seasonal repurposing of streets for place-making activities” whereby streets that border parks are among the most appropriate; and
Whereas the New Edinburgh Community Alliance (NECA) and the Crichton Community Council (CCC) wish to enhance the use of New Edinburgh Park for use by the community; and
Whereas Stanley Avenue between River Lane and the New Edinburgh Park Fieldhouse is non-essential from a motor vehicle through traffic perspective; and
Whereas the public space of New Edinburgh Park between the Rideau River and Stanley Avenue between Dufferin Road and the Fieldhouse is very narrow, thereby compressing the intensive recreational uses and natural functions of the vegetated landscape;
Therefore be it resolved that NECA in collaboration with CCC solicit the City of Ottawa to launch a two- to four-month trial of repurposing a segment of Stanley Avenue in front of the New Edinburgh Park Fieldhouse for place-making such that
- place-making is realized with amenities for public use added onto the repurposed road segment during the trial period. Examples of desired (none in particular are required) amenities are:
- planter boxes with community volunteer installed/maintained vegetation or otherwise
- art, cultural, or educational based installation(s)
- game or activity-based installation(s)
- food and beverage service(s)
- only emergency, park maintenance and other such authorized motor vehicles are permitted to drive through the repurposed road segment during the trial period
- on-street parking availability is maintained for users of the Fieldhouse and surrounding public space; and
be it further resolved that the CCC in collaboration with NECA work with the City of Ottawa to activate the repurposed portion of Stanley Avenue with community programming and events; and
be it further resolved that during and upon completion of the pilot, NECA, CCC and the City jointly assess the degree to which the roadway’s closure to motorized through traffic impacts
- the usage and user satisfaction of New Edinburgh Park and the Fieldhouse
- the volume of interprovincial and other motorized traffic cutting through New Edinburgh
- traffic elsewhere in the neighbourhood, e.g., along Crichton Street, River Lane or MacKay Street
- parking availability
- the neighbouring community
By Laura Fraser
Did you know there are 8,000-year-old trails that used to run all the way through New Edinburgh and Rockcliffe Park to Northern Labrador, and then south to the Gulf of Mexico? My guess is probably not. These were the hunting grounds of Grand Chief Pinesi.
The first day of July this year marks 155 years since Canada became its own country. In recognition of Indigenous Peoples past and present, Chief Pinesi Day will be held on July 1, 2022, in New Edinburgh and Rockcliffe Park to celebrate the Algonquin Anishinaabe history of the area. It will be an opportunity for reconciliation, and to learn about of the past and present of the New Edinburgh and Rockcliffe Park area from an Algonquin Anishinaabe perspective.
The day will start off with a portage to Governor Bay on the Ottawa River (between 24 Sussex Dr. and the road through Rockcliffe Park) where settler and Algonquin canoeists will meet to walk together to Rideau Hall and hopefully meet the Governor General. This meeting between Chief Wendy Jocko and Governor General Mary Simon, should it take place, will make history, Chief Jocko is the first woman Chief of Pikwakanagan and a direct descendant of Chief Constant Pinesi. Pinesi was appointed Grand Chief by Governor General Simon’s antecedent in 1830. Mary Simon is the first Indigenous Governor General of Canada.
After this event, canoeists will portage to the Rideau River and paddle to the New Edinburgh Fieldhouse at 203 Stanley Ave., where most of the celebrations will take place.
Not a canoeist? No problem. There will be storytelling about the ways plant species (still resident here) were traditionally used, their Algonquin stories, and about Chief Pinesi. Medicine paddles and walking tours will also take place. The walking tours will start at 10:30 a.m. and run throughout the day. Some tours will be as short as 45 minutes; others will last up to two hours.
The main festivities will be held at the New Edinburgh Park Field House starting at 2 p.m. This will include the inauguration of the Kichi Sibi Trails’ trail markers. These markers will identify known active portage routes, as well as historic routes across eastern Ontario and western Quebec. The logo is being made by Algonquin Anishinaabe artist Simon Brascoupé. Other social events will include storytelling for people of all ages.
Also, a new ceramic mural will be unveiled. It will feature Chief Pinesi in symbolic form. The mural will describe some of the myths and animals that live in and around the hunting grounds along the Ottawa and Rideau Rivers, the great water panther, and Algonquin stories, including stories about Rockcliffe Park. The mural is being created by Doreen and Charlotte Stevens, artists from Kitigan Zibi First Nation.
There will also be an opportunity to meet many other descendants of Chief Pinesi who will be meeting each other for the first time on July 1. Noreen Kruzich, author of The Ancestors Are Arranging Things, will be signing copies of her book.
The event will also include traditional Anishinaabe drumming and powwow dancing. Organizers hope that Highland dancing will also take place, to represent the Highland Scottish side of Chief Jocko, and many of those who later settled New Edinburgh, like Thomas McKay.
The day will end off with a walk to view the Parliament Hill fireworks from Rideau Falls.
Learn more about Chief Pinesi Day on Facebook. Search for “Chief Pinesi Portage at Rockcliffe.”
By Karen Squires and Katherine Hall
Over the years the New Edinburgh Community Alliance (NECA) has worked with a group of volunteers to ensure the park area is preserved, kept clean and well-maintained, in collaboration with City team members.
While the park cleanup did not take place last year, the NECA parks group met with City staff members to discuss maintenance issues to do with the tennis courts, seasonal garbage bins, bench repairs, fencing and signage. As well, City staff have just confirmed that both the annual icebreaking program on the Rideau River and the Combined Sewage Storage Tunnel (CSST) tunnel maintenance will be accessed by the broadened, newly resurfaced roadway entrance near the New Edinburgh Fieldhouse. Therefore, you will see the equipment required for the icebreaking coming through this area from late February to early March. We hope to provide an update on scheduling for the ongoing CSST tunnel maintenance, which will also access the park from the same location near the fieldhouse.
During 2021, LDD moths became a major issue, destroying tree leaves all around Ottawa. City staff have confirmed there is a budget in 2022 which includes a new, temporary, full- time employee joining the Forestry department for the express purpose of developing and implementing community support programming around LDD. This role will also support the development and implementation of an Urban Forest Outreach and Engagement Strategy which is a key recommendation of the Urban Forest Management Plan. One element of this program is a burlap distribution kit, more details of which we hope to provide in a future edition. We all want to ensure we are able to protect our trees against ongoing LDD invasion.
Prior to COVID-19’s ongoing public safety restrictions, residents (with Friends of the Park) were invited to come out and do a collective spring park cleanup each May. We are monitoring the situation now to determine how best to move forward in 2022 for potential spring and fall dates.
In Spring 2021, the New Edinburgh News asked for input from residents as to what they enjoyed about the park and what they’d like to see more of. Here’s a summary of what we learned. People:
- love to walk in nature – natural setting is a key theme!
- would like to see more garbage cans and recycling bins.
- want better signage to keep cyclists off the shoreline.
- are interested in the restoration of natural beauty and the addition of more benches.
- would like more cleanup initiatives.
- support more wildflowers, green space, and tree-planting to improve biodiversity.
- would like to see better care taken of seeded grass areas.
- want more native plant species planted to attract birds.
- support the possible expansion of the waterfront area to Porter Island, Bordeleau Park and Rideau Falls.
In November 2021, we were pleased to hear that the City will be switching to a cleaner grass mowing alternative, to cut down on fumes. We liaised with City staff, who have agreed to reduce the amount of mowing in the “regeneration area” of the park. A consistent theme is to keep the park natural and clean, and have places where people can stroll, sit, and enjoy the scenery including birds, wildflowers, trees, and the waterfront.
Members from the Crichton Community Council (CCC) manage the Fieldhouse, the skating rink, and children’s playground area in addition to such annual events as the plant sale, in and around the fieldhouse area. NECA continues to liaise with the CCC and to provide updates, through NEN’s event listings on what’s happening.
To conclude, while New Edinburgh and Stanley Park and nearby areas serve a diverse group of people, there are more people using the park year-round since COVID lockdowns and restrictions. We will increase our coordinated efforts with City staff to ensure we all work together for a clean, natural, and safe space to enjoy all year. As of January 2022, the City is aware of our requests and have approved the funds to do some repairs to the tennis courts and fencing near the fieldhouse. They have also noted our request for better signage for cyclists and the replacement of one bench near the tennis courts.
Karen Squires and Katherine Hall are members of the Friends of the Park committee at NECA. To learn more about Friends of the Park, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
By Jason Tavoularis (This article appeared in the December 2021 edition of the New Edinburgh News)
I would like to start by thanking Marc D’Orgeville for serving as chair of the New Edinburgh Community Alliance’s (NECA) Traffic and Safety (T&S) committee these past few years, and for encouraging me to step up to replace him. Marc came to my home on Dufferin Road recently to complete the transition. We discussed various T&S matters like Dufferin Road’s new speed humps, a project we had worked on together, liaising with City Councillor Rawlson King’s office and adjacent residents.
But it was the Stanley Avenue road closure in late October/early November that really animated us. One of the documents Marc transferred to me as the new T&S chair was NECA’s 1997 Community Directed Traffic Calming Study report which recommended closing Stanley Avenue to traffic from the New Edinburgh Fieldhouse (203 Stanley Ave.) to the entrance of River Lane on Dufferin Road. This recommendation never moved forward due to the potential for negative spin-off effects.
The recent temporary closure inadvertently gave us an interesting proof point that seemingly justifies further study towards a Stanley Avenue revamp without through traffic. Marc and I live on opposite ends of the closure that was recommended in the NECA traffic calming report almost 25 years ago. Neither of us witnessed a negative impact from the recent closure. We did observe a more relaxing atmosphere in Stanley Park without cars driving past the playground. Did any other park users perceive this? Surely, there must have been some traffic diverted from Stanley Avenue onto Crichton or MacKay Streets, but did those living on these streets notice?
The path towards permanently changing Stanley Avenue in such a way is a long one that would need broad support to succeed, including that of residents, our community associations and our councillor –no small feat to achieve. But I think the potential benefits make this worth revisiting. I’m optimistic that this stretch of road in question can be redesigned to keep commuters away from the playground and the dog park without loss of parking or green space. Maybe a proposed plan would include a road segment repurposed as a vibrant gathering spot, like a skatepark or a vegetated area with seating?
I would like to hear your traffic and safety ideas and concerns for New Edinburgh, including this big idea for Stanley Avenue. Did you experience any negative effects from the recent closure on this street? What worries you most about a prolonged closure? How would you like to see a stretch of the road reclaimed? Any parking arrangement ideas for that tricky road bend? Would you support a temporary closure, perhaps during the summer months, to allow the effects to be evaluated more scientifically?
Please mail me at email@example.com
By Cindy Parkanyi, NECA President
From its early days fighting construction of the Vanier Parkway extension to advocating for mitigation and improvements to the park and public spaces, the New Edinburgh Community Alliance gets involved in myriad issues and activities, from inputs on citywide issues (such as zoning by-law changes, official plans and major governance reviews) to more localized issues around heritage, development, traffic, safety, and the environment, to name a few.
All these efforts take time and effort, so the more of us who are willing to participate, the better off we all are. If you or someone you know wants to help address issues in our neighbourhood, or has great ideas to improve it, please consider join the NECA board or one of our committees. To get a better understanding of what’s involved before jumping in, log on to the Annual General Meeting on Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. or join one of the NECA board meetings: every third Tuesday of the month at 7:30 p.m. Currently, all meetings are being held on Zoom and the link is posted in advance at newedinburgh.ca/events. Nominations are open from now until the evening of the AGM: Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. However, we encourage nominations in advance. If you are interested, please email newedinburgh[at]outlook.com