Challenging times for the GCA

Sarah Viehbeck
President GCA

These are challenging times for our neighbourhood, our city, our country and the world. It’s hard to fathom how quickly and how profoundly life has changed in a very short time. Like everyone else, the Glebe Community Association (GCA) is responding as best we can.

Normally May is the busiest month of the year with our annual membership campaign and the Great Glebe Garage Sale. However, these are not normal times.


Great Glebe Garage Sale Cancelled – Give to the Food Bank
With regret, we have cancelled the Great Glebe Garage Sale for the first time in 35 years. We know people will miss this signature community event. But we can hold off ridding our basements of excess stuff and picking up new treasures for our homes. And we can find other virtual ways to connect with our friends and neighbours.

This cancellation will have a significant negative impact on the Ottawa Food Bank. The Great Glebe Garage Sale usually raises around $12,000 for the Food Bank, to support the important work it does. This year, the food bank needs our help more than ever. Please consider donating to the Ottawa Food Bank right now. If you like, indicate that you are making this donation instead of participating in the garage sale.

Membership Goes Online
May is traditionally when GCA volunteers go door-to-door for our annual membership drive. We take a neighbour-to-neighbour approach so it usually is someone from your own block who asks you to join the association at a cost of $10 per household. This year, a door-to-door canvass is out of the question. Please join online at glebeca.ca or by mail. You’ll find a form elsewhere in the paper.

Why do we ask for paid memberships? Our membership fees are the only source of revenue for the GCA, and they support the work we do to support a livable, sustainable, urban neighbourhood. There are always costs involved with organizing public meetings on topics like Bank Street, the Mutchmor Rink or Lansdowne and with supporting the work of our parks, heritage, environment and other committees.

But we value memberships for more than the money they bring in. Being a membership-based association gives us credibility when we advocate for community concerns. So please join the Glebe Community Association and keep our neighbourhood strong. There will be work to do in the year ahead to rebuild our bonds of community.

Committee News
Even at this challenging time, our volunteer board and committees continue their work. The GCA recently supported a motion to maintain the urban boundary and stop urban sprawl. Members of GCA board have been discussing what intensification could or should mean for the Glebe. The planning committee has done some work on what mid-sized housing could look like, and the social services/health committee is looking at affordability and seniors’ issues. Holding the line on urban sprawl will mean making room for more people in central, walkable communities such as ours, so it’s important for us to consider and advocate for the kind of intensification that would suit our neighbourhood. Be in touch if you’d like to share your thoughts on this.

Join our Board
The Glebe Community Association will hold its annual general meeting in June. We hope we will be able to hold it in person by then. We are seeking nominations for our board. We have a few vacancies, specifically for board secretary, transportation committee chair and some area reps. Joining the board is a great way to contribute to your community, learn about issues and meet many interesting people. Reach out for more information to gca@glebeca.ca and we will arrange a telephone call.

Neighbourly, at a distance
Most of us are doing our part in staying home. We’ve noticed many acts of kindness during this difficult period, but occasionally people are looking at each other with suspicion. When you do go out, we’d encourage you to smile and say hello, even as we physically distance. A friendly interaction – even if it’s from two metres away or through a window – can help overcome the sense of isolation that many are feeling.

Support Glebe Businesses
It is hard to predict whether our local businesses will be able to survive the prolonged closures caused by COVID-19. But you can do something to help. A number of Glebe businesses, including restaurants, grocery stores, pharmacies, hardware stores and more, are offering online shopping, pick-up services or delivery. You’ll find links on the Glebe Community Association or Glebe BIA websites. Please think about choosing a local business.

Thank You
A heartfelt thank you to all essential workers. We truly appreciate all you do.

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