Letters to the editor Feb 2024

Glebe Report as “influencer”

Editor, Glebe Report

Re: “Insulating your foundation to meet new energy standards,” by Charles Zave, Glebe Report, December 2023.


Your recent article by Charles Zave was excellent – clear, concise, comprehensive and appears to have been written with the non-expert homeowner in mind. Moreover, I always enjoy his writing style – without looking at the byline, I was sure he was the author.

Our century-old home on Old Sunset Boulevard has a rubble foundation that a couple of years ago needed major repairs as well as insulation to prevent water leaking in in several places. We chose him to do our foundation repairs and insulation on the basis of his articles in the Glebe Report. We were totally satisfied with the work and have recommended him to our neighbours. We would never have found his company except for reading his articles in the Glebe Report.

I thought you might be interested in the major impact some Glebe Report articles have had.

Barb Popel



Refining the map of war sacrifice

Editor, Glebe Report

Re: “Error about Glebe history,” Letter to the editor by Barbara Popel, Glebe Report, December 2023.

Just a note to thank Barbara Popel for pointing out that I had mislabelled a small part of the Glebe west of Bronson as undeveloped on my map of the war dead from the First World War and Second World War. Though it was undeveloped in the First World War, parts of it were indeed developed by the start of the Second. My apologies. I will correct this along with adding a dozen new names that I have discovered since it was published.

To be clear though, this does not change the story and purpose of the map as there are no records of any families from this area having lost a son, daughter or husband in either war. My goal was to express the extraordinary damage to our community during the war years – something which, over time, has been forgotten.

Dave O’Malley

Author, “Neighbourhood of Sacrifice,” Glebe Report, November 2023.



Glebe a victim of its safe image

Editor, Glebe Report

Re: “Glebe safety an increasing concern,” by Roger Smith, Glebe Report, December 2023.

I believe Mrs. [Rebecca] McKeen rightfully points out what many Glebites feel and she should be commended for her views and sharp analysis.

I think the Glebe is a victim of its own image. The neighbourhood is indeed seen as safe, peopled with affluent and generous souls, relatively devoid of visible police presence.

Homeless individuals feel safer here and are seldom confronted by other beggars, drug addicts or violent mental illness sufferers − a much more frequent occurrence downtown.

The result, unfortunately, is more frequent discomfort for Glebe residents. The number of incidents will only increase as our society unsuccessfully copes with rising addiction, homelessness and costs of basic necessities.

Jean Roberge


Language matters

Editor, Glebe Report

Re: “Glebe safety an increasing concern,” by Roger Smith, Glebe Report, December 2023.

First of all, I’m a huge fan of our Glebe Report and also a volunteer carrier. I applaud the work that goes into keeping this community paper going strong, and the value it brings to our neighbourhood. Thank you for all that you do!

I’m writing about some of the language choices in the front-page article from the December 8 edition.

As a public health professional, and someone who has worked throughout my career to better understand stigma, equity, addiction and the factors influencing population health outcomes, I would like to recommend some resources to support inclusive language.

For example, the phrase used in the fourth paragraph, “more homeless people, many with drug addictions and mental health problems” immediately conjures quite the image and is stigmatizing language. Instead, consider using “people who are experiencing homelessness” or “people who are currently without housing.” Instead of “many with drug addictions,” consider “people with a drug addiction” – after all, we are talking about people and members of our society. “Mental health problems” (who doesn’t have mental health to work on these days?) could be rephrased as “poor mental health.”

Addiction is a complicated public health challenge, as are the solutions to help address root causes and recovery. And community safety as outlined in the article is extremely important.

Even with the complicated nature of the topics covered in this article, it seems appropriate to try and avoid stigmatizing language in our local paper.

Janis Ellis-Claypool



Restaurateur blasts City for $100 parking tickets

Editor, Glebe Report

Enough is enough! Law Enforcement is going around handing out $100 tickets all day long today [January 10, the day of a winter parking ban] as late as 6 p.m. on Powell Avenue.

I asked her why, and the response was “the ban is on until 7 p.m. and everyone should know that!” Well, I did not. Her response to this was, “It’s on Facebook and all the social media.” Again, I don’t follow or look at social media ever!

This ban is on all Ottawa streets!

There is not one single snow-clearing machine in the Glebe. Could the Glebe BIA find out where everyone should park and pass it on to the businesses that have been empty in the last few days?

Would you come back to the Glebe if you found a $100 ticket on your car?

We live in Ottawa. This was the first winter day. When will the city’s stupidity stop! I think this topic has come up for years in the BIA but nothing has changed. It is only the 10th of January and lots to look forward to!

Caren von Merveldt

Owner, Von’s and Flippers


Snow clearing operators may dump snow carelessly

Editor, Glebe Report

The snow has arrived, and with it the annual problem of snowbanks on streets in the Glebe.

We live across from driveways that are cleared by snow removal operators, and as often as not, they dump the snow on our side of the street, which also happens to be where the parking spots are.

This morning when our building contractor came to replace our third-floor windows, the team couldn’t find a spot to put their truck because the snowbanks flowed right into the street. We know it was the operator, because the driveway of the house on the west side hadn’t been cleared, and the driveway on the east side is shovelled by hand.

There’s more snow on the way. Unless the City clears the snowbanks, we will have to wait until spring to get our windows installed – all because of the careless disregard of the snow removal operators!

Peg Duncan


Whole Foods disappoints on discount

Editor, Glebe Report

Whole Foods Lansdowne (WFL) has been a great addition to the Glebe!

It is disappointing, however, that WFL does not give customers the same 10-cent discount for bringing your own bag at its (relatively) new self-checkout, like it does at the register.

I have raised this issue with management twice over the last month but have yet to see any changes. While 10 cents may not seem like much per customer, when one considers the number of transactions that WFL does each day, it adds up!

Perhaps other customers may feel, like I do, that this hidden charge is not consistent with the level of transparency, sustainability or customer service that I have come to expect from WFL.


Matt Steyer





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