Letters to the Editor November 2023

Poetic gems still relevant

I like your poetry corner giving expression to a variety of feelings and viewpoints. Modern poetry tends to be precise and minimalist, and it is more in tune with the modern pace of life.
However, I do think there is value in the old classical gems that have withstood the test of time, so may I suggest you could include from time to time some of these gems, perhaps appropriate to the seasons? For example, Keats’s “To Autumn” (fall), Wordsworth’s “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” with its host of golden daffodils (spring), Thayer’s “Casey at the Bat” (summer), Chesterton’s “The Donkey” (Easter), De la Mare’s “The Listeners” (Halloween), etc. I am sure the editorial staff or your readers could come up with many others of these old but relevant and inspiring gems.

Rafal Pomian Przednowek


Cyclists Live Longer

Re: “Biking not a one-size-fits-all panacea,” Wendy Davies, Glebe Report, October 2023.

Ms Davies is too defeatist. I bike everywhere from Innes Road to Bayshore to Albion Road all year round and I am 77, in good health and not too fragile, if somewhat overweight. If I can do it, maybe you can too, if you give it a try.

Cycling is especially good if you are elderly or infirm. It gets you outdoors in the fresh air. It strengthens your muscles and your heart. Ask your doctor! Cyclists live longer and healthier lives.

If you do have problems, there are often solutions.

Hills too onerous? Get a Swytch kit to get some electric help. Or just walk your bike up.

Balance problems? There are adult trikes just for this.

Traffic problems? There are lots of bike paths away from cars and exhausts. There are also quiet side streets. Dress brightly, and you can go down Carling in the middle of the curb lane. Or take Dovercourt Avenue instead.

Cost problems? You’ll actually save money by biking instead of driving or taking the bus when you can. Free parking everywhere, not just at the mall.
You don’t need to start with a $1,000 bike or a Walmart cheapo – start with a used one, inspected and tweaked at the Re-Cycles co-op just north of the Glebe at 445 Catherine.

No need to start with a 100-km trip or wear lycra. Begin with one km or three km trips to the park, church or store. Take some nice rides along the Canal. No rush. Build yourself up. It’s easier on the feet and legs than walking and you get to coast!

If you get really enthused and want to do more, join the Ottawa Bicycle Club and go on longer group rides on summer evenings and weekends. Or bike with a friend or by yourself on Ottawa’s many bike pathways (hansonthebike.com/ottawa-cycling-maps).
Or do as I do, and just use your bicycle for shopping, pleasure and visiting family and friends.
Get some saddlebags. They’ll come in handy.

Tom Trottier


YIMBY for affordable housing at Lansdowne

Editor, Glebe Report

Copy of a letter to Ottawa Citizen, October 22, 2023, re: Mohammed Adam’s column, October 19, entitled “Ottawa can get millions in federal housing money if it accepts the rules.”

Mohammed Adam speaks of NIMBYism (“not in my back yard”).

I live in the Glebe and say YIMBY: Yes in my back yard. Many accuse us of NIMBYism when it comes to opposing the Lansdowne 2.0 plan to build two very large luxury rental towers.

I would welcome affordable housing being built there. How about two smaller, but more livable towers (say, 10 storeys each)?

There is a reason why the Glebe is such a desirable neighbourhood: walkable, good schools, local shopping, well-organized community organizations, parks, etc. This is a perfect place for such housing.

Obviously, developers focus on profitable housing. It is the city that must “accept the rules” and with this “new” money, commit to building truly affordable housing. I say YES to such housing at Lansdowne.

Bessa Whitmore


New sound barriers on the Queensway

After the long wait for the Percy Street bridge reconstruction, there is some other good news relating to the renewal of the Queensway that deserves to be noted.

As part of the project, contractors have started installing sound barriers on the south (Glebe) side of the Queensway. The construction is already visible between Kent and Percy. We’ve never had sound barriers along this stretch of the 417 in the Glebe while neighbourhoods to the west have long benefitted from their presence. For residents of neighbouring streets who often have to close their windows to block out the constant hum of traffic, this will hopefully make our lives a bit more peaceful.

Alan Freeman
Powell Avenue

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