Time to rummage around in your basement and garage and check those boxes you’ve pushed to the wall in your home office – after two years of cancellations due to the pandemic, this spring will see the return of the Great Glebe Garage Sale, tentatively scheduled for May 28.
“Tentatively,” because it will depend on the public health advice for large events at that time. Since the garage sale attracts thousands of people from Ottawa and further afield, the Glebe Community Association (GCA) will carefully monitor public health guidance and post updates on our website as we get closer to the sale date.
Also returning is the annual in-person GCA membership drive in May. The pandemic kept our energetic volunteers away from your doorsteps for the past two years. But with the lifting of a restrictions and the hope we are learning to live with COVID-19, we will be back on the streets, meeting our neighbours, looking to renew existing members and increase involvement in the community association by bringing in new people. The membership drive will be carried out according to the latest public health protocols and the GCA will continue to offer an online registration option at glebeca.ca/membership.
If you decide to renew online, don’t forget to check the box “Keep me up to date on news and exclusive offers” if you would like to receive our monthly update and other neighbourhood news via email. Of course, the GCA doesn’t have any “exclusive offers,” and we will never sell or share your email address. A one-year membership costs $10 per household. Everyone who lives or works in the Glebe is eligible to become a member.
All adult members (18+) are entitled to vote at the GCA annual meeting which is scheduled for June 14 at 7 p.m. in Scotton Hall at the Glebe Community Centre. The plan is to have our first in-person AGM since 2019, again depending on public health guidelines at the time. Bringing people together is an important part of community building, so the GCA is committed to an in-person event if possible.
The last GCA board meeting took place on March 22. We met our new community police constable, Mohamed Islam, heard reports from several committees and passed a motion to support creating a “healing forest garden” at a planned seniors’ park next to the fire hall on Fifth Avenue at O’Connor.
GCA’s Parks Committee and members of the community have been working on development of this park since 2013 and have advocated for a focus on the needs of senior citizens. The committee also sees the Glebe’s newest park as an opportunity for the City to work towards two important goals: Reconciliation and Carbon Neutral 2050. The GCA motion asks our city councillor to ensure “a reconciliation, partnership and native plantings approach be incorporated into the final design” and that excavation this spring “include grading and soil removal/replacement for a rain garden and enabling other plantings that support climate resilience and the resilience of owners of the unceded territories on which we sit.”
The evolution of this park is a good example of community engagement, which is an important pillar of a healthy democracy. Another is the level of activity our community shows around election time. Voter turnout in Ottawa Centre is among the highest in the country, whether at the national, provincial or city levels. We will have two chances this year to exercise our franchise by selecting our representatives at Queen’s Park and at City Hall.
The provincial election takes place June 2, and the GCA is planning to hold an all-candidates forum on May 12, depending on discussions with the candidates’ offices. The GCA will gather questions that our moderator, former CBC news anchor Lucy Van Oldenbarneveld, will put to the candidates. The meeting will be online, and we would like to thank Lucy in advance for taking part once again. Please keep an eye on the GCA website (www.glebeca.ca) for updated information and date confirmation.
In a time when democratic values are being challenged at home and abroad, it is important to recognize the important role of individuals at all levels of public governance. The Glebe has always been an active and politically aware community and the GCA encourages all residents to take part in the important conversations designed to improve the lives of residents in this community and other Ottawa neighbourhoods. A good place to start and to learn about what’s happening is at the monthly meeting of the Glebe Community Association. The next one takes place Tuesday, April 26 at 7 p.m. If you would like to join, please email Janet, the board secretary, at firstname.lastname@example.org. While the board meeting will be virtual for the rest of this season, the issues in the community are not.