Posted by Denise Deby. Thanks to Clare Stone at CPAWS for the information.

Nature, art and music are coming together for a good cause: protecting wilderness.

CPAWS Ottawa Valley hosts its Fall Gala on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016. The evening includes:

  • A screening of the film Painted Land: In search of the Group of Seven. The film travels to the landscapes portrayed by the Group of Seven’s artists. Conservationists Gary and Joanie McGuffin will attend to talk about the film and their work;
  • Music and stories from pilot, musician, wilderness traveller and sailor Dave Hadfield;
  • A silent auction with art by Becky Mason, John Barkley and other local artists, and donations from local businesses.

The Fall Gala happens in the National Gallery of Canada auditorium, starting at 7 p.m. (doors open 6:45 p.m.). Tickets are $45 and available at Proceeds will help fund CPAWS initiatives to connect youth to nature and to protect nature.


Written by Denise Deby.

It’s a great time to thank local food producers and to celebrate the many sustainable food initiatives in our region.

Food markets are wonderful places any time, but particularly enjoyable when they’re so filled with colourful and diverse produce. OttawaStart has a list of local markets here. This is also an excellent time to visit an apple orchard or pumpkin patch.

Check out Ottawa’s new Seed Library, which launched at the Ottawa Public Library’s Nepean Centrepointe branch this year. You can find out more here, or in this article. The Seed Library is part of the À la carte Food Literacy Project, a partnership of the Ottawa Public Library, Ottawa Public Health, MarketMobile, Ottawa International Writers Festival and Just Food bringing food information and activities to various spots around town.

As part of À la carte, the Ottawa Public Library and the Ottawa International Writers Festival are also teaming up to host three events on food literacy on Oct. 14-15, 2016. Authors and community leaders will look at antidotes to mass-produced, chemical-laden food, and ways to foster healthy, sustainable and accessible local food. The events also support the Parkdale Food Centre.

It’s discouraging to see the growing need for food banks in Ottawa, but heartening to see the increasingly diverse and creative ways that food centres are connecting people with fresh, healthy food–like the Community Harvest program, in which local growers produce food for centre clients, and other initiatives to enhance knowledge and raise awareness of nutritious food and food justice.

Chew On This! is a campaign to raise awareness about the hundreds of thousands of people in Canada who don’t have access to healthy food, and the need for a federal anti-poverty plan. Watch for volunteers around the city handing out snacks and information on Monday, Oct. 17, 2016.

Just Food is a hub for local food knowledge and action. The organization hosts everything from a working organic farm and farmer training program, to Ottawa’s community gardening network, to a local food guide, and more. They’re also behind Local Freshness, a new site that connects consumers to local food, brought to you by Savour Ottawa Online, Le Marché de l’Outaouais and Ottawa Valley Food Coop. Just Food’s newsletter has comprehensive coverage of what’s happening in Ottawa re local and sustainable food—you can sign up for it here.

Another great way to keep up with all things local food is Edible Ottawa magazine. The photos alone are swoon-worthy, but there’s also great coverage of the places and people who produce and prepare our food. For example, check out recent articles on social enterprise Thirteen Muesli,  local forager Scott Perrie and permaculture farm Rainbow Heritage Garden. The magazine is available free at food-related shops around town, or you can find it online.

Let us know of other good food initiatives you’re aware of. Et bon appetit.


Posted by Denise Deby. Thanks to Julia Dupuis, Canadian Organic Growers for the information.

What better time than the fall to upgrade your gardening skills?

Canadian Organic Gardeners is once again hosting its Organic Master Gardener course, running Saturdays from October 22 to December 3, 2016.

The course is for seasoned and new gardeners—really, anyone interested in and willing to invest in learning how to maintain a vegetable garden, container garden, ornamental garden, lawn or other patch of soil in an eco-friendly way, without pesticides or a lot of watering. The course helps understand the connections between soil, plant, human and environmental health, and shares practical knowledge such as plant selection, watering and composting.

For details and to register, visit COG’s website, or email them at office[at] or phone 888-375-7383.


Written by Denise Deby.

More than 175 countries have laws recognizing the right to a healthy environment; Canada does not.

Silver Donald Cameron is trying to change that. The writer, producer and educator launched the multimedia Green Rights Project to explain the importance of rights to clean water, air and food, and to present the stories of people seeking recognition of those rights.

Silver Donald Cameron will be in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016 to show the film Green Rights: The Human Right to a Healthy World, and talk about his book, Warrior Lawyers, which explores environmental rights and struggles around the world to have them recognized, drawing on the perspectives of environmental lawyers involved.

The event is at 8 p.m. at the Pearson Room, Lord Elgin Hotel. (Thanks to for the information and links to more about the Green Rights Project.)

Written by Denise Deby.

Healthy Trees--Healthy City: A Celebration of National Tree Day image courtesy City of Ottawa

Healthy Trees–Healthy City: A Celebration of National Tree Day image courtesy City of Ottawa

Ottawa is celebrating trees this month.

The Ottawa Fall Tree Festival continues until Oct. 15. Every Saturday, Tree Fest Ottawa is hosting a photography exhibit, walks and other activities that celebrate the people and groups working to protect and promote trees in our city. The Festival happens in Brewer Park; see the website for details.

The Healthy Trees—Healthy City event, hosted by the City of Ottawa in collaboration with Ottawa Public Health and Tree Fest Ottawa, is happening on National Tree Day, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016. A Healthy Communities Expo with community organizations starts at 6 p.m.; at 7 p.m. there’s a talk by University of Chicago professor Marc Berman, who led a multi-country study on the health effects of increasing the urban tree canopy. Tree Fest Ottawa’s new photography exhibit, PhotoSynthesis 2, launches the same evening. Find more information on the City’s website.

The Champlain Oaks Project is a great example of what community members can do to support trees and tree habitat. Residents and the community association have reached an agreement with the NCC to restore the natural forest in their urban neighbourhood. Check out their latest post.


Written by Denise Deby.

There are some great eco-events happening in our city right now.

Our Moment to Lead

As part of its efforts to encourage Ontario to adopt an effective environmental bill of rights, Blue Dot Ottawa is hosting Our Moment to Lead on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016. Learn what you can do to support Ontario as a leader on environmental rights. It’s at Claudette Cain Park, 660 River Rd. from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Whether or not you attend, you can have a say in Ontario’s public consultation on an environmental bill of rights. The Blue Dot movement is a David Suzuki Foundation and Ecojustice initiative; they provide a template for input here. The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario has some useful information here.

Ottawa Fall Tree Festival

Tree Fest Ottawa celebrates people and trees in our city. This year, they’ve organized the Ottawa Fall Tree Festival, featuring an impressive array of activities all about trees and the people and groups who protect and promote them. The Festival runs every Saturday from Sept. 10-Oct. 15 (10 a.m-5 p.m.) in Brewer Park by Brewer Pond, and includes photography and art exhibits, guided walks, food and drink, ecosystem talks and much more. Check out the schedule here.

Green Energy Doors Open

Green Energy Doors Open, an initiative of the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association, showcases sustainable energy systems and technologies. The public is welcome to tour homes, see green properties by bike, and visit the energy showcase. It’s from Friday, Sept. 9-Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016 at various sites around the city.

Also this weekend: Bug DaySavour Fall613flea and Capital Pop-Up. Let us know in the comment section what you check out.

Written by Denise Deby.

Bicycle by dejavu159 on pixabay CC0 Public Domain

Bicycle by dejavu159 on pixabay CC0 Public Domain

One cyclist death is too many. Yet the killing of people on bikes in our city continues, most recently with the tragic death this week of Nusrat Jahan on Ottawa’s flagship “protected” bike lane. A devastating loss for her family, friends, and our community.

Many people are not letting go of this. From the #ottbike community, to the leadership of councillors Catherine McKenney and Jeff Leiper, to members of the media who are keeping this visible–people are calling for action, investment, infrastructure and legislation (e.g. protected intersections, separation of truck and cycling routes, truck sideguards) to make our streets safe for everyone.

What you can do:

  1. Read this post by Graham Larkin of Vision Zero Canada.
  2. Contact your city councillor and the mayor, and tell them you want to see change. Support the councillors that are taking action on this.
  3. Get involved with Vision Zero Canada and Citizens for Safe Cycling.

Together, we can do this.