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Riverside South hockey rink complaint draws outrage





CTV Ottawa

Published Sunday, December 16, 2018 5:51PM EST

Last Updated Monday, December 17, 2018 5:55PM EST

A Riverside South family is saying goodbye to the boards on its outdoor hockey rink.

Cory Cosgrove has built an outdoor skating rink on his front yard, for his three young daughters, each of the past five years; however this year he decided to add boards around it to extend the season; beginning in early November.

Much to the chagrin of one his neighbours; who Cosgrove said blew the whistle on their fun calling city by-law to complain about the illegal structure on city property. The neighbour called the low wooden boards around the rink as ugly to look at.  

“An eyesore, yeah something they weren’t happy with. They were a little bit closer to the street, originally.” said Cosgrove.

Despite immediately moving the boards closer to his home following his first meeting with by-law officials Cosgrove said the by-law officer returned this week to inform him the neighbour demanded the boards, which sit on city property, be removed,


“The ice can stay. They say there’s not much they can do as far as having a slab of ice on your front yard for the kids to play on, but the structure itself is the issue.” said Cosgrove.

Ottawa by-law services say the rink violated several bylaws:

  • Possible damage to utiility lines from stakes driven in the ground to put the boards up
  • Driver sight lines and the chances a puck could hit someone passing by
  • Violation of zoning rules that prevent permanent or temporary structures on front or side yards

By-law says the rink owners have complied with changes, and the matter is considered closed.

Lisa Cosgrove said her children were upset they’re losing their beloved rink.

“We’re kids, come on, we want to have some fun in the winter.” said Sydney Cosgrove.

Emma, her younger sister said “You’re ruining my Christmas.”

On Sunday, neighbourhood kids played a game of shinny.

“You know it’s Christmas, I guess the Grinch is out.” said hockey dad and coach Greg Hill.

Lisa Cosgrove hoped she had heard from her neighbour prior to by-law being called to their home.

“For those that have a concern, I’d say come talk to your neighbour, just be honest, I’m sure there’s a way you can work it out. I respect the law and I understand by-law has to follow through.”

The Cosgroves spoke to their neighbour, who insisted the walls come down. The family has removed the boards.

The CTV News story about the complaint sparked hundreds of comments from people who are critical of the rink being under attack.

There were tweets from politicians like Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, who says he has asked city staff to examine the issue.

Canadian hockey legend Haley Wickenheiser quote-tweeted a CTV Twitter video about the complaint, adding “then move.”






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‘Too soon to celebrate’ Ottawa’s low case count, says Etches





Ottawa Public Health (OPH) logged just 11 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, the lowest daily total since Sept. 1.

Because of the lag between testing and reporting, the low number could simply reflect low turnout at the city’s testing sites on weekends — all month, new case counts have been lower on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. 

During a virtual news conference Tuesday, the city’s medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches said she doesn’t read too much into a single day’s report.

“I don’t think we can make too much of 11. Actually, it could be a lot higher tomorrow — I would expect that, on average,” she said. “It’s too soon to celebrate.”

Provincewide, public health officials reported 1, 249 new cases Tuesday.

OPH also declared 62 cases resolved Tuesday, lowering the number of known active cases in the city to 462. Two more people have died, both in care homes currently experiencing outbreaks, raising the city’s COVID-19 death toll to 361. 

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Santa Claus isn’t coming to Ottawa’s major malls this year





Santa Claus may still be coming to town this Christmas, but he won’t be dropping by any of Ottawa’s major malls, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Friday, Cadillac Fairview said Santa won’t be making an appearance at any of its 19 malls across Canada, including Rideau Centre in downtown Ottawa. On Tuesday, Bayshore and St. Laurent shopping centres confirmed they, too, are scrapping the annual tradition.

“Due to the evolution of the situation in regards to COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our Santa Program and Gift Wrap Program this year,” Bayshore spokesperson Sara Macdonald wrote in an email to CBC.

Macdonald said parent company Ivanhoé Cambridge cancelled all holiday activities “due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases across the country.”

Macdonald said families that had already booked an appointment to visit Santa will receive an email with more information.  

Virtual visits with Santa

Rideau Centre said based on customer research and discussions with public health officials, its North Pole is going online this year.

“Children will be able to have a private chat with Santa,” said Craig Flannagan, vice-president of marketing for Cadillac Fairview. “You’ll also be able to join a 15-minute storytime with Santa over Facebook Live.” 

At Place d’Orléans Shopping Centre, visitors are invited to take a “selfie with Santa” — actually, a life-size cutout of Santa Pierre, the man who’s been playing Santa at the east end mall for years.

“We understand that this is not ideal, but in lieu of this tradition we will be doing what we can to maintain and encourage holiday cheer,” according to a statement on the mall’s Facebook page.

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Ottawa Bylaw breaks up two large parties in Ottawa over the weekend





OTTAWA — Ottawa Bylaw is investigating social gatherings of more than 10 people in private homes across Ottawa last weekend.

Mayor Jim Watson tells Newstalk 580 CFRA that Ottawa Bylaw broke-up two house parties over the weekend, with 20 to 25 people at each party.

“That’s the kind of stupidity that angers me, that’s where the bulk of the transmissions are taking place, if we exclude the tragedy of the long-term care homes; it’s these house parties with unrelated people,” said Watson on Newstalk 580 CFRA’s Ottawa at Work with Leslie Roberts.

“The message doesn’t seem to be getting through, particularly to some young people who think they’re invincible.”

In a statement to CTV News Ottawa, Bylaw and Regulatory Services Director Roger Chapman says, “There are still ongoing investigations from this past weekend that could result in charges.”

Chapman says recent investigations led to two charges being issued for social gatherings of more than 10 people in a private residence in contravention of the Reopening Ontario Act.

“In one case, up to 30 individuals were observed attending a house party in Ward 18 on Oct. 24,” said Chapman.

“The second charge was issued following a house party in Ward 16 on Oct. 31, where up to 16 individuals were observed to be in attendance.”

The fine is $880 for hosting an illegal gathering.

Alta Vista is Ward 18, while Ward 16 is River Ward.

Ottawa Bylaw has issued 24 charges for illegal gatherings since the start of the pandemic.

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