Barrhaven:Weather, Construction, Activities, Councillor Jan Harder, City of Ottawa

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Barrhaven:Weather, Construction, Activities, Councillor Jan Harder, City of Ottawa

What a summer it has been!  Although not quite ended, this summer has brought us enough sunshine and heat to make up for last year’s rain-filled and cool season.  It is hard to believe that children are already gearing up for a new school year and even hockey tryouts are in full swing.  Autumn manages to bring us cooler weather and a calendar full of activities.  As you sign your children up for sports and after-school programs, don’t forget to check out the many programs offered by the City at community centres like Walter Baker and Minto Recreational Centre, that give you an opportunity to get fit, learn something new and meet a new neighbour.

You may have noticed in the last few months that Barrhaven has been a whirlwind of activity.  There is a lot of construction and roadwork happening.  Although presently it can be frustrating dealing with noise, dust and blocked roads, the eventual results should make it all worthwhile. New businesses keep popping up; giving residents more choices to not only enjoy what they offer but also employment opportunities.  The need for smaller housing units is being met with new rental and retirement dwellings.  As our population ages, grandparents who want to downsize but still want to stay in Barrhaven near the grandkids will have options to be near family.  The Multiple Use Pathway on Woodroffe is a wonderful addition to our roads where cyclists, walkers and inline skaters can take advantage of a safe route to travel or exercise. Finally, the addition of two hotels in Barrhaven will bring much-needed services and opportunities to Barrhaven in the very near future.  These will be located near the 416 and Fallowfield.

Barrhaven is still growing – a testament to how attractive our corner of Ottawa is.  For anyone who has lived here for a few decades, it truly has evolved from a sleepy suburb to a large Ontario city within a City.  With rapid growth, comes growing pains.  Like all other areas of the City, traffic woes and speeding cars are a big concern to residents.  Slow down signs, and new stop signs are just a few initiatives that have been implemented to make drivers more aware of their actions.  The widening of Strandherd, set to begin next year, will also be a boon to commuters who face gridlock every day.

Good roads, parks and community centres are amenities that make an area livable but what makes a geographical zone a community is its people.  Barrhaven is now a vibrant multicultural community that houses several different places of worship and community centres.  I recall not so long ago, having to travel out of Barrhaven to eat at a restaurant that served food that wasn’t traditionally North American or European. Now a range of restaurants exists catering to all different palates.  Grocery aisles are another example of how diverse our population has become.  I am always amazed at the variety of produce and goods that exist.  I confess to not knowing what some are but I like the fact that they are now readily available.

I have called Barrhaven home for over 30 years.  Members of my immediate family have owned 24 homes over 40 years.  No matter how long you have lived here, whether you call your part of Barrhaven “old Barrhaven” or “new Barrhaven,” I simply prefer to call it #MyBarrhaven.

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