Dec 29, 2016 – Ottawa South Newspaper Column

Stay Off Thin Ice
Ice thickness in Mooney’s Bay, Dows Lake and the Rideau Canal are all not thick enough to permit people from walking on the ice. Save yourself a cold bath and possibly a trespassing ticket, by staying off the ice until green or yellow flags are flying along the canal and Dows Lake. Red flags indicate the canal is closed.

New Year’s Eve Celebration at City Hall
The New Year is right around the corner and you are invited to attend the kick-off to the Ottawa 2017 festivities at City Hall on December 31 at 6:15pm. Join residents of Ottawa for this early-evening, family-friendly celebration that will include the lighting of a spectacular cauldron at Ottawa City Hall. The ignition of this special landmark will cue hundreds of Ottawa-area students to form a human chain 750 metres in length from City Hall to Parliament Hill, connecting young people from diverse backgrounds and weaving a line of youthful optimism through downtown. After the Fire of Friendship from City Hall re-ignites the Centennial Flame, stick around Parliament Hill to ring in 2017 in patriotic style. There will be two fireworks displays. The first is scheduled for 8:17pm (aka 20:17). The second will take place at midnight. In between, stay warm with the hot sounds of some outstanding Canadian recording artists: Carly Rae Jepsen, Radio Radio and Brett Kissel. Ride on OC Transpo free of charge starting at 4:30pm up to 3am on Jan 1.

New Bus Fares Starting January 1
New and simplified OC Transpo fares will go into effect on January 1, 2017, as part of preparations for the launch of the O-Train Confederation Line in 2018. Fare prices were set by City Council in the 2017 budget. Fare change highlights include the following: All routes will require regular fare only, express fares will no longer be charged and a unified monthly pass will replace the separate Regular and Express Passes, (ii) cash fare is reduced, (iii) a new Youth Pass for those aged six to 19 will replace the Student Monthly Pass. Children aged five and under continue to ride for free, (iv) no top ups will be required on Para Transpo, including for Community Pass holders who are Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) recipients, (v) A new Access Pass will be available to Para Transpo registrants who are not ODSP recipients. The Access Pass will be the same price as the Community Pass and provides unlimited travel on conventional service and a one-third discount from the single-ride fare for trips on Para Transpo.

River Ward Winter Movie Night
The first of three, free River Ward Winter Movie Nights will take place on Saturday January 7 at 6pm. The movie, Spy Kids 4, will be shown at the Carlington Recreation Centre, located at 1520 Caldwell Avenue. Doors open at 6pm, movie to follow at approximately 6:15pm. Bring a blanket and yoga mat. All are welcome, but kids under 10 must be accompanied by an adult.