Summer Activities @ City Hall

The City has officially launched its free weekly summer programming at Ottawa City Hall’s Marion Dewar Plaza– providing programs for everyone, morning, noon and night.

The free weekly programs, running now to August 27, range from physical fitness to dance and artisan markets to music. Each day holds a different series of morning, noon-hour and evening programs – which includes YM-YWCA Tuesday morning boot camps, and Wednesday evening’s outdoor salsa lessons and dancing.

“Whether it is in the summer or the winter, inside or outside, we are making City Hall a real people place,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “By opening up City Hall and offering new programming, we are energizing the downtown core with exciting options for residents of all ages.”

On Thursdays, starting tomorrow to August 11, from 7 to 11 p.m. will be a special evening that focuses on music, mind and art, called Expressions, in partnership with RBC Bluesfest Be in the Band. Youth bands and local art groups will combine their talents to raise awareness of mental health.

“The summer programming at City Hall, as well as other programs in local parks, is a product of our community support and spirit,” said Councillor Mark Taylor, Chair of the City’s Community and Protective Services Committee. “Each program organizer is providing their services on a voluntary basis. Without their generous support, we could not provide this type of free programming and entertainment for our residents to enjoy.”

In addition to the weekly schedule, special events are also planned such as an outdoor silent movie presentation and a roller derby weekend on July 19 and 20 – featuring the Rideau Valley Roller Girls and Capital City Derby Dolls.

The full list and details of the summer programming events at City Hall’s Marion Dewar Plaza are available at


Upcoming Senior’s Anti-Scam Awareness info session June 28th

What: Senior’s Anti-Scam Awareness info session

When: June 28th from 1:30pm – 3:00pm.

Presentation by Ottawa Police Service begins at 2pm with light refreshments and info table for your convenience

Where: Hall in Pinecrest Recreation Centre at 2250 Torquay

City Councillor Rick Chiarelli is holding a seniors anti scam event this Friday June 28th in recognition of seniors month in June. It will be a short presentation by Ottawa Police Service Officer Karin Montague about how to identify and avoid scam artists who prey primarily on senior citizens. Light snacks and beverages will be complimentary, as well as an info table offering information on a number of better senior living topics.

You can download the official seniors event poster

Creating a Smoke-Free Environment

The City’s expanded smoke-free outdoor spaces regulations are in full effect. The City is continuing to reach out to restaurants and bars, business groups, community associations, event organizers and users of City facilities to continue efforts to implement the smoke-free regulations.
Throughout the summer, public awareness campaigns will continue to help ensure Ottawa residents, businesses and tourists are aware of the smoke-free regulations. As part of these campaigns, residents and businesses will be reminded that smoking is prohibited on all municipal properties, including City of Ottawa parks and beaches, and on all bar and restaurant patios. In addition, people smoking in prohibited areas may be subject to a fine. Ottawa residents, business owners and tourists can submit a complaint through or3-1-1, which will inform the City about problem areas and help target enforcement efforts.
For more information about the expanded regulations, or for help to quit smoking, please or call 3-1-1. If you have any additional questions about Ottawa Public Health’s public awareness campaign, please do not hesitate to email or call 613-580-6744.

Tips for your Garage Sale!

garage sale

Next weekend, we’ll be holding our annual garage sale and we want to see you participate!

Here’s some tips to make your garage sale the best it can be:

What Sells

Everything and anything! You will be AMAZED at what people will buy. You truly will. Even if something is missing a piece or doesn’t work–put it out on display (note the defects clearly & honestly). People look for parts or DIY project supplies. I have seen the most hideous decorations and gizmos sell, there’s a buyer for everything (they just have to find you).

Supplies You Need

  • Lots of signage (big, bold lettering) A little help spreading signage around the area would be appreciated
  • Waterproof black marker or sharpie, masking tape or sticky labels (to price things)
  • Clean plastic grocery bags, stack of newspapers, smaller boxes (to offer buyers with large or heavy loads)
  • Clean tablecloths, sheets (to lay across the tables and on the ground to lay items on)
  • Measuring tape (to enable customers to measure furniture or shelving, etc.)
  • Calculator (just in case you need to tally purchases)
  • Pad of paper – sometimes you’ll receive an offer for a large purchase that you don’t want to commit to (it’s lower than you hoped). You can offer to take the person’s name & phone number and call them the next day if you decide to sell it at that price (this gives you the day to try for a better price)
  • Have an extension cord handy to plug in any electrical items being sold, and an assortment of batteries to test items. Some people want to test and make sure the item works before buying. Use the outside electrical outlet–do not let people in your home!

The Money Float

Have lots of change on hand at the start of the day, here’s my suggested float:

  • Roll of quarters
  • Roll of loonies and toonies (Canadians)
  • 20 $1 dollar bills
  • 5 $5 dollar bills
  • 4 $10 dollar bills

If you have big ticket items (furniture, heavy appliances), having a couple $20 bills will be needed if you decide to accept $50 or $100 bills. You’ll pick up lots of small change throughout the day, but the first few hours you’ll likely be breaking lots of $5, $10 and $20 bills.

Prep Work – The Day Before

  • Make sure the yard and surrounding area is neat and clean. Move the garbage bin out of sight. Yes presentation makes a difference.
  • Save yourself a headache — mark everything with a price! Less questions asked, people will see for themselves how much something is. Sticky labels work, mark prices right on the roll then tear off the tape or label – do not price directly on an item since the ink may seep through. Include boxes, manuals and instructions if you still have them (you can get a better price). If you can, price things the day before (and have things sorted in boxes).
  • Thoroughly review each item before putting it out. Look for forgotten money in pockets, old receipts, etc.
  • Clean everything really well–the shinier the better. Wash clothes, blankets, towels, bedding.

Things To Keep In Mind When Pricing

  • If you have a lot of low priced items, try to sell in bundles, like “This Table Buy 1 Get 1 Free” or this box “3 Items For $5″. It’s really important you know your prices because some items may get mixed or dropped in the bargain bins by mistake by your customers. Don’t back down if someone insists it was in the bargain bin, gently inform them another customer must have placed it in there by mistake.
  • I know you paid $50 for that blender and never used it, but selling it for $40 will be tough. Yes $10 off is a good deal for someone, however if they buy it at the store they get a warranty and they get to take it back if it doesn’t work or something goes wrong or they change their mind. If I was pricing that brand new, in the box blender, I’d start with $20–that’s a price hard to walk away from.
  • Price things in 25 cent increments, it’s less hassle, easy to do the math and you won’t have to fuss with nickels and dimes.
  • The Witching Hour: Reduce prices after 1 p.m. You only have a few hours left to get rid of stuff, now’s the time to hustle and move the stuff off the tables and into your customers vehicles.
  • Want to get involved?

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