Ottawa’s Compliments & Complaints Department is a featured column supported by the Apt613 Fellowship Program. The aim is to spotlight locals from different hoods of the capital, letting them celebrate this city and share their constructive criticisms.
About: Molly is the second owner of the Village Quire. She lives, works and plays in Westboro. Her daily routine consists of taking her kids to school, biking down to her favourite coffee shop and chatting with other locals before opening her store; it reminds her of the small town she grew up in.
Complaint: Molly would like to see the City establish clear guidelines for building new homes and condos, and then she’d like to see these guidelines enforced. There are always arguments around new construction sites or trees being cut down, she notes. She wants to see more leadership at the municipal level in this regard. For example, two years into owning the store, a new building which was under construction made it difficult for potential customers to see her store.
She would have liked some help from the City, whether in terms of communications to inform costumers the boutique was still open or a certain form of compensation for business lost. She asked for help, but did not receive it. Small businesses are an important part of the Westboro landscape, and the government, whether municipal or provincial, needs to be involved in making them strive.
Compliment: Molly has lived in Westboro for fifteen years. She loves the sense of community and the fact that other locals walk to work. She meets with them for coffee and partakes in activities in the Dovercourt Recreation Centre. She’s involved in the Carlingwood Library. Everything’s nice and close. The familiarity that comes with living in a small area is what she loves most about Westboro. She adds that this sense of community doesn’t just happen: you have to create it. You have to participate, be involved and engaged in order for it to become reality.
Recommendation: In the summer, Molly recommends you go to Westboro beach and grab a beer and burger. In the winter, she suggests cross country skiing and then visiting all the little shops that distinguish Westboro as a unique destination in Ottawa.