Let’s Talk


Let’s talk about family living in Ottawa.

One steamy hot day over 15 years ago, a moving truck pulled into a local driveway. My loved ones and I stepped out – and into an unknown new lifestyle in the capital city, one with a garage, a backyard and a couple of nearby elementary schools. To be honest, I wasn’t looking forward to it. Silly me.

Today, my husband, kids and I live in the same suburban home with our Goldendoodle, Rosie (also known as Holy Flying Piranha). Ottawa is most assuredly home.

Like many local families, we have an active, full life. Regulars at local rinks, we’ve spent countless days at area ski hills, beaches, sports fields and community facilities. The capital’s museums and world-class attractions? Yes. We’ve been to them – sometimes two or three times, explored them and been dazzled. Thanks to the artist in the household, we’ve also been to more than our share of galleries and vernissages, our kids hoisting canapés with some very talented people.

It has been a privilege for our children to grow up in Ottawa. We are loud, proud Sens fans and, luckily, our hockey loving youngster has had the chance to visit the NHL team’s dressing room and meet a player or two. The eldest, a big fan of politics, has been able to meet the prime minister – three times! (Think he’ll come for dinner?)

Sure there are challenges. (Did I mention the dog jumps and climbs over fences?) We’ve had our share of trips to local emergency departments – most notably years ago, at CHEO, when we sat in the waiting room for what seemed like three weeks because the baby swallowed a peach pit. When a young doctor finally saw us, the consult lasted all of 20 seconds, long enough for him to laugh, shake his head and tell us we’d find it in the diaper.

For us, family living in Ottawa has always been full of surprises. Heck, a couple of summers ago a bear wandered down our street and settled in our neighbours’ backyard for a visit.

Gotta love the greenbelt. (I do.) In fact, there are many issues about which I am passionate: education, kids’ welfare, health – including mental health, eldercare, community development, bullying and kindness in Ottawa. I’m also curious about the latest trends, news, styles, leisure offerings and restaurants.

What about you? What does living in Ottawa mean for you and your family.

What’s happening in your part of town?

What events or activities or festivities does your organization have on tap?

Join the conversation. I’ll be organizing the content for Ottawa Family Living Online and I want to hear from you, share your stories and cover the issues and topics you care about.

So let’s talk.

Pam Dillon

Reach me at Pam@coylepublishing.com.

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Truth is, thousands of families in this city are dealing with the challenges of mental illness. Truth is, suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people. Truth is, the mom I met might be your neighbor or your child’s teacher or you. That’s why I’m supporting D.I.F.D.’s 2013 Power to the Purple Challenge. Continue reading

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The Devil You Know

“ALL responsible adults in the community need to be educated to look after the welfare of children.  When a community is educated, it puts sexual predators on notice.” Cynthia Bland Continue reading

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Sick Health Policy

Why are Ottawa’s recreation facilities and hospitals contributing to obesity?
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Let’s Talk About Child Abuse

Have you ever wondered if a child you know is okay? I have wondered and worried about that… Continue reading

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Action on Bullying

We, as parents, need to talk about zero tolerance for bullying
By Pam Dillon Continue reading

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School Lunch Safety

Boy, did I blow it! In a school-lunch story, I mentioned adding nuts and seeds to salad

Warning: DON’T DO IT

Continue reading

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Continuing Education, Guaranteed

Welcome, Mom and Dad, to Your New School Year

As long as your kids are students, from JK to Grade 12, you’re right there with them

By Pam Dillon Continue reading

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Community Spirit

Hundreds of people showed up for a free barbecue, hosted by Nepean-Carleton MPP Lisa MacLeod. What they brought was pretty impressive. Continue reading

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Family Unplugged

No internet, cable TV or home phone service?
It’s no disaster Continue reading

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Zombies and Autism

Apocalypse?  No.  Adventure
There’s a lot to learn from the Zombie invasion and from autism Continue reading

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