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Earlier this summer, the MarketMobile was launched in four Ottawa neighbourhoods. This is  an innovative new project using a chartered bus to bring fresh and affordable vegetables and fruit to local residents that have limited access to healthy food. Sherry Nigro, the manager of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at Ottawa Public Health, attended recent community events celebrating the arrival of the MarketMobile and writes about how this project is bringing more than fresh and healthy produce to the communities it visits.  

I recently attended the inaugural events at Morrison Gardens and Vars of the new MarketMobile.  This is a bus that travels to designated neighbourhoods every second week to offer low cost fruits and vegetables to local residents.  It is a partnership initiative led by the Poverty and Hunger Working Group that has evolved from the Good Food Markets that are popping up across the city.

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Contributing author: Nancy, Ottawa Public Health Staff

I love my neighbourhood. Everything I need is within a 5 to 10 minute drive – daycare, groceries, work, pharmacy, and even my kids’ school. I’ll admit we planned it that way when we purchased our house. But as my family got bigger, so did our cars. Now I feel strange taking the car for a 5 minute drive to the dentist or for a haircut.

I recently had my bicycle tuned up, explored different options to store items like a pannier rack for groceries or library books, and started to use my bicycle instead of driving everywhere! I found it really hard to shoulder check, I didn’t know where I was supposed to be in the lane, and only some cars would slow down for me.

On Mother’s Day, I treated myself to the City of Ottawa Women’s only cycling course. It was awesome, well worth the money, and certainly worth the 4 hours. We first practiced in an arena then rode with traffic, and even managed some intersections. Pat our instructor, took us through the basics – shoulder checking, signaling, and cycling as a group. I loved her technique and told my husband we could use the same methods when teaching our kids the basics. During the on-road component of the course, Pat would point out some of the things she noticed that could be improved – it enabled me to make small changes by applying our new knowledge “on the spot”.

Taking this short workshop really showed me that learning from “just another cyclist” isn’t always good enough. Although Ottawa roads are very busy, bikes do belong on the road making it important for cyclists to be visible, predictable and to know how to engage with traffic.

There are lots of workshops available, right now! Go to the City of Ottawa website and look up cycling workshops in the Recreation Guide. I guarantee these workshops will enhance your love of biking and you will feel much more comfortable choosing the seat that moves you!

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Last week CFRA Ottawa’s Sarah Anderson @SarahCFRA featured Ottawa Public Health (OPH) in a series on mom & baby health. 

The series covered topics such as breastfeeding, OPH’s Baby-Friendly Initiative designation, and information on local programs, prenatal classes and the Breastfeeding Buddies volunteer program.

Breastfeeding being encouraged any time, any place by Ottawa Public Health 

Ottawa Public Health proud of Baby-friendly Initiative designation 

Breastfeeding Buddies program links experiences volunteers with new moms to offer peer support 

Prenatal classes about more than just the basics for Ottawa moms


To learn more about the prenatal services offered by Ottawa Public Health visit: http://www.Ottawa.ca/prenatal

Residents in Vars and Hunt Club East will experience a new kind of “drive thru” this weekend as the MarketMobile aims to improve access to healthy foods in the City’s east-end. The MarketMobile is an innovative new project using a chartered bus to bring fresh and affordable vegetables and fruit to four Ottawa neighbourhoods that have limited access to healthy food.

Mayor Jim Watson, Cumberland Councillor Stephen Blais, Member of Provincial Parliament Grant Crack, and Member of Parliament Pierre Lemieux will be on hand in Vars for the market, which runs from 10:45 to 12:45 p.m.

The six-month MarketMobile pilot project is being led by the Poverty and Hunger Working Group, with support from multiple public, private and community partners including Ottawa Public Health, the Coalition of Community Health and Resource Centres, Ottawa Community Housing, Loblaws Rideau and community members.  The MarketMobile will visit four communities – Morrison Gardens, Caldwell, Hunt Club East and Vars - on Saturdays on a rotational basis from July 26 until the end of December. The full MarketMobile schedule is available at marketmobileottawa.ca

“Access to healthy, affordable food can be particularly challenging for residents in our rural communities,” said Jean Seguin, President of the Vars Community Association. “We are delighted that the MarketMobile will be coming to Vars on a regular basis to bring a variety of fresh items at our doorstep. This initiative is also a perfect opportunity to encourage village gatherings and a window for rural community discussions on social and economic issues impacting on our residents.”

For more information about the MarketMobile, visit marketmobileottawa.ca and join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook (#MarketMobile). For information on eating well, visit eatrightontario.ca or call 1-877-510-510-2 to speak to a registered dietitian. 

A look back at the World Hepatitis Day event in Ottawa on July 25, 2014 at Marion Dewar Plaza.

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If you are barbecuing this summer, remember to have your digital food thermometer ready. Ensure your meat is fully cooked - measure the internal temperature for 15 seconds and refer to the chart below.

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For more information on food safety visit OttawaPublicHealth.ca

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Residents in four Ottawa communities will now have improved access to healthy foods thanks to an innovative new mobile produce bus project. The MarketMobile pilot project will use a chartered OC Transpo bus to bring affordable fruit and vegetables to Ottawa neighbourhoods with limited access to fresh produce. The MarketMobile will visit four communities – Morrison Gardens, Caldwell, Hunt Club East and Vars - on Saturdays on a rotational basis from July 26 until the end of December. The full MarketMobile schedule is available at marketmobileottawa.ca

The MarketMobile is an initiative of the Poverty and Hunger Working Group, in collaboration with multiple public, private and community partners including Ottawa Public Health, the Coalition of Community Health and Resource Centres, Ottawa Community Housing, Loblaws Rideau and community members.  

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Cycling is a great way to travel, run errands and discover your community. We offer group training courses to children (9 yrs and over), youth and adults. In four hours, a certified instructor will take you through the basics to get your group ready for the road. All you need to qualify for a FREE cycling course is six people.

For your next gathering, why not throw a cycling party on us?

Contact the Ottawa Public Health Information Line at 613-580-6744 or adoptahelmet@ottawa.ca

Happy cycling!

This largely flat walk takes you along the tree-lined, low-traffic avenues of the Central Experimental Farm and the beautifully maintained old buildings of the Canadian Agriculture & Food Museum. If you go on weekends or mid-afternoons, the Farm will be very quiet.  In spring, take in the flowering trees around the farm, the tall corn in the middle of summer, or the beautiful fall colours. It’s like living in the country in the middle of the city. Paid parking is available at the Agriculture & Food Museum.

You might also be interested in: Stroll along the Rideau Canal: 3.32 km

"Whether you are new to boating or a seasoned veteran, two key things to maintain your health on the water are wearing a lifejacket and checking the weather forecast before you go out.

Use this checklist to make sure you can get the most out of each weekend:

  • Check marine forecasts and weather reports, alerts and warnings as weather can change unexpectedly.
  • Boat sober; a clear head allows you to more capably manage changing weather conditions and other emergencies.
  • Provide a lifejacket for each person in the boat. Ensure that it fits and is worn.
  • Make sure passengers stay seated.  Standing puts passengers at risk of getting bounced, falling overboard or causing the boat to capsize.”

To read the full article visit Young at Heart - Ottawa and the Valley’s Newspaper for people over fifty.