Electric car talk and show, with comparisons, facts and tips

Electric vehicles are the way of the future, but it can be daunting to know how to make a wise EV purchase for your needs.

That's why Transition Brockville has invited Frank Ahern to give a presentation on electric vehicles, Sunday, July 28, 2 p.m., at the Brockville Public Library's program room, followed by a small show of actual EVs. Whether you are merely curious about going electric or committed to the idea, this talk will arm you with useful facts and tips.

Ahern was in the market for a new car in 2017. Because he was concerned about energy efficiency, he decided to look into electric cars. He did diligent research on various makes of plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles. While the former Liberal Ontario government's EV rebate was still in effect, he settled on a plug-in hybrid electric car he and his wife thought would match their driving needs.

But he didn't stop there. Since buying the car, he has kept detailed statistics on the car's battery performance, electric range, and gasoline consumption in different situations. He arranged car charging for his condominium and learned about charging on the road.

All this he will detail in his 40-minute talk, as well as a multi-model comparison, more tips on how to choose the car you need, and a time for questions.

Immediately following the talk, which is free and open to the public, everyone is invited to cross the street to the Buell Street parking lot, where examples of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric cars – and an electric motorcycle – will be on display. Their owners will be on hand to answer questions and show the cars' features.


  • Last month's presentation

    If you take zero waste living seriously, you can reduce your garbage to what fills a 500 ml Mason jar every two weeks, according to Michelle Dunford, whose presentation last month showed how her family of three has managed to cut waste dramatically in the last two years.

    She showed how the power of Why? helps her refuse to buy many things. Why do I want this? Do I really need it? These questions keep her from becoming a thoughtless consumer. Refusing to buy and reducing the number of things bought are the first two steps in practical zero waste living. Learning to repair and reuse things her family might otherwise throw away also helps cut waste. Recycling what they don't need and rotting (composting) food, paper, hair and much more leaves very little to send to the landfill.

    Dunford takes her own containers (cloth sacks, bottles, jars) when she shops for food, thus eliminating a lot of single-use plastic. She buys in bulk.

    She was asked what she does about diapers when traveling with their two-year-old son. Every parent in the room was stunned to learn that diapers are no problem for her, because her son was toilet trained at four months! It's not so strange, she said. It's done in many places in the world where there are no diapers.

    Among the "props" she brought for her talk were Mason jars (which she loves), cloth bags, stainless steel water bottles, and her own take-out containers (so she doesn't need to use the Styrofoam ones at restaurants).

    The important thing is to make a start at reducing waste, she says. Better to begin slowly than to try to do it all at once and become discouraged. Take the time to think about what you are throwing away as you're about to toss it. Ask yourself if there is another way that won't result in landfill waste.

  • Dana Street Community Garden to unveil new sign

    If you're curious about what's happening at the city park on Dana Street this summer, why not come to a celebration on Saturday, August 17, at 11 a.m. at the garden site to see a big new sign unveiled and hear from some of the organizations and individuals who contributed to the garden's success. All are welcome. The event takes place rain or shine.

    Most of the 10 garden plots at the Dana Street garden are filled with vegetables and/or flowers. Schoolchildren from St. John Bosco School are tending three plots this summer. The rest are worked by people living in the neighbourhood. A new garden shed was installed earlier in July to store wheelbarrows and tools. The City provides water in a large tank and mows the lawn.

    Transition Brockville is represented on the steering committee that has taken this second Brockville community garden from the idea stage to reality.

    Butler's Creek Community Garden: All plots at this community garden have been assigned for the 2019 growing season, but anyone wishing to be on the waiting list for a plot next year is invited to write to communitygarden@corptype.ca.

  • Upcoming Transition events
    • Transition Brockville Steering Committee, Wednesday, August 7, 7:00 - 9:00 pm, at the Royal Brock Retirement Living, 100 Stewart Blvd., Brockville. Anyone interested in becoming more involved with Transition initiatives is warmly invited to attend this meeting. Call 613-345-4020 for more information.
    • Culture Day in Brockville, Saturday, September 28, 10 am – 3 pm, King St. West. Transition Brockville will have a booth and will be signing people up for its next workshop (beeswax wraps and homemade laundry soap and other cleaning supplies) in partnership with the Brockville Public Library.
    • 100 Debates on the Environment, October 7. With an eye to ensuring environmental issues are in the forefront of the upcoming federal election, Transition Brockville, along with a number of local organizations and individuals in the riding, will be organizing an all-candidates debate focused solely on environmental policies and positions of the four major political parties. This initiative is part of the "100 Debates on the Environment" project, a non-partisan effort to organize all-candidate panels in 100 federal ridings across the country.
         If you are interested in volunteering in any capacity to help make this undertaking a success, or if you are a local organization, business or individual interested in joining the organizing committee, please contact Transition Brockville at info@transitionbrockville.com.


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Active Transportation Plan Pop-up Event

City of Brockville
WHEN: Tuesday, July 23, 11:30 am - 7:00 pm
WHERE: Brockville Public Library, 23 Buell Street

The City of Brockville wants to make it safer and more convenient for residents to walk, cycle and access transit within the community. Whether it's your neighbour going for an evening walk, a family biking to the park, walking down the street to the store, taking the bus to work, or children walking to school, people use active transportation for a variety of trip types.

The City is in the process of writing an Active Transportation Plan. The plan will propose new walking and cycling infrastructure and outline where improvements could be made. The plan is not about one street in particular, but focused on how all the walking and cycling infrastructure in Brockville works as a network.

This project started in 2018 with a review of existing facilities as well as how the project relates to existing municipal policies such as the Official Plan. Between December 2018 and March 2019, a number of community engagement events and presentations were held. An interactive map was also available online. Residents were encouraged to complete a survey to understand the reasons why and experiences of people using active transportation in Brockville. The engagement also sought to understand places where people are going or would like to go using active transportation, and barriers they experience to using active transportation.

Before compiling a full draft Active Transportation Plan, the City is hosting an additional engagement event to show the draft Active Transportation Network Map. City representatives and the consultant team will be at the Brockville Public Library on Tuesday, July 23 for this event. This is a chance to learn about the initial recommendations based on the work done to date. The material will also be available online.

The existing approved Active Transportation Network in the Official Plan from 2012 is the basis for the new draft Active Transportation Map. This map has been updated based on best practice, our technical analysis and the feedback we received from Brockville residents during the initial engagement events. Come see the map and share your ideas - what opportunities are we missing?

During the pop-up event, there will be additional information available specific to the north end. At this time, there will not be a specific design presented for North End streets as the purpose of the pop-up event is to present a draft city-wide Active Transportation Network Map. The creation of a network map must be done first before cycling facility types are proposed. The engagement event will include additional context for future proposals for north end streets.

Learn more about the plan and share your experiences and ideas at: www.brockville.com/activetransportation. For more information contact Matt Locke, 613-342-8772 or mlocke@brockville.com

Medicinal herb walk

Friends of the Ferguson Forest Centre
WHEN: Saturday, August 10, 10:00 am - 12 noon
WHERE: Ferguson Forest Centre, Kemptville

Join Dr. Shawn Yakimovich, Naturopathic Doctor for the 9th annual medicinal herb walk in the Ferguson Forest Centre! We will meet at the parking lot on the Settlers Trail, located on the west side of Highway 44, just north of Kemptville Public School, then follow the portion of the Settler's Trail that traverses the Ferguson Forest Centre. Dress for the weather, and bring bug repellent! The trail is gravel and flat. All ages welcome. Enjoy a little exercise and become familiar with the medicines that grow all around us! The herb walk is free.

Electric Vehicle Day

WHEN: Saturday, August 17
WHERE: The New Oak Tree, 26 King Street East, Brockville

3rd Annual EV Showcase and Owner Rendezvous in conjunction with the DBIA Sidewalk Sale and FUNfest. Free EV test drives.

Backyard Food Day

Transition Cornwall+
WHEN: Sunday, August 18, 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
WHERE: 14932 Otto Road, South Stormont

Join the Transition Cornwall+ food action group at Backyard Food Day, when over an acre of organic food gardens in South Stormont will be open for touring. Learn about tasty, productive options for any yard or patio - the many vegetables, herbs, berries, fruit and nut trees suitable for our region. Packed with tours, talks and kid's activities, this free family-friendly event is rain or shine.

For a complete programme, directions to address and other information check www.transitioncornwall.com

Open Farms 2019

County of Frontenac
WHEN: Sunday, September 8, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
WHERE: South Frontenac Township

Get a behind-the-scenes look at real working farms. This year 10 local farms will show the public what life is like on an every day working farm -- a great opportunity to learn about raising animals ethically and growing crops sustainably. If you're interested in sourcing more of your food from local, small scale producers, this is the event for you. Lots of family fun to be had, with tours, animals and hands-on activities. Remember, these are real working farms, so be prepared to get a little mud on your boots. Plus, new this year the Frontenac County Plowing Match will be held in Inverary in conjunction with Open Farms.

For more information check out the Open Farms web page: www.openfarms.ca

Green Energy Doors Open - GEDO 2019

WHEN: Friday, September 20 - Monday, September 23
WHERE: Ontario-wide

GEDOTM is a public exploration of Ontario's Sustainable Energy Technologies.

More info: http://ontario-sea.org/event-3421821

Culture Day in Brockville

WHEN: Saturday, September 28
WHERE: King Street West - Buell to Perth Street, Brockville

Culture Days is a national celebration of arts and culture. At the end of each September, millions of people attend thousands of participatory arts and culture events across the country. Culture Days programs invite the public to get hands-on and behind-the-scenes to highlight the importance of arts and culture in our communities.