Summer 2021 Newsletter

Greetings Somerset Gardens residents. It has been a while since we sent out a newsletter and we wanted to start with sending a heartfelt thank you for being a part of our community. We have always prided ourselves on being community oriented and taking care of each other and each and every one of you contribute to keeping this endeavor alive and thriving. Every little action that you do including sorting recycling, turning lights off after exiting storage and bike rooms, picking up flyers from the lobby and simply smiling and saying hi to a neighbour contributes to the warm and welcoming community here at Somerset Gardens. So once again, thank you for being you!


Here at Somerset Gardens, we are a pet friendly building and we love our four-legged friends. However, it has been brought to our attention that some residents are using the rooftop or ground level garage as a zone for their pets to relieve themselves. We understand that this may seem like a convenient location, and even if these folks “poop and scoop”, the waste matter degrades the material lining of the bricks, membranes and gardens, leading to costly damages. In addition, it is unhygienic for our landscapers & site staff to be working or children playing in areas where animals have relieved themselves. We ask that you please take your dog’s outside of the building & property to relieve themselves and ensure that your pets are on leash at all times when in common areas such as the elevators, rooftop, hallways & parking garages.


We are fortunate to have a space to go during the pandemic on our beautiful rooftop setting. Please continue to use the BBQ and available furniture and ensure that you clean the BBQ and area and turn off both the BBQ and the gas line – there have been moments where one or both have been left on. Please remember to replace the cover once the BBQ has cooled sufficiently. We also remind you that smoking is not allowed on the rooftop.

Bicycle thefts

Considering that we live in a downtown location, bicycle theft is not an uncommon occurrence and it has unfortunately been reported that a resident recently had their bicycle stolen from the exterior bike rack of our building. Residents are therefore reminded to ensure their bike is securely locked to the rack with a sturdy lock, as well as check on their bike frequently. And although there have been no signs of forced entry into our bike room, a few bicycles seem to have disappeared. For enhanced security, we have decided to frost the glass to the bike room and remove the identifying signs.

We encourage any bicycle owners to further register their bicycles with 529 Garage ( as many stolen bicycles have been returned to their owners through this effort.

Garbage, Recycling and Bottle Fund

We would like to thank all of you who have donated bottles to the bottle drive and of course extend a very big thank you to our volunteers – Mary Frances and Bruce Marshall, and Peggy Lister – who bring the bottles back to the Beer Store for a refund. Please let us make their job easier by ONLY putting alcohol bottles in the blue bins in the P1 area dedicated to the bottle fund. Regular recycling goes into the large recycling bins in the outdoor parking garage.

On a similar note, board members and residents are finding non-paper/cardboard items in this recycling bin, including plastic bags, Styrofoam and used masks. Please ensure that the packaging materials are separated from the boxes that they come in and please dispose of plastic bags, Styrofoam and of course used masks in the garbage, as none of these belong in either of the recycling bins.

If you have large items of which to dispose – such as mattresses, toilets, or furniture – please note that pickup of these items by the City occurs on Wednesdays, so they are to be put out on Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning before 7:00. Please ensure that these are left beside the curb outside of the exterior parking lot entrance (next to St. John’s Church) as to not block the sidewalk or parking lot entrance. You must also advise the City the day before by calling 3-1-1.

HVAC Filters

A reminder that a filter that is not regularly replaced can lead to (very costly) problems and even shut down your heat pump. For this reason, filters are provided to residents FREE of charge. These will be distributed outside your door shortly. Used filters are not recyclable and should be discarded in the garbage bin in the outdoor parking lot. Please do not use the indoor garbage chutes to dispose of your used filters.

Final Notes

The Condo Board meets regularly to make decisions regarding our building and we welcome all suggestions and concerns of residents. If you have any suggestions, comments or concerns, please feel free to contact us at

Have a great summer!

the Board of Directors for Somerset Gardens

Fall 2020 Newsletter

Thank You

A big thank you to everyone at Somerset Gardens for helping make our building safer as the pandemic marches on. Most of us are carefully fol- lowing the mask mandate and elevator occupancy guidelines. People continue to help their neighbours in a number of ways. For many, the building is now an office space as well, and people have been mindful to keep daytime noise down for the benefit of those who are working. Al- though it seems that this pandemic has been with us forever, and we are now managing a local spike in cases as winter draws closer, we will con- tinue to face this together as a community. Thank you also to our Property Manager Liz Marples, our cleaner Eugene Stanley and our intrepid bottle fund volunteers, Peggy Lister and Bruce Marshall.

Water Damage

Water issues for one person can quickly become a headache for us all. If a preventable leak from your unit damages other units as a result of an owner maintenance issue, you will be financially responsible for the damage not only to your unit, but to all other affected units as well.

Here are some tips for preventing water damage:

The building is nearly 13 years old, and it may be a good idea to have a plumber in to check all of your pipes, your toilet and the connections to your washing machine and dishwasher to ensure they are in good working order and do not need to be replaced.

The original hot water tanks have by now reached the end of their lives. If yours is rented, it should be replaced by Reliance. Several owners chose to purchase their own hot water tanks and end their service with Reliance.
The water monitors provided by the property manager have proved effective in alerting residents to hot water tank leaks. Please note that their batteries need to be replaced annually.

Building Security

We are generally polite and helpful. Unfortunately, this can sometimes work against us when it comes to building security. The front door entry has been a continuing area of concern. It is important that residents follow building security protocol and avoid letting others into the building when we enter or exit (even if they are uniformed workers). Any person wishing to enter the building must be buzzed in by a resident or use their own fob.
You may find the following helpful:

1. Ensure that your contact information and buzzer code are working and updated, especially if you regularly receive guests, deliveries, or outside services.
2. Be available when you expect guests, deliveries, or services. This will minimize crowding in the front door area and reduce stress for workers.
3. You may also chose to have your parcels delivered to nearby stores (such as the White Cross Dispensary or the Shoppers Drug Mart), espe- cially if you cannot guarantee you will be home and would like to assure the safety of your package.
4. If you receive a negative reaction, restate the building protocol and as- sure the other person(s) that this is not a personal issue with them or necessarily your own choice, but a security step that you are required to follow.
5. Use the back door to reduce your interactions and avoid potential con- flicts with non-residents.
6. Contact your property manager should you have any questions or con- cerns about building safety and security.


We have been doing a better job flattening our cardboard boxes to make room for the increased volume of deliveries—thank you!

There have also been some new issues with recycling. Recently, foam padding, plastic and used furnace filters were thrown into the cardboard and paper recycling bin. These items cannot be recycled with paper products, which means that the bin contents are now considered contaminated and will be sent to the landfill instead. To avoid this please carefully read product labels and the City of Ottawa guidelines to ensure your items are sorted correctly. cling/apartment-and-multi-unit-programs/residents-and-tenants/

Lastly, please do not leave items outside the bins. If your items do not fit in the re- cycling that week, please keep them in your unit until the bin has been emptied, or take them to be recycled elsewhere.

Dog Reminder

Dogs must be leashed in the common areas and cannot be taken to relieve themselves in common areas, which include the roof and the parking lot.


Winter holidays will be upon us in no time. Please remember to only use artificial trees when decorating, as natural trees are a prohibited fire hazard and create a mess for our cleaner when they are thrown out. As the health and safety of our res- idents is forefront on our minds, we have, sadly, decided to forgo our annual Christmas gathering. We will work with the volunteer bottle collectors to explore possibilities for our bottle funds. For example, we could offer another gift to our dili- gent cleaner or make a donation to the food bank or other charity. We welcome any additional suggestions, which can be emailed to

Welcome Newcomers

Finally, a warm welcome to new members of our condo community. We hope to meet you in person in the not too distant future.

We wish everyone a good fall and winter.

Your Board members - Allyson, Sonia, Susan, Asia and Philippe

Spring 2020 Newsletter

Welcome To Somerset Gardens

A warm welcome to all new owners and tenants at Somerset Gardens. Once the public health emergency is over and the weather warms up, we hope you have the opportunity to meet more of your neighbours.

Thank You to Our Community

The Somerset Gardens community showed its strength during the COVID crisis. Everyone respected the new social distancing guidelines in our common areas, including the one passenger per elevator guidance and the posted limits in use of the common elements. We made use of the hand sanitizer in the lobby and the sunroom.

Our community showed its heart when people offered to shop and run errands for our vulnerable members. Thank you volunteers.

A special thank you to Melisa for organizing a gift to Wayne Shorter, our intrepid cleaner, who has worked hard to keep our building safe during this crisis.

Thank you also to Peggy, Melisa and Paula for organizing a $1,000 donation from our bottle fund to the Ottawa Food Bank, which is helping to ensure those experiencing hardship have enough to eat.

Merci Madame Bisson

Thank you Mme. Bisson, volunteer extraordinaire, for your work over the years in our library. You transformed the space from an unsightly dumping ground to a pleasant and organized library that is well used by our community. We will miss your efforts now that you have retired.

Make A Difference

• We are in need of new volunteer librarians to continue Mme. Bisson’s fantastic work. Please get in touch with the property manager if this suits your interests!
• Promote respect for our shared space.
• Keep our surfaces clear and clean. Dispose of junk mail in your individual units—do not leave it lying on the lobby tables. If you no longer wish to receive flyers, please leave a note to that effect in your mailbox.
• Please take pets off the condo property to relieve themselves, and not to the rooftop area to do so.
• Our community is experiencing a greater need for parcel delivery services, which has increased the volume of products in our paper recycling bin. As a courtesy to others during this time, please flatten cardboard boxes before recycling them so that there is space for everyone.
• Keep it green! Carefully read the instructions on each recycling bin and correctly sort your items. If our recycling batches are not sorted properly, they could be rejected for contaminants and dumped in the garbage. Note that milk and juice cartons belong in the same bin as plastics and metal cans, and plastic bags cannot be recycled at all.
• Now that we have changed our HVAC (furnace) filters, used filters can be disposed of in the large garbage dumpster which is accessible through the garbage room. Every owner should have a key to this room—please speak to the property manager if you are missing yours. 

• If you are ever unsure about recycling guidelines, please refer to this website: https:// tenants

Ask not what your community can do for you, but what you can do for your condo community

We wish everyone a great spring and summer!
Your Board members
Allyson, Sonia, Susan, Asia and Philippe

Winter 2019/2020 Newsletter

As always, the Board of Directors would like to welcome all new residents and owners to Somerset Gardens. Below is the latest condo news.

Safety and security – By now, you will hopefully have seen the Building Security Notice by Liz Marples, our Property Manager, regarding the importance of calling police when we encounter people sleeping in our stairwell or for any other events that could jeopardize our building’s security. During the Board’s recent meeting with constable Stephanie Lemieux, the community police officer for Centertown, she too stressed the importance of calling police to report such incidents, not only for obvious safety reasons but because resources are allocated and the appropriate strategies implemented based on the calls/reports received for a particular area. She encourages residents to contact her directly at with any questions or to follow up on any calls you have made to the police. She also completed a CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) audit while she was here, pointing out some potential areas of concern. Rest assured that the Board is looking into each item on the audit and also plans a comprehensive security risk assessment in the New Year. We remind you in the meantime to not let any strangers follow you into the building, politely asking them to buzz in instead.

Annual General Meeting – Hopefully you have marked your calendars after receiving the advance notice of the upcoming Annual General Meeting. A reminder that it will be held on January 29, 2020 at St-John’s church, 154 Somerset St West at 7:00 p.m., with Registration starting at 6:30 p.m. Note there will be three positions open for the Board elections.

HVAC Filters – A reminder that a filter that is not regularly replaced can cause (very costly) problems and even shut down your heat pump. For this reason, filters are provided to residents upon request by the property manager FREE of charge. Filters should be changed, on average, 3 times per year. Used filters are not recyclable and should be discarded in the garbage bin.

Recycling – Plastic bags and other refuse have been making their way into the recycling bins. Please note that plastic bags are not recyclable and that materials not belonging in a recycling bin could make cause the whole bin to wind up in landfill instead of the intended recycling facility. Please consult the City of Ottawa website for information on garbage and recycling:

Maintenance issues – For maintenance issues, you may contact our Property Manager Liz Marples at or (613) 237-9519 ext. 231.

For emergency repairs, both during and after business hours, please call the emergency line at 613-762-5704.

Board Members: Allyson Downs (President), Sonia Myre (Treasurer), Sandy Kusugak (Secretary), Kristina McLean (Director), Susan Ayala (Director). Board Members’ Email Address:

Late Summer 2019 Newsletter

Summer is coming to an end, but as we know, Ottawa may still be in for plenty of sunshine as Fall approaches. As always, the Board of Directors would like to welcome all new residents and owners to Somerset Gardens. Below is the latest condo news.

Rooftop Etiquette – You may have noticed the addition of new patio furniture, which has allowed a number of groups to enjoy our rooftop gardens at once. To ensure that everyone can enjoy the space freely, we ask that you please clean the BBQ after each use and wipe down the tables and chairs as required.

Garbage and recycling – Over the August long weekend, the garbage chute became blocked by a too-large piece of rubbish. Know that if you have to push an item into the slot, it will not make its way down the chute. You can place larger items directly into the bin in the garbage room. Also, while we appreciate all efforts at recycling, note that when you bundle your paper recycling into plastic bags, the lot cannot be recycled.

HVAC Filters – A filter that is not regularly replaced can cause (very costly) problems and even shut down your heat pump. For this reason, filters are provided to residents upon request by the property manager FREE of charge. Friendly reminder that filters should be changed, on average, 3 times per year. Used filters are not recyclable and should be discarded in the garbage bin.

Safety concerns – Some of you may have noticed an increase in nefarious goings-on due to the Elgin street construction project. Know that the Board has reached out to a community policing liaison to discuss the issue. Please feel free to contact the Board if you have any ideas to contribute or would like to be involved in a Safety and Security Committee. Please do not let strangers in; kindly ask them to buzz the residents they are visiting or avoid a confrontation all-together by going in/out through a side entrance.

Bicycles – A reminder that bicycles must be stored on the racks provided outside the building, in the bike room, or on the designated rack of your parking spot and not on your balcony as it is not to be transported through the lobby, hallways, elevators or stairwells. For a full list of rules regarding bicycles or to get a spot in the bike room, please contact our Property Manager Liz Marples at

Maintenance issues – For maintenance issues, you may contact our Property Manager Liz Marple at

For emergency repairs or lockouts, both during and after business hours, please call the emergency line at 613-762-5704.

Board Members: Allyson Downs (President), Sonia Myre (Treasurer), Sandy Kusugak (Secretary), Kristina McLean (Director). Board Members’ Email Address:

Check out our Website (which will soon be getting a revamp):

Spring 2019 Newsletter

Spring is already here! The Board of Directors welcomes all new residents and owners to Somerset Gardens. Below is the latest condo news.

New Board Member and Board Position— Following the Annual General Meeting on January 30, 2019, the Board has welcomed Allyson Downs to the role of President. Other newly confirmed board positions are list at the bottom of this newsletter.

Junk Mail– Friendly reminder to please take junk mail to the recycling rather than leaving it on the furniture in the lobby. To receive less junk mail, you may leave a notice for the mailman in your mailbox.

Smoking— The Board appreciates everyone’s support in helping to keep Somerset Gardens smoke free. This also applies to the space just outside of the main building entrance and any common elements, including the rooftop garden. Please do not stand and smoke directly in front of the building’s steps, as residents have to pass through this area to enter.

Rooftop Etiquette— With the nice weather finally arriving, everyone is excited to make use of the rooftop gardens on the Penthouse level. Tips to ensure that everyone can enjoy the space freely include: cleaning the BBQ after each use and wiping down the tables and chairs as required. Also, please do not move the sunroom furniture outside.

Building Safety— All residents are encouraged to keep the April 3rd email notice that our property manager, Liz Marples, sent out which outlines steps that should be taken in the event that you notice suspicious activity at Somerset Gardens. If you would like another copy of this notice please contact the property manager.

Maintaining a safe living environment is a top priority for the Board. Over the coming months, the Board will be looking to launch new initiatives that can help us to improve in this area. Please stay tuned for more information and feel free to contact the board if you have any ideas to contribute.

Filters— Filters for the heat/cooling systems in each unit should be changed everyone six months and are provided by the Condominium free of charge upon request.

Board E-mail Service Standard— To help serve you better, the board e-mail address ( will now have a 3-day business standard. This means that we will endeavor to reply to all e-mails within 3 business days.

For maintenance issues contact our Property Manager Liz Marples at 613-237-9519 ext. 231 or For emergency repairs both during and after business hours, please call the emergency line at 613-762-5704.

The Board of Directors wishes everyone a wonderful spring!

Board Members: Allyson Downs (President) David Leszczynski (Director of Communications), Sonia Myre (Treasurer), Sandy Kusugak (Secretary), and Kristina McLean (Director).

Board Member’s Email Address:
Check out our Website:

Spring 2018 Newsletter

Spring has finally arrived! The Board of Directors would like to welcome all new residents and owners to Somerset Gardens. Below is the latest of your condo news.

Rooftop Patio- It’s barbeque season! Take advantage of the lovely weather on the rooftop patio. Chairs and tables have been placed outside and the BBQ will be cleaned and tuned up for all residents to enjoy. Remember to clean up after using the rooftop.

Smoke-Free Building – Based on the presence of butts, it is clear that smoking still occurs on the rooftop & common entrance area. Butts are also being thrown from the building and sometimes landing on residents’ patios. These are not only a nuisance but also a fire hazard when not properly extinguished. Please remember that each one of us has a right to have one’s space respected and that each one of us shares a responsibility to ensure that this happens. That is why we have rules. For smoking, please refer to Rule 19, available anytime on the condo’s website for further details.

Elevator Bookings – A reminder to all residents to refer to the Owner’s Manual with respect to booking the elevator for deliveries or moving. The property manager must receive your request 2 weeks prior to your move or delivery date, as well as completed reservation forms and a damage deposit cheque.

Window Cleaning- The property manager is arranging exterior cleaning of the windows for the week of May 22. A notice to residents will be posted shortly.

HVAC Filter s- Did you know that a dirty filter can shut down your heat pump. Filters are provided to residents upon request to the property manager and we encourage residents to change the filter 3 times per year.

Renovations - Thinking about conducting some renovations or interior unit painting? Prior to conducting any work within the unit, residents/owners should contact the property manager to ensure that the work will not cause disruption to others or affect any common elements. Please note that one should never remove, tamper with or paint over either the heat or smoke/carbon monoxide alarms. Of these two alarms, only the smoke/carbon monoxide one requires a battery change and will emit a signal when it needs to be replaced.

For maintenance issues, you would contact Liz Marples, the property manager, at A reminder to residents: for emergency repairs during business hours or after hours, please call the emergency line at 613-762-5704.

The Board of Directors would like to wish everyone a happy spring, remember that you can reach us through the website.

Board Members: David Leszczynski president, Germain Dubois treasurer,
Sonia Myre director, Kristina McLean, director and Sandy Kusugak, director.

Fall 2017 Newsletter

A special welcome to all our new tenants and owners. We trust that you will join us in making Somerset Gardens a secure, clean, comfortable and welcoming environment for all.

Hot Water Tanks- In the past 2 months, there have been 5 incidents of leaking hot water tanks from owner’s units. The corporation has provided repeated reminders to residents of the importance to frequently inspect hot water tanks, specifically the mixing valves on the top of the tanks for leakages. Tanks that are 10 + years old should be replaced, regardless if no leaking has occurred. Costs associated with emergency calls for plumbing services or repairs related to plumbing leaks are charged back to the units. Please keep this in mind and take the necessary steps to maintain your interior unit plumbing to prevent costly repairs and/or insurance claims.

Security (new residents)- You should have been issued a fob that unlocks the main front door and the two back doors, one leading to the lobby and the other to the eastside stairwell. Aside from your key to your unit, you should also have a similar looking key that provides access to the garbage room off the ground-level parking garage and a smaller key for your mailbox. Access to the garbage room allows you to place bags and items that don’t fit in the garbage chute located on each floor. Please respect this practice in order to avoid creating a blockage in the chute which then becomes a burden for our building cleaner Clifford. For our common security, please avoid letting people that you don’t recognize walk in when you are entering or leaving the building.

Cleanliness- One cannot overstate the role that cleanliness plays in demonstrating pride of ownership and as a welcoming sign to our visitors. We are doing well on this front but there is room for improvement. Although the amount of junk mail left in the lobby has decreased, some still appears. If you don’t want to deal with junk mail, why not leave a note in your mailbox, for the mail carrier, stating “no more junk mail please”? If you leave your junk mail on the shelves near the mailboxes, it only disappears when other kindly residents take it to the recycling. There has been an increase in cigarette butts at the front of the building. Some of these may have been thrown off someone’s balcony. If that is the case, please stop. This is a disregard to both safety and common sense.

Smoking- Note that our building is a smoke-free building. We have a non-smoking rule that applies to all the common areas and the majority of units, with the exception of a few individuals who were grandfathered at the time the rule took effect. Thank you for respecting this.

Contribute to the well-being of our condo- If you have a passion, an expertise or an idea that you would like to share with other residents, use the distribution list that has been created for that purpose. It is also a good forum to obtain answers to your questions about the condo. If you are not on the list, you may join it by contacting Germain at .

To contact Liz Marples, the property manager, email or phone 613-237-9519 x 231.

For emergency repairs, call the emergency line 24/7 at 613-762-5704.

Your Board Members: Germain Dubois, President, David Leszczynski, Treasurer, Cassandra Olsthoorn, Secretary, Sandy Kusugak and Kristina McLean, Directors.

Message from the Board – Fall 2016

A special WELCOME to all new tenants and owners of Somerset Gardens.

Volunteers Wanted - Would you be interested in organizing or helping with the organization of social events for the tenants and non-resident owners. This would involve planning and coordinating social events for the Somerset Gardens community. The cost of food, drinks and other justifiable items would be covered by the bottle fund. If interested, please contact

Security - This is a high priority item for any condo. Our condo is equipped with thirteen security video cameras to monitor the lobby, the entry to the elevators, the rooftop, the bike room, the passage between the door next to the bike room to the front east-side door, the parking area and the garage. The lighting for all of these areas is very good. On top of this, you can provide key information which might not be captured on tape. If you witness any threat, vandalism, destructive or criminal activity in progress, please contact 911. If the event is not in progress, call 613-236-1222 x7300 or report online at

Water Issues - In August, we had a toilet malfunction which flooded one unit and the four units beneath it. This is a reminder that if your toilet does not seem to function normally, you must call a plumber to avoid this type of situation. If not, your insurance will have to cover the repairs to all the damaged units and common areas. Also remember to shut off the water supply to your unit when leaving for more than 24 hours.

Lobby - The waste disposal containers near the mailboxes in the lobby have been removed temporarily because a resident had the brilliant idea to discard their dog’s poop in the container. The result: nauseating strong smell in the lobby which became the unenviable task of our cleaner to dispose in a proper manner. Please note that the purpose of these containers is for the recycling of junk mail only. Because of this incident we have removed the lobby trash can and residents are responsible for disposing of their junk mail or newspapers properly in the exterior recycle bin.

Fire Safety Plan - The emergency procedures are outlined in the fire safety plan and posted on the Somerset Gardens website. In general, you should leave the fire area immediately and close doors, sound the alarm, call 911, leave the building via the nearest/safest staircase and proceed to the marshalling area, the parking lot of the Army Mess directly opposite SG. The Fire Safety plan contains information on residents requiring assistance in evacuating – make sure you have notified the property manager if you need such assistance.

Heat & Smoke Detectors - A reminder to all residents that they have both a heat and a smoke detector in each unit and they should never be tampered with, as this can set off a false alarm call to the main fire panel and the Fire Dept. Please remember to change the batteries in your smoke detector annually and to contact the property management emergency line if you hear an alarm day or night. (613) 762-5704.

Christmas Trees - It is early to talk about Christmas but since we are talking about security in this message, it is worth noting that cut trees dry out, loose their needles and are fire hazards. For these reasons, they are not permitted inside the condo as per rules 4 and 12 of our Rules and Regulations.

Note that our website, is a good source of information regarding living here and who to contact should you need help.

Spring 2016 Newsletter

Our spring newsletter is now available here.

Topics in this newsletter include: