Here is what is happening the world of the Torbolton Institute that it wants you to know about.
Torbolton Institute is a Smart Growth demonstration in Ottawa Rurality, dateline Thursday, October 25, 2012 … Possibly for the first time in Canada, a rural area here in Ottawa is showing true ‘smart growth’. Smart growth means recycling infrastructure to new purposes instead of cutting new ground. Its smart because we get the needed facility and keep nature, too! Ever have your cake and eat it too? No? But we can and we will. Our Torbolton Institute is as rural as a site can get these days. But it is a building that we ruralites can definitey use, big time. An Architect’s Dream, the site will be retrofitted to today’s standards for health, safety and environmental friendliness at a tenth of the cost of replacement! Its an architect’s dream: start small, and step along. Every step is an incremental advance – no need to wait till all is done to get any benefits. However, once all is done, the new building can be better even than today’s new builds. We could even go for LEED -EB certification. Ground Geothermal, FIT and Turbines are in the mix
Is the academia really finished with Torbolton School? dateline Thursday, October 25, 2012 … The Ottawa Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) reluctantly closed its old 1963 Torbolton School on Woodkilton Road in very rural Ottawa. Is this the end of the school, as a school? Maybe not. The Torbolton Institute might just become a school again, comprised of many individual schools. A number of those interested in recyling the site to other uses have noted their need for learning workshops and teaching. For example, the Fitness Studio would be a do&learn activity, with classes about fitness, health and wellbeing. The Adaptation Action Centre could teach going greener. The Eco-Farmers Training School is even a school in name. Teaching the fine arts, art&crafts, and the performing arts are noted below. Teaching sports is likely to come up, possibly in a Sports Bubble . A Flipped Classroom resource may be possible. The site is being studied for an EWorld Library. Martial arts are on the list. Such diverse education desirements would need teaching expertise. The OCDSB as well as our local colleges and universities will be needed to enhance these learning experiences. Maybe the OCDSB might want to keep its ‘oar in the water’ on this one?
The Torbolton Institute’s ‘Adaptation Action Hub’, dateline Sunday, October 28, 2012 … Almost everday prognostications about the future of the planet seem to get worse. Most of us now see tough times ahead. It will take much time to prepare ourselves to ride out the storm. Lots of smart folks are working at it already, but some here and some there. In spite of good intentions, our efforts to date may be too little too late. Some say we are just adding to the time for screaming before we hit the wall. Its better that we ramp up bigtime starting yesterday. On this one it will be much better to overshoot than undershoot. Any extra would be a cushion. The Torbolton Institute could house Canada’s first Adaptation Action Centre, for Ottawa, for the province and even for all of Canada. It could be the hub of adaption, serving all adapter groups with a central clearinghouse for information and administration. It could inspire the Ehrenfield culture change we need to become sustainable in the face the big change, sudden change and unexpected change. Who is John Ehrenfield? A vital example of adaptation is Ottawa 100-mile Food Security, where the Torbolton Institute is the hub for 1000 Ottawa CSAs and launching them onto Ottawa’s farm landscape by 2020, feeding Ottawa’s quarter million households 60% of their annual nutriment year-round.
The Torbolton Institute Solar/Wind Energy, dateline Sunday, October 28, 2012 … The Torbolton Institute is sited for full sunshine dawn-to-dusk and full windage. Our own Graham Findlay has proposed that the roof of the building would a good spot for a solar photovoltaics setup. The Torbolton Institute is in line for a FIT. The nether parts of the grounds would likewise welcome wind ball turbines or the like. A good sized, combined set-up that would still not really take away any floorspace or yardspace and would still generate multi-kilowatts could be situated at the Torbolton Institute. Everyone could see and imagine these devices on the their own homestead roof or yard, and even building dwellers could foresee a profitable set-up on their roof. These technologies are green. Would it be possible to generate enough power for the Torbolton Institute and still have excess to sell to Ontario Hydro?
The Torbolton Institute ‘Blue Sky’, dateline Sunday, October 28, 2012 … Imagine a Woodlawn Otrain Railway Station at Woodkilton and Kinburn connecting the region to the Torbolton Institute return (even better, a short spur connecting to the OTrain at Fitzroy would close the loop). The station is also the hydrogen refuelling station for the excursion train, where the photovoltaics along the railway right of way power the station’s electrolysis unit. The hydrogen shuttle bus connects the station to the centre, refueling at the station as well. At the centre, which is sited fully open to sunlight dawn-to-dusk and wind 24/7, all the electric cars of onsite visitors and tenants are plugged into the charger powered by the centre’s solar/wind energy installations. Surplus power feeds the Ontario grid profitably. Geothermal heats/cools the building. Light pipes bring in natural light. Passive solar conservatories built onto the building’s south wall provide additional heat, light and pure air from their year-round indoor greenplants (some supplying the organic tea room). Sun-powered fishtanks in the conservatories could provide fresh tilapia, for goodness sake! Nuts from the Torbolton Institute’s own nut grove could also be tabled. Clearly a 21st century vision for the families of tomorrow, today.
The Torbolton Institute Fitness Studio, dateline Sunday, October 28, 2012 …Our own Vera Jones’s regional Fitness Studio idea has been in the works for over a year now. The stated purpose of such s studio is to integrate action on present and future individual fitness ( or serious lack thereof, as seems to be the case today), community health (avoiding illness by not spreading infection) and wellbeing (the joie de vive that comes from living in a natural environment). Here’s how it would work. The studio itself would be sited in the Torbolton Institute adjacent to the gym. The professional exercise machines given us by the YM/YWCA would be programmed for individual use under the guidance of Y experts, sort of a ‘Y Outpost’. Our city/provincial public health would be integrated to provide the latest health information and preventative action on site. Working with top naturalists and ecologists, we would help guide the maintenance of our environment to balance all uses so that we maximize benefits and keep biodiversity high enough to assure continuing family wellbeing. The studio structure will be as a club with President, V-P, Sec/Treasurer, constitution and membership fees.
The Torbolton Institute could host an SPIN-Farmers Training School for Ottawa Food Security, dateline Sunday, October 28, 2012 … The first challenge of unsettling climate ‘weirding and its quirky weather to be met within the next decade and a half is to assure continuing basic food security for all Ottawa’s quarter million households, in perpetuity. Why? Prognostications indicate global food security is on the skids. So how? By birthing a thousand, 20-hectare, family run, CSA-style SPIN-Farms in Ottawa’s huge rural wards, by 2020 (that’s an average two new farms per week, every week, for the next ten years). A Torbolton Institute SPIN-Farmers Training School would classroom train selected eager young Ottawa families wanting to become professional SPIN-Farmers in this new agrarianism, intern them on existing SPIN-Farms as semi-skilled labour, certify them on completion, help to launch them onto the land and help to sign up 250 household shareholders each. Together, all our SPIN-Farms would feed Ottawa’s quarter million households 60% of their nutrition and collectively earn upwards of a half billion $$ annually. The school could also host a Torbolton Institute SPIN-Farm Co-Op, an office at the Torbolton Institute which would track Ottawa’s SPIN-Farm ag-production, smooth out glitches in distribution and R&D improved SPIN-Farming methods enabling SPIN-Farms to yield average or better harvests in spite of malicious weather.
The Torbolton Institute could demonstrate homestead geothermal energy, dateline Sunday, October 28, 2012 …Geothermal is green energy, too. Not the magma kind, but the one that uses the ground as a heat reservoir, taking ground heat for winter warming and ground storing heat as summer cooling. This method does not have to create heat or cool. It is in fact just your household fridge at work on your house. It pumps heat out of the house in summer, storing it in the gorund. In winter it runs backward, pumping this same heat stored back into the house. So, its a heat pump. It uses about a quarter of the enegry needed if you use a furnace to make new heat in winter, and much the same a your central air-conditioner in summer. However, since the one pump does both jobs, your house does not need its furnace nor its air conditioner. Heat pumps (read ‘geothermal’) is becoming popular in new houses being built with larger lots. How about retrofit? Use the Torbolton centre to demonstrate this in a conversion that turns the Centre into a LEED-EB building!
The Torbolton Institute’s West Carleton Arts Society connection, dateline Sunday, October 28, 2012 … The WCAS has space needs. Rosy Somerville came to the site tour to see what might be in it for WCAS. What might be needed? Ex-President Lis Allison says,” We really need display (gallery) space, a meeting room, possibly space for classes, and a venue for our annual Art Exhibition and Sale. There are many creative artists and craftspeople in our area, and we have no facilities of any kind. Anything we want to do, such as having our annual Mini-Conference, is very expensive for us. There are many children in the area who would love art classes, but we have no space in which to organise them. Also, the lack of a focal point makes it hard to plan anything for our members.” Clearly, the Torbolton Institute would be a perfect fit for the WCAS!
The Torbolton Institute’s West Carleton School of Perfoming Arts connection, dateline Sunday, October 28, 2012 … As a once-upon-a-time school building the Torbolton Institute has all the educational facilities (except, no chem lab – darn!). So, Mellissa Demers, WCSOPA’s Director and Head Instructor, is taking notice of our project to acquire the school site for its many possible future uses. As Melissa notes,”We would be interested in possible classes, performances, workshops, etc.” It would seem that the Torbolton Institute could meet some of these needs perfectly, and offer outdoor performing art as well. Think of Ottawa’s Odyssey Theatre’ by the Rideau River in Strathcona Park. Imagine theatre under the stars at the Torbolton Institute! Tell Hank what you can do for the Torbolton Institute’s Performing Arts connection.
NGOs an ideal use for the Torbolton Institute, dateline Sunday, October 28, 2012 … ‘Non governmental organizations (NGOs) are common in our region. Many have a geographically wide area of interest or are relativley geography independent. Many would find the Torbolton Institute offers a good site for their activities. With excellent telecommunications, The Torbolton Institute’s country location and diverse activities would provide all the servies and opportunities many NGOs seek. Tell Hank what you can do for Torbolton Institute’s NGOs opportunities today!
CSA Farmer Markets fit the Torbolton Institute well, indoors and out, dateline Friday, February 1, 2013 … The farming community around the Torbolton centre would find ready customers amongst the clientele of the centre. As well, if the Adaption Action Centre (see article above) gets underway at the Torbolton Institute soon, CSA symbiogenic farm production will jump quickly, and the value of the centre as a farmer’s market will be obvious. Our CSAs will become the new ‘food-store’, with clients working stints on the farm, harvesting the ‘weeds’. There is ample space outdoors for summer events. and much space indoors for winter events.
A Torbolton Institute Website torboltoninstitute.ca, dateline Friday, February 1, 2013 … As the Torbolton Institute aspires to become an integrated regional destination with its wide variety of interests and activities, it will need the boradest band of communications. This is exactly the need that the internet offers. So, expect the Torbolton Institute to have a powerful website. Information in and informations out will be ongoing. E-commerce, B2B, messaging, archiving, promoting, advertising, buying, selling, fund-raising and more, will transpire 24/7. The website will support the tenants and the administration of the centre, helps earns its keep, assure its facilities are fully occupied at all times, and ‘leave no stone unturned’.
Bringing iWorld to the Torbolton Institute, dateline Friday, February 1, 2013 … Many of the tenants and other users of the Torbolton Institute will be knowledge-driven activities. What better way than having a knowledge based organization in house. The Ottawa Public Library is investigating the possibilities that the Torbolton Institute’s built-in library facility will be adaptable to housing a state-of-the-art modern library. City Councillor Jan Harder, Chair of the Ottawa Public Library Board, has sent staff to investigate the site. We could soon hear the decision. We have our fingers crossed that the Centre will be found suitable and plans can be made to move ahead with installation. Meantime, we all need to work together to put together a viable plan for establishing the Torbolton Institute ASAP!
The Torbolton Institute Martial Arts, dateline Sunday, October 28, 2012 … As a popular form of exercise today, the martial arts may find a home at the Torbolton Institute. John Adams, a long time practioner living just up Woodkilton Road not far for the school, is not alone by any means in the region’s extensive martial arts community. There are many individuals and organizations. Some may find the centre convenient for their routine programs, but also will find it well situated for activities and events that draw participation from across the region. The Centre’s spacious Gym, changing facilities and classrooms offer varied venues. Its country air is healthful and its wide open outdoors promotes wellbeing. The Centre’s plan for having a ‘Y-Outpost’ Fitness Studio spanning fitness, health and wellbeing would be a natural fit with the martial arts.
Nurse Practioner Therapy clinics and more at the Torbolton Institute, dateline Sunday, October 28, 2012 … Many medical circumstances arise that do not need a doctor or a hospital, but can be readily met by nurse practioners operating their own clinics. For example, Liz Traynor’s Foot Clinic and her Smoking Cessation classes.There are a number of such activities around the region, where a nurse practioner works therapies for non-critical but needy ailments. The Torbolton Institute has just the rooms for these therapies, ongoing or periodic. As well, with a more local perspective in mind, there is a community of several thousand households that could use not only the aforementioned services but could also support a medical lab and a regular clinic. The tenants of the centre itself could also counts themselves among their clientele. The Torbolton Institute could then house a broader spectrum of the medical services than might seem obvious at first.
The Torbolton Institute and historical/museum activities potential, dateline Sunday, October 28, 2012 … Museum and museum support activities will be a good fit to the Torbolton Institute. Pinhey’s Point Foundation Chair Michele Leboldus notes that the March Historical Society (now congruent with the Pinhey’s Point facility), “… would be most interested in using a classroom for our storage and exhibit preparation tasks. As well, this would enable us to provide other services such as research and presentations. So, please add us to your list of interested parties.” Note also that the Torbolton Pioneer Homestead concept, including the Pioneer Log Cabin, has a dynamic museum feel to it. Clearly, the Torbolton Institute could well-serve the historical interests of the broader community.
The Torbolton Institute Mobility Park, dateline Sunday, October 28, 2012 … Today, there are many people in the region who are mobility challenged, for many individual reasons. Many of these folks could be more mobile if there was a teaching place for helping them learn ways and means while in this safe place. Judy Bedell’s personal dream is to create such a site for the region, which she calls a ‘Mobility Park’, to teach and practice folks in the best ways of being mobile given today’s realities of stairs, steps, ramps, doorways, city streets, traffice, winter’s snow and ice, and more. Technology exists to help, but it has to be well learned. More sophisticated technologies offering even more help are possible and could be developed with sufficient field data. The Torbolton Institute’s unique Mobility Park could help in at least three ways. It would help help people use today’s technology better. It could be a proving ground for tomorrow’s technology. And it could inspire new and better technologies in the future.
The Torbolton Institute’s possible Carleton University Connection, dateline Sunday, October 28, 2012 … Carleton’s ‘High School Outreach Program’ mentor’s highschoolers on university and college. Their Bridging Programs brings young adults back into the educational world. Their ‘Learning in Retirement’ program recharges older folks, keeping their wits sharp. The Torbolton Institute would be a good site for bringing the university back to the people who cannot travel to the campus for this interaction. In a way, the Torbolton Institute could be seen as a CU-Outpost. The same situation could be explioted by Ottawa University, Algonquin College and the Ottawa Carleton District School Board.
The Torbolton Institute’s Arts & Crafts connection, dateline Sunday, October 28, 2012 … The arts & crafts from around the region would find the Torbolton Institute a good site for display and sales. With a permanent place in hand, consignment sales, shows, demonstrations and more would be easily done. Teaching arts and crafts skills, giving workshops, offering facilities for DYI’s for a fee could make their pottery, turn wood, sculpt, and more, all in a profitable setting for our artisans.
A Torbolton Institute Flipped Classroom, dateline Sunday, October 28, 2012 … The Torbolton Institute is located in the centre of a population bubble of several thousand households and many bright youngsters, all within 10 minutes of the Centre. It is easy to visualize a Flipped Classroom-type function at the centre taking its students to academic heights not often attainable anywhere else. With nature at your doorstep, as well as a co-located iWorld at hand, students will have year-round indoor and outdoor extreme learning opportunities not available elsewhere in Eastern Ontario, Western Quebec or Northern New York, for that matter. The Torbolton Institute would be the ideal site for a Flipped Classroom or something very much like it. With the OCDSB keeping its hand in (and Algonquin College, Carleton University and Ottawa University, too), who knows what educational ecstasy would await our families!
The Torbolton Institute Field Bubble, dateline Sunday, October 28, 2012 … The Torbolton Institute has a soccer field (and baseball diamonds as well). Though soccer is popular with both girls and boys (and moms and dads as well), it is not possible outdoors in winter. So, how about a field bubble? Then there could be varied activities year round in the bubble. Sure, soccer would be played I am sure, but other events could be equally enjoyed under the bubble. Track and field, jamborees, volley ball, tennis, lawn bowling, and more. Besdides these various sports and recreation activities, bubbles are good sites for periodic events such as exhibitions, tradeshows, revivals, arts&crafts sales, bake sales, farmer’s markets, and more! Maybe you have an event in mind already. And I bet you have even better ideas, too.
The Torbolton Institute Pioneer Cabin concept, dateline Sunday, October 28, 2012 … Think museum here. A fully functional pioneer log cabin in the back corner of the site would teach its student guests the full experience of pioneer living. Its wood range, dug well and vegetable garden (old varieties of course) would immerse its modern day pioneers, such a scouts, guides and others, in the reality of everyday pioneer living. Building the cabin, its well, its fencing and its chattel in the first place will be a huge learning experience, hopefully with the help of our local hand crafters, historians, antiquarians and naturalists, and the use of local materials and horses, too.
The Torbolton Institute Tea Room, dateline Sunday, October 28, 2012 … With the Torbolton Institute bustling, there will be need for relaxation and refreshment from time to time. What better way than a tea room emphasizing local refreshment and munchies made from local produce, even some inhouse-grown from the building’s own southern conservatories. The Tea Room would be a thriving business, serving not only the others at the centre, but drawing people from across the region to its unique fare. Its teaching modern nutrition, and demonstrating recipes, would be instruct families on how to feed better and live healthier lives. It would be teaching from harvest to feasting, how to move food from field to fork.
The Torbolton Institute Community Pollinator Food Garden, dateline Sunday, October 28, 2012 … Everyone who watches the news knows that pollinator species are on the decline, seriously so. More than a third of our food crops (every third bite you eat) requires pollination. Many insects, such as bees, butterflies, wasps, moths, syrphids, as well as birds and bats are pollinators (there were over 800 species of pollinator bees, alone, in Canada!) Most are starving because of the way we mono-farm and manage our homestead yards (lawn-deserts). The Torbolton Institute will have a demonstration pollinator garden (with the help of the CANPOLIN Network, our regional gardening societies, and the sustainability coordinators of Ottawa University, and Carleton University) to show how we can each create pollination patches in our own yards and public greenspaces, intown and out. Classroom instruction and field experience will both be offered to clients. Notably, West Carleton already has a famous pollinator garden – namely, the ‘Allbirch Pollinator Garden’, the iconic pollinator garden of the new Pollinator Gardeners of Canada. Pollinator Gardening is the wave of the 21st century. even more, this garden should be fruit and vegetable based, meaning it grows food. The crops from this teaching garden can go to the needy.
The Torbolton Institute Nut Tree Grove, dateline Sunday, October 28, 2012 … With over 30 years of research and development in the region, the Eastern Chapter of the Ontario Nut Growers (ECSONG) has shown that many kinds of tree nuts can be produced here profitably, though mostly not the kinds you find in our stores. For example, there are hazelnuts, acorns, black walnuts, butternuts, american chestnut, horsechestnut, buckeye, hickories, ginkgo, and more. In fact, Ottawa’s urban forest already produces thousands of hectolitres fresh edible nuts annually! You might call it an ‘urban agroforest’. With ECSONG’s help, we could plant a demonstration nut grove at the Torbolton Institute and receive classroom and field instruction on growing our own at home or on the farm, intown or out. Likewise, enhancing our eco-farms to also grows nuts would improve regional nutrition significantly. Interested?