Who We Are
StopGap Ottawa History
StopGap Ottawa was started in the Winter of 2015. A small group of passionate volunteers formed the Ottawa chapter, building on the momentum of the StopGap Foundation’s growing national media coverage. The StopGap movement was spreading across the country, particularly in Toronto and throughout Ontario. We wanted to join in on this brilliant initiative.
Our first Community Ramp Build was held on September 19th, 2015 at Somerset Square. We were taking part in Tastes Of Wellington West. The Wellington West BIA sponsored us and we were supported with tools and extra volunteers from the Ottawa Tool Library. Those two initial collaborators would prove to be regular partners in our quest for improved accessibility. Through that event we built 8 ramps.
On June 13th, 2016 we held a StopGap Social night at Makerspace North in partnership with the Ottawa Tool Library and the Wellington West BIA. Kichesippi Beer Co sponsored the event. We had an amazing community turn out and built 10 ramps that night.
In 2018, a group of University of Ottawa med students approached us with an offer to help build ramps. As a result of their interest in helping, paired with a number of received ramp requests, we organized a summer Community Ramp Build. Makerspace North and the Ottawa Tool Library once again graciously gave their support by providing us with a venue, tools, and expertise. Many volunteers joined us and the students during our five build days to complete the ramps.
With this new found energy and volunteers, we quickly organized our fourth Community Ramp Build for November, 2018 with our established partners, The Ottawa Tool Library and Makerspace North, and the Wellington West BIA. It proved to be our most successful build to date. Local artist Arpi stencilled our logos onto the ramps. We built 20 ramps thanks to these two most recent builds.
The Ottawa Core Team
Chris Binkowski joined StopGap Ottawa in 2015. He has lived in Ottawa his entire life. He spends his Summers volunteering on the Accessibility Team at Ottawa Bluesfest and CityFolk. He is an artist under the name Bucko, painting on his iPhone and performing improvised electronic music. His hobbies including making dishes in his Instant Pot, trying restaurants and going to concerts. http://www.buckoart.com
Kenzie McCurdy is originally from Montreal. She graduated from McGill University with a Masters in Social Work in 2003 and moved to Ottawa in 2004 for work. She joined StopGap in 2016 and has been making ramps ever since. In her spare time she volunteers, writes poetry, travels, and goes to Sting concerts.
Christina Johnson joined StopGap in 2016. She is originally from Southern Ontario, and moved to Ottawa permanently after graduating from Carleton University in 1996. She currently works for the federal government and her hobbies include music, reading, and crafting.