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Residents at Vanier senior's home calling on community to show Canadian pride

“We like to get the community involved with the spirit of Canada,” said Henry McCambridge, a resident at 280 Montfort St.

On a quiet street in Vanier, the residents of a senior’s home are looking to make some noise in their neighbourhood about Canada Day.

At 280 Montfort St., dozens of Canadian flags decorate the building’s balcony and grounds, with the residents planning a barbecue party for the special day and encouraging others to celebrate Canada.

“We like to get the community involved with the spirit of Canada,” said Henry McCambridge, a resident of the building and one of the organizers of the party. He said residents there have decorated the building each Canada Day for the past few years.

The goal, he said, is to remind the community to show their Canadian pride.

“We’re Vanier, and we’re also senior citizens, so we kinda know we have to show by example,” McCambridge said. “This is Canada, we’re proud of it.”

Their event will start around 11 a.m. on Canada Day and run into the early afternoon. McCambridge said they’ve received strong support from the rest of the community, with help from the Vanier Community Centre, the Pauline-Charron Centre and Hess’ Independent Grocer, which supplied T-bones for the barbecue.

“We’ll have volunteers come in and do the cooking… we have free music coming,” McCambridge said. “Everybody chips in and wants to bring Canada Day in with a big cheer.”

Souad Hajjar, a resident of the building who immigrated to Canada in 1986, said celebrating Canada is important to her because it offered her a safe refuge from the violence of her home country Lebanon.

“Canada is the best country,” she said. “In my country (it was) very bad when I come here... lots of people came to Canada (then).”

Al Madore added the building is very tight-knit, so it means a lot to residents to be able to get together and do something with the community.

McCambridge said he has a simple message for the rest of Ottawa.

“Get out and profess your patriotism and get involved in your community,” McCambridge said.

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