After 14 years as owner of Oziles Marina, Yves Grandmaitre has left. The Marina has been sold to Eric Theriault, owner of The Rockcliffe Boathouse.
Details of the sale are unknown but the Marina and the land around it had been for sale for several years.
Yves had quite the history at Petrie Island, having grown up there in the 1960's. His grandfather, Donat, operated a sand and gravel extraction business on Petrie Island and built two cottages there for his family. When the business closed in the early 1980's, Donat sold the island to the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton.
In 2005, Yves Grandmaitre returned to Petrie when he took over The Petrie Island Marina and Tackle Shop from the Fournier Brothers. Over his years as owner, he made many improvements to the area including a new store/bait shop and boat ramp for large boats.
With the purchase of the Marina by Eric Theriault, we should expect no changes to marina operations for the foreseeable future. We will miss Yves. He was a popular guy on the ice and as owner of the Marina was very generous and accommodating to the members of PIIFA. We thank you Yves.
The quick thaw and many rainstorms saw some of worst spring flooding in the area in more than 50 years. The affected area was much of eastern Ontario and western Quebec. It extended from the Great Lakes to Quebec City and the entire Ottawa River and The Rideau water system. Many areas saw water levels up to 4 meters higher than average spring levels. Many communities were flooded and some were actually under water.
Petrie Island was up to 90% under water and was inaccessible for a month. Many ice huts close to the water were flooded but everything else was saved thanks to the boys at Oziles.
See footage taken by a drone at the peak of the flooding. The boat storage area and ice hut storage area are seen near the end of the video. It shows how the boys from Oziles managed to save all of the boats by moving them to the highest portion of land. Not all at Petrie went unscathed as a dozen or so ice huts in the ice hut storage area were caught in the flood.
Al Macintyre took some captivating raw video of the flooded Petrie Island ice huts at the peak of the spring flooding. See Al's video on YouTube.
It took a while, but all the damaged ice huts have been repaired and ready for the 2018 season.
As Canada turns 150 years old, there will be celebrations and events of all kinds throughout the year from coast to coast.
In Ottawa, the Citizen's Bruce Deachman has put together a list of 150 local headliners, newsmakers and special people who make our city proud. In Bruce's words, "People's stories of life and death, hope and love, obsession and fear."
One person on Bruce's list was Allan Macintyre, the President of PIIFA. Big Al is number 35 in Bruce's Ottawa Citizen series called Capital Voices. This special series run in conjuction with Canada's 150th birthday runs in the Ottawa Citizen from February 2 until Canada Day.
Most of us missed it but a drone flew over our derby on February 18. The drone is owned by Shawn Ferrier and he sent us the raw footage. Our production department added some credits and some background music and this is it. Cheers to Shawn for providing the footage.
The weather was no less than perfect with bright sun and an afternoon temperature of 10c for the 2017 PIIFA Invitational Ice Fishing Derby at Petrie Island on Saturday, February 18.
PIIFA's first derby was held back in 2008 when there were 38 registered participants. PIIFA President Al Macintyre told us, "We started the derby back in 2008 as a way to bring fellow ice anglers together and to raise money for our local Childrens Hospital, CHEO: The Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario. It was just Ron and I who organized the first event, but it was hugely successful so we continued to tweak the format and expand it."
Obviously, the boys did something right as this year's derby saw more than 175 registered participants and almost $3,000.00 raised for CHEO.
Winners of the day included Mario Croft and Richard Viens, both hut owners and regular fishermen in Baitshop Bay at Petrie Island. Mario took top prize for the largest fish caught, a five pound, 11 ounce Northern Pike. He also took third prize for the smallest legal fish, a perch at just over 5 inches. Richard Viens took second prize with a Northern Pike weighing just under 5 pounds.
People who caught fish during the tournament had their names thrown in a hat for a chance to win one of the many gift cards donated by various local business. The largest prize was a week-end cottage rental won by Jackson Dickie.
Other winners during the day included Sylvain Michaud who won the 50/50 draw and Reg Avon for winning the Nautilus Protexion PFD ice fishing suit. Yves Grandmaitre from Oziles' won the trophy for best ice hut of 2017. The Oziles' hut is a unique two-part ice hut that bolts together to make one huge ice hut for large groups or as a base for large groups or events.
Congrats to this year's organizers Richard Beaudoin and Christine Tessier for their months of hard work at making the 2017 PIIFA Derby such a memorable event. Thanks to our many supporters, sponsors and volunteers who chipped in including Yves Grandmaitre and the guys from the Oziles Baitshop, Al Macintyre, Eli the Pike King, Sylvain Michaud, Anne Michaud, Mike, Dan, and Ron Zinn. Check out our complete list of sponsors from the 2017 Derby and support them!
Sarah Freemark from CTV Morning Live Ottawa joined us on the ice to help us promote our 2017 Derby. Sarah showed up at Big Al's hut at 5:00 AM and she was ready to go! The two did four live remote segments for the show from 6:00 to 10:00 AM. Check out one of the clips of Sarah and Big Al very early in the morning.