Sunday, May 7, 2017

Some of the earliest community groups on

Some of the earliest groups on

  • Ask the Doctors, which was a real cool site managed by Rosaleen Dickson who I met from the Freenet. Involved in the publishing industry, she co-authored a book on HTML back in the early 1990's when it was such a new thing.  She hosted pages on Canadian Books, and following the work she did with the doctors ran a "Ask Great Granny" site.
  • I believe Auto-Free Ottawa was the first community group I hosted, a group of people in the early 1990's envisioning an Ottawa that wasn't as dependent on the automobile.
  • Canadian Homeschool is the last of the original groups to be hosted on
  • Community Democratic Action
  • KC. Maclure Centre
  • MAI-not
  • Ottawa District Committee of Ontario Special Olympics
  • Peace and Environment Resource Centre -- still around, but has had their own domain name for quite some time.
  • Pednet was a mailing list hosted by Majordomo, and then moved to Mailman.
  • Visually Impaired was, I believe, information hosted by Charles Lapierre
  • Westend Family Cinema also obtained their own domain name quite some time ago.

As web access became easier for organizations it was far more common for groups to get their own domain names so that they could move their sites between hosts without anyone having to remember a new URL.  There are many redirects still in the config files for such groups that were previously hosted on

There were other groups over the years, but not all of them still exist such as:
  • Car Free Living
  • Communities Before Cars Coalition
  • Coop Area Network (Networking between Coop Voisins and the Conservation Coop)
  • Cycle Challenge / Commuter Challenge
  • Economic Good
  • Famous 5
  • FTAA Ottawa
  • FVC (Fair Vote Canada) Ottawa
  • Food Action Ottawa (FAO)
  • Global Education Network
  • Global Issues Forum
  • Green Party (Ottawa region, back when the party was smaller)
  • International Association for Near Death Studies Ottawa)
  • Maclure Center
  • National Capital Runners Association
  • OPIRG Forestry group
  • Ottawa LETS
  • Ottawa River Bioregion Group
  • Ottawa Transit Riders Association
  • Ottawa Vegetarian Society
  • The Doorstep Alliance

After doing a bit of spring cleaning of some sites where I can no longer reach the managers, and who haven't updated the sites in years, there were only 4 sites remaining: two from close personal friends, and two community groups.

For the sites that I couldn't reach the managers I had set them to redirect to the most recent archived version of their sites on   I made a mistake with the robots.txt file and they are temporarily unavailable, but I have sent a message to in the hopes they can fix my mistake and restore the archive.

If there are any groups I've missed, please let me know in the comments.  It has been a few years, and I've been looking at old Apache config files to be reminded of some of the organizations.  I've not listed all the individuals (volunteers as well as individual election candidate websites from back when I hosted candidates during elections).

There have been many mailing lists over the years, but since this isn't something I'm planning on closing I won't get all nostalgic about them.  I'm keeping the domain name and will be keeping the redirects active for any sites that have moved so bookmarks can be updated.

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