By Sabine Couture
When we first purchased the property and contacted the city to see what we needed to do to get a building permit, we were told that we would need a location and building plan because the property was already properly zoned for the intended use. Imagine our surprise when we submitted our location and building plan and it was refused. It seemed that every time we contacted the city a new person was in charge, so answers were hard to come by. Finally the city just threw the book at us which resulted in a significant $ amount worth of surveys, studies and Engineering fees, enough to discourage any entrepreneur.
I guess it was because no one had ever done what we were planning to do. While it was understandable it was also really frustrating. Believe it or not we needed to do a fish study on a seasonal stream that runs through the property and dries up by the end of June and starts again in late fall.
It took an enormous amount of time, patience and navigating through red tape to get everything done. We ultimately had to make some compromises to enable the project to move forward and save cost because the studies and engineering fees ate up a big part of our budget. While navigating this red tape, Patrick undertook all of the landscaping with the company of Roxy. Perseverance finally paid off and we received the building permit at the end of 2012.
Throughout the planning phase and before we started construction in spring of 2013 we put out requests for quotes for the different trades people we needed. This turned out to be more frustrating than we thought. Some never answered; others acknowledged receipt of the request but never followed up. That is when Patrick decided to ask around in the Dunrobin community and we sourced as much as we could locally. That was the best decision we made. We couldn’t believe the great service we were provided by the local businesses and really appreciated the honesty and service rendered by all.
Luck, family (Dad and sons) and new found friends in the community were able to help Patrick with most of the construction. His Dad and our youngest son worked alongside Patrick on the building while our oldest son worked on the technical paperwork and computer modelling required by the Ministry of the Environment to get the permit to operate a crematory. That alone saved us a lot of time and money.
The whole process taught us a few lessons: don’t believe everything you are told when making first contact with the City of Ottawa, use local businesses as much as possible and if capable, do as much as you can yourself.
We incorporated what we learned in the way we operate Resting Paws Cemetery & Crematorium Inc. Customer service is at the forefront of our business. It only takes a few minutes to acknowledge an e-mail or return a call, which we do in a timely fashion. We make sure our clients feel valued and looked after. When pet owners entrust their companion to us they deserve to have their wishes heard and full-filled. Of course there are limits of what we can do, but we do our best to serve our clients well.
It is also very important to keep the lines of communication open with our clients and suppliers. It makes our work a lot easier and ensures good customer service.
Our Vision and Mission Statement say it all:
Resting Paws aims to become the Gold Standard in Pet Aftercare.
Resting Paws believes that all pet owners deserve a personalised, respectful and dignified option for commemorating a faithful companion.