Ottawa resident turns 108 two days after Canada's birthday

As Canada gets ready to celebrate 155 years, an Ottawa resident is reflecting on most of that, as she gets ready to celebrate her 108th birthday.

The year was 1914. Ottawa was small, with a population of around 100,000 people, and Canada was young—not quite 50—when Dorothy Tennant was a born in Goulbourn, near Richmond.

“A young life on the farm,” she told CTV News Ottawa.

Two world wars, two pandemics; she’s seen a lot during her 108 years, including watching Ottawa get, “Bigger, very big,” she said.

Only a fine few make it to 108, so what’s her secret?

“I’ve been asked that question a lot. I have no idea,” she said. “Someone said it was the cheese curds I used to eat; my husband was a cheese maker, so I ate lots of cheese.”

Dorothy’s birthday is July 3; friends and family at Robertson House, where she lives, are planning a celebration.

“She’s really lovely, she’s very personable; lots of energy, just a very kind woman,” says Janelle Sullivan Delorme, Robertson House’s activities assistant, “Pretty humbling. At 108, it’s a long time to be around for, it’s hard to imagine. Today, when I learned that her son was 82, that took me a second to process.”

Her son is planning to visit from New Brunswick to celebrate. The special trip will include taking Dorothy to the slot machines at the casino, where she’ll try her luck, “Putting in a quarter, and getting a dollar out of it, maybe,” she says while laughing.