Happy Anniversary!


One of the best things about working at Barrhaven Optometric Centre is the people we work alongside everyday.  Simply put, we are a family.  January marks a special milestone at BOC.  Our incredible optician, Heather Dignard, is celebrating her 10-year anniversary at our practice.  Heather has seen the clinic grow from a 4-doctor, 12-staff office to the 9-doctor, 27-staff member team we are today.  All of us who work with Heather rely on her extensive knowledge to fit the best eyewear for our patient’s needs.  Heather is supremely diligent, honest, and takes great pride in her role at BOC.  We congratulate her, we thank her, and we wish her continued success in the future.

To commemorate this occasion, I asked her a few questions about her time at BOC:

My first day at BOC?  Those who know me know that I have one of those memories that seems to make it difficult to remember what I had for dinner last night!   

I do remember Gord calling me out of the blue to see if I would be interested in coming to talk to him. We had just moved to Barrhaven, and I guess my brother-in-law sent word that I would be looking for a job closer to home.  I came in to meet with him, which was a very informal, but comfortable conversation over coffee in the staff room downstairs on Greenbank!  I went home thinking,  I hope this works out, because everything about the office, the staff, and the 'boss', just seemed right!  I had been home for all of 2 minutes and Gord called me back to offer me the job - which I of course happily accepted!

I'm pretty sure I spent most of my first day working with Laurel, and meeting all of the approximately 12 other staff members at that time!  Hard to believe how much we have grown!

There have been so many happy/funny/memorable moments with my BOC family!  From Lucie's fun Christmas party games, Scott playing the 'vacuum-bagpipe', bagging frames for Lora Lee's mission trip, 'moving day', Sens games, and of course our trips to various DEN/Eye Recommends events, like the beautiful Deerhust Resort!

One 'memorable' moment was about a week after I started.  My new boss - Lucie, sat down and asked me to adjust her frame for her.  Which I accidentally broke during the adjustment!  Ugh!!!!  Of course Lucie was very understanding and sweet about it.  (And, little did I know then just how extensive her eyewear collection was that she had several back-ups!)  But, mortifying in the moment for me to say the least!

My favourite part of being part of the BOC team is simply that it does feel like spending time with family each and every day.  During that very first meeting with Gord, he was very adamant that part of the core values that he and Lucie believed in at the time, was that Family always comes first.  I feel that same idea has continued on with our new partners & management team.  My family life includes a child with special needs, a child who is extremely busy in hockey, and as of late, a husband who is now a year into trying to recover from a severe concussion.  My BOC family has always had my back and have been nothing but supportive and accommodating for me.  For this I am extremely grateful and truly do consider them part of my fam!  


As an optician, I could do my 'job' anywhere.  But it would never be the same as it is here.  Here, I get to do a job I love to do, with great friends, and we do tend to have great patients as well.

I am very thankful to have called BOC my home for the last decade!

(And very grateful to Gord, for giving a very pregnant optician a chance way back then!)


Many Thanks!

Happy Anniversary!

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September marks a special milestone at BOC.  We have two staff members who are celebrating their 15th year in the practice.  As a doctor and co-owner of the clinic, I cannot say enough good things about these ladies.  They work quietly behind the scenes to make our days run smoothly and I am proud to have them as part of my work family.

To commemorate this occasion, I asked them a few questions about their time at BOC:

Leigh Payeur - Leigh started at our office September 3rd, 2002.  She has worked in various departments in the office – administration, pre-testing patients, operating visual fields, and fitting and dispensing eyewear and contact lenses.  Today, Leigh is our optical frame buyer and lab assistant.  With her unique style and eye for fashion, Leigh hand-picks our beautiful, high-quality frames and sunglasses for our optical.  She is also responsible for managing inventory and works closely with her colleagues to ensure our patients receive fantastic products and warranties for any necessary repairs.  Congratulations Leigh!

Leigh, tell me about your 1st day at BOC:

Wow, my first day at BOC?? That was 15 years ago and I'm an old lady now!! Like any first day, I'm sure I was a little intimidated, though the staff, office and number of partners was much smaller than it is now. I was really happy to be here because it meant working close to home and my then LITTLE girls; Maddison (3 ½ years) and Zoe (1 year)!  Monique was the one who primarily trained me on BOC procedures and I remember her being very patient. I was eager to show everyone the skills and knowledge I brought with me from my previous jobs in the industry. 

What is one of your fondest memories of your years at BOC?

I've had soooo many fond and fun memories over the past 15 years; it’s hard to pick one.  Many of them come from our off-site staff events.  Definitely one to remember (that still comes up today) is the whole conversation during a dinner with Dr. McIntosh and other staff members where he very seriously explained the origins of the word 'Shoebootie'.  Still makes me laugh years later!

Another memory of note has to be my buying trip to Montreal with Laurel to purchase stock for the new office.  It symbolized my official status as a BOC frame buyer and not just something I did when time permitted between patients. It is now part of my job and title, and an exciting one at that!

What is your favourite thing about being part of the BOC team?

I don't even have to think about what my favorite thing is about being part of the BOC team.  After all these years, I love the sense of comfort and familiarity from all the people around me.  This includes patients who've been coming to our office for years (many even before my time!) and remember me and ask to see me, the sales reps with whom I've built rapport and friendship, and above all, the colleagues that I love to kid around with and can totally be myself with - day in and day out.  You can't put a price on that! ♡


Lorri Valiquette – Lorri joined our clinic September 16th, 2002.  Today, she is a vital part of our reception team at BOC.  You will see her familiar and friendly face as you walk through the door! As Lorri’s colleagues will tell you – Lorri is reliable, hard-working and a steadfast friend.  She answers phones, books appointments, processes payments, and efficiently checks-in and checks-out patients.  Although all these tasks keep her busy, Lorri is never too busy to share a laugh with her co-workers.  Congratulations Lorri!

Lorri, tell me about your 1st day at BOC:

I really don't remember details - just being nervous and learning lots from my co-workers Monique and Lynn.


What is your fondest or funniest memory from your time at BOC?


My funniest memory was the day a lady walked into the office and she said, "Hi, how are you?"  I said, “I’m good thanks, how are you?” Oddly, she didn't end up answering me.  She then went over to sit in the waiting room chairs in front of my desk and said, "How was your day?" I replied, “It’s been good, how was yours?” Meanwhile, my colleague Brenda beside me is busting up laughing.  I look at her confused.  Brenda says, "Lorri, I think she is talking to her kid, not you!"  However, I didn't see her kid with her (LOL!) but the lady looked like she was looking right at me when she was talking to her child.  We still laugh about this a lot!


What is your favourite thing about being part of the team at BOC?


It’s the friendships I have acquired from working here.  I met my best friend Monique here and I am good friends with many others on staff.  The easy times talking with co-workers makes it very fun and pleasant and we share some good laughs together along the way!


On behalf of the owners of BOC, Scott, Trevor and I would like to thank Leigh & Lorri for their years of service to the patients of our community and for the friendships we have developed over the last fifteen years.  We look forward to continued success with you as part of our amazing team!


Lora Lee

Summertime always brings to mind long days of fun in the sun...

Summertime always brings to mind long days of fun in the sun.  Whether it’s time on the water at the cottage or kids playing at the park, without realizing it, the summer is also a time where we are exposing our eyes to danger every day, simply by going outdoors.


While most Canadians recognize the importance of sunscreen to prevent sunburns and skin cancer, many are unaware of the serious eye damage that can be caused by UV rays.  Overexposure to UV light has been linked to the development of cataracts (cloudiness of the lens), macular degeneration (scarring of the central retinae), eyelid skin cancer, corneal burns (photokeratitis), and tissue growths on the surface of the eye (pingueculae/pterygia).


Sunlight is made up of three types of UV rays:  UVC rays are absorbed by the ozone layer and therefore, not vision-threatening; UVA & UVB rays, on the other hand, can have adverse short- and long-term effects on the eyes.  If your eyes are exposed to excessive amounts of UV radiation over a short amount of time (ie. not wearing sunglasses while boating, welding without eye protection), you may experience photokeratitis:  an acute sunburn of the eyes.  This condition can be painful and cause symptoms such as red eyes, a sandy, gritty feeling in the eyes, extreme light sensitivity and tearing.


Research tells us that longterm exposure to UV light has a cumulative, damaging effect on our eyes and can be linked to irreversible vision loss.  Harmful UV rays increase the likelihood of developing cataracts (a clouding of the natural lens of the eye) and macular degeneration (a debilitating blinding eye disease).  There is also an increased risk of skin cancer.  The Skin Cancer Foundation states that basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma on the eyelid accounts for up to 10% of all skin cancers.  Most periocular skin cancer occurs on the lower eyelid, which receives the most sun exposure.


To adequately protect your eyes and the sensitive skin around them, follow these simple strategies:

·         Wear sunglasses that block 100% of both UVA/UVB rays, that are close-fitting with a wrap-around style frame to help keep light out.

·         Avoid sources of UV radiation:  Don’t stare directly into the sun and be aware of amplified UV reflections from water, sand, snow and pavement.  If your occupation has UV hazards (ie. welder, outdoor worker), talk to your Optometrist about potential risks and how to avoid exposure.

·         Stay informed: Get regular eye examinations to monitor eye health, maintain good vision and keep up-to-date with the latest in UV protection.  Your Optometrist can help fit you in a perfect pair of sunglasses that fits your specific lifestyle.

·         Children are at high risk:  It is estimated that 50-80% of lifetime exposure to UV light happens under the age of 18.  This is because youth spend more time outdoors, have larger pupils, clearer lenses, and few wear sun protection.

·         Recognize the symptoms.  If you are experiencing red eyes or pain after exposure to UV light, see your Doctor of Optometry right away.


10 common MYTHS associated with sunglasses:

1.      Sunglasses are just for looks.  Sure, who doesn’t want to look trendy in a pair of sunnies? The most important factor, however, is buying sunglasses that adequately protect your eyes from sun damage.

2.      You only need to wear sunglasses on sunny days.  More than 90% of UV rays penetrate through clouds.  Even in overcast weather, the eyes are still exposed to UV radiation.  Reflections off surfaces such as water, snow, sand, pavement and glass amplify the effect of UV rays.

3.      Sunglasses are only for grown-ups.  A significant portion of UV damage happens to our eyes before the age of 18.  Teach your children from a young age to wear sunglasses and hats outdoors.

4.      All sunglasses offer 100% UV protection.  Check the label on sunglasses before you purchase.  Not all sunglasses offer full protection against UVA and UVB rays.  Many inexpensive sunglasses have insufficient protection, can scratch easily, and may have imperfections in the lens that cause distortion.

5.      Darker tints mean better protection.  Darker lenses do not always mean better UV protection; in fact, darker tints without UV protection can actually harm your eyes because darker lenses dilate your pupils and allow more light to enter your eyes.  Speak with your Optometrist to pick the best tint for your needs.

6.      “High-end” sunglasses are not worth the money.  A high quality pair of sunglasses goes through rigorous testing and is often accompanied by a warranty.

7.      The size and style of the lens doesn’t matter.  Smaller lenses provide less UV protection than larger lenses for both the eyes and the delicate skin around the eyes.  The best type of lens wraps around the eyes to protect from the side, as well as the front of the eyes.

8.      Labels on sunglasses are always accurate.  Sometimes sunglasses are mislabeled or not labeled at all.  Always purchase from a reputable manufacturer to ensure you are receiving a quality product.

9.      Our eyes are the most exposed to UV radiation between 10 am and 2pm.  Unlike our skin, our eyes are most exposed to UV radiation in the early morning and late afternoon.

10.  In Canada, UV exposure is highest in the summer.  In fact, regardless of the season, total eye exposure is the same throughout the year.  Sunglasses should be worn daily by both kids and adults.


Barrhaven Optometric Centre can make specific recommendations to ensure your eyes are well-protected from UV radiation’s harmful effects. 

Book a comprehensive eye examination today!

Aging and Vision Changes

 Dr. Patrick Monaghan OD

Dr. Patrick Monaghan OD

On Wednesday May 2nd our Dr. Patrick Monaghan,  had the opportunity to speak to a group of seniors at Good Shepherd Church about vision care and how they can help to take care of their eyes and maintain their vision.

By the age of 65, 1 in 3 seniors will have some vision loss from eye disease, which can increase the risk of things such as falls, social dependence, medication errors, and even basic activities of daily living. But only 43% of Ontario seniors are getting regular eye exams. At 65, annual eye exams are covered by your health card, and can be very important in detecting eye disease – most of which is treatable if caught early!

The 3 most common eye diseases are Macular Degeneration, Glaucoma, and Cataracts.

Macular Degeneration (AMD) affects the central portion of your vision, and can come in 2 forms: dry or wet. The early symptoms can include blurred vision, distortion, and even some difficulty recognizing faces. There are some risk factors that you can control to help lower your chance of getting AMD: quitting smoking, protecting your eyes from harmful UV with a good pair of sunglasses, and eating a healthy diet rich in antioxidants. Your doctor may recommend certain vitamins as well depending on your risk.

Glaucoma is the disease that affects peripheral vision, but is tricky because it will not have any symptoms. It’s very simple to identify risk factors in a routine eye exam and your doctor will help determine which tests could be useful to diagnose the disease and track possible progression. When caught early, glaucoma can be very easy to manage, usually with a daily eye drop to control the pressure.

Finally, Dr. Monaghan spoke about cataracts – the most common eye disease of them all. Everyone will get cataracts, but certain factors like family history, medications and your general health may affect how early they show up or how quickly they progress. Cataracts can cause a general decrease in your overall vision, increased glare, and may generally make your vision just seem a little less bright or vivid. Luckily, cataracts are fixed with a very simple surgery.

Diseases affecting your eyes should be detected as soon as possible, and you shouldn’t wait until you have a problem to see your eye doctor. A routine eye exam once a year can make all the difference.

Weekend Warrior or Hardcore Athlete

Imagine this; close your eyes. What do you see?  Exactly!  What if something happened to your vision while enjoying your favorite sport or hobby?  How would that change your life?

Besides looking cool in your shades, there is an enormous amount of research and development for your safety and protection.  

Barrhaven Optometric Centre has your sunglass needs covered with styles for everyone from the dedicated athlete to youngsters just starting out.  Brands you will find in our office include Adidas, Oakley, Maui Jim, and Ray Ban as well as select designers such as Fendi, Gucci, Marc Jacobs and Prada to name just a few.  We also specialize in custom Rx Swim goggles, dive masks and shooting glasses.

Whether you are battling the elements,  recording your best score or improving a previous time, your vision is the most important part of the game!  This is  often overlooked with issues such as glare, debris, misjudgment of distance due to depth perception issues, etc. all impacting your performance. 

This week we to our  focus on the award winning Adidas Evil Eye Pro. This stunning pair of sleek protective eyewear comes in three designs; the Evo, available in two sizes, the Halfrim, available in three sizes and Evil Eye Original available in two sizes. There many lens choices for your new frame starting with polarized LST (light stabilizing technology) to a lens with a brilliant mirror. Bling bling!  The entire Adidas lens line up is high impact resistant with 100% UV and bluelight filter.

Evil Eye sunglasses offer many different options for your Rx needs.  For all the contact lens wearers out there, here is the perfect set up - a frame that comes with inter-changeable lenses as well as an Rx insert that snaps into the frame!  You only need one frame that can be worn with or without contacts!

Comfort is key while enjoying your favorite pastime and Adidas has got you covered.  Evil Eye has adjustable nose pads, and a patented ratcheting temple to give anyone the perfect fit all day long. Lenses are anti fog, and a detachable sweat bar will keep your vision clear no matter how intense the activity!

The warm weather is finally here so get out and conquer your next adventure wearing the proper eyewear protection!

Spring into Fashion Eyewear!

Looking for a new pair of eyeglasses this year? Or just want to update your sunglasses to something trendier? You are in luck!  Eyewear continues to be one of the hottest fashion accessories for 2016.  Eyeglasses are popping up everywhere nowadays and have become accepted more widely than ever before. Models are strutting catwalks in non-prescription frames, celebrities adorn their faces with the latest sunglass designs and anyone who actually needs their glasses to see should embrace the new amount of variety in their choices. Gone are the days of having only a few options which did little to compliment your style, now each pair can completely transform the person who wears them. Here are some of the most current styles for 2016:


We have spent the last few years reaching back to the 1950s with the Rayban Wayfarer’s surge in popularity. But it’s time to move on to the hippie days of the 1960s and 1970s. The most coveted shape of this year is round. Think John Lennon, Twiggy and Jackie Kennedy for inspiration:

This trend is right on point with the newest fashions as well so break out the bellbottom jeans to match these Michael Kors Kendall II shades:

Guys and girls can try out the new updated Clubmaster sunglass from Rayban.  Modernize this shape with a fun colored mirror coating.

This shape translates well for prescription glasses as well. Clear lenses look great in a round frame. Women and men choose from the same collections in this androgynous style. Check out this Tom Ford model for the epitome of Geek Chic:


This ladies silhouette is rampant on the runway this year. A cat-eye shape has a sweeping shape on the outer corners. The amount of angle can vary offering something for everyone. Any amount of upward direction near your cheekbones is always flattering. If the dramatic shape is too intimidating to wear everyday then try it in a sunglass. It’s a lot easier to wear a bold sunglass!

How about this brand new model from the Fendi Runway:

Or this model from their eyeglass collection.  The colour makes the vintage shape more fresh and modern!

Visit our office to find your new style for spring and to try these featured models and more!


WestGroupe’s diverse divisions include Western, Wescan and WestGroupe USA. Western’s brand portfolio includes fashion value brands such as Superflex, Bertelli and Izumi, as well as well-known designer brands including Spy, Perry Ellis and Elizabeth Arden, amongst others. The Wescan division offers an international premium brand assortment including KLiiK denmark, FYSH UK and EVATIK and caters to a more discerning eyewear customer.

Kate Spade

  kate spade was founded in 1993 with six simple handbags that shook up what had been a quiet accessories category. Fifteen years and a handbag revolution later, wit and playful sophistication are hallmarks of everything "kate spade", a world that now includes bags for day and night, totes and luggage, shoes, clothing, stationery, baby items, eyewear, and a home collection made up of chic pieces for the table and unique gifts. A strong sense of personal style and a passion for color set the tone for each kate spade collection. kate spade continues to find inspiration in the everyday and the unpredictably elegant, bringing a graceful, exuberant approach to style and living. The eyewear collection is designed with the classic, elegant, and feminine styling that is so unique to kate spade.

kate spade was founded in 1993 with six simple handbags that shook up what had been a quiet accessories category. Fifteen years and a handbag revolution later, wit and playful sophistication are hallmarks of everything "kate spade", a world that now includes bags for day and night, totes and luggage, shoes, clothing, stationery, baby items, eyewear, and a home collection made up of chic pieces for the table and unique gifts. A strong sense of personal style and a passion for color set the tone for each kate spade collection. kate spade continues to find inspiration in the everyday and the unpredictably elegant, bringing a graceful, exuberant approach to style and living. The eyewear collection is designed with the classic, elegant, and feminine styling that is so unique to kate spade.