Tag Archives: Byward Market

Weekend RoundUp: May the Long Weekend Indulge You

otown-bombers-chinadoll-installationAlthough further afield Chinatown Remix has got to be our pick of the weekend. On Saturday afternoon this neighbourhood based art/street party is free, adult and family oriented and is simply a great free local-scale event whereby artists’ works are displayed on the street and in the many participating restaurants for meanderers to cruise by and enjoy. Activities for kid’s dot the street and there is a beer garden all day in the parking lot of the Shanghai with an after-party too! It is all happening on Somerset West in Chinatown.  Fun starts Saturday at 1PM and party goes til 11 – Go, meet, enjoy.

Thursday night marks the launch of the weekly night market in the Byward Market! Throughout the summer months every Thursday the Byward Market produce and stall vendors will be open and bustling til 8PM. See you on the market neighbour!

Friday night Cafe Nostalgica is the place to be with the ever groovy and ever popular return of TimeKode. Love these sessions.

Saturday afternoon when the puck drops at 1PM the seats are comfortable and the beer is cold at The Lunenburg. Go Habs Go.

Also on Saturday it’s Tac-o-the -Town Ottawa’s first ever TacoFest at the Ottawa Convention Centre. 15$ entry +2-4$ per taco

Like retro-vintage furniture? I do so I’ll see you at St Bridgid’s where they are hosting a 2-day Retro Vintage and Antiques Market on Saturday and Sunday.

Sunday is the first Alcatel-Lucent Sunday Bike Day with over 50km of parkway closed to cars from 9am-1PM. I’d like to see it be an all-day event but still glad to see it back. On yer bikes mateys!

Sunday go super local to Fleur Tea House on Somerset East where they host a weekly dance classes. Sunday is  Bachata Dance Class from 6:30-8:30

Eye Spy: Rideau St CDP Open House TODAY – Make your voice heard

Rideau St CollageToday from 3-8PM at the Rideau St Library (377 Rideau) is the Open House for the Rideau St re-design.  Cllr Fleury’s office explains this is a pop-in Open House to inform the public of  aspects of the 2005 Community Design Plan (CDP) that are to be reviewed and revised in the next edition “to provide clear direction for future development.” Read more on the reasons for reopening the CDP and the items  affected (e.g., Building height, traffic management, etc) here.

pedestrianproject reading paperToday is the first opportunity for the community to get their vision across for this stretch of Rideau St that runs from King Edward to the Cummings Bridge.  The whole Ward is affected by this section of Rideau. A “destination” visionary design rather than one that simply supports short-term developer gains could bolster the desirability of the whole area from Montreal Road by creating a shopping corridor to the Market generating a diversity of clients allowing businesses to flourish.

The 2005 CDP limited height to 6 stories so an important aspect to review will be if this height limitation is preserved as sunlight is an important aspect to any shopping district- witness the demise of  Spark Street’s dark corridor or the lack of patios and foot fall on Queen & Slater at the weekend.

Equally it would be nice to see if there is any room for mini-parks to encourage residents to gather or street furniture to take a break.

Jermyn st street gardenRideau st  affects the entire Ward – if it becomes a dark speedy wind tunnel of high-rises it will forever cut off Vanier from Lowertown/SandyHill and the Byward Market bringing down the tone of each and every neighbourhood in Ward 12. If however Rideau is designed with a strong vision in mind- and I for one see it as a strolling, shopping, low-rise patio-friendly destination that draws visitors and residents alike – it has the location and bordering neighbourhoods to become a true destination with shopping, a cinema, great history and restaurants all a joined up in a walkable distance. Upper Rideau is without a doubt the vital link between Ward 12 neighbours from Vanier through the shops on Cumberland, Dalhousie and the Market.

Hopefully  today’s open house is a step in ensuring a traditional low-rise strolling- and-shopping,district that reinforces our Ward as a desirable, liveable destination that all of Ottawa deserves.


Eye Spy: A Strong Vocal Community

Last night Cllr Mathieu Fleury invited residents from Lowertown & Sandy Hill to come together and discuss outstanding concerns surrounding the opening of Chapel St and Beausoleil to cars.  Please see past articles for details.

The evening was animated, at times challenging and very vocal. Almost every attendee contributed forceful yet positive ideas on how to bring proactive changes that benefit the whole community rather than a segment.

RightBike3The take-away from this meeting is that the communities have asked for the City & Councillor to make the intersection bike-only on to Chapel within the next two weeks to discourage drivers from becoming familiar with a new route that would be closed off (City’s timeline) in the spring. With the advent of RightBike kiosks coming to Sandy Hill what better time than now to take action to promote and provide cycling infrastructure.

Alongside this action many additional ideas were put forth including:

  • the beautification of the bike intersection with planters
  • using the intersection to create an urban cycle track – for all level of cyclists old & v young – for safe bike passage to Market
  • the installation of further traffic calming measure to increase school crossing safety – signs, speed bumps, reduced speed limits

Improvements don’t happen in a vacuum and local residents showcased powerful voices, visionary ideas with a readiness to listen and collaborate to make the adjoining areas the most brilliant urban Ottawa neighbourhoods!

Theatre Review: Grain of Salt

This review was also published on Apt613.ca
It isn’t often a play staged in a bar takes on the role of Christianity in modern culture. Thus, on the coldest of nights, we settled eagerly into The Mercury Lounge with a glass of wine and the day’s headlines of the Rev. Joe Leclair affair uppermost in our minds to see how the production would address the controversial role of organised religion.

9thH_GrainofSalt-18x24The narrative loosely follows Megan (Megan Piercey Monafu) a young Christian conflicted by her faith. Megan’s concern about the exclusion of homosexuals is further challenged by the punitive behaviour of the Church when she expresses her doubts via social media. Megan tries to establish if an apology from the Church is possible or even meaningful. Alongside this very loose storyline “snapshot” experiences with the church are interjected throughout. Dialogue for Grain of Salt is based on interviews with individuals on the role of Christianity in their lives that were woven together and re-contextualised to create the storyline on stage. This may explain the chaotic nature of many scenes but does nothing to change that this detracts from the possibility of any coherent central theme.

With its hectic staging Grain of Salt fails to tackle the rich topic of theology in a meaningful or cohesive fashion. The production never fully or significantly engages with controversies restrained by a sophomoric approach to Christianity as Good vs Evil. The contradiction between the church’s message and its action, tackling the worst offences or even exploring the grey area of declining church membership in the face of the growth markets in “alternative spirituality” are never embarked upon – it’s a missed opportunity. When controversial topics such as child-abuse, wars and abortion arise they are covered in a checklist-like manner to make Megan’s personal struggle pale in comparison.

Several scenes stand-out as successful – the metro ride enactment , the coffee shop and the game-show “You’re not getting in” demonstrate sparks of unique talent as well as highlight the need for this production to sharply edit itself down to the scenes that work. The play would be stronger as a streamlined two-hander with Megan and her friend(Mitchel Rose)  taking on the multiple “snapshots” roles; especially with the long pauses, communion scenes, prayer circles and songs edited out.

A great topic, some entertaining moments but a production that despite efforts left us, much like the weather outside, cold.

Jan 22 The Mercury Lounge 56 Byward Market 7:30PM
Jan 23rd Pressed 750 Gladstone 8PM
Jan 24 & 25 Avalon Studios, 738a Bank St 8PM
Jan 26 Avalon Studios, 738a Bank St 6PM
Jan 28, 29, 30, 31 Lunenburg Pub, 14 Waller St 7:30PM
Tickets 16$+fee online 20$ at door

Weekend Round Up: Road Trips, Retail Therapy and the Return of Creative Sundays

Welcome (almost) to the long weekend! Start off tonight by heading down to Ottawa’s only Jail bar Mugshots 75 Nicholas. It might be a bit cold on the terrace but bundle up cuz it’s fun out there. Tonight presented by CKCU Mugshots has bands Doomsquad, Blue Angel & HSY starting at 9pm 7$. It’s a lock-in!

With the extra day off we thought we’d list some fun and games slightly further afield as well as in our hood – after all time is on your side if your not cooking up a feast to feed the masses!

Fall GatineauSaturday and Sunday Mont Ste-Marie will be holding their annual Festival of Colours / Festival des Couleurs. Take a ride in the chairlift to experience the full grandeur of the fall foliage or get even higher with the helicopter rides on offer. Relax at the BBQ where there’ll be vintage cars, a euro (trampoline) bungee, musicians and family activities throughout both days. Mountain biking and walking tours are also on the program. Adults 11$ kids between 7-17 $7 and under 7 free.

The NCC’s Fall Rhapsody continues for it’s final weekend in Gatineau Park.  Stroll or bike  the over 90km of trails then take a break over at the MacKenzie King Estate Tea Rooms.  The Visitor Centre will be hosting a free 2hour tour and educational program “Follies of the Fall Forest” on Monday at 12:30 (French) and 2:30 (English).

butterfly3Want some wildlife in town?  Flutter over to Carleton University for the concluding weekend of the Annual Butterfly Show.  The free exhibit features more than 1000 butterflies representing 41 species worldwide and is open daily from 9:00-4:00 in the Nesbitt Building. 

David Heath - Untitled

David Heath – Untitled

Get your art fix at the OAG 2 Daly Ave. On-going shows include the intriguing photography of David Heath A Heritage of Meaning, An Introspective and Sook-Yin Lee’s very personal exhibit We are Light Rays.  Lee and her sister explore the immediacy of the present moment through photography following her siblings cancer diagnosis in 2011. The series spans 2 years and is presented atop light boxes creating ephemeral even ghostly images.

Creative SundaysOn Sunday the OAG welcomes back Creative Sundays from 1:00-3:00. An opportunity to visit the gallery with family and friends and even take home your own masterpiece.

Thanksgiving Monday Sandy Hill bucks the trend of store closures with the Metro on Rideau operating 24hrs, Loblaws open from 10:00-6pm and the Rideau Centre meeting your need for retail therapy and as an escape from family “fun”.

As ever our neighbours in the Byward Market will have most shops and restaurants open for business.

Eye Spy: The Rideau Centre Relaunch

Today marked the ground breaking ceremony for the $360 million Rideau Centre refit.

Rideau Col By

In conjunction with a sleek and bright re-design the Rideau Centre is welcoming 30 new shops including Simons, Victoria’s Secret, J Crew & Nordstrom.

Rideau dinningThe dinning hall is being moved to a location with greater natural light and features a contemporary layout with bar seating and enclave-positioned higher-end food offerings making it a destination experience where one can refuel and relax.

Rideau Nicholas

In keeping with the visionary progress made by the Downtown Rideau and the Byward Market BIAs in building local beautification and desirability – think Nuit Blanche, Public Seating – the Olgilvy building facade destroyed last year will be recreated and incorporated in to the modern design of the Centre. 

Further the Centre will have great transit links with LRT stops and buses bringing it in-line with successful urban retail development across the US and Europe.

Rideau Expansion---Interior-1-(1)This ambitious redevelopment and expansion project is wonderful news for the surrounding neighbourhoods who use it as their local shop.  

One small request would be that the Rideau Centre please encourage the City of Ottawa to install bike lanes and beautify pedestrian access to give this project a real boutique edge in the urban & historical heart of Ottawa.  Retail profits stand to increase – The NYC Dept of Transportation 2012 Study found that in Manhattan businesses saw an improvement in retail sales of up to 49 percent if they were near protected bicycle lanes.