Tag Archives: Ottawa

Go Gold this Sunday

We’ve written several times about Overbrook neighbour Phoebe Rose Doull Hoffman and her childhood cancer  challenges.GoGold

Unfortunately, she and her family will not be able to attend this year’s awareness raising event in Ottawa due to Phoebe’s relapse treatment in Denver, Co. However we urge the neighbourhood and beyond to come out in droves to Parliament Hill this Sunday at 5:45PM for the Childhood Cancer Awareness rally for a wonderful, fun and important evening. There will be music, puppets, speakers, face-painting, bubbles and more.

Serious though this topic is GO GOLD is a heart-warming gathering and  fun event that needs your presence to make it’s message heard. -So please come alone, with friends, with kids, for a short visit or stay the duration but please come out and see the Peace Tower GO GOLD in support of all those and their families afflicted by Childhood Cancer

Weekend Round Up: Jazz, Germans & Auntie Loo’s Love

Warm up this weekend to the soulful sounds of the Ottawa Winter Jazzfest! From Friday-Sunday Ottawa has the hottest sounds around including Matuto, the Blind Boys of Alabama, the Grace Kelly Quintet and our favourite event the Late Night Jamming sessions – this year at the Arc Hotel’s Arc Lounge –  that promise impromptu flashes of genius in a congenial setting that will set your Friday and Saturday night on fire. 

Thursday night the AB Series continues at Arts Court with ever interesting and challenging participants. This month the series welcomes authors Oana Avasilichioaei & Christine McNair, features a multi-media presentation and, as always, is FREE!

Set yourself up for a healthy weekend and week ahead by visiting the University of Ottawa Farmer’s Market. The market is located in the University Centre and is open Friday from 9am-4pm. So get going & get healthy.

Auntie Loos cookiesFriday – it’s Valentines day!  We highly recommend the alternative baked goods from our favourite fresh and vegan local bakery Auntie Loos. Dazzle with originality or dump with panache!

Get your own Valentine’s day treat by biking by EnviroCentre at Bank & Laurier between 7:30-9:30am where they’ll be handing out delicious Camino bars. Go on, you deserve it!

Looking for something low-key to avoid the V-day madness? Head to Cafe Alt on the UofO campus for their concert series which this week features the mesmerising Amanita Bloom. Located 60 University Private the soiree starts 9PM and it’s a snip at 5$

On Saturday there is a German-Canadian Graffiti Jam at, of all places, the German Embassy just off the Canal – should you be skating by – in the Golden Triangle. The event commemorates the 25th Anniv of the fall of the Berlin wall. Two German graffiti artists who painted on the Wall join Canadian artists to paint a commemorative mural.  The German embassy teamed up with House of Paint and Canada’s top graffiti artists to collaborate on this event and hip-hop music, wine, cider, sausage and pizza will all add to the festive atmosphere.

Saturday head off to our neighbours in Vanier for their funtastic Vanier Winter Carnival. Sleigh rides, hockey, indoor crafts, movies, aboriginal activities, eats and more! 10-5PM Free.

Saturday night warm up and recoup from your winter fun with Vanier’s 2nd annual Apres-Snow party. If last year’s success is anything to go by a great time is in store. “Meet, Mingle, Eat and Drink” while videos and Darcey Whyte’s interactive light installation that responds to movement entrances. DJ Hobo & SweetCheeks are on hand to spin the tunes and keep the funtimes flowing. 84-86 Beechwood Ave, FREE

Weekend Round-Up: Downtown Chills & Winterlude Skills

No shortage of options this weekend folks – so ready, set, go LOCAL!

subway stations of the crossWhile Ins Choi’s Kim’s Convenience garners rave reviews at the NAC Sandy Hill gets the opportunity Sunday night to further explores Choi’s repertoire as he brings his one-off performance “Subway Stations of the Cross” to St Alban’s church. It promises a powerful spoken word piece with songs inspired by an encounter between Choi and a homeless man. 8PM 20$

On Thursday University of Ottawa Bike Coop (200 Lees Ave, Room A105) is holding a workshop on basic bike maintenance – tires and tubes. Get ready to fix your summer bike or learn how to maintain a year-rounder.  Bike Co-op membership is open to all.

There are still tickets available for Thursday night’s extra-date with Leif Vollebekk, performing at St Alban’s Church (454 King Edward Ave.) – through Ticketweb or at Vertigo Records and Compact Music – 8PM ADV 10$Leif Vollbekk

Lunenburg Pub has local theatre troupe 9th Hour and their production of Grain of Salt on Thursday and Friday evening. Little theatre and a little tipple. 7:30PM 20$ Door

Friday evening head to the Ottawa Art Gallery for the vernissage of Degel (Thaw) new works from Visual Arts artist Manon Labrosse. Arts Court, 2 Daly Ave, 5-8PM

winterlude-logoFriday night Winterlude kicks off in Confederation Square from 7pm with the “Great Winter Ball” that includes opening ceremonies, ice carvings, djs and fireworks. 7PM

Ice Carving events continue throughout the weekend with competitors from around the world taking part. Check out their mad Winterlude skills throughout the weekend at Confederation Park. FREE

Saturday evening is the closing night of Neil Simon’s Rumours at the  Ottawa Little Theatre, 400 King Edward Ave, 2PM, 12-25$

Saturday also sees Freeze Frame whereby 10 independent film makers were challenged to create within a 24hour deadline a Super 8mm short film using the Freeze Frame theme Saw Gallery(67 Nicholas St) 7:30PM FREE.

pop-fiction2-658x360Looking for some French Theatre? Come to Arts Court where until Sunday Feb 2nd you can take in Pop Fiction. A mixture of Science-Fiction and Reality this play brings the audience in to the action as it explores the strengths and failings of communications yesterday, today and tomorrow. 15-20$

Sunday Night it is our pick of the week Ins Choi’s Subway Stations of the Cross. One night only at St Alban’s Church 8PM.

Finally there is some kind of sporting event also on Sunday that some may want to take in apparently…. Happy Weekending!

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

Eye Spy: The Human Scale Screening

Further afield than usual but worth the journey The Human Scale has its Ottawa premier tonight at the Mayfair Cinema on Bank St.

the human scaleThe Human Scale examines how public spaces are used and designed – a particularly relevant discussion in Ottawa at the moment with the City’s desire to increase core density. The documentary poses the question of how city’s would look and work if they were designed for humans rather than for traffic. Exercises are performed whereby spaces are reclaimed; cars which allow personal property to occupy huge swaths of public space are displaced to accommodate individuals. In particular Time Square re-imagined provokes the shockingly obvious realisation in locals that there is indeed no “Square” at this world famous landmark!

the_human_scaleDanish Architect and Professor Jan Gehl who has inspired city planning in Copenhagen for 40 years argues that cities must be built to encourage human interaction, inclusion and intimacy.

Let’s hope this international movement inspires Ottawa to recognise the importance of incorporating the required space for cyclists, pedestrians and infrastructures that encourage human interaction alongside traffic planning to create a more attractive, vibrant and liveable Capital city.

Mayfair Theatre, 7pm
Hosted by the Royal Danish Embassy
Free: on a first-come basis

Weekend RoundUp: Live Local… it’s what we do.

Ok we always strive to live local – it’s why we love our urban hood – and this weekend it is easier than ever thanks to all the great merchants and artists kicking off the good times.

auntieloosThe event of the weekend has got to be Auntie Loo’s Treats Grand Opening – YES she is HERE – this Saturday but first ….

This is the final weekend for the Extremely Short New Play Festival. Ten plays under 10minutes each and they are all really good. Seriously, you should go. Nightly at 8pm til Sunday @ArtsCourt Theatre, 2 Daly Ave.

Thursday head down to SAW Gallery for Cafe Ex the showcase for independent experimental films.  Tonight’s edition features the work of award-winning film-maker and photographer Bridget Farr.  An Ottawa native Farr has screened films and worked all over the world and will be in attendance tonight to introduce & discuss 9 of her films. An outstanding opportunity to meet a local & international gem. Club SAW, 7pm

On Friday we keep it local again with Customer Appreciation Night at A Curious Shop. This wonderful boutique is co-owned by a Sandy Hill creative and is jam-packed with one-off, unique clothes and accessories that you simply will not find anywhere else!  If, like us, you keep it fresh & fun then this is the shop for you. The evening promises tasty treats, fire spinning, discounts, manicures and more. It’s all happening at 159 York St from 5pm.

Looking for a little hip hop to round off your Friday? Check out Rwandan-born Canadian artist Shad headlining at Ritual Nightclub with Vancouver’s We are the City and local Ottawa band Zoo Legacy.  Friday at Ritual Nightclub 137 Besserer st.

Saturday it’s the event of the weekend! Have you heard?  There is a new yummy scrummy bakery and they’re throwing a launch party!

Saturday 11am-4pm head to Auntie Loo’s Treats to discover just how delicious vegan cupcakes, scones, whoopie pies (and more) can be! The event poster cautions us to wear loose pants as there will be plenty of samples to whet your new local addiction. The Rideau Valley Roller girls are putting in an appearance, there is a BBQ and neighbouring businesses are joining in too. See you at Auntie Loo’s Treats 112 Nelson (across from Loblaw’s parking garage entrance) Unit101 C.

Finally on Sunday prep for party season at the Ottawa Vintage Clothing Show. In keeping with our love of all things unique and inventive we are sure there will be both quirky and glamorous finds for you to discover. Ottawa Convention Centre 10am-5pm.

Eye Spy: Petition for UofO on-Campus Residences

Action Sandy Hill / Action Cote de Sable has launched an online petition to encourage the University of Ottawa to build on-campus residences for its growing student population.

ottawa-campus_0University of Ottawa’s student body has grown by 15, 000 in roughly the last 10 years. The vibrant student community contributes greatly and positively to the energy of Sandy Hill yet the growing housing demands are now physically transforming the neighbourhood.  The petition underlines that any conversation must involve the entire population of the neighbourhood in an inclusive discussion on how to address the needs of the growing University.

For instance the Retirement Residence at 300 Friel was transformed this summer in to a 98-unit apartment building aimed specifically at students. An application has been submitted to the City (see billboard on Laurier Ave. at Friel) to knock down 6 low-rise (including one neglected yet beautifully elegant apartment on the corner) buildings and create a large 9 storey apartment with 162 units! At 87 Mann a development company has an application in with the city to transform the church at this location in to a 60 unit residence.

The public comment period on the last TWO projects are still open the associated project codes are:
D02-02-13-0086 & D01-01-13-0012 for Laurier and Friel and
D02-02-13-0076 & D02-02-13-0084 for 87 Mann.

Ottawa plaque UofOttawa19

Bear in mind there are likely more developments ongoing that Sandy Hill Seen is simply unaware of at the moment.

The University itself is building a 165 unit dwelling on Henderson Avenue whilst additionally seeking proposals from developers to build 750-bed units within 10 minutes walking distance of Campus.

These executed developments and on-going requests clearly speak to the need for greater accommodations.  Thus it is time for all residents within 10 minutes  walk of campus to sit down with the University, our Councillor Mathieu Fleury, the Mayor’s office and City Planners to find the solution to meet the entire neighbourhood’s needs.

Together a solution can be found to maintain the vibrant student population without encroaching on other diverse communities and businesses within our colourful urban neighbourhood.

Please sign the petition to have a voice in these ongoing conversations.

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.

Counting on Sandy Hill by the Numbers

NumbersSandy Hill is a neighbourhood of many facets and this website will provide residents and visitors with information to fully enjoy this eclectic and exciting quarter.

This site will equally be a “listings” home for the many events held locally including Art in The Park, Dusk Dances, Jane Walks, Yoga classes, ASH meetings, Community days, garage sales and more.

The current site will be developed, and lay-out rapidly improved, but for now we leave you with some Sandy Hill stats rather than an Under Construction place holder.  Welcome and enjoy!

People – over 10 000 strong 

  • 12,451 (2011 census).  A bilingual neighbourhood with an eclectic mix of families, professionals– from Ambassadors through Chefs – and students.

Incredible Public Transport  – Get Anywhere in Ottawa Car-free

  • The Transit Way at Ottawa University (Laurier & Campus stops) or the Rideau Centre (Mackenzie King stop) provide over 50 bus options
  • 5 & 16 running off Laurier Avenue
  • 7, 12, 14 & 18 on Rideau Street
  • Multiple VrtuCar car-sharing sites

IMG_5864Bike Paths & Walking – Minutes to Centretown, The Market & Beyond
Sandy Hill is a community that embraces walking and cycling due to the easy access of this neighbourhood to schools, shops and amenities from Rideau St, the Byward Market, Rideau Centre, Elgin street/Centretown and Vanier.  On foot or by bike these neighbourhood are mere moments away whilst further biking to Westboro beach, the Old Ottawa South farmer’s market and beyond is a cinch on two-wheels.

  • Rideau Canal bike paths can be accessed via Ottawa University & the pedestrian/bike Corkstowne Bridge
  • Rideau River Bike Paths are accessed via Strathcona Park
  • Stewart Street has a dedicated west-bound bike path
  • Wilbrod has a dedicated east-bound bike path

Parks:  (# square feet of green space) Sandy Hill is a green neighbourhood with elegant old trees lining the streets and beautiful parks and community gardens.

  • IMG_5857Strathcona Park runs along the Rideau River at the east end of Sandy Hill. A beautiful expansive oasis with a sparkling fountain on the crest where park meets Laurier Avenue.  Strathcona is home to art and theatre events in the Summer months (Odyssey Theatre, Dusk Dances, Art in the Park, Rag and Bone and more). Has gothic ruins to climb and two play structures , 2 wading pools (Strathcona Park & Dutchy’s Hole)and great tobogganing in the winter months.  One of Ottawa’s premiere parks it meets every comer’s needs.
  • Dutchy’s Hole and Robinson’s Field – often considered part of Strathcona Park these two green spaces are located at the southern end of Strathcona and joined up by the pedestrian cycling path along the river.  Dutchy’s Hole has playstructures, a great dog entrance to the river, a wading pool and is home to the Sandy Hill Community Garden. Robinson’s field is, as the name indicates, a very large playfield with lots of green space for sun worshiper’s, book readers and dog-walkers.  Robinson’s Field also houses the Strathcona Heights’ Community Garden.IMG_5868
  • St Germain Park – nestled next to the Sandy Hill Community centre at the South Western tip of Sandy Hill where King Edward meets Mann Avenue this park is perfect for active Sandy Hill residents. A play field, dog park, extensive new climbing facilities and a wading pool are some of St Germain’s key features. In the winter a well maintained outdoor rink is located on the playing field and they even have a small ice-run for new skaters.
  • Chapel Street Splash Park – A small shady park between Rideau and Laurier the Chapel street park is an ever popular destination for water play, relaxation and picnics.

Businesses & Services:  Sandy Hill is spoiled for services, eateries, and coffeeshops. For a complete listing see our comprehensive  Business Directory.

Embassies – The elegant tree-lined neighbourhood is home to over 30 embassies. From Albania, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Egypt, Switzerland, Tanzania and so many more the international flavour of Sandy Hill is undeniable!  See a complete list of embassies here.

IMG_5861

Education

  • University of Ottawa
  • Le Cordon Bleu – Culinary Arts Institute
  • Ecole FrancoJeunesse
  • Viscount Alexander Public School
  • Bettye Hyde Daycare & After-School Care
  • Wilbrod Daycare

Come and visit us again soon as the information and events on this site grow and flourish. Live your Sandy Hill Seen (sic) to the full!