Archive for April, 2012

What’s Happening in Ottawa This Week (April 30th- May 6th, 2012)

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It’s a busy week in Ottawa this week, with most students being done exams, the start of the Tulip Festival, and Mother’s Day. But for this week’s featured event, we couldn’t help it…

Featured Event

Ottawa Rickshaws Season Opener

This Monday, April 30th marks the official opening of our season.  While you may have seen the odd rickshaw running in the spring, we will now be out in full force! Come down to the Byward Market to visit us, or contact us to book a ride.

Here are some other events happening this week:

Monday, April 30th

Free Qi of Life Workshop – to learn the yoga/meditative practice of qigong

Tuesday, May 1st

Horse Feathers, Brown Bird @ Cafe Dekcuf

Wednesday, May 2nd

Future Islands, Ed Schrader’s Music Beat @ Mavericks

Thursday, May 3rd

Team In Training Fall 2012 Drop-in Information Meeting – on marathon and running training, nutrition and more!

The Ottawa School of Art Annual Fundraiser J’ADART!

1st Thursday Art Walk Ottawa

Counterparts, Your Demise, Hundredth, SIFTD @ Mavericks

Women Fully Clothed – Older & Hotter

Friday, May 4th

Canadian Tulip Festival Begins

An Evening With…Bryan Adams

Tantric Dating – Age group 55-65 – Meet Your Soul Mate

3i Summit on Sustainability – Collaborating for Action in Ottawa

Saturday, May 5th

(ongoing) 3i Summit on Sustainability – Collaborating for Action in Ottawa

The Hornettes at Irene’s Pub

Book Signing: Catherine McKenzie, Author of Forgotten

2012 BIA Free Comic Book Day

Really Big Book Sale

Free melanoma Patient Information Symposium

Celebrating Cultures in our Community

Rain Barrel Fund Raiser

Tantric Dating – Age group 45-55 – Meet Your Soul Mate

Urban Craft – Monthly Craft Market

Sunday, May 6th

10k is the way… to help cure cystic fibrosis (4th Annual)

The 2012 Tracy Arnett Realty Hike for Hospice

Arm Balances and Going Upside-Down! Yoga Posture Clinic

5 Byward Market Bars for ‘Mature’ Crowds

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by: Brian Clarke

One of the most common questions we receive as rickshaw runners is “Where’s a good place to go for someone my age?” While I’ve heard this question come from people in their late 20s all the way to their golden years, they are essentially looking for the same thing: to enjoy the Market nightlife, but get away from the hordes of people my age – the early 20-something, drunk and obnoxious university students.

There is no one right answer to this question. There are a good number of nightlife venues in the Market that draw a more mature crowd.  Some are good for lounging, some for getting good food, and some for dancing.  Some offer all of these and more!

So if you’re passed the point in your life where you enjoy being packed into a bar like sardines and drinking yourself to black out, here are five venues in the Market that might cater to you.

Fat Tuesday’s

This New Orleans themed restaurant has some of the best food in the Market (the best of the reasonably priced options, in my opinion), and have live piano players and entertainment nearly every night.  Their famous duelling pianos performance occurs every Thursday and Saturday, and is quite the sight (and sound)!

Velvet Room

Velvet Room is located just above Fat Tuesday’s, so you can easily enjoy both in one night.  This nightclub is strictly 25+, is based on 1920s theme, and features dinner theater from the local Scarlett’s dinner theater group.


This Latin nightclub is perfect for those who love to salsa!  They play a variety of Latin-American and Caribbean style music, including reggae, merengue, and bachata.  They also offer free salsa lessons on Friday and Saturday nights.


Social is widely regarded as one of the best places, if not the best place, to eat in the Market. The food here is simply amazing! Couple that with a relaxed lounge atmosphere, music, good wine selection and a beautiful courtyard patio, and Social becomes a excellent spot for a quiet, but fun and delightful night.

Must Wine Bar

Must is quaint and cozy, and offers what is likely the largest selection of wine in the Market – their wine list is huge!  It is the perfect place for a nice date or anniversary celebration with that special someone!

So to all those young-at-heart who want to enjoy the nightlife without dealing with a large student crowd, one of these five venues is sure to cater to your wants. But there are many more places in the Market that I did not list here, so I urge you to explore! Remember, as they cliché says, you’re only as old as you feel.

Pizza and Wine: Free Your Inner Italian

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By Holly Bruns

Maybe it happens once a week. You might have a standing date, like a Friday evening, choosing to make a relaxing end to the week, or perhaps it’s a way to beat the Monday blues: a treat after that first day back at work. It might just be a monthly occurrence, or an occasional one, or maybe you do it all the time, but either way there comes a time when we all want take-out.  And nothing says ‘fast and affordable’ like pizza.

The word ‘pizza’ comes from an ancient Greek term meaning pie, and indeed people have been putting toppings on leavened flat bread since antiquity. It was the Italians, however, who gave us the modern pizza. With early beginnings as cheap street food in and around Naples, pizza really became a thing of beauty when the tomato was added, after it made its way to Europe from the New World in the 16th century.

Just because you are settling on take-out doesn’t mean you should forget about the wine. Italy is a treasure trove of interesting and diverse wine, much of it reasonably priced, and most of it very food friendly. Try one of these pairings the next time you decide to dial a dinner:

Photo by David Shea

A spicy concept pie from Gabriels’ ( like the Texas Bold-Em or the Little Italy with a bottle of Ogio Primitivo – all dark fruit and spice, this is a fuller bottle of wine that will work with the fiery tones in a peppery pizza.

A simple cheese and pepperoni pie from Napoli’s ( with a bottle of Casal Thaulero Sangiovese – this pairing is for the traditionalist in you; the juicy texture of the wine pairs nicely with the tartness of a good tomato sauce.

A deep-dish pie filled with cheesy goodness from Georgie’s ( with a bottle of Cusumano Nero D’Avola – a Sicilian wine that has some deep earth notes and a little acidity that will complement the richness of the cheese.

Holly Bruns is an accredited sommelier with degrees from Algonquin College and the Wine Spirits & Education Trust. She lives in Ottawa and is the drinking force behind the successful blog: Wine Out Loud.

5 Ways to Enjoy your Winter this Summer in Ottawa

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By Adam Slight

So I’m not quite sure what’s happening with all the snow. This kind of weather makes me forget why it is exactly that I continue to live in Canada. It could just be a freak change in the weather, but I’m leaning more towards it being a sign of End Times. Regardless, it appears we’ve skipped summer.

Don’t despair! Winter can be still be fun this July! Especially when you have our handy list of ways to enjoy your winter this summer in Ottawa.

BBQ Indoors:

Just because it feels like it is below zero outside doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy savory barbecued meats. That’s why they invented windows. Dust the snow off your barbecue, wheel it indoors, and crank them open! Hey! Don’t feel left out if you’re vegetarian. There are some great meatless barbecue options out there for you too. Worried about smoke? Don’t worry. People have been smoking indoors for centuries.

Sunbathe in your Car:

Have you ever gone for a long drive only to end up with a weird sunburn because your left your arm on a sun-baked armrest for too long? The same effect can be applied to the whole body for those looking to get some sun this wintery summer. This can be done anywhere (and there’s lots of parking at Mooney’s Bay Beach), and if you turn up the heat, you can create a convincing illusion that you’re lying in the sand on a hot summer’s day.

Make your own Slushies

This one is easy, but so simple that its genius! Buy your favourite flavour of juice and take it outside. Spill the juice on the ground, and scoop up the coloured snow with a cup. Voila! Home-made slushie! Do this with some friends and host a home-made slushie party this wintery summer!

Ice the Water Slides

Sometimes it’s hard to have a good time at Calypso when the lines are as long as they sometimes get. I think there would be too much fun at Calypso if they iced the water slides this wintery summer. The line-ups wouldn’t be too bad either because half the people who go down the slides once would go home with broke bones.

Leave Ottawa

Call me a Debbie Downer, but its looking like the best way to enjoy this summer is to head somewhere where one can barbecue outside, sunbathe on the beach, and sip luxurious slushies served from a freezer. Since Ottawa could be dumped with a meter of snow any day in July, can anyone think of a better country to host Canada Day this summer? Cuba perhaps?

What’s Happening in Ottawa This Week (April 23rd-29th)

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Featured Event

Ottawa Grassroots Festival

Ottawa’s got another great-sounding music festival, with this weekend’s inaugural grassroots festival. The festival is aimed at families, and celebrates folk music and dance.

Here are some other events this week:

Monday, April 23rd

Reflecting Realities: Women’s Rights in Sudan and Canada

Tuesday, April 24th

Rise by Kristy Gordon, a solo exhibition show and Vernissage (meet and greet) (Apr. 23-May 20)

Wednesday, April 25th

All about Freecycling! 

April Ottawa Comic Jam

Film Showing: Exposure – Environmental Links to Breast Cancer 

Wine Maker’s Dinner at Sante Restaurant

Organic Gardening Workshop – Eco-friendly Yard Management techniques

The Dudes, Poor Young Things, Ashleys @ Cafe Dekcuf

Europe’s Last Dictator

Thursday, April 26th

Friday, April 27th

Dr. Buddy Bell from the Ministry of Helps International will be in Ottawa

Saturday, April 28th

(ongoing) Dr. Buddy Bell from the Ministry of Helps International will be in Ottawa

MYSTIC FAIR – Intuitive Seers and Psychic entertainers 

Tantric Intimacy for Couples – Love Your Soul Mate

Propagation Workshop

Registration for the 2012 BMX Racing Season 

The Art of Meditative Walking

Antique Evaluation Clinic with Janet Carlile

Return to Rio: Progressing Toward Sustainability?

Ottawa Humane Society Fundraiser


Sunday, April 29th

(ongoing) Dr. Buddy Bell from the Ministry of Helps International will be in Ottawa

Alive to Strive Race 2012 – April 29

5 Places in Ottawa to Watch Tonight’s Playoff Game

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by Brian Clarke

Playoff fever has hit the Capital once again!

When the clock hits 7:30 tonight, most of the city will be tuning in to watch Game 4 of the Sens and Rangers playoff series.  No matter where you are, you can certainly find a place to watch the game. Here are five of my favourite places to watch playoff hockey. What are yours?

Update: Since I originally wrote this list, a new juggernaut for watching a hockey game as surfaced in Ottawa.  That is none other that Real Sports Bar in the Byward Market.  You can check out an article I wrote on this new sports bar heavyweight in town, and of course, check it out next time you’re watching a game!

Don Cherry’s

The name says it all – this place is all about hockey.  Located at the corner of King Edward and Rideau, it is right downtown and easily accessible.  They have a great atmosphere and you’ll be sure to meet fellow puck-heads!

Honest Lawyer

This is the best place in the Byward Market to watch the game, as it has tons of screens, great pub food, lots of space to accommodate people, and lots of other entertainment and games. Be sure to show up early though, it fills up quick!

Local Heroes

There are several Local’s scattered across town, but each one has the same feel: walls plastered with hockey memorabilia and the pub populated with avid hockey fans.  One of the best atmospheres in town!

Sens’ Mile

Anywhere on Elgin Street can make this list, as the entire strip is packed with fans.  If you can find a seat, settle in for the game, but if not, you can still catch the game from the street – several bars set up big screen TVs for pedestrians.

Scotiabank Place

Of course! This is the best place to be for tonight’s game. If you were lucky enough to snag tickets, the rest of us fans envy you!

Where will you be watching tonight’s game?

Ottawa’s Giant IKEA is Modern-Day Science Fiction

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By Adam Slight

Is it just me or did that giant Ikea just sneak up on the outskirts of Ottawa? I know it’s hard to miss, given that it’s like the biggest Ikea in Canada, but seriously, what is that thing?

I realize that this colossal shopping centre, known throughout the area for its trendy and cute solutions for ergonomic furniture, has been open for half a year, but only now have I been able to see the modern day marvel for myself.

A little while ago, my girlfriend and I decided to stop into Super Ikea for some 75 cent wieners, and to basically see what all the fuss was about.

I was first struck by the store’s monolithic typeface announcing “IKEA” in the boldest (and largest) lettering I have ever seen. I’m sure it can be read from space. Those 4 letters must cause more car accidents than when baby’s first word is “poop” instead of “mommy” in the back seat of the car.

The inside of this Ikea is just as excessive as its logo. The place is huge! But why does it need to be so huge? Doesn’t every Ikea hold the same line of products as the next? Well my friends, this Ikea just has 10x more of everything!

To me, the effect was quite disturbing, like something out of science fiction. Let me use three nerdy analogies to illustrate how eerie this giant Ikea is.

The walls are lined with profuse numbers of replica chairs, or pots, or cute ergonomic storage units. They are the EXACT same pieces of furniture, like platonically “ideal” chairs row, after row, after row.

I think the Ottawa Ikea is the storage room for all the furniture from The Sims. Your Sim need a chair? Got one. Need another one? Here is one identical from the first. This is furniture designed for computer AI’s, not people!

Similarly, I think of it being like that scene from The Matrix. You know the one where Neo is in the loading program with the white room, where he says “guns,” and rows and rows of guns appear before him. That is Ikea, only Neo is a newly wed young professional, and he needs lots of cute Swedish poang chairs to decorate his loft-style condo.

Spending time in Ottawa’s Ikea is like experiencing the dystopian future depicted in Wall-E, where the world is controlled by a mega-corporation called Buy N Large, and people in this society allow themselves to be herded from one place to the next while they buy, buy, buy (its such a simple sales strategy hiding the important big ticket items at the end of the store, forcing shoppers to follow a dotted line on the ground through corridors of cheap small ticket items in hopes that they pick up some extras. Grocery stores do the same, hiding bread and milk in the back).

Its no coincidence that Ottawa’s giant Ikea, which is just an exploded extrapolation of any Ikea, (or any big box store really) has invoked in me scenes from films about computers and robots and AI — because this Ikea embodies the future of retail consumerism: cold, calculated, and robotic. There is no heart or soul in the products found there, nor in the customer service experience. In fact, there is no customer service experience, because there is no service. You do everything yourself.

(Except for the poor lady who serves heaps of hot dog wieners like all the life had been sucked out of her).

Now, I should be careful before I sound all high and mighty. My girlfriend and I bought bed-slats that day. They fit perfectly in our Ikea bed. We also have Ikea cutlery, shelves, picture frames, and a tiny Ikea couch (but boy is it cute!)

How can heart and soul compete when Ikea’s furniture is so darned cute? And heart and soul can be pretty expensive too.

Have you experienced Ottawa’s giant Ikea? Share your stories here.

One Breast Cancer Survivor’s Call to Action!

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Interview of Colleen Kanna by Adam Slight

Last month I profiled a charity event coming to Ottawa called “Bust-A-Move for Breast Health.” This event will be held this Saturday, April 21st, and will see hundreds of supporters dancing, kicking, sweating in a full-day fitness marathon, all for the sake of raising money for breast health related causes. The event will be hosted by fitness legend Richard Simmons and will raise money to expand the Ottawa Hospital’s cancer centre, and provide funding for cancer coaching at Ottawa’s Maplesoft Centre.

I had the opportunity to speak with Colleen Kanna, who is slated to participate in Ottawa’s first event of this kind. Colleen has many reasons to be invested in this cause–the most obvious being that Colleen herself is a breast cancer survivor.

Colleen was diagnosed with breast cancer in October of 2010. In the months to follow she underwent chemotherapy, surgery as well as radiation therapy, in a long treatment process that would last until November of 2011.

“One thing I learned,” she describes, “was that I don’t want to go back to my pre-cancer life.” Her struggles with breast cancer led her to re-prioritize what was important in her life. “I don’t sweat the small stuff” she says. “I let my intuition guide me instead of worrying about what other people think.”

During her treatment, Colleen was surprised when she saw which of her friends and family stepped up to support her, and which didn’t. Regardless, she cites Ottawa’s Maplesoft Centre as a huge source of support for herself and other cancer survivors.

“I so support the Maplesoft Centre,” says Colleen. Her desire to give back to the Maplesoft Centre is her main motivation to participate in this month’s “Bust-A-Move for Breast Health” event, and the reason why Colleen participates in a number of talks and fundraising events for breast cancer survivors at the centre.

“1/9 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their life-time, and everyone knows somebody affected by breast cancer. Bust-a-Move for Breast Health is a great way to have fun & raise money to support breast health.”

When asked what she would say to Richard Simmons if she were to run into him, Colleen responds, “I would thank him for coming and supporting the event!”

You can sign up and participate in this year’s Bust-A-Move event with a required minimum $1000 raised to participate. Nothing should stop you from coming out to the event and participating in the other fund-raising efforts taking place (you can get a professional massage for a donation!) The event takes place at the Ottawa Athletic club and runs from 9am to 5pm. This is an awesome new event to come to Ottawa and it is for an incredibly relevant cause (odds are you know someone close who has had to face breast cancer, much like Colleen). Come show your support so that we can do this again next year!

What’s Happening in Ottawa This Week? (April 16th-22nd)

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Featured Event

Bust-A-Move for Breast Health: Saturday, April 21st, 2012

Last month, we wrote this article on this wonderful fundraiser, and the event has now finally arrived.

The event takes place at the Ottawa Athletic Club on April 21st. Participants will be lead by certified fitness instructors through six hours of intense (but satisfying) workout routines, including aerobics, yoga, zumba, and kickboxing (to name just a few).

Those who don’t want to put themselves through these rigorous routines can just sit back, eat, and watch while they enjoy massages available on-site. This doesn’t sound like a difficult decision…

More information, and registration, can be found at the event's website.

Here are some other events happening this week in Ottawa:

Monday, April 16th

Decorate with Flare

FREE – PranaShanti Cleanse Information Session

CHEO Connects! provides trusted information from the experts. Raising Resilient Kids

Barrhaven's Biggest Loser Contest

Tuesday, April 17th

Kundalini Yoga 101 with Devinder Kaur

Woe, Is Me, TC4NT, Preeminent, Of Reverie – Tuesday April 17 @ Mavericks

Coffee Concert: The Chamber Players of Canada and the New Orford String Quartet

Wednesday, April 18th

Best of Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival at the Canadian Museum of Nature

The Acacia Strain, Lionheart, No Bragging Rights – Wed April 18 @ Mavericks

The Chamber Players of Canada and the New Orford String Quartet

Organic Gardening Workshop – The Organic Approach to Veggie Growing, Weeds & Insects

Thursday, April 19th

(ongoing) Best of Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival at the Canadian Museum of Nature

John Pizzarelli – LIVE at Centrepointe Theatre

Team In Training Fall 2012 Drop-In Information Session

Ottawa Share Club April Meeting

Lasting Enchantment: 200 Years of the Brothers Grimm

Friday, April 20th

(ongoing) Best of Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival at the Canadian Museum of Nature

Falls Prevention

Yoga Rave!

Chrities Lake Kids Present Rock the Blok


Saturday, April 21

(ongoing) Best of Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival at the Canadian Museum of Nature

World Wish Day Concert in Support of Make-A-Wish® Eastern Ontario

Introduction to Restorative Yoga with Ruth Norfolk

Going the Next Step: From Vegetarian to Vegan

Bust A Move For Breast Health

Just Dance… Disco, Motown, with a hint of Country!


Woodbinding Workshop

Ottawa Symphony Orchestra Spring Soirée


2012 Eastern Ontario Permaculture Convergence

Richmond Mom-2-Mom Sale

CAMMAC Ottawa-Gatineau presents Messiah–The Sequel!

Women Entrepreneur's Show & Sale

Computer training in Ottawa

Visual Poetry at Gallery 101 with Dan Waber‏


HogsBack Brewing Company Celebrates 2nd Birthday

Sunday, April 22nd


Girish in Concert! 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm at PranaShanti Yoga Centre

What events do you plan on attending this week?


If You Like to Stab People in Ottawa, Stay Home!

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by: Brian Clarke

You may have read Adam’s post earlier this week, where he joked that there are no night clubs left in Ottawa that aren’t somewhat sketchy after a bar brawl broke and a stabbing occurred last weekend.  (Here’s a short Ottawa Sun article on the stabbing).

When I heard about this, I didn’t get scared but instead became very pissed off!  More and more, I go downtown to work and see countless douchebags who are just there looking to fight.  But something like this happens, and 1) people stop coming to the bars because they feel it’s unsafe, and 2) local businesses suffer because the fun bar crowd goes home, and all we’re left with is these drunk ‘tough’ guys.

For instance, on St. Patrick’s Day, some idiot tried to steal one of our rickshaws.  Then last weekend, this stabbing.  I thought this was the culmination and the idiocy would die down, only to hear from some friends the very next night a guy got bottled with a bottle of Grey Goose at another bar!

Come on guys!!

What is the point of all this? What do you gain by stabbing someone or hitting them with a bottle? Ok, maybe he scuffed your sneakers or looked at your girl the wrong way, but what do you gain by stabbing him with a bottle? And if you’re fighting over drugs, why are you doing that in a bar anyway? You fit in better if you walked down to Cumberland St. and hung out with the bums and crackheads.

A constant theme in this blog has been that this is Ottawa, not New York.  We should change this to this is Ottawa, not the Wild West.  Stop trying to fight to prove that you’re right or tougher than others.  We all believe you if you say you’re a big man; stabbing or bottling someone does nothing to that.  Actually, in my mind, you are more of man if you can walk away.  That takes balls.

There are bouncers for a reason.  Use them or they will abuse you.  Too many times, I’ve seen drunk ‘tough’ guys try to take things into their own hands, and get the worst of it when a bouncer choke slams to the ground.  Meanwhile, everyone else in the bar (and the rickshaw runners outside) are laughing at you.

The point is, if you know you like to cause trouble and start fights when you’re drinking, stay home.  If you feel a constant need to prove your manhood by stabbing others, stay home. Nobody likes you and the Byward Market will be a much better place when none of you visit.