Archive for September, 2012

[VIDEO] Word on the Street: Should Ottawa Build a Casino?

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If you haven’t heard the rumours yet, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) is asking the City of Ottawa if it’s okay to build a casino within the city limits, possibly downtown. We’ve recently been asked to speak at city council, among other business owners, to express our position on the matter (which we wrote here a month ago). Before attending the meeting however, we thought we would pose this question to the people of Ottawa to see what they thought about a new casino in the city.

What are your thoughts on the matter? Post your opinions in the comments below.




My Favourite Ottawa Barbershop – What is yours?

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by: Brian Clarke

I started this post as an attempt to write a “Top 5 Barbershops in Ottawa”-style article.

But I quickly came to an important conclusion.  I, like most people with hair, stick with one barber.  In other words, I don’t even know if I could name five barbershops in the city, let alone provide five reviews.

So, it’s turned into my “Top 1 Barbershop in Ottawa” and I ask our readers to help complete this list.

Tell us about your regular haircut place, how you found it and why you like it and don’t go anywhere else.  Perhaps we can develop a good compilation of local barbers, with reviews, together.

I will begin with my barbershop.

I usually go to Ernesto’s on Bank Street near Lansdowne Park.  I first found this place about four years ago as a first year student at Carleton.  Although living in Ottawa my whole life, I had very limited experience with the Glebe, so wanted to explore it as the neighbourhood and business district near campus.

I stopped in to get a haircut, and have never gone anywhere else since.  My hair is not tough to cut – I get it buzzed and maybe the odd beard trim – so I’m not picky about barbers.  That being said, the barbers here are very good, and take their time to make sure everything is done properly.

But what attracted me to this place was the atmosphere that reminded me of an old-1950s movie set.  It’s a small shop, with two Italian barbers, who always seem to tune the TV to the soccer channel.  The place is almost always populated with old men bickering about sports or politics.

And this is why Ernesto’s is my favourite barbershop in Ottawa – the atmosphere that oozes tradition and community.

There’s one good spot for our list – now, what are your favourite barbershops in Ottawa?


What Do You Think of the Ottawa Opening of Real Sports Bar?

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by: Brian Clarke

I’m not sure what to think about this.

In November, a new sports bar will open up in the Byward Market.  Real Sports Bar & Grill will be something that we’ve never seen before in Ottawa.  If you’ve ever visited the Toronto location, you’ll know how breath-taking this restaurant is, and how far it takes the sports bar experience.

Real Sports Bar & Grill has been voted the best sports bar in North America by ESPN.  It is described as half theater and half nightclub, with hundreds of TVs, music and a hip atmosphere.

However, I’m not sure how I feel about this.

As a sports fan, I am obviously licking my chops.  I cannot wait try out Real Sports Bar to watch a Senators’ game (I’ll be waiting a long time, it seems).

It also makes me a bit proud that this large entertainment company sees the Ottawa sports fan population as profitable, which in my mind, gives more proof to shut down the naysayers that claim we are not a sport city (more argument to get a CFL team!).

On the other hand, however, I’m not sure how to feel about a large Toronto company coming into the Byward Market and possibly muscling out some local pubs.

So, I’m stumped.

Is this development good for Ottawa or bad? Can it be both? Post your opinions in the comments below.


Free Weekly Bullying Workshop Arms Parents and Kids Against Bullying

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By Omar Elamam

Bullying isn’t a new problem. As much as we try to treat it, it always seems to come back to haunt us. In fact, it is now a growing concern in our schools, playgrounds, and even at home with the explosion of social media.  Bullies have evolved and you may not even know your child is a victim.

Bullying is an everyday occurrence and happens more often than you think. Most bullying today appears in the less traditional form such as texting, social messaging through Facebook or Twitter, and online gaming. Although today’s parents are being educated in the use of social media they are not yet equipped to deal with this new phenomenon of cyber-bullying.

Children are the worst affected by the ugliness of bullying. Victims often report problems such as low-self esteem, depression, loss of appetite, sadness, and loss of interest in activities. In the worst case, children may also commit suicide. Such an awful fate for our children should never be allowed to happen

Luckily through education, this can be prevented. Winning Circle Martial Arts is hosting a FREE community event at our facility in Kanata. This event will take place every Saturday from 2-3pm during the month of October. It is a 1 hour workshop for parents, teens, and even kids that will cover prevention tips and actions against bullying. We urge everyone to take advantage of this event as we believe it is beneficial for everyone.

For more information please call us at 613.599.KICK(5425). We are located at 150 Katimavik rd, Kanata, ON.

Omar ElamamOmar Elamam is a personal trainer in Ottawa and martial arts instructor at Winning Circle Martial Arts and Fitness Center.



Introducing OttBikes – Ottawa’s Revolution in Outdoor Advertising

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By Adam Slight

We are proud to announce OttBikes, our latest head-turning outdoor media service in Ottawa!

OttBikes is an advertising system that allows us to display a 6-foot billboard hovering behind a bicycle. The design is attractive, and eye-catching. The bike is equipped with noise-makers and music speakers, guaranteeing that the vehicle doesn’t blend in with the landscape!

While the design is sleek, the OttBikes’ true beauty lies in their ability to move. Since the advertisement is secured to a bicycle, we can really display a client’s message anywhere that a bike can travel. If a client wishes to advertise to a certain audience, or in a place with restricted billboard space (residential areas, or specific areas of Ottawa), we can address this with OttBikes!

Like with our rickshaws, OttBikes intends to continue our effort to offer engaging, novel, energetic modes of advertising in downtown Ottawa.

If you’re interested in more information about OttBikes or wish to advertise with OttBikes email or visit

Top 5 Burgers at The Works: A Waiter’s Pick

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By: Adam Slight

We dropped by Ottawa-darling The Works for some burgers before hitting up Nuit Blanche last weekend and we decided to give our waiter, Mike Boersma, a quick interview about his top 5 favourite Works burgers. (If you have never been to The Works, they have a variety of like a million different burgers)

Here are a professional’s picks (Note: There’s a theme):

  1. Brad’s Breakfast: This juicy burger is topped with caramelized onion and havarti cheese. What does our friend recommend adding? Four strips of double-smoked bacon are apparently perfect for topping this baby off.
  2. The Dead Ringer: Our friend recommends this beefy burger because of its toppings—onion rings, jack cheese, bbq sauce, and brisket. He once attempted the Dead Ringer with six strips of bacon and a “gravy bake” (bake the burger after smothering it with gravy). He reports that his heart was pounding, but it was awesome.
  3. Hold the Phone: This is technically a vegetarian burger, topped with peanut butter, cream cheese, and jack cheese. Keeping with the theme, however, Mike always recommends this burger with bacon, disregarding all vegetarians’ inclinations.
  4. Sum Yung Guy: This burger is characterized by gouda, caramelized onion, and bacon. Mike recommends to replace the bacon with…double-bacon. Very original Mike.
  5. Richies Butte Special: Mike recommends this Canadian specialty if you’re looking for something simpler. Richies’ Butte Special features cheddar cheese and grilled Canadian back bacon. No need to complicate an already good thing.

Recommended Appetizer:

The Big Dipper: Fire-roasted cheese dip with spicy dye-cut chips.

The Works is an Ottawa-invented franchise that has since been purchased by a company based in the GTA. Mike plans to one day open a The Works franchise with his wife in Edmonton.

What’s Happening in Ottawa This Week? (September 24 – 30, 2012)

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Featured Event

Festival X

When: All week

This Ottawa photography festival began last week, but continues through to the end of this week.  Be sure to check out the tons of interesting and eye-catching exhibitions that are hosted throughout the city this week!

For more information, check out

Here’s what else is happening in Ottawa this week:

All Week

Architecture Week

Wednesday, September 26th

Ottawa Comic Backwards Jam

Thursday, September 27th

United Way Ottawa’s 2012 Campaign Launch

Friday, September 28th

Third annual Ottawa Charity Ping Pong

O-town Hoedown

The Home & Design Show

Saturday, September 29th

O-town Hoedown (ongoing)

The Home & Design Show (ongoing)

Haunting Season at Saunders’ Farm begins

Sunday, September 30th

Give the Gift of Life Walk-Ottawa

O-town Hoedown (ongoing)

The Home & Design Show (ongoing)

[New Feature] Word on the Street: Best Ottawa Memory of Summer 12?

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by: Brian Clarke

If you’ve followed our Facebook page over the past few weeks, you may have already seen this video.  This short little clip is the start of a new weekly feature we’d like to share with you – Word on the Street.

Everyone probably gets sick of hearing us blabber on and on about Ottawa.  To try to get a few different voices and opinions of Ottawa, every week we will hit the streets of the Byward Market or other busy local events and areas, to learn the “word on the street” – what you, Ottawa’s citizens think about a specific question.

For the inaugural Word on the Street, we want to reminisce about a great summer.  So, on the first day of fall, we can look back at what these Ottawans shared as their best memory of Ottawa 2012.

So, to everyone who didn’t get a chance to share their memories on the big screen, let us know here. What was your favourite memory of summer 2012?

Everything You Need to Know About Nuit Blanche Ottawa

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By Jocelyn Piirainen

This Saturday, September 22nd – from precisely 6:22pm until 4:23am on Sunday – Ottawa is jumping on the Nuit Blanche bandwagon. As a “nocturnal event,” folks are encouraged to take in all that the art scene has to offer in our wonderfully creative city! Walk around the streets and to the various galleries, coffee shops, art houses, streets, and other venues that will feature many types of media from around the Nation’s Capital and other regions.

Nuit Blanche events have been happening in many cities around the world – including Toronto and Montreal – and it also setting up to be a success here in Ottawa. Stemming from the central theme of “LaVie set Belle | Life Is Beautiful,” the main goal here is to bring the whole city together to celebrate our beautiful life for one single night. If you haven’t experienced a Nuit Blanche event before, let me tell you, they are amazing!

Events are completely free, happening in two main areas: the Hintonburg area, and the Byward Market area.

There’ll be shuttle buses between the two areas making it that much easier to get out and see everything! (Just make sure to check out their website beforehand)

A few places of interest for the night:

  • China Doll & Shanghai Restaurant, performing experimental karaoke! (Whatever it may entail!)
  • Daniel Lehan will be Roaming between the two areas all night and presenting his poetry
  • The “Yarn-bombing” of an OC Transpo bus down on Wellington (basically, covering completely the bus in knitted things)
  • The gigantic steam-rolled print project, happening in the parking lot of the Enriched Bread Artists’ gallery (on Gladstone)
  • The Ottawa School of Art, in the Byward Market, 35 George Street, for some emerging artwork by local students

This event is also paired up with two other festivals going on at the moment – the Festival X (Ottawa’s photography festival) and the Ottawa International Animation Festival.

In conjunction with Festival X, there is the Stills in Motion exhibit going on at Saint Brigid’s Centre for the Arts. And those who are attending the screenings for the animation festival – you’re welcome to join in on what’s happening afterwards.

For maps and more about this event, be sure to check out their site:

Jocelyn Piirainen has a degree in Film Studies from Carleton University and is currently studying photography. Her subjects of interest include traditional analogue photography, Inuit art, and music.