Wednesday, October 6, 2010

7 things about Ottawa--Versatile Blogger Award

This lovely award was presented to me by two local bloggers, months ago, and I am finally getting around to posting it. Does that mean I'm not so versatile? Maybe I can only cook. A great big thank you to Eva of Eva's Food World and to Kim of Grow.Chew. I had a hard time deciding on seven more things to share with my readers. 
7 foods I love? Just read my blog. See any rhubarb or cardamom?
7 foods I hate? I could never stop there. 
7 countries I've visited? Maybe, but I haven't got all the pictures on my computer. 
So, I decided to stay local and tell you 7 things I love about Ottawa. I've been back for 2 years now, and I still feel like a bit of a tourist, but I love it here.

1.   The Rideau Canal
One of my favourite things to do in Ottawa is to skate the canal. When I lived in Toronto, I would always time a visit so that I could skate the length of the canal and have a Beavertail as a snack. That's about 16 kilometres of skating (there and back), and a magnificent, deep-fried pastry slathered in sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice.
View of Rideau Canal Skateway, looking towards the Chateau Laurier Hotel

There are volunteers who look after the stray cats on Parliament Hill, and it is a full-time job. The cats have shelter and food and are much more entertaining and honest than the other fat cats on the hill.
Here I am, a few years ago, hanging out with one of the Parliament Hill cats. That's the East Block behind me. Notice that I had to dig the bench out of the snow--we had had a 50-cm snowfall the day before.
3.   National Capital Commission bicycle paths
After years of riding the mean streets of Toronto, I love the feeling of riding on a path beside the river. The paths here actually go where you need to go, which is a bonus, as I tend to commute by bike rather than ride for pleasure. There are over 220 kilometres of paths, and NCC parkways are closed are closed to cars on Sunday mornings so cyclists, walkers, joggers and inline skaters can use them.
The Capital Pathway
Source: National Capital Commission
4.   Ottawa’s Markets
I spent my first two years back in Ottawa living in the Byward Market neighbourhood, full of outdoor market stalls and interesting food stores where I could find just about everything I needed.  I now live closer to Parkdale Market, so am looking forward to doing lots of shopping there and in my new neighbourhood.
Parkdale market produce. Source:
5.   Proximity to rural areas and these two
I am definitely a city girl, but it’s great that you never have to drive very far in Ottawa to see a field and cows. There’s even a farm in the middle of the city: The Experimental Farm, which sounds scary, but isn’t. It’s got animals, crops, and a lovely arboretum. Oh, and my family, including my lovely niece and nephew, live in a small town not too far from Ottawa.
Arboretum. Source:
My niece and nephew. She's a tough chick, and he's not wearing a wig.

6.   Brunch at The French Baker or The Scone Witch
I love brunch, and these are two of my favourites in the city. Benny's Bistro at The French Baker has an interesting menu, and great bread and pastries, of course. The Scone Witch (no website) has a very limited menu, but the scones and accompaniments are worth the trip.

7.   Living in the heart of maple syrup country
Who doesn’t love maple syrup? I once worked in a sugar shack for a few months, making pancakes and other maple sweets. The best part was spending my breaks in the evaporator room. Think maple sauna.
Homemade maple syrup is the perfect topping for pancakes.
Yup, they always serve pancakes. Source:
Now, I am also supposed to pass this award on, but instead, I am going to point you in the direction of a few Ottawa food sites that will really give you a good idea of the food culture in this city. 
The first is the, which posts links to local blogs, and is updated as we publish. Not only can you find blogs from Ottawa here, but also from Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton and Calgary. I always check here to see what's happening locally.
Next is Apt 613. 613 is the local area code, and this site has food info, but also information about just about everything that's happening in the capital.
Last, but not least, is Ottawa Foodies, with information about restaurants, shops, foods and a discussion forum.


Anonymous said...

Nice! I just found out we live in the same neighbourhood. Maybe I'll bump into you at the market some day. I also *love* brunch at Benny's Bistro!

I just caught up on some of your posts. The upside down rhubarb cake looks fabulous and my husband is drooling over the peanut butter and bacon cookies. Bookmarked! :)

Caroline said...

I love the cats on the hill! Thanks for reminding us about some of the great things Ottawa has to offer.

judy said...

Looks like a fun place to visit! Which means I should come for a visit soon....

Liz said...

This was great! I actually don't know much about Ottawa, so it was fun to see some pictures and learn more.