Browsing: Life in Ottawa

Pictures and stories that happened in Ottawa, where I live.

Life in Ottawa
By 18
Glorious Fall

It will get cold, eventually. But for now, we are just hopping from one park to the other to play with the leaves and teach Mark how to walk. We don’t even have to go far into the wild, any small park—hell, even the supermarket’s parking lot!—has an amazing display of colours.

Life in Ottawa
By 27
A Strange Cultural Difference (Or Feeling Unsafe in Peaceful Suburbia)

I was fairly street smart by the time I settled in Ottawa. I had backpacked in China alone, had traveled through most of Latin America and had dealt with all kinds of nuisances all over the world from getting catcalls to being mugged, from losing my wallet to being followed by drunks. I found Ottawa pretty sedate compared to Rio, Guatemala City, Tegucigalpa or even Paris. But do you know where I felt uneasy? Suburbia.

Life in Ottawa
By 9
Picture of the Week: Rain and More Rain

When it rains in Ottawa, it pours. And it has been pouring for almost a week non-stop now—blah weather, trust me. Umbrellas aren’t being terribly helpful because it’s flooded everywhere, and the wind is often too strong to hold the umbrella in the first place.

Life in Ottawa
By 4
Inside Château Laurier

I headed to Château Laurier, nearby Parliament Hill, one of Ottawa’s most famous hotels and landmarks. The last time I was inside for a peek had been around Christmas time a few years ago, and this time it looked very different: brides and grooms had replaced Santa Claus!

Life in Ottawa
By 10
Spring on the Hill

Last weekend, Feng and I took a long walk on Parliament Hill and along the Ottawa River. The Parliament grounds were crowded—the nice weather and the Tulips Festival brought a lot of tourists, mostly from China, India, the U.S. and other Canadian cities.

Life in Ottawa
By 18
Early Spring at The Farm

Some days are hot, some days are cold, but we are slowly getting there—spring is on the way. The grass is green, little critters can be spotted all around the city and flowers are blooming. It will take a while to be in full spring mode, but at least winter should be behind us by now. Hopefully, I didn’t just jinx it.

Life in Ottawa
By 32
Ottawa Does Not Suck

Come on guys. Ottawa does not suck!
It’s funny how popular capital-bashing is in the new world: Australians with Canberra, Americans with Washington DC etc. The old world usually have capital envy—French may not like Parisians but most acknowledge that Paris is somewhat of an exciting place to be.

Life in Ottawa
By 21
Sunset on Mackenzie King Bridge

Last Saturday, sunset came to me. After a drink in the Byward, I was crossing Mackenzie King Bridge to go for sushi in Chinatown when I noticed the tall buildings in the downtown core were set against light pink hues. I started shooting (the friend I was with was patient!) and a few minutes later, when I turned around, the Parliament’s dark silhouette stood out against the orange and yellow background.

Life in Ottawa
By 37
Night Owls

During summer, days are long and sunset is late, so I’m rarely downtown Ottawa after night falls. But as days are becoming shorter, I decided to go hunt for night shots while the weather is still nice.
Last Saturday was one of these days. It was in the mid-twenties and I left home around 7 p.m. to roam the downtown core with my camera. Half of the city had the same idea—by September, we are all clutching at the last bits of summer.

Life in Ottawa
By 13
Entertainment Week — WWE and Pearl Jam

Last week was entertainment week for us: we had tickets for two shows in Ottawa, Monday Night RAW and Pearl Jam.
When I first saw wrestling on TV in Canada, I dismissed it right away: “it looks fake and I bet it’s fixed!” I was later informed that indeed, the fight followed a specific “choreography” and that the outcome was determined in advance. This is not the point of WWE anyway. It has to be watched as theater: characters challenge each other, adopt gimmicks and portray roles.

Life in Ottawa
By 12
Picture of the Week: Double Rainbow

By the Experimental Farm, where we live, thunderstorms are always impressive, maybe because the farm is a flat empty space. The other day, it started raining even though it was sunny outside. A few minutes later, we spotted this beautiful double rainbow.

Life in Ottawa
By 35
The Food Dilemma

We attract supermarkets.
When we first came to live in the neighbourhood, there was only a Loblaws. Then came Food Basic and Shoppers Drug Mart, right across the road from Loblaws. And when we came back from traveling this winter, we discovered that a huge Wal-Mart had popped up on the other side of the road. We now have three supermarkets within a 20-minute walk.

Life in Ottawa
By 35
Naked!

For a conservative government city, Ottawa has many little quirks. For instance, Four-Twenty aka National Pot Smoking Day is celebrated on Parliament Hill and there is a yearly Zombie Walk (where you can meet zombie hockey players and people with a bad headache). We also have interesting alternative places such as the Prince of Wales Bridge… and let’s not forget about “Maman”, the huge spider.
I’ve just added one on the list: apparently, Saturday was Naked Bike Ride Day. And by “naked”, I don’t mean without a helmet. I mean naked.

Life in Ottawa
By 22
Doors Open Ottawa

Last year, I visited the Supreme Court and the Paramedics Headquarter. This year, I opted for a building I always walk by but never truly paid attention to: the Government Conference Centre, which was also Ottawa’s central railway station until the 1960s. It’s located right in front of the Château Laurier, nearby the Rideau Centre and now serves as the place of many political and cultural discussions and negotiations, including the repatriation of Canada’s Constitution, G20 Conference in 2001.

Life in Ottawa
By 22
And The Tulips Bloomed!

I know, I know, it’s slightly pathetic, I’m raving about spring a month after everybody did. But this is Canada, we don’t really do spring, we go from freezing to boiling in less than a day.
May has been a very rainy month—we were starting to feel like on Noa’s Ark. I mean, this was my daily commute! But suddenly, on Rapture Day no less, the sun started shining and the thermometer went up dramatically. It was the best end of the world ever.

Life in Ottawa
By 22
Tulips at Dow’s Lake

See, the good side of participating in photo contests? Occasionally, you win.
That’s what happened to me a little while ago: I won the 2010 ESAI Photography Competition. Not only I was flattered, but the prize was really sweet—a $350 gift card from Henry’s, a Canadian camera store.

Life in Ottawa
By 19
Foodies Sunday

On Sunday, my foodie friend dragged me to the Ottawa Veg Fest in the Glebe. Okay, she didn’t “drag me”, I volunteered—I love food and the perspective of sampling delicacies from restaurants all across Ottawa was exciting enough that I actually got up early and skipped breakfast.

Life in Ottawa
By 5
Talkin’ Bout A Revolution

On this cold Saturday, hundreds of Canadians gathered on Parliament Hill, right in front of the Peace Tower, to march in solidarity with the people pushing for democracy in Libya and Yemen. The protesters peacefully called for the end of the Gadhafi regime in Libya and a loosening of oppression in Yemen. Despite worrying reports from Libya where violence escalade and demonstrators clash with Gadhafi ‘s brutal security forces, people were optimistic in Ottawa and hoped for a better future.