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ByWard Market

Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for August 10 to 12

Friday, August 10

National Capital Craft Beer Week runs from August 10 to 18.

National Capital Craft Beer Week showcases the best craft-brewed beer in the Ottawa region — and there’s plenty of it. Tons of events are happening throughout the week (including the festival on August 17 and 18), but don’t miss the kickoff party at D’Arcy McGee’s on August 10.

Experience the food, arts and culture of South Asia at the fourth annual South Asian Festival in Confederation Park. Enjoy entertainment including Bollywood dancers, henna artists, and laughter yoga, plus traditional artifacts, silks, and more. Bonus: it’s free!

Sip some fine wine and help a charity at the Watson’s Mill Wine Tasting event. Taste a wide variety of wines from over a dozen Ontario wineries, enjoy hors d’oeuvres from Manotick’s Sucré Salé, and dance to live music from the Swing Bridge Band. 19+ event.

Saturday, August 11

The three-day Ottawa African Festival in Queen Juliana Park gives Ottawa the opportunity to share in the beauty of Caribbean and African cultures. There will be live performances, traditional food, fashion shows, art displays, and even storytelling for the kids. Saturday night will feature the international techno-soukous star, Awilo Longomba. Friday to Sunday.


Hot Dining: Coasters Gourmet Grill

Coasters’ lobster gilled cheese sandwich

A ByWard Market mainstay, Coasters serves up great food and unbeatable views in a comfortable, casual atmosphere. Seafood is the specialty (fish tacos, all-you-can-eat mussels, fish and chips), but with classics like burgers, pulled pork and lighter fare like salads and wraps on the menu, there’s something for everyone. We recommend the lobster grilled cheese — a deliciously indulgent take on a comfort food classic. Warm decor and a fantastic view of the market below make for a memorable Ottawa experience. Open daily.

ByWard Market. 54 York St., 613-241-4954. www.coasters.ca

Hot Dining: Baked Goods and Brunch

How does a buttery croissant sound right about now? If your mouth is watering at the thought, then a trip to The French Baker is in order. Along with flaky croissants, this bakery is also popular for its French macarons and pains au chocolate. As if that weren’t enough, nestled in the back of the downtown location is Benny’s Bistro, with an original brunch menu of both sweet and savoury dishes (think French toast with roasted apple compote and salmon gravlax). The bistro is also open for breakfast and lunch throughout the week, and the bakeries are open daily.

ByWard Market, 119 Murrary St., 613-789-7941, and the Glebe, 801 Bank St., 613-236-7579.

Hot Dining: Homemade Pasta at Mamma Grazzi’s

A pasta dish made 'al momento' at Mamma Garzzi's

Mamma Grazzi’s offers comforting food reminiscent of a mother’s kitchen. Known for Old World Italian cuisine with homemade pasta and hand-rolled thin crust pizzas, this restaurant sticks to an “al momento” philosophy of cooking, with each dish prepared individually to order. And with pastas and pizzas ranging from about $11-$20, this is good food that won’t break the bank (try the Odessa and Milano pastas, which are local favourites). Plus, now that the weather is warm, you can even enjoy your meal on one of the prettiest patios in the city.

25 George St., 613-241-8656.

Hot Shopping: A Colourful Birdhouse from Urban Barn

Globe birdhouse from Urban Barn

It’s spring, so welcome our feathered friends back to town in style with these fun and funky gem-toned Globe Bird Houses from Urban Barn. With eye-catching hues and a modern shape, these round abodes add a touch of whimsy to any nature lover’s backyard. Available in purple, yellow, and teal. $10. 22 York St. (Unit B), 613-860-6020.

Weekend Roundup: Best Best for May 4 to 6

Friday, May 4
The 2012 3i Summit on Sustainability is a two-day event aimed at creating change to transform Ottawa into an environmentally sustainable city. The event, which is partnered with the City of Ottawa (among others), has also teamed up with businesses and community members to create an action plan for Ottawa’s future. Moe Garahan, Executive Director at Just Food in Ottawa will be one of several speakers as part of a panel.

Tulip Festival

The 60th annual Canadian Tulip Festival kicks off this Friday.

This Friday kicks off the first weekend of the 60th Commemorative Edition of The Canadian Tulip Festival in Ottawa. To celebrate this milestone, the festival will begin with an opening party in the ByWard Market. Join half a million visitors during this month-long event, and tour some of Ottawa’s most historic neighbourhoods.

Join Bryan Adams on his first Canada-wide tour since 1992, this Friday at Scotiabank Place. Expect to hear great hits like “Open Road” and “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You,” as Adams rocks out alongside his longtime band members.

Saturday, May 5
Death and the Maiden, directed by Craig Walker, is a live performance that tells the story of fear and paranoia in a now defunct dystopian society. This three-week event begins May 1 at The Gladstone.


Indulge: Five Luxury Items that are Worth the Splurge


Treat yourself to a day of indulgence in the nation's capital.

You work hard, it’s time to enjoy yourself! From small splurges to big-ticket items, we’ve highlighted five luxury items that — bonus — also make great souvenirs from your trip to Ottawa.

Nothing says luxury like taking time for yourself (why is that?). In this day and age of smartphones, laptops, and nonstop digital communication, there is no greater feeling than turning off and tuning out to curl up with a magazine. The glossy pages, beautiful photographs, and scintillating stories offer an escape — if only for a little while. Whether you’re reading fodder for the mind or guilty pleasure rags, this act (and its inexpensive price) is one of life’s simplest pleasures. While in Ottawa, a trip to Mags & Fags on Elgin Street is a must. In business for 30 years, this shop carries 4,000 magazine titles that range from obscure and special interest to mainstream favourites. 254 Elgin St., 613-233-9651.

koko chocolates: delicious, rich, and local, too!

Local chocolatier Jen Winter has created quite a reputation for her gourmet sweets, koko chocolates. A perfectly grown-up treat that won’t break the bank, her tasty truffles have creamy ganache centres and are dipped or molded in premium Belgian chocolate. Find fine flavours such as Thai Chili, Triple Chocolate, Margarita, Passion Fruit, and more, as well as seasonal offerings. Retails for about $5.25-$6.50 per 3-piece sleeve. Available at The Candy Store, 350 Richmond Rd. in Westboro, and several other locations in Ottawa.

Hot Shopping: Cool Cooking and Home Gadgets from Ma Cuisine

These chic feetless wine glasses from Waterwinewine are a popular buy at Ma Cuisine.

For anyone who knows their way around a kitchen, Ma Cuisine is a must. Located in the ByWard Market, this spacious shop carries more than 12,000 products. Take time to browse the latest and greatest items on the market for cooking and baking, as well as kitchen accessories. Some popular pieces you’ll find in store? Try the Corkcicle, an icicle that’s inserted into a wine bottle to keep white wine chilled without diluting it, or “feetless” wine glasses from Waterwinewine (featured) that are part art, part drink holder. 269 Dalhousie St., 613-789-9225.

Hot Dining: Cool and Cozy Dinner Spot

The popular $12 fries are served with a "side order" of steak.

If you love ending the day with a glass of wine and a good meal, look no further than Vineyards Wine Bar Bistro in the ByWard Market, which is known for its warm, relaxed atmosphere (as well as its $12 French fries served with a side order of steak). This restaurant carries 70 wines by the glass, 200 types of beer (including hard to find Belgian ones), and 20 wine flights, which come with a tasting sheet and three different wines. Live jazz Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday evenings and a complimentary cheese table Sunday to Thursday from 4pm to 6pm add to the experience. 54 York St. (in the cellar), 613-241-4270.

Hot Shopping: Where to Get Unique Accessories

Check out Eclection for unique accessories that make great souvenirs.

Looking for a great souvenir? Eclection in the ByWard Market houses a colourful collection of hats, jewellery, clothing, and accessories, and specializes in work by Canadian artists and designers. (Fun fact: many of the staff members are artists whose collections are carried in the shop.) Prices are affordable, with jewellery starting at $10, accessories starting at $25, and clothes starting at $50. But it’s the fun, whimsical vibe and sheer assortment — eco-plastic jewellery, fascinators, scarves! — that will have you returning.
55 ByWard Market Sq., 613-789-7288.

Fitness on the Go:
3 Places to Get Your Workout on in Ottawa

When you’re travelling, it’s easy for your fitness regime to slip up.  All of a sudden you’re no longer hitting the gym – and all the eating out and afternoon drinks start to add up. Luckily for you, Ottawa has no shortage of fitness options, so we’ve rounded up three great ones with drop-in rates that will get you moving. By Erin Morawetz. (more…)

Hot Shopping: Profile of Vintage Spot Young Janes

Mika Lemm, owner of Young Janes, brings unique vintage looks to Ottawa.

Writer Melissa Schilz heads out to Dalhousie Street for an interview with Mika Lemm, the mastermind behind one of the city’s hot spots for second-hand shopping.

Searching for the perfect vintage shop can get tedious, especially if you’re new to the city. But look no more, the secret is out: Dalhousie Street is home to some of the most unique shops in Ottawa, including one special gem, Young Janes.

Owner Mika Lemm had her start in Manchester, U.K., back in 2006 when she opened her first shop, Chloe’s Closet (the psychology-student-turned-businesswoman says she worked in retail as a teenager and grew to love it). She then made her way to Ottawa and set up shop on Dalhousie in 2008. After a few years accumulating a whole lot of vintage stock in her small store — which became a haven for hipsters, vintage-lovers, girly-girls, and anyone who loves the hunt — she decided it was time for a change. She snagged the perfect space just a block away, closer to the epicenter of Dalhousie, which allowed the store to expand. It’s now garnering more traffic than ever. (more…)