Author Archive

SEPTEMBER 2014: Living in the Downtown Core


Cover image by Christian Laldone – Photolux Studio.

Gentrification is a loaded word. As Mark Bourrie writes in “Change Is Good?” (page 40), when a neighbourhood goes from gritty to trendy, there are some who do very well and others who lose out. But I’d say there is one thing it’s good for, and that’s opening our eyes to the corner stores, green spaces, and other hidden gems that give an area character. For some people — we’re calling them neo urbanites — those observations shape their lives in fascinating ways. 

It’s precisely this act of taking neighbourhood love to the next level that fuels our 40-page cover story, “Living in the Downtown Core.” From the voices speaking out about gentrification to the people who invited us into their stylish homes, we can’t talk about urban renewal without shining a spotlight on the folks who are behind the movement. That’s why we broke with tradition and featured people on our cover (you can read more about Patrick Hajas and Erin Silsbe, and their beautiful deck in Centretown, in “Family Values,” page 61). In fact, while the “Urban Study” series showcases stunning interiors, the stories are more about how a house works to accommodate the downtown lifestyle and why the inhabitants choose to live where they do. Because it’s people like Patrick and Erin — people who frequent mom-and-pop stores and loiter at the cash to shoot the breeze — who are helping to shape the downtown core. And these so-called neo urbanites are savvy: they know about the power of the purse, and they walk the downtown talk. That’s why they volunteer with community groups, frequent independently owned shops, and walk so much! 

Alan Neal and Jill Zmud walk baby Violet and pug . Photo by Jamie Kronick.

Alan Neal and Jill Zmud walk baby Violet and pug . Photo by Jamie Kronick.

For me, one of the most interesting projects to watch right now is the Bell Street Towers. Apparently it’s one of the city’s oldest apartment buildings, and it’s one of the first places I heard about when my sister moved to Ottawa in the late 1990s. She saw the sign from the highway and, with vacancy rates low and few ties to the city, took a chance. She told some nasty pigeon stories, but she also spoke of the diversity of her fellow tenants, of children playing wildly in the stairwells, of spontaneous clothing swaps in the laundry room. Years later, when I was living in the shadows of the Towers, I came to appreciate the street-level retail. Yes, the pizza at Calabria was pretty good, and that Polish grocer got us through some busy weeks, but it was the familiar faces that made us loyal customers. Like many neighbourhoods in transition, the future of the Bell Towers is unknown. Hopefully, the facelift will allow room for a few blemishes, for it is the gritty details that catch our attention and call us to take part in the act of shaping our city.

I would be remiss if I let this issue go by without noting a big change happening at Ottawa Magazine. Our veteran gossip columnist, the affable and hard-working Michael Prentice, has decided he would rather go on the occasional cruise and spend time with family than track the comings and goings of the upper crust. And because no one can replace Michael when it comes to this sensitive subject matter, we’re welcoming long-time journalist Chris Lackner, who will skewer all levels of government in a new column, “The Jester.” 

Dayanti Karunaratne, editor


Reason to Love: Lusk Cave
Chinatown Museum in FOUND

• Chris Lackner is The Jester
Sarah BrownDoubleSpace at MacOdrum Library

Ottawa Is a Place — the story behind the t-shirt and the city’s civic pride
by Tony Martins

In Tune With the Times at Ottawa Folk Fest
by Chris Lackner

Secrets to Tell
Author Frances Itani mines her family history in new novel
By Paul Gessell

Living in the Downtown Core:
Ottawa’s downtown is changing. It’s moving quickly from a big town
to a small city. These are the people, places, and spaces amid
the core’s changing landscape

Change is Good?
A look at the positives — and the pitfalls — of gentrification
By Mark Bourrie   Photography by Dwayne Brown 

My ’hood, Your ’hood
Newcomers and old-timers dish on favourite haunts
Photography by Tony Fouhse

My Story
Vanier’s orphaned landmark
By Mike Steinhauer

Family life in Little Italy
By Nichole McGill

My Guilt Trip
By David McDonald 

Urban Study
At home with four committed downtowners

A Day in the Life
Minute by minute, hour by hour — at work and play with four urbanites
Photography by Rémi Thériault and Jamie Kronick

Photo by Luther Caverly

Photo by Luther Caverly

Alpaca is the new cashmere. Find it at Magpie Hill.

MY LOOK Talking life + style with Matt Carson


Connecting farm to fork by Shawna Wagman

Quest for raspberries by Cindy Deachman

Plus City Bites — foodie gossip and other juicy bits


David Lawrason picks top Greek wines


Spotlight on Erling’s Variety

New reviews of Ginza Ramen, Mamma Teresa Chelsea Ristorante, and The Rex

Carp Fair, Folk Festival Favourites, plus See, Hear, Read with Paul Gessell


The Examined Space by rob mclennan

KITCHEN CHRONICLES: Fiona’s mom has a hissy fit PLUS the recipe for Fee’s fabulous carrot cake


Westward ho

—   Hi Mom, says Fiona. Just let me put you on speaker phone, I’m in the middle of making a carrot cake*. There. Can you hear me?

—   You’ll never believe what that brother of yours is doing now, says her mother.

—   Is he okay? asks Fiona anxiously.

She spoke to him on Wednesday and he seemed okay, but still…. It’s early days yet.

—   He’s fine, says her mother crisply. I’m the one having a nervous breakdown. He’s moving out west. To Vancouver. To be closer to him.

—   Him? Dad?IMG_4300

—   Of course, Dad. Who else? she says impatiently. For some reason, your Dad phoned out of the blue and two of them had this big kiss and make-up session.

So he did phone, thinks Fiona. He did listen to me. I can’t believe it. Maybe he is changing. Or maybe all we needed to do was talk. He’s the one who opened things up with that damn will.

—   When did he call? she asks.

—   Couple of days ago. And now all of the sudden, Neil’s decided to move to Vancouver. Says it will be a fresh start for him. And get this, the old tightwad actually open his wallet for Neil. Can you believe it?

Good for him, thinks Fiona. He’s finally getting involved in our lives. Luc walks into the kitchen; Fee mouths “Mom” and motions for him to be quiet.

—   I guess you’ll really miss Neil, says Fiona.

—   And the rent, says her mom. Everyone seems concerned about his financial wherewithal, but what about me?

—   Neil couldn’t have paid rent anyway Mom. He’s not working. And if he did stay in Halifax, I don’t think he’d be moving back home. It’s time for him to be on his own.

—   He’s not well enough. You know that, Fiona. He needs his mother.

—   Or is it just the rent you’re worried about?

—   Fee! How can you be so crass? I’m a loving mother.

—   Mom, if you need the money, rent out the downstairs apartment to someone else. A student or someone.

—   The laundry’s down there.

—   So get it moved upstairs. It’s not such a difficult thing, Mom. I think the important thing here is Neil and helping him get better. If he thinks a move….

—   There’s no way that will help him. Leaving behind all his friends and the one person in the world who loves and cares for him the most.

—   You?

—   Yes, me, of course, she snaps.

scrambled-eggs—   Mom, someone’s at the door, Fee lies. I’ll call you back.

She hangs up and begins dialling. Good for Neil, she thinks.

—   Neil’s leaving? Luc says

—   Going out west. Dad’s paying.

—   Wow, that’s a barn-burner.

—   I’m calling Neil, she says, putting the phone back on speaker. They listen to the rings.

—   Hello?

—   Neil? It’s Fee. Luc’s here too on speakerphone.

—   Hey guys. I’m guessing Mom called you, he says.

—   I would have rather have heard it from you, says Fiona.

—   I had to tell her first, Fee. I was going to call you tonight. I’ve been so busy getting everything set up. Packing, shipping stuff, tickets. Dad’s paying for everything. And I know you’re behind it all. He skirted around it, not wanting to share the glory, but you said you talked.

—   I did, but I never expected this!

—   I don’t know what’s gotten into him, says Neil, but he’s really come through. He’s even found a couple of contracts for me with his buddies. Web design for lawyers, but still, it’s a start. And there’s so much more work going on in Vancouver for me: design, apps. All sorts of stuff. More than there ever will be in Halifax.

—   Where are you going to live? asks Fiona.

—   He’s set that up too. Place in Burnaby, near the BCIT, so I can take courses if I want.

—   Or teach them.

—   Ha! As if! Anyway, it’s near stores and the SkyTrain so I’m good to go. I can’t wait.

—   Neil, I haven’t heard you sound this good since…forever! I’m so glad. And what about your psychiatrist, what does she say?

—   She’s a bit worried, says it’s awfully soon. But she’s hooked me up with someone she went to school with, so I have that sorted too. It just seems like this was meant to happen.

—   Except for Mom.

—   Well, yeah, she’s pretty upset. But you know as Dr. C says: I’m not responsible for how she’s feeling.

—   It took me years to realize that, says Fiona. It’s always all about her.

—   You’re right there. Listen Fee, I’ve got an appointment in twenty minutes, I’ve gotta run.

—   When’s the move? she asks.

—   Week tomorrow.

—   I’m so happy for you, Neil.

—   Thanks Fee. Love you.

—   Love you too, she says and hangs up.

—   I don’t think he’s ever told me that before, she says to Luc.

*Fiona’s favourite carrot cake


2 cups stirred, unsifted cake and pastry flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 cups sugar

1 ½ cups canola oil

4 eggs

2 cups peeled, grated carrots

1 ¼ cups drained, crushed pineapple

1 cup chopped pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F.
  2. Place sifter over large bowl, sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  3. Add oil and eggs, beat by hand for 1 minute.
  4. Add carrot, pineapple and nuts; beat to mix.
  5. Grease bottom of a 13×9 inch pan. Line bottom with buttered heavy brown paper.
  6. Pour in batter and bake on centre shelf for 40–50 minutes, or until cake springs back when touched with your fingertip.
  7. Cool and frost


Cream cheese frosting

4 ounce light cream cheese

½ cup butter (soft)

2 cups icing sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Put all ingredients into a bowl and beat with hand mixer until smooth.
  2. Spread on cooled cake.
  3. Cut into squares from pan.



KITCHEN CHRONICLES: If only all disruptive colleagues would leave. PLUS summer bounty tomato and basil fusilli

By Barbara Sibbald

Mission accomplished

For the tenth time in the last fifteen minutes, Fiona looks up at the starburst kitchen clock. Where the heck is Luc, she wonders. She considers dialling his cell, but doesn’t want to be a pest. He’s with his buds for their Friday after-work whine-fest; he’ll be home soon enough. Besides, she knows if she phones him, she’ll just blurt out her news. This has to be told in person, she thinks. She palms the tomatoes* on the counter; they’re perfectly ripe, ready for dinner. Everything’s going my way, she thinks. Sweet justice.

She recalls all the angst Lena has brought her, beginning with the undeserved salary hike, the snide digs, the lack of respect. Fiona knows the senior editor’s job inside out, and Lena just isn’t up to it: she’s lost photos, missed deadlines and meetings, pissed off advertisers and freelancers. For months, Fiona’s been regaling Luc with stories about Lena’s incompetence. She’s also told the publisher but, as Luc guessed, he’s been thinking with his little head where Lena was concerned.

Fiona smiles to herself, what the heck she thinks, I don’t have to wait for him. She unscrews the cork on the bottle of Amarone della Valpolicella.

Fiona pours a glass and takes a tentative sip — there’s something not quite right about drinking alone in her mind — when the screen door swings open.

—    Hi ya beautiful, Luc says with a grin.

She smiles at him.

—   Had a few, have you? she asks.

—   One of the joys of taking the bus. In addition to the diesel fumes, he says. Hey how about a kiss?

She puts her hands on his chest and gives him a big smooch.

—   Where’s Gavin? he asks.

—   Gone to the movies with Andrew, then for a sleepover. Hey, I’ve got news, she says. Glass of Amarone?

—   We were saving that — this must be some news.

—   Oh, yeah, she says, pouring the wine. Guess who stormed out in a huff today?

—   Uh, that would be Lena.IMG_4300

—   Bingo!

—   That is good news, he says. Here’s to clearer sailing.

They clink glasses and kiss.

—   So what was the final straw?

—   Remember I told you how she forgot to send that feature for fact checking? The one that blasted a new condo developer for shoddy work? Well, it turns out there were a couple of errors. Nothing really earth-shaking, but the developer got his lawyer to send a letter, rattling Richard’s chains. So he calls Lena into his office — raised eyebrows all around — and we hear voices, but we can’t make out what they’re saying. Then Lena comes storming out, big red face and grabs her purse and heads out. I ask her what’s up and she just glares at me. Not a word. Then Richard calls me into his office, tells me he’s dismissed her for incompetence. But I know there’s more to it than that.

—   How do you know?

—   Lena called me later in the afternoon, asking if I’d pack up her cubicle and meet her at Bridgehead. So I get there and she’s in a complete rage. How dare he, blah, blah, blah. What shocked me most was her lack of self-awareness. She actually thinks we’re friends. Finally she tells me that she and Richard were an item, but she broke up with him last week.

—   I knew it! says Luc.

—   Yeah, you sure called that one. Now she’s got this thing going with some foreign affairs guy. High up. But she won’t say who it is. He’s probably married too. And she thinks Richard fired her as a revenge thing, which may be partly true.

—   Knowing Richard.

—   Yeah, it’s not out of character. But I think mostly he did it to placate the developer — and his lawyer. That and a big apology, usually does the trick when people start rattling chains.

—   Peyton Place, I’m telling you!

—   End result though, she’s gone and I’m a happy camper. Now I can hire my own senior editor. I already told Richard that I want to be in charge of the hiring, and he can be part of the process. He’s cool with that.

—   Which is the way it should be anyway. For editorial.

—   Precisely.

—   Well, here’s to a happier workplace, he says raising his champagne flute. 

scrambled-eggs*Fiona’s fusilli with fresh tomatoes and olives

Serves six

½ pound mozzarella

4 large, very ripe tomatoes

3 ounces black olives, cured in oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons minced fresh basil

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

pinch of sugar

salt and fresh pepper to taste

1 ½ pounds fusilli


  1. Cut mozzarella into one-quarter-inch cubes
  2. Immerse tomatoes in boiling water for 30 seconds. Peel and cut into small pieces.
  3. Pit the olives and coarsely chop.
  4. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, except pasta.
  5. Cook the pasta al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain well toss with tomato mixture.
  6. Cover with a towel to let the mozzarella soften/melt.
  7. Serve with a green salad and a Pinot Noir.


SHOP TALK: Etsy Roadtrip comes to LeBreton Flats

Shop Talk is written by Ottawa Magazine editor Dayanti Karunaratne and Sarah Fischer, Ottawa Magazine account executive and fashion maven.

Photo courtesy FASHION Magazine.

Photo courtesy FASHION Magazine.

Cascais dress by Tangente. The local eco-friendly designer Tangente will be at the Etsy event on Monday, Aug. 4.

Cascais dress by Tangente. The local eco-friendly designer Tangente will be at the Etsy event on Monday, Aug. 4.


We’ve been hearing a lot about the revitalization of LeBreton Flats, but other than Bluesfest the area still seems like a bit of a dead zone. But what’s this … the Etsy Roadtrip is coming to town, and setting up shop at the Flats? And since we also hear that the online shopping site is planning world domination, perhaps the time has come for this storied part of the city to shine.

With The Merry Dairy, Streetside Curry, and Bridgehead on board, it’s certainly worth checking out. Another nod to the event is the involvement of Campy Home — that’s the new endeavour by Handmade Harvest co-founder Emily Arbour. Cute candles, nice packaging — seems like a good hostess gift for that next barbecue!

And there’s music! Kelly Sloan and the Claytones. We’re just getting wind of this event now, so not sure about the schedule of events, but it seems like a reason to take a bike through that part of the Ottawa River pathway.

Read more about the tour from our sister mag, FASHION.

Etsy Roadtrip pop-up shop. Monday, August 4 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Lebreton Flats






SHOP TALK: Arrive in style with lightweight layers and colourful accessories

Shop Talk is written by Ottawa Magazine editor Dayanti Karunaratne and Sarah Fischer, Ottawa Magazine account executive and fashion maven.

Photo by Marc Fowler.

Photo by Marc Fowler/Metropolis Studio/


Panama via Oahu
Keep cool and stylish this summer with a deLux Panama hat ($44.50). Made with eco-friendly ethically sourced materials, it’s a timeless topper (that happens to be on trend right now). Stand out while you sit back: this RJC Hawaiian shirt ($69.50) was made on the island of Oahu and promises a touch of aloha.
Fab Gear, 1112 Wellington St. W., 613-725-1964.

On Deck
A modern update on the classic deck shoe, the Ecco Eisner ($195) features a flexible sole and breathable lining that absorbs moisture — say bon voyage to sweaty feet! Rich leather uppers make it a perfectly acceptable choice for almost every summer outing.
Letellier Shoes, 146 Rideau St., 613-241-6557.

In Vest
This long sleeveless vest is a simple and avant-garde way to add a splash of colour to an outfit, making it a hot commodity for jet-setters. Made of Egyptian mako cotton, the Toni ($295) is substantial without restricting movement — in short, a perfect layering piece.
Ça va de soi, 459 Sussex Dr., 613-789-2828.

Take Note
Inspired by rare finds in the American Museum of Natural History Library, this Natural Histories journal ($15.95) is sure to make writing that next poem (or to-do list) an act of grace. In addition to the eye-catching owl cover, the diary features 192 ruled pages and a ribbon bookmark.
Paper Papier, 18 Clarence St., 613-241-1212.

In Bloom
This colourful Silk Route scarf ($128) is a light wrap that’s sure to brighten up any outfit. Printed with flowers and butterflies, as well as the season’s ubiquitous black-and-white stripes, it’s a versatile accessory that protects shoulders from the sun on hot days and offers practical warmth on chilly evenings.
Clothes by Muriel Dombret, 1258 Wellington St. W., 613-798-0167.

KITCHEN CHRONICLES: Fiona tackles her father’s priorities. PLUS The definitive roast chicken dinner

  1. Father knows least

Fiona’s father fills the sink with hot soapy water, eschewing her offer to use Luc’s rubber gloves. She was astounded when he’d insisted on washing the dishes. Since when has he done household chores? she wonders. The possibility that maybe she doesn’t know him very well enters her conscience.

—   Great dinner, Fiona, her father says. I love a roast chicken. It’s been eons.

Doesn’t Lorelei cook? she thinks. Then checks herself for having such a politically incorrect thought.

—   I’m glad you liked it, Dad. It’s one of Gavin’s favs, too. Did you notice how he makes a well in his mashed potatoes and fills it with gravy? He used to call it a volcano when he was little, and he’d pour the gravy in it until it overflowed! It’s so cute that he still does it.

—   He’s at that half-way stage, one foot in adolescence, one in childhood, says her father. He’s a very nice boy. So like you at that age: studious, serious.

He begins washing the glasses then rinsing them under steaming water.

—   I’m glad we have this time, just the two of us, he says. Although it’s not good that Luc has to work in the evenings. Still, it gives us the chance to talk about that letter you sent.

—   About your will.

—   Yes. It was nicely written by the way. Believe me, I’ve seen lots of these.

—   Writing is my profession, says Fiona.

scrambled-eggsNo need to mention the mediator’s help, she thinks.

—   Yes. Well, I talked it over with Lorelei, because of course she’s affected the most. We had quite the discussion.

He pauses in his washing, turns the tap off and faces Fiona.

—   Actually, we had a big blow out over it. The upshot is that it’s not just about her; she wants to be able to look after her children too, which is understandable. But as I pointed out to her, they have their own father. They aren’t my kids, so I feel my responsibility is limited in that regard.

Fiona’s heart quickens, seems to expand to fill her chest. Her kids! What about us! she thinks. Is he leaving us a legacy of bitterness? She can’t look him in the eye, and concentrates instead on drying a wine glass.

—   She has how many kids? Fiona asks with an effort at calmness. Ask simple questions to buy time, she thinks.

—   Three. And they don’t really seem very capable of looking after themselves. Two went all artsy, but they don’t really have the talent, which has to be supremely disappointing to them. One’s a chronically unemployed actor and the other does weird digital photography — which costs a fortune to produce, what with the fancy computers and programs and giclée reproductions and all — and it never sells. I mean who’d buy something that can be endlessly reproduced?

He holds up his soapy hand.

—   Don’t get me started.

—   And the third? Fiona asks.

—   He’s a perennial student. Thirty-three and still working on his doctorate — nine years now. And of course the funding has long since dried up.

—   And you’re supporting all three? Fiona asks, thinking of all the years she and Luc saved for the house, all the compromises they made.

He shrugs.

—   To some degree. Mostly Lorelei takes care of them. She makes a decent salary teaching, and even if she has to take early retirement because of her arthritis, she’ll still have a good pension.

—   So, what’s the problem?

—   She’s worried that after I’m gone her pension won’t cover everything, propping them up financially, plus her own living expenses and travel and whatnot. I assured her that wouldn’t be a problem, that there would be plenty. Then it emerged that what she’s really worried about is what will happen to them later, after she dies. She wants to make sure they’re well taken care of.

—   And so her kids take priority over yours? says Fiona bluntly.IMG_4300

He pauses.

—   It’s not that simple, Fee.

—   Isn’t it? she asks, meeting his eyes. It seems pretty straightforward. You have a son who is mentally ill, who can’t support himself. And it’s not like he chose this. Like he wanted to be an actor, but failed, or a visual artist. He’s ill. Right now he’s living in a temporary half-way kind of house, but he’s only allowed to stay six months. That’s not long enough. And if he doesn’t get financial help he’s going to wind up living with Mom again, which would definitely set him back. He’s so isolated there. And I know him, he’ll just fall back into old habits.

—   If it’s so dire, why hasn’t he said anything to me? her father asks.

—   He’s not comfortable doing that. He doesn’t think you care.

—   I do care.

—   Well, look at it from his vantage point Dad. From mine too, come to think of it, she adds quickly. We get the annual phone call at Christmas and a cheque in the mail. That’s it. No call on our birthdays even. And it’s been like that practically since you left.

—   I had Neil out one summer.

—   Yeah, and you left him alone in your apartment all day while you were working and half the night while you out with Lorelei. Some fun for a fifteen-year-old.

He shrugs.

—   I can’t be responsible for entertaining him, he says defensively.

—   No, maybe not. Anyway, that’s all water under the bridge, she says. The fact is he needs you now.

—   You have to look at this from my perspective too, Fiona. Your mother didn’t exactly make it easy for me to see you. I was just the money machine. I was given one week a year with Neil. That’s it. And then that ended.

—   You’re the one who moved across the country, says Fiona.

—   Yes, I did. But that doesn’t mean I couldn’t have seen him more often. I offered to fly him out so many times and she always said no. She wouldn’t even put him on the phone so I could ask him if he wanted to visit. I admit I could have done better that one summer. I blew it, okay. Is that what you want to hear?

—   I don’t need to hear it, says Fiona. It’s Neil you should talk to.

—   And what about you? he asks.


*The definitive roast chicken dinner

Serves 6


Five pound roasting chicken (free range)

Salt and pepper

1 lemon, cut in quarters

½ onion, peeled and cut in thirds

Handful parsley, washed

6 parsnips, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks

6 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks

8 potatoes, peeled and quartered

1 teaspoon salt

½ cup butter

¼ cup (or more) milk

1 chicken bouillon cube

flour to thicken


  1. Take bird out of fridge two hours ahead of time. Get to room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 °F.
  3. Wash inside cavity, pull out excess fat and other stuff. Dry inside.
  4. Shake salt and pepper inside cavity. Stuff with lemon, onion and parsley. Fold pinion (small part of wing) under the bird and tie legs loosely with cotton string (not plastic!).
  5. Insert thermometer in thigh.
  6. Position in a roasting pan and roast 15 minutes (turn fan on high; there will be smoke!).
  7. Meanwhile, parboil the parsnips and carrots for five minutes.
  8. Turn oven heat down to 400 °F. Add potatoes and carrots around the bird.
  9. Roast bird until thermometer reads 160 to 180 degrees.
  10. When the bird is nearly done, cover potatoes with water in large pot, bring to boil. Add salt and cook until tender. Drain, retaining water, and mash with butter and milk.
  11. Move the bird from the pan to a platter, cover with tea towel and let rest 20 minutes.
  12. Turn off oven. Put vegetables in an oven-proof dish and place in the oven.
  13.  To make gravy, drain fat out of roasting pan, keeping 2 or 3 tablespoons. Place roasting pan on stove, over medium-low heat. Scrap edges of pan, add crumbled bouillon cube and flour to thicken. Cook thick paste a minute or so. Gradually whisk in potato water. If the gravy is lumpy, strain it in a sieve. No one needs to know!
  14.  Carve chicken, serve with parsnips and carrots, mashed potatoes and a green vegetable or salad. Pass gravy at the table.


MALL MADNESS! The details behind Rideau, Bayshore, and St. Laurent renovations

Shop Talk is written by Ottawa Magazine editor Dayanti Karunaratne and Sarah Fischer, Ottawa Magazine account executive and fashion maven.

With the opening of the Rideau Centre food court Dining Hall later this month, and the excitement buzzing around such openings as Express and Victoria’s Secret at Bayshore, SHOP TALK surveys the big players — and fine details — in Ottawa’s mall scene.

Rideau Centre - Exterior

Rideau Centre

How much will the renovation cost:
Total value of the redevelopment project is $360 million, including Nordstrom (opening March 2015), the new Dining Hall (opening August 2014), interior and exterior renovation, and the expansion area that is due to open August 2016.

Size of redevelopment in sq. ft:
Adding 230,000 sq.ft. of new leasable area in the expansion

What big brands will you be bringing in:
Simons, Victoria’s Secret, Nordstrom, J.Crew, Zara Kids and Zara Home, Massimo Dutti, Express, Purdy’s

What’s cooking in the new food court? 
Dining Hall will feature 16 units and 850 seats, as well as a new design. Environmentally friendly features include reusable dishware, cutlery, and glasses, and full recycling facilities, including organics.

Fancy details:
All new Italian quartz flooring in the common area. Tile imported from Verona, Italy

Any environmentally friendly aspects to the new building?
In addition to the Dining Hall features mentioned above, the expansion will be LEED Certified

Things you won’t find anywhere else:
9,000 sq.ft. of original artwork commissioned for the building exterior, installed on three facades and illuminated at night

Any new parking spots?
Approximately 550 new underground parking spaces below the expansion

DAYTRIPPER: Visit Perth for cute shops and foodie finds


Once voted the prettiest town in Ontario, Perth is dotted with specialty shops and restaurants, many in century-old stone buildings. Go for the boutiques, antiques, and good eats — all just an hour’s drive from the city.

Photo by Justin Van Leeuwen.

Photo by Justin Van Leeuwen.

Backbeat Books & Music
6 Wilson St.
Finally, a used-book store that doesn’t feel like a cramped closet. This cozy spot sells new and used books and vinyl. On one side, there’s a careful selection of new fiction and non-fiction titles (and a couch). Mosey over toward the cash to find high-end turntables and well-organized shelves of records, from vintage and re-releases to indie albums from rising stars like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Click the thumbnails to see more places to visit in Perth:






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