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APRIL 2014: The Sex Issue

1_aprilcover.inddLETTER FROM THE EDITOR

When I first met Elliot Strikefoot, I was filled with excitement, fear, and uncertainty — not to mention the usual embarrassment that comes with any conversation of a sexual nature. In my initial email, I used the term “sex change” for the tumultuous transition he was embarking on. I knew it was wrong, but I didn’t know what was right and wanted to be straightforward about my own level of understanding. Overthinking? Probably, but that seems to be par for the course when it comes to sex.

In my conversations with Strikefoot for the Making It Work series, we chatted about everything from church to state, gyms to barbershops. At the time, he had been taking testosterone for only two months, and I didn’t flinch when the waitress asked, “Are you ladies doing okay?” Now, I squirm at the pervasive pink in my two-year-old daughter’s wardrobe and see gender as a continuum rather than a choice between two boxes. But at the end of the day, what I learned from Elliot was less about body parts and more about fulfilling one’s destiny — and how we all grapple with the hard decisions that entails.

Indeed, as The Sex Issue evolved, it became clear that sex — and the host of subjects surrounding it — often illuminates a larger story. Fateema Sayani’s article about open marriage speaks to such modern marriage conundrums as the importance of communication and having one’s needs met, while Judy Trinh’s colourful account of John School hints at the underlying problem of human trafficking.

It all points to a subtle movement toward a more progressive attitude about sex. When Elliot and I met, we were talking about some pretty heavy things, yet we never felt we had to watch our backs. Since then, popular sex shop/education venue Venus Envy has moved from their side street location to a more visible storefront on Bank Street. Call it the mainstreeting of sex — straight or queer, it’s here, get used to it.

Plus: this issue sees the launch of DesBrisay Dines as we welcome Anne DesBrisay as our restaurant critic. A trusted source for objective restaurant reviews, DesBrisay began writing comprehensive critiques for OttawaMagazine.com earlier this year. Find shorter, star-rated reviews in our “Going Out” section — and do read the star system carefully; every restaurant mentioned is Anne-approved.

Coming up: The grass is always greener on the other side. Our annual real estate roundup looks at the attractions — and drawbacks — of buying a house in Quebec. From cute cottage-like houses to the convenience of the suburbs, Ottawa and Gatineau offer comparable neighbourhoods. We line up the top contenders and let you be the judge.

INTERIORS 2014: River views inspire dazzling designs

1_Cover_jane.inddLETTER FROM THE EDITOR

When managing editor Sarah Brown proposed the theme of the 2014 Interiors issue, I was once again amazed at the rich architectural landscape of this city. The city’s explosion of bold, yet thoughtful, residential design provided us the opportunity to curate a collection of houses that easily fit the riverside theme.

The theme quickly revealed a few trends. Many homeowners love the modern look but wanted a house that spoke to the surroundings. Enter post-and-beam construction, which allows for open-concept kitchens and works well with neutral decor palettes. I love how, from afar, the Manotick home of Sebastien Marineau looks like a cluster of rural outbuildings. Inside, it’s warm, welcoming, and a luxurious place to come home to. Marc Gingras and Natalie Sawaya took a different route: the topography of their undeveloped property meant their house could be built to ensure awe-inspiring views.

One thing remains constant in these water-inspired homes, and that is the interplay between outside and inside. A pool is set into the bedrock and features clear fencing to keep the eyes on the prize-winning forested backdrop. Extensive glazing lets homeowners appreciate their surroundings even in winter. Barn- board reclaims the landscape by countering the modern aspects of the house and tying it back to the landscape, in this way honouring the surroundings.

I would even venture to say that the feeling of river travel — the sometimes peaceful, at other times stimulating experience that reveals something new at every turn — is reflected in this issue. For example, we learned of the Cumberland home of Anda Bruinsma and Barry Turner after visiting the home of Gosse Bruinsma, Anda’s brother. Gosse and his partner, Michele Carini, lovingly restored a heritage home in New Edinburgh — on the banks of the Rideau River, no less — and thus bring a different style of architecture to this issue. Serendipitous, indeed.

I’ve often marvelled at the fact that, while Ottawa has many parks and pathways situated near water, relatively few public gathering spaces take advantage of river views, sunset reflections, and the embracing spiritedness that comes with socializing by the water. But institutions are starting to see the value in inspired public spaces — “Building a More Beautiful City” spotlights three recent projects. Perhaps it’s time city planners took a cue from residential architects. How I would love a space to chat fireside about a new project or be moved by the musings of a celebrated speaker while taking in waterfront views.

Dayanti Karunaratne, Editor
feedbackottawa@stjosephmedia.com

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WINTER 2013 ISSUE: Best new restaurants! On newsstands Oct. 31

NOVcover_300-1WHERE TO EAT NOW

The best new restaurants for 2013.

Letter from the Editor

A strong sense of civic pride is brewing in our city. More often than not, it’s led by multitasking entrepreneurs who connect with people in the spirit of creating something special. Most recently we’re seeing chefs and restaurateurs throw their metaphorical toques in the ring — and literally asking their customers to pull up a seat at the bar. The result is a blurring of the traditional lines between customer and server, not to mention a new notion of what dining out can be. It’s a time for calculated risks, colourful personalities, and experiences that evolve through the night. In short, it’s the era of the cocktail.

Maybe it’s because we’re drinking earlier and dining later. Why not enjoy happy hour with artisanal munchies? Heck, some of these cocktails eat like a meal. Or maybe it’s because while we’re chatting up the tattooed barkeep, conversation naturally leads to our next order. Who wants a rum and Coke if you can have a carefully crafted signature cocktail? When chefs and bartenders are putting so much thought into the balancing of flavours and the infusing of herbs and alcohol, it seems a shame to choose a standard highball.

In the end, even if you choose not to imbibe, the theme of this year’s best restaurants feature shines a light on the rising stars of our dining scene. Cocktails are but a symbol of the attention to detail and the commitment to local products that make these places stand out. 

In the spirit of the season, we sourced the city’s top shops to create a stunning gift guide. Our expanded Shop Talk series brings together the talents of our expert shoppers, Sarah Fischer and Erica Wark, with art director Jane Corbett’s impeccable festive styling and photographer Marc Fowler’s precise technical skills. If you’re looking for gift ideas or holiday decor inspiration, it’s a great place to start.

Alas, the holidays can also be a bittersweet time. For Vaheeda Visram, whose brother Shafiq disappeared nearly 20 years ago, it can be a reminder of those not present at the family table. Ron Corbett talks to Vaheeda and members of the missing persons department in the compelling story “The Lost.”

Coming Up: Our 2014 Interiors issue will be better than ever. We’re working closely with Great Space guru Sarah Brown to bring you stories and photography featuring the city’s best interior design, architecture, home decor, and public spaces.

Dayanti Karunaratne , Editor
feedbackottawa@stjosephmedia.com

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OCTOBER ISSUE: Previewing fall’s most compelling events — on newsstands now!

1_Octcov_final.inddPLAY FAVOURITES

A lively look at this month’s best concerts, coolest art exhibits, and most compelling theatre performances

Letter from the Editor

As the arts season kicks into high gear, we’re embracing events of all kinds — and widening our definition of culture. Food- and drink-related events are certainly a highlight for many readers. And who doesn’t love to dress up, act silly, and get into the Halloween spirit? Plus, it gives us a chance to explore some of the city’s delightful subcultures; I love finding out about energetic, passionate people who pour their hearts (and countless hours) into building their audience and making an event run smoothly. Indeed, part of the fun of planning an issue lies in tracking down these determined, dynamic people. That’s why I loved the idea of featuring organizers who typically hide behind the scenes — people who work hard all year so that we can enjoy a perfect party in the country, attend an intimate after-work event, check out a celebrated film, or be scared sense- less by zombies! And, of course, it was a blast to work with Jonathan Hobin, whose creative vision and technical skills (not to mention his relentless pursuit of pint-sized lederhosen) are unmatched.

This issue also introduces another element of the newly redesigned Ottawa Magazine. Our new columns section is an arena for writers to think big, argue a point, and share ideas that they come across

as they watch the city evolve. As the magazine reaches its tempestuous teenage years, we’re drawing on our skilled writers to make sense of competing views and exciting changes. I hope it will become a place that creative types and urban movers and shakers will look to for the last word on emerging trends.

Ten years ago, I came to Ottawa looking for change — and an opportunity to engage with society. I quickly found that, and more, in Ottawa Magazine. From the many people who mentor me desk-side to the top-notch contributors who bring rich stories and artistic vision to the residents who never cease to inspire our pages, the magazine has offered me endless opportunities for growth. Now I’m married, with a young one nipping at my heels and a new house in desperate need of attention. In short, the move to Ottawa has definitely brought change! And Ottawa Magazine continues to keep my mind alive and my own passions thriving. As I step up to the role of editor, I look forward to new challenges and am keen to help the publication grow, just as it has helped me.

Dayanti Karunaratne , Editor
feedbackottawa@stjosephmedia.com

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SEPTEMBER ISSUE: Looking at the future of densification — on newsstands August 26!

 

INNOVATIVE INFILL

From condo towers to low-rise infills, this issue investigates the densification craze and showcases some stunning examples of infill done right.

Letter from the Editor

So, have you noticed the difference? This edition marks our first redesign of Ottawa Magazine in eight years. If we’ve done a good job, you’ll feel the new energy as you flip the pages, though perhaps without being able to put your finger on exactly what’s changed. That’s what we’re hoping, anyway.

The key to a successful magazine redesign is in its subtleties, the aim being to stay true to the Ottawa Magazine that you know and love while tweaking the typography, colour palette, and structure to reflect the times. We know we’ve got it right if September feels fresh and lively, the stories easier to navigate.

We began this ambitious task some 18 months ago when the editorial team sat down with design consultant Pegie Stark Adam. As our redesign coach, she put us through our paces, challenging us to look at who we were and who we wanted to be. We dissected dozens of magazines, analyzing what elements worked and why. Stark Adam talked us through colour theory, helping us choose a palette that is uniquely Ottawa. She took us deep into the world of fonts, having us analyze typefaces for their legibility, the mood they created, their impact. And she dared us to take a second (and third) look at many design and editorial elements that we’d taken for granted for years. That was the fun part.

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SUMMER ISSUE: 101 Tastes to Try — the must-eat list you cannot resist

THE ’101 TASTES’ ISSUE

Ethereal, whimsical, daring, and just plain delicious — the ultimate must-try list for local gourmands

Letter from the Editor

Back by popular demand! Ever since we published the inaugural “101 Tastes” list in September 2009, readers have been clamoring for us to do it all again. In 2013, it was time. And so Ottawa Magazine’s resident food experts Cindy Deachman, Anne DesBrisay, and Shawna Wagman made a date at Les Grillades, convening for a Lebanese breakfast and a monster planning session.

The result is a spectacular all-new culinary journey through the capital. This year’s list includes burgers and milkshakes, but also crickets and octopus. And global goes local with fateh, banh xeo, sopes, and knefeh making the grade.

The writers will readily admit that some fabulous dishes had to be abandoned — after all, they started out with at least 300 ideas — while others were forgotten. But more than half the fun is in the discussion of what should have been there. So take this list as a starting point for your gastronomic explorations. Try all 101, then tell us what you think — and what you would have added to the list.

We are indebted to food photographer extraordinaire Christian Lalonde and food stylist Noah Witenoff, who teamed up once again to set up many of the delicious food tableaus for 101 Tastes. Here, an outtake from one of their shoots, with Lalonde’s assistant, Alex Deszcz seen taking a break during an afternoon visit to Fraser Café, where they captured the homegrown goodness of Fraser Café’s roast chicken for two (Taste #81).

COMING UP: Our local building boom continues apace. And with space in the core becoming harder to find, Ottawa Magazine surveys the city’s densification policies and innovative solutions from local builders and buyers. As well, we look at the resentments brewing in the local restaurant scene and follow a victim of crime as he documents his arduous recovery process.

Sarah Brown, Editor

feedbackottawa@stjosephmedia.com

FEATURES

101 Tastes
Ethereal, whimsical, daring, and just plain delicious — the ultimate must-try list for local gourmands
With files from Cindy Deachman, Anne DesBrisay, and Shawna Wagman
Photography by Christian Lalonde

Our Leafier Half
A lyrical tour through Ottawa’s woodlands
By Jamieson Findlay  *  Photography by Jordan Craig

The Men Have Gone Hunting
New short fiction by Nadine McInnis

COLUMN

Just Add Water

Tales of torment and triumph, fishing and ice cream. Ron Corbett takes his boat for a tour of the Long Reach — a.k.a. the playground of the Rideau River — collecting stories as he goes

THIS CITY

On the record with GENEVIEVE GAGNON, one of the forces behind the city’s first birthing centre • The scoop on one local park’s odd DOG-POOP rules • Referencing nature in SUBURBAN KID ZONES • Telling tales of trips and gigs • The cost of posh in ROCKCLIFFE • Ottawa artists strut their stuff on GOOGLE

CITY SELECT

My Look
Paddleboarder Harmony Dawn McGrath rocks the sporty look

Tasting Notes
Best bets for your summer wine tour of Prince Edward County

Restaurants
Spotlight on ELMDALE OYSTER HOUSE & TAVERN • Talking chips and ice cream with CUSTOM CARP CREAMERY’s Dustin Therrien • Plus our star-rated reviews

Road Trip Calendar
From dinner cruises to outdoor theatre, food festivals to good old-fashioned county fairs: the towns surrounding Ottawa are abuzz with events all summer long. Pick a weekend, pack the car, and get ready for the country

SUMMER Events
CIRQUE DU SOLEIL traces man’s ambitions • Hometown girl AMANDA RHEAUME plays the Blacksheep Inn • Hot spots for ANIMAL SPOTTING • Photographer extraordinaire EDWARD BURTYNSKY turns his lens on the oil industry • WILLIE NELSON and WINTON MARSALIS headline Jazzfest • Plus our arts and entertainment listings



MAY ISSUE: Daniel Alfredsson: 11 essays on No. 11. On newsstands April 25!

THE ALFIE ISSUE

He’s the face of the Ottawa Senators. Daniel Alfredsson. Captain, hero, hockey god. Father, mentor, community builder. As Alfie winds down his 17th season with the team, Ottawa Magazine deconstructs an icon: 11 perspectives on Number 11

Letter from the Editor

Thirteen years ago, Toronto’s late, great Saturday Night magazine published a brilliant article on a rising NBA superstar by the name of Vince Carter. The magazine’s editor asked 15 writers and artists for their impressions of Number 15, the new face of the Toronto Raptors. The resulting piece made for a great read. Carter was analyzed as a cultural invader, a Torontonian, even as an armpit (basketball fans will understand this — there are a lot of armpit shots at the free-throw line). You didn’t have to be a sports nut to enjoy the story, just a follower of local news and pop culture. After all, this guy was everywhere.

Which brings me to Daniel Alfredsson. For years, I would periodically ponder that Saturday Night article, waiting for the right moment to profile an Ottawa sports personality so well known that even the least-sports-minded local would recognize him on sight. That man is Number 11, the captain of the Ottawa Senators. A private person in a very public role, Daniel Alfredsson is both the face of the team and a community builder. In media interviews, he’s open and honest, sensible and direct. We feel as though we know him, but we don’t really. And that’s a credit to a huge star who has managed to protect his private life and self. We asked an array of accomplished writers — some who know the captain personally, others who have never met him — for 11 perspectives on the multi-faceted star wearing jersey Number 11. The results,
I hope you’ll agree, are both fun and revealing.

COMING UP: You’ve been asking for it ever since Ottawa Magazine published the first “101 Tastes to Try Before You Die” in 2009. That issue disappeared off newsstands within days and remains a popular page on our website. This past spring, food editor Shawna Wagman teamed up with food writers Anne DesBrisay and Cindy Deachman to comb the city’s bistros, bars, and markets in search of the 101 most enticing flavours of 2013. What does this list have in common with the one that caused such buzz in 2009? Absolutely nothing. And that’s a testament to just how fast the food scene is evolving — and how delicious and ambitious it has become. Get ready to be tempted all over again by the city’s bounty. Also on the bill: summer fiction to enjoy at your leisure and an Asian-inspired cottage-home on the water.

Sarah Brown, EDITOR

feedbackottawa@stjosephmedia.com

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APRIL ISSUE: Our 15th anniversary Issue is on newsstands today!

THE 15TH ANNIVERSAY ISSUE

It has been an era of quick-paced change for a capital that has, since amalgamation, rapidly morphed from big small city to small big city. As Ottawa Magazine commemorates 15 years of covering the capital, we’ve put together an enlightening retrospective of our favourite moments — features and photos that immortalize our city in transition

 

Letter from the Editor

The timing of Ottawa Magazine’s 1998 launch could not have been more fortuitous. The very next year, the province passed the City of Ottawa Act providing for the 2001 amalgamation that saw six former cities (Ottawa, Nepean, Kanata, Gloucester, Vanier, and Cumberland) join with four former townships (West Carleton, Goulburn, Rideau, and Osgoode) and one former village (come on down, Rockcliffe Park) to form the Ottawa we know today. Those first few post-amalgamation years were contentious ones, creating ample fodder for a city magazine. But, more importantly, the formation of the new Ottawa marked the beginning of an era of unusual change in the capital, not only transforming the way our city operates but, more importantly, redefining how we, as residents, view our hometown.

When we talk amongst ourselves, we still self-identify by geography (east enders, west enders, south enders, for example) and neighbourhood, but when’s the last time you answered Nepean or Vanier when asked what city you hail from? Ottawa Magazine has been privileged to be part of the ongoing conversation around what Ottawa is and where we’re headed. As the magazine celebrates its 15-year anniversary — and that 15-year discussion — we take the opportunity to look both backward and forward.

On the light side, the 15th-anniversary feature highlights some favourite covers and how they came to be, and pokes fun at politicians past and present with a spotlight on 15 years of political cartoons. We also remember 15 features — some weighty, some light — that continue to resonate. Looking forward, 15 notable residents tell us about their Ottawa — how they came here and where they see the city in 15 years’ time. Enjoy the ride.

COMING UP:  Steady. Historically it’s a word used as a dig by Ottawa detractors. But as the real estate market in other major cities cools, the capital owns its moniker with pride. No worries here of bubbles and downward spirals. Steadiness is a good thing as locals head into the spring/summer buying season in a positive frame of mind. This year our annual May real estate edition is themed around neighbourhood enclaves as we explore some hidden and not-so-hidden gems, searching out communities with that all-important “it” factor.

Sarah Brown, EDITOR

feedbackottawa@stjosephmedia.com

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Interiors 2013 Issue on Newsstands January 24

THE INTERIORS ISSUE

From an architectural photographer and his graphic designer partner seeking an oasis away from the city to an architect building his own home from the ground up, this year’s Interiors issue goes behind the scenes with the experts themselves to showcase the painstaking thought and creativity that goes into designing and decorating their own homes. Also in this issue: A grandmother who posed for members of the Group of Seven and the artwork that came of it, plus an artist who turns old radios into MP3 players, a look at local collectors and their collections, and more than 160 pages of great city style and stories.

Letter from the Editor

An issue devoted to experts and their spaces is something I’ve always wanted to do. Each of us seeks to shape our home into a place where we feel comfortable and happy, a space that rejuvenates us at the end of a busy day. Unfortunately, most of us amateurs go about this noble goal in a slapdash sort of way. How radically different is the process of home design — and the results — when a curatorial eye is at play?

What we learned was surprising. Diversity was the name of the game in the new, or newly renovated, homes of our six experts, all involved professionally in fields that centre on architecture and design. There is, it turns out, no magical crib sheet. We saw bright and bold, fresh and family-friendly, contemporary, romantic, and sometimes any number of these themes at play in one location. But there was one unifying feature. The expertise of these homeowners allowed them to be selective. With a true sense of what would work, they chose brilliantly in creating homes that reflect who they are and that bring them great joy.

They may not end up looking exactly as originally imagined, but no matter. In conceiving this issue’s series of three “Ideas in the Making” columns, we sought to explain the creative process from start to (almost) finish — to get inside the minds of talented creators who come up with the projects we wish we’d developed. Writer Patrick Langston does an outstanding job of exploring the thinking behind three ideas currently in various states of completion: a Japanese-inspired skinny house, a Canuck-themed art installation, and an eco-fashionable condo project. Doesn’t get much more varied than that.

Coming Up: April marks Ottawa Magazine’s 15th anniversary! Tune in as we cele-brate — and have some fun with — some of the thousands of stories that have graced our pages as Ottawa has grown from a big small town to a small big town. As well, we take an unorthodox look at official Ottawa and follow a victim of crime as he documents his arduous recovery process.

Sarah Brown, EDITOR

feedbackottawa@stjosephmedia.com

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Winter 2012 Issue on Newsstands October 25

FEATURE

Young Cuisine
Good vibes, affordability, and porky excesses are all part of a new wave of urban cuisine that is transforming the way this city eats

FOOD EDITOR SHAWNA WAGMAN’S HOT 10 LIST

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