Society

TELLING TALES: Hairdresser to the stars Rinaldo calls it quits

BY MICHAEL PRENTICE

THIS JUST IN TO OTTAWA MAGAZINE NEWSROOM: Rinaldo — Ottawa hair stylist to the rich, famous, and sometimes pretentious, seemingly forever — has called it quits. He’s cashed in his chips by selling his flagship retail operation at 90 George Street in the ByWard Market.

Rinaldo, it seems, will pocket a tidy sum, now and forever. Or at least for as long as a hairstyling business continues to operate under the name Rinaldo’s. Rinaldo, after all, is one of the few people in Ottawa who achieves fame under a given name, like Madonna.

His full name is Rinaldo Canonico, and he’s been styling the hair of the glamorous and the blue-rinse set for more than four decades.

Perhaps Rinaldo was never really comfortable in his new location in the ByWard Market after Rinaldo’s was forced to relocate out of the World Exchange Plaza several years ago. Many of his clients are not the kind of people who hang about the ByWard Market.

There are three Rinaldo’s retail operations around the city: The big one, with its own elevator for its customers, is in Terry Guilbault’s luxury condo tower at 90 George. The others are a little less flashy — one in Carlingwood Shopping Centre; one in Manotick. The Carlingwood and Manotick operations were already franchises, with the owners paying franchise fees to Rinaldo.

Now, the owners of the Carlingwood franchise have bought the franchise at 90 George. ”Rinaldo has retired,” a glamorous young receptionist told me when I dropped in at 90 George the other day asking for him.

The new owners of the franchise at 90 George are Jean Eid and Eli Hourani. Eid told me: “Now we own two franchises. We pay Rinaldo franchise fees. He owns the name.”

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