the ottawan was happy to attend the launch of the SoPa District on Wednesday night. Put aside whatever thoughts you have of acronyming neighbourhoods, in this case South of Parliament, because that's not what moved us.

When is the last time you went out and had a great meal? Like most of you, COVID-19 sent us straight to the couch, enjoying take-out food in paper boxes  in front of something streamed. Weeks became months became years.

The SoPa launch brought back what we were missing: human voices, laughter, banter, buzz. Going to a great restaurant is not only about the food but the ineffable common experience of being with other people who are there for pleasure, not sustenance. 

Six great restaurants served up tidbits of joy:  AiānaThaliNorth & Navy,  Cocotte BistroBeckta, and 1 Elgin. Each sample plate a delight.

And a reminder of what we have been missing. The businesses and restaurants of downtown created SoPa as a cry for attention, to let Ottawa know that they are still here.

This is your permission that it’s okay to go out for dinner again. That you need to go out for dinner again. You're welcome.

– Martha and Darren

PS Those gourmands at Ottawa Business Journal took a lot of photos of the night.


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Founded in 1971, Bell Northern Research was purchased by Nortel and eventually shared that companies fate. The BNR campus in Ottawa was fondly deemed the 'Big Nerd Ranch', and is now the headquarters of the Department of National Defence.

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    • ❄️  Flurries. High of 1°, low of -7°. 


    • $1.08
    • – For each $1 received, how much the National Arts Centre Foundation spends using paid external fundraisers. In 2021, the Foundation paid the fundraisers $434,000 to get $403,000 in donations. (Charity Intelligence

    Ottawans of the Day


    • We’re going to well exceed that number. We think we’re going to be between 13-to-15 games sold out. It’s great all around’
    • – Anthony LeBlanc, president of business operations for the Ottawa Senators on how the club will probably blow past the expectations of 10 sell out matches this year. (Ottawa Sun)


    • 🏒 OHL Ottawa 67s 2 – Les Olympiques de Gatineau 5 last night

    🗞️ City Auditor General’s report on the Convoy Fallout

    Some more responses on the Auditor’s report on the Convoy.

    🛻 Recognition

    • Someone has already stolen the Battle of Billings Bridge plaque. The official-looking-but-in-no-way-official plaque commemorated the brave residents of Riverside Drive in turning back a convoy of Trucker siegers on Feb 3, 2022. The City says that it didn't remove it. (Megan Gillis in the Ottawa Citizen)

    🚋 Transit Commission

    • The Transit Commission approved its 2023 budget. While 60 per cent of paying transit riders have returned, the Commission based their calculations on 70 per cent returning. It has cut $47 million from expenses, by, amongst other things, removing 117 buses from service but did not explain the rest of the savings. The budget is short $39,000,000, which the Commission hopes to get from the Provincial government.

      A proposal from River ward councillor Riley Brockington to raise the age of free transit for children from 8 to 12 year-old was approved, provided that Brockington could find the $87,000 to pay for it. There was no word why money asked from the Province could not be $39,087,000 instead. (Joanne Chianello at CBC)

    🏎️ Road runners

    • Ottawa Police arrested a 46 year-old driver on Wednesday who had his license suspended in 2002. Last month, the Police arrested a different guy who had his licence suspended in 1986. Both now have dates in May for court, presumably using OC Transpo to get there. (Megan Gillis in the Ottawa Citizen)


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    Just Announced

    Things to book before ♥️ Tuesday February 14


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    Wear the only belogoed t-shirt authorized by the ottawan itself.


    Ottawa Public Health updates the COVID-19 stats on Tuesdays and Fridays. This information is from earlier today.

    Buy three pairs of socks from Stroked Ego, and get a 4th pair free (regular priced items only). Sale ends February 14).

    Perth Brewery has lovingly put its beer on special offer for Valentine’s Day (awwwww!). When you use the code VALDAY10 at checkout you’ll receive 10% off all beer online. 

    West of Main is offering 15% off when you use BEMINE15 at checkout. The offer expires on February 14. 


    Rewind Ottawa’s Andrew King writes about Rideau Yard, a resort village that was planned for south Ottawa along present day Hunt Club Road near Antares Drive in 1915. A grand train station was built as well as a roundhouse ... then it petered out.

    We will see you Monday  – Martha and Darren

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