Here's our weeky look at places to day trip from the Capital.
Let’s visit: Perth
Established in the early 19th century as a military settlement and thereafter populated by settlers from Scotland, France, Germany, Italy, and Poland, Perth is found 83 km southwest of Ottawa, and can be accessed via the 417 followed by highway 7.
A wander along Gore Street East, the town’s heritage-flavoured downtown district, will give you a strong sense that you’ve stepped back in time.
Scottish immigrants to the area included stonemasons, who were responsible for the sturdy stone mansions and businesses in Perth. Many of these buildings have been restored, a great example being the Perth Museum. It’s housed within a mansion, Matheson House, and is packed full of furniture and household items that would have been used in the 1840s. (Check hours of operation before visiting; despite advertising being open seven days a week it was closed the day we rolled into town.)
You’ll also find early 20th century architecture, like the former Balderson Theatre at 18 Gore St. E. Built as a vaudeville theatre in 1915, after famous people like Harry Houdini performed there it was used as a cinema until 1960, and is now a Home Furniture store that retains many original features.
(Darren initially laughed at a perceived misspelling on their heritage sign, which boasted that the Marks Brothers once played the Balderson. Not the Marx Brothers, the Marks Brothers were Ontario's first family of vaudeville in the early 1900s. Respect our Ontario heritage, Darren.)
The Perkins Building at Peter and Wilson streets is a 1946 Art Deco gem. The law firm that bought the building in 2019 also restored the second floor 1960s bowling alley and reopened it as the Spare Room Bowling Lanes just before the pandemic lockdown. Unfortunately it hasn’t yet reopened for Stage 3, but at least you can still enjoy the building's splendid façade.
There many pubs, bistros and cafés on Gore St. East and along its neighbouring streets, but be prepared to reserve a table. the ottawanrecently lunched on the patio at O’Reilly’s Ale House and gave a thumbs up to the Banh Mi, the Garden Salad, and the delicious Perth Brewery Amber Ale.
We plan to try the Hungry 7 diner on our next visit; we’ve heard very good things.
If you’re after coffee, Perth is well served by Baker’s Dozen Cafe & Cakery (64 Foster St), Coutts Coffee Roastery & Cafe (57 Gore Street), The Fieldhouse (43 Herriott St), Rocky River Cafe (8 Wilson St E), The Twisted Fork (4 Gore St E), Crossroads Tea Room (40 Gore St E), and Cafe Bean (1 Sherbrooke St E), as well as the usual chains.
As for shopping, we checked out the Worth Saving Charity Shop (5 Wilson St. W.) and found a good selection of vintage fashion, homewares and books.
One of Canada’s oldest continuously operating businesses, Shaw’s on Gore Street is so old that its ghost sign on Foster Street reads “Store with a Smile Shaw’s - Perfect Service”. It’s now operating as Miss Penny’s Closet.
We'll see you Monday – Martha and Darren
Weather: 🌤️ Mix of sun and cloud. High of 23°
Ottawan of the Day: Liam McMullen. The student has been deemed a 'Wetland Hero' for cleaning and documenting duck boxes at the Bill Mason and MacSkimming Outdoor Education Centre, a 77 acre outdoor classroom on the west side. [West Carleton Online] [Outdoor Education Centre]
Quote: “There's literally no one downtown. No traffic, no cars, no people” – Scott May, owner of Bar Robo at Queen St. Fare [CBC]
Sports: CPL: Atlético Ottawa wins their first match ever, with a 2 - 0 win over Alberta's Calvalry FC.
For up-to-date info, view the Ottawa Public Health COVID-19 dashboard
⭕ There have been 2893 confirmed cases of COVID-19, an increase of 22 since yesterday, and 266 deaths in Ottawa, no new reports.
⭕ The mandatory mask law actually has an end date: October 31. It can be extended by council. [City of Ottawa]
⭕ The University of Ottawa opens its own COVID-19 testing centre for students and staff [Ottawa Citizen]
⭕ Mayor Jim Watson wants students to skip the keg parties and replace them with big street parties in Sandy Hill or old Ottawa South. [CTV]
⭕ At Carleton, shared residences will be one person only and the pod style rooms, which usually house six, will only have two [The Charlatan]
⭕ Bars, restaurants, and gyms are not prime sources of COVID-19 says Dr Vera Etches [NarCity]
🍁 The Canada COVID Alert App
Be alerted if you have come in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Ontario only, sorry Gatineau.
#WHAT OTTAWA IS TALKING ABOUT
▪️Members of Ottawa Paranormal Research and Investigations have set up equipment to determine if Vankleek Hill’s Higginson Tower is haunted. The tower has been reported to have “phantom noises, bangs, windows opening on their own, and hands visible through the upper level windows at night.” [Van Kleek Review] [Ottawa Paranormal Research]
▪️Ontario will renovate the ailing Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre and build a brand-new facility in Kemptville. The Brockville Jail, built in 1842, will be closed.The Detention Centre and Brockville have both been subject to years of human rights complaints. [CBC]
▪️The City's planning committee has approved two new highrise developments: some sort of honeycomb building on Albert Street downtown and a bland 30 story highrise in Gloucester. A third six story mixed use building was approved on Bank Street in Old Ottawa. All three need to be approved by the full council. [CBC]
▪️The City wants your opinion on its bike parking strategy. And the deadline is Sunday! Last year, the City did an analysis on car parking and found that people kept asking about bikes. [Explanation & Survey]
▪️Ottawa Carleton School District voted down a proposal to hire additonal teachers and rent classroom space to lower class sizes to 15 students, citing the costs. The District eventually approved an $18 million deficit. [Ottawa Citizen]
▪️This is a list of the best masks of Senators goalies. Although, Andrew Hammond’s 2014-15 ‘Hamburglar’ mask looks more like Mad magazine's Alfred E. Neuman than the fast food crook. [SensShot]
▪️After complaints that the Ottawa Police cleared a Mountie who shot a man in Nunavut without revealing any information, the Mounties have offered some details. [Radio Canada Internationall]
We're not entirely sure how to handle events here at the ottawan. There are very few public events occuring but we try to mention those there are. We love our local independent cinemas and live music venues – but do people really want to be inside them right now? Should we be encouraging that? Reply to us at [email protected] if you have any thoughts on this.
RECORD STORE DAY Saturday August 28
Record Store Day usually happens in April but was pushed to tomorrow in anticipation that all this would be over. But indie record stores are their own breed and don't take no for an answer twice.
Vertigo Records 193 Rideau St, K1N 5X8
The Record Centre 1099 Wellington St. West
Compact Music 785 Bank St, K1S 3V5
Legend Records Westboro 383 Winona Ave, K1Z 5H8
Bill & Ted Face The Music / Unhinged
Thirty-one years after Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure and 29 years after Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, real-life best friends Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter finish off the trilogy with Bill & Ted Face The Music. Be excellent to each other. It's paired with Unhinged, which is some sort of Russell Crowe roadrage flick.
Port Elmsley Drive-in (Friday/Sunday/Monday)