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Gift Baskets

We all know it’s going to be a weird Christmas, as we spend the holiday within our own homes away from loved ones, and many of us are feeling a bit down about that. Although it won’t replace your presence at at their table, a bountiful gift basket for friends and family seems appropriate this year. Many Ottawa businesses have lush gift baskets featuring self-care products, gourmet treats, cocktail kits, hand knit goods, locally made chocolate, and more. Here’s just a brief list of businesses to check out:

▫️Thyme and Again (Cocktails, charcuterie, etc.) 

▫️Aurelius Food Company (Gourmet olive oil and vinegar)

▫️Maker House (Local Makers) 

▫️Jacobsons (Cheese and other gourmet items) 

▫️La Marcotterire (Self-care) 

▫️Little Sweet Peach (Self-care)

▫️Workshop Studio & Boutique (Accessories, chocolate, sweets, self-care)

Another cool gift idea

The Ottawa International Writers Festival has truly one-of-a-kind gift packages up for auction. The funds raised will help the festival to continue the virtual programming that its run throughout the pandemic. The auction ends at 9:00pm tomorrow (December 11), so get your bid in now. 

▫️How about virtual drinks with Ian Rankin? The successful bidder plus two friends will join Scottish author Ian Rankin for 40 minutes of zoom chat over a drink (or a cup of tea if you insist). As of this morning (Dec 10) the bidding’s up to $560.

▫️Another one for Rankin addicts: The Ian Riankin’s Read and Relax Rebus Package, which features a complete, signed set of all 23 Rebus novels, a bottle of 10 year old Laphroaig Single Malt Scotch, a $100 gift card to Chez Lucien, a Seed to Sausage Charcuterie Box of Salamis, and four non-medical Writers Festival masks. Picture the lucky recipient sitting by the fire, sipping an outstandingly peaty Scotch and nibbling on charcuterie, while enjoying the grim urban adventures of Inspector Rebus. Sounds like an ideal winter’s Sunday afternoon to us. As of right now the bidding is up to $635.

▫️For the Margaret Atwood fan: a gourmet gift basket with goodies from Jacobsons as well as a petrified Twinkie signed by Margaret Atwood in 2013. Also included: Ottawa distillers Top Shelf’s Gin and Vodka (750ml of each). You’ll also find a set of all three MaddAddam books by Margaret Atwood. Right now bidding’s up to $385.

We'll see you tomorrow – Martha and Darren


Weather: ?️ 30 per cent chance of flurries. High of 2°  

Number:  0. The number of full-service grocery stores in West Centretown (that's Chinatown, Little Italy and LeBreton Flats) making it a food desert. [CBC]

Ottawan of the Day: Jenna Sudds. The Kanata North ward councillor has been appointed Deputy Mayor of Ottawa by Council. [Ottawa Citizen]

Quote: “Due to this lack of response, the pandemic, and other student concerns, we will now have to call to an end our sit-in – Jamal Koulmiye-Boyce, spokesperson for uRacism. The group has ended their five-day sit in at the University of Ottawa, and will continue to bring their concerns about the University’s new Action Committee on Anti-Racism and Inclusion online  [The Fulcrum]


Public Health Reports: 


Ottawa Public Health Dashboard

Ottawa Wastewater Dashboard

There have been 8819 confirmed cases of COVID‌-19, an increase of 44 since yesterday, and 382 deaths, one new report.


Outaouais Public Health dashboard

There have been 3806 confirmed cases of COVID-19, an increase of 37 since yesterday, and 88 deaths, one new report.


Eastern Ontario Health Unit dashboard

There have been 1027 confirmed cases of COVID-19, an increase of 40 since yesterday, and 31 deaths, no new reports.

Sometimes the number of cases or deaths are lower from one day to the next. This is usually because the powers-that-be reassigned a case to a different health authority.

⭕ The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has been approved by Health Canada and 249,000 doses are expected to be delivered from Europe next week. This vaccine must be kept at -80° and is delivered in two doses, making distribution a tricky manoeuvre [CBC]

⭕ People in Quebec – including many people in Ottawa who were close to Quebec cellphone towers – received an emergency alert from Premier François Legault yesterday, reminding everyone that COVID-19 rules will be enforced by fines and police [CBC]

⭕ Ministry of Long-Term Care finds 12 different violations including improper infection controls, staff shortages, fire safety concerns and abuse at Madonna Care Community [CBC]

 ? The Canada COVID Alert App

Be alerted if you have come in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. The app now works in Quebec as well as Ontario.

How It Works       [Apple App Store]      [Google Play Store]


We’ve made t-shirts of iconic Ottawa logos. They'll make great Christmas gifts for Ottawans young and old.

Printed in Canada and shipped well before Christmas if your order now.




▪️Ottawa gains an extra ward and councillor at the 2022 civic election. City Council approved most of the the consultant’s suggestions, which will shuffle boundaries and add a new ward next to Barrhaven. City Councill will then have 24 councillors plus the mayor. [Ottawa Citizen]

▪️City Council approves budget for the next year, including a $13 million police budget increase and transit fare rise. Councillors Jeff Leiper, Catherine McKenney, Theresa Kavanagh, Rawlson King, Rick Chiarelli and Shaun Menard (Not Mendes Not Mendes) voted against the budget. [Ottawa Citizen]

+ Related Angela Keller-Herzog: fastest growing budget segment is police services budget. For 2021, it's 3% increase PLUS 1.5% growth for OPS The Ottawa budget is unique in raising transit fares by 2.5% in the middle of COVID.

+ Related Vancouver rejects police board request for increased funds

▪️West Carleton ward loses its only newspaper. The Community Voice West Carleton published its last edition this fortnight, closed due to lack of advertising. Veteran publisher Michael Wollock set up the Community Voice (with editions on Kanata and Stittsville as well) after the Toronto Star’s Metroland chain closed local papers in those communities three years ago. The Stittsville and Kanata editions will continue. [West Carleton Online]

▪️Dunrobin general store destroyed in tornado two years ago won't be returning. The September 2018 tornado destroyed the small Dunrobin plaza, which housed the general  store, LCBO, post office, and pizza joint as well as a dozen neighbouring houses. Now that the plaza has been rebuilt, neighbours have been eagerly awaiting the return of ‘The Girls’, the two sisters who ran the Dunrobin Village Meat and Grocery, their 32 year-old family business. But life has moved on and the two have decided to let the opportunity pass. The rebuilt Dunrobin Plaza is currently unoccupied. [Community Voice (PDF)]

▪️City Council approves changes to the Lansdowne agreement with Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group. The group gains access to a $4.7 million maintenance fund, has its $1 rent extended to 2066 (it was supposed to pay market rent from 2044), and gets to keep 100% of the restaurant and shops revenue instead of sharing it 50/50 with the City beginning 2044. All these benefits, which mostly take effect 24 years from now, are intended to help the Group through the pandemic now. Councillors Jeff Leiper, Catherine McKenney, Carol Anne Meehan, Theresa Kavanagh, Rawlson King, Diane Deans and Shaun Menard (not the sweetheart of Pickering) opposed the giveway. [CBC]

▪️Montréal’s Black Theatre Workshop is the first co-curation company in residence at the National Arts Centre. The co-curation agreement gves the visiting company one half of the considerable English language resources and programming of the centre for the next year. The Workshop will also be consulted in the appointment for next year’s co-curation company in residence. [Artsfile


▪️The City is drawing up plans to turn the abandoned Prince of Wales Bridge over to cyclists and pedestrians. The plans will make it easier to get infrastructure funds from higher level of governments to transform the bridge, should the funds become available. [CTV]

▪️Canopy Growth lays off 220 people, closing facilities in St. John's, Fredericton, Edmonton, Bowmanville,  and Saskatchewan. The company, which grows and sells marijuana, has somehow been losing milliions. [CBC]

▪️Ottawa magazine says the best new restaurants in 2020 are: Arlo, Brassica, Aiana, Thr33’s Company, Heartbreakers, City Goose [Ottawa]


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Holiday Gift GuideHistoric Ottawa Logo T-Shirts

? Maps: Ottawa-Gatineau Craft Brewery MapHeated Patio MapBlack-owned Restaurants Map 

?️ The Best Of Ottawa Awards 2020 

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