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How do you date during a pandemic? Are hookups the only rule now?  Hollie Grace James tries to answer those questions below, in LOVE UNDER LOCKDOWN.

And at 12:01 tomorrow morning, Ottawa enters stage two, and patios across the city will be open. We're making a list - tell us where we should be sitting two metres away at [email protected]

We'll see you tomorrow – Martha and Darren


Weather: ⛈️ Chance of Showers. High of 24°.

Number: 98.3. The per centage of payments that are made by card instead of cash. Payments company Square says Ottawa is Canada's most cashless city. [CFRA]

Ottawan of the Day: Luigi Caparelli, who has been honored with the pathway link connecting Longshadow St and Meadowshire Way being named after him.  “Luigi Caparelli was an avid volunteer in various organizations throughout his life. His consideration for others and passion for sport motivated his efforts to enable access to participation for less fortunate children through fundraisers and anonymous financial support.” (The city has just named or renamed five Ottawa landmarks for Ottawans of note. We're highlighting one per day.)

Quote: There was so much conversation (for the reopening to) being middle to end of summer, so I have been preparing for that just in case. So when they announced Friday but didn’t announce what the protocols are — and they still haven’t — I went into hyper drive, thinking ‘Ok I have to be open Friday.’ And then I realized I have to do this at whatever pace myself and my team need to and people will understand we need to take our time” – Sarah Cross of Salon Bliss  [Ottawa Matters]


 There have been 2002 confirmed cases of COVID‌-19 in Ottawa. Yesterday, Ottawa Public Health said there were 2009 cases – but those seven were subsequently deemed to be outside the city limites. There have been 256 deaths, and no reports of new deaths since yesterday..

Ottawa Public Health has launch a new, easy to visualize Covid 19 dashboard. [Ottawa Public Health]

Canadian Forces who leaked the terrible conditions in care homes need to be protected from retaliation, says MPP. Global News reported that the Canadian Joint Operations Command was trying to find the leakers. [Ottawa Citizen]

 Elective surgeries resume in Ottawa hospitals, but the wait is long  [Ottawa Citizen]

 Premier Doug Ford tested for COVID-19 after he appeared with Education Minister Stephen Lecce. It was feared Lecce may have the coronavirus but he has since tested negative.  [Ottawa Citizen]

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Love under lockdown

The COVID-19 pandemic forces singles to navigate a unique set of circumstances and a completely unexpected dating scene

By Hollie Grace James

It seems like only yesterday that Don was enjoying his early 20s, in the thick of Ottawa’s vigorous singles scene, meeting women in bars, clubs and through friends. Cue the Coronavirus pandemic and subsequent societal shutdown, and most opportunities to meet potential partners have shifted online. “Dating apps are all that’s left,” he laments. “I’ll admit, I’m using three of them.”

What once seemed exciting and limitless, dating in the world of abundance and easy access due to the rising popularity of apps, has actually produced a whole new level of inauthenticity, according to Sue McGarvie, internationally recognized sex and relationship therapist. “Women describe it as a ‘soul crushing experience’ and men as ‘a cat with too many mice to chase’,” she says, adding that dating apps have evolved and become primarily geared towards hook-ups, as opposed to long-lasting relationships. McGarvie posits that online use had been declining the past five years, estimating that 60 percent of people were meeting potential partners in person. But with Coronavirus mandated lockdowns, the new norm has shifted yet again. “It’s become the 1950’s,” explains McGarvie. “You’re looking at eight weeks of courtship - the “no [sex until after the] third date” rule is over.”

Don agrees that dating is now much trickier. “First, texting is odd, and it still feels weird to suddenly offer a video chat to someone you don't really know. Then, it's hard to keep conversations interesting and long-lasting if there is no plan to meet.” McGarvie acknowledges that dialogue is more important now than ever and that the current circumstances are forcing people to actually communicate. “Guys who are just looking for like Don, who’s open to meeting women in real life, citing sex as a human need, are discovering exactly this, as many women have included a sort of disclaimer in their bios, discouraging social interaction and viewing it as a “red flag.” “I might still want to eventually meet women that can't, or won't, go out these days. So I don't want to freak them out by offering to meet,” Don explains.

Although physical distancing measures remain in effect, singles aren’t necessarily adhering to such strict guidelines. “You go to Costco and [you aren’t physical distancing],” says McGarvie. “How is that different from having one person over?” This was the mindset of Carrol, a 30 year-old real estate agent who met up with a Facebook match just prior to the lockdown. “Quarantine gave us a chance to create a friendship and have an opportunity to spend time together without the distractions of having so many people on the go, because [due to the pandemic] we weren’t supposed to be hanging out with anyone else.” A phenomenon McGarvie says that she, too, has witnessed. “You’ve had a chance to talk to them, you’ve had a chance to walk with them and now you’re asking them to come over and make things together. When was the last time in a hookup culture that that happened?” Although the pandemic has slowed certain aspects of blossoming relationships, McGarvie admits that on the flip side, dating in quarantine can actually speed up the intimacy stage and she’s certain that some unexpected relationships will come out of this.

Julia, 35, and her newfound love interest [looked to be] just be such a prime example. Having met on Tinder two days before the world went into lockdown, he moved into her apartment within a week so that the two could proceed with their relationship whilst adhering to physical distancing recommendations. As the two talked long into the nights, they discovered intimate details about one another that she says would have taken weeks or months to uncover otherwise. “He’s my person. I can’t believe I waited [until I was] 35 to meet someone I feel this ready for.”*

McGarvie explains that, because people were so busy with their daily lives pre-pandemic, it took months to experience a significant number of dates. But, because we currently have the time, if this is the person, you have the opportunity to find out now. “It can certainly be an advantage,” she says. Julia sees it as such saying, “He asked me on visit one if I was willing to have kids. The world was ending. Why not? Almost two months later and [it’s been] heaven ever since.” Ultimately, McGarvie says that the pandemic can be a blessing in disguise. “Figure out what you’re looking for because you have the time to do it. Find ways to bring out the best in yourself. The world is your oyster.”

*Julia and the man broke up a few weeks after she was interviewed for this article.


▪️Yet another coyote attack in uplands causes demand for Ministry of Natural Resources to do something
If one is looking for a 'Defund the Police' moment, this is it: the Ministry of Natural Resources, which has responsibliity for wildlife, has declined to act.  The City and the National Capital Commission are not doing anything. So what is the one agency chasing coyotes? The Ottawa Police Service.  [CBC]

+ Related Councillor Rawlson King asks city staff to recommend three options for reforming policing and report back by end of June

▪️City pools and recreation centres won't be open anytime soon
Although given the okay to reopen by the Province, Ottawa's recreational and community centres are not ready to reopen. Pools were 'mothballed' and things like protective panels have yet to be installed. July 6 is suggested as a date for pools. [CBC]


👨‍👧‍👦 Father's Day Gift Guide

For the dad who spends most of his down time in the kitchen, give him his very own cutting board in walnut, maple and bloodwood by Periphery Wood. $65 [Square Lemon]

Buy Dad a bottle of Leatherback Rum from North of 7 Distillery, and they’ll donate a portion of the sale to the Canadian Sea Turtle Network. That’ll make both of you feel good. Visit the distillery at 1733 St Laurent Blvd., or buy at select LCBO locations.[North of 7]

🍜🍺 Food + Beer News

Consignment Store and bar Ward 14 (139 Preston St) is having a sidewalk sale on Sunday from 11am to 5pm. They’re inviting us to enjoy a cold one while vintage shopping. the ottawan needs no encouragement. [Ward 14]

Vimy Brewing is offering Ontario-wide free delivery until Father’s Day! [Vimy]

Score Pizza reopens today. 852 Bank St in the Glebe And their patio opens Friday. [Score]

🏘️ Live Here

For sale

72 Ross Avenue, Ottawa
3 bed, 2 baths
Former duplex now single family home. 1.5 storeys. Detached garage, new deck. Cute kitchen boasts contemporary blue cabinetry and Belfast sink. $680,000 [Andy & Paddy]

39 Vaughn Street #102, Beechwood Village
2 bed, 2 bath condo.
Small building, in-suite laundry, floor to ceiling windows, open concept. Balcony. $595,000 [Diane & Jen]

For rent

255 Bay Street Unit 614, Centre Town
1 bed 1 bath.
The stylish apartment has a south facing balcony, stainless steel appliances, and quarts countertops. The building’s amenities include rooftop saltwater indoor pool, sauna, gym, and more. $1900/month [Ottawa's Condominiums]


Technically beautiful since 2020.

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