You may notice a few nips and tucks to your ottawan this morning.

Back in our salad days of 2020, Martha had just returned to her hometown after many years away; Darren was in tow and experiencing Ottawa for the first time.

We’re always felt that there is no better way to discover a city than to write about it.

What is there to do in Ottawa? Is this just a sleepy government town or does the confluence of money and brains and power manifest itself ways residents of other cities could not imagine? If we were at a dinner party, what would Ottawa people complain about and why is it the O Train? 

This has been the secret sauce of the ottawan for the past three years – you've been watching us learn about the real Ottawa in real time.

This isn’t going to change: we love discovering new angles of the city.

But after three years, we've got more of a handle on things. Darren has stopped pronouncing Rideau as rye-dough, Elgin as el-jin, and Dalhousie the way Dalhousie is pronounced everywhere else on the planet.

(And while we have contacts now and we're on almost everyone’s email list, that doesn't mean you should stop be sending us tips and ideas. In fact, you should redouble your efforts.) 

So expect your ottawan to be a little more focussed going forward. If we do it right, readers can be sure they will always be informed of interesting, fun, or unusual things to do; there will never be a restaurant opening unremarked upon; and they will be never lacking an opinion at a dinner party. Just bring up the O Train.  

– Martha and Darren

PS If you like what we do, please tell your friends and colleagues about us. It will count as your substitute New Year’s resolution.


ottawa historic logo t-shirts

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.

Help support the ottawan by buying one of our historic logo t-shirts. 




    • ☁️  Cloudy. High of 1°, low of 0°.  60% periods of light snow or rain in the evening.


    • 18
    • – The number of murders in the Ottawa–Gatineau region in 2022, three more than 2021. Sixteen were in Ottawa, two in Gatineau. (Ottawa Citizen)

    Gatinoise of the Day

    • Èva-Rose Vachon
    • Vachon is the first baby of 2023 born in the Capital region, 1:23 am in Gatineau. (Ottawa Citizen)


    • It is pathetic that we, as a G7 country, can’t afford to build a reasonable residence for the prime minister of Canada. It is unbelievable to me
    •  – Mel Cappe, on proposals to redevelop 24 Sussex Drive with office and meeting space at least equal to 10 Downing Street or the White House. Cappe was privy council clerk from 1999 to 2002. (Globe & Mail)


    • 🏒 NHL Ottawa Senators 3 – Buffalo Sabres 1 last Sunday
    • 🏒 NHL Ottawa Senators 2 – Detroit Red Wings 4 last Saturday
    • 🏒 OHL Ottawa 67s 4 – Kingston Frontenacs 0 last Sunday
    • 🏒 OHL Ottawa 67s 5 – Kingston Frontenacs 1 last Friday
    • 🏒 QMJHL Les Olympiques de Gatineau 5 – L'Armada de Blainville-Boisbriand 4 last Saturday
    • 🏒 QMJHL Les Olympiques de Gatineau 2 – L'Armada de Blainville-Boisbriand 3 last Friday


    🚨 Ottawa Police Service

    • The Ottawa Police Services Board called an unscheduled meeting last Friday with only two agenda items: appoint a new chair and an non-public personnel matter. Minutes after starting, the Board dropped the chair appointment ‘due to unforeseeable circumstances’.

      Appointing a new chair is uncontroversial and was expected to happen at the first planned meeting January 23. Ottawa Bulldog spitballs a theory that someone, possibly in the Mayor’s office, thought appointing a new chair in a sudden meeting held the day before New Year’s Eve had suspicious optics
      (Ottawa Citizen)

    🎵 Requiem

    • John ‘Archie’ Archibald has died at the age of 68. Archibald’s family and friends can be proud of his influence on Ottawa’s nightlife, from his partnerships in Gen X venue Zaphod Beeblebrox and iconic Barrymore’s to co-founding the Clocktower Brewpub and even selecting scotch for the Manx Pub. (CBC)

    🛻 The Convoy 2.0

    • A high-profile organizer of the Convoy’s reunion tour – recently moved from Ottawa to Winnipeg – says it has been cancelled due to security concerns. A co-organizer disagrees, and says the February event will continue. (CBC)

    🎨 Learn

    ⛸️ Ryedough Canal Skateway

    • The National Capital Commission says the opening day of the Rideau Canal Skateway will be much later than the ‘average’ day of January 10. The skateway needs -15°c temperatures over 48 hours and a subsequent daily temperature of -10°c before opening can be contemplated. The weather has been unseasonably warm this year. (Ottawa Citizen)


    Click here to feature your event


    • Open Stage with Brianna Herdman | Sign up at 7 pm, music starts at 8 pm | Red Bird 1165 Bank St, K1S 3X7
    • Holiday Magic 9 am - 5 pm | Canada Science and Technology Museum 1867 St Laurent Blvd K1G 5A3| From $20.91 | If you haven’t had enough of the festive season, check out the retro games or create your own design in an oversized Lite Brite 


    • Ottawa 3Quest Challenge | 10 am to 9 pm | 210 Main Street. | Free | Your brain needs a jump start. Spend a couple of hours between solving a puzzle with your phone. The Scavenger Hunt will take you to checkpoints around the city to collect clues.
    • Even Moore Drags in Ottawa in 2023 | 7 pm | Live on Elgin 220 Elgin St K2P 1L7 | $12 adv / $15 door |  Start the year off with a drag show hosted by Eden Moore and Zak Zinya.


    • The Whale | 6:45 pm | ByTowne Cinema 345 Rideau Street K1N 5Y4. | $11.95 | This will probably be Brendan Fraser career defining role.
    • EO | 6:45 pm | Mayfair Theatre 1074 Bank St K1S 3X3 | $8 | Follow a donkey who encounters on his journeys good and bad people, experiences joy and pain, exploring a vision of modern Europe through his eyes.


    the ottawan t-shirt


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


    Everything is 25% off at Cheerfully Made, until January 22. Holiday items are 40% off. 

    Save up to 50% on locally produced goods at Maker House, until January 8 (or until supplies run out). You’ll find everything from chocolate treats to Edison light bulbs on offer.

    Enjoy free shipping on orders of $75 or more from Message Factory.

    Get a free bench when you spend more than $1000 in keyboards at Red One Music.


    Did you know ‘salad days’ is yet another phrase coined by William Shakespeare? In The Tragedie of Anthonie and Cleopatra [Act I, scene v] Cleopatra says ‘My Sallad dayes, When I was greene in iudgment, cold in blood’. Cleo knew exactly what it was like to move to Ottawa.

    We will see you tomorrow  – Martha and Darren


    🗣️ Is there something that Ottawa should know about? Email to us at We read every single comment.

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