In Perth, Ontario, restaurants don't just take the cake. They also make the pie!
The community of Perth, Ontario is just a short, one hour drive from my home in Ottawa but it's in a class all of its own when it comes to food. The handsome, historic town of 6,000 boasts a long list of restaurants, bakeries, pubs, and cafes tucked into the fetching limestone buildings of its downtown core. Always one to eagerly form neighborly bonds, I set out to Perth with two friends, a pair of stretchy pants, and a cooler in the trunk of the car to keep any perishable purchases preserved. While many foodie quests begin with savory appetizers and conclude with dessert, this trip would be happening in reverse. At the very top of my list was a visit to the Perth Pie Co's new headquarters, a delicious pilgrimage I'll be making again and again. If you're in search of Perth, Ontario, restaurants, I hope you'll follow in my footsteps for at least part of your quest, as my experience was absolutely delicious!
I'm playing detective and discovering new things to do in and around Ottawa.
When the cat is away, the mouse will play... or something like that! This week, Ryan is traveling to warmer shores to do something I would never be brave enough for (okay, he's on a cruise - but that's a boat and we all know that boats top my list of travel enemies. So the bravery comment stands). Regardless, it's good motivation for me to plan my own amazing staycation. And it's even better that it's happening during Ottawa's festive Winterlude season.
Ottawa is a wonderful winter travel destination and it's the perfect place for a February vacation or staycation. But, I must admit, skating and other outdoor activities aren't always my strong suit. But that's not going to stop me from having a memorable time in my hometown! You don't have to strap on some skates to join in my staycation plan. Here's what's making me love Ottawa lately.
PS Canadian readers, we have a special giveaway for you at the end!
The Jigsaw Escape Room in Ottawa's Byward Market was my latest test of nerve!
Let's hear it for all the wimpy travelers! I'm an anti-adventurist, through and through. I'm not bold nor daring. I can't handle the wild side of life and things that are seemingly innocuous to the average traveler, say, like visiting a butcher shop or taking a fast boat ride, carry the same heart pounding intensity for me as, say, naked bungee jumping does for all the other travel writers. This is important background information for, as a true anti-adventurist, I would normally never find myself in such an unpredictable and devil-may-care situation as visiting an Escape Room, but I was under the influence. The influence of two nefarious friends that is, Sandy from Canadian Blog House and Ann from Kickass Living. With these devious women acting as a corrupting influence, I threw caution to the wind and entered an Escape Room for the first time.
Here's how to mix business with pleasure in Canada's capital city.
Millions of people travel to Ottawa each year on business. Politics, law, high tech, conferences, universities - some trips last just a few hours, while others go on for a week or more. But even if you're on a tight schedule, Ottawa offers plenty of attractions and amenities for business travelers to enjoy. So whether you have a day or even just an hour to spare, make sure to visit some of the city's best attractions before you leave - and check out our insider tips that will have you getting around town like a true local!
Canada's most ambitious landscape art project takes several heartwarming turns in Gatineau.
A prairie buffalo looks up from his meal of tender grass shoots, looking calm and serene despite the heat of the day and the thickness of his woolly coat. He's perfectly at ease and utterly unperturbed by the proximity of a nearby polar bear, whose sleek, silvery-white fur glistens in the sun. An enormous, stately inuksuk stands between them and presides over their affairs.
Anywhere else, this would be a most curious trio but in downtown Gatineau, Quebec, they couldn't be more at home, for the buffalo, the polar bear, and the inuksuk are made entirely of plants, the latest spectacle from Montreal's innovative landscape art company, Mosaicultures. And in their most ambitious project yet, "MosaiCanada", Gatineau's waterfront Jacques Cartier Park is transformed into "a beautiful historical bouquet" for Canada's 150th anniversary.
Ottawa's culinary scene is sensational.
Note from Vanessa: We're thrilled to showcase this guest post on Ottawa's foodie scene from Shannon of Shan's View from Here. I've seen Shannon's culinary chops first hand when traveled together to explore Ontario's Prince Edward County and can't imagine anyone better to report on Ottawa's best food experiences first hand.
Culinary tourism is defined as the pursuit of a unique and memorable eating and drinking experience. Whether you live in Ottawa or are visiting to celebrate Canada's 150, you will find a vast amount of culinary experiences. Some experiences will have you strapped into a race car seat and hoisted in the air, while other experiences will immerse you in an Ottawa neighborhood and its flavours. Ottawa is growing into a culinary destination in its own right and offers memorable once in a lifetime foodie adventures.
When pop art, silos, puppies, and deep fried treats come together, you have an unforgettable day trip from Ottawa.
What do you get when you combine the rural Ontario countryside, farmland, and grain silos, with massive, street-art inspired murals soaked in social commentary and diverse inspiration? Why, Popsilos, of course! This truly unique art project, unlike anything else in Canada, proves the old adage that opposites attract. And I can't think of a better way to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday. Here's what Popsilo's inaugural day looked like.
We experienced some of Mexico's finest flavors and friendships without having to leave our own backyard.
Think Mexico is nothing but beaches? It’s time to take a second look - and I got to do just that without leaving my hometown of Ottawa by attending the Experience Mexico pavilion. The three day exhibition, hosted by the Mexico Tourism Board, was part of the Canada 150 celebrations honoring the anniversary of Canadian confederation and paying tribute to Canada and Mexico’s long friendship.
While no doubt some of that friendship is rooted in important trade deals and international agreements, I can’t help but think it’s because Mexicans and Canadians are so much alike. The pavilion reinforced this time and time again. Both countries love nature and wildlife. Both are growing their gastronomy scenes by leaps and bounds. Both love arts and artistic expression - both the old and the new. And both countries take pride in hospitality. While the pavilion immersed me in a different country for a few days, I couldn’t help but feel very much at home. Here are some of my favourite memories:
Mexican culture holds a special place in my heart, from my earliest days exploring Ottawa for the first time.
When I first moved to Ottawa, everyone assured me that I had chosen the perfect city to get in touch with French culture and language. Eager to get acquainted with my new home and polish my language skills, I enthusiastically signed up to volunteer with Doors Open Ottawa (a free architectural event that celebrates the city’s heritage buildings) and the National Gallery of Canada. I was expecting plenty of opportunities to exercise my rudimentary French - but instead I found myself hearing a lot of Spanish instead!
No, I wasn’t lost - just lucky. Doors Open Ottawa assigned me to volunteer at one of the event’s star attractions, the Mexican ambassador’s residence. I spent the weekend guiding visitors through the tour (and, if I’m being honest, sneaking off to watch the dancing demonstrations and sample some of the delicious refreshments. It was hard to resist!) No wonder it was such a popular spot. Meanwhile, my new circle of volunteer friends at the National Gallery was meeting for regular happy hour festivities at the now-closed Byward Market restaurant Azteca and they invited me to come along. It was my first real introduction to the flavors of Mexico (aside from the trays that came out from the ambassador’s kitchen!) and I was enthralled. Who knew that salsa wasn’t always bright red and found in a jar?
And now, with a little help from the Mexico Tourism Board, I’m about to have the opportunity to discover so much more at the upcoming Experience Mexico celebration.
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