Category Archives: Ottawa

raising funds and coping with loss

We’re entering the final weekend of CKCU‘s annual funding drive and as I write this the community radio station is about $25,000 shy of its $127,000 goal.

Indeed, as I begin to write this I am sitting idly in the phone room at the CKCU office, writing rather than answering calls. I hope to be called away many times before I complete this entry. Continue reading

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neighbourhood watch

A few days ago while returning home from our neighbourhood library (Support your local library, people!) I was pleasantly surprised to discover evidence of a renowned area that has successfully maintained a surprisingly low profile here in Capital City for eons. Hyde Park Way, the street sign proudly proclaimed. Suitably awed, I spent several minutes combing nearby greenspace in search of Hyde Park. After all, here in the Commonwealth perhaps no park is better known. And here is was, hiding in the west end of Canada’s capital.

Funny thing, though. No sign of said park. Indeed the only park in the vicinity is the considerably less historic Centrepointe Park. True, Centrepointe was once home to Nepean’s City Hall, which ain’t nothing (but it’s close). Surely Hyde Park Way requires a Hyde Park, no?

Safely home again in Old Ottawa (i.e., north of Baseline Road) I wasted little time in delving into this nominal mystery in the manner that befits the intrepid reporter of today: by prostrating myself before the Google. Again, nothing. Or, should I say, something, in the form of a Hyde Park in Richmond. That Hyde Park, however, is under construction — not a phrase one normally associates with city parks, but there you are. Also, there appears to be no Buckingham Palace in Richmond; though, there may be ducks. Which is nice, as in this case Hyde Park is in effect a seniors’ residence. Not unlike Buckingham Palace, some might note.
Still, the fact remains that tourists in search of Hyde Park need not venture across the pond to the UK. Only to the exotic land that is Richmond, Ont. Continue reading

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sounds from the street

He appears to be neither hungry nor homeless. Some have claimed he is a music student. His playing suggests otherwise.

And the fact that he has chosen to inflict his lack of performing skill on people outside the LCBO store at Shoppers City — sorry, College Square — also points to an acceptance that he is not yet ready for bigtime busking.

Yet, in recent weeks as the sometimes-shirtless young busker has put his heart into his erratic live performances, I have become a fan. There is something compelling about an individual willing to learn an instrument — several instruments, even — in public. But hey, it worked for George Harrison. Scotty Moore, too. Hence, I say we thirsty westenders owe it to this budding musician to play the waiting game. And, I suspect, we’re in for a long wait. Continue reading


Filed under Music, Ottawa

i read the news today

It is comforting, sometimes, to be reminded that yours is still in many ways a small town.

At this moment, the city’s attention has been captured by a stray elk spotted this morning near the City Centre building. (Or, as CBC Radio put it, near Art-is-in Bakery, one of several businesses located at City Centre and an apparent Stu Mills favourite.) As I write this, the elk remains at large. And, another sinkhole or road-rage stabbing notwithstanding, it is likely to continue to command the full attention of local media for the remainder of the day.

I like that. Just as I like traditions such as stopping on the western Parkway to allow birds to cross. Or the kerfuffle over the loss of DQ and KFC signs — as though either is a local business. There’s a lot going on in this city. A million or so people live in the area. But when an elk is on the loose… Continue reading

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a walk in the park

Monday, I spent a most enjoyable afternoon at the residence of local singer and songwriter Casey Comeau. During an animated and characteristically upbeat discussion, Casey talked of what she’s been up to since our last chat over three years ago and of the return of an upcoming rare performance with her former band The Halfmilers, this Sunday afternoon at Andrew Haydon Park. We enjoyed a glass of wine and talked of the country crooner’s first decade as a familiar face on the local music scene.

Casey and I have enjoyed a few beverages together. I look forward to our having many more in the coming years.

But, as we all learned with a stunning jolt Wednesday morning, life offers no guarantees. Continue reading

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Filed under Music, Ottawa