Jun 14

Vacationing With The Kids In Ottawa

By Beverly Baker | Featured , Fun and Relaxation

Ottawa is a pretty great place to take a vacation because there are plenty of things that you can do there with the kids. The one thing that sets this place apart from so many others is that it was designed with tourists in mind. Everything that you could possibly ever want to do is just a short walk away from where you may be staying. Ottawa is a very budget-friendly tourist area, so don’t be afraid to take the kids to see some amazing landscapes and museums.

Getting To Ottawa

The traveling portion of your vacation may give you a headache if your kids aren’t handling the transition well. If you’re traveling in an RV, sleeping arrangements are going to be a tad better since there are actual beds for the kids to sleep in. They can lay down at their leisure and they’ll be comfortable. Unfortunately, if you’re traveling in a car and you have to stop occasionally to sleep if it’s a long journey, it’ll be tougher to get them comfortable.

If you want to enjoy the great outdoors while on your journey, why not try some camping? You can spend a little less on a bed if you decide to camp rather than take an RV and investing in all new mattresses and you’ll have much more family time. Personally, I would rather camp than sleep in an RV, plus Ottawa is full of campgrounds!

Sight Seeing

Once you get to Ottawa, you’ll be surrounded by some magnificent landmarks, museums, and national parks. The National Gallery of Canada is one of the many stops you could make. If your child is a fan of art, this is where they’ll want to be. It features work from da Vinci, Michelangelo and Picasso. It faces Parliament Hill, which acts as the anchor of downtown Ottawa. This is a beautiful place to visit if you love historic landmarks.

If you’re more of a history buff, check out the Canadian War Museum. This spectacular place frames the Ottawa River and pays tribute to those who served in the long and violent history of wars. If you want something a little less violent and sad, check out the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum. This has the country’s largest collection of vintage aircraft. I think the kids would love it there, especially if they’re fans of space.

The Rideau Canal is a top choice among visitors and travelers. You can spend 2 hours to half a day here riding through the Canal. It’s 125 miles long and snakes through the center of Ottawa. It’s definitely one of the best ways to see the sights along the river.


I would love to visit Ottawa some day. It seems like such a peaceful place and there is so much for the kids to do. It is full of history, art, monuments, museums, and so much more. Honestly. It’s probably not going to cost you much to tour Ottawa, maybe see a hockey game. Just make sure you keep those kids comfortable on that long car ride. Maybe you’ll want to move there someday.

Mar 07

Moving To Ottawa? You’ll Need That Dehumidifier In The Summer

By Beverly Baker | Featured

Ottawa, for those of you who don’t already know, is the capital city of beautiful Canada. It’s the home of the Ottawa Senators, Parliament hill, and the Rideau Canal. You can also find yourself visiting a lot of the local restaurants and museums that it has to offer, but why move there? Why not just visit? Well, there are quite a few reasons as to why one would want to go there and stay there, here are a few.

The Economy Is Fantastic


Unfortunately in most places, the economy is shot. If you are planning to move to Ottawa, you’re in luck. The economy there is in great shape. Ottawa is a government town, which means that there is a wide variety of departments that are looking for different types of skilled workers. This also means that they are a bit more stable, economy wise, because a lot of their employment isn’t dependent on resources, services, or manufacturing.

Lot’s Of Green!

Lots Of Greens

No, I don’t mean money. By “green” I mean parks and trees. In Ottawa, especially during the summer and spring months, there is an abundance of green land and dozens of parks where you can ride your bike, take the kids to play, or even play a game of football.
For those who love to get their daily exercise, you can use one of the many bike paths that lay along the rivers. It’s been scientifically proven that being in nature is healthy for you, and here’s why!

  • Sun gives you Vitamin D
  • Good for the eyes
  • Improves sleep
  • “Grounding” has an anti-inflammatory & energizing effect on the body
  • Good for the psychological health

You’ll Want That Dehumidifier

Black and Decker

You should also know that during the summer and early fall months, it does tend to get a tad humid. You should try to keep a dehumidifier in your house or apartment. This will work to keep the humidity levels in your home at a tolerable level and keep mold away.

These do require that you empty the reservoir, so if you don’t have time or just don’t want to, you may prefer one with a pump. These will keep you from having to lift your dehumidifier to drain because the pump will take the water out for you. These are great for basements, homes, and garages. These are also ideal for the elderly who may have issues with the humidity affecting their health. They won’t have to worry about maintaining them as often or lifting them.

Low Crime Rates

Ottawa is known for having one of the lowest crime rates in Canada. There have only been 799 violent crimes reported per 100,000 people in 2012. The only other area that has a lower rate is Calgary, which is only a few incidents behind. If you have kids, it’s obvious that you would want to move to a location that is low on the crime rate. You can’t have your kids walking to school in a bad neighborhood or even you worrying about whether you are going to get to work safely or not. Safety is important today, the world is a very scary place.


There you have it! These are some pretty great reasons to want to move to Ottawa. If you aren’t planning to move there, no problem! You can still enjoy everything here just by visiting. They are known for their good food, museums, hockey team, low traffic congestion, and very green terrain. It’s an all around beautiful place to visit or move to!

Safety First
Mar 05

Firearms Safety and Gun Safe Storage – What You Need to Know

By Beverly Baker | Featured

Firearms have a bad reputation, and, with reports in the media such as terrorist attacks and school shootings constantly making our news feed, it can be easy to assume guns are to blame. However, a few bad apples really can spoil the whole barrel as the large majority of gun owners are responsible citizens just looking to add an extra layer of protection for themselves and their families.

If you own a gun or are thinking about getting one, it’s important to keep in mind that there are a number of risks involved with owning a firearm. These dangers are increased if you have young children in the home. However, rather than dismissing your sincere desire to own a gun for your peace-of-mind and security, consider employing a few helpful firearms safety tips to best ensure everyone stays safe.

Ensure Proper Storage

Gun SafeYou aren’t likely going to use your gun all that often. Even if you use it for hunting, the majority of the life of your firearm will be spent idle. That’s why is’t so important that you make considerations for just how you will be storing your gun.

A great option to take into consideration is to invest in a quality gun safe. This option not only allows you to safely and securely store your firearms with a gun safe,  but you can also take advantage of a number of other benefits such as:

  • Prevent burglars from accessing your gun to use against you in your own home
  • Prevent the possibility of damage to your firearms in the event of a house fire or other natural disaster
  • Possible insurance discounts for taking preventive measures
  • Can also provide for a great place to store other valuable items such as:
    • Family heirlooms
    • Photos
    • Tax records
    • Collectibles
    • Stock certificates
    • Deeds
    • Bonds
    • Passports

Don’t Shroud Your Guns in Mystery

As a parent, you’ve likely said “because I said so” a time or two. However, when it comes to explaining to your children why they are not to handle your firearms, you should sit them down and explain just why they need to employ caution. Children are curious, and the things you tell them to stay away from are often the ones they explore first when you’re not looking.

Every parent has their own style, but it’s well worth considering sitting your kids down and discussing firearms safety. This gives them a chance to release their curiosities, ask questions, and feel like they’re on the same page. If you feel they are mature enough, you may even consider taking them out for supervised target practice. This gives them the chance not only to learn how to properly operate the gun, but it also allows them the opportunity to see just how much damage it can inflict.

Don’t Forget Common Sense

There are many things that can help prevent an accident from occurring that sound like no-brainers. However, it’s often these very things that are neglected that can lead to yet another grim statistic. Make sure to always be aware of the seemingly simple things that can make all the difference such as:

  • Ensuring your gun is always unloaded when not in uses
  • Making sure the safety is on when not in use
  • Keeping fingers off of the trigger until you’re sure you want to shoot
  • Ensuring you have the proper ammunition
  • Not focusing solely on a target but also what’s beyond it

Prevention is Key

It’s not just acts of violence that leads to injury and death involving firearms. Sometimes, accidents happen. In fact, in 2013, 505 deaths occurred in the United States due to accidental discharge or neglect. These situations are unfortunate because there are so many things that can be done to prevent them from occurring.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and, when you’re dealing with something as serious as firearms, you owe it to yourself to make the minimal investment of time in assuring you and your loved ones are safe. By following these tips, you can increase firearms safety in your household and enjoy the protection that comes along with responsible gun ownership.

Dec 01

Ottawa’s Top Foodie Stops

By Beverly Baker | Foodie Stops

When touring downtown Ottawa, either as a first time tourist, or as a local just visiting for the evening, you won’t be disappointed with time spent at any of these cool foodie locals. These top ten restaurants of downtown Ottawa include stops both classic and trendy, all are innovative.


For lunch and dinner, very modern and casual, but never disappointing at 1208 Wellington St. West. With bilingual menu proudly sourcing fares from local farms and fisheries. Absinth chefs are happy to showcase, so watch for special events like pop-up dinners at theatre venues, giving away burgers at Taste of Wellington, and the inaugural Knives Out Ottawa foodie festival.

Black Cat Bistro

black-cat-bistroA neighborhood bistro at 428 Preston Street serving modern French food, self proclaimed “simple, classic, inspired,” with top rating from the Huffpost Living. You’ll especially enjoy the Wednesday night special, “Burger and Bordeaux.” Closed Mondays, but otherwise open for dinner 5-9PM.

Fraser Cafe

fraser-cafeBreakfast, lunch and dinner at 7 Springfield Road. A “seasonal kitchen” of the best traditional Canadian fare with kids menu and gluten free options. Be sure to check out the weekend brunch. Vegans will feel especially welcome here.


Lunch and dinner in the Dutch tradition of “everything convivial and cozy, with belonging, general togetherness, or time spent with loved ones…”

337 Richmond Road hosting free BYO every Monday evening.


nextUniquely Asian-Canadian cuisine at 6400 Hazeldean Road. Seriously surprising casual fun dining is the “Brunch Board,” fifteen clever dishes on one solid piece of wood that serves two. Also open for lunch and dinner.

Origin Trade

Coffee House and Lounge, with soup/sandwich menu and bar. A trendy meeting place at 111 York Street, especially on Soiree Thursdays 5-9PM happy hour with music. Fulfill your snacking dreams here with special Charcuterie Board.

Restaurant 18

Named for its historic house at 18 York Street, Restaurant 18 has earned the AAA 4 Diamond rating. For seasonal bests request the Chef’s Tasting Menu, a five course dinner. Happy Hour 5-7PM, even on Mondays.

Shore Club

Steak, Seafood, Cocktails, and wait – an art collection? Yes, at 11 Colonel By Drive, all dining and cocktail areas feature paintings amid wood and suede walls, with emphasis on locally renowned artists. Dress Smart and enjoy lunch or dinner within a unique ambience.


What can be better than Thai Tacos? Nothing, according to Anne DesBrisay’s Capital Dining. This surprisingly cozy contemporary kitchen and bar of 18b York Street, proclaims “make tacos not war,” with an earlier 4:30-6:30 happy hour.

The Whalebone

There are four locations for “Ottawa’s best seafood,” but 430 Bank Street is the original spot. All locations are welcoming for lunch and dinner daily. And if someone in your party isn’t in the mood for scallops ceviche, lobster or steelhead trout (go figure), then they can order a Hanger Steak with blue cheese butter and fries.

Dec 01

Music in Ottawa: From Dancing to Relaxing

By Beverly Baker | Fun and Relaxation

The capital city of Canada, Ottawa, is rich in history and activities for residents and visitors alike. Like any major city, the arts and culture of Ottawa are a large part of its appeal, and the vibrant music scene is one of the very best examples of this.

If you ever make a summer trip to Ottawa, it might be for its annual Ottawa Bluesfest. Now in its 23rd year, the RBC Bluesfest brings some of music’s biggest names and thousands of music fans out to Ottawa. This year’s iteration was the first to sell out in advance. With a lineup including funk rock legends Red Hot Chilli Peppers, country superstar Brad Paisley, and critically acclaimed rappers Future and Schoolboy Q, it’s not hard to see why.

That doesn’t mean Ottawa is only worth visiting for one big summer festival, however. Maybe you prefer more intimate spaces. If so, Ottawa is packed with music venues off the beaten path that you won’t be able to shut up about when talking to your friends. If you consider yourself something of a punk (or just want to cut loose in the mosh pit one night), visit Mavericks, where hardcore and metal shines.

Weary of the thought of getting bumped and bruised or simply prefer more mellow, feel-good music? Fear not! At Mercury Lounge, there is a great deal of laid-back, low-key performers. If you have had an active night out on the town and just want to kick back a bit before calling it a night, have a lounge at the Mercury Lounge.

Few things go hand in hand like music and dancing, and Ottawa has events that’ll make you dance like there’s no tomorrow. Zaphod Beeblebrox, while not exclusively a dance club, has Electric Ballroom with DJ Floodzi every Saturday, and, it’s safe to say, the best name for a music venue you’ve ever heard. Another hot dance spot in the city is Babylon, with DJ nights dedicated to Kanye West, Drake, Beyonce, Rihanna, and others.

Are you a music fan on a budget, or one who loves the idea of catching something under the radar, years before they get big? Check out a show at Cafe Dekcur. Here you can catch a great deal of local Ottawa bands for a price that does not break the bank. A lineup of 4-5 bands typically costs around $10. You don’t need to be a master of math to know that’s a great deal.

The best thing that can be said about the music scene in Ottawa is how diverse it is. Not only is the city widespread in terms of music venues and genres featured, but so are the venues and events themselves. Just look at the lineup for the annual Ottawa Bluesfest and how many genres it spans and you’ll see what we mean. If you are a music fan who wants a new city to explore, consider taking a trip up to Ottawa sometime in the very near future.

Dec 01

US Exodus to Canada?

By Beverly Baker | Featured

The recent Presidential election in the United States was one of the most stressful and controversial in the nation’s history. Many US citizens, including famous celebrities, vowed to move to Canada if Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton and became the President of their country.

Before the election took place, celebrities Lena Dunham, Amy Schumer, Snoop Dog, Miley Cyrus, Whoopi Goldberg, Bryan Cranston, Chelsea Handler, Chloe Sevigny and Ne-Yo all vowed to move to Canada if Trump won the presidency, publically announcing their intentions in the hopes of convincing their fans to vote for Hillary.


After Donald Trump won, many Republicans wondered if the celebrities would make good on their vows to run for the border. Unsurprisingly, the stars backtracked and insisted that their threats to leave were only said in jest, and that they would stay in the US to fight the good fight against Trump through social media.

Mainstream media outlets forgave the stars for going back on their promises, although some of the more skeptical journalists wondered if this reneging had anything to do with Trump’s promised tax cut.

Inspired by their favorite celebrities’ threats to escape to the Great White North, millions of left-leaning US citizens also made plans to move to Canada if Trump won the electoral college. When the tide turned in Trump’s favor on election day, these surprised and dismayed citizens actually crashed the Canadian immigration information website by flocking to it en masse.

canada-159585_640It’s easy to understand why disillusioned Democrats felt tempted to move to Canada. Their friendly neighbor to the North offers socialist programs they could only dream of in the United States, like universal healthcare, outstanding employment insurance, and Old Age Security. Canada also has strict gun laws and a generally-liberal atmosphere that fulfills the political ideologies of most US leftists.

Unfortunately for these US citizens, it’s not so easy to immigrate to Canada from the United States. While it’s certainly not impossible, it’s not as casual as simply driving across the border and purchasing a home. For example, if an applicant has a serious health or financial problem, or if they have ever been convicted of a crime, they will not be allowed to immigrate to Canada.

Even if the applicant was never convicted of a crime, they will be found ineligible if they ever committed an act that would be considered a crime in Canada, or if one of their family members is not allowed into the country. Considering the infamous harshness of the US justice system, these restrictions affect a good amount of US residents applying for Canadian citizenship. For example, one conviction for Driving While Intoxicated closes the door on the subject.

Iurban-438393_640t is estimated that at least a couple hundred thousand US citizens are still planning to escape Trump’s America for Canada, even though their celebrity icons decided to stick around. It will probably be a good match, since the values of these future immigrants and those of their country of choice align perfectly. The Canadian government has expressed its willingness to accept up to 250 thousand US citizens.