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An unrecognized place: The forgotten home of the Pattees and Freimans

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Army Officers Mess at 149 Somerset St. Unless otherwise noted, all photos are by Grant Peters.Army Officers Mess at 149 Somerset St. Unless otherwise noted, all photos are by Grant Peters.

Have you ever walked down Somerset Street towards the Rideau Canal, glanced over at a redbrick mansion near the corner at Elgin Street and wondered, “What could possibly have happened there?” At one point I did as well, and discovered that the house standing at 149 Somerset is perhaps one of the most historically important yet unrecognized places in Ottawa. Built in 1891 by the Pattee family, a private and prominent industrialist family, the building’s exterior was decorated with bullnose pillars and a frieze lining the upper edifice that depicts... | Continue reading article

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Making Ottawa go green – the Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-op

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Solar panel. Photo by Mike Geiger on Flickr.Solar panel. Photo by Mike Geiger on Flickr.

Janice Ashworth is the Operations Manager for the Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-op. OREC brings Ottawa residents together to invest in local renewable energy projects in our own communities. What does this all mean? Join this neophyte on a journey of discovery. Ashworth was in her undergrad in Environmental Science and International Development at Dalhousie University when she began taking a serious interest in the environment and sustainability. A growing concern with climate change drove her to the green energy movement. Through her Master’s research and volunteering and working with the... | Continue reading article

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Streetscape Memory Bank: Who photographed Ottawa in 1938?

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A look at the technical side of photo production. All photos courtesy of Library and Archives Canada.A look at the technical side of photo production. All photos courtesy of Library and Archives Canada.

Over the past little while, I have been writing about the remarkable ca. 1938 photos of Ottawa streetscapes. These photos show us the Ottawa that Jacques Greber would have seen when he was conducting his preliminary planning studies. What is of particular interest – and something not yet remarked upon by others – is that what we are seeing are not his own photographs, but ones taken by photographers working for the federal Department of Public Works. These photographers, unlike Greber, would have had intimate knowledge of the city. So... | Continue reading article

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One World Film Fest 25 years strong

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Still from On the Side of the Road, directed by Lia Tarachansky.Still from On the Side of the Road, directed by Lia Tarachansky.

After 25 years strong, One World Film Festival celebrates its anniversary by continuing to do what it does best – challenging world issues through the power of film. “We decided to keep it smaller this year and focus on celebrating our 25 years,” said festival director, Pixie Cram. This year, the big focus is on honouring the festival itself. Not only will it be shorter than last year, it will also feature less films. To compensate, One World will be throwing a big birthday bash on Thursday night to kick-off... | Continue reading article

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Librarian in Residence: Are E-books the death of the paper book?

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Image courtesy of The Awkward Yeti (theawkwardyeti.com).Image courtesy of The Awkward Yeti (theawkwardyeti.com).

Jessica Green is a book addict and library card holder since the age of 3. She’s a librarian at the Ottawa Public Library and currently the Apartment613 Librarian-in-Residence, sharing a compendium of literary thoughts and tips. I recall my genetics professor making the claim years ago that we would all be working in paperless offices. Fast forward to now, and paper isn’t dead. The debate between paper and digital lives on, and remains very interesting for libraries. I did discuss e-books at OPL in a previous post but I thought... | Continue reading article

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Creative in the Capital: Two art workshops everyone should try

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Hollie Davies getting ready to silkscreen the day away at The Studio Cafe. All photos courtesy of Hollie Davies.Hollie Davies getting ready to silkscreen the day away at The Studio Cafe. All photos courtesy of Hollie Davies.

Ottawa is certainly brimming with a creative force, people and events alike. Some of our favourite things to do include the many local arts and music festivals, intimate vernissages, and quirky performances. I decidely to think of myself as being creative in my writing and especially in my ideas, but I’m surely more of a beginner when it comes to art, or music, or crafting, or anything of the like. The beginnings of my newly creative inspirations, coming from a coupon and a friend starting up her own new venture,... | Continue reading article

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Is the customer always right? The role of the consumer in egg production systems.

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Photo from ashley.weeres on Flickr. All other images are courtesy of Burnbrae Farms.Photo from ashley.weeres on Flickr. All other images are courtesy of Burnbrae Farms.

The apparent simplicity of an egg is often also its appeal. It can be enjoyed with little preparation; boil, fry, or poach one. It reminds us fondly of bonding with family over bacon and eggs or, in later years, the breakfast sandwiches we so desperately needed when nursing a hangover. Taking a tour of Burnbrae Farms showed me that there is much more to eggs than what meets the eye of most consumers.  From studying the behavior of the birds themselves to supply management to marketing and branding, bringing eggs... | Continue reading article

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What’s growing on at 3Dponics?

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Still from 3Dponics' Kickstarter campaign video.Still from 3Dponics' Kickstarter campaign video.

Do you have a garden of your own and wish there was a way to keep it going into the cold months? Or have you dreamed of having a veggie patch but have been held back for lack of space or good soil? Out of Ottawa has come an invention that can have you growing your own produce year-round even if you don’t have a lot of money, time or space to spare. Inspired by the growing consciousness around eating local and organic and seeing that the high price of... | Continue reading article

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Geek-out your walking with Ottawa (de)tours

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Photo courtesy of lazy_artist (Mitch Carriere) from the Apt613 flickr pool.Photo courtesy of lazy_artist (Mitch Carriere) from the Apt613 flickr pool.

I love a good walking tour. I’ve been a fan of Jane’s Walk for quite a while and Apartment613 has run some pretty amazing walks over the years. That’s why I was so pleased to learn about the newly launched Ottawa (de)tours, an insightful set of walking tours and conversations that are addressing political and social issues. I shot a few questions over to Dan Monafu, one of the founders of the project, to find out more about what we could expect, and also had the pleasure of taking part in... | Continue reading article

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Filed in: Learning, Meet up, Politics

Check out the Maker Faire this weekend – it’s bigger than ever

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Maker Faire

It is no secret that Ottawa is full of talent of both an artistic and technical nature. Doors across the city conceal people working on special projects. This Saturday and Sunday (August 16 and 17) a number of these hidden works will be on display  at the Canadian Museum of Science and Technology in the fun and interactive event – Maker Faire. I spoke with Remco Volmer who is Program and Development Manager at ArtEngine, the Ottawa-based  collective  focused on technology-based art that organizes the event. The first Maker Faire was held in 2010 and... | Continue reading article

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