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How walkable is Ottawa?

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Photo courtesy troycochrane on Flickr.Photo courtesy troycochrane on Flickr.

When a pedestrian is struck in Ottawa, the news often hits Twitter first – then Walk Ottawa (@Ottwalk) is there to retweet it and spread the message. Lana Stewart from Walk Ottawa is trying to raise the profile of pedestrian issues in the city and get others involved with improving city streets for pedestrians. Lana says their site, ottawawalkingproblems.ca, has had almost 120 problems reported already. Problems include bad sidewalks, areas without crosswalks, accessibility issues and poorly timed pedestrian signals. The first FAQ on Ottawa Walking Problems is “Why bother?” which... | Continue reading article

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Weekly News Review: Great Public Spaces, underachieving buildings and the Dalai Lama!

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Photo courtesy of Lazy_Artist on Flickr.Photo courtesy of Lazy_Artist on Flickr.

The book industry is dying you say? Maybe so, but Octopus Books is finding ways of making it work. The alternative book store which opened more than 40 years ago has opened up a second location in Centretown in the Under One Roof centre, a space bringing together community groups, social entrepreneurs and social justice advocates to share space, build community and strengthen the city’s social fabric. The South March Highlands was named the first People’s Choice Great Public Space winner, the Canadian Institute of Planners announced Thursday. The competition,... | Continue reading article

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Filed in: News

Apartment613 Paper Kindle Club discusses Alone in the Classroom

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Alone in the Classrooom by Elizabeth Hay

Welcome to the first ever Apartment613 Bookclub, sponsored by Collected Works! A few of us literary folk will be gathered at 1242 Wellington to discuss Elizabeth Hay’s novel, Alone in the Classroom. If you can’t make it down to the bookshop, but want to share your insights into the book, join in the online discussion below on on twitter with the hashtag #613books. The following is the publisher’s description of the novel: In a small prairie school in 1929, Connie Flood helps a backward student, Michael Graves, learn how to... | Continue reading article

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Filed in: Books & Lit

Rick Salutin discusses Dissent

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Photo courtesy of calix on Flickr.Photo courtesy of calix on Flickr.

Canadian dissent: passionate and vivacious or feeble and dormant? For Rick Salutin, a man who’s famous for brandishing a combative spur in the melee of pertinent issues, there’s a little of column A and little of column B; “There’s good news and bad news.” On Saturday afternoon, in the Main Branch of the Public Library, Rick Salutin, in front of a room of about a hundred, including local MP Paul Dewar, first took a few moments to remind or inform the audience of the rather stagnant aura of dissent in... | Continue reading article

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Apt613′s hard hitting interview with Wellington’s marble hydrants!

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Modified photo courtesy of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on FlickrModified photo courtesy of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Flickr

Stroll down Wellington West on a sunny afternoon and you’re bound to notice the Wellington Street Marble Hydrants. Half hydrant, half… well, the other half seems to vary, but fruit, vegetables, household appliances and musical instruments are common choices. When the marble statues were introduced to Wellington St. in 2010, they received a mixed reaction: some were derisive, a few appalled, but most were simply confused (what is a hydrant with a baby car seat strapped on top supposed to represent?). After a while, most residents got used to their... | Continue reading article

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Kichesippi Beer Company turns two

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Photo by Andrew Szeto.Photo by Andrew Szeto.

Like any two-year-old, Kichesippi Beer Co. has already developed its own personality – and a tendency to want to go against the grain. In celebration of its second birthday party on Sunday afternoon (we’re expecting a bouncy castle, but is that too big-kid-esque for a toddler?), we sat down with a pint of Kichesippi Blonde and asked it a few questions. Apartment613: So what’s your favourite colour? Kichesippi Blonde: Ummm… Blue. Favourite food? KB: Malt. Yum! Oh – and ice cream. With sprinkles. What’s it like being two? KB: I... | Continue reading article

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Vincent Lam at the Ottawa International Writer’s Festival

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Vincent-Lam-cr.Barbara-Stoneham-306-306

Giller prize winning author, Vincent Lam has just released his first novel, The Headmaster’s Wager. It is a intricate piece of historical fiction, where Lam depicts the complexity of the Chinese community in Vietnam during the Vietnam war. Lam is in Ottawa tonight speaking as part of the Ottawa International Writer’s Festival. Tonight’s event is titled The Weight of History and features Lam, Peter Hobbs and Ami McKay. The panel convenes at Knox Presbyterian Church, 120 Lisgar Street at 8:30pm. Apartment613 sat down with Vincent Lam today to discuss his... | Continue reading article

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Weekly News Review: Design plans and Planning Summit, student strike and more!

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Photo courtesy of The Webhamster from the Apt613 flickr groupPhoto courtesy of The Webhamster from the Apt613 flickr group

Centretowner? Curious about the direction the neighbourhood will be taking in the next 20 years? Check out the Community Design Plan here. On the Québec side, hundreds of people gathered at a Gatineau high school to protest rising tuition fees. Premier Jean Charest was in town and called for an end to the violent protests. In Gatineau on Thursday, 151 people were arrested during protests after busloads of student protesters arrived from Montreal. OpenFile’s got the scoop on a couple of visual renderings in the city. First, the new Barrhaven... | Continue reading article

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Filed in: News

Flash Mob! The Ottawa legal community celebrates the 30th Anniversary of the Charter

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Photo courtesy of Gloria Song.Photo courtesy of Gloria Song.

Tuesday was the 30th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  Lawyers and other members of the legal community in Ottawa celebrated by organizing a flash mob at noon on the busy Sparks Street at Metcalfe, right in front of the Federal Court and a stone’s throw from Parliament Hill. In front of dozens of curious tourists, media cameras, and civil servants on lunch break, legal professionals donned bright green t-shirts instead of their usual suits and danced their hearts out for their favourite constitutional document to a... | Continue reading article

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Filed in: News

A eulogy for Nicholas Hoare and the independent bookstore

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Photo courtesy of Nicholas Hoare.Photo courtesy of Nicholas Hoare.

Road signs are valuable instructional tools: they tell us what’s coming, what to expect. It’s fitting, then, that the propped up sign in front of the Nicholas Hoare bookstore a few days ago had this Robert Graves quote: “There’s no money in poetry, but there’s no poetry in money.” Now somewhat old news, Nicholas Hoare is closing up shop in both Ottawa and Montreal while keeping their store in Toronto. While newspapers everywhere have covered the story, from the Globe to the Post to the Citizen the story is the same:... | Continue reading article

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