Skip To Content

Weekly News Review: Simons rumors, hybrid buses a bust, Food & Whine Show and more!

By François Levesque on November 12, 2012

According to Le Droit, Québec retail chain Simons came “à un cheveu” to move into the Rideau Centre. The owners of Rideau Centre, Cadillac Fairview, preferred Nordstrom over them. Simons is expanding beyond Québec and has recently opened a store at the West Edmonton Mall. While Simons still has hope of entering the Ottawa market, it’s also in talks with Promenade de l’Outaouais.

The City of Ottawa thought it was being environmentally friendly when it purchased a fleet of hybrid buses. It turns out they city will be converting several hybrid buses back to diesel after promised saving on running costs failed to materialize. This is a problem seen in many cities that have invested in hybrid technology. The buses are meant to be used for stop and go routes. In Ottawa, these would be the downtown routes such as the 1, 2, 7, and 14. But the hybrid buses were used for long routes, with inefficient results.

The Ottawa Food and Wine Show was a big success, maybe too much so. The sold out event produced massive line-ups on Friday & Saturday evening. For those that made it in, it was easy to stay at the Convention Centre for hours. But for those that didn’t make it, it was frustration overload, with some asking for a refund or exchanging their tickets for the traditionally less-busy Sunday. What are your suggestions to improve next year’s Wine and Food show? Let us know in the comments.

Downhill skiers rejoice, Camp Fortune has been open since Sunday, it’s the resort’s earliest opening in a decade. In 2011, it only opened the first week of December. How did they make it happen? Last week’s cold nighttime temperatures is a factor, but really it’s the quarter-million-dollar upgrade to Camp Fortune’s snow-making system which allows them to make 50 per cent more snow that has sped things up.

  • From my experience, “Ottawa” tends to over complicate things and under deliver… if that makes sense. So many delays in bureaucracy and in the end we are left with mediocre results. Don’t get me wrong, I am really starting to love the evolution that Ottawa is slowly experiencing since I moved here from Toronto 10 years ago.

    Simons- Why would Ottawa chose to support an American company over a Canadian chain? I think Simons would have been a great addition to Rideau Centre. Simons’ products are much more accessible/affordable to the Ottawa fashion community than Nordstrom, which will target a select few. I guess it’s still better than what Sears was offering.

    OC Transpo- very frustrating business that over charges, decreases services and is constantly making terrible and expensive mistakes. The tall busses not fitting in their garages, the delayed electronic payment method and… WHO ON EARTH IS RESPONSIBLE FOR PLANNING THEIR ROUTES???

    The Wine and Food Show- It’s a Marketing issue… this event is targeted to 30 something’s with class, money and wanna-be connoisseurs (like me!). Unfortunately it’s mostly attended by “bar stars” who are looking for the cheapest way to get drunk on tickets and pick up!

    When I attended last year, I was very disappointed to have not discovered more wines. The food was also mediocre and was there to fill the tummies of drunk people, more than the gastronomic adventure I was looking for. I would have expected more “wine/food” paring and less “samples from restaurants”. I liked the idea of local restos featuring a special cocktail though, that was original.

    Ticketing system- Why sell tickets in advance if you can’t promise that you will make it in? Advance ticket purchase should get you ahead of the line. My husband waited 3 hours in line with advance tickets and was told he could no longer get in. That is simple customer service problem.

    Perhaps the show needs to be offered more than once a year or expand its capacity… not a terrible problem to have at all! Maybe create two types of events that will shift the audience to split up the party people from the foodies.

  • J

    In response to Chantsy’s complaint about the advance tickets, she doesn’t understand the issue. The show was sold out for Saturday, so everybody that was in line had advance tickets. She suggested that her husband, who had an advance ticket, should’ve skipped ahead of everyone in line, who also had advance tickets. The real problem is that Capital tickets oversold. Also, while her suggestion that it should be split up to relieve pressure is good, it has already been addressed because there ARE two wine and food shows, the other one takes place across the river. Finally, complaining about “bar stars” attending events where they serve copious amounts of alcohol isn’t really fair either. The bar stars keep the social scene in this city alive, spending their money to go out, while “30 somethings with class, money” are staying in and watching TV after putting their kids to bed. I don’t know her, and I’m not judging, but does she have reason to be critical of the other attendees? Seems to me that bar stars have more right to be there than she does.

  • Lisa

    the wait times at the food and wine show were unacceptable!

    My friends and I waited over 3 hours in line, only to be faced with more waiting, so we gave up and got refunds. What is most frustrating about this is the tolerance of it by the local press. It is as if people are afraid to be critical even in the face of terrible organisation. The Ottawa citizen’s bias, nicey nice coverage is typical. They had the same response to the overpriced disaster that was harvest noir, a well intentioned poorly organised event that, despite the second year in a row of rain, did nothing to improve conditions (like hire tents) leaving diners soaked.

    Why do we have bad events? Because WE tolerate them! Events like these would not survive in other cities where people expect better. Come on Ottawa, raise your expectations!!!