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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.