Ottawa’s Compliments & Complaints Department is a featured column supported by the Apt613 Fellowship Program. The aim is to spotlight locals from different hoods of the capital, letting them celebrate this city and share their constructive criticisms.
About: He used to work in a kitchen in Little Italy and still enjoys coming here.
Hood: Little Italy on a tranquil Sunday afternoon, under a light rain.
Complaint: Construction. This place has been under a lot of condo construction and it’s pretty loud. Also, the area suffers from the fact that people come here during the Tulip Festival and Italian Week, which is nice, but it’s otherwise not well traveled outside of government employees. Little Italy has a lot of great stuff to offer, but because it’s outside of the Market, outside of downtown, not many people think of coming here. There are a lot of good parts of this neighborhood that aren’t seen too often during the day.
Compliment: Little Italy seems to have retained its sense of community. Dante’s grandparents came over here from Italy and they stuck around the hood with their friends. As much as it has grown over the years, beyond just Italian people and their community–there are a lot of different kinds of restaurants and ethnic backgrounds here–people still know each other, which is nice. When he worked here, his boss would just talk to people walking by on the street. Also, there are a lot of garbage bins around Little Italy which he really appreciates. It’s the best, and he notices this detail everyday when he walks here.
Recommendation: Check out Simply Biscotti Cafe. He loves that place: really great atmosphere. Check out The Zydeco Smokehouse. Although they keep odd hours, it’s awesome. Also, Di Rienzo has some of the best sandwiches in the world. Otherwise, in Ottawa, there is a great place called Memories in the Market. Not enough people go there according to Dante. It’s a great restaurant with a delicious pie cake.