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: Amanda has been a nanny for three years. She graduated from the University of Ottawa and moved here from California in 2009.
Complaint: There’s a lot to eat, but not a lot to do, says Amanda. And this is a general complaint about Ottawa, not specific to Hintonburg. She wishes there were more resources for kids in the area. There is the library and the community center, but if you want good day programming you have to leave the area. There aren’t a lot of drop-in centers. There’s not a lot of community support for children, and since she’s a nanny, she finds herself leaving the hood to go to Westboro or Centretown where there are higher levels of access to care and activities for kids.
Compliment: The food! It’s amazing, she says. She loves SuzyQ, Hintonburger and–depending on where you’re defining Hintonburg, if you go all the way up to Holland– The Table is an excellent vegetarian option. That’s been the one thing that’s most impressed Amanda about Ottawa: the food options in the past five years which have blossomed. On top of which, there is a market close-by. Also: the Bridgehead. Plus, her favorite fabric shop happens to be Fabrications which has provided her with a lot of really great projects. She also likes the general culture of Hintonburg because it’s an area that’s made itself. The City didn’t come in and do things, it happened organically. Unfortunately, it also means that there are some pockets that are hit and miss; it’s an area in transition. There are good things and bad things about gentrification, she concludes.
Recommendation: You have to go to SuzyQ. And it’s really fun to watch the O-train: the kids love it.