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: Single mom of four, from Niagara area. She’s lived in Ottawa for about three years.
Hood: Vanier. Montreal Road.
Complaint: The city construction mostly. Andrea pauses to consider: “I can’t single out Vanier as a bad area,” she says, “as you’ll find trouble in any neighborhood. Some of the areas in the hood look a little run down. Particularly Montreal Road going East, which looks like it’s going to be ghost town soon. Some of the sad looking places need a face lift so people will stop generalizing Vanier as a ‘bad area’ that no one cares about. Ottawa’s the capital city. It’s clean and pretty, you don’t see a lot of loitering. Seeing the way Vanier is run down doesn’t fit the bill at the level of the city.”
Compliment: She loves the fact that Vanier is busy and full of life. There’s a lot happening on Montreal Road and the St-Laurent shopping centre. There is also a little diamond in the rough in Vanier, says Andrea. She’s referring to Eddie’s on Montreal Road. She loves it: “It’s open 24 hours a day & the food is so good. It’s just a surprise”, she adds, smiling.
Recommendation: If she had family over from Niagara, she wouldn’t send them to Vanier. She’d take them downtown, to Parliament. Or maybe to St-Laurent shopping centre. Although, she says a few seconds later, she has taken her parents to Biggs. The price is right, she says, and breakfast all day–who can say no to that?