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Hood Wars Semi-Final: Centretown versus Hintonburg

By Apartment613 on May 9, 2012

Neighbourhood Wars is Apartment613’s yearly battle to determine which Ottawa neighbourhood can claim to be better than all others. The winner gets a year’s supply of glory and bragging rights. Show your support for your favourite Hood Wars contestant by picking up our special hood wars pins (pictured to the left), availible online soon!

Congrats to Centertown, who won the semi-final with 52% of the vote.

The Hintonburg vs Centertown semi-final is a tough touch call. On the one hand, sheer size of Centretown’s legions is enough to strike fear into hearts of event the staunchest competitors. On the other hand, the Hintonburg Army is fanatical and well organized. Many a well deserving hood has fallen to Hintonburg’s adept use of twitter to mobilize the troupes.

Who will win? You decide. As always read the arguments of the two defenders and then vote at the bottom of the page. The voting will last 24 hours (until May 10 at 10:30), after which the winner will advance to the Hood Wars Final next week.

Defending Centretown – Mike Fancie is a partisan government employee and former La Rotonde Arts & Culture volunteer of the year. He has been to Chez Lucien, but not Hintonburger. In the evening, he helps people plan new media campaigns. He supports the ongoing Quebec student strike. Find him on Twitter at @Fancietweets.I have already spoken at length in my first Hood Wars submission about Centretown’s general excellence. About 75% of you agreed that it beats the Glebe. But Hintonburg – the defending champion – barely edged out Chinatown in a nail-biting 51 – 49 showdown. Chinatown, people. Admittedly, Hintonburglars can lay claim to a nifty neighbourhood. My Member of Parliament keeps his office on Wellington Street – and I don’t see any other Ottawa MPs inspiring Jersey Shore references and rap tributes from their constituents.

It is surprisingly baby-in-a-stroller—friendly. Perhaps this is related to point one – perhaps it’s due to a lack of bars that aren’t bowling alleys.

The Great Canadian Theatre Company has a great selection of performing arts. But when you live steps away from the National Arts Centre, the comparison just doesn’t hold water. I mean, if there is one thing that Hintonburg/West Wellington does have going for it, I hear that it makes an excellent suburb.

All things considered, though, one has to wonder how Hintonburger, essentially a hipster chip wagon, can be so reverential. It’s apparently delicious. I’ve never actually eaten there; I’ve been to the repurposed KFC, but when there’s a seating capacity of 25, it’s practically impossible to get a table. No wonder the hipsters are head over heels for the place. If you’re looking for a burger that you can actually sit down to eat, give Centretown’s Imperial Pub a shot.

I’d like to round off this article by making another quick pitch on behalf of Centretown’s geographic awesomeness. Unless you own a car, or want to sit down for dinner sweaty from a long bike ride, we residents of the downtown boroughs have to plan our trips to Hintonburg. No fun. One of the delights of any Centretowner’s weekend is rolling out of bed, texting our pals after a late night out (that sometimes ends with smoked meat poutine at a number of walking-distance establishments, like Dunn’s or the Elgin Street Diner) and being resoundingly spoiled for choice when someone inevitably suggests meeting up for brunch.

You can regale your pals with tales from last night at the Manx, Lieutenant’s Pump, the Standard (surprisingly good!), Maxwell’s, and the Atomic Rooster, among others: this week, for example, I learned that Bowich, the lunchtime denizen of Bank Street, also serves brunch. (An honourable lunchtime denizen mention goes to the Bread and Sons bakery, which serves up amazing breakfast croissants and pizza to downtown workers, including all the Hintonburglars who commute to where the jobs are.)

In conclusion: what can be said about Hintonburg that hasn’t already been said about Lindsay Lohan? It’s played-out, over-sold, and over-expose.

Life is good in Centretown. Vote for us.

Defending Hintonburg – Returning Hood Wars Champion, OpenFile Ottawa news curator, Apartment613 radio editor, curler extraordinaire… is there anything Trevor Pritchard can not do? Apparently its saying anything nice about a neighbourhood that’s not Hintonburg. Most of the arguments put forward in this year’s edition of Neighbourhood Wars, while convincing, have lacked a certain practicality. Yay, so may great things to do! Boo, no time in which to do it! So here’s my solution: a simple itinerary for when you want to take your visiting friend or great-aunt or rabbi to historic Hintonburg.

Early morning: With a long day ahead, we’ll start with a double espresso at Le Michel-Ange cafe. We’ll also grab an Indie Coffee Passport; we’ll be making good use of that later, I promise. We’ll detour through the side streets, checking out century-old homes, gradually meandering our way back to Wellington Street. By that time, we’ll be ready for breakfast—and what could be a more Hintonburg experience than bacon and scrambled eggs at Cozy’s Diner.

Post-breakfast: Now properly fuelled, we’ll head west on Wellington Street, taking time to shoot a few photos of the regal L’eglise St-François d’Assise. (If we’re lucky, talented Ottawa photographer and proud Hintonburgian Justin Van Leeuwen will swing by and offer us a few tips on proper exposure.) We’ll somehow avoid the Hintonburger’s ketchup-laced temptations and press on to CycleLogik, where we’ll rent a RightBike and grab another coffee with our trusty passport. We’ll then head west to Holland Avenue, where we’ll drop in to World of Maps and I’ll buy you an Ontario flag to fix to your backpack.

Lunch: Holland Avenue’s filled with interesting restaurants, from modern choices like Allium and Canvas to the more traditional Pho Van Van and the Foolish Chicken. This one’s your call.

Afternoon: We’ve got a ball game against the Centretown Fancypants at Laroche Park in Mechancisville, so let’s jump on our RightBikes and hit the diamond. (It shouldn’t be too competitive, as I hear half the infield is hungover and the pitcher hurt his shoulder in a tragic fixie accident.) After our certain victory, celebratory pints are in order, so it’s off to the Carleton Tavern! I dare you to get the liver and onions. Let’s also grab some fresh tomatoes and eggplant from Rochon Farms, my favourite Parkdale Market vendor, and toss them in our bike baskets. Oh, remember those photos we shot earlier? It just happens that nearby is world HQ for CanvasPop, one of Ottawa’s coolest local startups. I’m sure that one silhouette would look great blown up and hanging in your apartment.

Evening: I’m good with either barbecuing those vegetables with some trout from the Wellington Fish Market, or having a nice meal at the Back Lane Cafe or Burnt Butter. Afterwards, I booked us a lane at West Park Bowling, and then Lefty McRighty is playing a CHUO-FM fundraiser at the Elmdale—so if you’re still properly caffeinated, we could hit both of those. If not, we’ll return the bike, maybe grab a final late night tea with our passport at the Alpha Soul Cafe, and head home.

Next morning: Because we slept in, you’re late to the airport! Screw going the long way: sprint up the hill behind the Tom Brown Arena, give the nagging sign telling you you’re breaking the rules the middle finger, and jump on the 97. And let me when you’re in the neighbourhood again!


Voting ends May 10 at 10:30am.

Preliminary Round

May 1 – Western Conference – Hintonburg vs Chinatown

May 2 – Centre Conference – Centretown vs The Glebe

May 3 – Eastern Conference – New Edinburgh vs Sandy Hill

May 4 – Boonies Conference – Gatineau vs Almonte

Semi Finals

May 7 – Hintonburn vs Centretown

May 9 – Gatineau vs New Edinburgh


May 14 – Winner May 7 vs Winner May 9