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Love is in the air: A guide to proposing creatively in Ottawa

By Krista Dawn Shackleford on February 13, 2014

The good news is you’ve found someone you’d like to marry. The bad news is you feel pressure to plan “the perfect proposal”. If social media is any indication, many people feel the need to plan something mind-bogglingly creative. YouTube is littered with elaborate “flash mob” proposals (“I’m shopping at Home Depot…no wait, I’m getting engaged!”) and musical performances. So what is a non-exhibitionist, non-musically inclined person to do?

Luckily, Ottawa offers many opportunities to propose creatively while staying true to your identity as a couple. After all, an engagement should reflect your relationship, not your song-writing prowess. If you’re considering an Ottawa-based proposal that’s slightly off-the-beaten-track, here are some ideas to get you going. Happy planning!

For the Sporty Couple: Tobogganing at Green’s Creek Sliding Hill

Night sledding is about as romantic as it gets: crisp snow, snuggling up on a toboggan, and the exhilaration of speeding down a hill beside twinkling lights. For extra points, bring a thermos of hot chocolate to celebrate after your partner says “yes!” Green’s Creek is the ultimate night sledding experience: well-lit, well-groomed, and far enough from downtown that the air is still and quiet.

For the Wanderlust Couple: Cinema Dante, Dante Alighieri Society of Ottawa

So you don’t have the money to make it to Italy – why not visit the Glebe Community Centre instead? On Tuesday evenings until March 25th, the Dante Alighieri Society of Ottawa and Glebe Neighborhood Activities Group are hosting a series of classic Italian movies. Admission is free, and all movies are presented with subtitles. To double down on romance, try mixing Italian with opera: they’re showing Puccini’s Tosca on February 18th. (Though be forewarned: the lovers die at the end.)

For the Outdoorsy Couple: Mud Lake

There’s no lack of gorgeous greenery in Ottawa, but Mud Lake is particularly proposal-friendly. The trail around the lake has plenty of picturesque clearings – perfect for getting down on one knee and making proclamations. But Mud Lake’s greatest feature is its location. Located just east of Britannia, the lake is a secluded refuge in the middle of the bustling city, giving the lake a cozy, intimate atmosphere. Mud Lake is so calm and still, you’ll find it hard to believe you’re only a three-minute drive from Wal-Mart.

For the Politico Couple: Metropolitan Brasserie

Full disclosure: When my partner and I saw Joe Clark walking down the canal last winter, we were thrilled with every inch of our beings. We once saw Pierre Pettigrew in Byward Market and not only recognized him, but excitedly told our friends about it as if they would care. (They didn’t.) In most cities, this would make us nerds. In Ottawa, it makes us nerds in good company.

If you fall into the “political nerd” category, you could do worse than proposing at the Metropolitan Brasserie Restaurant. The Metropolitan is traditionally a Conservative Party hangout, which may or may not be a turn off for you. But political affiliation aside, The Metropolitan has wonderful service – a bonus if you’re trying to pull off a restaurant proposal. The lighting is low, and some of their tables are incredibly luxurious and private. They also make a mean kir royale – a Champagne and Cassis cocktail that’s as tasty as it is romantic. My advice: bracket your political preferences for an evening and let the staff at the Met pamper your inner Conservative Party operative.