Skip To Content

Neighbourhood Wars! The Glebe and Centretown battle for bronze

By Trevor Pritchard on April 4, 2011


Photo courtesy tcp909 on Flickr.

Editor’s note: After that epic Neighbourhood Wars semifinal between Hintonburg and Centretown last week (we received 633 votes – a record – and the tie was still decided by one percentage point!)  we here at Apt613 needed a few days off to recuperate. So here’s the third-place clash, a few days late. The final – between Hintonburg and Chinatown – is set for this Wednesday.

If you’d asked 100 people before our Neighbourhood Wars tourney got underway about the likelihood of a Glebe-Centretown showdown, I’d guess the majority would have said it would be inevitable. And it’s turned out that way – though thanks to a couple of stunning upsets, at least on paper, they’re fighting it out for bronze, not gold. As the old sports cliche goes, that’s why they play the games.

Still, it should be a barnburner of a third-place battle. You already know the competitors, so let’s just get right down to business, shall we? As per usual, you’ve got 24 hours – that’s until 4:30pm Tuesday – to cast your ballot. Allons-y!

The Glebe

Photo courtesy of jessica @ flickr’s

Photo courtesy of fieldtripp

Defending the Glebe: Katie Marsh, an editor with Apt613 and a Glebite ever since she moved to Ottawa three years ago.

In my first defense of the Glebe, I tried reason. When that only barely worked, I switched to negative campaigning. Now, facing the might of Centretown, I resort to the lowest, most desperate ploy of all.

When casting your vote, readers, please think of the children.

Yes, the poor Glebe children are in need of your support. After 122 years, the Super Ex left the Glebe last September, folowed by the departure of the Sugar Mountain candy store. More recently, Glebe Side Kids has also gone the way of the dodo, leaving the neighbourhood’s more fashionable tots without a  haberdashery.

But this is only the beginning of the Glebe’s woes – and by extension, the woes of its children.  Bank Street from the Queensway to Holmwood is about to be ripped up. The resulting carnage to the Glebe’s ecosystem of coffee shops and kitchen stores will be severe, making parents across the neighbourhood grumpy. Who will they take it out on? That’s right, the children.

There are even deeper troubles afoot: the Glebe has developed a character which, love it or hate it, is at least distinct. The redevelopment of Lansdowne will undoubtedly change the nature of the neighborhood. The Glebe the children have all grown to know and love may soon be lost to the mists of time.

We can’t stem the tide of change, and probably don’t want to, but we can do a little sometime to cheer up Glebites of all ages. For one vote, less then the price of a cup of coffee, you can put a smile on at least one Glebite’s face. And believe me, we’ll probably need it.

Defending Centretown: Apt613 contributor Peter Henderson, who has no idea what a fully vested 401(k) is.

I really can’t believe it. With all the incredible things on offer in Centretown—including all the things I forgot to mention that were pointed out in last week’s comments, like ZenKitchen, Ragtime, and Venus Envy—I’m surprised that any neighbourhood could hope to challenge us for Ottawa supremacy. But obviously, just being the best wasn’t enough—I needed to draw a handmade map. C’est la vie.

But this isn’t about Hintonburg anymore. This is about the Glebe, Ottawa’s most exclusive downtown neighbourhood. I’m not saying the Glebe is expensive, but last time I went there I saw a hobo with an iPad. I can’t even afford to breathe the air south of the Works, that’s how hoity-toity it is. Apt613 contributor Jonathan Migneault moved close to Fifth Ave. and Bank a few years ago, and his lease came with a free monocle.

Centretown is the polar opposite of the Glebe: all steak, no sizzle. We don’t have dog groomers or fancy toy stores; we have awesome parties and vintage clothing stores. I know the Glebe may be a bit safer and a bit smoother around the edges, but that’s the point—if you want boredom, there are suburbs for that. City living is about living life, experiencing the good and the bad, and being able to stumble home drunk from the bar without having to dodge people’s lawn sprinklers.

Question: if Iggy Pop moved to Ottawa, would he live in the Glebe or Centretown? Question the second: If Kenny G moved to Ottawa, which Bank Street neighbourhood would he choose? If milquetoast is your thing, the Glebe is definitely for you. But if you’re young, hip, and you want to turn it up to 11, there’s only one place to be in Ottawa: Centretown.

Cast your vote now – voting closes at 4:30pm Tuesday!

Check out the full Neighbourhood Wars lineup here.