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Weekend Roundup: Quoi faire ?

By Kiersten Vuorimaki on June 4, 2020

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This has been a difficult week, friends. No matter how you chose to spend the last few days, it has been a heavy time for us as a human community. The weather has been unpredictable, the state of emergency has been extended into July, and protests around the world are bringing us together with anger and purpose.

Weekends are still not what they used to be, as the work week slides into the weekend, and few of us even notice the days on the calendar. The city has come alive in the last few weeks, with trees and flowers exploding all over town, and the sidewalks filling with people eager to welcome spring back to town. Ottawa in late spring cannot be beat. Take time this weekend to enjoy our 400 shades of green, maintain a safe distance, and please wash your hands!

I do not intend to diminish in any way the important conversations happening about racial injustice here and internationally, and so here are a few resources that can help you in your efforts to support local, BIPOC businesses and initiatives. 

Informed Action

Our friends at Together Apart have put together a Google Doc  to share black-owned businesses, organizations and initiatives around town. This awesome local group has really helped create a sense of community support during the shutdown, and they are an excellent resource for everything local, open, and in need of support during this time.

Apt613 contributors have compiled an ever-growing list of BIPOC, immigrant and refugee-owned food businesses to support as well, with a map, reviews and some of our favourite best kept secrets. Check out our article here, and let us know in the comments what we missed!

This Friday, beginning at the US Embassy on Sussex, No Peace Until Justice will be holding a peaceful demonstration at 3pm in the spirit of Black Lives Matter. Mayor Jim Watson has committed to be there, although details about the organization and event are still coming together, to mixed reactions. Please read this important message before making plans to attend. If you choose to participate in the event, please friends, PLEASE stay safe and maintain the same COVID-19 precautions that we have been urged to follow. Having your voice heard is an important and powerful thing, but we don’t want to lose any of our beloved passionate folks to illness. We are going to need you to fight another day!

This weekend kicks off the Summer Solstice Festival, which has moved entirely online this year, and spans the length of June, National Indigenous History Month. There are teaching and learning materials as well as live music and dance performances, author readings and a social distance powwow dance competition. This weekend you can catch Ottawa’s own Amanda Rheaume on Friday night as part of the Métis kitchen party, and folk duo Twin Flames headlining on Satuday night with MC Jahkota. 

Doors Not Open

The first weekend in June is usually reserved for Doors Open, the greatest adventure in behind-the-scenes tours available in Ottawa. This year, sadly, we aren’t able to wander around embassies, poke into forgotten nooks and crannies of old churches, or get the inside scoop on the newest development in town. I won’t lie, Doors Open is one of the neatest annual events in the city (in my humble, nerd opinion) and so this roundup I’m encouraging everyone to get back in touch with the 613, and take the time to explore some of our places virtually, despite the fact that the doors are not open. The weather is getting better, and I think the time has come to remember what we’re all working so hard to save, and how cool our little corner of the country is. 

The Ottawa Art Gallery has a knack for creating excellent content in interesting spaces. Their new home and its clever design is a Doors Open darling, but for now, they are sharing with us the heart and soul of their holdings: The Firestone Collection. Donated by the Firestone family, the collection is a premiere selection of classic Canadian art, including Emily Carr, Jean-Paul Riopelle, Norval Morrisseau, and the Group of Seven. Take a virtual 3D tour of the Firestone Gallery from home, and plan your next visit around a few drinks at Jackson.

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When was the last time you watched the sunset? Take a moment to bask in the soft glow of sundown in Georges Delfosse’s chalk pastel work, House at Sunset. Born in Mascouche, QC in 1869, painter and illustrator Georges Delfosse had a knack for capturing light and colour. Delfosse made his success as an artist in Montreal, and throughout his almost 60-year career, he created over 3,000 works, including paintings, many church murals and frescoes, pastels, and watercolours. 🎨 House at Sunset, Georges Delfosse, c. 1920, chalk pastel on paper. Firestone Collection of Canadian Art, Ottawa Art Gallery; Donated to the City of Ottawa by the Ontario Heritage Foundation. 💕Thank you to @hendrickfarm, OAG's 2020 Admission Sponsor. #OAGfromhome #GeorgesDelfosse #MuseumFromHome #MuseumMomentofZen #OAG #ottawaartgallery

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The NCC has reopened their parking lots, and we’re all stretching our legs just that little bit more.  Add to your enjoyment of Gatineau Park with an interactive map tour of the Mackenzie King Estate, just 20 minutes from downtown Ottawa. Make the most of a rainy day with the in depth behind the scenes tour of the site, the buildings and the gardens, or use the map as your guide to the estate while you’re there. The estate is open for wandering around, but the buildings remain closed until further notice.

Heritage Ottawa has really leaned into the idea of virtual learning, with a comprehensive selection of lectures and films about architecture, city planning and local history. Watch a 1949 documentary short called A Capital Plan about the man who created the plan for Ottawa as a Capital, including the clearance of LeBreton Flats and the creation of the greenbelt. Get the behind the scenes look into the plan for the Canadian War Museum, and how the architect planned for its ground breaking design. There is also a major list of virtual tours from Ottawa and around the world, for your poking around pleasure.

The Bytown Museum is posting videos on their IGTV breaking down the museum, and Ottawa’s history into easy, fun bite size pieces. The Doors Open episode of their “Bytown: Bit by Bit” series explores the architecture of the Commissariat building, Ottawa’s oldest remaining stone building. Check out the online content, and learn about some of the founders of Ottawa, plus our naughty and controversial stories and how we came to be the capital of Canada. Once you’ve taken in the virtual content, head down to the site for a sunset walk around the locks.

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Bummed to be missing Doors Open Ottawa this year? We’ve put together a special two-part episode of “Bytown: Bit By Bit” to bookend what would have been Doors Open Ottawa weekend, featuring some of the unique, interesting, and odd architectural features of our home, the Commissariat. 📺 Watch for part one on Monday, June 1, followed by part two on Monday, June 8. We know, we know, it isn’t the same as experiencing the sights, sounds, and smells of ours and other local heritage buildings, but until we can have you all over again, we’re trying to make the best of it! Enjoy! 🏛 . . . #613History #BytownMuseum #museum #ottawa #myottawa #heritage #heritagebuilding #rideaucanal #doorsopen #doorsopenottawa #museumfromhome #guidedtour #virtualguidedtour #fridayfeels

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Watson’s Mill in Manotick has developed a brilliant virtual 3D tour of the mill, with flour making simulations and videos. This behind the scenes tour will give you insight into the history of the mill industry along the Rideau waterways and how Watson’s is still a functioning flour mill. You can also buy grain that has been milled on site. This is a great opportunity to explore a building outside of the city, without having to make the drive.

For more Doors Open goodness from around the province, you can check out Digital Doors Open for interesting sites around Ontario that have moved their stories online in innovative and interactive ways, including our very own Diefenbunker Museum, who have launched their online shop just in time for all of our online shopping needs.


For more of what’s happening in Ottawa, stay tuned to @apt613 on Twitter. Out snapping photos? Tag us on Instagram @apt613 for a chance to be featured on our feed. Be sure to use the hashtag #APT613 so we can share your photos!