My family is fast approaching a five-year anniversary of our move from Toronto to Ottawa. It took a while to call Ottawa home but we have come to love this city, its friendly people, beautiful landscape and attractions.
Over the years, as a cheeky newcomer, I have noted a few characteristics many Ottawan’s seem to share as a community. For example…
- Forget the game six degrees of Kevin Bacon. In Ottawa, it is two degrees of Alanis Morissette, ANY Ottawa Senator (including coaches) or Margaret Trudeau. This proud game extends to include the famous persons siblings, extended family and children. Act impressed.
- Distain for Toronto, particularly the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team. Never bring up past playoff knockouts. Do not go there.
- Concern for lost pets and animals that is genuine and often news worthy. I love this.
- Here, a conversation about Meech Lake is likely a reference to swimming, the beach and fun…not a political discussion about Brian Mulroney.
- Fine dining = neon cactus.
- Surprisingly, positive personal accounts of the Ice Storm in 1998.
- Ottawan’s have incredible memory retention for the exact year Toronto Mayor Mel Lastman called in the army during one fateful winter. Often accompanied with raised arms (help, help!) followed by a good laugh and possibly a knee slap.
- No matter where you live in the city, there is a good chance your work commute slowed thanks to Canadian geese, deer and/or wild turkeys crossing your path. Listen for it on traffic reports.
- People do not say they are “out of work” in Ottawa; they are “between contracts”.
- Finally, most people in Ottawa have been scared senseless at Saunders Farm.
Having never experienced the last of the above points this Thanksgiving weekend my family ventured out with a group of friends this gorgeous, record setting hot temperature Sunday, to Saunders Farm. Unfortunately, we cannot brag we were brave enough to go during the dark of night. Yikes, that must be extra scary! Despite the bright sun, we had enough screams, shrieks, jumps and laughs to qualify as Saunders “Scare-ees”. Here are some photos from a fantastically fun day.
Saunders Farm was so much fun we plan to go again. There is something for everyone…even scaredy cats like me. Happy Thanksgiving to Canadians celebrating this weekend.