Stories about adventures in Ottawa

Anything Goes

Anything Goes

June 9, 2011. Spotted at the corner of Wellington and MacKenzie (in front of the Chateau Laurier), Ottawa, Ontario.

Sunset at YOW

Sunset at YOW

October 10, 2010. Sunset at the Ottawa International Airport. Looking through the airplane window while waiting for takeoff to San Francisco.

Lots of walking this winter

Walking in snowy OttawaMost people coming to my website would probably expect to see me write about cycling. All the time. And maybe some occasional computer nerd stuff too, I guess.

But the truth is, the few stories I posted about pigeons seem to be attracting the most people who write comments! I kind of miss those filthy yet beautiful birds on my balcony in Etobocoke, but in so many other ways I'm much happier in our new (old!) house closer to downtown.

Anyway, this post is not about cycling, computer stuff, or even pigeons. I just wanted to catch up and tell you about all the walking I have done lately. I still ride my bike to work most of the time, though I've been taking transit when I've been sick or the weather has been particularly bad, but I've started walking more often for more local tasks, and to explore my neighbourhood and city.

Here are some walks I've been on in December and January. Not surprisingly, I always had my camera with me! Click the links for more photos and commentary.

  • December 1: A Saturday afternoon walk with Jen down Sterling Rd. and other parts of our neighbourhood.
  • December 16: I was on a work trip to Ottawa when that big snowstorm came through Ontario. I went for a long walk around downtown and took plenty of photos.
  • December 31: Another walk around the 'hood, this time with lots of photos of the Wallace Ave. bridge.
  • January 1: A snowy New Years Day walk down Sterling Rd., through High Park, and more.
  • January 5: Some interesting sights while walking downtown.
  • January 12: Another walk downtown with Jen. MacGregor Park, Queen West, Trinity Bellwoods, murals, and more.
  • January 20: Walking downtown again (we're really saving on TTC fare!). Zig-zagging through the side streets down to Queen West, and more.
  • January 26: Yesterday I finally dragged myself out for a walk after being sick for almost a week. We went up to St. Clair W., enjoyed the view from the escarpment etc.

I have also been enjoying Michael's Bloor-Lansdowne blog lately. He posts some neat information about the neighbourhood, often from the perspective of all the walking he does.

Hacker Bike Ride

Hacker Bike RideI was up in Ottawa for about a week recently. I went there to attend the Ottawa Linux Symposium, do some work at the Ottawa office, hang out with my brother's family, and catch up with some of my Ottawa friends.

Of course, no Linux Symposium is complete without the annual Hacker Bike Ride. This ride has been happening for several years on the Sunday after the Symposium. Basically, a whole bunch of Linux geeks gather up some bicycles and take a ride around the city. It's an excellent social event, and the locals love to show off Ottawa's fantastic cycling and scenery to all the visitors from out of town.

This year's ride started from the usual Col By Dr. meeting place, and went straight up Sussex Dr. towards the Ottawa River. We followed Sussex Dr. past the Prime Minister's and Governor General's residences, and further east along the Rockliffe parkway. We looped back down the Aviation Parkway and along Hemlock to the Rideau River. Then we followed the Rideau River multi-use trail all the way up to Vincent Massey Park (near Hog's Back and Carleton University) for the annual "Linux in the Wild" BBQ hosted by the Ottawa Canada Linux Users Group.

After hanging out in the park for a while, eating lots of BBQ food, etc., the hacker Bike Ride continued over Hog's Back Falls to the Rideau Canal, and back downtown to where we started.

The evening continued with more bike geek goodness. Of course, it was the usual weekly HPVOoO gathering at the Vietnam Noodle House, followed by some bike swapping and a gelato run on Elgin St. There was a huge turnout, especially with a few of the OLS people that came by as well.

It's always fun to spend a day riding my bike around Ottawa. I'm also very happy with the Bike Friday folding bike I bought earlier this year. I love being able to take it with me whenever I travel.

Here are my photos from Sunday.

HPVOoO and the Purple Pirate

Dustin and Farah on the MicwicI spent a week up in Ottawa recently. Jen and I went up there to attend Jodi and Henk's wedding, in addition to visiting my brother's family, camping, and me going to work at our office up there. We really packed in alot of fun stuff that week! More about all that later...

I just wanted to share some photos of the HPVOoO gathering on Sunday night while we were there. Our timing for being in Ottawa was excellent: This was the weekend that Dustin "The Purple Pirate" and Farah "The Smiling Yogi" were in town after finishing their cross-Canada 5000 For Health! bike tour from Vancouver to Ottawa. They were riding a most unusual Micwic back-to-back recumbent tandem bike.

So in addition to the usual great food and fun times with the HPVOoO crew, we got to test-ride this awesome bike after dinner. It was great to hang out with the HPVOoO folks again, and to meet Dustin and Farah. What a fantastic night. Makes me miss living in Ottawa even more.

I took plenty of photos, of course, and they are posted
over here.

Ottawa, November 2005

Parliament BuildingsI was up in Ottawa for about 9 days this month for an office consolidation project for work. Since it was a work trip, I actually spent most of my time working, including the weekend. I still managed to see a few friends and visit with family, but I hardly took any pictures even though I had my camera with me all the time. I just took some night shots of downtown Ottawa from my hotel window on the evening I arrived.

It was a fun trip. Even though I spent so much time working, I got to meet some other out of town co-workers, and our company really treats us well when we travel too. Still, nice to get back home when it was all over. I'm looking forward to going back to Ottawa in December.

Canada Day Weekend in Ottawa

Vic and Jen on the GreenspeedI went to Ottawa with Jen for the Canada Day long weekend. The nation's capital is, of course, the best place to celebrate Canada's birthday, while at the same time visiting family and the friends we both met during our many years living there.

We rode the Dirty Dog to Ottawa after work on Thursday night, and settled in to our friend Mark Rehder's place when we arrived after midnight. There was a note on the door from Richard to come meet him for some food when we arrived. What the heck, Richard is just a couple of blocks away from Mark, it's a weekend so it doesn't matter if we're out late, and there's plenty of good late-night eating in Chinatown. We ended up staying out until about 2:30 while we chatted over pho.

Saturday was a fun day! After sleeping in for a while, we went over to Jen's friends John and Anna's place for a bit of a Canada Day get-together. This was the first time we met John and Anna's newborn son, Dylan. John's brother Steve (who I met years ago through the Ottawa Perl Mongers), Kelly, Jody, and Henk were all there too.
For the evening, we headed back to Mark's place to meet up with some of the HPVOoO folks for food and crazy bike riding fun. Gathered up the bikes, lit them up, stuck Canada Geese on our heads, and went to entertain the crowds. More details in my Canada Day Photo Gallery, and in Richard's gallery.

On Sunday, Jen and I borrowed Richard's Greenspeed tandem recumbent trike for a ride around Ottawa. After touring around the city, we rode up to my brother Andrew's place to visit him, his wife Jurga and their daughter Agota. It was great to see them again for the first time since I moved out of their place in May. It's amazing how much a baby can change over two months. I took plenty of pictures of this day too.

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