Archive for the ‘Tourism’ Category

Let The ByWard Market Have Its Day. Locals Know The Woes.

- January 17th, 2015

The central ByWard Market building in June 2013. Count on the city making some recommendations on how the building should be managed when a new report on the market is published in the coming weeks.

Leave it to one of the most respected newspapers in the world to let us know the ByWard Market is waking up.

By now, you probably have at least heard about the New York Times’ travel piece on the market and its celebration of a rare neighbourhood wine store in Ontario — the “boutique-size Wine Rack.”

It’ll probably provide fodder for commentary, and indeed, it has already started.

But at a time when the market has been dismissed as “lost”, a positive travel article in a major international publication is a big score for the district.

Sure, the locals know what’s really happening.

That, in fact, the “after hours” of the market isn’t necessarily the most “sleepy” time of day.

That the city has been spending thousands of dollars on studies to find how why the market has gone downhill.

And, that it’s likely the market district will see a new governance structure this year to oversee change.

But let the market celebrate the Times’ hat-tip for, at least, a great chocolatier, studio, restaurant and lingerie store.

Truth is, more of us probably aren’t seeing the great things in the market, something the BIA executive director suggested to me earlier this week.

I have never been in that Wine Rack. But I bet it’s one of the best of the 160 Wine Racks in Ontario.

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Follow City Hall reporter Jon Willing on Twitter at @JonathanWilling, on Instagram at @JonathanWilling and at ottawasun.com.

Festival Folds On Day Of Economic Future Speech

- October 31st, 2012

On the day that Mayor Jim Watson delivers an economic speech that stresses the importance of tourism to the city, this happens:

News Release
For Immediate release

Rideau Canal Festival Suspended

OTTAWA (October 31, 2012) After five challenging years, the Board of Directors of the Rideau Canal Festival has decided to suspend the festival.

The decision was made in light of the decreasing funding from the federal government and the City of Ottawa as well as the lack of a major corporate sponsor. This, coupled with the difficulties in generating corporate sponsors in the current tough economic times has led to this decision.

“We strongly believe that this UNESCO World Heritage site, the only one in Ontario, is worthy of celebrating but unfortunately the funding reductions make it simply unsustainable,” said Richard Patten, Chair of the festival’s Board of Directors.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the volunteers, staff, board members, heritage organizations and mostly the hundreds of thousands of residents and visitors who enjoyed the festival in the last five years,” said Patten.

The Rideau Canal is one of Ottawa’s most historic and famous attractions. In 2007 it became Ontario’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site. The first Rideau Canal Festival was launched in 2008 during the August long weekend driven by the community’s desire to celebrate its World Heritage site designation. More than 500,000 people enjoyed the festival over the past five years.

Sparks St. Trash For Tourists

- July 19th, 2011

I had some family in Ottawa this week and last night we checked out the new Mosaika sound and light show at the Parliament Buildings. Hundreds of people sat on the Hill to watch this spectacular 30-minute presentation.

We joined the crowd walking down Metcalfe St., turning down Sparks St.

Here’s a sample of what we saw (sorry about the quality):

I was a little surprised by the heaps of garbage all the way down Sparks St. I assumed Tuesday was garbage day (which it is), and although I get that people have to put their garbage somewhere to be collected, I have to wonder what tourists make of our fair city.

Every Monday night this summer, people leaving the Mosaika show at Parliament will stroll down historic Sparks St. and navigate large piles of trash.

City Hall under Mayor Jim Watson is big on promoting tourism right now.

I’m not so sure turning Sparks St. into a dump once a week helps.