An unbelievably early spring (slash almost summer – going up to 29 on Wednesday!) has arrived and we’ve been spending the weekend basking in the sun and enjoying our local amenities. We live in what’s been voted the best neighbourhood in Ottawa, and I wholeheartedly agree. Hintonburg has such a great vibe, from the old-school Carleton Tavern to the just-opened and super-hip Suzy Q doughnuts.
The neighbourhood is really mixed-use and walkable/cycle-able, although on Saturdays Wellington St really fills up with cars (mostly Subarus with child seats in the back…). Every time we walk the dog, we pass a new great-smelling restaurant, and the ones we’ve eaten at so far have been amazing. We live right beside a farmer’s market, which is awesome in the summer for grabbing veggies for dinner. There’s also a sweet 5-pin bowling alley, more coffee shops than you can shake a stick at, several great bike shops, a theatre (the live kind, not movies), a health food store (for bulk spices and delicious organic sodas), an amazing burger place that uses all grass-fed local meat and cheese, and, and, and… I could go on!
Basically, it’s hipster paradise (Eric’s words) or the discerning eater’s convivial dream community (my much nicer words). People ride bikes, socialize in the front yard while kids play in the street, and buy from local independent shops. There’s a thriving car-share program and a dog park with (mostly) amazing regulars. The biker gang keeps crime down, and the community centres, after-school programs, assisted living facilities and libraries have lots of people to pitch in. As much as I love my job and can’t wait to live overseas, I’m going to miss this part of Ottawa a lot – we’re going to make sure that we enjoy it to the fullest this coming year!