Archive for ◊ July, 2013 ◊

Author: admin
• Monday, July 29th, 2013

As you may know, the former social media gal Kiara left her job here at the Lord Elgin to move to Australia for a few months. While it was really hard to say goodbye to her (she’s one of best friends) she was kind enough to score me an interview with her then boss (and mine now!) Ann, the Director of Sales & Marketing here at the hotel. We chatted about University and even found out we both frequent the same yoga studio in Ottawa. When Ann emailed me offering me the position I was more than thrilled. I started here not knowing what to expect and feeling a bit anxious, however I automatically felt welcomed and part of team when I stepped into the Sales office. Max, Liz, Andrew, Tessa and Ann (Kiara did blogs on all of them!) are the most gracious and helpful co-workers one could ever dream of having.

That being said, here is a little bit about myself. I am twenty years old and am currently completing my undergrad at the University of Ottawa in English and Psychology (one more year!) After I graduate uOttawa, I’m planning to attend Algonquin College for their Public Relations program, the same one Kiara completed. I also serve part time at Big Rig Kitchen & Brewery, which is a great place to work. I am an avid reader and shopper (ask any of the sales team!) I love to practice yoga, try new food and especially to travel. I hope this helps you get to know the new girl behind the social media and I can’t wait to learn more about the Lord Elgin!

Author: admin
• Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

This past week at the Lord Elgin has been one to remember. Just stepping into this hotel makes you feel like there is a great amount of history to be told and uncovered. I was fortunate enough to hear stories from some very special guests we had at the Lord Elgin this week.

Dale with his father and mother - 1953


We first met with a man named Dale Leitch, who definitely had a story to tell. Although his tale about his time at the Lord Elgin was difficult to hear, it is one worth listening to. He has written his story out in a short book, which we had the opportunity to read.

Dale stayed in our hotel sixty years ago on a vacation with his family, and although he was only four years old at the time, he could recall the room his family stayed in. So when he and his wife Karen came to Ottawa this time, they asked for the same room (542). As he walked down the corridor he said, it was like walking down memory lane. In 1953, his family traveled from their home in Winnipeg to Ottawa for a holiday and was visiting friends in Bryson, just outside of Ottawa. Within days after their arrival, Dale his 2 year old brother and his mother all came down with flu like symptoms. Shortly thereafter they were all diagnosed with polio which was an epidemic in Canada during the early 1950s. They assume they contracted the disease in Winnipeg before they left for vacation. Manitoba was particularly hard hit by this epidemic.

Sadly, the youngest brother, who was then only two, died within two days of being admitted to the Strathcona Hospital in Sandy Hill (the hospital no longer exists). Dale eventually recovered and left the hospital and returned to the hotel with his father. His aunt joined them in Ottawa to assist. His mother, however, had a very slow recovery and spent many months in Ottawa, first at the Strathcona and then at the Civic Hospital, which was new at that time. Dale and his father and their aunt set up a temporary home at the Lord Elgin during this time. When his mother was finally discharged, she could only breath with the help of an iron lung. She was forced to rely on the iron lunch for most of her life to help her breath.

It is just one more reminder of how fortunate we are today. We somehow take for granted that we are immunized against these diseases which once took our loved ones away, or afflicted them for life.

Dale and his wife Karen checked out yesterday and went back to Victoria, BC, their home now. Before they left, they took some time to go through an scrapbook on the Lord Elgin that we have. It brought back many memories for Dale.

Thank you Dale for sharing this story with us.

Dale & Karen Leitch

Author: admin
• Friday, July 12th, 2013

Exploring a new city is one of my favourite things to do, but finding a good restaurant without being familiar with the city is always a little difficult and overwhelming. So lucky for us Ottawa’s dining is diverse and unique at the same time. We have every type of food you could ever dream of, as well as quality and fair prices. So if you are looking for some good places to go out I have made a list of some noteworthy restaurants, and if you are already from Ottawa check these places out.
First off, I have made this list especially accessible to those staying in the Downtown area, however most are an easy commute from any part of the city you may be staying in. Most of the restaurants listed have their own website for more info & to view the menu!

Italian food lover like me?
- Cafe Mio: Very well priced and huge portions! (Wellington West)
- Fresco Bistro Italiano: Delicious food & they offer gluten free pizza crust and pasta! Make sure to try their Caesars! (Elgin St)
- Tennessee Williams: Very cozy spot, fair prices. Pizza is awesome! (Wellington West)

Want a great burger but looking to save money?
- The Works: Any burger topping you could ever want. There’s a couple of locations in Kanata, Barrhaven, and Westboro. (Westboro being closest to downtown)
- Hintonburger: Very casual, but yummy & inexpensive (Wellington West)

Mmmm… Seafood
- The Whalesbone Oyster House: Worth every penny! Their seafood is all sustainably fished & the menu changes daily! (Downtown, Kent st.)
- Supply & Demand: Can’t recommend this one enough! (Wellington West)
- The Elmdale Oyster House & Tavern: Great late night location and their Lobster roll is to die for (Wellington West)

Cuisine Française:
- Petit Bill’s Bistro: Lobster poutine is a guilty pleasure. This spot is a little bit more pricey so if you are looking for a nice night out this is a good one (Wellington West)
- The Savoy Brasserie: Newly opened but worth a trip. They also offer one dollar oysters and jumbo shrimp Monday-Friday between 3:30 and 6:30 (Westboro)
- The Metropolitan: My favourite patio in the city! This place is a no brainer. (Downtown, Sussex)

Some other gems:
Union Local 613: My number one pick in Ottawa. Food, drink and service are on point, and the atmosphere is exciting. Southern styled food & drink, with predominately communal tables. Check out their speakeasy bar in the basement!
Agave: Delicious Mexican! Well priced and worth the trip. Try their Margaritas. (Wellington Westboro)

Author: admin
• Tuesday, July 02nd, 2013

The residents of Ottawa all know the winter can be difficult. For about six months out of the year the weather is typically less than ideal and short days make it nearly impossible to wake up in the morning (who wants to wake up before the sun?) So that being said, when I see people choosing to sit inside instead of the patio on a beautiful day, I can hardly understand it. Ottawa is situated in one of the best places geographically in Canada, in my opinion. We have the luxury of living in a “big city” atmosphere, amazing dining, great nightlife with the Byward Market and a fantastic hockey team, but we also have that small town feel. We have great green space with our parks, bike paths, the Rideau canal and we are ideally situated a short drive from the beautiful Quebec with the Gatineau Hills.

Therefore most of us residents of Ottawa want to spend as much time as possible outside this time of year, especially after the winter we just experienced. This is also a great way to get active if you have been putting it off (like I have), and we are lucky enough to live in a City that makes this quite attainable. That being said I have created a list of some ways to get outdoors and get active:

- Exercise does not always mean going to the gym or doing the same workout routine every day. Summer makes is easy to add different modes of exercise and allows you to change it up so you won’t get bored.
- Go for a walk. Yes I know this is an obvious option but how many of us really do it? This especially helps if you are stressed or having a difficult time sleeping at night. I know from experience it is hard to motivate yourself to exercise when you’re feeling the pressure from work or life, so get outside and take a short walk and I guarantee it will help clear you mind.
- Explore the city. There are fantastic neighborhoods in Ottawa worth spending some time exploring and shopping. Hintonburg and the Glebe are some of my favorites with great shops and restaurants that you’ll never know existed and very accessible by walking.
- Outdoor markets. The Parkdale market is awesome and open daily from dawn to dusk, check it out instead of going to the grocery store for produce! Westboro recently started doing one in Byron park Saturdays 9:30am-3:00pm. They have everything you could ever want from produce to meat to jewelry. Brewer park also offers one Sundays 8:00 am-3pm and Centrum Plaza in Orleans Fridays 10:00am-3:00pm. I can’t recommend these enough! (you will also be supporting local vendors and what’s better than that?)
- Bike paths. Utilize these! We have over 300km of bike paths in the Ottawa-Gatineau region. The great thing about many of these bike paths are they are off the roads so it’s a good activity to do with the kids. These can also be used for walking, rollerblading etc. The canal is always a popular one, as well as the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway. For more information on finding the right bike paths visit this website: http://www.canadascapital.gc.ca/things-to-do/cycling
- Ever been to Gatineau Park? There is lots to do including cycling, hiking, swimming, rock climbing, even guided tours! The park also has great picnic areas so bring a lunch and spend the day! For more information on the park: http://www.canadascapital.gc.ca/places-to-visit/gatineau-park
- Yoga lover or ever wanted to try? Lululemon offers free yoga on Parliament Hill every Wednesday 12pm-1pm. All levels welcome! Yoga is a great way to get some exercise and spend some time outdoors if you have been in the office all morning. Don’t be intimidated if it’s your first time! There are teaching assistants there to help and you have the freedom of going at your own pace. Try it out! You might end up loving it.

These are just some of the many resources Ottawa offers to get outside this summer. Remember: do everything at your own pace! Now get outside and get the most out of your summer

Alanna