Fourteen years ago, I moved to this beautiful city with my two dogs to work as a reporter at a daily newspaper. I was young, had a passion for the arts, and having spent the last four years of my career in smaller towns, was eager to partake in all that the nation’s capital had to offer.
The city did not disappoint. Within a week, I had memberships to every major gallery and museum (which I proceeded to visit so frequently that I befriended the staff); registered for a dance class, and had researched several clubs with the intent to join. My job, which gave me privileged looks into local goings-on, fed my addiction to seeing and trying new things, but I remained loyal to my first loves—epic music and cultural festivals, gallery exhibits and road races with unique vantage points—which I never missed. This girl was thoroughly spoiled.
My love affair with the city continued following the arrival of our first daughter, Millie, albeit in a different way. After deciding to leave my full-time employment to spend more time with her, we played tourist everyday, and for years, never ran out of things to do.
I could go on forever about the incredible things Ottawa offers. Over the past year, the pandemic has ravaged many of these institutions, and it is so important to show our support now, so that when life returns to normal, they will be there for our families. This edition of Parenting Times Magazine celebrates the treasures we have in our city.
Some of those treasures aren’t places at all, but people. As a capital city, Ottawa is home to many experts who offer a wealth of knowledge (some of which can help along the parenting journey). Check out “It takes a village”, in which we enlisted professional help for your biggest parenting obstacles.
Another perk of living in Ottawa is the variety of activities our children have access to. If they have an interest in it, there’s something out there to nurture that interest. We have a story about some amazing clubs and associations, so see what tickles your child’s fancy.
Also, how lucky are we to be living in an urban area, but to still have easy access to horseback riding facilities like The Royal Equestrian Centre? In Just for Kids, we’ve spoken to the owner, as well as riders and their parents about what they love about this sport. It might just inspire you to try it out, if you haven’t already. Lucky doesn’t begin to describe how fortunate we are to have St. Mary’s Home, a non-profit organization positioned to help young parents and their children. Read Sheryl Bennett-Wilson’s report.
Our columnists share their personal highlights of the city with us—Kita Szpak recalls taking her now-grown sons to Ottawa’s museums; Chris Hunt and his son, Riley, look forward to the reopening of a certain indoor playground; and Jon Willing salutes the city’s childcare workers.
We hope this edition is the impetus for you to consider your local favourites. We’re sure there are many, and we’re looking forward to visiting them soon. Ottawa, we love you.